bucket list

note: Wow, you guys are good pray-ers.  I’ll update you soon, but the prayer was answered by this morning!

I have a bucket list.  I need to re-name it, though, because I’ve decided it’s not so much a list of things I want to do before I die, but rather a list of things I should do now, while I’m single and unattached.  So most of the things on the list include either spending money or traveling.

The list is pretty doable, too.  We’re not talking about trips to Australia (although I’ve always wanted to go there).

Eating at one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants is on the list.  And while I’d love to eat at Mesa Grill or Bar Americain, I’d be happy to eat at Bobby’s Burger Palace too.  See?  Doable.  I’m not asking to meet Bobby Flay (although that would be pretty cool).

I’ll take suggestions as to what I should name my list.  There isn’t much on it right now, but it’s growing.

Besides eating at Bobby Flay’s restaurant, there is something else — something I’ve wanted to do since high school.  And that something I get to mark off my list this weekend.

I’ll give you a hint.  It’s going to be a beautiful day.

 

come again?

While praying at the abortion mill today (I can’t call that place a clinic), I noticed that one of the cars out front had this license plate:

The heart-breaking thing about our society?  No one sees how disturbingly sad that is.

espresso, anyone?

One of department chairs at work mentioned that his favorite ice cream was Häagen-Dazs coffee.  This wasn’t earth-shattering, given his love of coffee.  (he’s the one that taught me how to make a pot of drip coffee.  When I was 26 years old.  True story.)

So last weekend I began researching coffee ice cream recipes.   Most of them called for instant coffee, which I didn’t have, so I began searching for espresso ice cream recipes.  The only coffee I had in my apartment was espresso for my Moka pot, so I knew I had to craft my recipe around that.

The recipe I found was a gelato recipe, calling for a 2 parts milk to 1 part cream.  It also called for eggs, and it also made more than a quart and a half (my ice cream maker’s max).

So I set about tweaking the recipe to make what I could.

These were the stars of the recipe:

I decided on a whim to mix in chocolate.  It was my first attempt at a “mix-in,” and I figured you can’t go wrong with good dark chocolate.

My machine didn’t seem crazy about the mix-in (you add it in the last five minutes of mixing), but I’d do it again.  I don’t think I will get such good chocolate next time because the chocolate ends up being so cold, you can’t really taste if it’s good quality or not.  In fact, I was debating whether I should have put it in at all, but everyone said it was good, and my friend Liza said it added a nice texture.

Someday, I’ll learn the secret to Graeter’s chips.  Their chocolate pieces are perfect — not hard, sort of soft and malleable.  It completely “makes” the ice cream.  Mmm, strawberry chip ice cream at Graeters… Yummy…

Anyway, the ice cream got thumbs up all around at work.

I asked for constructive criticism since it was the first recipe I’ve just made up.  But they didn’t have much, mostly because they didn’t have any criticism. My thoughts:

  •  I think I would play around with the milk-cream ratio to see if less cream would bring out the coffee flavor more.  A heavy cream content, I think, tends to coat the tongue, and I wonder if that masked the coffee a bit.
  • Maybe the use of espresso instead of instant coffee diluted the coffee taste, too.  I don’t like Starbucks coffee, but I was thinking their VIA instant might be the best bet in that regard.
  • I’m still debating the use of chips.

Those are my thoughts.

I’m up for suggestions… what should my next adventure be?

Marche

One nice thing (among many) about having friends coming into the Church is that you can sit with them at Mass and then go out to breakfast with them afterwards.   Last week we walked to a nearby restaurant; this week we drove about five minutes to an artisan cafe famous for their brunch.  Another friend of mine had told me how wonderful it was and now I believe her.  (okay, I always believed her.  But now I know first-hand!)

Because it was Father’s Day, it was crowded despite the early hour.  It’s in the artsy part of town, and you could tell by the clientele — this was not your IHOP crowd.  I told my mom on the phone later that it was a mom place, but probably not a dad place– the food is excellent, but it’s just not quite his scene.

Although he would have enjoyed what I chose to stuff myself with:


The yumminess you see in front of you is a polenta biscuit, fried eggs, and Benton’s bacon gravy with shaved Parmesan.

Yeah, wonderful, huh?

I decided that frou-frou food masquerades as healthy, as does “local” and “organic.”  No one in their right mind would say that the breakfast above is good for you.  But you read things like polenta biscuit and local bacon and fresh farm eggs, and you think, “Hey, that isn’t too bad!  It’s fresh!  And local!  And boiled cornmeal!”

And then you eat it and realize you’re going to die.

I also had a delicious cafe au lait.  Doesn’t that sound fancy-schmancy?  It’s all about how you sound when you order things.

And how you look in your skinny jeans and fedora.  If you can pull off skinny jeans and a fedora, while eating local bacon and sipping drinks with French names, you’re worthy of eating at Marche.

I wasn’t wearing skinny jeans, nor a fedora, nor did I take myself too seriously drinking my coffee out of a large mug that had no handle.  But it was delicious, and I’ll be going back.  Probably to try the croissant french toast with maple syrup and powdered sugar.