Tag Archives: Engagement

Merry Christmas, Round 1

Happy Christmas Eve!

Tonight, we’re cooking just for ourselves – a Christmas Eve tradition that we started our first Christmas together. Before we started dating, since my family celebrates Christmas following the Orthodox calendar, December 24th was usually pretty uneventful. Now, though, I get to celebrate two Christmases – the December AND January versions! Last Christmas Eve, I made a rib roast; tonight’s (slightly more adventurous) menu: sous vide duck with orange and cranberries, Dijon-glazed Brussels sprouts, and homemade cinnamon ice cream!

We have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate this Christmas – our families, a finished (and bound, as of today!) Master’s, an almost-completed JD, and of course, our engagement!

Merry Christmas to all – we hope everyone celebrates well with their loved ones near and far.


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Well it’s been about a month since either one of us has posted on here. That is our fault and we should make more time for it, but it’s tough when both of us are in graduate school and work. I am nearly done with my thesis (next week!) and the reality of the situation is slowly sinking in, making it harder for me to commit free time to this blog. Natalia is very busy trying to help her clients and it’s difficult too for her to find energy to write. But perhaps some recent news will provide a renewed impetus for writing: WE GOT ENGAGED!!!

That’s right, we took a trip to Chicago and I got a bride, she got a groom. There are no timeframes for the wedding (at least a year away probably), but until then we get time to plan, toast, and cook. It must be said that while we were in Chicago we ate at some of the best restaurants in the country. Our meals at The Purple Pig, The Publican, Cafe Spiaggia, and Q were all beyond anything we could have imagined.

In fact, the meal we had at The Publican preceded our engagement and it provided us the opportunity to have duck hearts. The duck hearts come from Au Bon Canard, a local farm (to Minnesota), and they were single-handedly the greatest dish we’ve had since we ate at Piccolo in June. In June the dish that won our hearts (pun intended) was the Tete de Porc, or pig’s head to the Englishly inclined. It was a beautiful melange of creamy fat and unctuous flavor and truly exceptional. The duck hearts at The Publican were a completely different dish: smooth and buttery, but had a wonderful starchy quality provided by the lentils. The dish was completed was then topped with slices of kumquat which added a wonderful citrusy element to the salt and starch. Natalia was hesitant about this dish, but afterwards was completely blown away by the experience.

I guess there really was no better way to later win her heart by feeding her hearts before hand. Thanks Chicago for the memories, we’ll be back soon!

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