Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Busy Weekend in Cedar Falls

Last weekend was a big weekend in Cedar Falls. Not only was it the Sturgis Falls celebration, it was also Mom & Dad's 40th Anniversary.

My favorite part of Sturgis Falls was the parade. As you can tell, most people were excited for the parade.

Unlike the rest of us, Rowan didn't seem too excited. Perhaps he didn't know what was coming.
I don't think he knew that Dad, Bailey, Ellie, and Jaden were about to ride past in a convertible. They were all excellent wavers!
Not too long after Dad & the girls it was Kathleen's turn. She was on her reunion float. She really had mastered the wave. Not everyone can pull off the two handed wave, but she did it with ease!

On Saturday we went to the Elk's Club to celebrate Mom & Dad's anniversary. It was nice to have everyone home to celebrate. I am so lucky to have parents who have taught me so much. It was hard being a teenager when they were always right, and it's hard being in my 30s and knowing that they are still much cooler than me.

While at dinner we found another way that Bailey takes after me: she's really good at hanging spoons on her face.

It's always fun when my two favorite guys get together.
We had to leave right after dinner to get back to Des Moines. I wish I could have stayed longer. I am so thankful to have such a great family.

Hot Toddy at B&B

Tonight Hot Toddy and I finally had a chance to catch up. We hadn't hung out since my graduation party. We were going to go for a ride, but decided that we would get more talking done over dinner.

The weather was amazing so we opted for a patio in Beaverdale. We gave B&B a shot. B&B has a great rooftop patio. You get a bit of a view of Beaverdale and you get to feel cool, because you're sitting on a roof. Unfortunately, their food is usually pretty blah. Tonight we decided to go with the build a quesedilla option, and it paid off. Who knew that black beans, shrimp, and jalapenos would make a tasty combo?

Most of the evening wasn't spent eating the quesedilla. Much of it was spent laughing at catching up with each other. We had a great time catching up, sharing stories, and laughing our way into the evening.

Don't worry, I won't skip riding two days in a row. I'm headed to Cumming tomorrow night, and Hot Toddy will be joining me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Too Hot for Baseball

Today I went to an I Cubs game with Allyson, Seymour, and TC. It was hot. It wasn't warm. It wasn't toasty. It was smoldering. It was the kind of heat where the air is so heavy you don't know if you are strong enough to take your next breath.

We started in the bleachers, as it was the only spot in GA to avoid summer camps. After half an inning we decided that it was much too hot of a day to sit on metal, so we found seats by a camp.

The not bleacher seats weren't much better. It was still too hot to think. So I don't know if they won. I couldn't concentrate on the game, as I was trying not to pass out. I left at the bottom of the sixth. I just couldn't hack it. But I tell you what, if are going to chance heat exhaustion at a game, you can't find a better group of friends to do it with.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beaverdale Live

Last Saturday night was Beaverdale Live, a street party in my neighborhood with a couple of bands. I had a lot of fun at it last year so this year I volunteered to sell beer tickets. I'm glad I volunteered, as I was there early enough to pick up some free Beaverdale Live coozies. I also got two free beers and a Miller Lite t-shirt (if you're really nice to me you can borrow my shirt). I was working the shift with two women I work with on the fall festival committee, so it gave us a chance to come up with ideas for the next Beaverdale event.
There's always a good showing at Beaverdale events. We were a little worried, as it was the same weekend as WineFest & Pride. Luckily the nice weather drew the crowds out. Monica and Andrew stopped by, and Justin even came from the South Side (He likes to see how the other half live).

Towards the end of the night Stimmel got cold enough to wear my sweatshirt. I was a little chilly, but it was totally worth it to have him wear a sweatshirt with my name on the back. It opened it up for all sorts of jokes about how I like to make him wear it so the ladies know he's mine.

Send your CSA my way!

Last week Kathleen was out of town and unable to pick up her CSA box. Always being one to help out my sister I picked it up for her. Then I promptly ate most of it.

The CSA box was filled with the best spinach I've ever had, lettuce, green onion, and radishes. I used the radishes, radish greens, and green onion to make an amazing spring salad with goat cheese (Cooking Light April 2009). Just looking at the picture makes me drool a little bit (but thankfully not burp radish). The recipe was from cooking light and had a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil.

