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Last Meal

I don't know why, but for some reason I started thinking about what would be the perfect meal for me? - My favorite dishes ... What would I order as a last meal?

I would start with Broiled beefsteak tomatoes; a take on insalata caprese.  Large tomatoes filled with parmigiano reggiano and fresh mozzarella and basil and a good balsamic vinegar broiled until the cheese is bubbly; served with some fresh basil and a little more balsamic and a good olive oil.

I'd then love a beautiful dry-aged New York strip steak cooked medium along with a crispy potato lyonnaise.  I'd need some good french bread with a great crust to go along with this; served with fresh butter and pink himalayan salt.

For dessert I would want a vanilla bean crème brûlé with fresh berries and a sprig of mint.

I think that would be a near perfect meal.



Hawaiian Vacation

I had a wonderful time in Hawaii last week.  I didn't plan a lot of activities, but had plenty of fun at the beach, swimming pool, riding ATVs, and visiting Pearl Harbor.  I also caught the wyoming football game while I was there.


More photos from my trip are available in the Hawaii 2014 photo gallary.



Summer has finally begun in Laramie.  My garden is planted and i've been enjoying my new deck - I never mentioned it but I had a deck built last fall.  I love sitting outside and enjoying the near perfect weather of summer in Laradise.  I received my vanity call sign.  I'm now K2JDR on ham radio.  I'm making a solid effort to eat and excersize more this summer.  I started swimming several times a week.  No real big plans for the summer yet - just taking it a day at a time.


Ham Radio License

I go way to long without posting these days...

Anyway I passed the test for both the technician class and general class and got my amateur radio license.  Right now my call sign is KG7JLI, however I hope to get a vanity call sign soon.  I picked out several and filed the paperwork with the FCC.  I bought a 2 meter / 70 cm radio - not a ton of traffic in my area, but some.  I am also working on my emergency go bag.  I should have that completed soon.

My parents are leaving on a mission in two weeks - that is exciting news for them.  March madness is once again here and I'm looking forward to watching lots of it.  I still haven't created my shadow box with all the stuff from my trip to the Final Four last year in Atlanta.  I need to get on that.


Summer is gone

I guess I haven't posted in a while.  Summer was good.  I planted some fruit trees, and had one peach and two cherries.  My onions grew very well this year and I have lots of them.  I have lots of carrots too.  They are good, but not as good as two years ago.  I tried beefstake tomatoes, but didn't get much of a crop.

I got a new calling in Church.  I was released as the stake clerk and called to server as Elders quorum president.


Another Season of Baseball

I guess I've kind of forgotten to post on by blog for a while.  Lots of things have transpired, but I probably won't cover them all.

My grandmother passed away a few weeks ago.  The funeral service was very good.  Afterward we went to the Sage Brush to buy candy to see if she really would roll over in her grave.

The basketball season is winding down.  I am headed to the final four in Atlanta this year.  I'll try to post about that after the trip.

I started flowers last month, and this weekend I will start some of my vegetables.  Its been cold enough that I don't feel like spring is coming, however baseball starts on Monday.

I am not real hopeful for the Cubs this year, but I will watch once again.  I still have the MLB.TV premium package is is awesome because I have access to every cubs game.  Now that I have 4G LTE service I can finally stream on my phone too.


Go Cubs Go


Uncle Steve's Lakes Mac and Cheese

For some reason I was rembering an experience I had when I was younger and camping with my dad and his brother Steven. We were backpacking and camping in the high Uintas in Utah in an area we refer to as "The Lakes". Uncle Steve was making macaroni and cheese, and I was excited and hungry. When we got the dinner however I found out he had used pepper jack cheese, and I didn't like it because it was to spicy. I was very dissapointed.

Flash forward a number of years and my food tastes have changed and I've come to really enjoy pepper jack cheese. I decided I should write a pepper jack mac and cheese recipe in honor of my uncle and that camping trip. I haven't made this yet, so some things may need adjustments in quantity, but here it is:

Uncle Steve's Lakes mac and Cheese

4 cups (16 oz) dry macaroni
2 cups (8 oz) Cheddar - shredded
2 cups (8 oz) Pepper Jack - shredded
4 strips Bacon
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk (warm)
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. butter (melted)
½ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350

Start by cooking the macaroni until al dente. While the macaroni is cooking fry 4 slices of bacon until crispy. Remove and crumble the bacon and set aside while reserving 2 Tbsp. bacon drippings. In a large saucepan sauté the garlic in the bacon drippings for one minute. Add in 2 Tbsp flour and whisk to combine. While whisking slowly pour in the 2 Cups warm milk; whisking to removing any lumps. Beat then temper in one egg. Add the salt and white pepper. Add the shredded cheese a little at a time while stirring until it is all added. Add the crumbled bacon to the sauce. Drain the macaroni then combine the cheese sauce and macaroni and place in a large baking dish. Combine ½ cup of grated parmesan and ½ cup of bread crumbs and melted butter then sprinkle the mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.