And it's now time for another Outlawz Alcohol Markers challenge. Apparently, I am getting slap-happy on my third post of the day. Can you tell?
Before I get to my card, which I forgot to put a Thanksgiving sentiment on--oops, I will catch you up a bit. And, if you don't want to be caught up, just jump on down to my card deets.
Let's see, since last Friday, we have gone out to eat four times; met Cara, (member on Outlawz CAS DT), and her hubby, Nate, Malmrose; gone to see another Cardinals victory, (barely); and lived through Gary's oral surgery. It's been quite a week.
Last Friday night Gary and I met Cara and Nate at Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert. It is a fun place to go eat, with mostly outdoor seating. (Eat your hearts out, everybody in the cold and snow.) So we had a fun conversation while we chowed down on some decent food outside in the dark. It was really nice to meet another member of The Outlawz DT, and the Malmroses are very sweet people!
Oh, and then Gary and I went to the Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert to try some espresso and cappuccino. Which turned out to be a mistake. I thought the coffee was horribly bitter, although Gary assured me it wasn't compared to Starbucks. Well, nothing is as bitter as Starbucks. That is the essence of their coffee, and I, for one, don't like it--unless it is diluted by flavorings and milk. Anyway, I found that the original espresso E61 can make really crappy coffee, too. So that was no help in our quest for an espresso machine. Still searching.
Saturday evening we met our football friends, Andy and Amy, for dinner at Binkley's in Cave Creek. We had told A & A how wonderful Binkley's is, so they wanted to have dinner there for an evening together. This was the longest meal I have ever had. And also one of the best, if not the best. I opted for 5 courses and Gary chose 6. Not that we are gluttons or anything. Much. (To be fair, when you do the tasting menu, all of the courses are much smaller portions.)
My first course, a cold Duck appetizer is described as: cinnamon breast, rillettes, horseradish crepe, sugar snap peas, Asian pear, mango. (Who dreams up these combinations? I am lucky If I remember to add cheese to macaroni.) Well, knock me over with a feather. This was unbelievably delectable! In fact, I could describe my entire meal that way. It was all over-the-top fantastic!
Second course, a warm appetizer, Pumpernickel Rigatoni: pancetta, quince, pistachio, rapini, saffron creme fraiche. Well, that slid down as easily as the first appetizer. OMG!
The fourth course could have been a ribeye steak, but I opted for the Wagyu beef replacement special of the evening with butternut squash and leek gratin, Brussel sprouts, and chantarelle mushrooms. Holy moly, Rocky. Stop the presses! Did I just die and go to heaven? I must have, because I have never tasted anything like that on earth! How can meat literally melt in your mouth? I have no idea, but it did. It was an extra $19 per ounce, but so totally worth it! (I had a two-ounce portion.)
So my last course was dessert. Which was Sweet Potato-Oatmeal Bread Puddin'. Yup, that's what they called it, and they described it with plums, caramelized figs, oatmeal cookie, maple creme fraiche. Boy howdy, that was just what the meal needed for an ending. How spectacular!
Now I must mention a couple of other things about this meal. Firstly, Gary and I opted for the wine pairings. And they were perfectly matched to each course. WOW! Secondly, I must mention that, although I got five courses, there were a total of 17 things delivered to eat. That's how many extras you get at Binkley's. Just a few little amouse bouche to start, and palate cleansers served between courses. And then, of course, the tiny macaroon to end the evening. Literally, a four-hour dining adventure! (Yes, I said four hours!)
So, if you are ever in the Valley of the Sun, and really, really want to splurge for dinner, I can now recommend two of the best restaurants in the area: Kai and Binkley's. They are truly a cut above the rest. Un. be. liev. a. ble. 'Nuf said.
I do have photos, but have not downloaded them yet from my phone. I may add them in a future post. We'll see.
And hey, after the football game on Sunday, we went to St. Francis for some more really good food. Love their Roasted Salmon Superfood, with quinoa, avocado, spinach, and a sweet chile vinaigrette. So totally yummy and good for you! Oddly enough, I didn't have dessert. After Binkley's, I guess I didn't need that much food the next day!
Gary had oral surgery Monday. He needed an apical root canal, just like I had last March. It went really well, although he needed an extra shot before it was done. After the anesthetic wore off, he did opt for a couple of doses of narcotic pain reliever, (the wuss!), but by Tuesday he was fine, just sore. Which was a good thing. As we had a wine dinner that night at Roy's with friends, Bob and Connie.
Now, I gotta tell ya. The food was so spectacular Saturday night, that not much of anything could touch it. But, we did have a really, really good meal at Roy's, complimented by some wonderful wines. Here's the scoop:
Maine Lobster Dim Sum
Petite Shiso, Yuzu Miso Sake Beurre Rouge
served with Domaine Chandon "Blanc de Noirs"
Furikake Ahi, Sous Vide Hearts of Palm, Baby Romaine, Caesar Dressing
served with JUSTIN Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast 2012
Georges Bank Sea Scallop
Caramelized Carrot Ginger Puree, Brussels Sprouts, Kaboucha Squash, Lobster Creme
served with Landmark "Overlook" Chardonnay, Sonoma County 2011
Prime New York Strip
Truffle Roasted Mushrooms, Fingerling Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Shaoxing Shiitake Pan Sauce
served with JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles 2011
Black Bottom Chocolate Banana Torte
Oreo cookie crust, Banana Pudding, Blackout Cake, Caramelized Bananas, Cashews
served with JUSTIN Obtuse Red Dessert Wine 2011
I loved every bit of it. And ate everything, with the exception of a couple of potatoes--I wanted to make sure I had room for dessert! This was about a two-hour meal. Pretty fabulous, and I will be happy to go there for another wine dinner. Roy's is another favorite of mine: here in the Valley and in Hawaii. (Oh, I took photos Tuesday, too, but somehow forgot to get the steak portion. It was so flavorful, a bit chewy, but wonderful flavor! Of course, these photos are also still on my phone.)
Now to my card for this week's Thanksgiving challenge. I chose LaLa Land Crafts Pilgrim Marci, because she is so cute! I printed her on MICBC and colored her with my Copics and a Twin Touch Brush marker:
Skin: E000, E00, E21, E11, E04, R20
Hair/Basket: E55, E57, E59
Hat Trim/Cuffs/Apron: C00, C0, C1
Hat/Dress/Shoes: BG13, BG15, BG18
Bread: E50, E51, E53
Apple: E04, E07, TTR1
Grapes: YG61, YG63
My DP came from the Bo Bunny Forever Fall collection; it was distressed with my Zutter and paired with Stampin' Up CS. The rest of my card is comprised of die cuts--what a surprise! I made them with the following:
Cheery Lynn Birch Tree with Cute Critters
Cheery Lynn Winter Neighborhood Border
Memory Box Resting Birds
Memory Box Flying Birds
Memory Box Rounded Fence
Memory Box Country House
Poppystamps Walking Cat
MFT Fresh Cut Grass
So, that's it for another edition. I hate to mention this, but I am terribly behind in commenting on your blogs. I have been too busy eating, drinking, making cards, or sleeping. Honestly, that's about all I have done for the past week. So...I will try to catch up with comments this weekend. But not until after I go to lunch today with my sisters. And refresh our spices at Penzey's--the best place for spices in town. (Not that I cook, but it is nice to have the spices here when Gary does.)
Please check out the fab creations by my talented teammates. And get your coloring on and join us, please! We'd love to see your creativity! And have a great weekend!