#155: Cyprus

Show up anyway.

“Be messy, be complicated, be afraid– and show up anyway” was the theme of the week. As I get farther into this black hole they tell me is “adulthood”, I have come to realize that it’s really less important that you show up put together or that you have all the ducks in a row. It’s not important for you to want to be there because it’s not really about you and what you want or don’t want.  I’m a hot mess most days– light on the hot and triple the mess. So be a train wreck. No one will care about the state you show up in or if you have all the answers when you do; but they will care that you decided they were enough for you to show up in spite of all those things. Sure, physically show up…but I think you’re following my metaphorical ranting on this one too.

THE DINNER: This weekend was the 20th Race for the Cure in Brovskyland… Yes, you read that correct. Two DECADES of the same race- mother/daughter dream team (#squadgoals). With L and I running to save second base again this year, we took our time Sunday getting around to Cyprus, but that was fine because Cyprus is laid back (or at least that’s how I envision it).

We made some kontosouvli which is a souvlaki marinated in oregano and chili pepper. It’s not surprising that the food of this nation bridges both Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. It’s the marriage of two very distinct and lovely pallets. Lots of olive oil, oregano, mint and garlic. You’ll see pine nuts and pork and lemon. Think of kontosouvli as the Cyprus version of BBQ. Traditionally smoked on a spit over an open fire. I guess L is happy that BBQ season is still alive and well with this one 😉

Kontosouvli Recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/pork_souvlaki_with_58334

IMG_1541IMG_1525IMG_1526IMG_1527IMG_1529IMG_1531IMG_1532IMG_1534IMG_1538IMG_1539

Ease of prep and cooking: ONE STARS out of five these two recipes!
It’s grilled meat on a stick… so yeah, I’d be remiss if I said this one was tough. Grilling is not my strong suit, but lucky for me it’s my mom’s favorite hobby. It was raining and cold and post Race for the Cure, so it’s pretty much a safe bet that we weren’t in this for more than a two star trial. Good thing Cyprus delivered.

Best dish of all time scale: UN-ESTABLISHED NUMBER of STARS out of five for this meal…
You read that correctly. We aren’t sure where we land on this one. Dad and I felt like it was around a four star while L wrestled with giving it five or four and a half… jury is out. Regardless, it was decided that it was delicious and simple. Maybe too simple? Sure. That’s where Dad and I came in on things. The citrus of the lemon was the best paring with the smoky charred pork. In the scheme of things, I settled the score with this statement: “This is just not the sexiest pork that was made in the Brovsky kitchen this weekend”. That was fair– welcome to green chili heaven, Colorado lovers. Green chili knocked this one out of contention this weekend.

We are already entering the last week of the month. Time flies when you’re having fun 😉 Next stop on this field trip is The Marshall Islands for #156.

Count on us to show up anyway,

– L & K

#154: Liechtenstein

Trouble…

For those that have known me for any amount of time, it’s not a state secret that I don’t really sleep much. This typically results in those around me reaping the benefits of my favorite insomnia laced activity: BAKING. Yep, when I can’t sleep, it’s not sheep I count. I count teaspoons of vanilla; cups of flour and don’t walk so much as dance on egg shells. So, this week, as the sleepless nights have seemed to have returned– I have found some dim 2am’s running past my mixer as I sing along to the radio. Usually the genre of choice for this nocturnal activity is the George Strait pandora station… but this week it was some serious Ray Lamontagne. Trouble… Trouble….Trouble, my friends. Nothing but trouble 😉

THE DINNER: Confession: this one is hard to spell. I mean, I have to get a running start at it, particularly after lack of zzz’s. But after you get the funny name down, you find yourself in a very tiny, German-speaking country in central Europe nestled between Austria and Switzerland. How adorable. In the theme of insomnia baking, we are tackling a strudel-type dessert called Feine Linzer Plätzchen which roughly translates to “Fine Cranberry Cookies”.

If you guessed that this one features some German food, you’re spot on and a cheater because how easy was THAT lead in for you? It’s all good, I’ll let you have the easy pitches because the last several countries have been tricky and I’m sleep deprived and feeling generous. German food is like the penultimate comfort food… it’s all gravy and pork and potatoes. It’s laced with all the beer you could want. In the event of impending Oktoberfests everywhere, it’s a good thing we turned our attention to Europe this week.

Though to be honest after this week, I feel like I should start drinking more whiskey and wine and give the beer a rest. You know….for my heart.

