Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Recently, my mother celebrated her birthday.  We all went to The Atlantic, scene of the first way-too-hot wings.  I got the delicious Mac and Cheese.  Joey got a Crab Cake Sandwich that he couldn't convince me to take a bite of.  There was some suspicious sauce on it....

Joey and I ordered Cheese Fries as well.  I just can't say no to cheese and potatoes!  My parents ordered Curry Fries for the group.

Look at that.  That's the flavor equivalent of an oil spill.

Everyone told me the curry was mild and almost sweet.  Well, I've been told things were mild before.  That turned out to be a giant lie.  At least the curry sauce was a natural-looking color.  And there were fries that hadn't been contaminated, just in case I needed to sooth my burning mouth.

I took one curry-covered fry and one plain fry.  I ate the curry-covered fry was delicious!  My family had not lied to me!  The curry was sweet!  I actually ate more, and I even dipped my plain fry into the curry sauce.  It was more tangy than spicy with a lovely sweet note to compliment the salt of the fry.  I'm looking forward to eating them again!

Joey is already planning a trip to Little India.  I don't know how soon that adventure will be happening....

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

They Claimed the Sauce Was Mild. They Lied.

Joey and I went to see a movie the other day.  The movie theater is right next door to Buffalo Wild Wings, and I am a sucker for those Potato Wedges with Cheese.  It combines two of my favorite things: potatoes and cheese.

But what the restaurant is really known for is their wings.  They have a bunch of sauces you can get on the wings.  I was feeling adventurous so I told Joey I would split some wings with him.  I said, "But you can't go any spicier than mild."

I'm about to use math to explain my reasoning.  This will be the last time (probably) that I use math on this blog.  Mild is the fifth sauce from the bottom of a 21-rung spiciness ladder.  There are 16 sauces ahead of mild.  In other numbers, 76% of their sauces are spicier than mild.  I felt comfortable in the lowest quartile of the spicy range.  I figured it would not rock my world, but that it wouldn't be unbearable either.

So we ordered 25 mild wings.  Apparently, I was also feeling ambitious.  We each ordered a beer, and we decided to split a basket of those delicious potatoes.

Then the wings arrived.

That is a color and sheen that does not occur in nature.

The wings were bright orange.  My first clue that Buffalo Wild Wings had lied to me.  Then I bit into one.  Yup.  Definitely not mild.  My mouth felt like bank statements in a fireplace.  But I was committed to finishing that wing!  The wings were so hot that I used ketchup (usually a total yuck food) to sooth my scalded mouth.

I didn't want to make Joey eat 25 wings, so I somehow managed to eat a grand total of 3 wings.  I think the fact that I managed to eat not only one but three wings shows my development as a person.

I learned two lessons that night:
  1. I can suffer through (some of) a meal if I really put my mind to it.
  2. Never underestimate the lowest quartile of spiciness.  It's still really spicy.

Horrible, mouth-burning experience aside, I cannot wait to go back and eat more Potato Wedges with Cheese.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taco Surprise

I do not eat most food found on Mexican restaurant menus.  I also don't eat most food on pretty much any restaurant menu, but that's beside the point.  Joey very much enjoys Mexican food.  Miriah practically lives on refried beans.  So last night, we made Traditional Beef Burritos.

This recipe has a couple of things that are "Do Not Eat" foods.  The first one is cumin.  Cumin is still a bit too spicy for this kid.  I've realized that chili powder isn't actually so bad, but cumin just fans the flames of any other spice in a dish.

The second big "Do Not Eat" food is refried beans.  While they are essentially the life force of my sister, I maintain that beans are gross.  If you're not going to let your kid eat paste, why are you going to let them eat beans?  Same consistency, same taste.  And before you ask, yes, I have eaten paste.

Same adhesive properties?  Who knows.  Miriah won't let me "waste" them in order to find out.

And of course, "Do Not Eat" food number three.  Taco sauce.  Mainly by virtue of the fact that it is sauce specifically designed for a food that I find too spicy and too suitable for an art project.  In fact, after looking at the ingredients, I decided taco sauce was innocent till proven guilty.

Look at that!  It's even mild!  Maybe it won't be so bad....

We browned the meat (yum), added garlic (yum) and onion (eh), and then the recipe started getting gross.  But it also started smelling awesome.  I was even starting to feel a little excited.  How could something with so much garlic turn out bad?  I hoped (since this was dinner) that it couldn't.

After trying to roll the burritos, Joey passed the task to me.  I treated it like a Potbelly sandwich, and it seemed to go just fine.  Our tortillas were slightly too small, but we managed.  We popped them into the oven to bake.  Remembering those way-too-ambitious pork chops, I started brainstorming back-up dinner options.

After we took them out of the oven, I put more cheese on mine.  Once again, cheese is delicious.  I had forgotten to buy sour cream, so we had to skip that part.  The burritos looked good but scary.  Who knew how much the cumin and taco sauce would burn my mouth?

The potential dangers are so well hidden....

The meat was a little spicy.  But I could totally handle it!  I'm quite proud.  I think this is proof that I'm maturing as an eater.

More surprising though, I preferred the beans to the ground beef mixture.  Beans go well with cheese.  I don't know if that's the magic of cheese or my continuing personal growth.  I guess the next step would be to try refried beans on their own.  I wonder if Miriah would be willing to part with them.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Adventures in Babysitting

Last night, I was babysitting.  Just one girl, four years old, and I've been babysitting her for about two years now.  Normally we just bake Rainbow Cupcakes.  (Seriously, like, every time I babysit her.)  Last night, she convinced me to adventure.  While my adventure with her may not have been film-worthy, it was blog-worthy.

After taking her to fiddle class, I was starving.  I drove to her house, unpiled everything out of the car, and attempted to open the front doors while holding an iPad, purse, car-seat, and empty snack tin.  I rummaged through the fridge and took out the spaghetti her mom had mentioned and some fried rice.

That's when I heard "I don't want spaghetti."

My anxiety levels rose, assuming she wanted Rainbow Cupcakes for dinner.  I was starving!  I needed to eat!  But I asked her, "Well, what would you like instead?"

"Cheese, pepperoni, beans, and cauliflower."  What weird kid.

Now, most of that stuff resides on my "Do Not Eat" list.  Cheese is the one exception because cheese is absolutely delicious.  But she didn't say Rainbow Cupcakes, so I was happy to give the girl what she wanted.

I heated up my fried rice and we sat at the kitchen table, talking about how great her behavior was at fiddle class.  Despite being an only child, she is great at sharing.  So I wasn't surprised when she started offering me her food.  I took a bit of the cheese.  It was the only part of the meal I liked.  Then she said, "You like cauliflower?"

"No.  I never really liked cauliflower.  I do like broccoli, though."

"It's really good for your body.  Candy isn't good for your body.  Broccoli is and cauliflower is.  You could have some."

So gross that no color wanted to be associated with it. (Photo courtesy of Eat-Drink-Garden.)

The four-year-old was (and still is) less picky than me.  In fact, she was encouraging me to take an adventure.

So I picked up the little bleached tree.  The last time I ate cauliflower, Clinton was president.  And the cauliflower was covered in cheese.  It was probably more cheese than cauliflower.  (My mom was getting desperate.  Anything to make me eat vegetables!)

She was watching me with wide eyes, waiting for me to eat it.  I reminded myself, not for the first time on this adventure, that I am an adult.  I should be able to eat more than Rainbow Cupcakes!  So I took a deep breath and ate the cauliflower.

Guess what.  Turns out it tastes just like broccoli.  All that fuss over nothing.  Sorry, Mom.