Batter up

And, for once, I am not talking about cake batter!

On June 16, two long-awaiting events took place: (1) Wife and Ted arrived in the city and (2) we took a group field trip to Yankee Stadium for a baseball game. This was my first time in the new stadium. It is ENORMOUS!

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About halfway through the game (or, to be honest, probably much earlier), Kate and I set out for a big pile of nachos with some directional assistance from Gina:

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Nachos with the works … YUM:

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I shared some with Erik because he shared 1/3 of his spicy sausage with me:

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I am quite impressed by the gourmet selection. The stadium was bursting with options.

More game:

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The Yankees were losing, and that made me sad, even though I don’t particularly like the Yankees. There were way too many Phillies fans around in the stadium, so everyone kept booing the Yankees. I felt so bad that they weren’t being supported in their own stadium (even though I generally think of the Yankees as a big, bad, mean team).

I drowned my sorrows in a pint of Bronx Bomber Sundae ice cream:

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OK, I did not eat the whole pint myself. Erik and Kate helped.

It had chocolate light ice cream, chocolate crunchies, and fudge cookie swirl. The swirl was the BEST BEST BEST part:

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Partial crew:

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The baseball game, however, was really just a lead-up event to Friday night’s festivities, the main incentive for Wife and Ted’s visit. Details coming soon …

Do you have a summer sport preference?

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Mixing work with food

At this point in the summer (yayyyy, it’s summer!!), I have two major sources of food: the CSA and work. In the past two weeks, I’ve eaten quite a bit from each.

Beginning with my completely honorable local and organic CSA food, I topped one of Erin Gunn’s Spelt Right bagels with all manor of CSA goodness (and non-CSA avocado and cheese):

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I can’t really remember what was in there, but I think it involved CSA egg, and CSA spinach … plus a few leaves of my own basil. In honor of the basil, I carried out the photo shoot on top of the chicken wire that protects my balcony tomato/basil/arugula garden from critters:

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Speaking of toppings, I added the CSA rhubarb-conventional cherry compote I made the week before to a scoop of Stonyfield vanilla frozen yogurt:

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I enjoyed (understatement) overnight Kashi Honey Puffs in unsweetened almond milk with cocoa powder and CSA strawberries:

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Finally, my work lunches consisted of loads of CSA salad greens (and reds) topped with all sorts of chickeny leftovers from the work volunteer party.

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Mmmmm, who loves giant salads?! I do! I do!

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That salad represents the union of my two food sources and provides a perfect segue into a discussion of work food! My entire floor decided to throw me a potluck breakfast in honor of my graduations 😀 I had requested that fruit be present, and they all listened!

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I felt so special!

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My breakfast involved pineapple juice, yogurt, Heather’s banana bread, Inginia’s sweet plantain-veggie-lamb casserole, buttered bakery bread, and lots of fruit:

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Zoom of Inginia’s sweet plantain casserole:

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It was very different and very delicious.

And Katty brought me graduation cake, yayyyyyyy:

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Carnage:

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The next week, the Early Intervention Department set up an ice cream parlor to raise money for our summer trips:

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So many options!

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Some made traditional sundaes:

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But I got a strawberry shishkabab with coconut marshmallows:

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And a yogurt parfait:

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And a kiddie cup of chocolate chip cherry ice cream 😛

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Mid-day ice cream parties are never a bad idea in my world:

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Do you mix work with pleasure food?

Triumphant return

Taking a brief break from all the special event-focused blogging, I must share some of the yummy foods that have been gracing my kitchen! When Erin Gunn visited last week, she finally brought me a package of these Spelt Right bagels from her brother-in-law Kip’s work.

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I have been enjoying them every morning along these lines:

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Mmmm, melty pb, mushy banana, and cinnamon: one of the many holy trifectas of breakfast dishes!

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I also received a completely surprise mystery package from my buddies at Bob’s Red Mill:

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The soup mixes look tasty, but I was most excited about the chia seeds because chia seeds are MAGIC.

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I stewed a bag of so-so cherries, an overripe banana, and three stalks of rhubarb … and then added the magic seeds for some thickening action:

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Yummmmmmmmmmm. I know I say I have many favorite things, but stewed rhubarb has to be right up there at the top of the list!

Can you guess where I got the rhubarb?!!

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That’s right, my CSA started back up last weekend! Erik and I got the Mega Share this season, so the week’s loot included: strawberries, rhubarb, eggs, potatoes, garlic scapes, bok choy, cilantro, spinach, mesclun, and pretty pretty wildflowers. I am so excited to eat this week 😀

Speaking of triumphant returns, Erik and I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge after work on Friday and saw amazing things.

