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I Am... Friday Finds: 8.18.17

Happy Friday friends! Mike and I are gearing up for the eclipse – we booked a campsite on the path of totality last year and I recently ordered some eclipse glasses, so we are ready to rock. It's my first ever total eclipse and excited is an understatement. I've been having the best summer with our crazy road trip adventures and this is the icing on the cake. Are you guys planning on seeing the eclipse? It's one of the few times you'll be able to see a total eclipse from North America, so I hope you guys catch a peek of it.

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meat free recipes salad

I Am... The Summer Salad You Should Make Right Now: Peach Melon Basil and Burrata

We're in Colorado! Well, wait, we're not exactly in Colorado anymore, but we were and I made a stunning peach, cantaloupe, basil, and burrata salad. Before this trip I knew nothing about Colorado, except that it's kind of sort of in the middle of the US. But, as I learned, and as Mike told me, Colorado is a big deal. They're known for mountains (and all the mountain sports that go with), craft beer, the invention of the cheeseburger (disputed), legalized weed, green chili, lamb, and most importantly, fruits and veggies!

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grilled cheese mains recipes sandwiches

I Am... Pizza Grilled Cheese Recipe

Do you guys ever get a craving for pizza but the 30 minutes it takes for delivery to arrive just seems way too long? I have the answer, my friends! Pizza grilled cheese! All the goodness of pizza, minus the pizza crust because who has pizza crust just hanging out in the fridge at home? Oh wait, you do? Can we be friends?!

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travel

I Am... Lollapalooza 2017

I recently found out that Steph used to be a major club girl before we dated. This came as a bit of a shock to me because I had a pretty hard time imagining my chill mostly non-drinking wife partying it up at a club. I’d always thought restaurants were more her thing; for a fraction of a second it even rocked my world a little bit. Just a little bit until she further explained that she did it for the dancing, and more importantly, loud music. The conversation went like this: Me: You? Clubbing? You? You don’t even drink! Her: I just like dancing to loud music! Me: Why not concerts then? Her: I love going to concerts! Me: But you never want to go to any, I’m always the one buying tickets. Her: I know, they seem so expensive. So, being the problem solver that I naturally am, I suggested we solve this by going to more music festivals where we could enjoy many concerts for the price of only 2. Amortization! Lollapalooza happened to line up perfectly with our plans so this year for the first time, we went to Lollapalooza and hung with the cool kids. Now, Steph and I both did not exactly have sheltered upbringings, but for some reason neither of us had been to a major music festival before, so we looked forward to it like a bunch of giggly teenagers. Being the adults that we are though, we booked a nice hotel with valet parking. The first day, we rushed out to the festival, ate all the foods, bought all the merch, and saw one of my fave bands: A R I Z O N A. We watched Wiz Khalifa’s excellent show and danced away to Young, Wild, and Free, teared up when everyone sang along to See You Again, and laughed at his giant inflatable blunt on stage. Lorde closed out the night in the rain. She told her audience that the rain was perfect and suiting for the way she felt these days. She probably has a tempest or hurricane going on in her head because it ended up storming so hard it closed down her set. All 400,000 of us evacuated Grant Park in the gorgeous rain slicked streets. I don’t think anyone minded hearing only 3 songs. We capped our first night off with some legit ramen at Ramen San, chosen mainly because it was within walking distance and open late, but it exceeded all our expectations and blew me personally away with their Japanese Scotch list. The next day, we camped out on the railing of the main stage to watch the killers. We’d both concluded that the killers were so popular that it wasn’t enough just to see the show ahead of theirs, so we needed to be there for the show before the show before. Armed with zero water and ready to hold out bathroom-wise, we sat on the railing for almost 6 hours. It was worth it. We were right next to the VIP walk and saw tons of barely recognizable, probably B-list celebrities walk by. Everyone in the crowd seemed to know them though, except me and Steph who looked at each other in confusion. This redheaded dude walked by and all the girls around us wide-eyed. Some googling later between sets led Steph to figure out he was Shaun White, and he was there because he was dating half of the first act (Phantogram). We met Matt, Chance’s ASL rapper, and Elijah, his bodyguard, who claimed to do psyops as a paratrooper in the army (I did not believe this one bit). Run the Jewels was the next act and their live show was just bomb. I’ve never seen three dudes look like they had so much fun on stage, and their fanbase was similarly impressive. At first, we overheard everyone around us chatting along these lines: “You know this band?” “No, I’m here for the Killers” But mid-set, they recognized a long time fan and got him up on stage, and he was able to rap along to their songs perfectly, even while carried over someone’s shoulder. The main act though, the killers, were they worth waiting for 6 hours with no exit? Hell fucking yes. The Killers, if you are not familiar with their live shows, put on a fantastic live performance filled with a lot of Brandon Flowers posing and a light and laser show befitting an old school 80s rock band. They had 6 guys suspended above manually manning the lights from 60 feet up. I’ll never forget the look of joy and gratitude Brandon Flowers had when he played the first bar of When You Were Young and the crowd took over. What a feeling that must be for an artist. Now to the meat of the matter: the food at Lollapalooza. It blew me away - in particular, the lobster corn dog is a thing at Lolla and we had it and it was an amazing thing. We’ve spent most of the past few weeks in New England, so you’d think by now we’d be tired of lobster anything, but it’s not true. Steph and I go to fairs just to get those little donuts. This corn dog is so good you should go to the festival just to get it. One of the things we tried at Lolla was Tank Noodle’s sriracha fries. They were not good enough to talk about here, but made us interested enough that I did some research and found out that there is an incredible Chicago Vietnamese food scene. This was our first time in Chicago with a car, so it was serendipitously perfect. We drove out to the north end and feasted on some incredible pho just before making it back for the XX. All in all, one of, if not the best, trips we’ve had to Chicago. Lollapalooza, we’re coming for you next year! Where we ate (that was good and you should to): Purple pig Pho 777 Shake Shack Ramen San Lollapalooza foods

