I wish you could be here to see me typing this right now. You would feel really badly for me, as I am making a bazillion mistakes and have to keep backing up and re-typing. Hellllllllllllllllllp!
I think I got too much sleep last night. Which was because I got too little sleep the night the night before. Oh, gosh, but I am typing this Thursday, which means that you need to add another day to be current. Ugh. Sometimes I wish I could actually do my blog posts on the day they come out. But then I would be late in posting, so I just have to keep confounding and confusing you and me.
OK, so my birthday celebration is still on-going. I am being taken to lunch today by my DS, Merrilyn; we are going to the Herb Box in Scottsdale, where the food is delish and the ambiance is fantastic. So don't cry for me, Argentina. Instead you can cry for yourselves because you don't get to enjoy your mid-day meal the way I will be.
Today you can also envy my fabulous post-birthday-birthday dinner that Gary treated me to. Tuesday night we went to Arizona's incomparable 5-star, 5-diamond restaurant, Kai, for their last wine-dinner of 2013. We went to the last one last year as well. We got a bit intoxicated last year, (a bit?!), resulting in Gary booking Kai's limo service for this year's dinner. (However, it was not an actual stretch limo--it was a large SUV, unfortunately, which was difficult for me to enter, as I am very short and had a long skirt on. Picture me pulling up my skirt delicately, grabbing onto the pull-up grab bar thingy, and hoisting up my big, fat behind, while trying to keep my mammoth purse on my shoulder. It wasn't pretty. But, on the bright side, I now have a new item in my bucket list: an actual ride in a stretch limo.)
Turns out that we didn't need the ride for our inebriation. Neither of us overindulged this year, because the wine providers didn't refill our glasses as we finished them. Which was a good thing, since the initial pours were generous enough for each meal course.
The evening began in the restaurant lounge with a happy half-hour. We were given a glass of yummy white wine--though I never found out what it was. And then we were served various bites to eat that literally melted in your mouth. Imagine a tiny puff pastry filled with delicious duck confit. Or a deconstructed miniature cherry pie. Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. Are you drooling yet? I was. Good thing I had napkins at the time.
We then went into the restaurant, which was set up with three long dining tables. Our friends, Bob and Connie, had joined us for this most auspicious meal, so we sat across from each other. I have to say, Connie and I do giggle when we get together. A lot. Like non-stop. And our hubbies mostly sit and listen. Because they couldn't get a word in edgewise if they tried. So they wisely don't. Try, that is.
So here is a scanned menu, (with an art piece on the front, then the menu, then the art credit on the back), that we were given prior to a short talk by our evening's maitre d'hotel. He let us know a bit about Kai and the historic Gila River Indian Reservation on which it is located.
I will admit that I was horrified when I read the menu for the evening: I don't care for fresh tuna, I was afraid of wild boar meat, (as I dislike the gamey taste of wild meat), I don't like lamb or beets, and I didn't want to eat foie gras again, (based upon the way it is obtained). So I was figuring that I would concentrate on the wine portion of my wine dinner. Boy, was I off-base!
Our first course, an amuse bouche, was phenomenal. In fact, I must admit that everything was phenomenal. Yes, even the parts that I normally don't like. Silly me. The amuse bouche was comprised of several different kinds of beans on one side and a delectable fish bite on the other. Unfortunately, we somehow neglected to photograph this course. And I must apologize in advance for the photos of the food. Gary took them and, hmmm, how do I put this nicely? He is not really experienced at using my phone camera. Ahem.
OK, the second course, was the Duo of Land and Sea, served with the first wine of the evening. (The wines were all very good, btw. And the chef is absolutely spot-on at pairing the food with the wine. The best wine was the one served with the boar. OMG! We have to find a bottle of this somewhere! One of the best wines I have ever had--we all felt the same way! I think the guys loved it, too, but didn't rave like we women did.) Anyway, I loved both tartares, much to my surprise! Who knew that really high quality tuna would be sooooo yummy? Not me, obviously! In the photo the beef is on your right and the tuna is on your left.
Our third course, Braised Wild Boar Raviolis, just blew my mind. I was so prepared to hate this course. But I couldn't, because the meat was so expertly prepared that it was just bursting with delicious flavor. I already knew I loved pork belly; I never order it because it is too artery-clogging. But I certainly ate this bit, and all I can say is 'wow'! I seriously dislike beets, but that stripe of beet root was incredible. The raviolis were really thin and delicate--they just melted in your mouth. Mmmmmm..... And that wine, OMG! Have. to. get. some.
Now we came to the Intermezzo. Which was a little scoop of lemon-ginger sorbet with a drizzle of cherry sauce. My photographer got a picture of the darling little dish it came in. Alas, the sorbet had already been inhaled.
