Posts Tagged ‘bbq’

empty handed

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I was in training all day today.

Hybrid hard disk drive training.

It was totally interesting! Until like 10 am. And it was pretty tolerable. Until like 2 pm.

My notes from the last three hours of the day include a lot of stick figures.

Anyway.

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That party we went to? With all the Thai food? I did not show up empty handed. I brought two of my favorite cookies.

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Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Very slight adapted from The Good Cookie, i.e. one of the best cookie books ever. Unfortunately, it’s out of print now :(. Sadness.

1 stick room temperature butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar (I NEVER have buttermilk. The substitution works fine.)
2 cups flour (I’ve substituted whole wheat pastry flour for half with acceptable results, but try to resist the urge.)
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick room temperature butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla (Use clear vanilla if you have it, which I only do because a good friend of mine brought it home from me from Mexico. I have no idea how it’s clear.)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar for at least two full minutes. You want lots of air in there. LOTS. Beat in the egg yolk, reserving the white.

Mix the baking soda into the warm water. Sift the cocoa powder over the butter/sugar/egg mixture, and at least partially incorporate it with a spoon or the beaters. (It will poof everywhere. Embrace it or stir slowly.) Add the hot water mixture and beat to combine. Add one cup of the flour, along with the salt, stir, and add the milk and lemon juice/vinegar (or buttermilk). Beat to combine. Add the final cup of flour and beat until there are very few lumps left.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or butter it). Using a one tablespoon scoop (or just a tablespoon measure), scoop balls onto the baking sheet. Leave 1 1/2 to 2 inches between balls – you can fit 15 on a standard baking sheet.

Bake for 6 minutes, then check. It’s hard to tell since they’re so dark, but the top should be craggy like you see in the picture and shouldn’t squish if you poke it. (It can dent, but it shouldn’t squish.) If you have any doubts, stick em back in for another minute. Overcooked isn’t great but it’s better than under. As soon as they’re done, carefully remove them to a cooling rack.

While you’re baking all the cookies, cream together the butter and cream cheese for the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and beat until crumbly, then add the egg white and vanilla. (You will be eating it raw. If you prefer not to use the egg white, sub 2 tablespoons milk or cream or even water.) Beat until smooth.

Once the cookies are at room temperature, pair them up in appropriate sizes. They should be MOSTLY the same size, but some will definitely fit together better than others.

Spread one to one and a half teaspoons on the inside of one cookie and top with it’s mate. Repeat and put in the fridge until they’re not sliding around anymore.

Store somewhere coolish. They’ll be great for a day, tasty for two or three more, and worth eating for close to a week. (That last part might be just my opinion.)

The other cookies were these almond blueberry bars. Recipe later this week, deal? Deal.

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You know what’s almost as good as cookies?

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BBQ with my man.

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Even if it does rain so hard we can’t play cornhole.

More training tomorrow! And Wednesday! Whoo. Hoo.

and it’s 2012

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

It’s 2012, and  I did not resolve to eat healthier.

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Which is good, because Crockett took some time off from catching up with work to head out for a bbq lunch with me.

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I got up early today, and cleaned up the kitchen and organized our messiest cabinet. Included in the list of things I threw out: Bisquick that expired in 2005, whole wheat bread crumbs that expired in 2004, and salad dressing that was weirdly chunky and expired in 2008. It was quite the cabinet.

Then I went to the gym, and the library, and walked the dogs.

I am so ready for everyone else to get lazy again. I couldn’t get on a treadmill in the hour I was there, so I worked on an elliptical instead. Since Crockett got me a heart rate monitor for Christmas (thanks, babe!) I was able to maintain an appropriate heartrate, so I count it as a good workout – even though it wasn’t a run.

Then – bbq!

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Well – then margaritas and then bbq.

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There is a piece of bread under there, along with smoked chicken, Lulu’s PPO, hot Carolina style bbq sauce, and coleslaw.

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I ordered a side of sweet potato tots and Crockett ordered fried okra – then we shared. Fried okra is so good, but sometimes some weird white stuff comes out of the middle – has anyone else noticed that?

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Now we’re back home, and I have literally no plans for the rest of the day.

I love Christmas break like whoa.

How’s 2012 been so far for y’all?

(Also – I’ve been to a several parties over the past few days and made some tasty ass food – but took no pictures. Sad. At least the cheesy rice from the New Years potluck yesterday – everyone needs that recipe.)

 

road trip yo

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Just in time for my next vacation (Michigan for a whole big Crockett family hoedown), I uploaded the pictures from my last vacation.

This was our route:
Thursday – Drive like hell. Stop in St. Louis. You can see from the picture above that we totes made it.

Somewhere in the middle of Kansas is where I started smelling this whole mess, but somewhere outside of St. Louis is where we discovered it. (Our rear seat heater melted Crockett’s backpack. It was a whole big thing. Thanks, Audi!)

In St. Louis Crockett was pissed about the backpack thing and I was mofo hungry. We were in an Eastern suburb of the city on a Thursday night and I really wanted BBQ, so I tracked down this 17th Street Barbeque place online.

I was both thrilled to be there and exhausted to the point of ridiculousness.

It was about 9 when we got there, and they officially closed at 10.

They were not thrilled to have us.

