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Archive for October, 2009

On Sunday, I went to watch the Halloween Cyclocross race at Camp Arrowhead near Powder Mills Park. Cyclocross is a cross between road riding and mountain biking. It usually takes place in a field/woods and it includes obstacles (natural and man made) as well as lots of mud. Well, usually. Since the season starts in October, it is bound to be very muddy on every course.

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Joel raced in this race two years ago. I remember standing next to all the riders lined-up at the start as the rain and hale started to come down. I knew it was going to be an interesting race. I watched him throughout the entire course. I love cheering for him and the rest of my friends. It’s so much fun! Joel did not have a very good time at the race. :( His bike was caked up with so much mud you could not even see the crank and rear breaks. It took him about 2 hours to clean it. He was not very happy about that.

Joel's bike after the race.

Joel's bike after the race 2 years ago.

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This year was very different. It was a very beautiful sunny day. Joel did not race, but my two friends Paul and John were there. They keep telling me that they really appreciate the encouragement throughout the race, so I try to be there to support them. :)

John

John

Paul

Paul

Oh and since it is the Halloween Cyclocross, a few of the riders wore costumes. It is very amusing to see riders in Halloween costumes. I think that you will agree. :)

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Our friends Nannette and Karl invited us and another couple to join them for the Geva Theatre opening of The Clean House on Saturday night. They were also planning on going out to dinner prior to the show, so we joined them for dinner too. I was excited because we were going to Henry B’s, which is a fairly new restaurant located below the Sagamore apartments on East Ave.

I must say… Henry B’s might be my new favorite restaurant in Rochester. Oh wait, I still love Lento very much!! Both restaurants are equal in my book. :) The food was just delicious!! The dishes are served family style, which means that no mater what you order, your dish is going to feed at least 6 people. Well, for the amount of food that I eat, that is how many people it will serve. :) In any case, if you go eat there, order wisely. Since Nannette and Karl have eaten there before, they recommended a few dishes for us to try.

We started with this very delicious salad, which I don’t recall its name. However, the dish had a very nice vinaigrette, crispy prosciutto, and crumbly blue cheese. YUM!! It was just delicious! I would have been happy just eating this as my meal. Oh, but what came next was even better. We ordered a plate of the mushroom ravioli. For those of you who know me well, you are aware that I love ravioli. They are my comfort food. And these were just delicious!! They were stuffed with ricotta and mushrooms and then topped off with a very light sauce that included additional mushrooms and truffle oil. It was heavenly! I noticed that they make their own gnocchi too, which I also love, so I will have to go back and try them. As if the salad and raviolis were not enough, the waiter brought our main dish… a very large platter of linguine mixed with every possible seafood item that you can think of and finished with a very nice red sauce. WOW!! I don’t particularly like red sauce, but the dish was just amazing! The linguine was perfectly cooked and the red sauce nicely complimented it. Oh and the seafood… what can I say about the seafood. It was just delicious! I have not had lobster in a very long time, so that was nice. Also, the shrimp, scallops, and the rest of the seafood were perfectly cooked. Yummy!!

Lastly, and I am sure that you will agree with me, the perfect ending to a perfect meal is a nice dessert. Since it was getting close to the start of the play, we just ordered the Tiramisu, which was very fitting for an Italian restaurant. The waiter brought this humongous piece of Tiramisu, which was large enough to feed all 6 of us. One complaint that I have about any Tiramisu that I’ve always had is the amount of mascarpone/cream used. If it were up to me, I would just have the yummy cake that has been soaked for hours, hopefully, in the delicious coffee/liqueur mixture with just a dollop of the cream. It’s my lactose intolerance speaking. :) It was delicious, though. Since we did not even look at the dessert menu, I do not really know what other desserts they have. I guess I will just have to go back and find out.

By now, it was really getting close to the start of the play, so we quickly walked to Geva. The walk was welcomed after all that food that we just ate. The play was really good! We greatly enjoyed it! It was funny and sad at times. The actors were great! Also, the stage, lighting, and sound were well placed. I highly recommended it! We don’t venture out to the theater often, and both of us were really happy that we had the opportunity to see it.