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mains meat recipes

I Am... Cheesy Tacos Al Pastor Recipe

True story, I sometimes get intense taco cravings. Case in point, Mike and I were in Charlottetown, the tiny capital of Prince Edward Island (a food paradise if ever there was one) when the taco craving struck. We were walking downtown, towards the pier, when we spotted a cute little wooden structure, with inviting chains of string lights hung over their outdoor patio. They even had a cute signboard outside that said, "Yesterday I wanted tacos. Now I'm eating tacos. Follow your dreams." Who am I if not a dream follower?

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recipes snacks

I Am... Party Time: Seven Layer Dip Recipe

I make a lot of notes when I cook stuff for the blog. Helpful things like, needs five more minutes in the oven, or definitely could use browning before braising. But sometimes, my notes aren't really coherent. Like this time around, when I went to look at the notes for these individual seven layer dips, I opened the file with the recipe and found in the notes: DFC.

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breakfast how to mini recipes sunday brunch

I Am... My Favorite Blueberry Pancake Recipe

Mike and I were on the highway today when we stopped to get gas and passed by... a giant blueberry statue! We're not ones to turn down giant roadside attractions, so of course we took the five minutes to stop and take photos of the giant berry. He was scary-cute and both Mike and I thought there would be blueberries for sale, but apparently it was just a giant blueberry, hanging out on the side of the highway.

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travel words

I Am... Chow Town: What to Eat at Lollapalooza 2017

WOOT! I am super excited because as you read, Mike and I are on our way to Lollapalooza! I'm most excited to be seeing The Killers, Lorde, Chance the Rapper, The XX, Arizona, Foster the People, and so many more! And because the food at Lolla is also a highlight, when we're not dancing, we'll be eating.

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mains meat recipes sandwiches

I Am... Sweet and Spicy Beef Satay Burger

Summer road trips are the best. So far we've seen the world's largest axe, boughten fresh strawberries from a roadside stand, and eaten so many fresh cut fries. The fresh cut fries on this side of the world are a whole different beast. The potatoes are as fresh as can be – they grow a LOT of potatoes here and they're thick cut and not as crisp as fries I'm used to, but taste more potato-y as well. I'm kind of sort of addicted, especially with lots of white vinegar and salt.

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travel words

I Am... Our Canadian Adventure: the Saskatchewan Grasslands National Park Camping

Most of the heart of North American is comprised of prairie like Little House on the Prairie style. The plains are temperate, covered by grass, and flat as far as the eye can see. Prairie is French for meadow and the Canadian Prairies look like endless meadow after endless meadow with tall grass waving in the wind.

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mains recipes seafood vietnamese

I Am... Crispy Vietnamese Roasted Salt Garlic Prawns Recipe

We have been eating a ton of seafood, as one does while on the coast. But, I've noticed, in all of our lobster, clam, and fish eating, that there aren't a lot of prawns on the menus. I think it's because they aren't really caught around here? I'm not sure and haven't quite looked into it yet. What I do know is that every year, in Vancouver, there's a definite spot prawn season that varies from year to year. The season window is small, about 4-6 weeks and there becomes a kind of frenzy in Vancouver when people start spotting (heehee) the prawns in restaurants, grocery store tanks, and on the docks.

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recipes snacks

I Am... How to Make the Easiest Ramen Eggs

We just got off of a sixteen hour ferry ride from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland. The ferry ride was surprisingly pleasant! We booked it last minute (we had a little mix up with dates) and ended up not getting a cabin but there were some comfy layback airplane-like seats so we spent most of our time there, interspersed with a dinner of bad (yet good) pizza and drinks at the lounge. There was a Newfoundland entertainer on board and both Mike and I were impressed at how long his set was. It was kind of fun because there were a bunch of young and old Newfies enthusiastically singing along to folk songs.

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