Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bar-B-Tricks - Guinness Bacon Burgers

I've kept a number of Mom's old cookbooks from the 50's, 60's and 70's, including several for grilling ideas. When I saw this one with Bar-B-Tricks I had a vision of Barbie wearing a leather bustier, holding a little quirt. Probably not what they meant by that. An interesting book, tinfoil hat cover and all (though I'm not sure why he appears to be seasoning up an empty grill with ketchup).

But it got me thinking about grilling out. Burgers. But not just ANY burger. Guinness/Bacon burgers.

6 or 7 slices bacon, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 shallots, minced
2 pounds ground venison
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon Guinness
1 and 1/2 teaspoons HOTR Steak Seasoning or your favorite steak seasoning
dash of sweet paprika
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2-3 dashes salt (to taste)
a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper (to taste)
1 egg, whisked before adding
6 hamburger buns

Cook bacon in a cast iron skillet. Remove bacon and drain off about 1/3 the grease. Add garlic and shallots to the remaining grease in the pan, cooking and stirring about three minutes, until softened. Add that to the bacon and let cool. Once cool, mix in the ground meat, Worcestershire sauce, Guinness, remaining spices and egg until evenly combined. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and cook to desired doneness (makes six burgers). Serve on toasted hamburger buns with your favorite toppings (mine is simply a little dab of Bacon Coleslaw.)

click to enlarge photo.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

More Weekend Fun - Sunday Blog Meet - update with everyone's links

It was a great blog showing with almost 20 people there representing several states at the always enjoyable Broad Ripple Brew Pub. Plus it was Tam's Sixth Blogiversary today (millions of bites of snark served). Congratulations Tam! There were even door prizes with Longhorn Jeff bringing some folks wheel barrels full of money (you know, like the ones that we gun bloggers get from the NRA according to the liberal blogs).

Look, here's my wheel barrow full of money. How cool is that? Thanks Jeff!

Two of the gang even got me Secret Squirrel patches for myself and my squirrel partner at the IND 1500 today. They're rubber and fabric with velcro on the back so they will attach to all sorts of things. Thank you both! You are the best! Scout 26 added the fake nose eyeglasses with built in handlebar mustache to use as a disguise. The half inch thick coke bottle lenses, "goggley" eye addition, makes me look like a barbershop quartet member on PCP so I doubt even hippies would accost me on the Monon trail.

There was food, fun, gossip, plans for a girls night out "tactical slumber party" (no boys allowed) with Miss D., Tam, Roberta X and I (where ARE my camo pajamas).

Midwest Chick: "We can have a fire outdoors and dance around and have fun!"
Me: "If we're out in the woods dancing around the fire, people will think we're Wiccan."
Tam: "Wiccans don't carry sidearms, do they?"

There was food and the hot talk of today's gun show (which I missed as I was playing with tractors), gun purchases and adventure ("so he stumbles back outside. By then, the raccoon was on fire, of course.")

In addition to our first time guests, I got a special surprise.

Some 20 (mumble mumble) years ago, when Old NFO was a spiffy Naval officer I got to fly him into where he was based in a stealth fighter jet large square box known as the Sherpa when I was newly minted with four stripes. We bumped into each other electronically about 15 years later in some squirrel round table or something and have talked on the phone regularly ever since. But we had not seen each other since that flight all those years ago, til today That was a hug long overdue. He hadn't changed all that much, but it's hard to remember seeing as how I was three years old at the time and flying the aircraft from my booster chair.

In addition to Old NFO we had Dave L. (Cancer Ward), Og, and Partner, Rich, Roberta, Tam, Midwest Chick, Bayou Renaissance Man and his wife Miss D., Shermlock Shomes and his talented wife, Mr. B., Don at Push the Pull Door (who is even cooler in person, if that's possible), Old Grouch, The Jack, Mad Saint Jack, (who shared some CD's on knives with three lucky bloggers), Longhorn Jeff (Wheelbarrows Fulla Money) and IND shooter Kerry, a long time blog meet attendee.

It was great to see everyone. Cheers!

Tri - State Tractor and Engine Show - The Day in Photos

Big Fun today. Tractors and old engines, history, nostalgia and people who care about what made America strong.

I headed up early Friday to meet a friend from out of State who loves to attend these things. We both missed this particular event last year due to a death in my family and work schedules so I was really looking forward to attending.

This is the world's largest antique engine and tractor show. Featuring Minneapolis Moline tractors and Illinois built engines this show had about every type of tractor I'd ever seen and some I hadn't.

Gas engines are like roaches you get one and they multiply.

This was sew cool :-)

There were engines really little and engines really big.

You haven't really had a ride until you've had a velvet ride.

