Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cheesy Pretzels

We were back at the Market this week, so...

We had some cookies left over, sooo...

Yesterday, I got Sidney a surprise from WheatFields. To complete the surprise, we needed one more thing...

A fresh-baked pretzel from WheatFields is just good. Freshly-made cheese sauce dip is just good.

Actually, I liked the cheese sauce dip so much that I couldn't even save the rest for later.

I have no shame.

Later, I had a small piece of the skillet cookie from last night.

For dinner, I had a few slices of that stuffed bread from yesterday.

I didn't want to eat too much, because I've got BIG plans for tomorrow.

Sidney got one of the leftover Oatmeal Whoopie Pies... I took a small bite. But now it's bed time! I'll see you tomorrow!!!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Accidental Cheat Day

Another day, another Roger Federer match at 0700. Again, I grabbed a brotein bar and headed out the door.

I'll keep it short. Today did not go at all as well as Wednesday. I had a brotein bar to cheer me up.

I then went to Target to get some anti-smell bad stuff, and while I was there I got suckered into buying something I don't need. More on that in a second.

When I got back, I warmed up another one of those chicken breasts from last night.

As an aside, I'm really glad and truly thankful that Sidney's dad ate the other one. I wasn't sure if I could even eat it. The texture was horrible, it tasted more plain than the middle of Kansas, and it was hard to eat with all the bones in there. I was just done. To help me get through this one, though, I enlisted the help of an old classic with a new twist.

Yes, while I was at Target I decided to take a look at all the ketchups just to see what they had. Admittedly, they had a decent variety of vanity ketchup flavors, like sriracha, Tabasco, jalapeño, and this onion and bacon flavor. Obviously, I found this one to be the most interesting and enticing, so I got it.

I squeezed a healthy three servings of it into a small bowl for dipping. I excitedly dunked a small piece of chicken into it, getting just enough to moderately coat the bottom third or so. Uh oh. It didn't really taste a whole lot like onions or bacon. It had a weird taste, but I decided to power through. I was disappointed because I had had really high hopes not only that the ketchup would taste good but that it would make the chicken taste better, too. Well, I think I can officially say that neither of those hopes were realized. Oh well, like I said, I decided to power through. That lasted all of about three more bites. It got to a point where I couldn't eat it any more. It just didn't taste good. I replaced the remaining amount of this ketchup with some regular ketchup. I think this ketchup was a little old, though, because it was almost gone and it tasted a little funny as well. But it was better, and I finished it along with my chicken.

Later, my food dilemma would be erased out of the necessity to cook delicious food for guests that would be visiting. Up first was some easy macaroni and cheese.

Then we set some chips out while we were waiting. Why we did this I have no idea.

For some reason, I completely lost control. I was not myself. I could not stop eating these chips. So meanwhile, while I was stuffing my face with these carbs and with the mac and cheese carbs in the oven, Sidney's mom prepared some more carbs. Here's a bowl of the remnants.

She was scooping out the centers of two massively gigantic French loaves, the remnants of which made a wonderful carbwich when combined with the chips.

The texture was just right! The softness of the bread really complemented the crisp crunchiness of the chips. I'm being serious right now.

About an hour and half later (!), the macaroni and cheese was done, and it looked gooOOOoood.

Pretty soon, the stuffed bread was done, too. Why I took this picture with the foil still covering the stuffed bread I have no idea. You'll just have to trust me that it's under there.

I had a salad to start of with because tradition. In all honesty, though, it tasted really good, so it was worth it.

Alright, here's my carbocalypse plate. I got some more chips, because chips. I also got a decent portion of mac and cheese. And I got two "slices" of stuffed bread.

What was the bread stuffed with, exactly? Great question! It was ground beef mixed with some chopped up sausage, some chopped onions, some of that Velveeta-esque cheese, and maybe some other stuff that I'm forgetting. But those are the important things. It was essentially cheesy meat, which is always good.

For dessert, a couple of skillet cookies were made. They were essentially an extra large version of the Chocolate Chip Walnut Oatmeal cookies that Sidney makes.

I started off with a slice...

...and some ice cream.

