An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Apple Martini (aka: Appletini)

-Generous amount of Vodka
-3 Splashes of Apple Juice or Apple Brandy
-1 Splash of Melon Liqueur or Sour Apple Pucker Shnapps
-1 Splash of Vermouth (OPTIONAL)
-Garnish with a Cherry

So maybe that’s why I don’t like appletinis – we all know the the last thing I need is to keep my Mr. Dr. away even more.  Anyway, I thought I’d have a little fun with this post.  I spend a lot of time talking about cocktails that I love but not a whole lot of time on the ones I could live without.  Well here you go.  I could totally live without this martini.  I like apples…so what is it about these things that just does not peak my interest or my taste buds? Here are my thoughts.

1. They are so sweet.  As you may have noticed, I don’t generally love sweet drinks so that is an obvious strike against it.
2. I associate the lime green color with slime so maybe the look adds to the unappeal.  Maybe I watched too much Double Dare growing up.  Remember that game show on Nickelodeon?  I was obsessed.  Watching people get slimed was so much fun.  But the moral of this point is: Lime green color…good for spring fashion, not as a cocktail.
3. I get that weird, need to wash my mouth out feeling after taking a sip.
4. I got pretty sick over sour apple puckers one night in the beginning of my drinking career and that may have just been the deciding factor on why an apple flavored cocktail still leaves a bad taste in my mouth (ick).
5. There are so many variations to the standard recipe out there that it immediately screams red flag.

Now, for those of you that pay close attention, you would know that one of the martinis in my homepage banner is in fact an appletini.  So while I admit I don’t love the taste, I do think it adds a nice touch of color and prettiness to the design.  Hence why it has a spot on the blog.  For those of you that like sweet cocktails I am sure you differ with me on this one as this is a popular drink that is certainly a fan favorite.  And I sure hope the next time you sip on that appletini it stays in the glass instead of “sliming” you.  In fact, drink all the appletinis you want because the more you drink the more it should keep you away from a doctor visit.  But in my case, whether I am just playing mind games with myself or not, I will steer clear and anxiously await the next home visit from my favorite doctor :)

Happy Friday!

FALLing into TV

There are so many great reasons to love the Fall season.  Tailgating, a sweat-free walk to work, exciting wardrobe changes, Halloween candy, over-indulging in Thanksgiving meals and NYC Fashion Week are among my favorites.  And certainly at the top of my list is…………TV Premieres.  September is such a fun month in TV.  All of the new shows are starting and with them I’d like to introduce you all to a friend of a mine – my cluttered DVR.  First and foremost, what did we all do before DVR??  I remember making fun of my mom years ago when she discovered TIVO.  She had a bazillion shows running on record all the time.  Well like mother, like daughter because I have the same fault.  The one complaint I have with my DVR is that mine only records two shows at a time and when two shows are recording at once, you have to keep one of the channels on.  Ughhhh.  But hey, a small price to pay to be able to catch my favorite shows whenever I want and at a much faster pace.

Have you ever felt like this when a good show is on and you don’t want to leave the room?? I certainly have!

Now, as I have mentioned I work in the TV media industry here in NYC.  Lucky for me, this means I get a firsthand sneak peek at what all the networks are launching for their new Fall season shows months in advance.  I consider this part of my job as mixing business with pleasure because it’s just as exciting for me to see what’s in store for personal liking as it is to strategize for work.  On a personal note, it is always exciting to ponder which new shows I will allow in to clutter my DVR even more.  As with most people I am a very loyal TV viewer.  The shows I like, I love.  Hence, why I am still much anticipating the premiere of Grey’s this week.  And…little secret…Gossip Girl will still be showing up on my weekly Monday list.  If you don’t know already, I am sad to report that this will be GG’s final season.  I may just shed a tear.  She has kept me on the edge of my seat couch every Monday night as I am always left wanting another hour after we are left with the cliffhanger that week.  Up All Night and Modern Family need to be hour episodes.  ABC got it right with these two.  They are two of the best comedies on TV right now, but Modern Family takes the cake.  Every character is important, funny and makes it what it is.  Oh what was that?  Did you say Reality TV?  I am a huge sucker.  I can’t even lie.  The Bachelor/ette/pad are some of my favorite Monday night indulgences.  The immature, pathetic, cat fight drama has my remote on speed dial like an addict to their dealer.  I am so hooked no matter who the lame contestants are that season.  Did I mention The Voice and X-Factor?  Hello big boobs McGee Ms. Aguilera.  That’s not why I love the show but it certainly adds great entertainment value.  And Britney on X-Factor?  My high school girl crush has finally done something right since Toxic.  Oops she did it again and I must admit I am kind of loving it.  Add in some House Hunters, My Fair Wedding with David Tutera (a weakness that arose during engagement) and Selling NY and I’m just thankful that Mr. Dr. doesn’t have a whole lot of time for TV because if he had his own shows our DVR might blow up.