There was all kinds of food there, Lionburgers from the Lions club, beef and noodles, hotdogs, sno cones. But my friend brought food that he made for a little noontime tailgate party for the two of us.

Turnovers made of sour cream pastry filled with feta cheese, spinach and BACON and spiced roasted pecans (some sort of secret blend of pepper, cumin, paprika, 3 hot sauces and Worcestershire sauce - addictive) I brought drinks and French Macaroon cookies (mmmm).

She thinks my tractors sexy.

We stayed until it was done for the day, there was just so much to see. Then afterward, it was dinner at a restaurant called Two Oh Four in nearby Muncie. A quiet, elegant little place with incredible food (I had steak with blue cheese, with a red pepper spaetzle and salad with champagne vinaigrette). I don't have a link for them, but it has to be the best restaurant in Muncie and worth a stop.

This was spotted in the hotel parking lot this morning. "But honey, you said if I could fit it in my little pickup I could buy it?!"

I'm on my way home to try and get to the blog meet. So gang, if you are reading this save some Original Sin for me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Striker Fire Goats - Violence at a Fair

OK, this one wasn't a goat. However, this interesting specimen was seen at a Steam and Tractor show in a neighboring state. I'm not sure what it is.

Poodle Cut llama?
Brazilian Bikini Wax llama?
Llama- the mullet?
Extra terrestrial llama circle?
Maybe it's not a llama, maybe it's the Alpacalypse.

But you do see some interesting things at fairs and summer farm shows.

Dann at God, Gals, Guns and Grub got a laugh out of me last month with a post about a goat attack at the fair. Dann's brand new to blogging. He's a former LEO, an NRA instructor as well as a 4H shooting instructor. His teenage daughter is a budding and award winning shooter and his wife is an all around great gal (with a Colt 1911 .45).

While I'm on the road, drop on it and say hello. They're good folks. Guns, motorcycles, faith and family. But don't turn your back on the goats.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Night Off

I got the rest of my tools and gear out of storage, post house sale, and into my freshly painted garage. It was 103 with the heat index. I have red hair and Casper the Friendly Ghost skin color. It was not a fun way to spend the day and my muse said something about Rum and sailed away.

The kitchen is empty and is going to stay that way. I have a large garden tub with girly bubble bath (I looked for one that smelled like a British Sports Car or Hoppes No. 9 but had to settle for Lilac), new music, leftover ham and pineapple pizza with Sriracha sauce, a complex little beer with my name on it, Red Green and Top Gear on TV and perhaps some conversation with a friend. If one is going to spend a Friday alone, this not a bad way to do it, much work accomplished, tools and the world in order for now.

Cheers - Brigid

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On living

Neither dogs nor the daring live forever,
but the guarded never live at all.

- Brigid

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday Festivities - The Finale

I'm home from Birthday Bash Weekend!

I arrived with Barkley, an overnight bag and a pistol and accessories at Mr. B. and Midwest Chick's home.

Look, there's presents!!

And a beer! Yuengling, no less.

OK, twist my arm, time to open the presents!

They tell me to open the big one first. I fondled it. I shook it. I have NO idea what this is. It's the worlds biggest bag of tasty popcorn. Awesome. If you've ever wanted to know what two and a half pecks of popcorn looks like, this is it.

Ok, that's the "fun" gift. Open the little ones. Wow! An Ipod Nano. It's the size of a matchbox and has a touch screen you just scroll with your finger. You will appreciate this more if you know that I'm probably the only person on the planet who doesn't have an Ipod. I don't have a blackberry. My phone is the size of a boat anchor. I opened it, started playing with it while Mr. B chuckles "quick, call Tam and tell her we dragged Brigid into the 21st Century!" Mr. B. had taken the time to set it up with all the programming needed and accessories to play it off home stereo, computer or car stereo. Midwest Chick had also pre-programmed it with a ton of my favorite songs, still with plenty of room to add more.  What an assortment. She knows just what I like.