I don't remember ever eating radish greens before. They are bitter, and I was worried I wouldn't like them, but the dressing and goat cheese mellow them out a bit. If you've ever wondered what fresh tastes like make this salad. Next time I would bulk it up with more greens and cut back on the radish a bit. I insisted on making it exactly as indicated in the recipe, and continue to be mocked for it.

Thank you Kathleen for sharing your vegetables. Don't you think you should head to Cedar Falls early next week? Say on Wednesday morning??

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation.

This summer if you ask me to do something I'll probably decline. It's not that I don't want to spend time with you. It's that I just bought a new roof and have spent all of my money. As I'll be stuck at home a lot I would like you to oooh and aaah over my new roof. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Well that was delicious!

Sometimes I get a food idea so delicious I'm surprised I haven't thought of it before. Today it was ginger ice cream topped with warm rhubarb sauce.

I thought of it as I was making some rhubarb sauce. Mom was nice enough to bring some down for me last weekend. There was so much that I was able to freeze some for pie or rhubarb crisp next winter and make a lot of rhubarb sauce. As I was stirring my eyes panned the counter, looking at all of the things I need to pick up. After scanning the leftover cups from last weekend, allergy pills, recipe box, and recycling I came to the chunk of ginger root left over from last nights dinner.

I contemplated grating some ginger into the sauce, but was worried I would put too much in and ruin it. At that point I remembered that I have a pint of my new obsession Haagen Dazs Five Ginger ice cream in the freezer (only five ingredients, no guar gum or other funky ingredients). I decided to make a rhubarb sundae. It was amazing. I highly recommend it. I would invite you over for it, but it is far too good to share.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thank you Aunt Kathy, Deirdre, Claire, and Gjergji!!!

Thank you very much for the amazing food processor. My first food processor is a 3 cup model. For a long time I thought that was all I needed, and then I discovered baking with a food processor. Now with my 14 cup model I can make all of the breads that have been bookmarked in old issues of Cooks Illustrated and Bon Appetit.

To test it out I made white sandwich bread today. It came together easily and looks tasty. I'm trying to wait for it to cool before I tear into it. I'll keep you posted on how it went.

In appreciation of your amazing gift I've come up with an assortment of gift related puns for your pleasure. Well, for the pleasure of Claire & Deirdre. I'm pretty sure Kathy will groan and tell me I'm sick the next time she sees me.
  • I guess Sunday afternoons are for loafing around.
  • Any way you slice it, it's a great present.
  • You didn't need to spend all of that dough.
  • It is hard to process such a nice gift.
  • I'll raise a toast to you (it will have strawberry jam on it).
Did that get a rise out of you?

Graduation Party

Yesterday I had a graduation party. I was worried going into it. I had nightmares that no one would show up (they did). The forecast called for rain (it held off). My ear infection hurt like hell and made it impossible for me to chew (pain pills and juice got me through).

I shouldn't have worried. The party was great. It had everything you could ask for in a party.

It had a nephew who is really good at pouring beer.
It had another nephew in training for pouring beer. I don't think he'll be up to pumping the keg at the lawnmower party this year, but he should be good by next year.
It had Kathy & Deirdre (and a pre and post party call from Claire). I was kind of out of it due to the meds, but I'm pretty sure this is right after Kathy's keg stand. I'm sure she'll deny it, but can you really believe a drunk like her??
It had football.
My party even had the tell tail sign of a great party...the John Hartman impersonation. Nobody nails that impersonation like Justin. Granted, I've never seen anyone else do a John Hartman impersonation, just an impersonation of Justin impersonating John. Whew. That sentence gave me a headache. I may have to take a nap after typing that out.

Thank you for everyone who was able to make it to the party. I'm blessed to have such great family and friends. I appreciate you all so much.

Flashback at the Tap

Last weekend I rode to the Cumming Tap with my friend Spencer. Spencer and I stay in touch on Facebook, and had talked about getting together for a ride for about a year. But I'm really good at putting things off and never making plans, so that didn't happen. In fact, I hadn't seen Spencer since we worked together at camp in the 90s.
It was a great time. Allyson & Stimmel met us at the tap. We finally left when we were running out of daylight.

It turns out we didn't really have to worry about daylight on the way back, as we made excellent time. We ended up going over 20 mph on trail back.

After the ride we headed to Taki for some sushi. Then I fell asleep on the couch watching cartoons. I lead a pretty exciting life.