The Comyn Space

anything but common

Weekend Recap / What We Ate 5/18 – 5/24 — May 27, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate 5/18 – 5/24

M closed on Friday night so I watched more Next Food Network Star than I should have. Seeing Bobby Flay and Giada in action – I can definitely see those affair rumors because WOWZA are those two flirty!

Saturday morning I lounged around then spent the afternoon shopping with my mom (at the fabric store) and sister (at the tack shop). We all spent the rest of the afternoon lounging at the pool and grilling out. I threatened to drag my sister and her best to Jeni’s for ice cream but no god-fearing Columbusite knows better than to turn down Jenis. We rounded out the evening by stopping by Studio 35 for a drink with two of M’s coworkers and their wives.

Sunday morning brought more sleeping in – HELLO HOLIDAY WEEKEND! I hit up the grocery store and ran a few errands. We just grilled up some hot-dogs and corn on the cob and rounded out the evening with Despicable Me 2.

Lucky for me, M was also off on Monday! So we headed out to my parents to pick up Lexi the Wonder Dog and take her hiking with us. We went to Great Seal State Park, sort of near Tar Hollow. It’s named because it contains the hills that are represented on the Great Seal of the Great State of Ohio. We did the Sugarloaf Mountain trail and part of the Shawnee Ridge trail – it was pretty hilly so we took a few breaks to let Lex rest. It was great to be in much older forest with less undergrowth and fuller canopy coverage. Great Seal State Park has a lot less camping than Tar Hollow and was less busy – I can’t wait to go horse camping there!

After our hike, we spent the afternoon in the pool. The weather was perfect all weekend – hot but not too hot and sunny but not too sunny.

chicago dog at sonic after our hike!

Monday 5/18 – buffalo cauliflower
Tuesday 5/19 – leftovers
Wednesday 5/20 – lemon caper tuna sandwich
Thursday 5/21 – buffalo cauliflower
Friday 5/22 – baked fish with waffle fries
Saturday 5/23 – burgers at my parents
Sunday 5/24 – hot dogs and corn on the cob

To Boldly Go — May 20, 2015
Weekend Recap / What We Ate May 11 -17 — May 18, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate May 11 -17

WHAT A WEEK! Work was pretty full on and I’m not really sure why – didn’t end the week feeling too terribly accomplished. I’ve started riding my sister’s horse once a week and I cannot even describe how happy this makes me.

Friday night, M was OFF! We used our WOSU membership to get 2 for 1 entrees at a traditional German beir garten in German Village. I had the wiener schnitzel and M had the bratwurst – both were very yummy! On a whim, M suggested we go see a movie. Le Google told me that there was a DRIVE IN not a ten minute drive (neither of us had ever been to a drive in movie) so we stopped at a CVS for snacks and headed down for the double feature. The South Drive In has two screens and speakers for your windows if you don’t want to use your own sound system. We ended up only staying for Mad Max: Fury Road but I am certain we’ll be back. Next time, we’ll pack a picnic dinner or grab a pizza – everyone else had grilled out or picnicked. It was a blast!d

drive in waiting shenanigans

Saturday was a sort of slow day with lots of grocery shopping. I tried to go two weeks between ‘big shops’ and just get produce in between but to be honest, I’ve got a long way to go with my meal planning skills to make that work. I think we’ll be sticking with weekly for now. I spent the afternoon with my parents, just hanging out. It was a great afternoon.

Sunday I met up with two girlfriends from high school for brunch and to catch up. Part of what makes moving back to Columbus so awesome is that I can talk literature, feminism and career with such smart talented women who have known me since I was 14. It’s a real gift. In the afternoon, M and I drove down to Tar Hollow State Park to hike and did about half of the North Loop of the Logan Trail. It had just rained – the woods just smelled amazing.

M playing with a new water filtration system

Monday 5/11 – fresh tortellini
Tuesday 5/12 – dinner w/my sister and dad while M worked
Wednesday 5/13 – rotisserie chicken and side salad
Thursday 5/14 – baked fish and braised kale
Friday 5/15 – Plank’s Beir Garten
Saturday 5/16 – my parent’s house for me and leftovers for M
Sunday 5/17 – grilled cheeses

Mongolian Beef ~ Takeout at Home — May 13, 2015

Mongolian Beef ~ Takeout at Home

Because I cannot get of re-creating Asian-style dishes at home.

copycat mongalian beef~thecomynspace.com

You’ll Need:
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
2-3 green onions, sliced on the bias about an inch long
1 lb broccoli, cut into small florets (optional)

copycat mongalian beef~thecomynspace.com

You’ll:
Cut the steak into 1/4 to 1/2 slices, cutting against the grain. Place in a large bowl and toss with the cornstarch. Set aside while you prep the veggies. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a deep sided skillet over medium high heat. Cook the meat until browned on all sides, working in batches if necessary. Remove to a clean plate.