Confession #19284 – I have developed a serious recent obsession with Revenge.  Mr. Dr. and I created a Hulu account and started watching for fun in the off season.  Holy Cannoli.  This show is unreal.  The unexpected twists and turns on the show have led to some seriously weird Mrs. Dr. behavior.  Like triple checking the lock on our balcony door before I go to bed because what if there is a killer on the loose who has it out to get revenge based on a conspiracy theory that I could be involved in?!  They would clearly come in through the balcony as a decoy.  Well OK, like I said, probably far-fetched but hey you never know.  This show is nuts but oh so riveting and I cannot wait until this weekend when it’s brought back to life for the new season.

Now that I have cluttered your mind with insight into some of what my cluttered DVR will look like this Fall, feel free to share with me the shows you are excited about this season.  Also below is a list of some of the hot new shows that are supposed to be must-sees premiering this Fall.

- The New Normal
- 666 Park Avenue
- Nashville
- Revolution
- The Mob Doctor
- Elementary

Happy Premiere Month!

Champagne Problems

Mr. Dr. and I like to sometimes joke around about our life problems.  Actually that’s not totally true.  Sometimes I cry about our problems.  Other times, I laugh about them.  And then sometimes I just pray that one day I will buy a lottery ticket (I never do) and that might just be the day I win.  Win Big.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  Yes.  It would.  I think joking about our problems is somewhat therapeutic and keeps us from losing sanity.  But I must say Mr. Dr.’s laid back personality puts me at ease when I start to have my meltdowns.  Which is almost never…I swear I have been really good lately.  Although occasionally, I wish he wouldn’t be so nonchalant.  Nothing ever rattles him.  If you know us, then you know it’s a little like Energizer Bunny meets Joe Cool.  He’s gotten pretty good at knowing how to calm me down when I get into a frenzy.  But sometimes I secretly wish that he would throw his hands up in the air and freak out.  Like really freak out.  But it’s just never going to happen so for now I will continue to make sure I do it enough for the both of us.

Anyway, when push comes to shove, our problems are manageable.  They aren’t a matter of life or death and I think if we keep on living the way we do we will eat, drink and be merry for a very long time.  Unless I keep almost getting hit by cabs when I cross the street.  Sometimes those suckers come out of nowhere.  Mr. Dr. says pedestrian car accidents are pretty fatal in the city so I need to be careful.  That’s why I don’t wear headphones on my walk to work like most local New Yorkers.   Sorry I digress.  We were out to dinner with one of our friends recently and I think he said it best.  Champagne problems.  That’s what we have.  Us and all the people in our life that complain about the same crap we do.  We live in an amazing city, we have great friends and great families, we love each other more and more every day, we have good jobs, we have a nice roof over our heads, and we get to make cocktails whenever we want.  So what’s the problem???  The problem is we live in an amazing city but its super expensive.  Those great friends and family we don’t get to see often enough.  Yes we love each other but marriage is not always a breeze when one half is in residency.  Our jobs are fine but one of them has caused us to be in debt until we are old and wrinkled.  That nice roof over our head is pretty small and costs a lot more than most suburban home mortgages.  And the only thing that’s a problem with making cocktails whenever we want is that sometimes Mr. Dr.’s cocktail is warm by the time he gets home to it.