Then, for some ridiculous reason, I decided that I wanted a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

To be fair, these chocolate chips are amazing. These are still those ones that have such a glorious aroma upon opening the bag, and when you eat them like this they taste better than most chocolate bars you'll ever eat. I'm a bit of a chocoholic, a real chocolate aficionado, if you will. I cut my teeth on classic Hershey's chocolate bars, but I've grown so much since then. I've gone from sickeningly sweet milk chocolate to a robust mildly dark chocolate. I ventured into the chocolate truffle, which is still one of my favorites. I worked my way up the dark chocolate scale all the way to 90% cocoa, where I stayed for quite a while. I even ate a bar of 100% baking chocolate. I know my chocolate, alright. I'm saving up for my first bar of Amadei Porcelana, the world's most expensive chocolate. It's a 70% cacao chocolate bar made in Italy from the Criollo variety of cocoa plant. Apparently, it's like the best chocolate ever. And even though it's the world's most expensive chocolate, in reality it's only $22, although that is for a single bar. At any rate, I will eventually get my hands on one of these bars!!

After that unexpectedly long digression, I'll get back to my point. I know chocolate, and these chocolate chips are good. They're Nestlé, and I've deemed them the only ones worth buying.

I ended up eating some more of the skillet cookie and some more chips, and some more macaroni and cheese. Oh well, I accidentally cheated. It was an accident!

A little later, Sidney and I needed to make muffins and brownies for the Market. This week, we decided to try a different brownie recipe. This time, I got to use those amazing chocolate chips. I just melted a bunch of them with some butter, mixed in some sugar, eggs, flour, and some more chocolate chips, and BOOM!! I licked the spatula and the bowl afterward.

And that was pretty much it. I got huge on accident, but it was all worth it. I have no "regerts" at all!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Benny and Arnie

Finally, a day that doesn't start with a brotein bar! I bet you were beginning to think that this day would never come! I know I sure was. But here it is. 

Sidney's mom had a friend from college visiting town, and today she would be taking her oldest son to his KU orientation. That means that Sidney's mom was tasked with entertaining two of her friend's younger sons. We started the day with breakfast at The Roost. They have the best hot chocolate ever, so of course I ordered it. It cake out almost immediately.

It came out almost immediately, so I had to pace myself. For breakfast, and for comparison purposes, I ordered the Eggs Benedict.

They came with some breakfast potatoes. The Eggs Benedict was really very good, but it's hard to compare them to homemade. The two different preparations are definitely different, but I don't think I can say one was better than the other.

About half way through breakfast, the title of human garbage disposal was thrust upon me when one and a half sausage links were dumped on my plate.

Of course, I can't complain because I very much enjoyed this bonus addition to my already good breakfast.

Sidney ordered the French Toast, which she claims is pretty good. The thing you need to know is that Sidney is a French Toast snob, so when she says that French Toast is good, it's most likely good.

After she had generously buttered and syruped the toast, I shamelessly begged for a bite. Showing mercy, she obliged.

It was a small bite, but it was a good bite. I didn't want to OD too much on carbs this morning.

When we got back, I had a cherry, because why not.

Later, after we had started baking cookies, I had a small handful of chocolate chips.

I've officially declared Nestle semisweet chocolate chips to be the best. They just smell so good when you open the bag, and when you eat them plain they taste better than most chocolate bars.

And, following tradition, there was another Frankencookie. This time, though, it had to be shared between more than just Sidney and I, so I only got a small slice.

Later, after all the baking was done, I cooked up some bone-in chicken breasts.

They took forever to cook, and when they were done, I'll be honest, they weren't that great.

Sidney so graciously gave me a couple more bites of her French Toast.

And I had a brotein bar, mainly just to mask the taste of the chicken.

I suppose it's pretty bad when your brotein bar tastes a whole lot better than your actual food, but hey. Not every day can be like the buffet at Aladdin Cafe.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Gray hairs? Roger That!

I headed in a little early to the gym this morning, so I grabbed a brotein bar and was out the door.

But it's not what you think. I didn't go to the gym at 0700 to get an early morning pump or to do some early morning cycling. No, I had much more important business to attend to. Roger Federer was playing in the Quarterfinals of Wimbledon this morning against Marin Cilic, and it was set to be a very interesting match.

