Keeping It Classy

Back again from a very short but lovely visit with Ari’s family in Maryland.   Of course I wish Ari could have been there himself, but his parents are warm, welcoming, and put me completely at ease.

As soon as I was picked up from the bus stop we drove to one of their favorite Italian restaurants for dinner.  We split an order of fresh bruschetta (crusty bread topped withtomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and what Ilana claims to be the best tomato sauce on earth).

I ordered freshly-caught Rock Fish from the Chesapeake Bay (with lemon and olive oil sauce on the side)…

… and a side order of linguine marinara.

This was the same restaurant we came to two years ago, when I was meeting Ari’s family for the first time.  Time flies!  After dinner, the girls went to see New Moon (the movie wasn’t quite Ari’s dad’s style).  I’ve only read the first two Twilight books, saw the first movie, and did not have high hopes for this one.  But… I really liked it!  My friends who have read all four books say that Book 2 is the weakest, but I really think Stephanie Meyer nailed Bella’s heartbreak in both the book and the movie.

This morning we all got up early, had breakfast, and got ready for a bridal shower.  The food spread was pretty grand.  We had Beth’s Famous Zucchini-Wrapped Salmon (I helped with the zucchini and dill garnish):

Three different kinds of quiche (spinach, mushroom & cheese), croissants, salad, pasta salad, cheese, crackers, hummus

I ate my fill and then some more.

We had a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows, and pretzels for dipping…

And did I metnion there were Jello shots?

To keep things classy, we also had hot apple cider (warmed in a crock pot) spiked with Goldschlager.

This was my first bridal shower, and it was a lot of fun! I’m sure there will be many more to come.

I ate leftovers on the bus ride back to New York, and feel like I haven’t stopped eating since before the holidays!  It’s kind of nice, since these were all meals I spent with people I love and are thankful for even when it’s not a holiday.  The trip home was very productive… thanks to my good friend Mr. Dramamine, I read Elements of Style in its entirety and moved on to The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. Nothing really signals that the holidays have arrived like having the time to curl up with a good book.  What’s the best thing you’ve read recently?

As some of you know, I’m headed off to Russia on Monday to spend 10 days with my dad and Sarah.  While I’m gone, are there any burning questions you have about Russian culture, history or food that you’d like me to try to investigate? I’m at your service! Sarah’s informed me that while there will probably be fish available at every restaurant, strictly vegetarian options will be harder to come by.  I’ll let you know how I fare.

Hope your week is off to a great start!


23 responses to “Keeping It Classy

  1. Oooh, I’m jealous, have lots of fun with Sarah.

    The best book I have read recently is Empire Falls by Richard Russo, which is set up in Sarah’s folks neck of the woods, Maine!

  2. umm holy VEGGIESS!!
    and that is the cutest meal evaaa

  3. That Italian dinner looks amaaaaazing! It’s so great that you spent time with Ari’s family without him being there 🙂 and I am loving the bridal shower jello shots! Haha! And definitely know what ya mean about curling up with a good book during the holidays! I’m reading Olive Kitteridge! Oh and yay for enjoying New Moon. I liked it too 🙂 have a good night love! Oh and can’t believe Russia is Monday!!!!! exciting!!

  4. Ummm that’s kinda a bombshell:
    As some of you know, I’m headed off to Russia on Monday to spend 10 days with my dad

    No, hon, didnt know that!!! But, have an amazing trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow enjoy your fabulous self and I expect you to read and write Russian at the end of the 10 days. Kidding 🙂

    ENJOY your time away!!!!!!!

  5. You have to give extra-loving to Sarah from me. For Russia’s sake, I’ll say the best book I’ve read recently is Petersburg by Andrei Bely, even though this my second attempt on it, and I haven’t finished it… It is however, amazing. Also, I’ve started up my own blog, which sometimes touches on food at:

  6. Fabulous celebration!

    Best thing I’ve read lately = “A Simple Christmas.”

    Russian culture = the fashion! 😀

  7. Quiche!! Love quiche! We have that for Christmas a lot so it reminds me of the holidays.

    WOOHOO for the jello shots! The hearts sticking out of them are so cute! Good luck getting ready for your trip 🙂

  8. lilveggiepatch

    Have you read “Madonnas of Leningrad”? It was just recommended to me.

    I love you and I love your blog. Please don’t do anything stupid.

    Also more than a little excited about those curried sweet potatoes. I had a babysitter who used to make them for me when I was wee.

  9. looks like a great spread at the bridal shower!! Have fun in Russia!!!!!!! That is sooo exciting 🙂 I’d just like to see some russian cuisine!

  10. Soooo cool that you go to dinner with your man’s parents even though he isn’t there!! He must have an awesome family! And your meal looks so delicious, LOVE italian! The bridal shower looks amazing…wow the spread is excellent! I hope you’re having a great sunday! xoxo!

  11. That looks like an incredible shower.

    Have an awesome time in Russia!! 🙂

    ❤ ❤

  12. Russia? So exciting! Love that food, never been to that nice of a shower…usually its mexican food and cake lol.


  13. What part of Maryland is Ari’sfamily from?

    Have a wonderful time in Russia! I’m kind of jealous, I’ve always wanted to go!

  14. What a great dinner. Apple cider spiked sounds great. Your plate looks good, I can’t pick which meal looks the best, they all look delicious.

  15. Hey! I’ve read your blog for quite some time but never commented…but I am actually LEAVING Russia in 10 days after spending this semester in St. Petersburg!! So I can’t wait to hear what you think. You definitely might find the food tricky – I certainly have! It’s very heavy, and very meaty – but of course since you will be going to restaurants and not living with a host mother, you will not be force-fed “cutlets” and can order what you want 🙂 Have a great trip!!

  16. Wow… that zucchini wrapped salmon is stunning! What a beautiful presentation. Then there’s the chocolate fountain – I have no words ;).

    I read all 4 books of the Twilight series and thought the last one was the weakest. I won’t spoil the plot line for you, but I thought the events in Breaking Dawn were a bit ridiculous. That being said, the series (and movies!) are a guilty pleasure of mine :).

  17. very classy spread! I should’ve had a bridal shower 😉

    most recently, to balance school reading, I re-read parts of On Literature by Umberto Eco. Eco is always one of my most favorites, ever.

    safe travels! can’t wait to hear about Russia. although I’m shivering just thinking about it right now!

  18. Same!! I read the first two twilight books, and liked the first movie but LOVED the second (just saw it yesterday with my mama)! And now I want to read the third book over winter break. Which team you on!? Jacob?? Edward?? I’m guessing Edward since you’re into that skinny, bad boy, rocker look! 😉

    But yum! Warm apple cider sounds delish. And the one time I had goldschlagger I actually SOMEWHAT enjoyed the taste of alcohol! hahahah….tastes like cinnamon gum, right!? love ya girl, have a good day!

  19. Oooooh and I can’t wait to hear abut Russia!!! Have an amazing time!

  20. Have a fantastic trip!

  21. katie girl! i just got caught up on all the posts – amazing good times were had!

    and i can’t believe you leave for russia already – i am sooooo excited for you! that is somewhere i have always been fascinated by, so i just want lots of pictures and lots of observations por favor!

    that bridal shower = amazing. apple cider + goldschlager. yes please.

    take care dear!

  22. LOL the jello shots! and they are such festive colors too!!!

    my grandparents are 100% russian, you are going to have such an amazing time!! you better take lots of pictures [of food] 🙂

  23. goldshlager and apple ciider!? YUM!!!

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