I was originally supposed to take a five-day trip to Napa Valley (wine country) to celebrate my graduation, but somehow, that never came together. Work is busy for both "The Ukrainian" and myself, and given my work situation... it was probably not a smart idea no matter how badly I wanted to go on a romantic getaway like that.
But, being the strange (ha ha!) people that we are, we decided to make do -- at least for now -- with spending a few worry-free days together over a weekend.
It started off with a 7-mile run together. The weather cooperated and held to a cool gloom until we were done, which was disappointingly later than I had hoped. This girl is out of shape and still slightly unmotivated, but having someone running with me helped. I plan on doing some of the long runs with him to keep me from not pushing enough during my training this time around.
My reward was this place called Cici's Cafe. I spent the days before this drooling all over the Yelp! reviews on this place... which is known for their giant pancakes. This is really close to "The Ukrainian"'s place to the point that we were able to walk there, even after a run. We had never been there previously because it's always crowded on the weekends, and it closes early (at 3 PM).
With a large menu with THREE pages of pancake creations, I can see why it's so frequented.
The ambience. We got in pretty quickly due to coming in at an off-time (10-ish). I was happy with how quickly our order arrived.
This cinnamon/sugar French Toast came with pumpkin butter on top (but no whip cream due to our request!). I could taste the pumpkin and overall, liked this dish. The bread was hearty, though could have been a little more soaked. The pumpkin blob was definitely the best part about this, and I could have done without the cinnamon/sugar bit.
Next up was this salmon benedict. "The Ukrainian" has ordered this dish before, but that was before I would order fish things. I liked this dish because it was light on the hollandaise sauce, which I never really liked in the first place. The smoked salmon was plentiful and not too salty. The only downfall was the poaching of the egg... I'm very picky about this, and it could have been more "runny/eggy."
My order was this green tea tiramisu pancakes (hold the whip cream). These pancakes were unlike any other that I've had, flavors aside. They were fluffy and not rubbery at all, with a subtle green tea flavor. Not sure what I was supposed to be tasting in regards to tiramisu, but that green creamy substance was delicious nonetheless.
I normally don't like pancakes, but these I would order again. They also had some red velvet variations that I definitely would like to try the next time I am here.
"The Ukrainian" and I made a valiant effort on these and took down about half. The rest made for some great leftovers! (Hand shown for size comparison).
After that, we went for a walk before walking back and stopped at Whole Foods. We picked up some goodies that will be up for future review. (Hint: I've already tried this kombucha, my second ever, and found it worth buying again, obviously!)
That night, we had dinner with "The Ukrainian"'s grandparents because he had relatives coming from Israel. No pics, since I'd feel totally weird, but I always love this grandma's food and pretty much always eat more than I should there. -_-
Saturday was biking, swimming (I actually swam this time, versus my normal wading), and errand-running ("The Ukrainian" has a pretty large kitchen project to do as a result of a plumbing kaboom). We decided to cook dinner together, as it was something I wanted to do as part of a relaxing weekend.
"The Ukrainian" happened to have some caught tuna that his friend had packaged and frozen for him. We ate it with refried beans and jicama salad. I wish I had taken a better picture. And yes, I did fear that I would get food poisoning due to me thinking that only restaurants could safely serve these types of things, but I was fine (even through my second viewing of the last Harry Potter movie later that evening).
Sometime during the weekend, we got this nice kit. Yay for rotating push-up grips and cordless jumprope! We got this free due to coupons and gift cards. Not to mention a set of 3-lb weights I bought -- I'll explain why later!! ;)
Finally, I baked this pumpkin/apple cider bread. It was good, not too sweet or dry and smelled heavenly, though it may need perfection before I share the recipe! Also, don't try to get your walnuts to float by coating them in flour. Boo!
The binder in the background is actually one of my recipe binders!
All in all, I had a great weekend. I would have documented it better, but I was really just needing to relax and not worry about blogging. I was sad to have to return to my normal routine, as I have been very stressed lately for some reasons I'm not sure of. What I AM sure of is how much I treasure my time with "The Ukrainian," even after the 3+ years I have known him. That's a good sign, right? ;)