the lion king

Really, the title of this post should be “we had a great date-night out and all I have to show for it are two snap shots before we left.”



(Don’t we look nice all dressed up?  I love my new cardigan–a neutral gray with stripes of one of my favorite colors, teal–a major find at Target.)

Don’t get me wrong, the show was AMAZING (more on that later) and dinner was fantastic, but what occupied most of my brain was all the great “documenting” I was missing because neither of us wanted to carry around the giant camera.

Seriously, I don’t know how “real” bloggers do it.  Kath bikes everywhere, so where the heck does she keep her camera?  She uses a digital SLR like Andrew’s.  I’ve even toyed with the idea of getting an uber-fancy point-and-shoot with lots of manual control settings that would force me to learn how to take good pictures.

However, I still have yet to purchase said camera, which is turning out to be a good thing, since the NEW iPhone 4S is out and I’m getting one!  And, apparently, the camera on it is the best thing since sliced bread, so maybe I’ll just use that…  I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for the iPhone (first for it to come to Verizon, then for the iPhone 5 that was rumored to come out this year) and I’ve been eligible for a new phone for A YEAR and my touchscreen is completely broken…so you can see that I completely deserve and can justify the iPhone.  (Or not, but I thought I’d try…)

The iPhone will, however, really come in handy now that I’m back in school and thus away from the computer more than I used to be.  I can take photos, upload and blog from anywhere, check movie times and get directions while in the car and use awesome apps that will allow me to count my calories and even find my car in a parking lot–SCORE!  (And apparently the “S” part of it is this awesome “personal assistant–Siri–kind of thing” that will basically talk BACK to you, which is neat.  Once I get the hang of all the voice controls, I will no longer feel guilty about what little texting and driving (gasp!  Only at stop signs and lights, people!) I do.

OK, enough about the iPhone…I’ll blog more about it later when I actually get it.

Back to our evening out 🙂

I ROCKED my second Anatomy test (ANOTHER 100% baby!) and the tickets for The Lion King were actually my birthday present from Andrew’s parents, so the hubby let me choose where we went to dinner.  I chose Papaya, which is an (as we found out, UPSCALE) Asian Fusion restaurant in downtown Buffalo.  We loved it!  Well, I loved it and Andrew liked it–which basically means he’d go back.  In Andrew’s words, “It was a very ‘me’ place.”

I loved the atmosphere; a bit modern but still comfortable.  White tablecloths, wine glasses and candles.  Diners were all dressed in at least business casual, if not a bit nicer, so that worked out really well for us.  There is (almost) nothing I hate more in life than being over- or under-dressed.  Seriously.  It puts me so ill at ease that I can barely enjoy myself.  Is it a terrible fault and should I be able to just “get over it?”  Probably.  But I’m still waiting on that magical power to appear…  So, we fit right in since were dressed up for our show.

We started with a Whiskey Sour (for Andrew) and a Pineapple Upside Down Martini (for me–YUM!) and split orders of spring rolls and potstickers. Andrew said they were the best potstickers he’d ever had.

Andrew got the Pad Thai and I branched out (I ALWAYS get the pad thai to see if I like a restaurant’s version) and got a spicy pepper chicken dish served with sauteed bok choy and coconut rice.  The rice was to die for.  It was basically dessert for dinner.  Andrew liked the pad thai and I tried a few bites, too.  It had a smokier, deeper tamarind flavor than you typically find in traditional Thai restaurants.  We both really enjoyed the meal and are looking forward to going back again soon.  Heather, you would have loved it!

We walked three blocks to Shea’s Performing Arts Center and took our THIRD ROW seats with time to spare.  Shea’s itself is a beautiful theater; its walls are ornate and decorated.  it felt like we had traveled back in time or something.

The show was phenomenal.  At first I thought it was weird that we were surrounded by kids (you know, at night, downtown, on a school night, at a play) until I remembered it was The Lion King.  Duh.

The costumes are incredible.  There just is no two ways about it.  If you like the theater and are into color and arts-y stuff and interpretive dance, this is the show for you.  It was neat to “revisit” our childhood a little and see how excited some of the youngsters got.  There was even a GIANT elephant walking down the aisle next to us!

Les Miserable, my absolute FAVORITE play (mom took me while we were in London for my 16th birthday) is coming to Shea’s this spring and Andrew has never seen it.  Guess we’ll be back there soon…

we love rick’s

Rick’s on Main.  It’s fantastic.  We LOVE it.  We’ve been three times since “moving” here, which averages out to about once a month.  It’s certainly a splurge, but it’s so worth it.  The food really is THAT good, and you cannot beat the atmosphere, especially if you sit outside (like we did) on a nice night.  We were celebrating the meeting of my weight-loss goal and me going back to school.  And we won’t have many more chances to sit outside around here, as the weather will cool off in less than a month…

We started out the evening on a mission: to take a new photo for my blog “gravatar,” which is the photo of me you see on the right.  So, I got all dolled-up (Rick’s is nice, so I would have dressed up anyway, but I pulled out all the stops thinking my image last night might be posted on the internet for the world to see) and we started by taking some shots in Andrew’s parents; yard before leaving.

This is the best photo we got, and I wasn’t even smiling!  Drat.  Better luck next time.  The lighting just wasn’t right.