Sometimes these problems make us feel like we are in front of an oncoming tidal wave about to crash on us and we have nothing to do but swim right in.  Hmmm.  Actually I guess if it was a tidal wave of champagne it wouldn’t be that bad now would it?  But in reality, our problems are not bad ones to have.  In the grand scheme of things, it could be worse.  It could be a lot worse.  And we know that.  Besides, if we didn’t have anything to complain about then the little joys wouldn’t be as special.  And yes, even though the homeless guy I pass on the street walking home is monetarily richer than we are right now, thanks to med school (yes that is actually true due to our debt), we are so rich in so many other ways.  Our champagne problems are still problems but everyone has problems so if I had to choose, having a few that taste like champagne doesn’t sound so bad.

Bloodies 3

Oh-Em-Gee.  I gotta tell you – Mr. Dr. and I had a great experience in our most recent outing of the search for the “best” BM in the city.  We headed downtown to this spot that we found online and I’m so glad we did.  On the menu and what they are known for is a Cajun Bloody Mary.  We were intrigued.  We arrived at our destination.  Well we almost walked past the place because it is the biggest hole in the wall of a cafe you have ever seen.  No outside decor except a little sign that says EAT in big letters on the window.  Check it out.

Exterior of Great Jones Cafe

Now we were even more intrigued and quite frankly a bit skeptical.  I slyly sneaked a peek through the window to check out the scene before entering because I was nervous from the looks of the place.  To my surprise and I must say similar to a lot of great restaurants in the city, it was packed.  Tiny little spot but crowded as can be…which is always a great sign in NYC.  So we walked in and grabbed the last two seats left at the bar.  We immediately got a whiff of some southern cooking.  Turns out that was their forte.  I’m talking grits, cornbread, biscuits, gravy and a lot of other menu items that might make your heart stop.  So we passed on food but indulged in drinks.  After all, we were there for the Cajun Bloody Mary which we immediately spotted on the menu.  Now I was a little under the weather (hung over) so I opted for a draft beer.  I know, I know.  I once again did not follow suit (the last spot I got a champagne cocktail).  Oh well.  Moving on.  We ordered the Cajun BM and our jaws dropped as we watched the bartender make it.  Could it be?  It could and it was.  House-made vodka INFUSED with jalapenos.  What could be more cajun inspired than a handful of jalapenos marinating in a bottle of vodka??  Brilliant.  Just brilliant.  Add in a little Tabasco, celery, salt, pepper and tomato juice and there you have it – a deliciously spicy and true to the name – Cajun Bloody Mary.

– Cajun Bloody Mary at Great Jones Cafe

From the photo it doesn’t look like much – zero bells and whistles on this sucker.  But for what it lacks in design and presentation it makes up for in flavor.  It is every bit spicy and has a zestiness about it that you won’t forget.  It’s not too spicy, not too heavy and not too weak.  It’s just right.  I blame it’s success on the jalapeno infused vodka.  Not something I will try at home (yet) but it makes this cocktail worth heading downtown for if you are really in the mood.  Side note: we researched the proper marination time for attempting this at home and google tells us that it can be fully marinated to flavor after 3 days…in case you were wondering.  Anyway, I’m happy that the Cajun Bloody Mary lived up to expectations and gave the Zing Zang a run for it’s money.

What a little gem on a lonely street with an unwelcoming outside.  This is another perk of living in NYC.  Finding these treasures in an overpopulated city with an abundance of choices when it comes to food and drink is what I love most about going out to eat here.  We never would have thought twice about walking into this place if we had just been casually walking by on the block.  But now we know that it has one of the “best” bloodies we have had in the city to date.

Not So Grey’s Anatomy

When I think about hospital relationships Grey’s Anatomy always pops into my head.  I don’t know if anyone out there still watches it but we certainly do.  Mr. Dr. likes to compare the made up show to real Dr. life.  People ask me how similar real life residency is compared to Grey’s Anatomy residency all the time.  I think for a lot of people, the show is actually pretty educational.  Obviously a lot of it is inaccurate and there are certain things that would never happen the way they do on the show, but I think they do a decent job getting the big points across.

