Monday, March 24, 2014

Birthday Dinner at Aixois

On the Friday after my birthday, the husband and I celebrated with a birthday dinner at Aixois in the Brookside area of Kansas City. Aixois is a French restaurant that reminds me of a less artsy version of one of my favorite Minneapolis restaurants, Barbette. Casual French food. Casual as in I wouldn't feel under-dressed if I went there in jeans (although still with a nice shirt). The dress I wore didn't feel too out of place either, so take with that what you will. It was seriously amazing.

We started the night off with some drinks. Since I gave up wine for lent, I tried their 55th Street cocktail, which consists of pastis, vanilla vodka, orangina, and chambord. Very sweet. Very good.

Later I tried their Pom D'Aixois, which contains pomegranate vodka, cranberry juice, and champagne (for the sake of lent, I haven't been considering champagne wine). Of the two, this was my favorite.

For an appetizer, we had the cheese plate and the steak tartar. I LOVE steak tartar, but I really should get it when we dine with others. My husband doesn't like eating anything raw (he is a steak medium well kind of guy). So yes, I did basically eat all of the steak tartar myself (Joe ate the french fries). Worth it.

For dinner, I ordered the Filet de Boeuf, and my husband ordered the Aixois Burger. Both were absolutely delicious. My husband went even as far as to say that the aixois burger is one of the best burgers he has ever had. Considering he orders burgers quite a bit, that is saying a lot.

I loved my experience at Aixois, and am really looking forward to going back there soon. I really want to try their french onion soup, and, on a night I'm feeling adventurous, the escargot and the frog legs. I highly recommend trying this place.

Later that night we went to the Westport Ale House, which just opened up in, you guessed it, Westport. It is my new favorite place to go out in Westport, and is a great new addition to that area. It was a perfect way to end our evening.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

(1) I had a GREAT birthday! Thank you to all my friends and family that sent messages and called (especially you dad). It really was a great day.

My friend from work made me birthday cupcakes.

I was sent chocolate covered strawberries from my parents.

 And for lunch some coworkers, my husband, and I went to Lydia's (fyi, the gnocchi with duck ragu is amazing).

Tonight my husband and I are going out for a birthday dinner and maybe some drinks. Can't wait!

(2) The weather is starting to get warmer! Which means my favorite food truck is starting to come back after it's winter hiatus. 

(3) Watched the Bachelor Finale on Monday. So much drama. Loved how Chris Harrison didn't even try to hide his disdain for Juan Pablo. 

Hope you all have a great St. Patrick's Day weekend! Stay safe!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

So far today I've been woken up to a happy birthday from my husband, got a birthday call from my sister and her twins (who kept yelling "Asheeeeee". Melts my heart), a birthday call from my mom who made up a birthday song for me, put on some bright pink lipstick, and grooved to some "Dancing Queen" and "Like a Prayer". Great way to start a day. 

I realize I did not make all the meals I wanted to by my 28th birthday.  Oh well. I'll just make them into a to do list. 

Hope you all have a fabulous day!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

(1) After much consideration, I have decided to give up wine for lent. I figured since I love wine so much, it would actually be a sacrifice. 

(2) I don't know why, but I found this "What 'American' Parties Look Like In Other Countries" buzzfeed article hilarious. 

(3) Spent my Saturday night drinking wine (while I still could) and watching Shark Tank...

(4) and Sunday night with Chinese and the Oscars. It was a good weekend.

(5) Picked up some great books from Barnes and Noble. Already finished two of them. 

(6) And it has officially started. Getting fat season.

Have a great weekend!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Best Snowday Ever

Happy Close-callageddon! That's what you call it when all news sources were saying we would have another Snowmageddon, but we didn't have more than a dusting, and, therefore, could still drive to work. Today could also be called a Coldageddon since many of the schools in the area have closed due to the cold weather. Obviously adding the -ageddon is important in order to show the gravity of the situation. How would you know how bad the snow storm really is unless I compared it to the apocalypse. Kind of like when people add -gate after every scandalous situation. Not overused at all. 

Unlike the schools, work was not closed, even though as of Friday everyone thought it would be. They were saying there would be 6-12 inches. I even took a trip to Barnes and Noble on Thursday to stock up on some snow day books. I guess they will have to wait.

My best actual snow day ever was in law school. I went to law school in Minnesota, and if you've ever lived in Minnesota, you would know that they NEVER close schools. That is unless it was -50 windchill, or something drastic like that. Not usually for snow. So you could imagine my surprise and delight when I was having a girls night with some of my law school friends, and we were all starting to get texts from the school emergency hotline saying classes the next day had been canceled. Win. And, being that I knew this meant the roads were probably horrible, I decided to spend the night at my friend's apartment, which meant I could drink more wine. Another win. 

The next day, however, I went to go home and I saw this. 

Yes. That was my car.

I trekked back up to my friends apartment and asked to borrow her shovel so I could get myself out. It took me 45 minutes to shovel my poor car out of that parking space. When I came to drop the shovel off to my friend, she took one look at me and said "you need a drink". Which I did. We walked across the street to the Herkimer in Minneapolis, and spent more time there than I'm going to admit. It made for a great snow day. 

So the point of this story. I thought I'd share some of my favorite cocktails in the Kansas City and Minneapolis areas for all of those who might one day be snowed in and just need a good drink. You might say that it is a little late in the season to be sharing snow day advice, but with this winter, you never know. 
The Smoking Dun
Where you'll find it: Gram and Dun in Kansas City
This is the drink that made me think I like bourbon (then I tried bourbon straight and realized I did not). It is made with Templeton Rye, Rothman and Winter orchard cherry, rosemary simple syrup, and lemon juice. It is what I'd like to call a "sophisticated fruity drink", where it is sweet and fruity enough to be really good while avoiding the feeling of being a college girl on spring break. Those big ice cubes are also hickory smoked, so as the ice melts the taste of the drink changes. It's one of my and my husband's favorite drinks. 

Juicy Basil
Where you'll find it: The Butcher and the Boar in Minneapolis

Another bourbon drink that makes me want to think I like bourbon (still don't). Made with Basil Hayden's 8 yr, triple sec, fresh orange juice and cranberry juice, and simple syrup, it is like a cousin to the smoking dun. Different, but delicious in similar ways. The Butcher and the Boar also has a beer garden, so you know. Something to consider.

Frozen Strawberry Margaritas
Where you'll find it: Any Mexican restaurant really, but these are from Jalapenos in Kansas City.

I love frozen strawberry margaritas. My husband and I had them on our first date, so it is kind of nostalgic for me as well, but they are just so delicious. Jalapenos in the Brookside area of Kansas City makes the best ones in my opinion. 

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita
Where you'll find it: Rojo Mexican Grill in St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Best margarita ever. I admit, I kept seeing jalapeno margaritas being served on Vanderpump Rules, and I knew I had to try it. When I saw that Rojo had a strawberry jalapeno margarita when I was there on a girls night during Christmas break, it was a no brainer. So good. So spicy. Definitely worth the margarita calories.

Grand Street's Pomtini
Where you'll find it: Grand Street Cafe in Kansas City

I've talked about this martini before. Still very good. 

Blue State
Where you'll find it: Nightingale in Minneapolis

Also already talked about it. Also still very good.

I could go on and on about Smack Shacks oyster shooters, The Bulldog's numerous options of beer, or Coal Vines vast wine menu, but I think you all get the picture.

Warm thoughts to all of you!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Favorites

Still working on the HUGE box of chocolates my husband got me for Valentine's Day.
That has basically been my entire week.

Have a great weekend!

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