Heat remaining oil in pan and add in ginger and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about one minute. Add in soy sauce, water and brown sugar. Scrap off any remaining crunchy beef bits from the bottom of the pan and stir until the brown sugar is dissolved. Add in the broccoli, if using, and cook until tender crisp in the sauce (I steamed mine separately the first time, this saves time and dishes!). Stir in the meat and stir to coat. Serve over rice.

Weekend Recap / What We Ate May 4 – 10 — May 11, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate May 4 – 10

Saturday morning I did a little shopping with my mom, we hit up an estate and then Kohls. In the afternoon, my sister and I took all three Dobermans to Highbanks Metro Park. Except for the GAINT Eastern rat snake (ok, ok, it was two inches thick but STILL FOLKS) that we spotted. They have a really great dog path but it goes through a quite grassy area and we all managed to pick up a tick or two :) The Dobes decided we all needed a quick dip in the creek. After a shower to de-creek-i-fy and fast dinner, M and I headed down to Huntington Park to catch the Columbus Clippers and Pawtucket Red Sox game. It was such a blast – while I miss Cooper stadium – this new park is really great.


Sunday, I went to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day. I spent the afternoon starting to work on a saddle cover that I promised my sister a…while ago.

Monday 5/4 – chile relleno hot dish
Tuesday 5/5 – Rancho Alegre
Wednesday 5/6 – leftovers
Thursday 5/7 – Mongolian beef with rice
Friday 5/8 – homemade pizza
Saturday 5/9 – sausage and kale with pasta
Sunday 5/10 – baked fish with roasted veggies

Weekend Recap / What We Ate April 27 – May 3 — May 5, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate April 27 – May 3

My folks went out of town the day after we got home from Hawai’i so it was a little weird weekend – not as much going on as usual but I think we needed that to really readjust. Friday night I let out the family dogs and hung out with my little sister.

Saturday involved three grocery stores and hunting down the ingredients for M’s birthday cake – this year he requested Black Forest Cake. I made the cake layers and watched an obscene amount of CSI: Cyber (which is terrible television but I enjoy Patricia Arquette). Since we were first married, M and I have been making each other a homemade birthday cake for the other’s birthday. While it started out of our relative poverty living in Chicago, it’s something that continues to mean a lot and I hope we continue to honor this tradition. We also let out the dogs again and hung out with my little sister because three human sized Dobermans aren’t enough company ;-)

Sunday brought more errands, this time to the spice store, Pepperidge Farm outlet and TARGET. I assembled the cake and put it in the fridge to ‘gel’. I then processed to spend 5 hours organizing the office closet, which has been a catch all since we moved in…19 months ago. But I’ve started so it will be finished much more quickly than it took to get started!

Monday 4/27 – Hawai’i
Tuesday 4/28 – Hawai’i
Wednesday 4/29 – cauliflower tacos w/my family
Thursday 4/30 – stir fry
Friday 5/1 – tofu curry
Saturday 5/2 – chinese take out
Sunday 5/3 – chicken mole tacos

What I Read: April ’15 — May 4, 2015

What I Read: April ’15

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss: I borrowed by sister’s Kindle for our trip to Hawaii and this was one of the books she had on there. It was a brisk read but I did find the first two thirds where they recount how perfectly they all get along and how diligent and prodigious they are in making a new life on the island they are marooned on a bit exhausting. But the end was such a pleasant surprise as it was such a change of pace and tone. I’d love to read some criticism on this novel and see where it fits into the social and political time from whence it comes.

The Perks Of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Another book on her Kindle :) I haven’t ever read this before and found the narrative style to be both refreshing and draining. I love that Chbosky did something different by choosing to tell this story via letters but I found myself wanting the story to be more fleshed out / rounded out with details. I’ll have to check out the movie now!

What I Watched: Into the Woods, Kung Fu Panda, Waitress, Annie (2014), Napoleon Dynamite, The Princess and the Frog, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Giver, The Honorable Woman Season 1, Practical Magic, Groundhog Day

6 Days on O’ahu — May 1, 2015

6 Days on O’ahu

This is the longest post I’ve written in a while but I couldn’t think of a logical way to split it up. We were lucky enough to find incredibly cheap tickets to Honolulu and M has family in a nearby town so we were able to make this trip happen on short (for me) notice. And I have to say, Delta might have converted from my love of United. Just saying. M even got an instagram account for this trip, you can see all of our posts here. Wednesday, we left Columbus at 0-Dark-Thirty and hung out at M’s uncle’s house once we arrived in Hawai’i. It was a long day of traveling so we took it incredibly easy!

