Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tech Honors

Crystal is making me (Richard) blog this post, which is really hard to do because I hate talking about how awesome I am.  So now that it is established that I am awesome, I will proceed to tell you why.  I was selected for Technical Honors at work for my performance in 2010.  For those of you non-Raytheoners, it doesn't mean I was technically honored, it means I was honored for technical contributions.  The cool thing about tech honors is that it is peer-voted, so this is kinda like being on the nerd prom court.  What adds to my awesomeness is: (1) 2010 was my first year here, so I made a good impression quickly, and (2) I got tech honors in TX in 2009, making 2 years in a row!

There was a nice dinner and award ceremony that was far superior to the one in TX last year.  I was able to bring Crystal to share the evening with me.  My coworker Katie, below, said a few nice words about me and presented me with the award.

The Gridiron Dinner

The Gridiron Club and Foundation, founded in 1885, is the oldest and one of the most prestigious journalistic organizations in Washington, D.C. The Gridiron Club is best known for its annual dinner which traditionally features the United States Marine Band, along with satirical musical skits by the members and remarks by the President of the United States and representatives of each political party. The skits and speeches by various politicians are expected to be self-deprecating or otherwise sharply comedic. (Thank you to Wikipedia). 

Now that you know what it is...We got to attend this year's dinner, thanks to Sara (who is in the aforementioned US Marine Band). The speakers were Kathleen Sebelius (D), Mitch Daniels (R), and President Barack Obama, they were all great.  But the highlight of my night....

Meeting Katie Couric...She was really nice and personable, we sat just a few seats away... My biggest disappointment of the evening was that Bon Jovi had the flu, because he was suppossed to sit next to Katie (one seat closer to us).  So I did not get to meet Bon Jovi, but it was still a wonderful evening.  Highlight of the political skits, when President Obama gave his speech the band began playing "Hail to the Chief", but he waved them off and asked them to play the song they had discussed, at which point they began playing "Born in the USA".

Afterwards, there was an afterparty with all kinds of important people that I don't know or remember... The best part was getting to spend some time with Sara and Tom, and an open bar.

If you want to know more about the evening check out this report from the Washington Post:

Tom, this is for you!

Mavs Fans for Life!

Richard and I have always been Mavs fans, we went to our first game together in 2003 three weeks after we started dating.  We continue to really enjoy the games, so naturally when the Mavs were in DC we jumped at our chance to go.  This was probably the highlight of our February!  (We aren't fans of the cold, so we tend to stay home a lot during the winter months here...)  But we braved to cold and enjoyed a lovely dinner at Brasserie Beck before heading over to the verizon center for the game.  Richard had told me we didn't have very good seats...but then surprised me with super seats about 5 rows behind the Mavs bench.

Mushroom Gruyere Crepe from Brasserie Beck (fabulous Belgian restaurant)

After the game, we had facebook messages from friends in Texas that said they saw us on TV!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How do you like Gnocchi?

Richard and I are by no means gnocchi experts, but I recently felt inspired watching Top Chef and decided that I wanted to give it a try.  So naturally the first step was to start researching on the internet for best methods, which led me to the potato ricer...  What is a potatoe ricer you ask?  It most closely resembles the play doh spaghetti maker you played with as a kid.

was I right?

So naturally I went out and purchased a potato ricer at Bed Bath and Beyond, because you apparently need it for the lightest gnocchi, and if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right!

So Saturday night we stayed in (as usual) to explore the culinary unknown.  Since neither of us is really familiar with gnocchi, we weren't sure what type of sauce we were going to pair with the gnocchi.  When researching the top runners were sage or thyme butter sauce, gorgonzola cream (yuck!), tomato sauce or pesto.  We decided to go simple and chose a thyme butter sauce.  Next we made the gnocchi per the recipe from our italian food bible, which included boiling potatoes, ricing potatoes, mixing with flour and egg, rolling and cutting and they turned out looking like fluffly pillows.

So here is my gnocchi verdict: it's good, but it needs something more texturally appealing than sage butter.  So the next day I cooked some more and added some roasted pine nuts to the gnocchi with thyme butter, which I thought improved the dish.  But I also decided to try gnocchi another way, so I made gnocchi alla romana, which is gnocchi broiled with butter and parmesean.  It makes a glorious crust ont the outside with a soft tender inside, and I am in love! 

Now what I want to know from you is how do you like your gnocchi?  If you don't know, try gnocchi alla romana!

Calling ALL Texans

As most of you know, I will be finished with school in December.  So the big question on everyone's lips is what's next?  That is exactly what Richard and I have been discussing lately, and we have come to a decision about what we want.


We have decided that we would like to come back to Dallas when I am done with school.  However, this may be harder than you would think.  Seeing as there are two CRNA schools in DFW the job market is somewhat saturated.  So I would like to ask that you all keep us in your thoughts and prayers (especially if you have a CRNA or Anesthesiologist around to share your thoughts with.)

The back up plan will be to stay here in DC.

So this means is you want to visit DC with a free place to stay, you only have a year left to do it and we are always happy to have guests :) 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I have never been one to make new year's resolutions, in fact I don't remember ever making one.  This year I decided to change that so to speak...  I didn't actually make a single resolution, but I made lists of what I hope to accomplish in 2011.  There are two lists.  List one was inspired by the fact that this could be our last year in DC and there is still a lot I want to do here, so it's a list of local museums and activities I hope to enjoy this year.  List two is my culinary adventures list, which is a list of those items "I always wanted to make".   So far I've knocked one off each list:

List 1 Item: Newseum

The newseum is an interactive museum dedicated to the what, when, where, why, and how of news.  It's one of the few museums in the city with an entry fee, and a pretty hefty one at that $20, but of course I got a Groupon for less than 50%, so we finally ventured out to one of the city's best museums.  I would highle reccommend spending even the full price for entry to this museum, allow yourself at least 4 hours to visit.  Some of the highlights: a beautiful section of the berlin wall with a great exhibit, a moving 9/11 exhibit, and a collection of newpapers dating back to the 1500's including the first publication of the declaration of independence and the constitution...AMAZING!  Only complaint, the museum closes strictly at 5:00, they usher you out, so make sure you get there early enough to enjoy all the sights.

List 2: Ravioli and Lamb

Richard and I love to cook, and will be a bit more adventurous in 2011.  The last couple of weeks we've done very well for ourselves.  We started out with Ragu d'Agnello (lamb), a stuffed roasted lamb cooked in a tomato sauce.  And as promised we made Ravioli.  We have some work to do on our ravioli technique, but they were delicious none the less.  We stuffed them with a four chees mixture including: mozarella, Romano, Parmesean, and Mascarpone, with garlic and basil.  So here are the pictures... doesn't it make you want to come visit?  We eat good here :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

This Year I GRADUATE!!!!

Richard and I spent our first new year's eve outside of Texas ringing in the new year in our nation's capitol! 

We went to a party at Lauren, Kate and Sean's place to celebrate with some our of favorite DC peeps.

 Me, Lauren and Nicole (Heyni we missed you!)

This are four of my classmates we got to celebrate with!

It was a great time, Tony taught me the Dougie, Nicole and Richard both belted some faux Karoke in a beautiful handcrafted microphone (thanks to me and Lauren), Jake clearly rocked the sombrero, and Nicole and I spent the first two and a half hours of the new year dancing and singing our hearts out to a medley of salsa, rap, and some nice 80's throw backs!

As great as it was it's the first new year's in quite a while we didn't ring it in with our friends in Texas, we missed you guys!

Happy New Year from the East Coast!! 

P.S. This year I finish school!!! (start praying now that I'll be able to come back to Texas)
Hit Counters