Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Sorry for the silence -- we have been pirating our wi-fi from a benevolent stranger for the past 4 years. Suddenly, our internet access disappeared! Where oh where was "belking"??! Funnily enough, our neighbours moved out the SAME weekend that our internet disappeared. Hmmm. Connection?

Soooo, I'm spending my days at various coffee shops that offer free wi-fi until our now legal, paid-for internet kicks in (hopefully tonight).

Sorry for being all quiet on the Western front.

More to come though!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Genuine Jo(o)y

Only a woman you've known since you were little can bring you a pressie certain to elicit genuine joy out of you.

Upon arriving at Mandi's apartment at the beginning of our girls weekend last week, Eli brought Joo a Chick Fil-A sandwich all the way from the Atlanta airport. For those of you who don't understand the import of this, let me drop some knowledge on yo' ass:

1) Chick Fil-A's chicken sandwich is the best chicken sandwich on God's green Earth.
2) Chick Fil-A does not have a store in New York City (where Joo lives)

Cue uncontrolled happiness the likes of which I can only imagine Joo felt when she was a kid at Christmas.

Check it out:

I'm not moving the camera in this one. Joo's literally jumping up and down for joy.

The calm before the storm. A few seconds later, this sandwich disappeared.

Hahahahahahaaaa! Isn't food wonderful? And aren't my friends wonderful?


Girls Weekend

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to go to Chicago for our annual girls trip. Eli, Joo and I descended on Mandi's apartment for a long weekend of classic girl silliness and womanly-serious heart-to-hearts. Here's some of my fav photos of the trip!

What a great way to mark our 30th year together! (well except for mandi, but you'll catch up kid).

During our last girl's trip two years ago, Eli was preggers with sweet little Carter, who we joked was invading our girl trip with his Y chromosomes. Yet again this year, a boy infiltrated our midst, to my surprising joy. Mandi's (as yet not named for sure) kitten!

I am so lucky to have such deep, true friends. Thankyou girls for the best girls weekend I've ever had. (Seriously).


p.s. I just realised that another boy graced us with his testosterone-laden presence: Mandi's man, Ross (pictured above). Ross, you were a joy to have around. Thanks Ross!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Father's Office Reunion

In true Andy fashion, he didn't just want to read about the burger at FO, he had to taste it for himself. So he flew to LA just to sample the much-praised patty.

Well, no, not exactly. But I'd like to remember it that way.

Bren had Andy's virgin experience planned to the 't'. We would leave the house no later than 1145a (FO2 opens at noon on the weekend), walk to the sacred grounds, and then wait in line, secure a booth and... aaaahhhh, relax. (Andy and I of course ended up dawdling a bit, so Bren actually went ahead of us, so as to grab an early spot in the line that always forms before opening). I know. We're crazy.

Our friends Talika and Joanna joined us, as did our friends Mikael and Sally. It all made for a relaxing, slightly buzzed afternoon of meat, beer and walking in the sunshine.

Take a look!

Andy tasting the local Craftsmen brew started with Cabernet grapes... the last of the batch apparently! I didn't like it very much though, I must be honest. And I'm not sure what Andy thought of it...

Andy and Mikael talking about the good ol' days... or maybe the lastest musical gadget. I'm not sure -- seems to create the same misty-eyed face. :)

My lovely gin martini.

Talika and Joanna

Joanna talking about something quite serious... whilst pulling her ear off.

Of course I forgot to take a photo of the infamous burger. Curses! Here's another photo of Andy to distract you.

Sally made sure we were well-hydrated for the walk home.

Bren looking tough.

Hanging at the house...

And on the porch!


Just 'Cos




Tuesday's heroes!

The Tuesday's Hero prize is a tie between Brendan and our friend Ross!

I have been bipolar for the past few days (aaaahhh estrogen and progesterone), especially so yesterday. So rather than go to his evening Krav class, where he turns into a red-eyed hammer-fist monster, Bren chose to come home with me, and play cuddle-monkey. He threw down a quickie palette on the living room floor and we watched "Juno" (finally! So behind the curve!), which I adored and of course bawled my way through the entire birthing scene.


