Wednesday, September 28, 2011

blissful brunch, raging rapids, perfect pizza

I’m feeling sentimental. It’s rare, but like lunar eclipses, two headed goats, and bipartisan cooperation in Congress, it happens (no not really that last bit is a joke. The poli sci major in me has given up. GIVEN UP. I am ensconced in a nonprofit doing a specific constituency a lot of good and want nothing to do with any of the rest of it).

Anyway, this sentimentality is manifested in the general direction of my boyfriend. I appreciate many things about him.

For example, he buys me Greek yogurt and delicious toppings.

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This act was part of a generally sweet trajectory taken on a particularly lovely and relaxing morning.

Steve… doesn’t really do breakfast.

If, like me, you are a breakfast lover, you likely find this appalling. But Steve is just different. He kind of does the caveman thing, actually. Much like the males of the prehuman species set off on the hunt, downed a mammoth, went on an eating spree, and then went without for lengthy periods of time, Steve views everyday eating. He loves a mammoth, caveman-sized meal at night. This means he has a lackluster appetite for breakfast and even lunch, and then can experience his full hunger for dinner. (For part of college, to save money, he had a once-a-day meal plan. So he ate really really really huge dinners.) Those of us who’ve studied nutrition may be horrified by Steve’s lifestyle choices, but I will point out that he has a six-pack and the energy level of a Golden retriever puppy. So.

Anyway, despite the fact that Steve doesn’t really do breakfast, he knows that I loooove breakfast and even more than breakfast I love brunch (cause you get to eat twice as much and sometimes even have alcohol!) So he ran out and returned with the fixings for a brunch FEAST.

I am a total micromanager in the kitchen and tend to sort of take over and Steve is a good sport about that, though I suspect there are times he just wants me to sit in the living room and leave him alone. But I did my one official duty and then did obediently disappear to the living room with an issue of Glamour til he unveiled his masterpiece.

Anyway, my production: His and Hers yogurt parfaits!

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A bottom layer of Vanilla Chobani (which I cut a bit with his and a LOT in mine with plain yogurt, since I tend to get overwhelmed by both the thickness and sweetness of that stuff).

A gorgeous and colorful assortment of fruit (bananas and berries of the black and rasp persuasions).

A sprinkling of granola atop, very generous on Steve’s and scant on mine (though it must be pointed out that I was sort of just nibbling and snacking at it from the box cause it was vanilla-y with dried cranberries and DELICIOUS).

Man serving:

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Me serving:

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I relaxed in the living room (slash got a little nutrients in my belly cause I kind of wake up immediately hungry) with a beverage abandoned by Steve’s former roommate.

In fact, the existence of the living room was the demonstration of David’s absence. Due to a sort of shady midyear Americorps housing snafu, Steve had another dude living in his living room for many months. David’s great, but it’s kind of nice to be able to hang out places other than the kitchen and Steve’s room. Anyway, David is the person I have to thank for this beverage, which he left when he moved. David’s Peruvian, and always had all kinds of interesting Latin products.

This product, evidently endorsed by some kind of famous soccer player, was sort of a healthy hot chocolate (a la Ovaltine)

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The ingredients, reasonably wholesome:

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It was yummy!

Meanwhile, Steve was cookin’ up a whole lotta peppers and onions!

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(the peanut butter in the background didn’t make it in, though with Steve it actually wouldn’t totally surprise me)

The purpose of those zesty veggies was revealed to be BREAKFAST BURRITOS!

Big huge mega tortillas, perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs, and the aforementioned veggies. (I’d brought some tomatoes over, and he said he didn’t really know what I’d intended to do with them, so he’d just chopped them up for a topping, hahaha. They were really good!)

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Though Steve always wants to serve me (his family’s Italian… apparently it’s the ultimate in rudeness for someone to have to serve themselves in an Italian home? Whatever), his portion sizes are way way massiver than mine.

So I politely, yet firmly declined, and made my own half burrito.

All the toppings plus, this being a Steve recipe, Sriracha.

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Yum yum yum yum yum!

Because Steve is forever coming up with whacky food combinations (another thing I am fond of- Steve is highly, highly creative), his opted to add some fried almonds on top of his. Why not?

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He made me take a bite and it tasted like… lots of things that taste good… mixed together. I preferred to keep mine a little purer.

Plus a delectable and colorful parfait. A scrumptious, healthy, well-rounded brunch. Mm mm mm.

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Another Saturday with Steve- remember when we went to Pennsylvania to go camping and white water rafting but our tent flooded so we had to go home?

Well, we had a rafting trip to reschedule!

That trip happened this past Saturday. Straight up: I was kind of apprehensive. Something about having to sign the waiver myself for the first time (rather than, as a minor, leaving that grisly task to a parent as I did when I was just a wee child gallivanting around the West). Also, fear of the cold. Other people were renting wetsuits but the girl working the sign in said 50 Boy Scouts had done a trip earlier in the day with no wetsuits. And I had a perverse desire to be tough. And I don’t know… just fear of the unknown. I have never fallen in a river and just really didn’t want to.

But, lo and behold, it ended up being great out on the water. No pictures (due to that whole “river” thing), but we enjoyed all kinds of pretty fall foliage and mildly scary rapids.

And then it was time for the part of the day which I had most excitedly awaited. We made our way to my favorite site in rural Pennsylvania, the Lucky Dog Cafe!

As before, I was enchanted at its mix of rural charm and style. I’d like my house to have this comfy, hang-out-y vibe.

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We began with water, and then his and hers beverages: PBR for the boy with oh so refined taste in beer; Earl Grey tea for the girl who is always, always cold. (And had recently been soaked with river water).

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We hemmed and hawed over the menu for a lengthy time, because both Steve and I take food very seriously. Eventually, we decided on three things.

First, a salad, because they’d boasted of a dazzling variety of homemade dressings. The cilantro lime vinaigrette was indeed delectable, alongside a utilitarian but tasty house salad.

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*sigh*

And then Steve saw bacon on the menu and ordered himself a nice heart attack.

This monster of a bowl included a gargantuan quantity of fries, a huge amount of cheese, lots and lots and lots of bacon, and a quarter cup or so of sour cream atop.

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I ate some, more than I should or desired to, just because I was really hungry and it was there.

Oi. The problem was, I was waiting.

I knew from the get-go the real reason we were there: PIZZA.

You see, when we’d previously visited The Lucky Dog, on the recommendation of a local, he’d casually mentioned “good pizza”. Well, we ordered one and gobbled, awestruck, at the most blisterylicious crisp and doughy thin crust pizza we’d ever been lucky enough to taste.

Obviously, obviously, we got the same bliss-crusted, tomato-basil-balsamic reduction topped beauty.

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I actually (sadly) think the oven was slightly less volcanic this time, because while the crust was blissfully doughy and chewy, it didn’t have quite the same crackle on its edges.

However, the strength of the toppings was 100%. Ooey gooey mozzarella, fresh red summer tomatoes, basil, and oh my gracious that balsamic reduction.

We just may have to do a Pizza Pilgrimage to Pennsylvania every six months or so.

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And more fun awaits us. I am off to Steve’s for dinner tomorrow night, where we will then enjoy a viewing of Return of the Jedi. Basically, we are the coolest people ever.

1 comment:

All Things Yummy said...

Wow, so much delicious food...I don't know where to start.