In the end, we had a wonderful evening with great friends, delicious food, and a really nice play. And we owe it all to Nannette and Karl. :)

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Last weekend, Joel and I took a trip to NYC. My brother Patrick, along with a friend, decided to throw a surprise baby shower for his fiancée Jeni. We have not seen them in a long time, so we were very excited to go. My sister and her husband David were also coming to the shower, so we were excited to see them too. I love visiting my brother not only because I get to see him, but also because we always end up eating some really great food. You see… my brother is a chef. Need I say more?? :)

We arrived in Brooklyn on Friday at 6:00 pm after a very long drive. We got stuck in traffic coming into the city and into Brooklyn. I forgot how much I hate driving in NYC. It felt like it took the same amount of time to drive from the edge of NYC into Brooklyn as it did from Rochester to the edge of NYC. The best part of the ride was driving on RT 17, which took us by the Catskills. That section was so nice! The leaves have changed around that area, so the scenery was amazing.

Since the shower was a surprise, we could not get together with Jeni. Also, my brother was working, so we could not get together with him either. We decided that it was the perfect time to have dinner at the restaurant where my brother works. The restaurant is called No. 7, and is located in Brooklyn. This was our first visit to the restaurant, so I was happy to see that the kitchen was open to the dining area. I love seeing my brother in a chef’s outfit. :) It really suits him. Our experience was great, of course. It does pay off to have a brother as a chef. :) We pretty much got everything on the menu – appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. Granted their menu is small, but still. From the several appetizers that were brought to us, a favorite was these small chicken tacos. The chicken was so flavorful and tender. They were delicious!! Another favorite was the Fried Broccoli. They took a fairly large broccoli crown, battered it with a delicious batter, and fried it. Greens and grapefruit segments and black beans accompanied it. The flavors really complimented each other. For the main dish, I ordered the Wild Striped Bass with shrimp, cockles, lobster broth, and cauliflower. I was expecting a fillet of fish with the seafood and cauliflower on the side and the broth as the sauce. What I got was a lot better! The waitress brought this cute white dish with a lid and a side of rice. As soon as I uncovered it, I was excited! It was a stew like dish. The broth was light and flavorful and the Bass, seafood, and cauliflower were tender. Yummy! As soon as we finished the entrees, they brought the dessert. We were told that they could not decide what to give us, so they made every dessert on the menu. :) One of the best desserts, and the most interesting one, was the oatmeal bacon cookie. At first, we thought that we misheard what the waitress said. But no, the cookie really had bacon in it. It really was very delicious!! I never thought about incorporating bacon into a cookie, but it really worked. Another favorite was the maple “milkshake” that accompanied another dessert. It was so good!! My brother-in-law and I were in heaven. :) We could not get enough of it. Unfortunately, it was in a very small cup and we had to share it among 6 people. Good thing we had other desserts to try! :)

My brother also prepared the food for the shower. The menu included the same chicken tacos that we had at the restaurant, bagels with several types of cream cheeses, smoked salmon, deviled eggs, a green bean salad, and crepes. Unfortunately, my brother was unable to be at the shower due to a work conflict, so he recruited a friend to help. His friend brought the food over to my brother’s apartment, and a bunch of us put everything together. All the dishes looked and tasted delicious. With the help of today’s technology, Jeni was brought back to the apartment shortly after we finished everything. The lights were off and about 30 of her closest friends and family were waiting patiently for her to walk into the door. As soon as she did, we yelled, “surprise!” And oh how surprised she was! As she was walking around the room, she was so excited to see everyone. It was great! I am still amazed that they were able to pull it off.

We had a wonderful time at the shower as well as spending the rest of the evening with them. We ended up going out to dinner to a restaurant within their neighborhood, which of course served some delicious food. But the best part of the trip was being together with my family.

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