You know that feeling? When your server just wishes you’d get the hell out already? We sat in the bar, and there were other people there, but the staff were emptying ketchup bottles in plain view and asking ‘anything else’ every second.

They corned their own beef, though, and made a damn good Reuben. Plus, I had my first hushpuppy and found it fabulous. It was totally worth the server hating us.

Friday – We chose not to take the more direct route to our end destination of Buffalo. Instead, we headed a little south and carried on east until we arrived in …

central Kentucky! (Every mile or so I said ‘but BABE, it’s so GREEN’ and Crockett said ‘awww honey’ in that I-sometimes-forget-you-grew-up-in-a-quasi-desert voice.)

Why central Kentucky?

So we could visit someone?

Well, sort of. We were visiting the home of Woodford Reserve.

See, they make something like 98% of all bourbon in that part of KY. (It’s not technically bourbon if it’s not made in America.) Our original plan was to do at least part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, but we underestimated how long it would take us to get the hell out of St. Louis in the morning.

We chose Woodford because it was the only tour that charged ($5) and we figured that meant it had to be awesome.

It was.

The distillery is a whole bunch of buildings that are all over 100 years old, but the distillery building is the oldest – it was built in 1838 and I want to live there like you can’t even know.

This was my favorite part. While these look like little train tracks, they’re actually barrel tracks. As in, the barrels are delivered up the hill and rolled down to the distillery on the tracks. This tourist lady was standing right in the middle of them and I secretly hoped a barrel would come flying down and she’d have to dive out of the way.

Sometimes I’m a bad person.

Inside the distillery was a whole bunch of stuff being distilled. Obviously. There was yeast and stuff in here, I think.

I was far more interested in the building.

How much do I want this to be my great room ceiling?

Hell, how much do I want a great room?

That’s not to say there wasn’t bourbon, though.

There was bourbon forevah.

Crockett could look but he couldn’t touch.

I was mostly picturing this big copper still thingy in my new stone great room.

After the tour there was dessert for Crockett…

and dessert for me. Pecan bourbon balls.

You could buy them in the gift shop, but they had a tray for us to munch on while we sipped our drinks. Crockett drank my drink and I ate his (and everyone else’s) bourbon balls.

Then, of course, we had to sit and eat, because it was wayyyy after lunch and we were in the middle of horse country with no other food prospect in sight.

Crockett ordered us a chicken salad sandwich.

I  love it when chicken salad has almonds and cranberries in it.

See? Horse country.

Friday night was a gigantic mess. I freaked out at about 9:30 and insisted that we GET OUT OF THE CAR RIGHT THEN, despite the fact that we were still two hours from our goal of Erie, PA.

We tried to stop in Mansfield, OH, and in return Mansfield tried to murder us. Several times. There were two seriously creepy motels, there were maps that lied about where we were, there were roads that went nowhere.

It was fucked up, y’all.

We ended up stopping at a Super 8 lord knows where. I just know we got about 20 miles north of Mansfield before we felt safe enough to stop the car. Fortunately, the Super 8 was across the street from a karaoke bar.

I will not post the video of me and Crockett singing Total Eclipse of the Heart. Or the video of Crockett singing Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show.

Mostly because we don’t want to have to fend off a bunch of record producers, ya know?

Saturday – We made it to Akron, NY, the little town outside of Buffalo that Crockett grew up in.

We were there through the 4th, so we got to see the hometown parade!

There were bands and approximately 17 million fire trucks. Everyone threw candy.

Candy and gum. (Yes, I am a classy lady, thank you for noticing). The two big companies (and by big I mean a couple hundred employees) in Crockett’s hometown are an ice cream factory (Perry’s) and a bubblegum factory (Ford Gum).

I know. He grew up in a Rockwell painting.

His fabulous parents fed us grilled Italian sausage, roasted asparagus, and baked beans made from Crockett’s grandmother Fay’s recipe.

If I’d known in advance how great those beans were, the proportions on this plate would have been a little different.

It’s entirely possible I ate them cold out of the fridge later while no one was watching.

After dinner we wandered around town, holding hands, until the fireworks started. We stopped under the nearest convenient tree to watch the show. Just picture me snuggled in next to Huck Finn up there.

See?

Rockwell painting.

The drive was totally worth it.

 

who should be the judges and juries of our society?

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Judges and juries!

No, I haven’t watched all of Season 2 of The Office over the last two days while studying for midterms – why do you ask?

Carnitas!

Delicious, but I may have underspiced them – I didn’t measure the chilis, I just seasoned each piece of pork before browning it. Also, I may have set off the fire alarm while browning. Perhaps.

Overall, I think I prefer my pork june bowl style, so I probably won’t make this again, but it was nice to try something new.

I sort of hate corn tortillas, so we used flour, and it was all sort of squishy, but the good kind of squishy.

Speaking of meat …

(that’s what she said)…

Crockett went to Big Hoss BBQ to watch hockey (GO SABRES) while I wrote an essay on the implications of international sporting events on the global identity of individual citizens.

Since he was sad that I had so much more fun than him, he brought me home some hot wings to drag me down to his level. Such a bastard, that man.

It was a whole pound of wings, and I managed to eat all but one.

I felt like a failure.

Statistically, I was a failure.

I know this, because I looked it up.

In my book.

Called Statistics.