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As you learn more and more about me you'll come to realize one of my passions is giving of my time and donating blood. Before we go any further, there is a great event going on at the Sedgwick County Zoo heading into 4th of July weekend. I'll be there to donate and I encourage you to do the same. Here is a tweet from the Red Cross!
Wichita's 7th annual Red, White and YOU blood drive, July 3-5! Info here -> http://t.co/U2Zp4LlKYt. We need 723 donations to break 5K— Red Cross CP (@RedCrossBloodCP) June 29, 2014
One of my other passions is food. Not only eating it..but cooking it. While I may not be a Michelin or James Beard award winner, I can hold my own in the kitchen. There are 3 rules I like to follow when taking on a recipe (whether it be one I make on a regular basis or I'm trying it for the first time):
1. DON'T OVER COMPLICATE IT: Cooking should be fun. Get the kids involved. Even the most complex recipes can be tackled, but just like building a house....it's easier if you have the right tools. So if you want to try a new recipe for creme brulee , DO IT! However, if you don't have ramekins and a small propane torch, you're going to get frustrated and hate the experience.
2. ALWAYS HAVE A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE TAKE-OUT RESTAURANTS ON SPEED DIAL: This one is easy. NEVER be afraid to try a new recipe. If it doesn't work out, remember the battle cry "THERE'S ALWAYS TAKE OUT"
3. BACON MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER!
Now onto a couple of tips:
1. BUY A KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER: Beg borrow and steal for this. Ask for it for Christmas, a birthday, just because......you will find yourself wondering how you lived without it for so long. If for nothing else it will change the way you make meatloaf forever. (Thanks to an episode of Trisha Yearwood's cooking show....no more cold, achy hands when you mix it with the Kitchen Aid).
2. YOUR MEAT NEEDS A NAP: Let your meat rest.....Don't just finish cooking it and then slice into it.....BYE BYE juicy steak, HELLO to something a couple steps away from beef jerky.
3. ONE FLIP AND A THUMB PRINT: Before you throw your patty on the grill....put a thumb print in the middle of your patty. It will NEVER shrink into a round ball again. When cooking your burgers......NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, smash down the patty with your spatula. Let it cook on one side, FLIP IT ONCE and cook it to the desired "doneness" on the other side. Juicy burgers every time (unless you burn them to an unrecognizable crisp). Oh, and if you're feeling adventurous and want to try something new......put PEANUT BUTTER on your burger....NO REALLY! You'll love it!
Finally....let's finish with a recipe I found for Ice Cream. According to the NY Times it's the ONLY Ice Cream recipe you'll ever need. You WILL need an ice cream maker, but you can get a good one for under $40. Get the kids involved, get your friends involved! Have ice cream making parties. Start creating flavors of your own. Oh and if you've never tried BACON ICE CREAM....you're missing out!!
So here ya go....a super easy ice cream recipe! Just click on the picture!
Be safe....celebrate being free.....thank someone in the military for that freedom....and have a great weekend. Happy 4th of July!