tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal


Almost summer, not really

Hi J -

BUT IT IS GRILLING SEASON. Your steak and veggies last week was tasty and simple.  So we did burgers this week. Plain burgers, with some caramelized onions, Kettle Potato Chips, and romaine salad.

 onions and chips

First grilling of season for us. I chargrilled some bacon and started a pretty good grease fire, then burnt some burgers. Hope they were eatable.

After dinner, we moved the game to more comfortable seating area. I took advantage of everyone else's low brain activities and won the pizza game, with all the pizzas made, 1/3 of the way through the third shift. First time for everything.


Untitledall done

That was definitely a fluke. I do not think it will happen again, ever. Until then, I will keep trying.

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Finally: Grilling Season

Dear E,

It seems every winter we tap our feet impatiently waiting for the weather to dry off and warm up just enough to grill.

This was that time! Unfortunately G was out of town and didn't make it. At the store, N and I couldn't decide between his current obsession with spiral cut hot dogs or steaks. Easy answer: both, with dogs just grilled up as a sort of snack to munch on while N grilled the steaks!

Spiral cut dogs???

Here's how to make a spiral cut dog: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyieI2bxyIk

I guessed that you'd like the spiral cut dogs for two reasons: tube meat & more crispy bits. It will be interesting to have them on a bun with condiments since the cut is supposed to help hold things like chunky relish on them. Mm. Maybe later in the grilling season.

Nothing interesting this meal - steak, grilled asparagus, and a salad I threw together. Simple stuff.

E's plate
E's plate

This ongoing cold N and I have combined with your allergies and the lack of G made this a low-energy evening! Simple dinner followed by the simple game Carcassonne (BGG).

low brain game

We played two rounds. I won the first round handily, which is a sign that N was SICK. I never beat him at Carcassonne!

If we grill next time, can we agree that grilling season has begun? See you!


Catch up

Dear J - Wow time flies with all the busyness. Excuse me for being I am a couple of weeks behind.

Thank you for letting me do laundry at your house. For the second time in the last few years, our dryer stopped working. I attributed the early death of this Bosch Dryer to poor quality. A few months into it's life at this house, the display panel went out. Granted, the last few weeks have been very heavy laundry load weeks, but ... it is only a few years old.

After pizza and salad and wings takeout from Malty Pizza.

Untitledsome of my favorite things

We play Unexploded Cow from Cheapass Games.

Untitledmy herd

Cheapass Games reissued this via Kickstarter. BGG link. Mad cows and unexploded bombs make strange company. It is chaotic as described. I liked the concept and the art, and will definitely play it again. Thank you for giving me a copy. We can play it at our house too!

And I was craving cake.

Untitledserved with your pastry cream from last week

I blame the Internets which brought me Irish Cream Mud cake recipe. I substituted palm sugar (no brown sugar in the house), yogurt for some of the Bailey's to make a less sweet cake. It is a everyday cake, no layers, no fanciness, just cake.  And someone, N?, had the brillant idea of using your pastry cream. Yum.

Thanks again for letting me do laundry and bring cake.


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Anniversaire Frite

Happy Belated Birthday, E!

It is always a good bet that you will request something deep fried for your birthday (beignets, cannoli). N did not want to make your first request Chicken Fried Steak (though he did a year ago and the year before that) and denied you! How rude.

Undaunted, you requested Boston Cream Churros like the ones S had (here). I decided I would make them. How hard can they be?

But first we had to figure out dinner. We considered Thai before finally deciding on shrimp + grits.

shrimp & andouille & grits
shrimp, andouille & grits

Rather than making my usual shrimp creole, I loosely followed this recipe from Bon Appétit. It included a hot sauce made from green pepper hot sauce (I used Green Jalapeño Sauce by Tabasco), shallots, white wine, vinegar, lemon juice and cream.

spinach salad
spinach salad

I complained to N that we needed a light green salad to go along with the shrimp, andouille, and grits. He came up with this spinach, caramelized onion, goat cheese, and candied pecan salad. Sorry about the dried cranberries in the pecans (held aside).

We took a short break to clean up and then I started heating up the oil for the churros.

I followed this churros recipe. I had no idea churros dough is just like pâte à choux dough! Boil water and butter, add flour, then add eggs individually and mix until smooth. Fun dough!

team effort dessert

I read a lot about the filling in Boston Cream Pie while researching. Some recipes used vanilla pudding. Other recipes used a very thick custard. Others said to use a thin pastry cream. Since we were not filling the churros and didn't need the filling to be so thick, I opted for a pastry cream.

I made pastry cream (CIA recipe - I only used 3 Tbsp of cornstarch based upon comments that the 1/3C of cornstarch made the pastry cream taste like ... cornstarch) for the churros early that morning. I made a quick thin chocolate dipping sauce while we were frying the churros.

boston cream churros
boston cream churros

While you created food architecture, N and I fried the dough. Next time we'll try a closed star tip instead to see if we can get more crunchy bits.

artful cards

After all!the!birthday!food! we only had enough brain for Uno. Maybe we'll try a new game next time... (do I say that every week?)

I hope you had a lovely birthday, E! Thank you for celebrating it (belatedly) with us!