This has been a pretty low-key summer for us if you couldn’t tell by the plethora of movies and shows I’ve watched and books read.* Lance is studying for his CPA which includes four massive exams spread out over the course of 18 months. He comes home from work, and studies. He wakes up early on the weekend, and studies. When we drive places, he hands me flashcards, and studies.
*I only gave you the highlights.
We’ve managed to get out of the house here and there to have a little fun between all the studying.
Places I’ve Gone…worth mentioning
- The Beach
I knew the CPA was going to put a cramp in our weekend life*, so when it was already July and I hadn’t been to the beach once, I decided Jon and I were going to take a field trip to Island Beach State Park on a Tuesday. If you’ve got to pay to go to the Jersey shore, might as well pay $6 a carload, right?
*But no more than having a dog. Can I get an amen?
After Lance passed his first CPA exam, he gave himself a day off of studying. Gram had been itching to gamble since like 2017, so we spent the day in Atlantic City.* *With us on the beach, Gram in the casino.
I mentioned earlier how we spent a day in Baltimore. We celebrated Lance’s birthday by unintentionally attending HONfest and then eating dinner at Roy’s.
The Classic Four
We wanted to relive our Hawaiian vacation. Obviously, Hawaii, for so many reasons was better, but it was nice to reminisce over one of Roy’s Hawaiian Martinis.
- Top Golf
This is literally the only kind of golf we have gotten in this summer because of the CPA.
Foods I Made…and would make again
A friend of mine told me about these super simple bagels he made and after hearing about it, I decided I needed to make bagels. Of course, I went with the recipe in my King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion. All things considered*, they were pretty simple. I even managed to work them to a mini size.
*All things being the variety of baked delights I have already made up to this point of my home baking career.
I decided it was time to hang up my Babycakes Mini Donut Maker, bite the bullet, and buy some donut tins so I could actually bake donuts in the oven. I prefer a healthy deep-fried donut any day, but have found when I do this at home the donuts do not keep as well. Baking allows them to remain tasty for a few days.
- Cinnamon rolls with brioche
I heard tell of the magic of making cinnamon rolls out of brioche and needed to try it for myself. In the past, I have made no less than six different cinnamon roll recipes including cinnamon rolls made with mashed potato, crème brûlée topping, and croissant dough. This one was magic and might be my new method.
Places I’ve Eaten…and would eat at again
- Lan Ramen
Ramen isn’t new. It’s just new to me. It wasn’t until I passed a fairly new spot in Princeton that I decided I had to try it. And now life will never be the same. A big bowl of hand pulled noodles with warm meaty broth? Yes. All day. Every day. Please. Because Lance can’t keep from asking a waitress what her preference is at any new restaurant we go to, we heard about their Sweet and Sour Whole Fish. A whole striped bass is fried, served inside out, and covered in a beautiful sweet and sour sauce, hence its name. It is divine and now, in the three times we have visited Lan Ramen in the last two months, we both order a bowl of ramen along with the Sweet and Sour Whole Fish. Don’t judge.
- Brick Farm Tavern
Chef’s tastings are a great way to explore a restaurant without having to decide anything for yourself. Though you must be a brave soul to make such a choice. My friend, Amy, in the past, would have been the wrong person for this. She survived our senior mission’s trip to Mexico solely on bread and water. But the Amy of today is daring and adventurous. She climbs mountains and plays unusual instruments like the autoharp. She was the perfect person to bring to Brick Farm Tavern with the intention of ordering their Chef’s Tasting Menu.
I wish I could tell you exactly what this was, but I can tell you it was my favorite bite of the entire meal and tasted like Thanksgiving in a cup
One of our six courses was beet carpaccio. The thought of beets made us both wrinkle our noses, but the execution and presentation of this bold root vegetable was surprisingly delicious.
- El Rey
On a visit to Philly in the spring, a Mexican restaurant on Chestnut Street caught my eye.
The movie theater letter board with their restaurant name written again and again along with the words Tamales, Enchiladas, Tacos, Tequila told me this was going to be a good place to eat.
I wasn’t disappointed. Lance had the Chalupas al Pastor and I had the Mexican eggs Benedict. But we couldn’t resist sharing Mexican French Toast Churros, which tasted as incredible as it sounds.
And now that you’re all caught up…back to our regularly scheduled programming…I hope.