6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com

Thursday, we were up early (still on Eastern time!) and went to Kona Brewery for lunch and a sampler of there beers. We each got a taster with four beers so we were able to try a total of 8. We opted not to get Longboard since we are lucky enough to get that here on the mainland. Everything as really good but I really fell for the Lavaman Red Ale. After lunch we headed over to Kailua Beach Park to swim and hang out. And of course, we went for shave ice at Island Snow.6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com

Friday brought another early wake up call! This time we headed over to Pearl Harbor. We got there at 7:30 (they open at 7AM) and got rock star parking because M’s uncle has a hybrid. Because we were so early, we got on the next tour out and toured the two free museums. They were really well done and included several bronze models of the exhibits for blind patrons to touch and explore. Visiting the USS Arizona is a very somber experience but I thought the National Park Service and Pacific Historical Parks did a great job interpreting this site and situating this event in the greater social and political history of Oceania and the world. In the afternoon we headed over to Lanikai Beach which was so beautiful but very crowed. And you guessed it, we got more shave ice at Island Snow on the way home!

6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com

Saturday was a super lazy day – we went to the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden. It so much fun to see all the tropical plants and learn more about the local environment. We also went into Kaneohe to hit up a few local shops, namely the fabric and book stores.

6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com

We were lucky enough to be in town for the annual I Love Kailua Town Party. Our cousin takes hulu lessons and she and her halua hulu (hulu school) were performing. It was so awesome to get to see her dance with her hula sisters. There was also a performance by a more traditional halua hulu which was really cool to see. Earlier that day, M and his uncle went for a run while I went back to the beach. Sunday night we had an inside picnic with our cousin, uncle and their AirBNB guests because it was raining (and cold! it got down to 70!)

6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com

Monday we set out to hike Mount Olomana. We didn’t set out as early as I’d hoped so we ended racing down the mountain to ‘meet the train’. On the way up, it was very steep but pretty easy going until about 900 ft. When we hit the first prominence on the three peaks, I hung out while M and his uncle hiked/climbed up to the top two. The section between the second and final peak is extremely technical and there have been accidents in that section as recently as Jan ’14 and April ’11. While it was incredibly disappointing to not summit with the boys, I made the right choice for myself. It isn’t worth peak bagging just because its the cool thing to do. As it was our last afternoon in Hawai’i (HOW? ALREADY?!) we went back to Kailua Beach and then got sushi for dinner.

6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com 6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com       6 days on o'ahu~thecomynspace.com

All in all, it was an incredible trip. It was the right balance of doing stuff on as individuals, as a couple and as a family. I was struck by how ecologically focused everyone is – most of the houses have solar panels on the roofs, use solar powered fans (the more the sun beats down, the faster the fan turns) and drive hybrid or electric cars. When you live on an island, the effects of modern life are more evident, more quickly. We’ve already got designed on going back soon.

Tator Tot Hot Dish — April 28, 2015

Tator Tot Hot Dish

This is one of M’s most favorite dinners and I make it whenever he’s really missing home.

tator tot hot dish 1

You’ll Need:
1.5 pounds ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1 can cream of celery
1/2 cup milk
1 bag frozen tator tots

You’ll:
Preheat the oven to 350. Brown the meat, about 7 minutes in a large oven safe skillet. Stir in the mixed vegetables, cream of celery soup and milk. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Top completely with tator tots and bake in for 1 hour. Let cool for about 10 minutes before diving in.

Forget the PR Half and Mohican State Park — April 24, 2015

Forget the PR Half and Mohican State Park

mohican state park ~ thecomynspace.com

There is the field, getting ready to step off! It’s a where Waldo but with my honey instead.

mohican state park ~ thecomynspace.com

While they were off and running, I drove back into the park and went for a super short hike. There is a surprising number of conifers at Mohican State Park – I cannot describe how incredibly good the woods smelled as the sun came up. We will most definitely be back.

mohican state park ~ thecomynspace.com

The view from the outlook. I then moved to the Fire Tower to wait for M at the 5 mile aid station. He was looking and feeling great (this was before the 1/4 mile of single track in the stream). I went back to the start/finish line to study while he finished.

mohican state park ~ thecomynspace.com

mohican state park ~ thecomynspace.com

Looking and feeling great at the finish! M has such a blast at this race – this will be on our calendar for next year! I’ve got to step up my trail training so I’m ready for those mountains too :)

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