Monday, October 26, 2009

Ninja NYC Restaurant

Welcome to Ninja New York Restaurant, 25 Hudson, where Mike and I went to on Friday night, a quick walk from Ground Zero.

After going down one floor in the elevator, you enter what looks to be a haunted house

...and then our host jumps out and scared the hell out of me

You walk through the extremely dark pathway (the only way you can even see it is because of my flash) and then...

...and he jumped out of nowhere again, and scared me. AGAIN.

Our waiter, Ishi (or Jonathan)

Our menu on a scroll

Saki and my awesome fruity drink, called Zai, I believe

Mike and our Ninja waiter

Our Caesar salad was really good, it was covered with a crispy layer of parmesan cheese, which we broke with a sacred Ninja dagger

Mike's steak and cauliflower au gratin, that was sooo good

My teriyaki chicken, which I thought was just ok

Time for dessert, the waiter poured 151 on a hot pan and asked me to place the Ninja Star (see it faintly on the lower left?) in the center

and he promptly lit the pan on fire

He put the top on to smother the fire, removed it, and my dessert magically appeared.

Our Ninja Star dessert

Yummy chocolate mousse

I'd go back for the drinks and the dessert. And to freak out my friends! 2 1/2 stars.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shonuff = Dad?

Here's another look-a-like display, between Shonuff from The Last Dragon dad!

When people see pictures of my father, they sometimes find another comparison as well...

You, too, can make your lunch!

I challenged my friend Nicole (, who never makes her own lunch, to make her lunch to take to work for TWO WEEKS straight, starting on Monday, because she ends up buying lunch, and I, on the other hand, couldn't imagine going to work without lunch. So this post is to show not just her, but everybody, how to put together a typical lunch, on a typical Wednesday. You CAN make your own lunch! But why would you want to? Well...

  • You'll save money.
  • You can stay in during the winter while other people have to go out and forage for food on the mean streets of DC, Maryland or Virginia.
  • You'll never have to succumb to the wiles of the vending machine.
  • You'll never have to mysteriously "pay too much" when a bunch of your co-workers get a group order of Chinese food.
  • You'll find an immediate use for restaurant leftovers.
You can do it!!

What you'll need:

Ziplock snack bags and sandwich bags, Gladware or Rubbermaid plastic bowls, empty plastic bottles, bread keepers, and a lunch bag. And your favorite foods.

I use these bread keepers when I make myself a turkey sandwich at lunch. Two slices of bread in one bread keeper, turkey slices and swiss in one ziplock bag and lettuce in the other ziplock bag. Mayo in one of the tiny plastic bowls (shown in front of the ziplock boxes above). That way, when you combine all of your ingredients at lunchtime, it's all fresh. I got these for $1 each at Target.

Today is a salad day. Here are all the fixins, dressing, cranberries, pecans, croutons, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds, and chicken (not shown). Also, I'm partial to baby spinach, which is healthy and full of iron but I've been using the 50/50 spring mix which has more flavor and isn't as boring.

If you can get fruit into your bag too, it's a bonus!

It's always good to keep healthy snacks in the house to put one in your bag. I like the SmartFood popcorn because they're TASTY (like Cracker Jacks) but are full of fiber and calcium! I also use Doritos, plain Utz chips, or (cream cheese and chive) Wheat Thins.

You can even take breakfast! Use one of your empty water bottles (or any empty bottle with a top that closes securely) and fill it with milk. I get these $1 bowls of cereal from Giant, Shoppers Food Warehouse or Target.

I've divided up the salad fixins in their little snack bags, keeping the cheese separate from the sunflower seeds, croutons, glazed pecans, and cranberries. Keep your salad's meat in a separate bag also. The ziplock snack sized bags are perfect for such small amounts.

Also, contrary to what I previously thought, even when I make my lunch at night, my salad is just as fresh the next day as if I'd just poured it from the bag. I promise.

I also use the tiny plastic bowls for salad dressing or other liquid condiments. (I get these from the travel size/trial size section at the store, used for creams or lotions while traveling!)

Then fill your lunch bag, including water or whatever drink you prefer. It's easy to see that regular old brown paper bags wouldn't stand a chance. I don't know if you notice, but I even snuck a piece of cake inside today!

And you're ready to go! (I got this bag from Walmart for $8).

What are your lunch ideas?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Guest Preacher

Sunday, I volunteered to shoot at the noon service at my church for the photography ministry. When I moved to the front of the stage to shoot the choir singing during praise and worship, I couldn't help but notice that a small platform with a black curtain around the base had been placed at the edge, and it was ruining all of my straight shots of the stage. I was wondering, "What is that doing there, and where is the podium?"

Then, the guest preacher was introduced, and his picture was shown on the big screens. I was busy fiddling with my camera, deleting blurred shots, etc., so I heard the announcer say that he was from Australia (I think) and was 26 years old, a man named Nick Vujicic.

Nick arrived on stage to wild applause. I looked up to see him being brought out to the platform, and I just stared.

Nick was born without arms or legs. He testified about praying to God for arms and legs all of his life, but confessed that he is now thankful for not having them, because as a result, he has shared his testimony with people in 19 countries and continues to touch countless lives by telling the story of his own. He told everyone how doctor's told his parents that he would never walk, but there he was, "walking" across the stage. He can swim, fish, and I even saw a picture on his website where he played golf! He could even turn the pages of his bible with the foot that he has, and said that he types 43 words per minute!

Nick was totally charming and charismatic, especially with his accent, and even made jokes about his first speaking engagement, where he said he was so nervous that his, "hands were sweaty and his knees were shaking." Ha! It was definitely a service to remember.

See more of Nick's story and ministry at

Game Parties, can't get enough

Game night.

I made rum cake for this one.

Good food. Good people. Good fun. I can't wait until the next one!