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04-19-2003 @ 4:25 p.m.
Culinary Adventures with Lisa

Last night, Joey went to an overnight birthday party so Ed and I took advantage of the occasion to go out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in celebration of our 16th wedding anniversary.

I took Joey to her party at 4:30 and then came home to get ready for the evening. I chose a simply ribbed taupe turtleneck sweater and black rayon skirt with a subtle taupe print throughout. I curled my flaming copper (newly reddified) hair so it flipped up in back and then paid special attention to my makeup. I only wear makeup 2 or 3 times a week anyway but I decided to go with smoky, sultry eyes for the evening. I really liked the result--I think I ought to do that more often. I finished off with a spritz of perfume and we were out the door. The evening was lovely--we'd been promised 5 days of rain and what we ended up with was a few scattered showers but mostly sun and clouds and comfortable temperatures.

Our drive into the city was smooth and filled with conversation and interesting things to look at. I love coming around the bend on I-5 and seeing the majestic, snow-covered peak of Mt. Hood to the east and then a little further one, seeing the flattened peak of Mt. St. Helens to the north.

The restaurant was busy but our reservation got us in right on time. We've eaten at this place several times and I always have a fabulous meal. The name is P@zzo and they serve wonderful Italian/Northwest fusion food. I was going to try something new but I was lured by my favorite dish--pappardelle (thin, long sheets of pasta) with guinea hen and morel mushrooms. It's a spectacular, earthy, almost beefy dish loaded with delectable Oregon morel mushrooms. It's a seasonal dish so I figured I better get it while I could. Ed had pan-seared swordfish topped with a carmelized onion/balsamic vinegar relish on a bed of creamy garlic/basil polenta. The fish was perfectly done--lightly crispy on the outside, buttery on the inside--and the relish was sweet and tart and very flavorful. The whole meal was incredible. For dessert, we shared their signature dessert tiramisu. I've tasted tiramisu at many restaurants but this is my very favorite. I have different favorites at different restaurants--at Higgins I always have their salmon special and then their creme brulee for dessert and at P@zzo, I always have tiramisu.

After our fabulous dinner, we went on our annual anniversary visit to a bookstore (usually Powell's). It's not wildly romantic, but for two bibliophiles, it's a great tradition. We usually start out together checking out the new arrivals and then part ways for an hour and meet up later at the coffee shop or cafe. I found books for some children's birthdays this month and picked out my next novel (but won't buy it until I finish the bookgroup read for May).

When we got home, we relaxed for awhile and then decided a late-night shower was in order. Ed washed my hair for me and I just melted. I absolutely love having someone else wash my hair--I'm putty in your hands if your first run them through my hair. The rest of the evening...well, I'll leave that to your imagination.

Everytime we go out to eat at a fine restaurant, it reminds me how much I love eating out. Not just at places like Sushi W0rld (which I do love), but at fine dining establishments downtown or in the neighborhoods. I think I'm going to resist the urge to eat out at cheapy places like App1ebee's and the mall and save my dinero for nicer outings instead. It would be healthier for me and please my gourmand side much more than a burger from Red R0bin (however, their western burger is pretty darn tasty ::g::).

Tonight, the Griffins are coming over for dinner (I'm grilling steak and making a salad with wild greens, tomatoes, goat cheese, mandarin oranges, pears, almonds and cucumber) and then we'll play some games while Joey watches her new H@rry P0tter DVD and scrapbooks. I'm anticipating another lovely evening. Just the way I like 'em.

Happy Easter or Passover or April 20th.

--L

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