Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Nautical Wedding in Long Island NY

Well, I finally got my camera back in the mail (thanks Roman!) from our NY trip.   I have to share this wedding with you.  It was so unique.  Getting married on a boat?  Inviting only your closest friends and family? What a novel idea, why didn't I think of that?  Don't get me wrong,  I think my wedding was really nice too, but it was 9 years ago and I have seen so many good ideas since then.  I wasn't as interested in planning the little details of my wedding back then.  (Good thing my mom was, thanks again to my parents)  

When I was in Ohio earlier this month, I was looking around my moms craft room and saw a hat box.  When I opened it, I was so happy to see this bright yellow vintage hat.  My mom wore it years ago, and I was so excited to give it life again.....on a big sailboat wedding!
The boat was docked in Greenport, NY.  A cute little port town in Long Island, about  a 90 minute drive from the city. 
 The beast was called Mystic Whaler.  It weighs over 100 tons and is 83 feet long.   It can accommodate up to 65 guests or 34 for overnight trips.  I would not recommend if you stay over if you are claustrophobic as the sleeping quarters are very small.

Roman and Ernesto became friends in a chemistry lab class at OSU.   He came to our wedding and was actually at Ernesto's graduation party where he proposed to me as well.  They keep up with each other and we got to know the bride Tanya on our trip together to Mexico a couple years ago .   

Being the planner that he is, Roman gave everyone something to do during the 4 hour boat ride.  Here, everyone takes a spot on the "lines" to pull the 3000 sq ft masts up.  
He also planned a little game of skits, breaking everyone to 3 groups and giving them a scenario to act out.  The major roles being the bride and groom.  They just sat back and watched everyone making fun of them.  It was quite funny. 
The boat was set up with this island in the middle where delicious hors d'oeuvres were at your finger tips with Sangria to wash it down.  Add a few bouquets of flowers and this is all that was needed to decorate the perfect venue for a wedding. 
When the ceremony started, everyone gathered around the bride and groom.  There were only 30-40 people on the boat, so it was very intimate.  
Although the officiator spoke English, most of the guests spoke Russian.  There were several toasts given to the couple that seemed to be entertaining.  I just laughed when everyone else did. 
 When they were officially man and wife, the techno music was turned up loud.
Towards the end of the boat ride, the couple and many of the guests changed into bathing suits and jumped off the boat.  It was really cool. 

Even though the boat ride came to an end around 8pm, the party wasn't even close to being over.  The reception carried on until midnight with dinner, music and dancing.  At midnight almost everyone went to the beach to hang out and didn't return until 6am.  I wasn't feeling up to par for an all-nighter after my reunion with Michelle the night before.  I know, loser!  Anyway, it was a great time and probably the coolest wedding I have ever been too.  Thanks for including us in your celebration Roman and Tanya!


Have you guys ever seen the show on Travel Channel called Man vs Food?  The crazy host, Adam Richman visits different eateries around the country and takes food challenges.  For example this season he "conquers a massive grilled cheese sandwich in Cleveland, OH, a 7-lb. seafood feast in Long Island, NY, and race to finish 50 wings in 30 minutes in Boulder, CO."

Well, a couple weeks ago we saw an episode where he eats the "hottest curry in the country" at a restaurant in NYC called Brick Lane Curry House.  Immediately, Ernesto said "I have to try that!" We just happen to be visiting NY for our friends' wedding so we made it happen.

