Eating (sort of un)seasonably.

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So it’s looking like we skipped over spring entirely (well, temperature-wise…the whole horrendous-allergy aspect of spring is in full swing) and jumped right to my favorite time of the year … summer! Yesterday it reached about 90 degrees in my neck of the woods, and, as usual, I did seasonally inappropriate things.

First, let’s talk about what I did right.

Listened to some surfy-sounding O.A.R.!

Drank some seasonably-appropriate beverages!

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Wore flip flops!

…and that’s about it. Because despite the temperature in my apartment lingering around 88 degrees (because I’m not ready to start sobbing/become catatonic over my electric bill just yet), I made a very late fall/winter appropriate dinner last night: beer & cheese soup, and roasted vegetables.

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I know. I willingly turned my oven to 375F. For an hour. And ate some hefty, hearty soup. But hear me out! I had good reasons for doing both of these things

First off, for Memorial Day, Colin and I had an impromptu barbecue. Seriously impromptu. Like, went out and bought a grill around 4:30 p.m. that day because we wanted grilled meat, dagnabit. We also bought entirely too much food, and even though the four other people we fed in addition to ourselves put a good dent in our supplies, we still had a ton of stuff left over. The meat was no problem; we could just freeze that. The veggies, however… we needed to do something about those. Especially before going away for what’s sure to be a crazy-fun family reunion this weekend. (No, no sarcasm. Colin’s family is truly awesome, and thus their annual reunions are always a good time.)

I know what you’re thinking: Jeez, Lauren, why didn’t you just throw them on that grill you impulse-bought three days ago? And you’re right; I could have. But Colin had just finished washing, disassembling and storing it. I feel like taking it and dirtying it all up again probably would have been kind of trollish.

And as for the soup… well, Colin had a tooth yanked out of his head on Tuesday (fun!), so soft foods have been on the agenda all week. And I’ve been dying to make beer and cheddar soup for years, ever since randomly receiving a “Cooking with Beer” cookbook from a friend in college. So since I knew I had a surplus of beer (again, thanks, MDW), and a considerable amount of cheese (because I always have a considerable amount of cheese on hand), I decided to try my hand at this recipe from Food and Wine.

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Deakfast: Brinner’s infinitely cooler cousin.

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As my extreme detesting of eggs probably indicates, I am not really a breakfast person. I almost never make breakfast, despite Colin chanting “make me breakfast!” at least once a week, because making breakfast for Colin generally means making some lackluster eggs that are probably either overcooked and dry or undercooked and salmonella-tastic, a few strips of bacon (the only thing I eat, healthyyyyy) and occasionally toast. And why am I going to task myself with scouring dried egg and bacon remnants from my cookware when I’m not even getting something that remotely qualifies as a meal out of the deal? I know; I’m selfish. 

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I do enjoy pancakes, but they can be time-consuming, and since between the two of us, no more than five pancakes get consumed, I’m saddled with about twenty billion leftover pancakes neither of us ever want to eat. And I love hash browns, but I usually lack two important elements for making hash browns (cheesecloth and patience), I’ve stopped setting myself up for disappointment. I also enjoy breakfast sandwiches (sans eggs, of course), but half of the time, if I order one (pork roll and cheese, no eggs, PLEASE no eggs seriously god please), the bleary-eyed short order cook throws some eggs on there because everyone else in the universe orders pork roll, egg and cheese sandwiches and (s)he probably hasn’t had enough caffeine to process this whimsical request. So again, I’ve stopped setting myself up for disappointment.

(Seriously, with the eggs, I feel like Graham Chapman in the Monty Python ‘Spam’ skit, except it’s not as funny because there are never any singing Vikings or cross-dressing Brits.) It’s damn near impossible to find a meal on a breakfast menu that doesn’t include eggs or isn’t slathered in a metric ton of whipped cream and fruit preserves — and NO ONE sees the problem with this.

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Appetizer & dessert

Originally published June 2011.

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I continued my trend of making dinner for my wonderful dad on Father’s Day this year. The man went and got Netflix and a Nook, so I can no longer use my impeccable judgment of books/movies/DVD collections I know he’d like when selecting gifts. I tell you, the man is IMPOSSIBLE. Just kidding. He rocks.

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