Saturday, December 17, 2011

Seasonal Celebrations

Let’s think back to Thursday shall we?  The lab that I work at had its Christmas Pitch-In for lunch.  I had made Chubby Hubby Bars the night before and cut/packed them up the next morning to bring them in.


I made a pumpkin pie smoothie when I woke up and ended up drowning it in maple syrup because it was rather lacking in flavor.  Sadness.


I high-tailed it to the bus stop afterwards and managed to get caught in a downpour before getting onto the bus itself.  When I arrived at the lab I was just in time for all sorts of food goodness.  It was really nice to hang out with everyone outside of the lab coats and blue gloves.  I started with a plate of some savor offerings in the form of some sloppy joes on top of field greens, bits of fruit, macaroni salad, and Chinese ramen salad. (P.S. I apologize for the cell phone photos!)


A bit later I indulged in some dessert from the, get this, completely full whole separate table full of sweet things.  I tried some fruit pizza, dark chocolate brownie, chocolate frosted cake, Christmas cookie, crepe filled with cream cheese frosting and Hershey’s syrup, and a piece of “Kat’s Cake” which was a layering of hazelnut cake with swiss chocolate.


I swear I’m the running joke around the lab in regards to how much I eat.  They wonder where I put it all, I think.  Basically it boils down to not eating like this every day and  exercising most days.  After snagging another crepe I excused myself to go and study for Dysmorphology some more.  When 2 o’clock rolled around we all sat down and tore into our 17 page final.  It turned out to be nothing like we expected but I did my best and devoured a chocolate cupcake (made by the professor) as a consolation.  Whatever my dears, at least that class is OVER!


I took the bus back home and then proceeded to hop on the treadmill for a 35 minute maintenance run followed by a nice, hot shower.  Post shower I got myself all dolled up, yes I even put on heels, and I set out to pick up Jack from his mom’s house for our celebratory date at Cooper’s Hawk Winery.  When we arrived we started off with pretzel bread and butter.


Seriously, this was so yummy.  We paired it with a plate of Mexican Drunken Shrimp (bacon wrapped shrimp in a tequila lime butter sauce with freshly made guacamole) which is a big favorite from the last time we were here for Jack’s graduation party.


These shrimp burst in your mouth and the sauce is just begging to be dredged up by your bread.  We split the plate in half, 2.5 shrimp a piece, and contemplated the Chef’s Monthly Cheese Plate but opted against it.  Next, we each ordered a glass of wine with dinner: he the Viognier and I the Cooper’s Hawk White (which was recommended with my entrée choice).


Our dinner arrived a bit later and looked scrumptious.  I ordered the crab cakes with a mustard sauce, sautéed spinach, and some cheddar hashbrown potatoes.


Jack got the trio of medallions topped with either horseradish, parmesan, or bleu cheese.  He got asparagus and mashed potatoes with it.


Both entrees were incredible and we loved every bite of both.  The wine’s went well too.  When we had finished we considered the dessert menu and ordered the peanut butter mousse and the chocolate cake.


They both were incredible and we got a pleasant surprise when we dug into the peanut butter mousse: there was chocolate inside too!  Homemade Reese’s cup anyone?


By the time we left we were super happy and content.  What a way to celebrate being done with finals?!?!  We sure thought so.

The celebrations continued the next morning after we got back from our workout at the fitness center.  I ended up doing 45 minutes on the bike and then some weights:

  • Squat/bicep curl/olympic press compound move with two 10lb dumbbells
  • Tricep dips under own body weight
  • Standing weighted oblique crunch with a 10lb dumbbell
  • Lat pull with 40lbs
  • Row with 40 lbs

To refuel we made vanilla protein dark chocolate chip waffles and topped them with peanut butter.  Plus what says celebration better than whipped cream and sprinkles?  Jack spruced his up –>


and I did mine as well with the addition of some chia seeds for good measure.


What a lovely way to kick off the first day of Christmas break!  It was seriously a sensation to not have to do ANYTHING at all, nothing on the list, nowhere to be.  I am going to lavish in these three weeks!  To take our “doing nothing” plans to the fullest, we decided to walk to the mall and spend some time meandering around.  While we didn’t go with the intention of knocking some people off our Christmas list, we did.  We picked up things for Jack’s sister and mother.  Perfect!  After shopping we were hungry so we found a booth at the Weber Grill Restaurant and immediately ordered the Weber starter sampler.


It included two pieces each of grill-seared steak skewers, BBQ ribs, beer can chicken with a chipotle mayo, and BBQ shrimp.  On the far side were some crispy onion straws as well.  My favorite bite was definitely the steak because of the sauce.  It seemed to be Asian based, very tasty.  Our table also got some pretzel bread with butter and a beer-cheese spread.  Second time we’d had pretzel bread in two days, no complaints!


For our entrees, Jack got “The Farm” kettleburger which was made of ground beef and lamb.  It was topped with smokehouse bacon, oven-roasted tomatoes, and goat cheese.  Fries and ketchup on the side.


I picked out the Wisconsin kettleburger which was a beef burger topped with cheddar cheese, smokehouse bacon, and I asked them to add some grilled onions.  Also with fries and ketchup on the side.


The fries were nothing super duper special, very typical restaurant fries but the burgers were great. They were cooked to medium and juicy.  The taste combo on Jack’s burger, too, was something very original.  Great meal all around and just what we needed/wanted after shopping.

The rest of our night consisted of dancing with friends at the local Friday night swing dance.  We got the chance to catch up with some people we hadn’t seen in a bit as well as work some moves out on the floor.  Speaking of, however, the place was JAM PACKED with people and I wasn’t up for dancing in a one foot square box so we didn’t dance too much until a bit later when people cleared out.  It was a good time though.  We enjoyed ourselves.  All in all, the past couple of days were everything I could have asked for and if they are any indication, this holiday break should be wonderful.

Questions: How’d your finals go overall?
What are your plans for this break?

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