20th (and 9 Month) Anniversary Dinner at Republica

Our 20th anniversary was really on May 1, but I tried to make reservations the week of and that wasn’t happening. So we celebrated several weeks later with a very fancy dinner at Republica that was worth the wait.

Our welcome and delicious menu.

This was our third course. As you can see, Republica is the kind of fancy restaurant where the portions are small. (This is a thing I like about fancy restaurants.) But don’t worry, by the time we got to the sixth course, we were well fed. We would eat half of the food on our plate and then switch. I learned that Matt really doesn’t like squid.

This was our fourth course and it was both beautiful and delicious.

It was a good choice for a big (and smaller) anniversary.

Impulse Buy: Couscous From My Late Teens

I haven’t had this in years, but for whatever reason, it ended up in my grocery cart the last time I shopped.

I most associate this brand and flavor of couscous with the summer I was a lifeguard. It cooked up in five minutes! (If you don’t count the water measuring and boiling time.) It was delicious.

I remember being very disappointed to learn that this wasn’t REAL couscous, it was more like very small cut-up spaghetti. But I kept eating it just the same.

Eating it now, I enjoyed the speed, but the flavor wasn’t quite what I remembered. I think quinoa has taken the place of this brand of couscous.

Square Dance Graduation Cakes!

The fancy butter begat two delicious sheet cakes.

Each square dance class chooses a rose’s name for their class name. Since there happen to be 2.3 million rose names, the choices are many.

The 2022 graduating class chose Lavender Pinocchio. I made them a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

The 2020 class chose the name Autumn Sunset. They got a yellow cake with vanilla frosting.

I had fun planning out the cakes.

Unearthing the Tiffin

Ah, that lovely time when I got laid off from my job and happily put away all my accoutrements that had to do with going into the office.

I’m going to start going into my company’s Portland office one day a week, so I pulled out my tiffin so I could drag my lunch along with me.

I do enjoy the compactness of this design.

Tiffins hold a lot of food, though. And near the end of my last in-office job, I discovered that I could cut a circle out of plastic and divide up the different parts of my lunch so that I only had to bring the top part.

Our Pandemic Treat

When the pandemic started and no one was doing anything or going anywhere, Matt and I decided that on Saturday we would have our date night and our date night would involve buying a frozen pizza at Fred Meyer. This would better distinguish the date night from the other nights we also were at home.

In addition to a frozen pizza, we also picked up a pint of this delicious ice cream. This isn’t our preferred flavor (that one has Belgian chocolate in it) but it still has the Magnum magic: a hard shell around the outside of the ice cream and drizzles of chocolate throughout the pint.

The directions say to let it sit out for 10 minutes, then crack the sides with your hands (this breaks the shell) and then dig in. It’s incredibly delicious.

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to have taken the rest of the country (or our area of the country) by storm and it’s shelf space has been diminishing. I fear it might soon be gone forever.

But it was damn good while it lasted.

New Mug and Parisian Hot Chocolate

My new city of bridges mug is a good vessel for the Parisian Hot Chocolate I’ve been making during the cold and dreary winter. I got the recipe from the Oregonian and it’s a good thing I printed it out because I can’t find it now.

Essentially, you carmalize a bit of sugar, let it rest for a minute, add the milk, stir until the sugar is dissolved into the milk, add in chopped unsweetened chocolate and let mingle for five minutes without letting it boil. I’ve found it’s best to wait about five minutes before drinking so things can settle.