Hey y'all! I am still alive... just very busy! We started school back and all is going very well~Praise the Lord. :) It's amazing how long it can take you to get back into your groove, though. We made some pretty big changes this year, so while I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say, our previous schedule flew the coop in a big way.
That first week was t-o-u-g-h with trying to get us a workable thing going! BUT, by George, I think we have it now.
Last night Mark and I went out on a rare, spur-of-the-moment "date". It was completely wonderful and very much needed. Just to show you how huge our gooberness is, I will tell you that we adore shows like Iron Chef and Hell's Kitchen and we love us some Top Chef, too. You know, reality meets food...does it get any better? No.
So, we are always sitting on our respective couches drooling and wishing that we could be the ones tasting that super yummy food that is up for judgement on these shows while we knaw on our dry, slightly stale pretzels. How does one go about getting a cushy job like that anyway? Well, last night we decided to take matters into our own hands. Watch out Olive Garden.
We sat down to dinner and instantly transformed into Padma (if only) and Tom (who is super-cute in a bald, knows-how-to-cook-some-serious-grub sort of way). Anyway, here is our report: First strike was our waitress. She gets a big fat F. Right after we were seated, she looked at us, and then proceeded to carry on a conversation with her friends about football for a full 10 minutes before she came to get our drink orders, which she turned around and messed up. She messed up THE DRINKS! How hard is that?! Padma almost spazzed at that point, but maintained composure. (It was 8:00 p.m. and I was starving, so I was a little edgy, what can I say?).
Strike 2 was the gloppy appetizer (that is normally very good) called Smoked Fonduta something or other. Anyway, it's supposed to be this smooth cheese dip served with fresh tomatoes and basil on top with a side of toasted baguette. Well, for us it was none of the above. I wish I would have taken a picture, but Tom simply couldn't be photographed with such atrocities. It wasn't even melted completely and we had, like, 5 or 6 little dices of tomato on top with nary a basil leaf in sight. The bread wasn't even toasted and there flat-out wasn't enough of it (the bread, I mean...certainly not the fonduta). The real Tom and Padma would have deemed this almost inedible, but hey, we are Mark and Gayle, so unless there is something funky growing on it, we'll wolf it down anyway.
The restaurant redeemed itself nicely with Tom's entree: Steak Gorgonzola with Alfredo. The beef was beautifully prepared and had a flavor that was out of this world. It was so tender and juicy, that it practically melted in your mouth. It had spinach tossed in with the pasta which added a nice flavor along with color that made the presentation visually appealing. I would have wanted his dish, but I couldn't get past the funky gorgonzola, which, in my world, tastes distinctively like feet. Not that I go around tasting feet, but if I did, that is what they would taste like, for sure. He loved it, though, and for that, it gets a nice ~thumbs up~
My entree was Ravioli di Portabello, which is, pretty simply, ravioli stuffed with chopped portabello mushrooms covered in an insanely yummy tomato alfredo sauce. They put fresh diced tomato and basil along with chopped sun-dried tomato on top of that to make a mouth-watering dish with a great balance of flavor. This dish, too, gets a hearty ~thumbs up~.
Overall, our experience was a good one, and we would certainly go back again despite that shotty service and the lame appetizer...but, our standards wouldn't be above McDonald's if it means we can get away for a few hours.
After we left, we morphed back into our own flabby selves and drove to Starbucks for a decaf toffee nut latte with whip, and then on to Walmart for a few odds and ends. (Can we ever escape that place?!) It was a great date. ~sigh~
Tonight, we are heading to another competition: Iron Chef Boy Scouts! Hee-hee...no joke! Ty's Troop hosts a cooking competition every year where the scouts cook and the families judge. I am completely thrilled about this, especially because I don't have to cook for the second night in a row. Good times.
Have a great day everyone...off to catch up with all of you....