Vatican Splendors

I’m not Catholic but that doesn’t stop me from being fascinated with the history and its artwork. I love the secrecy, the conspiracies, the rituals that go along with this religion. When I had heard that this exhibit was coming to St. Louis, I was all over it (okay, so I really wanted to see the reliquaries, I’m morbid, what can I say?)

Now, an exhibit like this costs a pretty penny ($25) so I was a bit hesitant about paying that price but along comes Groupon which offered a buy-one-get-one free ticket, including an audio tour! Heck yeah! We jumped on that and headed on down to the History Museum.

Quite a few people have told us that it would be hard to obtain tickets: not true. We walked up to the ticket booth, redeemed our tickets and were even able to jump in line for showing at 12:30 (it was almost 1:00).

The exhibit takes you through the years of Catholicism, artistically and historically. The artwork is exquisite, I was just blown away with Michelangelo’s Pieta, the beautiful, intricate gold objects, and the old frescos depicting St. Paul and St. Peter. I think the most fascinating gallery was “Dialogue with the World.” It showed Catholicism throughout the rest of the world.

I don’t care if you’re Catholic or not, you believe or not, I think that you should take advantage of this opportunity to see this exhibition. It impressed me and educated me. I do have one complaint: there were definitely not enough reliquaries. Oh well.

Supper Club: July 21, 2010

Appetizer: Indian-Spiced Cilantro Dip. I thought the flavoring of this dip was a bit off, maybe it was the Greek yogurt or the mint or a combination of both. I enjoyed it better when dipped with the naan that Kate provided, not so much with the vegetables.

Entree: Quick Barbecue Chicken. An excellent grilled chicken dish, flavorful and succulent.

Side Dishes: Corn on the Cob and Green Beans with Red Pepper and Garlic. Corn is always a perfect side dish for a summer dinner. I’ve made this green bean recipe before and was reminded to lessen the red pepper flakes. I threw in half of what it required and it still packs a punch. It’s a great recipe, just tweak it how you would like it.

Dessert: Mango-Coconut Bread Pudding. Finally, I think we’ve figured out how to make bread pudding without it being too soggy! Kim didn’t have day old bread so she toasted it instead, I wonder if that is the secret to having bread pudding that wasn’t mush. I very much enjoyed this recipe, loved the sauce that was poured over the dish.

Supper Club: July 14, 2010

Appetizer: Curry-Spiced Samosas with Plum and Tomato Marmalade. This was a very complex recipe and I applaud Kim for tackling it. I thought the end product was tasty, full of flavors. There were comments of the interesting spices in the dough itself. I actually enjoyed my samosa without the marmalade.

Entree: Lighter Baked Ziti with Sausage. A real quick, simple baked pasta dish. It was easy and delicious. Now, I do have to say, I’m a fan of more sauce so if you’re like me, go ahead with more sauce in the dish. And next time, I’m going to try and find a spicier version of the turkey sausage for more heat.

Side Dish: Mixed Salad Green with Pears and Toasted Almonds. A nice, summer salad with the taste of oranges.

Dessert: Root Beer Float Cupcakes. These cupcakes are adorable and are delicious! Okay, so it’s only a hint of root beer but I’m okay with the dark chocolate flavor. Just make sure you eat it quickly, the ice cream does melt fast.

“WICKED”-edly Fabulous

When we found out that Wicked was coming to the Fox this summer, it was decided that we had to make it a girls’ night out with a dinner and a show. We all cleaned ourselves up and away we went!

We started our evening at Kota Wood Fire Grill. We had heard that it had good food, it was right across the street from the Fox and we had a couple of coupons. I was a bit disappointed with the experience. Something in the kitchen prohibited any dishes to be sauteed so half of the menu was off-limits. We also weren’t really that impressed with the service. Our waiter seemed to disappear for long stretches at a time. I do have to say, my food was cooked well (Espresso Rubbed Beef Filet Medallions) so at least I had that. Let’s just say, sometimes the service really overshadows that quality of food.

On to the show! I had already seen Wicked so I decided to go for the cheap seats. Some of us had never seen it and I love going with first-timers, they are just awed and entranced by the story. I recommend seeing this show, it’s an interesting twist on the classic Wizard of Oz.

On to the second show! Afterwards, we headed down to 2720 to check out Kate’s artwork on display for one night only put on by Drawgasmic. It was a pretty neat show and an interesting environment. Let’s just say that we were a bit overdressed at this event. But it was fun and we were exposed to a wide array of artistic works from across the globe. I know it’s a bit late, but Kate, congrats on your piece!

Supper Club: July 7, 2010

Appetizer: Maple-Rosemary Glazed Walnuts, Ginger Almonds and Strawberry Vanilla Agua Fresca. An assortment of fancy nuts and a refreshing summer drink. I liked the Maple-Rosemary Glazed Walnuts better only because they were sweeter than the Ginger Almonds. The fresca was refreshing and didn’t have the overwhelming sweetness of some other summer drinks.

Entree: Curry Almond “Burger”. The burger is in quotes because this was a vegetarian recipe. I am not a fan of fake meat made in the USA. I’ve been spoiled, I’ve had vegetarian dishes in Taiwan and their protein replacements are SO much better than the products produced here in the States. It’s nothing against the recipe, it’s just that I’ve been shown the light and I know that there are better vegetarian options. I wonder if my mom can smuggle some of it back…

Side Dishes: Watermelon with Watercress and Feta and Zucchini and Potato Rosti. I wasn’t really that impressed with the salad and I think it had to do with the mind playing tricks on me. I kept thinking the chunks of watermelon were tomatoes and when I bit into them, they had the texture of watermelon but not necessarily the flavor of it. The rosti did not turn out as expected. They were supposed to be stuck together but they were just soggy and didn’t crisp up in the pan. Kim had added more zucchini than potatoes and that may have been a problem; zucchini has much more water content than potatoes.

Dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy Dessert. It pretty much tastes like a giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. The pudding didn’t firm up as expected and so it came more out like mud pie but the flavors were there. You will definitely have to refrigerate it longer than three hours. And I also used chopped up peanut butter cups instead of Reeses Pieces. It’s a good dessert but not really very pretty when served.