Just to give you a little background about the "hottest curry in the country"  take a look at the Man vs. Food video:

Neto ordered the Phall with lamb, and of course a Kingfisher beer to go with.  We also ordered the saag paneer and butter chicken.  (My college roomate Michelle was with us that night.  In fact we were able to hang out the whole day and catch up.  It was great seeing her.)  The dishes aren't huge, but there is a lot of sauce in it, and the challenge is to eat all of it!  He digs in straight away and doesn't really seem phased.  I mean, he does eat hot food everyday.
"It's hot as hell!"  he says, "but I was expecting it to be hotter."   At the half way point, he looks a little crazy.  He is glowing from a bit of sweat and his eyes are a little bugged out.
 He kept plugging away, and sure enough, he finishes.  The table of Brits next to us cheered him on!
He recieved the certificate of completion, and his prize, a free beer! 
 We emailed this last photo to be added to the restaurants "Phall of Fame."  You are my hero mi amorrrrrrrrrrrr!

ps.  After dinner he felt a little dizzy when we were walking around the city.  Also the effects of that hot as hell curry did not end that night.....as you can imagine.

Monday, August 30, 2010

August in Asheville

Wow!  We just arrived back to Atlanta today from our last summer trip.  I'll say it again, I love Asheville!  What a cool town! When Ernesto and I visited my brother Brrrian in January, our weekend trip spontaneously turned into a week.  This time, my sister Jenny and her family drove from Ohio and we had a blast...5 of us sleeping in the living room - good thing we are a close family!  I love my brothers place, it's a true artist space with so much to discover.  The weather was perfect!  No humidity and cool evenings.  We were very active (to the point of pain even) and I loved it!  Lots of laughing and sarcasm, a true Arnold get together.

Here are some of the highlights of the trip:
- Listened to live music at Goombay Festival in Pack's Park, and dance dance danced!
- Ate jerk chicken at Nine Mile, a Jamaican restaurant
- Drank brews at the new Pack's Tavern
- Hiking in Montreat - Lookout Mountain
- Cooking out and enjoying Brrrian's big front porch
- Drove to Gorges State Park for hike, swim and a slide down waterfall
- worked out: 400 meters of walking lunges [and bitched about being sore for 3 days, haha]
- Met Amber, the girl Brrrian is dating. Very cool.
- Walked around all the cool downtown shops
- Drank IPA's at the Lab
- Dinner at a Japanese steakhouse downtown [I forget the name, bad girl!]

I took so many pictures that I decided a video recap was in order, I hope you enjoy!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fit Fridays: HOT to COOL!


Ernesto and I are at my brother Brrrians house Asheville now and boy is the weather nice here!  The humidity is low and the temperatures are topping out at 80 degrees! The evenings are cool and we are sleeping with the windows open!!  It is wonderful!
My sister and her family are here with us and we are having a blast!  Since arriving on Wednesday we have kept the workouts going.  It's been a great week.  What have you guys been up to?

Here is the week in workouts:
Saturday: rest
Sunday: run 1mile -but too hot for more walked 45 minutes
Monday: Crossfit: 15 rounds of 20 seconds sprints, 40 seconds rest
Tuesday: Crossfit: 6 pull-ups, 6 dips, handstand push-ups, 8 kettle ball swings. Repeat for 20 minutes straight.
Wednesday: Crossfit: 30 burpees, 30 box jumps, 30 foot to hand (while hanging on pull-up bar), then 25 times each ,  then 20, then 15, then 10.  It sucks.
Thursday: Crossfit: 400 meters of walking lunges.  ouch!
Friday: one hour and 1/2 of hiking in Montreat Asheville

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday!  Did you guys have a nice weekend?  We sure did. We arrived back from NY on Friday evening.  Our friends Roman and Tanya got married on a huge sail boat off Long Island.  I haven't blogged it yet because Im still waiting for my camera to arrive (I forgot it there).  We were pretty worn out so this weekend consisted of cooking, eating, relaxing, jewelry making and craigslist surfing.
My search? couch and kitty.  Im still convincing Neto for the kitty, but I did find this!
This antique couch was listed on CL for on $50.  I know this is far from the mid-century modern style I have been hunting for, but there is something about it that I love.  It has rich wood carved frame (I would guess mahogany) and fluffy down feather cushions.  Ok, it needs some major work.  There are a couple springs busting out and the fabric, although beautiful, is terribly worn.  My whole idea was to reupholster it anyway.  I called my mom before I purchased to ask if she would "help me" with this project as my birthday present...and she said yes!  I tried to get the lady to sell that gorgeous rug too, but she wouldn't.

