Monthly Archives: February 2009


26 Feb

Sunny San Diego

Posted by on February 26, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I’d be a much bigger fan of winter if it didn’t involve so much cold and darkness. The constant darkness of the season begins to wear on me after a while. That’s why Jason and I decided to take a break from winter and go to San Diego, even though we just visited that area last June. Since San Diego has plenty of sun to go around, we invited Jason’s brother Jeremy and Jeremy’s wife Kara to go with us.

All of us at the Wild Animal Park

All of us at the Wild Animal Park...and no, I don't know what Jeremy was doing.

While this was a quick trip, only four days, we still managed to see and experience quite a bit.

As with all Sabin outings, we ate a lot of excellent food. Not only did we revisit one of our favorite restaurants from the last trip, El Agave Tequileria, we also sampled some new cuisine. The best new restaurant we tried was definitely The Prado. Not only was the Wild Mushroom Risotto I ordered divine, but sitting out on the restaurant’s balcony surrounded by tropical flowers, fountains, vine covered pergolas, and classic Spanish architecture made the experience perfect.

Jason's delicious dessert from Extraordinary Desserts. I have no idea what it was called but it was really rich and yummy!

Jason's delicious dessert from Extraordinary Desserts. I have no idea what it was called but it was rich and yummy!

We also got a chance to gobble some terrific desserts at Extraordinary Desserts. Every one of their dessert was decorated beautifully and looked more like a work of art than something to eat. But they were way too delish to just look at, so we stuffed them down. Yum!

As would be expected in a big city like San Diego, the shopping was also outstanding. I found the perfect little white sundress and even Jeremy found plenty to spend his wad on. He bought several pairs of “fancy lad” jeans-I never thought I would see that day.

No, these are not the new outfits the boys bought on our trip.

No, these are not the new outfits the boys bought on our trip. They are the awesome wetsuits we wore while kayaking. And yes, I realize both of the Sabin boys look ridiculous suited up.

In between stuffing our faces and blowing money we saw some great San Diego attractions. We went to the Wild Animal Park, the Cabrillo National Monument tide pools, the Birch Aquarium, the Hotel Del Coronado, and kayaked around the La Jolla Cove.

Me and my birdies. Notice the grossiest of the birds decided to take up residence on my head.

Me and my birdies. Notice the grossest of the birds decided to take up residence on my head.

My favorite spot at the Wild Animal Park was Lorakeet Landing. Lorakeet Landing, as the name suggests, is full of Lorakeets. The Lorakeet is a parrot sized Australian bird with bright plumage. At Lorakeet Landing you are given a small cup of nectar to take into the birds’ enclosure. The Lorakeets love this nectar so they land all over you to get a taste of the stuff. The birds really seemed to take a fancy to me for some reason. They climbed all over my head, shoulders, and arms, but they were oddly uninterested in Jason. Honestly, being covered in birds was a bit creepy, but it was still a unique and fun experience.

At the Cabrillo National Monument tide pools we saw anemones, mussels, hermit crabs, schools of fish, and even a shy octopus (Disclaimer: technically we only saw parts of the octopus. It wouldn’t come out from under a rock.). The water was admittedly quite cold but that didn’t stop me from wading into it. It definitely stopped Jason though-he complained when he got a little drop on his big toe. Poor boy, that drop must have been freezing!

I'm freezing but I'm happy!

I'm freezing but I'm happy!

Even though we did a lot of fabulous things on our trip, my favorite part about it was just seeing the sun and feeling its warmth. How I have missed the sun these last months! Thanks to our getaway, I’m sure I will survive until spring and we have our own sweet Utah sunshine.

23 Feb

Raising the Bar

Posted by on February 23, 2009 at 8:49 pm

>As I’ve gotten older I’ve begun to realize just how many men complain about Valentine’s Day. You’d think with how much whining goes on that they were being forced to endure the rack or hang upside down by their toenails, when in fact all they are really being required to do to stay in good graces with their significant other is buy flowers, or chocolates, or go out to a nice dinner. Oh, you poor boys, that truly is cruel! Why would a woman that says she loves you make you go through all that?

For those of you who are still somehow confused about this whole Valentine’s Day thing, let me recap the situation for you. You men, especially those of you that are married, have a loving woman that puts up with you and your shenanigans day in and day out. Once a year, on Valentine’s Day, you are given the opportunity to do something special for her to show that you appreciate her. This could be something as simple as sending a card and some flowers, but apparently, for many of you, even this small thoughtful act is too much to ask for and you gripe about Valentine’s Day like it was a colonoscopy. Oh brother, you boys are pathetic.

Instead of bunch of flowers, I sent Jason a bunch of cookies.

Instead of a bunch of flowers, I sent Jason a bunch of cookies.

