Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ferraris and Food Trucks

Yes, it was a day filled with Fs. There was the Farmers' Market, then the Ferrari Club, then the Food Truck Festival with friends and family and fiancées.

But let's begin with the Market.

As usual, I had a breakfast burrito. This time, though, I omitted sausage. Why? I have no idea. Looking back, those extra couple calories wouldn't have made a bit of difference today.

There seemed to be an abundance of cheese in there! I'm definitely not complaining. 

Now here comes the salsa!

After this burrito, I headed to Overland Park to see if anything new would show up at this month's Ferrari Club meeting. Well...

When I was hoping for new, I wasn't expecting anything this new! But here it is, a Ferrari 488 Spider, in the flesh. It was worth it. 

Fast forward (oh look, more Fs) a few hours, and it was almost time for the Food Truck frenzy! 

First up, my dad got some crawfish mac and cheese. I had a bite, and it was good.

Then I got some loaded fries. Mine had nacho cheese sauce, shredded cheddar, sour cream, onions, and bacon. These were really good.

Next, I tried a savory crepe. It was like an enchilada of sorts. It was pretty good.

Next I tried some teriyaki chicken over some yakisoba noodles. This was really good, though extremely salty.

My dad got the chicken on a stick. It was essentially really salty teriyaki chicken, and it was really good.

I made a deal with myself that any time there are funnel cakes being offered, I must get one. And if there are "specialty" funnel cakes, I must get a "specialty" funnel cake. So I found this, a French Toast funnel cake. It was good.

Then, to end the Food Truck Festival, Sidney and I got little creme brulees. She opted for the classically original vanilla. I had a bite, and it was really good.

I decided to try something different, so I got the chocolate.

It was also good, but I think I liked the vanilla more.

On the way out, my dad spotted this Ford Club Wagon. It reminded him of a van his dad had had way back when.

When I got back to Sidney's house, there were lemon bars waiting for me courtesy of Callie.

Having already eaten so much, a little more sugar couldn't hurt.

This was a good way to end the day.

All in all, while the food truck experience is fun, I'm not sure it's entirely worth the lines and the prices given the portion sizes. But all in all, it was a good time, and the food, on average, was really good.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Taco Turkey Friday

Today was a day of trying new things. For instance, for breakfast I had a brotein/acid shake. Oh wait, that's not new.

Ugh... let's try again. After my shake, I accompanied Sidney and her mother to the gym for a rousing morning of pilates. Now, I'm not sure what pilates is exactly, but I'll describe what I experienced.

Upon setting up my yoga mat (pilates mat?) and taking off my shoes, we did some deep breathing and stretching routines. All was good. I was feeling nice and relaxed and generally pleasant. The next part of the routine involved weights, dumbbells, if you will. Now, I'm definitely no stranger to dumbbells, as I do my bro curls every Wednesday and my bro shoulders every Friday. So, I while other the other much smarter pilates-ers went for 2-3 pound dumbbells, I went for the heaviest there was in that room - 10 pounds.

I mean, I usually use 15 pound dumbbells when I do shoulders at the Rec, and I use much heavier dumbbells when I'm curling, so I thought I'd be alright.

It started out with regular palm forward curls. I could do those all day. Then we did some lateral curls. I was still going strong with my 10 pounders. But then, then... it was all about to change.

We started doing over-the-head work. All of this essentially turned into a 6-Way Shoulder Raise, except we added a press at the top and we never lowered our arms. I could keep up for a while, but those 10 pound weights began to feel like 100 pound weights. My shoulders were burning, but I kept going. And going. And going. Finally, when my left deltoid was only moderately destroyed and my right deltoid was MIA, it was time to put the weights down.

Needless to say I didn't miss any shoulder work by not going to the Rec today.

Nor did I miss any ab work.

The next part of the routine had us using big balls. Exercise balls. Mine was red. We did various core stretches and balance exercises, all of which involved ab work. This part was really enjoyable. It took me back to the days where I could be found playing with my Hippity Hop.

We ended with some relaxing stretches. It was a great time. I really enjoyed it.

When I returned home at about 0920 or so, I immediately started working on my Taxonomy and Phylogeny Project for my Systematics class. I worked on it from about 0930 until probably around 1645 or so. During this time, there was no time for the eating of a proper meal. I did, however, take a very short break to sample some of Sidney's magnificent baking.

But don't worry, I didn't eat all of this stuff (as much as I wanted to!). No, she happened to have an odd number of oatmeal cookies (for her Whoopie Pies), so I had a piece of one. I also had a small chunk of Devil's Chocolate cookie dough.