Now the fun begins where I start search for fabric to make this a masterpiece! Howell Mill shops here I come!  I also have plans to paint and reupholster my dining room chairs. I am thinking a white lacquer paint with a graphic print for a more modern look.

Other goings-on this weekend:
- shopped at Morningside farmers market
- ate paninis with cafe americanos at Alon's Bakery
- country rib cook-off between Smita and Neto  (he made Chilean ribs and she made Hawaiian ribs)
- cooked and devoured this basil-Italian sausage lasagna
- found a Michael Kors skirt at Marshalls for only $7
- ate dinner at a friends house- he made this Venetian shrimp and scallop recipe - DELISH!
- watched the movie Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio - freaky but good
- made 5 pairs of earrings and one necklace for upcoming Zafiro shows
- tried to run in the middle of the day and after 15 minutes had to walk...TOO HOT
- opened my homemade pickled peppers and vow to make more! They are so tasty!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Made a Peck of Pickled Peppers!

Besides great memories, I came home from my Ohio trip with a big bag of hot peppers fresh from the garden.  My uncle said they were called "salsa peppers."  We used them for popcorn, but realized that we weren't going to use them fast enough.  Earlier in the summer, we picked up a dozen brand new canning jars at a yard sale.  Ernesto suggested pickling the peppers. 
When I googled "pickling peppers"  I recognized David Lebovitz's site at the top.  David is an american pastry chef and author living in Paris.   His blog is hilarious and the recipes/photos are phenomenal.  We have made his carnitas several times. The pickled pepper recipe he posted was so easy I decided I would give it a try.  
Ernesto picked up some pickling cucumbers at the farmers market and I add them with the peppers which I thought would be delicious.  I always loved the homemade pickles and peppers my mom made when I was growing up.  I was anxious to try it myself. 
The recipe was very simple.   I already had all of the ingredients in my kitchen:
vinegar, water, sugar, salt bay leaves, coriander seeds, black peppercorns and garlic.  
You have to wait at least one week before they are ready.  So yesterday we opened one jar, a mixed pepper and cucumber jar.  

 They were so delicious that we ate the whole jar at once.   Later we opened a jar with just peppers.  They are crunchy, full of flavor and hot as hell!  I will definitely be making these again!

Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche)

My brother in law Pepe is one of the best cooks I know.  He has been in the restaurant business for years and although he manages restaurants, he has also managed to learn a lot in the kitchen. He talks about opening his own restaurant one day, and I can only hope he fulfills this dream.   He is one that experiments and somehow it always turns out delicious.   This is a trait of someone who enjoys cooking, wouldn't you agree?  (Luckily for me, my husband also has this trait.)
It seems I always eat a lot of seafood when I am in California. (hmm...I wonder why?)  Especially ceviche.  It is one of my favorite foods.  I am not alone here.  I know this because I see people are searching for ceviche on google every day and coming to VLC and vivacindy for Ernesto's shrimp ceviche recipe.  

When Pepe made this fish ceviche this summer, I knew I had to share it you.   I love the way he changes it up with new [to me] ingredients.  For example, red pepper?  potatoes? Have you ever heard of this?  I was surprised.  I have hand many kinds of ceviche, but never like this.  I was impressed. Truth be told, the potato doesn't add flavor to this ceviche, but I really enjoyed the added texture.  Make sure to cube them in small bite size pieces.