One thing that is completely blown out of proportion are the relationships that occur in the hospital.  The show makes you think that all residents date attendings and that call rooms are quickie sex caves for anyone that steps foot in them.  Well unfortunately, this is not entirely true.  Doctors do nap in there and hey, I am sure there are a few real life doctors who have used them for much more than just a place to nap, but for the most part they aren’t sex havens.  Hate to be the bearer of that news as I know we were all hoping for a porno to be taking place behind hospital call room doors.  But c’mon.  #1 most doctors don’t have that much time free during the day and #2 I wouldn’t exactly call the hospital an aphrodisiac as its not the most romantic place in the world.  For me, the thought of exposing my bottom half in there for anything other than a pee sample is pretty gross.  As for relationships, yes, attendings do date residents.  Is it common?  I wouldn’t go that far but it’s known that it happens.  It is, however, very common for residents to date other residents.  They don’t necessarily pass each other around like pieces of meat like the residents on the show, but real life resident love is definitely in the hospital airs.

I think it really hit me last year.  I always wondered why so many doctors dated other doctors.  Mr. Dr. has always said that he loves the fact that I am far removed from the medical field except that I’m AAD.  That I help him remember there is life outside of the hospital and that it’s nice to have conversations about normal things other than medicine and work.  But I am far from normal so I think know I also keep him pretty entertained.

After a year of residency under our belts I do understand why doctors date other doctors, especially residents.  It is SO hard to explain the life, schedule and career to someone in a completely unrelatable field.  People do not understand the hours, commitment and quite frankly, a lot of times do not believe there are humans out there that really operate (ha! no pun intended) the way doctors do.  Seriously.  People look at me like I have three heads when I tell them that Mr. Dr. worked 100 hours last week and hasn’t had a day off in 14 days.  They think I’m lying.  Just trust me on this one.  It sucks.  That aside, generally I think it’s tough for people to adjust and sympathize with the lifestyle of someone in medicine.  Unless you are like me and have been with your significant other Dr. for years and years, it’s hard to accept a lot of the rough realities about a doctor’s life if you enter their world mid-career.  But if you are a resident dating a resident then you just get it.  You don’t need to explain yourself because all residents understand what it takes, what its like and what the other is going through.  Obviously all specialties are a little different but for the most part, there seems to be an unspoken understanding among residents and people of the like in the hospital that makes it easy.  And after an 18 hour work day, easier probably seems better.

The other reason is because of the obvious.  Some doctors just don’t have the time to go out and meet other people.  I mean what is a girl on a blind date going to say at a dinner table if all of the sudden Dr. Single has to get up and rush to the hospital.  “Sorry, I just got called in to save a life, and I might be doing this every night for the next two weeks so can we rain check for 3 weeks from now?”  Onto the next.  Meeting people can be hard as it is, and if you are already too busy to get a normal night’s sleep, how are you supposed to meet someone outside of work?  A patient maybe?  Think Teddy (the heart surgeon) and Henry from Grey’s.  Speaking of dead hubby Henry…check out below.  I had the pleasure of meeting dead hubby Henry (real life name Scott Foley) this year.  Super nice guy by the way.  RIP Henry on the show.

Look, I’m no dating expert – I’m just a girl who happens to be married to a guy who wanted to be a doctor.  Some girls go out and search for doctors.  Those ladies are called gold diggers.  Some girls just happen to stumble upon one like I did.  And then there are some girls that find theirs in the hospital.  Each doctor relationship has their own story and how they got there is different for everyone.  Just keep in mind, IF you are one of those girls in search of dating a doctor for the glitz and glamour, be cautious of the young sparky looking guys in white coats because you just may want to pick up the post residency guys that are probably a bit aged and have a litttttle less hair.  Those are the ones that might be able to buy you that new Louis Vuitton bag you have been eyeing.  Just saying.

