Saturday, August 13, 2016

Burnin' it Down!

It was breakfast at the lake, and that means one thing. It means no brotein bars for me this morning. Oh no. It means bacon.

Bacon cooked on cast iron, to be precise.

It also means eggs. This morning, I thought I'd try a new method to make scrambled eggs. A couple days ago, Scott showed me a video of Gordon Ramsay preaching about scrambled eggs, so I wanted to try it out. It started with whole eggs and butter in a cold pot.

But it ended up with scrambled eggs that pretty much look like normal scrambled eggs.

A little bit of sour cream at the end finished them off, and they were pretty good. I still like my method, which calls for a little cheese to be mixed in.

Instead of traditional toast this morning, we had the leftover WheatFields baguette and some off-brand Boursin-like garlic and herb cheese.

This turned out to be more toast like than we anticipated, as the French bread was surprisingly hard in its old age. We quickly nuked it, which helped slightly, but even in its harder state it was still delicious.

The best part came when I created the bread/bacon/boursin combination.

I also had a little bit of fruity V8 to drink.

A little bit later, Sidney broke out the sea salt vinegar chips and was about to finish them off, so naturally I asserted myself and helped her in that quest.

I then felt the need supplement with some brotein, so I had a brotein bar.

There was some excellent scenery behind this bar, but I quickly went back inside when another great combination idea came to me.

This time, I took the caramel topping from my brotein bar set it atop a sea salt vinegar chip.

This was a glorious combination, and it got me rolling on to other combinations. I then placed a dark chocolate-covered pecan atop a chip.

This was another dynamite combination! I then took a break from these salty/sweet combos and had a proper lunch. I warmed up a brat and had some white cheddar bunnies with it.

The following picture is of our fire ring. You can't actually see the fire ring since it's buried underneath a dead tree.

These are the scraps from the redbud tree that used to be in my parents' side yard. It had been in poor health recently, and a big storm finally took it out. The fire ring it's covering is 8 feet in diameter. It's big.

But that fire would just have to wait. There was dinner to attend to! Tonight, we would have a lake staple. Burgers! It doesn't get much better than burgers smashed on cast iron.

Okay, here's the burger building sequence. It starts with a grilled potato bun and a healthy dollop of our imitation Freddy's sauce.

Then on go two patties with cheese.

Next is something a little different than we usually make. Tonight, we sauteed some onions, so I put those on top of the patties.

The only thing left to do was put the top bun on!

That is one good-looking burger!

And this is one good-looking plate!

There was the burger, some Bugles, and a baked potato with cream cheese. That's a good meal right there!!

I mean, just look at that burger!!!

Afterward, there was a patty left, so I gladly accepted it along with some more onions and more sauce.

Now, remember that big pile of tree? This is what it turned into:

This picture doesn't really do it justice. It was a big fire. One of the best parts came when my dad was lighting it. Always one with a flare for the dramatics, he doused the pile with a splash of gas. Deeming that splash not enough, he walked back and refilled his coffee can. He then tossed this gas onto the pile. He then went to spark it up, but the matches he had were a little damp. After a bit of searching, he found a dry match that would hold a flame, but by now a substantial fumage had built up within the pile of sticks. You can see what's coming. When the lit match hit the gas...BOOM!!! There was a non-volatile yet extremely exciting and satisfying explosion. Our neighbors came out in search of the source of their window rattling. It was the perfect way to start a fire!!!

The pile of wood became fire, and the fire then became this:

Oh yeah! It was the classic with a milk chocolate bar and toasted marshmallow between two graham crackers.

But I had more up my sleeve! I had brought the remaining chocolate frosting with me, and it came in perfectly handy tonight. I went inside where I assembled another s'more. This time, though, I exchanged the chocolate bar for, yes, frosting.

I then added a marshmallow and popped it into the microwave.

After a mere 10 seconds, this is what it had become:

I reassembled.

So, yeah. If you happen to have some spare chocolate buttercream, this is definitely the way to go. I would definitely recommend toasting the marshmallow over a fire instead of in the microwave, but the flavor is just so good. Chocolate buttercream >>> milk chocolate bar.

Friday, August 12, 2016

To the lake we go!

I wanted to spend a nice weekend at the lake, but before we headed up there, I had some breakfast and lunch to eat. 

For breakfast, I had one of those tasty Sunbelt bars.

And for lunch, I fell back on my Old Faithful brotein bar.

At this point, we left for the lake. We got there just in time for a beautiful sunset.

With the sunset as a backdrop, we got started on dinner.

We had some chips and salsa appetizers.

Then we had the main course. This consisted of some sea salt vinegar chips, some thick bread, and a myriad of brats.