This stuff is just pure magic. It just tastes so good. Now you finally understand mu plight every Friday and Saturday. I have to witness this baking, and all the wonderful aromas that go with it, for about 5 hours without eating hardly any of it, and then I have to sell it all on Saturday! And the leftovers after the Market are fair game, but I'm trying to get lean, and cookies aren't the best thing for that. So I resist. It's incredibly difficult to do so, so I therefore proclaim that I have developed one of the strongest willpowers known to man.

Just before dinner, I treated myself to a snack.

A handful of nuts is what I chose. 

And when it came time for dinner, my will to resist was once again tested. Sidney suggested, much to everyone's pleasure, that we order Chinese take out from Rice House. I greatly enjoy Rice House's food. I always get the Beef and Broccoli with Lo Mein and a Crab Rangoon. I always eat it all. And that's exactly why I didn't order anything today. I knew that I would eat it all. So instead, I listened as Sidney ordered her food and everyone else's. I then went with her to pick up the food, just so I could smell it. With the food in the car, I was surrounded by such heavenly aromas. I could almost taste the MSG and sodium-packed splendor.

When we got back, I got to work making my own dinner. But in the meantime, Sidney was so kind to donate one of her rangoons to a good cause.

She also gave me a bite of beef and a bite of broccoli. Bless her!

But finally my dinner was done. Following Monday's script, I browned a pound of ground turkey. This time, though, I spiced it up, literally.

I'm all for anything with low sodium, but that often also means "low flavor." But this came at the recommendation of my mother, so I thought I'd give it a go.

It tasted sooo good. It tasted so good that I would gladly and happily eat a big bowl of ground turkey with this seasoning any time, even if I wasn't cutting. It was moderately spicy, too. By the time I finished this bowl, I had sweat running down my face. Admittedly, it doesn't take much heat for me to sweat, even if it doesn't taste that spicy. But this definitely tasted spicy. But it was a good spicy. I'm excited to add this stuff to a lot more of the food I make!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ooh, La Mer!

Yes, the Ocean. A controversial food source, the ocean. You see, I generally prefer my food be of terrestrial origin. But there are certain exceptions, one very important one of which will be discussed here later.

Spoiler alert: it was cheat day today.

With this in mind, I had a brotein bar for breakfast, but it was new flavor!

I must admit, and Scott will say I told you so, but this one was markedly better than the previous (chocolate deluxe).

For lunch, I decided to let loose. I once again returned to Mrs. E's as a patron, eager to make some unsolicited gains.

What I came up with was some baked chicken strips, roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli, "Italian" pizza, sweet and sour pork, and macaroni and cheese with grilled onions and sausage. Of course, I had some ranch for the chicken strips (and whatever else I could dunk into it aka everything).

This looks like a lot of food, and maybe it was. But in all honesty I wasn't full afterward. I had to restrain myself from going back for more, for two reasons. One, I didn't want to gain back 10 pounds in one day. Two, I didn't want to be full for dinner.

So, as a compromise, I grabbed a salted caramel thingy on the way out.

Between lunch and dinner, I had some water and carbs to keep my stomach stretched out.

I toasted a couple small pieces of bread and spread some butter on them.

Then, at Sidney and her mother's nagging that I try some bruschetta, I compromised and tried some of the bruschetta "juice."

Upon conceding that I liked the juice, Sidney again started badgering me to try some actual bruschetta. She eventually cracked me, so I tried some. As surprising to myself as anyone else, I actually didn't mind the bruschetta. I must emphasize, the bruschetta was tolerable. I still wouldn't choose to eat it for pleasure, but it wasn't horrible. I think this was because of all the additional flavors, like cilantro et al. It was essentially chunky Italian salsa.

I then had a couple pretzel stick thingies, and then my preparation was complete.

And now, the moment we've (I've) all been waiting for. Dinner. Sweet, glorious, cheat day dinner.

Sidney and I met my parents and some friends at Jazz.

The first thing they do is bring out fresh bread with cajun butter.

It's literally all I can do to not knock everybody out and take the whole basket for myself.

I'm sure I ended up with probably 6 or so pieces of bread with butter. Let the cheating begin!

Convinced by my father's ordering of gumbo for an appetizer, I followed suit. He ordered the bowl, but I figured I'd just order the cup.

It came in a literal cup.

But it was oh so good. It had just the right amount of heat. I was beginning to sweat, but luckily I didn't order the bowl, so it didn't last long. My dad, though, was drenched in no time, especially since he ordered his main entrée of crawfish étouffée mixed (unknowingly) with jambalaya, which is spicy here.

Speaking of entrées, let's get to mine. I ordered the best thing on the menu. Chicken A La Mer, or "Chicken of the Sea." It's a fried chicken breast covered with a shrimp and crab Parmesan cream sauce. I can't even begin to describe how good this is. It's just, I mean, well imagine a, well it's sort of a... you know what, just look.

