Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back from Cozumel...

...and we're heading right back out to Vancouver Island for Troy & Megan's wedding. Then over the next weeks I'll be traveling to NY, LA, Boston & NY again. In another word it may be a few weeks when I have time to post the whole Cozumel report & photos.

Here is one to tie you over.

Meet Sharika

Sharika Kismet Krishan Page was born on November 21st, 2006 to proud parents Sona Krishan & Paul Page

I'm guessing mom picked the name.

Baby Crumpet is happy to have a younger sister to boss around.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Off to Mexico!

Determined to continue our tradition of not wearing shoes on Thanksgiving day, Team Mia is heading to Cozumel today.

Of course Baby Crumpet already been to Mexico once, but inside mommy's tommy (photo from Puerta Vallarta last Thanksgiving)

This blog will be back in a week!

Baby Crumpet at the beach

Team Mia visted the coast of Washington with Gracie. We stayed at a very cute cottage named The Cranky Roost courtesy of Gracie's friend Buzz Bissinger (the author of Friday Night Lights).

It was our first time to the area and we were quite amazed at the possibilities. One local town boosted to be the ''oyster capital of the world'' A als we didn't try any since it was not in season. Another town is famous for their cranberry bogs. Yet another town, with a great boardwalk, host an int'l kite festival and competition every summer. There were also several national parks full of wildlife.

The area we stayed at were at the mouth of Columbia River, which was were Lewis & Clark ended up at. We visited a Lewis & Clark interpretive center which was fun & informative.

The local food scene was quite unexpectedly impresive. Here we are expecting dingy fish & chip joints but instead finding several upscale restaurants with walls full of accolades with great reviews and national wine medals. Who woulda thunk it?

The highlight was Baby Crumpet's first ever visit to the ocean and the beach. She quite enjoyed herself and didn't even mind eating some sand. But the first time she rubbed her eyes with sandy fingers, hm, it didn't go so well....

The Brooks, Shawn/Rachelle, coq au vin

Team Mia caught up with old friends Terry & Judine Brooks. Terry is an author who has been touring over the last few months for his new book, so it's been quite awhile since we have seen them.

We met up at Ray's Boathouse, a Seattle insitution that is well known for professional service, great view and a commanding northwest seafood menu. I had a sablefish seared with seaweed crust that was deliciously delicate. Baby Crumpet was on her best behavior and devoured an entire bread basket by herself. Well, some of it ended up on the floor.


Friends Shawn & Rachelle came by for dinner. Feeling inspired by the decidely fall season in Seattle (dark, damp, cold) I went gung-ho with a serious menu:

Gnocchi with creme fraiche, mead, shallots and chantrelle mushrooms


Baked rockfish with artichoke hearts and homemade vinegar (courtesy Don McQuinn)

It was good, but, a little too heavy....


Since we're talking about food.

Inspired by an article in Cook's Illustrated I decided to try and make Coq au vin (basically chicken stew w/t wine; why does food sound better in French?)

First I seared bone-in chicken thigh in olive oil

then removed the chicken and added shallots, garlic, rosemary and leeks

then added some flour and pasta sauce (I didn't have tomatoes on hand), chicken stock, a bottle of wine (I used a 2005 beaujola nouveau) and bay leaf

Simmer for about an hour, then remove the chicken and cook the remaining sauce on high heat for a few minutes to reduce. Serve piping hot on steamed rice

Adrian & I both thought it turned out really well considering I didn't use either butter or bacon as the traditional recipe calls for. In retrospect I would remove the skin on the chicken to reduce fat. Also in re-heating for leftovers the next day I added brussel sprouts for 20 minutes and that was excellent. The brussel sprouts soaked up all the flavor and added great depth and texture to the whole dish - but be careful to not overcook it or it will turn into mush

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dinner time

Here is a video of Baby Crumpet's dinner time

She usually eats at around 7pm. Typical meal includes rosemary bread, green beans, fruit (pear, grapes, orange), cheese, crackers and chicken. Doesn't like potato too much. Likes bagel w/t cream cheese.

Three's Company

Marcus, Lucas & Nathan lined up eating popsicles (during the Oktoberfest party)

Schlueps visit

Anh & Chris Schluep visits Team Mia

Is it just me or does Chris look, er, nervous

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

introducing Maya Lin Smith

Maya Lin Smith was born on Wed Nov 1st 2006 at 8:20am. At 6 lbs 11 oz Maya & mom are doing great.

Baby Crumpet is looking forward to her new playmate and we wish the parents Cathy & John all the best.

As John's out of office message says ''how hard can it be?''

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Charlie & the Berlin Babylon

This is my good friend Charlie standing in front of the Dolomites.

Charlie is programming a new film festival - Around the World in 14 Days - in Berlin this December 1st to the 9th. If you're going to be in Berlin during that time please check it out!

Yes La Gringa, that is Charlie Cockey, who used to own the sci-fi bookstore in the terderloins.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Rolling Stones

With Jen watching Baby Crumpet - Gracie got us tickets to see the Stones in Seattle.

I'm actually not big fans, but seeing the Stones (like seeing AC/DC, Springsteens, Tom Petty) in a stadium rock concert just felt like one of those things you didn't want to miss in your life time since it may never happen again. Of course I've been saying this for 20 years and the Stones have not went away.

We all know the songs, nothing new there. Mick & Keith definitely put on quite an energetic show (by comparison opening act Dave Matthews was both white man can't dance and barely awake). Crowd watching is quite entertaining. Mostly female and mostly over 45. In between sets Mick Jagger was full of jokes and references to the pacific northwest, I'm impressed by their manager for preparing the ''local facts'' cheat sheet. Overall very enjoyable to have the ''stones'' experience.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

how to handle a scandal

Kerry makes a stupid remark and within 24 hours the democractic leadership cancelled all his campaign appearances and told him to ''shut up''

Jim Gibbons, a 5-term republican congressman from Nevada who is running for governor, is under investigation by the FBI for possibly giving millions of dollars of defense contracts to his close friends & business associates in exchange for campaign contributions, paid vacations and free casino chips.

Naturally the republican leadership sent president Bush to Nevada today to help Jim Gibbons campaign.

We report. You decide.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Baby Smith t-minus 3 days

Team Mia had dinner w/t our favorite couple Mr & Mrs Smith (no, really) at Pomegranate on the eastside.

What you can't tell from the photo is Cathy is pregnanat and due to give birth in about 3 days.

Baby Crumpet did her best to assure that this whole ''baby'' thing is all fun & games.