Pepe's Fish Ceviche

1 lb fresh sea bass, cubed 
1 large yukon gold potato, cubed
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 habanero chiles, diced (adjust to your taste)
2 small roma tomatoes
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped 
1 small red onion, diced
juice of 8-10 limes
1/4 cup clamato juice
1tsp salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper 

directions:  Boil cubed potatoes until al dente (not too soft guys) drain and cool.   In a large bowl, combine fish and all vegetables and squeeze the lime juice over top.  Add clamato juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover with lid and put in refrigerator for at least one hour before eating.  Stir ingredients and drain half the liquid. Serve cold with tostadas or chips. Buen provecho!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fit Fridays: HOT HOT HOT!

We had been home only one week after our summer trip and had to leave again. I have to say I was not excited about traveling again.  Yes, I said that. But...Ernesto's college friend Roman was getting married on a boat off of Long Island NY, which was very exciting. Plus we made some arrangements to spend time in the city and meet up with my college roommate Michelle. 

I have a lot to tell you about the trip.  We had a great time with my friend, Ernesto took a Man vs. Food challenge, and the wedding was so beautiful and unique.  I will  show and tell you all about it just as soon as I get my camera in the mail.  Yep, I left my evening bag which had my camera and my license and didn't discover it until we were almost to the airport.  UGH!  Luckily for me, I keep a copy of our passports in my suitcase for such screw ups.
Stone Mountain
On to Fit Fridays!
Since we do not belong to a gym, we always work out in our home Crossfit gym in the garage.  I love just walking downstairs to workout.  There is something to be said about convenience, don't you agree?  As you can imagine, the garage has no air conditioning.  I sweat a lot anyway, but in this heat I look like I just took a shower after working out.  Maybe it's because we were in cool San Diego this summer, but I don't mind sweating too much.

Saturday: 30 mile bike ride to [and fro] Stone Mountain and 30 min climb to the top
Sunday: rest
Monday: Crossfit:  50 double under jump ropes and 50 sit ups.  then 40 of each. then 30. then 20 then 10.
Tuesday: Crossfit:  3 rounds of 30 wallballs and 30 squat-snatches (this was so hard!)
Wednesday:  rest  [in NY sore as hell from Tuesday's Crossfit]
Thursday:  rest  [in NY sore as hell again]
Friday: rest  [in NY]

Pictures are from our bike ride to Stone Mountain:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to the ATL & Fit Fridays

Being home these last few days have been wonderful. We had such a great summer in San Diego and Arnold week with my family in Ohio was awesome!   I think it really makes you appreciate things if you leave for a while.  I guess that is why they say absence makes the heart grow fonder, or that you don't know what you have until it's gone.  
Walking up our stairs with all my plants and beautiful pottery was such a great feeling.  (A few plants did not pull through, but since I have mostly succulents, the garden still looks great) 
{thriving succulents}
{more succulents}
{rosemary and creeping jenny}
Yes, our apartment is only 600 square feet, but I missed our little place.  I missed our cozy living room, the soft sheets on our bed, and our well-equipt kitchen.  Mostly I missed being alone and making dinners with mi amorrrrr.  We jumped right back into cooking and made 2 new recipes this week.  I picked this one, a seared steak and edamame salad, and slightly adapted the recipe.

{sorry for the horrible picture with flash, it was 10pm and I was hungry}
Even though there was a lot going on this week, I managed to squeeze in a few workouts.

Saturday: rest
Sunday: Gillian Michaels DVD (it was tough!)
Monday: Crossfit  10 minutes of non-stop burpees (it doesn't sound hard, but try it!)
Tuesday: rest [in the airport all day]
Wednesday: run to Kroger and walk home with groceries (2.5 miles)
Thursday: rest
Friday: Crossfit  "Fran" pictured below.   3 rounds - 21-15-9 [reps]  of thrusters and pull-ups
One other reason Im happy to be home:  Hi Rare rare...my little ti ti was waiting!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jalapenos: Stuffed and Grilled!

I didn't always eat spicy foods.  I remember my dad and grandmother loved spicy foods.  My mom grew hot peppers in her garden every year and my dad would sweat while eating them.  Sliced, seeds removed and salted.  I don't know why I never gave spicy a chance back then.  