Okay, by a myriad of brats, I mean we had cheddar brats and regular brats. But that's still a good two to choose from. I used the thick bread as a bun for the brats.

For dessert, I had a couple marshmallows.

I was conserving the rest of the dessert foods for the next couple nights. Oh, you'll see.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tea Party!

No, not that tea party. But more on that later. First, I had a brotein bar to jump start my day.

I then did a few hours of painting. Afterward, I attended my first formal tea party at Sidney's behest. We got all dressed up, and when I came downstairs, she led me into the dining room and this is what I found:

Let me just run through what was here. We had raspberries, grapes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a baguette with boursin, chevre, cheddar, and summer sausage, lemonade with frozen grapes, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, and, of course, tea.

Needless to say, it was a formal event.

Like I mentioned earlier, I've never had a real and official tea party before. I guess I imagined tea parties to be these make believe things you do with stuffed animals with imaginary food and imaginary tea. Well, this was so not that. The food was not imaginary and nor was the tea. And might I mention that there was actually food present. And not just regular blah food. Oh no, this food was way more. Honestly, I could forget the tea and just go for the food, but then it really wouldn't be a tea party would it? I suppose it would then be a food party, which I fully support the idea of, by the way. Maybe I'll do that. Maybe I'll be the pioneer of the new food party tradition...what am I talking about?? Okay, to get back on topic, this tea party was truly something wonderful. Between the bread and the cheese and cookies and company, everything was just right. I would gladly and very eagerly repeat this experience all over again any time. Actually, scrap my previous idea of food parties; that's already been done (ever heard of dinner?). Instead, I'll be the pioneer of Bro Tea Parties. I'll unite Bros everywhere to come together in the wonderful lost pleasure that is the tea party. There I go rambling on again. I just can't believe how much I enjoyed this tea party. All the thanks for this tea party go to Sidney, who organized and arranged everything. All I had to do was show up. I am already very much looking forward to our next tea party!

I then headed out to help pour some concrete. I'll make this short, but I'll say that it was a very...interesting...experience.

Sidney and I then prepared to meet my mom and some friends for dinner, and then we would be heading to my parents' house after. I looked in the fridge and realized that I still had something yummy left over.

This is the leftover frosting from my mom's birthday cake! So I had to have a little.

We then met my mom and friends at Jazz. Always a good place to eat, I started out with some of their bread and cajun butter.

I had another piece before my dinner arrived.

I got the half order of Chicken a la Mer. This translates literally as "one of the best thing's you'll ever eat."

It's fried chicken with crab and shrimp all covered in a creamy Parmesan sauce. How could this be anything short of delicious?? Answer: it couldn't. That's why I get it every time I eat at Jazz.

When we got to my parents' house, I had another cookie. But this time I did something to the cookie. I'm not sure if this is sacrilegious in the cookie world, especially with cookies this good, but I did it anyway because I was presented with the opportunity.

That's right. I put chocolate buttercream frosting on my chocolate chip cookie. So there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fried Chicken at a Bakery?!

For breakfast, and since I knew we wouldn't have a use for leftovers the next couple nights, I had pizza.

For the same reason, I had pizza for lunch as well.

Sidney and I then headed in to Lawrence for WheatFields's special Wednesday Fried Chicken dinner. I've been waiting a while to try this, and today was finally the day.

It came with some coarsely-mashed potatoes with cheesy and creamy gravy.

It also came with some cole slaw.

Both the potatoes and the cole slaw were really good, but the cole slaw in particular really surprised me. Of the three things on this plate, one may expect a bakery to not possess expertise in cole slaw production. But WheatFields has just that. This cole slaw was probably the best cole slaw I've ever had. I like it even more than the really good cole slaw I had a little over a week ago. It was really that good.

But the main focus of my attention, the fried chicken, was my favorite part of this dinner. I had hyped it up so much, and it wasn't disappointing. The breading was super light but still satisfyingly crunchy. It was seasoned really well and cooked to perfection. I would definitely come back for this dinner. WheatFields is often overlooked as a dinner spot due to its overwhelming popularity as a bakery and breakfast spot, as evidenced by the emptiness of the place tonight. No wait times and good food are good in my book!

I also enjoyed sharing this dinner with someone very special.

Sidney seems really excited about her Greek Steak Salad. She didn't like it quite as much as the chicken (especially the mashed potatoes), but it came with bread and butter, so she was happy.

We skipped dessert at a place with numerous dessert options because we had this waiting at home.

Sidney got this fudge on her most recent trip to Cabela's. There was milk chocolate,

Dark chocolate,

Peanut butter,

and cookie dough (of which Sidney had already sampled).

She gifted me the remaining cookie dough, and we split the remaining three varieties. I had some milk with it.

My favorite of these varieties, shocking to me, was peanut butter.