Posts Tagged food

A Friend, A Shirt and A Slice

I was recently afforded an opportunity, during a long layover in Chicago, to head downtown and meet, for the first time, @kapgar. It’s difficult to believe that we hadn’t already met, but I’m glad we finally did.
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Once we were together, our first order of business was a visit to the Rock Shock at the Hard Rock Cafe so I could add another shirt to my growing Hard Rock collection. Afterward, we wandered the Miracle Mile for a bit, making stops at the Apple and Lego stores.
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Eventually, it was time for some sustenance and we happened to find ourselves a block away from one (well, two) of my favorite Chicago restaurants: Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Due. Yum!
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It was a short meeting, but a good one. I look forward to another visit someday.
Totally Unrelated AsideA post about meeting Kevin wouldn’t be complete without a TUA, which makes this one not completely unrelated. Furthermore, the topic is the loading of the images included above, so I suppose this is really a TRA. Oh, well. On the flight from Chicago I decided to test whether it was possible to load pictures from the iPhone to the iPad using the Camera Connection Kit. I’m delighted to report that it worked beautifully, allowing me to include those images even though I don’t currently have any data access on my iPhone.

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Greenling

A while back we received a postcard advertising Greenling, a local farm and/or organic food delivery service. We’ve been dining out even more than we used to and I thought this might be a good way to break that pattern. So, I signed up for an account.

Farmers Have Planted Extra Seeds For You!

It turns out, you can’t order right away. I’m not really sure why, but I got an email with the above quote and an estimate of 1-4 weeks before I could submit an order. A mere eight days later I got the go-ahead to order, which also allowed me to finally see the real details of what was available. Lots.

Too much, perhaps. I was overwhelmed. That was two months ago. I hadn’t given up completely; I kept looking at the weekly emails but wasn’t motivated. Then, on Monday, I received an email promoting their Recipe Kits:

  • Everything prepped and portioned for the meal – no mess, no waste!
  • Easy-to-follow instructions for cooking
  • As little as 15 minutes of total cooking/prep time and you’re done!

The email offered a free 1-meal recipe kit with my first order, and that order could, in fact, be a 5-meal recipe kit. I took the plunge even though I wasn’t completely sold on the cost effectiveness ($90 for 5 meals, which I just now noticed are for 2 people instead of 4 as I had thought — oops).

Our order was delivered today. The box shown at right necessitates a $10 deposit in addition to the cost of the order, and then you leave the box out for them to pick up when they deliver your next order. This can be weekly, biweekly or on demand (on your scheduled delivery day).

You can specify morning or afternoon delivery and they claim that the box can set outside for four hours without a problem. I don’t know what time it was delivered, but I got home a bit later than I had anticipated and everything was still cold. Even the canned goods.

The five meals in this order are:

  1. Meat Spaghetti
  2. Southwest Chicken Salad
  3. Veggie Stir-Fry
  4. Tacos
  5. Curry Chicken & Rice Soup

I took a quick picture of the food (as delivered) for each meal, except for the meat (a chicken breast and some ground beef):

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#gallery-1 .gallery-item {
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#gallery-1 .gallery-caption {
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I’ll report back after we cook the first meal!

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Spring Break Ski Trip

We spent Spring Break skiing Copper Mountain with Travis and his two sons. Despite some minor injuries, we had a great time. Read on for my summary, journal-style. Also, in case my account is too long and boring to get through, I’ll point out that there’s a pretty cool 90-second video at the end of the post. Read the rest of this entry »

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BK Stuffed Steakhouse

Based on the appeal of a coupon (with a picture), and possibly a TV ad, I decided to try Burger King’s new BK Stuffed Steakhouse for lunch yesterday. I honestly wasn’t expecting much, apart from 600 calories (not counting the onion rings and sauce that I also had – yikes!).

Here’s how Burger King describes it:

When you take a flame-broiled patty, stuff it with jalapeños and cheddar cheese on the inside, top it with spicy poblano sauce, ripe tomato and crisp iceberg lettuce, and put it all inside a toasted, corn-dusted bun … well, you’ve got yourself a fire hazard. What we’re saying is we had to get the fire marshal’s permission to sell this thing.

Here’s how I describe it:

Yum!

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Roaring Fork

I’m sitting in my car watching Bridget Jones’s Diary on my iPad waiting for the buzz from my last margarita to wear off. I just finished enjoying a nice happy hour at The Roaring Fork.

I’m writing this post to praise the Green Chile Pork Stew, which is, in a word, delightful. Spicy and savory, it is served with flour tortillas and I eat it as fajitas. Yum! Happy Hour price is $6 (normally $10) and a portion fills all six tortillas that are served with it.

As the stew was shared among three people, I also had the Tortilla Soup. I was happy to discover that they serve it by pouring the base of the soup over the chicken, avocado, etc. at the table. The soup was also delicious, though I was a flight of three 2-ounce margaritas in at that point, plus a portion of a full-size one, so my opinion could have been slightly suspect. 🙂 Once I have a slight buzz, I think I tend to really enjoy food.