If you say, "I can't do spicy" I say, "yes you can!"  

A tolerance to spicy foods is built up over time.  I promise you, that when I met Ernesto 11 years ago, I was not eating habanero salsas.  But he kept feeding me, and feeding me. There was no way to avoid spicy.  I didn't want to either.  Some say that burn is addictive, and I concur.  I urge you to try getting addicted.  Not only do "they" say that spicy foods are good for your heart, improving circulation, and aid with digestion,  this article  even suggests that it is a "mood lifter." 

I'm just saying.... my husband is the least moody person I have ever met and at the same eats more spice that anyone I have ever met.  A coincidence?  I think not. 

If you are not convinced, then let me tell you the number one reason to start eating spicy foods.  The TASTE.  They are delicious!  

Back in June we saw Paula Deen  making grilled jalapeno poppers on Food Network.  Last Sunday at the weekly Espinoza cookout, Ernesto tried Paula's recipe, substituting the monterry jack cheese for mozzerella.  We came away with some good pictures, but more importantly some tips on making this recipe even better/easier.  

Stuffed and Grilled Jalapeno Poppers
Adapted from Paula Deen

8-10 medium jalapenos, splice pepper from on side and remove seeds and veins. 
mozzarella cheese, cut into strips the same length as peppers
5-6 pieces of bacon, fried and chopped into small piecesThe pictures here follow Paula Deen's directions, which you are free to try.  However, we have already tested this for you, and found that cooking the bacon on the stove, chopping and stuffing it into the peppers with the cheese before grilling yielded a much more functional appetizer.   After stuffing the peppers  grill until pepper is tender.  Trust me, these pics look good, but eating them wasn't as good looking.  (Bacon comes of on the first bite!)  Still these peppers were delicious and worth the effort. 

Monday, August 09, 2010

Arnold Week Summer 2010

What a great week! My whole family was together in Ohio for the first time in 6 years. We came in from San Diego, Brrrrian from Asheville and Tim and his family from New Mexico. I am biased, I know, but I have the best family EVER! The best!!  We took new family portrait with EVERYONE....all 15 of us!
{from back left: Bill, Barbie, Scott, Jenny, Tim, Michelle, Ernesto, Cindy, Brrrian
middle: my parents: Elaine with baby Eleanor, and Paul
front row: Noah, Kelli, and Tyler}

I could tell you all about how we sat around the table laughing for hours, went to Cedar Point, played cards, enjoyed cookouts, went swimming, played tosticle, drank a lot of good [and bad] beer, attended the prettiest birthday party ever (you rock Barbie!), ate homemade pies, and did some crossfit with an inspiration [my bro] Tim.....BUT I would rather show you.  Here is 'Arnold week' in pictures:

ps. no Fit Fridays last week, only two workouts:(  Back to Atlanta tomorrow to get back on a schedule. haha, yeah right. No really, I have much to do when I get back.  I'll tell you all about it...... later!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

40th Birthday Party

Ernesto's brother Tavo turned 40 on August 2.  It was a surprise (I hope it was tavo!) and Erin did a great job of organizing a beautiful cookout, complete with taqueros (taco stand) serving food.  It was a quaint little get together with family and a few friends. 
That was.....until the mariachis came in the door.  There was a lot of dancing and singing. Ernesto's dad joined the mariachi's in entertaining us.  His voice is beautiful and controlled.  
He could've been a star.  I took a short video so you can see what I mean. 
{Ernesto and his niece Alex dancing}

{Ernesto and I showed them how it's done, haha}

Here is the birthday boy with his wife Erin.  It seems like he had a great time.  He and Ernesto even sang, which never happens.  It was a great time.  
Here is the proof:
And Ernesto says he can't sing...yeah right!
It was also a nice way to end our long stay in San Diego.  On to my family in Ohio!


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