“As architects, we’re visual animals. The interesting riddle…is if you take sight out of the equation, what makes for good architecture?” –Chris Downey A few weeks after Chris Downey started work at an architectural firm in San Francisco, he noticed something wrong with his vision. It turned out he had a tumor wrapped around his optic nerve. After surgery, he eventually lost all of his vision not to mention his job. Today, he is a key architectural consultant for a rehabilitation center for a VA hospital in Palo Alto. Funny

Okay, so what I thought would’ve been my first organized bike ride on our tandem bicycle actually turned out to be the Moonlight Ramble, a ride benefitting Bike Houston, an organization that advocates for Houston to move toward becoming a bike friendly city. One of their most recent endeavors was getting the city to place bike racks on Metro buses so that bikers could transport their bikes using public transportation. Yes, this is something that almost every large U.S. city has been doing for years, but Houston, with their SUV

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse 5839 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77057 713-780-7352 4/5 raspberry sorbets Note: Sorry, no photos for this post; the restaurant was just too dark for any of that business. The final cut as in the filet mignon cut. Okay, bad joke, I know. During our August Supper Club experience, we decided to hit up Pappas Bros. for steaks as part of Houston Restaurant Week. This was my second time eating here. I’ve found that steakhouses are usually the best bet when it comes to HRW so I was

This week, John and I signed up to participate in the upcoming 2010 Tour de Donut on November 7 at 8:00 AM in Katy. The Tour de Donut is a charity bike ride supporting the Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation the largest wish-granting organization that brings joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions. The Foundation first started in 1980 when seven-year-old Christopher Greicius who was undergoing treatment for leukemia wished every day that he would grow up to be a police officer. One thing grew

Masraff’s 1025 S. Post Oak Ln. Houston, TX 77056 713-355-1975 4/5 melt-in-your-mouth chocolate fondants We happened on this place by accident, meaning it was a last-minute decision to go. But lucky for us, it turned out to be the best HRW dinner we’d had so far. Things seem to be on the up and up. Here are the courses we tried: First course: Wild mushroom ravioli in a truffle sage broth Garlic seared calamari in a soy reduction with oyster mushroom, shaved onion, and cilantro Second course: Pan seared New

Three weeks ago, I attended UT Southwestern’s 2010 Rare Neuroimmunologic Disorders symposium in Dallas, Texas. At the time, it seemed like three long days of sitting in ballrooms listening to medical jargon for eight hours a day; my rear end and brain hurt by the end of each session. But somehow, like Rituxan, I knew it was one of those things where I had to suck it up because in the end, it would be good for me. When we first heard about the symposium, John had said that the

With half a bottle of chardonnay still left over from our wedding, I’ve been looking for recipes that call for dry white wine. In addition to using it on the scallops a la Julia Child and the mushroom risotto, I found this recipe online. It is also a good opportunity to use up the last of those ripened tomatoes from your garden. I am eating the leftovers as I type this entry, and the dish tastes even better after a day in the fridge. Remember, if the Blind can Cook

Welcome to the second installment of the course in Pasta. Perhaps even more intriguing than choosing and measuring pasta are cooking and eating it. I know I like my pasta cooked al dente, but what exactly does this mean? Al dente means “to the tooth” in Italian and refers to the doneness of pasta, risotto, or vegetables. It suggests a firm resistance when bitten but not soft (overcooked) nor hard in the center (undercooked). So how do we cook this perfectly al dente pasta? Read on… Cooking Pasta: Pasta should

On Friday, October 8, President Obama signed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act which is a step toward equal opportunity for Americans with disabilities. It is fitting for such progress to be made 20 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed in 1990 by President Bush, Sr. While this first bill opened up doors for the millions of Americans with disabilities, the fight for equal opportunity is ongoing. This new 2010 bill is evidence that our legislature is lobbying for those who may not have the

Most of us started with pasta when we first learned to cook. Spaghetti with a jar of Ragu or whatnot. Just heat and serve. Or if we were feeling especially adventurous, we’d add some sauteed onions or mushrooms or ground beef. That was exactly me in my second year at college when I lived in my first apartment complete with its four-by-five foot kitchen. More than a decade has passed, and while my pasta repertoire has stretched beyond spaghetti and jar sauce, I realized I still did not know exactly

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