So ya'll, today has been a day of delicious food with some fun to top it off. The day started with breakfast made by Sir Douglas. He's perfected the breakfast sandwich to the point that McDonalds egg mcmuffins have been rendered superfluous in my universe. Yep, they are THAT good. An english muffin, two layers of cheese (one for each side), a sausage patty, a hash brown patty and scrambled eggs. Add a dash of red chile, smash it together and eat. Yum!
Then we went to see Hugo, as a part of my quest to see all 9 of this year's best picture nominations. Hugo makes number 5, and thusfar is my favorite of the ones I've seen. It's a delightful movie, with a great score, fantastic cinematography, 3-dimensional characters (I mean in the story telling, no stupid glasses required) and a mystery that kept me guessing as it unfolded. I loved it.
But on to the food. After the movie, we headed to the mall, a place neither of us would typically get within spitting distance of on a Saturday, but this was for a good cause. I am speaking about a local chocolate festival in honor of breast cancer. Well, fly fishing for breast cancer awareness (Casting for Recovery) and some group called the Pink Divas. Suffice it to say that our $10 went to women in need and filled stomachs in need. Stomachs in need of chocolate.
We had about 13 different treats. Of the 15 booths, one was only for kids (a shame, as I wanted to decorate sugar cookies) and one was coffee, which I didn't want, but we hit up the rest of them. The best, in my opinion, was the chocolate mousse filled chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting:
I grew impatient with carrying around my little plastic container, so I ate pretty much everything right away, even though my friends all conserved some of their loot for later. The sugar crash I experienced a few hours later resulted in an inadvertent nap on the couch, but it was absolutely worth it. We had: chocolate ice cream, white chocolate filled with orange ganache, another chocolate ice cream covered in chocolate sauce and chocolate shavings, fudge, a few chocolate brownie things, that amazing cupcake, strawberries dipped in white chocolate, and a sort-of-gross gluten free thing that tasted like what I imagine edible chalk tastes like.
The chocolate festival concluded with a group shopping expedition to Banana Republic and The Gap, which involved almost all of us trying something on in the dressing room and then commenting on each other's potential purchases. The two males in the group had never experienced the "Yeah, your butt looks good in that!" kind of dressing-room commentary, but all seemed to have a lovely time.
Then Doug and I followed the advice of my graduate students and went to a chinese restaurant called Hunan Manor for dinner. First, I must take a quick sidetrack to say that I love chinese food, especially chicken with broccoli, and I used to get it at least once a week in Chicago. Last year, in Albuquerque, I never found chinese food I could stomach. The meat was always mealy and gross, and I left disappointed just about every time. Since we moved here, I've been on the lookout for a decent place but have never seen one. Turns out it's because this place is on the other side of the highway where we never go.
As my graduate student put it, "It's decent...for a place with a drive-thru." Doug pointed out that chinese restaurants don't typically have drive-thrus, which I suppose is true (we aren't counting panda express). Yet they serve their entire menu via drive thru. The other thing this place had was a dinner buffet...which you can get to-go. That's right, a to-go buffet. You go in, pay your fee, get a togo container and fill it as much as you want from the buffet table. What a bargain! Even better, the meat wasn't mealy and the garlic green beans were amazing. We will be back.
A day with far too many calories but an enjoyable experience for both brain and stomach. :)