Optimist Club Trivia Night

Our first trivia of 2013, yay! This trivia was on our calendar for a couple of months now and we had enough participants for: boys vs. girls, heck yeah!

We had been to the Electricians Hall before and it’s a big space. And since it is a big space, the sound echoes, so it’s a little hard to hear. But you have enough room between tables to maneuver to the bar, which is very important and they do have a projector set up so we can read the questions. This trivia’s categories were: Trios, Now Playing, Remote Places, From Russia With Love, Gardening, The Sound of Music, Famous MDs, Best Sellers, The One and Only, and Stargazing. Now, don’t be fooled by some of the categories, you think you may know what it’s about, but it’s something else. This tells you something about the organization when you have a category of “From Russia With Love” and it’s to guess the VODKA flavor. That’s right, we had test tubes of vodka. When you have two pregnant women and one who is allergic to alcohol on the team, you are at a disadvantage. But I did take one for the team and had sippies. Just a heads up, bacon vodka smells like dog food (Krissy was more specific, she said Beggin’ Strips) and jalapeno vodka melted my taste buds, it was so horrible. But I do have one complaint: stop with the 80s songs during the music category, I CANNOT answer those!

This was a pretty fun trivia night, the categories were creative and challenging. I had such a fun time with our neighbors, they are a great group of people to hang out with. The girls may have gone into the night claiming that we all sucked at trivia, but we ended up in the top ten. Unfortunately, we lost to the boys by 2 measly points, dang it. Oh well, there’s always another trivia night to get our revenge!

A Downton Abbey Dinner

To celebrate the premiere of the new season of Downton Abbey (yes, I know, the season started a few weeks ago but we have this thing called the DVR), we thought it would be fun to have a British-themed Supper Club that the residents and staff of Downton Abbey would enjoy.

Cheese Plate & Welsh Rarebit
Appetizer: Cheese Plate and Welsh Rarebit. Kim went with an “upstairs-downstairs” theme for the cheeses. The “upstairs” enjoyed a variety cheese plate of: Stilton blue, vintage english white cheddar, huntsman and Cottswold while the “downstairs” snacked on welsh rarebit. Who can really go wrong with cheese? I thoroughly enjoyed the cheese plate and the welsh rarebit was a perfect comfort food for a cold January Sunday.

Roast Beef
Entree: Roast Beef with Roasted Vegetables. This was my first adventure in making a roast beef and overall, it was good. The roasted vegetables were delicious and flavorful. The roast beef wasn’t too bad, it was a little dry due to my overcooking of it. Even though it was overcooked, there was some nice flavor to it as well. I will try this recipe again but I will make sure to not cook it as long. It was not the recipe’s fault, just the cook’s.

Side dishes: Wilted Spinach and Mashed Potatoes. Some simple side dishes to go along with the roast beef.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Dessert: Sticky Toffee Pudding. A classic English dessert that tasted divine. The cake was moist and the sauce just soaked in and enhanced the experience.

Mrs. Patmore would have been proud of this menu.

The Lazy Book Club

I am in a book club. Now, before you judge and make comments about how lame a book club is, how nerdy is that, this is a different sort of book club. This is not a group of pretentious book snobs who only read the boring 1000 page novels and expect you to come to these meetings to dissect every aspect of them. Instead we are a group of amazing, intelligent, fun-loving, wine-drinking, food-eating ladies who happen to love reading and the books are an excuse to get together every couple of months to eat, drink and laugh our asses off. Of course we discuss the books but we have a tendency to deviate. A lot. In fact, we probably spend most of our time just talking about our lives. Basically, what is said in book club, stays in book club. I have never laughed so much than when I’m at these gatherings. No book is off limit for us. We read fiction, non-fiction, young-adult, old-adult, chick-lit, adventure, etc. We submit books and vote on what to read. We have a benevolent dictator who keeps us scheduled and organized. It is such a great system.

This month’s book was Matched, by Ally Condie. It is a young adult novel about a dystopian world where everything is controlled by the Society, from what you eat, where you work, who you marry, etc. The book focuses on a young woman, who is “matched” to her best friend but a glitch in the system shows the face of another boy. Our group did not enjoy this book at all. We did not like the writing style, the story, the characters. Many made the connection between this series and the Hunger Games. And the Hunger Games was infinitely better. Now, it’s a trilogy and I couldn’t even bear to read the other two, thank goodness a couple of the ladies read it and gave us the synopsis. They didn’t like the other ones either, it got progressively worse, more confusing and ridiculous. Needless to say, we did not spend too much time discussing this one.

Life just gets so busy and I barely get enough sleep but this book club makes me put my love of reading a priority. I love it.

First Supper Club Post Since…

Apparently the last time I posted a Supper Club entry was February 2012. That was a while ago. Oh well, new year, new start! What better way to kick off the new Supper Club year than with a birthday celebration? It’s Katie’s birthday and how do we celebrate? Quiche and cupcakes, of course!

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Entree: Italian Tomato Tart. A wonderful, light dinner entree that just perfectly satisfied your tastebuds. The main ingredient for the crust was cooked white rice, weird, right? But it worked well. It carried the flavor of the basil pesto well. The prosciutto brought a nice saltiness to the dish and the hints of goat cheese made your palate interested for more. I would definitely recommend this dish.

Side Dish: Pear-Almond Salad. One thing I enjoy about winter is that it is pear season and I am a huge fan of them in salads. Just throw some pears in a spinach salad, add some crunch, a balsamic vinaigrette and voila, a simple yet tasty salad.

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Dessert: Really, this is the real reason why we celebrate, we get to have fancy cupcakes! This time I decided to give The Cup a try. I got the Confetti, Red Velvet, Raspberry Beret, German Chocolate, Salted Caramel Crunch and the Island Dream. I was very impressed with all of them. I have been getting Jilly’s cupcakes for a while now and they are excellent cupcakes. After having tonight’s selection, I feel like the Cup’s cupcakes are more my speed due to the fact that they do not pile the icing sky-high. If you are into falling into a sugar coma, go with Jilly’s, if you are looking for less icing, pop on over to the Cup. Both are great and you can’t go wrong with either.

Happy New Year!

While making our annual year in review for this past year, I have realized a few things:

1. We were very quiet here on Cracker and Cheese
2. We took a ridiculous, seriously ridiculous, amount of photos of Ben (the joys of a digital camera)
3. We did not take enough photos of our friends and events

So, for the new year, we will try to change two out of the three things listed (guess which two) and in the meantime, enjoy!

2012 in Review from Cracker and Cheese on Vimeo.