Fruity Martinis

I like fruit.  I like martinis.  So one might assume I like all fruity martinis.  Well this is not always the case.  I do like most of them.  But I feel like most fruity martinis tend to be on the sweeter side.  Typically I prefer more of a salty flavor than sweet.  This goes for cocktails and food.  For example, I prefer limoncello instead of dessert wine and a bag of chips instead of a piece of chocolate.  On this same note, although I enjoy a martini pre-din, during din and post-din, I don’t get the sweet itch that most people get for dessert, ie: I’d rather drink an espresso martini for breakfast than after dinner for dessert.  Ha.  No.  Get your minds out of the shaker.  I don’t really drink them for breakfast…but I do love a good shot of espresso vodka every once in a while and I don’t have a preference as to what hour of the day that happens.  Anyway, back to fruity martinis.  I’m going to share two that I have taken a big liking to in the last year.  Before you read on…yes most martinis I post about will be vodka related and yes my recipe suggestions probably go a tad overboard on the proper ratio of vodka to other ingredients but I don’t judge so please don’t judge me.  These are simply the Mrs. Dr. preferred recipes which are stronger than most, that’s all.

A sweet tart minus the sweet part: Pomegranate Martini (aka: Pomtini)

-Generous amount of Vodka
-3 Splashes of Pomegranate Juice
-1 Splash of Cointreau
-1 Splash of Lemon Juice
-Dash of Simple Syrup
-Garnish with Lemon twist

There are many variations on this martini such as using lime juice instead of lemon, using citrus vodka instead of regular, and using Triple Sec instead of Cointreau.  I like this martini because it’s tarty. I don’t love pomegranate fruit by itself but throw the juice in a cocktail and it’s pretty delicious.

A Fruity Underdog: Strawberry Basil Martini (aka: SBtini)

-Generous amount of Vodka
-3 Splashes of Strawberry Juice/Puree
-1 Splash of Lime Juice
-1 Splash of Simple Syrup
-Muddled up Basil Leaves (I already told you to invest in a muddler if you are going to attempt a homemade mojito)
-Garnish with a Strawberry/Basil Leaf

This martini is SO GOOD.  I know you are thinking…basil in a cocktail??  Yes friends…basil in a cocktail.  It actually is they key ingredient/compliment to the strawberry flavor in this drink.  I had one of these at a Steakhouse for the first time and it was love at first sip.  And recently I indulged in one during happy hour while watching the beautiful sunset bay side in Ocean City, MD.

Ocean City Sunset + SBtini = <3

This will certainly not be my only post about fruity martinis.  There are so many great ones out there (and not so great ones).  And the fall season is the perfect time to let yourself enjoy a fun fruity delight.  Feel free to share your favorites with me too.

A Not So Typical Taxi Ride

Taxi cabs, taxi cabs and more taxi cabs.  That is what fills the streets of NYC.  Famous photos have been framed and sold that capture images of taxi lined streets in this beautiful city.  Often times you don’t even know your cab driver’s name unless you look at his certificate in the backseat.  If you ask, he will tell you but usually he is too busy on his blue tooth to speak more than two words to you.  Those are usually, “Where To?”  Occasionally, I find myself trying to engage in conversation with my cab driver.  One reason is because it seems only appropriate to be nice to the guy that has your life in his hands for those 10 minutes across town.  And another is because nowadays most people you see in cabs are on their cell phone or IPAD or other electronic device too busy too notice what’s going on around them until they get a nice little whiplash in the backseat (which I swear those cabbies sometimes do on purpose just out of spite).  But I think every once in a while it’s nice to make him get off his phone and just have a conversation.  Why not?

I stumbled upon this below story written by a former NYC cab driver and I have read it so many times but it still makes me smile every time I stop and read it.  Warning: yes it’s sentimental and no it does not include a Mrs. Dr. cocktail recipe (shocking I know).  But perhaps if more people were like this driver, NYC would be a different kind of place.  He wrote this essay about a memorable passenger he had when he used to drive a taxi 20 years ago.  He later went on to write a book.  Enjoy.

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940′s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her… ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’
‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’
‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.
‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice… The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’. We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.
‘Nothing,’ I said
‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.
‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light… Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life…
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.  — The Last Cab Ride by Kent Nerburn