As ridiculous as many men are about Valentine’s Day, I have discovered that women are not altogether blameless in giving Valentine’s Day a bad name. For some reason lots of women have decided that Valentine’s Day is simply all about them and not about showing the ones they love how much they care about them. Masses of women have evidently come to expect gifts and thoughtfulness from their men but have decided they need give nothing in return. Ladies, ladies, ladies…what’s up with that? No wonder your men are disgruntled about their Valentine’s Day experience. They put up with your constant mood swings and irrational behavior, right? Then would it really kill you to do something nice for them for Valentine’s Day? I think not. Besides, we are supposed to be the emotionally mature sex, aren’t we? With self-centered behavior like this we might as well kiss our “emotionally sensitive” status good bye. Don’t let the rest of us down-we don’t want to be on par with men in the “thoughtlessness” category, do we?

In short, I am disgruntled about all the Valentine’s Day disgruntlement. What’s up with all this mediocrity? Why not raise the bar a little?

I love Valentine’s Day. It gives me the chance to surprise Jason and do something nice out of the norm for him. He is, after all, a truly fabulous husband and deserves much more than I could ever give.

Me and Jas at Capital Theater

Me and Jas at Capital Theater

I also look forward to Valentine’s Day because it’s an excuse for me and Jas to get dressed up and go out together. This year it was Jason’s turn to plan our activities. He arranged for an evening up in Salt Lake City. We went to Martine for dinner and then to Ballet West’s production of Madame Butterfly. It was great spending some quality time with my extraordinary husband; we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

You boys may note that Jason survived planning this excursion and even going to the ballet. All of his appendages are still intact, he didn’t turn into a frog, and he probably won’t even be emotionally scarred for life. So if you boys stopped grumbling and put a little effort into Valentine’s Day, I’m pretty sure you would live through it. That goes for you ladies too. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, so you might as well enjoy it and party like a rock star!

11 Feb

Confessions of a Chaotic Cook

Posted by on February 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Since I am a food scientist and immensely enjoy playing with my food, it should be no great surprise that I love to cook.

One of my recent creations: sauteed salmon served over a bed of leeks and bacon with a creamy white wine sauce

One of my recent creations: sauteed salmon served over a bed of leeks and bacon with a creamy white wine sauce. To die for!

While my years of working with food on a commercial level have transformed me into one of the most sanitary cooks you will ever come across, oddly enough I am also one of the messiest. Somehow, while I’m cooking, my kitchen counters become covered with bits of veggies or sprinklings of flour, pieces of food inevitably find their way to the floor where they wait for a chance to stick to my feet, an enormous number of dishes miraculously pile up in the sink and on the counters, and sticky substances become splattered on the backsplashes and stovetop.

Yummy peach raspberry crisp...and a whole lot of mess.

Yummy peach raspberry crisp...and a whole lot of mess.

How do I manage to leave such a wake of destruction in my kitchen when I work with food daily in a spotless product development lab equipped with sensitive scales and all sorts of scientific gadgetry? I really have no idea; it’s one of life’s great unexplained mysteries.

Yes, there is a countertop under there somewhere.

Yes, there is a counter top under there somewhere.

So, although you will never find me licking my fingers or a spoon while I’m cooking (that truly is disgusting, all of you who do that should really consider being considerate) and disposable gloves are regularly used in my kitchen, the chaos that results from my meal preparations is really quite impressive. Jason has come to accept my cooking disarray and is only surprised if I don’t make a mess. But, despite the temporary disorder that ensues when I cook, somehow my kitchen always survives to see me cook another day.

An Emeril commercial gone awry?

An Emeril commercial gone awry?

3 Feb

Snowwalker

Posted by on February 3, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Despite the fact that we live in a valley surrounded by gorgeous mountains, and we love spending time in those mountains whether they are currently snow covered or leaf laden, Jason and I never attempted to snowshoe until last Saturday.

Jason’s parents gave us snowshoes for Christmas and we were eager to try them out so last weekend we headed up to the Nordic Center at Sundance Resort with Jason’s brother Jeremy, Jeremy’s wife Kara, and Jason’s parents.

The Whole Gang

The Whole Gang

It was a beautiful day for this activity. The sky was a pristine blue, with not even a trace of clouds. We followed snowshoe trails that wound through aspen covered hillsides and Mount Timpanogos was our backdrop. It was very serene and peaceful-a much different experience of our now frosty mountains than what you get whizzing down them on a snowboard.

Trekking down our first hill

Trekking Down our First Hill

Although snowshoeing was more work than Jason expected, he still seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. We look forward to going again soon and trying out another location. With so many beautiful spots to choose from it will be hard to pick one.

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

On a side note, during our snowshoe outing we ate lunch at the Foundry Grill at Sundance. It was reasonably priced and quite yummy. I had a pesto pizza covered in pine nuts, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms, and goat cheese. It was made fresh in their wood-fired oven. Delish! If you aren’t drooling right now you must not have any taste buds.