We arrived at Rick’s and got a table outside.  The temperature was in the upper 70s and beautiful.  I ordered a glass of the Concannon Chardonnay, which the server said was only slightly dry, buttery with oak-y undertones.  The last time I was at Rick’s I got a glass of the Lotus Chardonnay, which is crisper and fruiter.  While I’m no wine expert, or even very knowledgeable for that matter, it was neat to taste a difference between the fruity, crisp wines I normally drink and the Concannon.  It was incredibly smooth, and, well, buttery.  It lacked the “bite” I’m used to, and I think I learned that I do prefer the crisper, fruitier wines.  Next time:  Lotus!

To start, we split the Pepper and Onion Stack.  It was a fried yellow bell pepper bottom, topped with a fried poblano pepper ring (middle), topped with a fried onion ring.  All this sat on tomatoes and fresh mozzarella drizzled with a balsamic reduction, which I ate most of.  YUM.  Inventive yet tame enough for Andrew.

We also split the Fall Creek Salad, which was Andrew’s choice.  It was full of blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges and dried cranberries.  My half also had feta, and this was served with three tiny wontons filled with cream cheese.

For dinner Andrew ordered the Espresso-dusted tenderloin, topped with fried shitake mushroom strips and sweet potato fries.  I love that he likes sweet potato fries.

I was in the mood for salmon (I usually am at nice restaurants) and ordered the wild Coho salmon with yellow tomato and olive “relish”, atop a creamy garlic and asparagus risotto.  INCREDIBLE.  After our appetizer and salad, I wasn’t very hungry anymore (grrr), so I took much of this home.  And the salmon fillet was GIANT.  So, I’m looking forward to that for dinner tonight!

After dinner I was thinking about ice cream (Andrew had mentioned it earlier), why I’m not sure since I was FULL TO THE BRIM.  Seriously, what is wrong with me??  Thankfully, Fowler’s is on their fall hours now, so they weren’t open, and Andrew suggested we walk to Taste for some late-night tea and coffee.  He got a latte and I enjoyed a cup of warm ginger peach tea.

The jacket above is one of my best Goodwill finds; a Gap almost-brand-new navy blue blazer.  LOVE IT.

date night and how i’m going to make up for it today…

Andrew and I went on a date last night.  An actual date.  I don’t even remember the last time we had a “true” date.  Sure, we go out to dinners and movies all the time, but they never feel like a “date.”  It’s just not-eating-at-home, or grabbing something convenient, or going to see the new summer blockbuster with Andrew’s family.  I think because we can go out often, we DO go out often, which takes away some of the “special-ness” of it all.

So, we decided mini-golf would be our date.  It was a typical New York summer night; the temps have dropped again (thank goodness!) and I was in a t-shirt, pants and a jean jacket–can you believe it!  As always, I lost to Andrew, but perhaps played my best 18 holes EVER, so that was fun.  After golf we stopped into Target to explore the new “Fresh” section they just put in.  We shared a cherry ICEE and a bag of popcorn and walked up and down the aisles, which was probably more fun for me than for Andrew, but it was nice to see what they had.

We left with some odds and ends and then made ANOTHER stop…this time to get DESSERT.  (Not that I needed it, but I’d had a crazy craving for chocolate and we’d discussed going to Taffy’s; I needed no more persuasion than that!)

Taffy’s is a 60-year-old hot dog and milkshake stand that is now on the corner of a busy intersection in Orchard Park.  Strip malls filled with Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s, Lowe’s and the like have sprouted up around it, yet it remains a local favorite.  It’s a tiny building surrounded by four-person gliders with canopies–perfect for a summer day or night.

They’re known for their milkshakes; they have a menu with about a hundred (or more!) options, all divided by main ingredient, like fruit or chocolate.  Thank goodness!  I’m indecisive enough!

I got a Raspberry Truffle milkshake (raspberry and chocolate) and Andrew got a vanilla ice cream cone.  We split an order of cajun curly fries.  YUM.  We’ll definitely go back, and I’ll be bringing the camera because Taffy’s deserves a post of its own!

I’m still four pounds away from my goal (grrr), so in order to make up for last night’s overindulgence, I’m going LIGHT today.  Very light.

Breakfast was a banana (I love eating bananas plain when they are yellow with just the tiniest hint of green; once they have the brown dots all over them I tend to mix them into things or slice them on toast with peanut butter) and coffee.  After my workout, I fixed myself a fantastic, Kath-approved snack:

I mixed up plain lowfat yogurt, flaxseed meal, 1 tbsp chocolate chips and the last of my frozen cherries in the blender, then topped with the last of my Great Harvest Groovy Granola.  YUM.  The granola makes it pretty high in calories (220 for 1/2 cup) but it also keeps me full for awhile.

I’m planning on finishing up the last of my hummus and veggies for lunch, with some fruit.  I’m cooking here tonight, finally, and we’re having Trader Joe’s Mango Chicken Sausages (they’ve been living in the freezer since Ohio!) with barbeque chips and fruit for dinner.

I bought Birthday Cake-flavored Kefir at Wegmans yesterday (I know, it sounds weird) in hopes that if I poured it over fruit it would KINDA taste like ice cream.  We’ll see.