Monday, February 20, 2006


OK, I'm about to reveal my deplorable inability to keep up with all things iPod and stuff, but I need some advice. I am thinking about downloading iTunes, on accounta I want some of the stuff they've got there, I think. The question is, do I want this? Will this take over my computer in some sinister fashion? If you have used iTunes, do you have any comments or suggestions? If I download a song from them, can I play it on my non-Apple mp3 player? I fear.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


For Valentine's Day, John and I went out to dinner at a place I had been absolutely dying to try for many moons. "Eleven" is one of the very elegant offerings from the Big Burrito Restaurant Group, of which we are big fans. Not only because their restaurants offer much in the way of veggie fare, but also because they are creative, fun, and delicious.

At the end of the dinner, I quickly determined that I had just eaten the best meal of my entire life. Here's the deal: John is a big carnivore and I am pretty close to being a complete vegetarian. But I do love good food. I'll indulge in the OCCASIONAL seafood, but really, not very often. BUT, whenever we go out to eat, John is typically ogling my dinner and not as pleased with his steak as he thought he would be. This is because chefs who take vegetarian cuisine seriously (and they are FEW - especially in Pittsburgh) really reach out and come up with new flavors. So, very often, I find John picking off of my plate and looking jealous. So on V-Day, he decided to order with me instead of against me, and we both had the "Chef's Vegetarian Tasting Dinner." I was SO pleased to find out this even existed. And we decided to have the wine pairings as well. So, six courses, five wines.

First Course: Puree of Yukon Gold potato with creme fraiche (I believe) paired with a Prosecco.

Second Course: Golden Beet Carpaccio with lentils, paired with the same Prosecco.

Third Course: Artichoke hearts stuffed with quinoa and provencale vegetables, paired with Conundrum, AKA my favorite white wine.

Fourth Course: Gratin of oyster mushrooms with a frisee salad, paired PERFECTLY with one of the finer Pinot Noirs I've ever tasted. This was John's favorite course.

Fifth Course: Chestnut fettucine over celery root puree and topped with shaved black truffles, paired with a good Merlot. I was suspicious of this, but the combination of flavors was incredible.

Sixth Course: Chocolate lover's fantasy - a homemade brownie covered with chocolate fondue sauce and a chocolate pot au creme, paired with a Banfi sparkling RED. Oh man, this was good.

There really are no words. I usually find myslef at a loss to order anything in most restaurants, and here I found myself in heaven. Top-notch vegetarian cuisine does not come around often, and certainly not around here. The service was impeccable and the atmosphere a delight. (Even the A-hole talking loudly on her cell phone right at the next table failed to bother me - much.) Big Burrito comes through again. This must be the best restaurant in the 'burgh.

But, there is a weird and kinda sad ending to this evening. As we left the restaurant, practically coked up from the sheer indulgence of this dinner, the street was lined with protesters holding signs calling for the boycott of foie gras. At this vegetarian nirvana! I was SO upset by this. These are my people, after all, and I agree with them. Probably not on much else, but on this, you BET! I didn't see foie gras on the menu. My euphoria was a little shattered because I felt like I had betrayed my OWN CAUSE, just a little, by eating there. I wanted to tell them that they should protest elsewhere because these were as close to being good guys as there are. Go protest Atria's! They don't even offer a meatless salad for crying out loud!

So, our heavenly date was slightly tainted for me. And that kinda sucks because we don't have evenings like that very often. But I highly recommend Eleven, anyway. I know I'll go back sooner rather than later.

Picture Meme

Hat tip to both Darrell and Wendy. I couldn't resist the picture blog. Just too much fun.

The town where I grew up...

The town in which I currently reside...

My name...
Weird thing about this one. The photographer shares my name, and the photo is of a "blessing of the animals" held at Saint Francis of Assissi parish, somewhere. What's weird is that I took my confirmation name, which is now my official middle name, Frances, after St. Francis, because of his love of animals. I just thought that was kinda cool.

My grandmother's name...

My favorite food (du jour)...

Favorite drinks (I had to pick 2)...

My favorite smell...

My Favorite song...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Unsportsmanlike Blogging from Kristine

To all of you sayers of nay. To all of you who debated me on this simple truth. Now you know. I was right then, I'm right now, and when it comes to Bill "god of the gridiron" Cowher, I WILL ALWAYS BE RIGHT!

You know who you are, and don't even try to jump on this bandwagon now. It just left without you. BYE!
Man, that's just about the best thing I've ever seen in my life. You know, except for those first four.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Roll Over, Jane

Lorna, Kelly, I hope you two noticed that Kiera Knightley was nominated for an Oscar for Pride and Prejudice. Even you two agreed that she did not deserve this much. I have decided that if she wins, I will move to Hollywood and make an Oscar-winning career out of insipid grinning. Because, apparently, you can do that now. Oh, the pain.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Brokeback Southcon

I almost never link to posts from other blogs, mostly because I'm generally too lazy. But this post is too good, too hilarious, too brilliant, and too on-the-money for me to ignore. Darrell, you are my hero du jour. Now, everybody, go and learn something about westerns and gay cowboys.

Calm Before the Storm

Those of you who have read my blog from the beginning may be wondering where a certain type of commentary is. You may remember that last year, I spent a large amount of blog time in the defense of a certain professional football coach from Pittsburgh who shall, at this time, still remain nameless. I shall not mention his name because of my stupid superstitions. I haven't said his name so far, and look where we are. I haven't posted his picture this year. So I won't start now. But just you wait. The mysterious and omnipotent god of the gridiron will be featured very heavily, and very soon, much to the pesumable dismay of certain naysayers who may or may not still read this blog.

From LAST November, lest anyone forget.

In other news, I will be forgoing vegetarianism for just one day, and it will be this Sunday, because of a certain unmentionable event. At the request of my better half, I will be whipping up a huge batch of my famous hot sausage. And ain't no way I'm not going to indulge in a little of that fabtastic taste sensation. Look out, innocent animals. I'll be on the loose for just one day. Nobody is safe. Least of all my stomach.