Rainy, torrential Manhattan:

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Sunny, happy Brooklyn:

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Cue rainbow:

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We followed the rainbow all the way over to Brooklyn, where a pot of gold was waiting in the form of unsweetened dried papaya spears and unsweetened dark chocolate disks from Sahadi’s:

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Brooklyn … sigh 😀

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Remember your manners

A week ago Friday night was my office’s Volunteer Appreciation Party. It would not be an exaggeration to say we have nearly as many volunteers as employees, so this was an important party to attend! As 5:30 approached, I started peeking out the window to the playground-turned-party-patio down below:

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I told the ladies it was time to get moving, so everyone snapped into action!

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The party was still in its very early stages …

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… but that meant plenty of appetizers to go around!

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I took my allotted two shrimps and some chips and salsa …

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… and hit up the bar for some red wine:

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And found some mixed nuts to devour:

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I eavesdropped on a very important conversation about the World Cup …

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… and then it was time for the speeches:

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The volunteers posed, but this is not even all of them. I told you there were a lot!

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Finally, we got the green light on real food:

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I loaded my plate with Inginia’s delicious avocado-heavy salad and some homemade taquitos and enchiladas:

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These are amazing and I want to move to Mexico right now.

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Dessert was pretty spiffy, too:

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Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate:

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I started out with only one piece, but as my glass of Bordeaux mysteriously continued to refill itself all night (ahem ahem, Raymundo), I lost all control and grabbed more every time I walked by!

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I was not the only one enjoying the beverages, though! Here’s Belkis in a rare compromising position:

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Thank goodness we had some dancing time to facilitate digestion! Camila and Martha got it started …

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… while Erik and Danilda hijacked Jose’s DJ booth:

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When we started to worry about getting noise complaints from the surrounding apartment buildings, we decided it was time to pack it in. Erik blew on his magic wand, and everything cleaned up. It was a miracle!

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Babies!

The Sunday before last, Erik and I had a very important social engagement honoring this styling guy:

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Henry is Erik’s first cousin once-removed, he lives two blocks away from me, he let me study him for my final grad school project, and he turns one year old this month! To that effect, Erik and I suited up in our Sunday best and headed to church for Henry’s baptism.

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Apparently, baptisms were very popular that day. I’m not sure what the standard is (this was probably my second time in church for a reason other than someone’s wedding), but about 7-10 babies were being celebrated! Henry got his swim on and kept a smile on his face the whole time:

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And within moments of being released, he and his pinstripes were off and running. No one could keep up!

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Following the service, Erik and I snagged a ride with Erik’s Uncle Jim out to Staten Island where Uncle Jim and Aunt Lois had prepared a phenomenal post-baptism first birthday soiree at their HOUSE (capitalized because it is a real, live, free-standing house, and such structures excite me very much after 10 years of NYC apartment-living!).

I walked in and saw veggies, and my heart sang. I beelined for the sweet red peppers and tzatziki yogurt dip.

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I admired the dinner table …

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… but I did not touch it because it was not yet time!

I contented myself with the gorgeous display of appetizers: spanakopita and sweet meatballs with currants, mmmmmmmm!

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I also took a stroll out back and cried over the garden that is not mine:

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Lois’ veggies are well on their way!!!

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(I stopped crying over how impressive the garden is when Lois gave me a big bag of fresh picked salad (including romaine, arugula, and mesclun) to take home with me.)

As soon as I saw full plates making their way onto the patio, I ran inside to assemble my own with string beans and veggies, apricot-glazed (I think?) chicken, onion foccacia, and lots of fresh fruit:

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Look at those colors! The hallmark of a perfect meal 😀 I had seconds, obviously.

We digested on the patio for a while. I admired babies. (Surprise!)

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There is so much space at this house!

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When the raindrops started to sprinkle down, we moved inside for the best part of any birthday party: cake time!

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Henry came out for a quick cameo to appease the singing crowd …

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… and then he was whisked off to bed while the rest of us pounced!

The cake was chocolate with real strawberry slices between the layers and buttercream frosting. I got my corner piece:

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The party wound down around 6 or 7, and Lois packed up a whole grocery store of leftovers for us to take home: ham, green beans, potato salad, fruit, cake … not to mention my fresh-picked garden salad. We didn’t even have to go shopping for food since Monday’s lunch was taken care of:

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When Erik and I got home from the party, we went for a brisk walk around the neighborhood in an attempt to work through some of the extra belly weight we were carrying around after that feast. Nighttime in the Slope is unbeatable … except for, maybe, nighttime on a beach 😛

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