Feine Linzer Plätzchen Recipe: http://baketotheroots.de/feine-linzer-platzchen/

IMG_1442IMG_1445IMG_1443IMG_1414IMG_1420IMG_1421IMG_1422IMG_1417IMG_1418IMG_1441IMG_1427IMG_1432IMG_1444

 

Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five these two recipes!
In terms of dough, this one was pretty easy! No proofing, no yeast, no stress. The almonds are important though, so don’t go rouge and think that almond flour is a substitute for the actual ground almonds… it’s a texture thing you will thank me for in spades later. Promise. Also, it’s hard to find cranberries this time of year. I guess Christmas cookies will do that to you.

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE STARS out of five for this dessert!!
I’m not going to lie, I needed a little sweet treat this Sunday Funday. I think everyone agree that the word to describe this dough was “phenomenal”. Sure the cranberry was lovely, but to be real, we could have filled these babies with anything and that dough would have been the show stopper. It reminded me a whole lot of Russian Tea Cookies (read: Almonds and a metric shit ton of butter); which was fitting because of Dad’s birthday but also because that’s a comfort food for me. Highly recommend eating them right out of the oven. You know, cookies are always better warm 🙂

For those curious readers, we did not give a mouse a cookie and we aren’t clear on what happens if we do. The Race for the Cure is next Sunday. L and I will be hanging up the soccer cleats for our running shoes to commemorate our 20th year running this one together ❤ When we return from the race will be tackling #155 in Cyprus.

Happy Birthday to AJB this weekend! Rollin’ with the double 5’s!
You’re not old, you’re vintage.

– L & K

#153: Dominica

It’s Rocky Mountain Showdown time again, kiddos!

You know what that means! It’s soon to be a smattering of leaves changing, cute boots, football games and pumpkin everything– though I have to confess, I’m not a huge pumpkin fan, I did happen to try a #PSL beer this week that was damn tasty. Color me shocked. I was lucky enough to get to tag along to some club level seats for the Showdown and I have to say, I am now super spoiled and can never go back to sitting with the common people. I won’t underestimate the fact that the company that came along with those seats was unparalleled and had 110% to do with why I had such a lovely time (that and the “w” for the black’n’gold). I learned how to play Texas Hold’em… though sad to report I’m not sure I’ve developed a poker face just yet. Snuggled between the BBQ and the small town parades, it was one of the best weekend on the books in a while.

THE DINNER: To be more accurate, this one was more like brunch in brovskyland. Mainly, it was that we had to go on a mission to procure frog legs and we honestly weren’t sure if it would take all day or not. Turns out, I’m on a little bit of a lucky streak these days (beyond breaking a very cool whiskey glass at my parent’s house… that was the proverbial low point of my weekend. Not too shabby).

We ended up in Edwards Meats and in the seafood section (which is what Frog is classified as…) we found them! We also decided to make a drink to pair with the legs because it was all a little simplistic for our caliber. We utilized the Black Rum we had from when we tackled St Kitts and Nevis which turned the run punch a little dark, but still tasty. The island nation of Dominica was settled by the french and therefore a lot of their cuisine is very much creole in it’s roots. Unlike their Louisianan counterparts a little farther north, the Dominican people shy away from heavy spice. It’s actually pretty simplistic and clean.

Fried Frog Legs Recipe: http://globaltableadventure.com/recipe/recipe-fried-frog-legs/
Dominica Rum Punch Recipe: http://food.lohudblogs.com/2013/04/19/latin-twist-dominica-punch/

IMG_1328IMG_1289IMG_1329IMG_1330IMG_1313IMG_1315IMG_1316IMG_1333IMG_1332IMG_1292IMG_1331IMG_1307IMG_1311

Ease of prep and cooking: TWO STARS out of five these two recipes!
I’m not gonna lie, this one was supposed to be tricky. We anticipated having a bear of a time finding the meat for one and just had no clue what it would look like. I’m glad to report that the legs got one star and the drink got the other. We had an easy go of things this week. Which left us a whole lot more time for other festivities.

Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for Meal!! THREE STARS for the Drink!
My oh my, it was such a cliche! The damn things taste like chicken. I can’t get over how unassuming they were… and even for all my foodie roots, I was a little nervous to try these bad boys. I quickly got over that because they were everything crispy and delicious. I’m not going to mince words here, they only skipped away with four stars and that was because they were maybe too simplistic. Not to disappoint, in true Kris fashion, I hit it with a load of Cholula and then they were like little kermit hot wings…er, legs, I mean. The rum punch on the flip side was incredibly tart and refreshing and earned a three star review. I mean, it was good, but we all came to the conclusion that we probably wouldn’t order it again if in a bar– but with that being said, we definitely finished that pitcher off. It was a HOT one here in the 303 after all 😉  

Rolling along into September and Indian Summer– we plan on cooking up some European cuisine in Liechtenstein for #154 🙂 It’s sort of in honor of Oktoberfest. We haven’t been to Europe in a hot minute, so we are welcoming the change of pace.

Happy Labor Day! 
– L & K