It comes with a vegetable medley, which is the first to go bye-bye. And quickly, since ain't nobody wanna wait for dis here Chicken A La Mer!!!

It's served on a bed of dirty rice, which only adds to the carby goodness. But honestly, this is just sooooooOOOOooooooOOOOOOooooooo unbelievably awesomely amazingly incredibly wonderfully delicious!

But then there was dessert.

Being a New Orleans-themes restaurant, ya gotta order a beignet. But I made the executive decision to order a filled beignet.

It was a thick fried pastry covered with powdered sugar (which I inevitably inhaled (literally)) and served with a vanilla brandy whipped cream. But, most importantly, it was filled with...

...melted chocolate chips. Yes, that's right. This was also amazing. It was actually quite large, and not that I couldn't've destroyed one by myself, but I shared one with my parents and Sidney.

What a day of food! What an incredible day of incredible food! Days like today make me wish every day was a cheat day!

And to top it all off, it was the last day of classes for the Spring 2016 semester!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Burger Wednesday

I again threw a couple wrenches in the veritable cogs of my diet. I returned to my brotein shake breakfast, but I added a little somethin' somethin'...

BOOM! That's right, I added some good ol' peanut powder. It's just like peanut butter, but only more powdery! I will say, though, that when mixed with my chocolate brotein, it's like drink a peanut butter cup. Alright, that may be a bit of a stretch, but it was good. Plus it was a brotein boost to boot! The only caveat of this peanut powder was that it didn't mix as well as my brotein, so there were little powder pockets precariously present throughout my shake.

For lunch, I had the last of my chocolate deluxe brotein bars. But that means that there's a surprise in store for tomorrow...!

For a little snack, I had about a quarter cup's worth of mixed nuts, like almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and maybe some other kinds of nuts that I can't remember.

For dinner, I found 4.5 pounds of ground beef in the fridge.

Ahhh... nothin' better than a big ol' plate o' meat. It's even better in ball form. I patted this protein into patties and placed them on the George Foreman grill.

A short time later, I had this...

A burger with cheese and onion. Simple but good.

An even shorter time later, this popped up in front of me...

I had to practice bun conservation since Sidney still hadn't gotten back from school, so I used a slice of bread instead. In total, I had two 6-oz patties, although they weighed less after cooking.

Sidney's aunt Lisa dropped by later and surprised me with some carbs.

Luckily, I still had some wiggle room in my calories for the day!

I only ate about half of this snack since I shared it with Sidney.

But... stay tuned for tomorrow. It should be a goooooood time!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Chicken Tuesday

It was a different kind of brotein day today. Instead of my usual brotein shake, I opted instead for a brotein bar for breakfast. I decided I'd stop by for a rest at the bottom of the Campanile, right at 0900, when all 53 of the carillon's copper and tin bells rang out in splendid harmony. Then came the ominous gongs that indicate the hour. It's such a glorious sound to behold in person. 

Later in the day, after getting out of class early, I promptly forgot to eat my lunch. Three hours later, when I finally realized my oversight due to my pervasive fatigue, I had my second brotein bar of the day.

(Cameo: Quinn)

A short time later, Scott informed me that there was a Ferrari in the Rec parking lot. Without missing a beat, I sprang out of my seat and rushed for the exit of the classroom I had been sitting in. I hurried to the parking lot and found this:

Now, I've always said that if I ever buy a Ferrari, it will be either Rosso Corsa (Race Red) or Rosso Scuderia (Team Red). I've also always preferred hard tops to convertibles for their design, especially in the 458, because the Spiders have no engine bay window. But I'll tell you what. This Grigio Silverstone 458 Spider really looked good parked among all these other plebeian cars. If the owner of this 458 is reading this... can I get a ride???

A little while later, the matter of food once again came up as it does so often, almost on a daily basis it seems, and today just happened to be Chicken Tuesday at The Burger Stand. Having eaten less than 400 calories prior to this, I'm not calling this a cheat day. But it sure tasted like one!

This thing had grilled chicken, Swiss cheese, bacon, mixed greens, avocado, and spicy honey mustard barbecue sauce. It was delicious, and I wanted to eat 10. Maybe someday...

It should be noted that, upon ordering, the guy behind the counter jokingly created a "Burger Stand Challenge" that consisted of eating two of these chicken sandwiches and a basket of fries followed by a milkshake all in one hour. I matter-of-factly stated that I'd do it right then if it would be free if I finished it all, to which he replied that he was just joking. I called his bluff, but seriously, I could easily do that challenge, and he could tell. He was scared.

But maybe someday I'll convince them to create such a challenge, in which I would happily be the first contestant aka winner.