AC/DC, Adele, Aerosmith, Alberto Luzzio, Alison Krauss, Alison Moyet, Allman Brothers, Aretha Franklin, The B-52's, Billy Joel, Blackmore's Night, Blues Brothers, Bob Seger, Bonnie Raitt, Bonnie Tyler, Burkhard Glaetzner, Cher (just so Midwest Chick and I could sing "Gypsies Tramps and Thieves" really loud while washing up dishes, Chris Wood, CCR, David Bowie, Dire Straights, Don McLean, Dobie Brothers, The Doors, Dubravka Tomsic, The Eagles, Earth Wind and Fire, Eddi Rabbit, ELO, Emerald Rose, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Enya, Eric Brockington, Eric Clapton, Estelle Parsons, Etta James, Eva Cassidy, Finger Eleven, Foreigner, Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Garth Brooks, George Thorogood, Godsmack, Golden Earring, Gordon Lightfoot, Grand Funk Railroad, Guns N' Roses, Herbert Von Karajan, I Solisti Di Zagreb, Jackson Brown, Janis Joplin, Jethro Tull, Jim Croce, Johann S. Bach, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Cash, Josef Bulva, Led Zeppelin, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meat Loaf, Metallica, Michele Campanella, The Moody Blues, Motley Crue, Nicolaus Esterhazy, Pink Floyd, Poison, Queen, REO Speedwagon, Roberta Flack, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Roger Miller, The Rolling Stones, Santana, Sarah McLachlan, Smokey Robinson, Stan Getz, Stevie Wonder, Supertramp, Thin Lizzy, Three Dog Night, Vivaldi, The Who, Willie Nelson, Yuri A. Rozum .

Barry White? Mr. B. laughs from the kitchen and says "Come on it's Barry White?, which started much laughter about what music NOT to play on a romantic date -  Zamfir and the Magic Pan Flute. William Shatner singing Greensleeves and The Chipmunks Rock the House.

We set up the Ipod to play through the stereo and pretty soon we are dancing around the living room, giggling like school girls and Mr. B. comes in, smiles and shakes his head and returns to drop off a plate of 12 year old cheddar and crackers for us all to sit and share. OK, break time while MC shows me how to download tunes from ITunes and Mr. B. goes back to create dinner (Mr. B. being probably the best cook on the planet).

Dogs like 12 year old cheddar you know. Sorry Barkley. You and Schmoo the black lab will have to have a rawhide, this stuff is too good to share with the canines.

Mr. B. is firing up the grill. Pork chops marinated in blood orange infused olive oil, fresh lemon juice and orange juice then rubbed on one side with fresh crushed rosemary from the garden and a mixture of cumin, fresh ground pepper and garlic on the other and grilled. Served with cayenne spiced baked beans and fresh corn from the farmer's market.

Oh yeah. I had a choice of pie or cake for my birthday. I went with Midwest Chicks homemade Chocolate Cream Pie. I'm no fool.

Full and happy we nestled down in the living room to watch it storm and watch a movie (hey, I have popcorn!). Pirates! Sword fights! Bad puns! Things blowing up! "How come the heroine had red hair in the last scene and now it's blond?"

Then a nightcap before sleep as it rains. There was tiny bit left in a bottle of whiskey which Mr. B. let me have, of course chuckling evilly with "I'm going to tell everyone you polished off a bottle of Makers Mark".
After a great night sleep in my comfy little guest room with Barkley laying in their room next to Miss Schmoo, it was time for breakfast. We were up early, hoping the weather might clear enough to get to the gun range.

Perfect to make some breakfast burritos as the sky gets light. Eggs and onions and pepper, and crispy hash browns and BACON with two kinds of cheese and sour cream to top it if one wishes as well as an assortment of hot sauces.

Eat My Dust, Pop Tarts.

The rain was not going to abate so no outdoor range time today. We just settled in over good coffee for good conversation. Then too soon, it was time to leave. I was sent on my way with a Styrofoam cooler of pie and leftover pork (for defense purposes in case I'm waylaid by Jihadists on the way home).

It was a great time. Such days are best spent with friends, especially friends who know what is important in life, and how best to live it.

I didn't think the week could get any better but it did.

I'm making the drive home, listening to tunes, the giant bag of popcorn next to me in case the airbag fails, when the phone rings. It's a good  internet friend driving across the state towards his home in a neighboring state. "Where are you at?" " I'm 20 minutes north of there!" "Do you have time to meet? "Coffee!" (the first peripheral)

We meet at a little restaurant with a train theme and chat for a couple of hours. Due to the storms, it's in the low 60's and after a potty break, Barkley is quite happy to sleep in the extended cab of the truck on his dog bed with a bowl of water while we catch up on our travels.

Too soon, again, time for a quick hug and goodbyes to make that last hour or so drive home.

It couldn't have been a better birthday. Thank you all.

Love - Brigid

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Morning Drive - A Farmer's Life

The dawn, it may bleed, the lands secrets to keep
with thick farmland fog lulling senses to sleep

But far light fringes to a golden sheen
touching the earth like soft kisses keen

There I will pause along stricken fence
where dew drops gather on grasses dense

This land is no longer barren and rough
because I am made of much stronger stuff

My march to survive against flood and thorn
my soldiers simply sentient corn

Without welfare or theft, I harbor my field,
and provide for us all, with abundant yield

Strength of work and grace of heaven
I grow the grain for your bread to leaven

I'll never be rich, tending crop, barn and foal
the land just called to this hardy soul

- Brigid