Put ’em up

After three long months of (cough) diligent (cough) practice, I finally took my yellow belt karate test on Friday.


Before the test, I was pretty sure I would fail. In fact, I pronounced on several occasions that I would be happier staying a white belt forever.


Once Friday night came around, however, I got super nervous and REALLY wanted to pass! I demonstrated my (shaky) proficiency with basic moves:


I sparred:


Watch out for crazy red-eyed possessed Sarah and her laughing pleasedonotpunchme move.


Yes, I smile and laugh the whole time I am supposed to be fighting.

I had to break a board in half with my side kick:


Somehow, I did it!


Yay for color!!


Since I was so successful on Friday night, I let myself be coerced into hitting up brook-vin with Erik on Saturday before we had to go to a friend’s good-bye party.

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I looooooooooove this bar.

We started off with the best-ever mulled wine:


And then got really excited about the house-infused liquors:


We ordered the pumpkin spiced Manhattan:

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It was tasty, but it got way too strong for me after a few sips. Erik had to take one for the team. The candied ginger on top was my favorite part, of course.

To soak up the alchy, we got in on some bacon mac & cheese action:


This was really Erik’s dinner because I had been nibbling all day, as usual. I certainly managed a few (aka many) crispy cheesy bites, though:



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What is your favorite hot drink?


Helloooooo!!! I’ve been living such an exciting food life the past couple of weeks, but hardly any of it managed to get on my camera 😦 Here’s what I managed …

A giant, serving bowl-sized Greek salad (all for me!) with romaine, cucumber, red pepper, grape tomatoes, feta, homemade toasted pumpkin seeds, and oregano:


Dinner at Duke’s with Amanda, Willie, Ali, and Danny, complete with a basket full of cornbread, biscuits, and gravy:


I ordered an unremarkable salad but had a glorious bite of Willie’s chicken-fried steak:


And a glorious 30 bites of Amanda’s macaroni and cheese:


A few nights later, I saw Amanda again (along with Meghan!) when I went to their apartment for our book club meeting. Meghan made balsamic-glazed pork chops this time!


Mmmmmmm, can’t you just smell it right through the computer screen?


While dinner was cooking, we nibbled (inhaled) French bread with brie and fig jam:


Bread + spreads = nothing better.

First course was butternut squash soup:


Followed by the main attraction, of course: balsamic-glazed pork chops with broccoli:


I rounded out the meal with dessert: leftover cake from work (where else?!) and Stonyfield nonfat chocolate frozen yogurt:


Later in the weekend, Wes came over to watch the playoffs with the new roommates (Clare AND Erik!), so I made chili … the leftovers of which I obviously ate for lunch all week:


It was perfect for all the freeeeeeeezing days we had. The chili was a random mix of beans, onions, garlic, carrots, meatless meat, and probably much more stuff, topped with shredded cheddar, nonfat sour cream, and blue corn chips:


To cap it off, Jessica shared the delicious bakery-fresh cookies that she received courtesy of a certain secret admirer.


The lemon icing was so refreshing and delicious that I wanted to eat 50 of these cookies, but supplies were limited and I only managed to get my hands on one. Thanks for sharing the love, Jessica 😛

To ice or not to ice?