Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fanciest College Kids You've Ever Met.

What is this!?!?! Blog overload!!! RUN AWAY
No don't. Seriously. Read this. It's full of cheese, danger, and vampires.
Only 2 of those things are true. You have to read to figure out which ones.

The day started out as any normal Saturday would for a summer-existing college student. Except Karin and I have no real concept of what regular college students do on Saturdays.... So we sat in the living room verbalizing our confusion and discontent with phrases like, "But what do we DO?!" and "IS THIS REAL LIFE?" Regardless that we had not had a tooth recently removed, or that neither one of us was named David, this seemed like the only appropriate phrase to use on such a Saturday.

So we formed a plan.

That plan was to craft a remarkably elaborate three-course meal. Why? Just because we had the time. Nothing more. There was nothing confining our afternoon except the limits of our imaginations. Thus it was time to craft a menu, and explore Mankato.

Mankato. What a place. Full of people that we didn't see all the time (and yet we saw the ones we do see all the time anyway). Stop 1: Goodwill. Here we sought a blender for our festive evening planned. And found Ava and Eric... They are not a type of blender, they are a type of person we see a lot. Those are different. We did not find a blender, but we did find a bird clock, an ice cube tray, and some lizard glasses. Those things are important but not to this story.

Stop 2: Thrift Store.  Here we again, sought a blender. But did not find a blender, we found Nick, Carl, and Zach. Again, those are not blenders, they are the kind of people we see a lot.  It also marks the second Cronin we had seen within the hour. Again, not relevant to the story.  But we found hot pads that look like watermelons and a bath mat. So those things are good. But no blender.

Stop 3: Target. Pronounced, Tar-gé. There have always been too many hard consonants in store names.   There we found a blender! A successful trip indeed! Also a cutting board. Those things are important to the story.

Stop 4: Hy-vee. For those of you reading this from the middle of the midwest, this is familiar. MN-ers? Less so. But judging by the number of people milling about, they like what they found. It's a carnival-esq place. There we found supplies.

Then onward home! Where we immediately began preparing our feast of sorts. Feast menu? Let me enlighten you.

Appetizer: Extra-cheesey Spinach and Artichoke dip.
Dinner: Chicken breast with white wine mushroom and mozzarella sauce. With a side of parmesan green beans.
Dessert: Grapefruit and Mint Sorbet.

Go ahead, be impressed. It's pretty normal.

We began with our preparations, chopping, squeezing, dicing, and stirring. All in good time, all in slight chaos. Let me explain. The kitchen in the apartment is not really meant for more than 75% of one person. Therefore it feels crowded with one person and overwhelming with 2. But Karin and I managed to make it work. All the while keeping things a secret from our friend Brittany who joined us for such an occasion.

With the sorbet in the freezer, the dip on the chips, I began working on the main course. This is the part of the story with danger. Heat the skillet, put on the butter, put in some olive oil, salt and pepper chicken. Toss! And scald. Zoinks!  My still red-forearms attest to this lack of judgement. But hungry friends take precedent over very hot substances, and I continued to cook. Stir, flip, stir, put in oven, make sauce, add mozzarella (because the recipe was wrong, it needed mozzarella), and all done!

It may not have been my best move, but it was one of the best dinners.

And of course there are things I would do to change it. Like less mint, more grapefruit. But over all, I would declare it a successful evening. Let the cooking continue.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Humble Abode full of the Food

Holy Shiitake mushrooms and snakes alive!
It's be 45 years since I've written a blog post. I've also had it on my to do list (which is ever evolving and always very long) for that amount of time. It's even written on antique paper.

Let me catch you up in the short version. ie, incomplete sentences fashioned as bullet points.

  • Forensics season 2012-2013 ended with a bang. GAC=8th in the country AFA style, 15 quarter finalists, 4 semi finalists, and Shelby as our first persuasion finalist. Boom shakalaka.
  • Junior year is over. I said what?
  • I have been home for 2 days, came back took a final, and moved into the new apartment a la College View for summer at GAC
  • Class of 2013 graduated. I was at baccalaureate and cried more than most of the doting mothers there. It's embarrassing to be me.
  • Coached 1 speech camp. Gonna have 3 more.
  • Had a s'more. Wanted s'more. 
  • Working at Summer Academic Programs again, this reprise with Karin. 
  • Living with Karin.
Ok great! You now have the chapter titles to my auto biography.

Now for the interesting things... sort of....
We are going to be supreme chefs this summer. How? you ask? Easy. I'm a boss. 
Let me chronicle these cooking adventures thus far. 

Prior to Perham camp/graduation, I made bruschetta and pasta for those friends sick of the caf.  We're talking the kind with garlic and olives and the other kind with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Was it good? It was so good I might make it again. 
Pasta? Red sauce, red wine, other things I found, and mushrooms. You want more details? I am a cook that mixes and matches, somethings can't be taught my son. 

Two nights ago: Grilled cheese with gouda, avocados, spinach, and feta. Karin thought it was so good she almost fell over.  Damn it feels good to be a chef-ster. Sort of. Ok, I'm not that cool. I tried?

Last night: Pasta with white sauce, asparagus, spinach, and pepper. Quite good, but took a 2 in the round compared to the grilled cheese extraordinare vibe I have. I also made some exquisite coffee cake muffins. So that's ideal. 

Karin may be a little paranoid about the air-germs, but over all I think it's a good set up. We're making it work for the best I believe. 

Tonight's menu is far more elaborate than ever before. Why? Because we never have Saturdays to ourselves and don't understand what else to do... so we're going to cook. Updates to follow.

First step: Buy a blender.