On to the main entree, Pistachio Crusted Dry Aged Rack of Lamb. Well, let me tell you, I was totally prepared to turn my nose up at this. But how could you, when it was utterly scrumptious? Connie is a lamb aficionado, and loved the pieces sans sauce. (She is a meat purist and doesn't care for sauces on them.) I enjoyed all of the lamb bites, but preferred the piece with the mole sauce, (or chocolate demi emulsion, if you will). The potatoes were just melt-in-your-mouth, and the mushies sinfully delicious. The foie gras was puddled below the potatoes and the mushrooms--and it was heavenly.
Now, none of the courses were huge up to this point. I cleaned all of my plates--my mother taught me to do that years ago. (But, believe me, I wasn't finishing each course just to be polite!!) So now we have "Petite Bites". Petite Bites, my ample derriere.
Just look at this assortment. I had to sample each one, too, much to my stomach's chagrin. (Yes, I had major indigestion that night from overeating. Which is why I got so little sleep. That'll teach me to binge. At least for a week or so.) First there was this darling frozen dessert of melon and prosciutto. And then they used liquid nitrogen to freeze some sort of honey dessert that they plopped in the middle of an enormous glass tray, which was full of the 'bites'.
Now do you see why I had indigestion late that night? I had one of everything. Baaaaaad Penny. I deserved to hurt. I hate to think how many calories I ingested. Probably enough to sustain a small village for an entire week.
In a word, this meal was awesome! Totally! I'm so glad we went to this dinner even if we both overindulged. Oh, btw, when you leave the restaurant, they put a large bottle of Voss water in your vehicle for each person, as well as a small box of chocolates, along with a thank you card. A real class act, Kai is.
If you are ever in the Phoenix area, and want to splurge, the food at Kai is well worth the expenditure! So is the service! And if you take photos of your meal, I hope they turn out better than Gary's efforts! (Don't tell him I said that, OK?)
Wish I knew how to segue into this next topic. But I don't. So I'll just tell you. We had a member of The Outlawz using other people's cards to enter into our various challenges. She was an equal-opportunity thief--she picked photos from various creators and entered them with her name. They had not been watermarked, so it was easy for her to copy and paste. Apparently, it is very important to watermark your creations. So I finally made a watermark, which I first used on this blog post. I hope to remember to use it in the future! I hope that all of you use one, too. (And, yes, fyi, this person did get expelled from The Outlawz, though she tried to profess her innocence. Gag me.)
I don't want to forget this unrelated bit either. Two weeks ago Gary drove into a parking lot. Another old guy just backed out as Gary's car was passing by. He backed right into the rear passenger side of Gary's car. The damages were $500. Well, the guy admitted it was his fault (duh), and his insurance picked up the tab. Gary got his car back a week ago Wednesday. One week later, to the day, he and another guy backed into each other in a parking lot. This time his car sustained $1800 worth of damage. You want to know why? Because Gary's back-up camera was damaged. Yes, he has a back-up camera complete with a warning beeper. And he totally ignored both the visual and audio warning system. Egad. This time both insurance companies will pay 50/50, because both "old" men were at fault. But this time we have to fork over the $250 deductible.
Which wouldn't be so bad--but our hot water heater went out this week, too! Just three years of use. The warranty was for five years, so the new heater didn't cost us a dime. The service charges, however, were $280. Then add in the cost of the fancy, shmancy dinner, and this week was really expensive for us. We should possibly go on bread and water for a month. Or ten. And I think I should take Gary's driver's license away from him. But then I would have to chauffeur him to and from work. And get up really early every day. Naw, on second thought, that is a terrible idea. Maybe he should retire so that he doesn't have to drive to work every day. Oh, heck, that's an even worse idea. Never mind...
So here are the details on my card for today. I printed my image on MICBC and colored her with Copic and Twin Touch Brush markers:
Skin: E000, TTR131, TTYR133, TTR139
Hair: YR20, YR23, E31
Bow, Trim: BG70, BG72
Stockings, Banner (bunting): RV21, RV23
Dress, Shoes: E74, E77, E79
I chose DP from the Carta Bella Cool Summer collection and paired it with Stampin' Up CS. I have added Washi tapes, a bow, a chipboard dragonfly, a bird trinket, some pearls, and a bit of twine. I added Wink of Stella Brush Clear to the 'fly. I used the following dies to make my die cuts: Whimsy Corner, Poppystamps Simple Banner, Memory Box Resting Birds, and MFT Oval Decorative Doily. And that's it. That's all she wrote. (If only.) Finito. That's all, folks. The end.
Not quite. I must implore you to check out all the fun creations in this challenge by my talented teammates. And then, please be sure to check out our new release images, which my other teammates have used beautifully. It's a good day at Jellypark. Make it a good one where you are. Or else. (Or else what, I have no idea. But it sounds authoritative, doesn't it?) And, lastly, have a wonderful weekend. That's an order. From the girl with the bunting/banner.