The Highlight Reel: 01-07 August

By | 2016-08-08

Finally a week with no after-hours work commitments!  Coming home at a reasonable hour may not be good for business, but it’s great for the soul.

The easy schedule allowed a long-overdue date night for The Missus and me.  On Thursday, after a casual happy hour at Fuego in Clarendon and a brief stop at Cava, we went to see Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS in Tysons.  All Cirque shows are weird, but this is decidedly the weirdest of the five I’ve attended.  Given the subtitle (“cabinet of curiosities”), I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.  Regardless, it was a truly remarkable performance.  If I watched it for seven consecutive days, I’m confident I’d still come away astounded.

On Saturday, The Missus and I had some more time out together at Slide the City, also in Tysons.  The event was supposed to be held three weeks ago, but some degree of incompetence on the organizers’ part led to a last-minute postponement. Despite a thoroughly unimpressive hill, it was a lot of fun. Plus, it gave me a reason to try my hand at video editing.

Just a little summer fun with @mydudlik at @slidethecity

A video posted by Edward (@virtueandvices) on

In the gym

It was supposed to be relatively cool on Monday, so I got it in my head that I would bike to and from work. It’s about ten miles each way, with the return trip more or less entirely (if gradually) uphill. Unfortunately, the collective might of meteorologists can’t predict DC temperatures even eight hours in advance, and it was actually another stiflingly hot, humid day. Sweat was practically pouring off my nose every time I looked down on my way home, even at an easy pace.

Fortunately, Monday’s antics had no effect on my Tuesday interval session. 5 × 1-mile intervals at 5k pace (on the treadmill) proved no harder than 6 × 1200m at a similar pace last week. Woo hoo!

Even more exciting, I actually got to run outside on Thursday. I was ready for a serious “reality is harder than a treadmill” slap in the face, but I actually went faster on the road than I had been doing indoors. Go figure.

In the kitchen

Fewer after-work commitments mean more cooking at home.  This section is thus longer than usual.

After poking around the fridge to see what we had on Monday, I settled on pork chops and brussels sprouts.  Using this recipe as a rough guide, I slapped together the following:

Maple-glazed pork chop with bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts

A photo posted by Edward (@virtueandvices) on

The following day, The Missus decided she was too tired to cook…moments after she saw a Taco Bell commercial. I’m sure that was just a coincidence.

The siren call of novelty food is as strong as it is hazardous—I ate the same thing and almost immediately felt ill.

Not to be easily dissuaded from faux-Mexican, I decided to give this a go on Wednesday, and it was GOOD!

Enchilada Casserole

On our trip back from Slide the City, The Missus saw or smelled Chinese food and immediately began craving it. She soon informed me, repeatedly, that Pizza Hut would also suffice, thanks to a constant barrage of commercials during the Olympics. Do you see what I have to deal with?

Rather than cave (I learned my lesson from Taco Bell Tuesday), I decided I’d make fried rice at home. The Serious Eats guide is on point—this was some of the best fried rice we’ve ever had! So good that we didn’t even take photos, nor was there any leftovers. Delicious AND easy?! This one will be going into regular rotation.

Despite my loving breakfast food, we rarely make breakfast at home. With a long bike ride planned for Sunday, I figured a prep-ahead meal was a good way of getting my breakfast fix while still accommodating my workout.  Smitten Kitchen’s blueberry bread pudding had been open in my browser for a couple of weeks, so I figured I’d give it a go.  Quick, easy, and good if not great.  I’ve got some tweaks in mind if I decide to do it again.

Blueberry bread pudding

At the bar

After a four-hour bike ride made harder by some as-yet undiagnosed mechanical issue, I was ready for a late-day refresher. I came up with this, the Ivy City Blues.

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