Then Ross called, and said he might stop by, and which point my chocolate sensors yelled "bring ice-cream!". *I* didn't yell. Just my chocolate sensors. Ross stopped by with not only two tubs of ice-cream (yipppeeeee!) but also these!!!

Tomato plants! And a little basil one too!

Ross had been working at a woman's house -- she had brought the seeds from Italy, and planted a good number of them. These were the extras, and are likely to be late-bloomers. I am so excited!

She gave us oxheart, marmande and roma. I might go out and get some brandywine seeds, since those are my favorite tomatoes, and those green zebra ones too! oooooh!


Sunday, May 4, 2008


Please read Nicholas Kristof's column in the New York Times today.

I went on to read the comments section (there's a link to his blog at the end of his column, and you can read/post comments there is you like), and while the overwhelming majority seem to agree with Kristof that Guantanamo is a flawed, even inhumane travesty of a holding pen, there are some who resort to the old "un-American" defense, which enrages me past control. Wasn't this country built on dissent? Aren't we supposed to question the government's decisions, especially when we hear about inhumane, un-Christian behavior? The number of detainees who have been released over the past 7 years, with a sheepish, "sorry, you were innocent all along"... surely that gives us pause to wonder whether a good number of these people were wrongly captured, and further tortured with no end in sight? When Condoleeza Rice and Robert Gates are urging the president to shut down this prison, do you then consider them un-American too?

I'm not denying that there are probably a number of terrorist or terrorist-like people there; when you round up that many folks, there's bound to be a handful. But is that enough to justify the definite ruining if not termination of hundreds of innocent lives? I thank my stars that no one I know is in there, and I pray for their comfort, their exoneration, a quick release and most importantly, their healing. And thank goodness that, at least on the campaign trail, all three candidates (Clinton, McCain, Obama) pledged to shut down this little piece of hell.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Andy's Here!!


(He posed this way by the way. I'm not as cruel as to post deep-sleep photos on the internet, lest someone finds it funny to creep into my room and take photos of me at my most vulnerable/drooliest/ugliest!)


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lamb Kebabs

(If you look closely, you'll see "sequeira" embroidered on my apron; a Christmas present from Bren a while ago. Isn't that awesome?)

I know that lambs are fluffy and cute. I also know they taste DAMN good! Last Saturday, I made lamb kebabs, an inexpensive way to enjoy lamb here in the States where lamb chops are extraordinarily pricey.

We had lamb kebabs with pomegranate molasses sauce, farro with cucumber and spring onions (it was SUPPOSED to have mint in it, but the stupid aphids have been sucking on my succulent mint sprigs... the entire pot of 'em!) and steamed asparagus.

I adapted the recipe from Paula Wolfert's recipe in Food and Wine... I didn't have enough shallots though, so I just chopped up the one I had and put it in the kebab mixture. (If you can make it with the roasted shallots though I would -- I did it once and it was unbelievably yummy!). I used some 2% strained yogurt instead of the creme fraiche. Also, you don't need to fire up the grill for this one -- I just used a big ol' skillet. Just remember not to work the meat too much, or else it won't retain its tenderness.

Why is playing with your food so much fun?!

Next time though, I'm going to try putting some molasses IN the kebabs rather than just in the sauce. I don't know why that didn't occur to me earlier.

Oh and my old neighbours shared a little secret to delicious asparagus - you may already know this one but I do it all the time now especially if I grab those big bulky ones... in addition to snapping off the woody stem, try using a vegetable peeler to peel away that tough skin from just below that alien tip to the end of the stalk. Once steamed, the asparagus takes on a delicate, crispy texture, and will more readily soak up whatever vinaigrette you happen to pour over it. Ok, one last piece of food porn for you.

Ok! Have a great weekend! Our dear old friend Andy, who was Bren's college roommate is in town today so we're excited to hang out with him! Wheee!

all text and photographs on aartilla the fun © 2005-2009 Aarti Sequeira unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.