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Turkey Cupcakes

Inspired by this post at cakespy, I convinced my wife and kids to make Turkey Cupcakes for Thanksgiving. Here is the result:

turkey cupcakes

(A closer shot is today’s Glass Renagerie shot.)

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Avitaween

As I previously alluded to, I traveled to Orlando last weekend to attend Avitaween. And while that was certainly the main event, it was far from the whole story. It was, in fact, one of nine meet-ups for me during the trip.

First up was lunch at the Orlando airport with several others that were arriving at around the same time. These were all people I hadn’t meet before and we coordinated via Twitter. Kim was already there when we got there and later, Sheila, Employee3699 and her fraughter joined us. Chick-Fil-A was the fare of choice, apparently being unavailable in the far-off land of Chicago. Or something like that. Then it was time to wait over an hour in the Budget car rental line. Joy. That was probably the only negative of my whole weekend, at least the only one that directly affected me.

Friday evening was the occasion of a wonderful dinner hosted by Faiqa and Tariq. In attendance were several bloggers I’d already met and was thrilled to see again: Poppy & Dawg, Rachel, Robin and Dave2. I also got to meet many more: Britt & Jared, Heather & Tyler, Finn & Mister, Hilly, Lisa, Karen and Becky. There were some others present, including some kids, but I’m sticking to bloggers (and their spouses) here. Great food and great times!

toojaysSaturday morning’s arrival meant breakfast. I love breakfast. Kim joined several of the dinner attendees (Finn & Mister, Poppy & Dawg, Rachel, Robin and me) at TooJay’s. After breakfast, we discovered that Robin’s rental had some issues and she and Rachel had to go exchange it (after dropping me back at the Hilton, where I wasn’t staying, but had met up beforehand). Bummer that their plans got messed up by having to drive back to the airport, but watching Robin work it on the phone was pretty impressive.

Back at the Hilton, I sat around chatting with various attendees until it was time for a late lunch. Sheila, Employee3699, Fraughter, Nicole and… grumble… I’ve gone and forgotten their names. One other couple. 😦 I even tried looking through photos, to no avail. Anyway, we went to Bahama Breeze. I was still full from breakfast, so I didn’t order any lunch and then had a dessert. It was some sort of banana bread-bananas-caramel-ice cream-whip cream concoction that ended up not being as good as I had hoped. Oh, well.

invaded_boxBack to the hotel to get ready for the main event, Avitaween 2009: INVADED!!!! Words fail me, so have a look at the Flickr stream. Okay, I’ll come up with some words. Or one word. Absomazingtastibulous! [Edit: I forgot to mention that there are also a couple of karaoke videos.]

As the festivities were starting to wind down (though plenty of people looked like they’d be there for a while), a group of us decided to head over to Denny’s for post-party, late night food. My steak & egg burrito really hit the spot. Let’s see how well I can recall who was at Denny’s. Poppy & Dawg, Robin, Rachel, Shiela, Kim, Employee3699, Fraughter, Finn & Mister, Karen and Adam‘s friend Chris. I think that’s everyone, but I could be forgetting someone at the other end of the table.

Sunday morning pretty much went by while I slept, which was fine since I had breakfast the night before. Marci and I were able to have lunch with Mike & Susie at Five Guys, and then sit and chat with them for a couple of hours back at the Hilton. Getting to know other people is one of my favorite parts of these trips, so I really appreciated this opportunity.

At that point, we needed to check into our new hotel. We were switching to the hotel where Marci would be spending the rest of the week as she was staying in town for a conference. We were planning to meet up with Marty & Reba, but the way things ended up working out I had dinner with Adam. Just the two of us at Chili’s, where we had a good opportunity to actually have some interesting conversations — no time for that for Adam at his own party, of course!

hard rock orlandoI still needed to meet up with Marty — I had a package for him, plus, he’s state of inebriation at the party pretty much precluded conversations — but I wanted to stop by the Orlando Hard Rock Cafe first. This was a bit of an adventure as it required parking in the Universal Studios parking garage ($3 from 8pm to 10pm) and a bit of a walk. I walked around the restaurant for a bit looking at the various memorabilia, but I didn’t want to spend too long as I wasn’t sure how late Marty wanted to be out. I bought my requisite Hard Rock shirt and headed back to the car.

I finally met Marty at TGI Friday’s where we caught up and I had a much better dessert, a Chips Ahoy! Ice Cream Sundae. And half-price Long Island Iced Teas for Marty!

As I said earlier, my favorite part of these trips is hanging out with other people, so I was thrilled that I had so many different opportunities to do so. Looking forward to the next one. Did someone say something about Vegas in December?!

