Tournament

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This past weekend we went over to Sarasota for a flyball tournament. It was a lot of fun and Bleys did particularly well. He usually starts off in the 7-8 second range and then gets slower and slower over the weekend, often getting up as far as 11-13 seconds. This makes it difficult, if not impossilbe for his team to earn points. This weekend, however, he stayed under 9 seconds the whole weekend! It was awesome. As an added bonus Sally, from Waverunners took this video from the bleachers at the arena.

My new job

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I wish!

House

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House
Originally uploaded by Sirelroka

The biggest news is that we are buying a house! Every time I think about it I get butterflies in my stomach. It just seems crazy to me how much houses down here cost! This is the front of the house, and there are some more pictures over at flickr. Some are from the real estate listing and some are mine. I think Roland is the most excited about the kitchen which is quite awesome. More pictures when we actually own it!

Thanksgiving

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The turkey
Originally uploaded by Sirelroka

Since we weren’t traveling back to Michigan for Thanksgiving we decided to invite some people over. It turned out that quite a few other people weren’t going to their respective homes either! So many that we couldn’t invite everyone that we wanted to. We ended up with a total of eight, which maxed out how much silverware I own! And how much room there was in our apartment. I ended up going out and buying a new tablecloth too since when I made the one I didn’t take into account putting the leaves in the table. Here is a wonderful glimpse of our turkey while it was resting. Roland cooked up a storm and even bought and arranged the hydrangeas on the table! Doesn’t it just look perfect?

Then we all gathered around the table and dug in! We even ran out of room on the table and had to stash food on the kitchen counter.

Meal time

Me and Marley and Me

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Me and Marley and Me
Originally uploaded by Sirelroka

In other exciting news, I was in a movie! For about 1/4 of a second. If you watch closely during the scene where Marley gets kicked out of obedience class you’ll find Bleys and I in the background right after Marley tackles the obedience instructor.

Just be sure not to blink…it goes by pretty fast 🙂

Update

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Clearly I haven’t been blogging much lately. Not quite sure why that is. I still love reading the blogtet’s posts, but I personally haven’t been much inspired to write any of my own. Much has transpired since I was last updating regularly and I will hopefully be catching up and keeping up a bit more.


Maverick
Originally uploaded by Sirelroka

Just after we returned from visiting Disney with Anne and Karl last November we attended one of the annual doggy splash days the water parks around here offer the weekend after they have closed for the season. It was especially fun this year because a bunch of the flyball team also came and it was fun to have someone to chat with. I took a few pictures but I think this one is my favorite. It is of Julie and her dog Maverick. Doesn’t he just look so happy?  He was actually found wandering the streets of Miami a few years ago and Julie adopted him.

Best.Dinner.Ever

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Warning: This post is liable to be very long and have way too many pictures in it. I will try to contain myself, but I’m not sure how much I can leave out 😉 More pictures can be found over at flickr though!

Warning, warning: This post was started quite a while ago and only finished this morning. It refers back to when we went to Disney in November of last year.

Roland has been wanting to go do this thing at Disney for at least 5 years. There is this restaurant called Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian. Not only is it the only 5 star restaurant in Florida or something they have an option called the Chef’s Table. When you are lucky enough to book this you don’t sit in the dining room. You sit in a special alcove adjacent to the kitchen. You get to watch the kitchen staff do their thang and you get a special dinner (ours was 10 courses I think) designed and presented by the chef of the restaurant.

We tried for a week to book this and were lucky on the last try to get in! Most people who get this plan their vacation around when they finally get through so we were super fortunate to actually get it when we already had vacation planned! Roland suggested that on that day we not plan anything for the day and make it all about the dinner. He was awesome and set me up with a spa day including getting my hair done for the event (awwww). He and Jason went and rode the speed boats instead (hence the sunburn).

Roland and Jason looked quite dapper in their suits and I wore my little black dress from Anne’s wedding (thanks sistrah!). I did go out and buy a shawl though…never know when the air conditioning in Florida will be cranked.

After begin escorted through the kitchen to our seats we settled in at our table. This was our view from the table.

Then we were introduced to Chef Scott Hummel! He is the head chef there and we were lucky (again!) to have him there. He is often off doing meetings and other events away from the restaurant so many people get Chef Aimee instead. I’m sure she’s awesome, but it was pretty cool to have the head chef come by our table! He asked us if there were any restrictions on what we liked, which we said no to. There are some thing I don’t care for (olives), but if he wanted to make a tapenade I was sure going to try it. He didn’t, but there was some salmon in there that I normally don’t choose, but was fantastic.

Our first dish was an amuse bouche with four items (from top right, counterclockwise):

Deviled Quail Egg with Iranian Osetra Caviar
Trout Custard Baked in the Shell
Duck Sausage with Pistachios and Duck with Braised Fennel and Blood Oranges
Spring Roll with Ginger Mignonette

It was all very good, but I think my favorite was probably the spring roll. The trout custard was also very good and I think that was Roland’s favorite.

Next we had a fun plate with crab cannelloni, baby greens, radishes, and caviar. Upon seeing the tiny cucumber with flower I couldn’t resist.

This was followed by a trio of Gulf Shrimp, Florida Grouper, and Alaskan King Salmon. Now I am the first to tell you I don’t care for salmon, but this preparation was fantastic. Jason also isn’t the biggest fan of salmon and we both agreed that it was delicious. My favorite of this course was the shrimp with squash ragout though.

2nd Course

We moved to some Vermont quail with figs and apples next. Needless to say every course was outstanding. I really enjoy the more flavorful meats, such as lamb, Cornish hen, etc. So the quail was right up my alley.

3rd Course

I’m afraid the stand out in the next course wasn’t actually the prepared dish (pork tenderloin and belly with baby beets). Down at the bottom of the plate are a couple of drops of 100 year old Balsamic vinegar. Earlier in the evening one of the chefs in the kitchen came over and unlocked a cabinet near our table. He took a bottle out and we all had a quiet discussion about what needed to be kept under lock and key. It was the vinegar, and that was probably a wise move. After tasting this stuff I might have been tempted to break in! It was incredible.

4th Course

This was followed by Minnesota Elk over stewed French lentils. This was hearty and again, since I like those kinds of meats, one of my favorites. Who am I kidding they were all my favorites.

Dave gets fancy

The next course caused me to have this reaction. It was three kinds of beef. Kobe beef strip loin, Wagyu beef tenderloin, and a sort of a barbecue beef. It was the Kobe beef that made me have to hold my head in hand for a spell. It is so full of flavor!

6th Course

Ah, the cheese course. What more can I say. It was four types of delicious cheese, from a triple cream that you had to eat first before it melted to a fabulously pungent blue.

Cheese Course

This was followed by pre-dessert. Pre-dessert? Yep, pre-dessert. A light palate cleansing strawberry sorbet, mango-yogurt panna cotta, and a miniature banana gateau. My favorite was the sorbet, although I think Roland liked the panna cotta best as he loves mangos.

Pre-dessert

Dessert came next and was a trio of chocolates. The chef picked three of the best chocolates in the world to showcase. He presented a Tanzanian chocolate pyramid, a Hawaiian Kona chocolate souffle, and a Peruvian chocolate ice cream with puff pastry. He seems slightly surprised that I finished the whole plate…I think he underestimated my love of chocolate 🙂 The favorite? The souffle!

Dessert

And to cap off a meal I can’t find enough superlatives to describe, came post-dessert. A Kirsch cherry for each.

Post-dessert

I loved it…with a cherry on top.