Luckily, the Rec has a TV in their little waiting area that is tuned in to ESPN. So, for the next three hours, here I sat. Fed lost the first two sets, and things weren't looking good. He won the third set, but the fourth set was a little dicey. Cilic had a match point on Fed's serve, which he coolly saved. But then there was a second. Again, saved. I could feel my hair turning the lightest of grays. Eventually, the set went to a tiebreak, and again Fed faced a match point on his serve. And one more time, with the calmness of a 17-time champion, he saved it. He went on to win the tiebreaker to force a fifth and deciding set. Unfortunately, at this time it was 0955, and I had only 5 minutes to get to class. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done getting up and walking away from this match. Here was my favorite player, the greatest player who's ever played the game, in the midst of an incredibly unlikely comeback at the most prestigious tournament in the world. And I had to miss the end. I spent the next hour in a restless fit of nervous energy. All I could think about was the match. How was it going? After about 45 or so minutes, about the time it takes to play a set, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I could only assume that it was my mother texting me to inform me of the results. But I was still in class. I couldn't look. Soon enough, though, class was over. I still couldn't look. I had left the match with a good feeling, positive that Roger had the momentum after saving three match points against him to take the fourth set. But I couldn't be sure. It's never sure in a tennis match as close as this one where one mistake could decide the match. I made it all the way down the stairs before I could bring myself to look. I closed my eyes as I unlocked my phone so that my mother's text wouldn't give it away. I wanted to see for myself. I opened the browser, navigated to the official Wimbledon website, clicked on scores, and waited for the page to load. At this point my heart was beating out of my chest. I couldn't bare to look, but I couldn't bare not to. At this point, I was pretty sure the match was over, but I couldn't be sure. 5th sets at Wimbledon don't end in tiebreakers, so they could theoretically be played for days (a la Isner v. Mahut 2010). When the page finally loaded, my eyes were glued to the screen. For a split second, Federer v. Cilic popped up with a little check mark next to Federer, but then it vanished. Beginning to get overwhelmed with joy, I checked my text messages. I had 2 unread messages from my mom. I opened them up, and I saw it. "He did it!!!" my mom had said. Roger had done it. He had come back from 2 sets to love and advanced to the semifinals in what was one of the most tense and stressful matches of all time, especially that 4th set tiebreaker. But it was over. He won. I couldn't stop smiling and laughing aloud, all of that built-up tension finally finding its release. I didn't even care about going to the gym. I didn't really care about much of anything else at this point. I was just so happy that he managed to keep his Wimbledon run alive. Go Roger!

I did, however, head back to the Rec to weigh myself after learning this great news. The results of this weigh-in actually kind of shocked me.

Apparently, I released so much nervous energy that my weight plummeted to the lowest its been since my freshman year of college 4 years ago. I'm also not sure if all my muscle is gone or not, but I know a lot of my fat is gone. I should do an update on that soon...

In the meantime, though, I had to take anti-muscle atrophy measures.

I then went to Sprouts and picked up some more chicken. This time I got over 8 pounds of chicken for $8.00. It's always amazing when they have chicken on sale for $0.99/lb. Nothing can beat that. So I got a couple packages of thighs and a package of bone-in breasts with the skin still on. I also picked up some more sausages, the pork ones this time.

When I got home, I found some vegetable stir fry, and it smelled too good not to sample. It's vegetables, so it's calorie free, right?

I then proceeded to grill up my sausages. These were the 4 varieties:

Starting with top left and going clockwise, there was German bratwurst, Andouille, hot Italian, and sweet Italian. The same holds true for the picture below:

Pretty soon they were all grilled up, ready to be eaten. And eaten they were. I ate them all.

There was about 23 ounces of meat total, and about 23 pounds of sodium. I enjoyed them all, but the best ones were the Andouille and the German brat.

A little later, we had a delivery to attend to. Any guesses as to what's in this box?

How about now? Still no?

Surely you can guess it now. Really? No?

Fine, here it is. BOOM!

That's right. A Queen-size mattress was delivered in a box. This was actually the only way we could get a queen mattress upstairs in one piece. Old houses have very narrow stairs and very short doorways apparently.

Next, I did something I've been meaning to do for a long time. I reinstalled a classic air freshener in my car. This is the same one I used throughout high school.

After my sausage lunch had finally settled, I had a dinner consisting of a handful of nuts. They were good, and a nice departure from the spicy and salty meat I had had earlier.

And for dessert, the cherry on top was, well, simply a cherry.

Good day!