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New Burger: Freddy’s Frozen Custard

freddylogoBased on a recommendation from my father, I stopped by the new-to-our-area Freddy’s Frozen Custard to try their burger. I had the Single Steakburger without cheese (still watching my calories). Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. To my surprise, however, it was quite tasty.

I wasn’t in the mood for ice cream at the time, so I didn’t try their Concrete. Plus, the 651 calories advertised on their web site for their Mini Heath Concrete scared me away. Not much “Mini” about that! I will need to try it at some point so that I can add it to my mix-in-ice-cream spectrum, formerly topped by Dairy Queen’s Blizzard until surpassed by Wally’s Wallybanger (local place). Not sure when that will be, as there aren’t many days when I have as many available calories as I did that day, having done 20 miles cycling beforehand. Oh, well.

Anyway, back to the burger. The key to its taste was that the meat patty itself was very good. The rest of the ingredients were fresh and good as well, but it’s the meat that sold the burger. This is in stark contrast to my experience at Mooyah. I wouldn’t put Freddy’s on the same level as Five Guys, but then, Five Guys doesn’t have ice cream….

Freddy's Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon

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CinnaMemorLie

Cinna-Graham Honeycomb


I saw this at the store today and decided to give it a try despite the negative review I had read. After all, it was on sale ($2.19 instead of $3.99) and there was a 50-cent coupon (for any Honeycomb cereal).

I had just gone on a run, so I had some calories to spare and decided to go ahead and have a cup of the cereal as a late snack. I am fairly fond of traditional Honeycomb cereal with it’s sweet corn taste. (Honey, perhaps?) This? Has none of that. What it has is a cinnamon smell and taste. It’s not too bad dry, but as Josie mentioned in the review linked above, adding milk quickly washes most of the flavor away. (Though she mentioned that you’re left with plain Honeycomb, I would instead say that you’re left with something far inferior to plain Honeycomb.)

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the rest of this box. Perhaps I’ll add it to some trail mix or something similar.

 

Found Memory

 

As I was leaving the grocery store I saw an employee wheeling a basket full of boxes of candy from one check-out aisle to the next. I suddenly flashed to 1988 or so when I worked at a grocery store (same chain, different store). I have many memories from working there, some of which I think of fairly often. But I had completely forgotten the experience of restocking the candy displays on the check-out aisle. It’s such an odd feeling when a forgotten memory suddenly comes back like that.

 

The Only Thing To Fear Is A Lie

 

Last Friday I posted three statements about myself, one of which was false.

1. I have never played any version of Grand Theft Auto though I have owned a version for several years.

True. I received the PS2 version as a gift several years ago and just never got around to playing it. In truth, I haven’t played much else on the PS2 since then either, except for Guitar Hero and Rock Band (various versions of each).

 

2. I have an admittedly irrational fear of squirrels, stemming from the aggressive lunch-stealing squirrels on the campus of the University of Texas.

False. The bit about the lunch-stealing squirrels is true, but the fear is not. I am not aware of having any phobias. I expected that anyone that new me very well would know this was the lie, which turned out to be the case as the two commenters that have known me for years got it right.

 

3. When I was a kid I won money playing ping-pong against other kids at church camp. After returning to my grandparents’ house, I had to return the money.

True. As “Senior” (my father) implied in the comments, my parents were not involved in this event. After that post, I discussed it with him and he reminded me that when I had told him about this at the time, I really didn’t understand why the other kids should get their money back. For that matter, I still don’t.

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Mooyah

logo-mooyahI finally got around to making a return visit to the Mooyah Burgers that recently opened in our area. I had been there once, but honestly couldn’t remember what I thought. Plus, it was before my first visit to Five Guys. Along with the local Mighty Fine Burgers (owned by the wonderful Rudy’s “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q), these are apparently fairly direct copies of In-N-Out Burger, though I’ve never been to one of those and none of these have drive-thrus.

Anyway, based on the lack of a memorable first visit, I didn’t have high hopes, but the Mooyah is so much closer to work than the Five Guys, I felt that I needed to make a more direct comparison. Like Five Guys, there is a large list of free toppings from which you can choose (with bacon and cheese being the only extras with a price). I was able to order the same toppings I generally get at Five Guys, so it would be a pretty direct comparison.

The result? Well, the bun is good, the topping fresh and tasty and the fries are fine. But the burger just didn’t quite do it for me. I tasted a bit of the patty alone and confirmed that the problem was there. It was bland. It tasted exactly like the ground beef I fry at home for spaghetti sauce, before adding any seasonings.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say that I disliked the burger, just that I wasn’t impressed with it. Also, they offer A1 in their topping list, which could make a huge difference. Five Guys is a long way to drive for lunch, so if I’m eating with others that want a not-quite-fast-food burger, I’d be happy to try Mooyah again with some A1 sauce.

On the other hand, I see from their web site that Five Guys is opening another location that is much closer to my office. Happy, happy, joy, joy! 🙂

Mooyah Burgers and Fries on UrbanspoonFive Guys Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon

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