2015 was a magical year for me. I’m going to try to do a month by month review here which will be challenging for two reasons. First, it’s really hard to remember each month of the year. Second, as this is a food blog I’m going to try to write a food memory for each month. I’m also going to break this in to 3 parts; the first half of the year, then July-October, and finally November (because that’s when WE GOT MARRIED) and December.
We rang in the New Year with great friends at Nice Matin, a local French bistro that we enjoy. I know that picture were taken, but I can’t find any. Luckily good old Facebook told me that for the appetizer Mary and I went halvsies of the gnocchi with lobster ragu and the porcini risotto.
On MLK weekend we headed up to our favorite getaway spot, Westerly, RI/Stonington, CT, to relax and visit my best friend and her family. It’s quite beautiful there even in winter.
On the way home we stopped in New Haven, CT to try one of their famous pizza places. Frank Pepe’s was the only one of the 3 most famous that was open on a Monday so that’s where we headed. After a long wait we were finally had a taste of this famous pizza and we were pretty disappointed. The pizza was not all that good and certainly not as good as pizza in NYC/NJ.
For Christmas I had surprised Chris with tickets to see John Oliver on January 30th at the Beacon Theater which is just a few blocks from our apartment. John Oliver is a favorite of ours. We record his show every Sunday and watch it together on Mondays. It was also nice of Chris to let me go with him as he knows that John Oliver is my #1 celebrity crush! The show was amazing. My cheeks and sides hurt from laughing so hard.
This month started out watching the Superbowl with friends at a burger place we love, Mel’s Burger Bar. They had an amazing all you can eat/drink deal. Again thanks to Facebook (I post about food a lot) I can tell you we ordered fried pickles, mac and cheese balls, popcorn shrimp, garlic fries, atomic fries, and burgers. This would’ve been a perfect evening except that the Patriots, a team I loathe, ended up winning.
We continued to spend a lot of time at Colicchio and Sons Tap Room and a highlight was the crispy pig’s head we had there back in February which I’m still dreaming about.
It was brutally cold last February so I made a lot of comfort foods, soups, stews, etc including one of our favorite dishes Tajin Sfinari bil (Lamb stew with olives and carrots). I will definitely have to share this recipe on the blog some time.
The highlight of February was seeing Hamilton just a couple of weeks after it opened at The Public Theater. It was the most unbelievable piece of musical theater we’d ever seen and we knew we’d be getting tickets again once it moved to Broadway.
This month was my second favorite of the year. Mid-month I hosted our second annual Erin Go Purim celebration! Since I am Jewish and my husband is Irish, we started a tradition of hosting this fun fusion party combining an Irish holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, and a Jewish holiday, Purim. There are shamrocks and crowns, groggers and leprechaun stickers, friends, drinks, and a dinner of Jewish and Irish foods.
We started with challah and Irish butter, a selection of Irish cheeses, and smoked salmon on blinis with creme fraiche and capers. I forgot to take a picture of the actual dinner, but I made a brisket (Jewish), colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes and cabbage), and roasted carrots. For dessert we had hamentashen, which are traditional cookies for Purim, and a delicious Guinness chocolate loaf cake. (I bought the hamentashen, but made the cake).
Of course no party is complete without my friend Beth and I reenacting a fight scene from The Real Housewives (in this case Kim Richards and Lisa Rinna from Beverly Hills. #TeamRinna)
I was also very excited to sign a lease on a new apartment in March so I was thinking this month couldn’t get any better, but then of course it did because… Chris asked me to marry him! I’ll spare you the retelling of the story and the pictures for now.
The day after we got engaged we went to see one of our favorite bands, The Lone Bellow, for the 5th time. It was especially awesome because we went to see them the first time about a month and half after we started dating and we both remembering having a feeling that night that the other one was The One.
Needless to say March ended on a high note!
This month was a roller coaster ride. The second you get engaged people are on top of you with opinions of what you should or should not be doing and it’s frustrating and overwhelming. I also got some pretty upsetting news from a friend mid-April. However, some of my favorite things of the year also happened in April.
In early April I went dress shopping and purchased my wedding dress! The wedding dress process was my favorite part of the whole wedding process. There is nothing quite like that moment when you find The Dress (which I did rather quickly), they put a veil on your head to give you the complete look, and your moms tears up. We also sent out our save the dates, booked our venue and most of our vendors, and went to see another one of our favorite bands, The Decemberists, at The Beacon!
We headed back up to Westerly/Stonington because my best friend gave birth to her second beautiful daughter, Lucy! This also meant that I got to ask Jody in person if she would be my Maid of Honor and we asked her older daughter, 5 year old Natalia, to be our flower girl! Of course we stopped by our favorite place to hang out in Westerly, The Malted Barley and hit up Grey Sail Brewing for some delicious local craft beers.
At the end of the month we moved in to our fabulous new 2 bedroom apartment and guess what… I have a real kitchen! A kitchen that more than one person can stand in a time! A full size stove! A full size fridge. We also have a real wood burning fireplace!
If you’re wondering if opposites really do attract, here is a picture I took as we were unpacking. Can you guess which book is his and which is mine…
May started out with a quick trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! My husband’s team at work finished a big project and they rewarded the whole team with a trip to Mexico for each of them plus a guest. He works for a very cool company.
We never thought of ourselves as people who would enjoy a resort since we’re not very good at relaxing, but it was actually a lovely way to spend 3 days.
This month I also picked out my bridesmaids dresses. My ladies loved them and I may be the only bride ever to pick a dress that they really can wear again!
I’m struggling to find a food memory from this month. According to Facebook I got some delicious rhubarb at the farmers market and made Rhubarb Braised Chicken Thighs.
We started this month out by hosting a super fun housewarming party. We had about 25 people there and I still can’t believe we live somewhere where we can host that many people. Even though we told people that no gifts were necessary, most people showed up with a bottle of something so our bar, that wasn’t really slacking that much to begin with, is now very well stocked!
In other alcohol news, have I ever told you how much it pays to be the daughter of a wine collector? We were at my parents house mid-month and my dad opened a bottle of 1977 vintage port as yet another celebration of our engagement.
Something else fabulous happened this month that was way bigger than anything in my own life; marriage equality became the law of the land!! With our own wedding coming up I cannot tell you how much this meant to us. I’m going to be obnoxious and quote myself by pasting my Facebook status here: “I’m not sure how to articulate this, but today’s Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality just makes me that much more excited for my upcoming wedding because every time two people come together in love and commit their lives to each other it is a beautiful and special thing. Somehow knowing that everyone now has the right to marry who they love makes my marriage seem all the more valid and important. This ruling doesn’t diminish the sanctity of marriage, it strengthens it! #LoveWins“
We ended the month by celebrating Chris’s birthday with yet another trip to Westerly/Stonington. Of course we stopped by The Malted Barley. We also had fancy drinks at The Engine Room, a delicious birthday dinner at Bravo Bravo, and we visited Beer’d Brewery for the first time.
Stay tuned for more!