Last New Years Eve, Simon and I had only been dating for about a month or so, and really didn’t know each other very well. We got gussied up New Years Even, and went to dinner at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.
After dinner we changed to pjs
As we got to know each other more, we realized, that really wasn’t us. We are the more of a ‘to-go’ couple. So this New Years Eve, we decided to plan a more down home holiday and decided to skip going out to dinner and just make our own dinner and lay around in our pjs.
We were also photobombed by Simon’s dog Seth…which happened last year as well.
After our picture taking, we headed to the kitchen to make our dinner. A few months ago, I headed to Seattle for business and was introduced to Pho. I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of it prior to our trip, but there were a lot of Vietnamese places in the Chicagoland area and Simon and I have had fun trying them out. I stumbled upon a recipe a few weeks ago and we decided we would make Vegetable Pho for New Years Eve.
I have to admit, it was the most frustrating experience. Simon and I love cooking together but, at the end of this experience, we just agreed it wasn’t worth it.
Though I had read the reciepe when I printed it, I took the time to go over it again and for the first time realized it didn’t make sense. There were no steps, like step one, brown an onion. The author rather, gave steps that made it seem like everything was happening simultaneously. For instance, it told you to blacken an onion and ginger. Then while you are blackening the onion, also dry roast the seasonings. As you were doing this, also prepare the noodles. There were no steps on how to arrange the toppings or cook them. After a while Simon and I just gave up following the “directions” and went with just cooking them intuitively.
I introduced my friend Samuel Adams, and quit worrying.
The end product didn’t look so bad.
At the last stage of cooking, we realized that we had some Chile peppers off to the side that hadn’t made it to be cooked. We checked the recipe to figure out why, and realized there hadn’t been any explicit directions on what to do with them. So we cut them up and I had the foresight to remove the seeds. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to immediately wash my hands, or avoid touching my face. I was in the middle of a conversation with Simon’s mom and halted mid sentence to run to the bathroom, screaming the entire way. I tried dunking my lips in milk (well almond milk) and , putting on chap stick (Simon’s suggestion). In the end it just took waiting it out for it to fade. I washed my hands a few thousand times, but after I got a burning sensation in my nose (don’t ask), did I finally resorted to clipping my fingernails.
In the end, Simon and I both agreed we should have just left the peppers out. Their addition, made it far too spicy for Simon to eat (he doesn’t do spice well) but for me it was a really good low burn. But given the level of frustration it gave us, we both agreed to next time just leave it up to the Vietnamese restaurant and order a pizza.
After dinner was completed, we parked ourselves in front of the television to watch the Twilight Zone. Simon had gotten us goodies to snack on while waiting for the ball to drop. Despite the fact that we had just eaten, it didn’t stop us from pigging out a little. And no, I did not count points that day.
We also had Tostitos Spinach Dip (not pictured). This is a very bad weakness of ours. It is so good. We usually have to put it away to avoid continuously going back to it. At about 11:50, we tuned into our local networks to watch the ball drop and toasted.
It was perfect. Last year we barely knew each other and weren’t even sure the relationship would last given that so many hadn’t. I am super glad that everything worked out that we could be together for yet another NYE.
The next morning, we braved the 13 degree weather (Simon swears that it was 16), and headed out for a 4 mile run. It was amazing. We kept a 11:33 per mile pace and it felt like it just flew by. After breakfast, we headed to my parent’s house for Christmas/New Year’s Day festivities. We exchanged gifts, and spent the rest of the day watching movies. We watched Super 8 and Abduction. It was my second time seeing Super 8, and it was just as good as it was the first time. Abduction was just bad. I love Taylor Lautner being a total Twihard myself…but that movie is just horrible. We ended our day, relaxing back at my place watching Twilight Zone again. It has been an amazing start to 2013 thus far and I’m really excited to hit new fitness goals and burn off some this holiday weight.