Monday, July 29, 2013

Blueberry Peach Cupcakes

Tis the season for fresh produce here in Wisconsin.  I’m very fortunate to live in an area that offers a great variety of orchards, farms and frequent farmer’s markets.  

This weekend we visited a Cain’s Orchard (http://www.cainsorchard.com/).  My first trip to Cain's was 4 years ago with my mother and a friend.  We drove up from our home and made it there in time for the 7:00 a.m bell ringing.  Cain's asks that you not start picking until the bell rings (you can, however, start tasting).  The bell rings and all you can hear around you is the sound of blueberries plopping into buckets.  We had such an awesome time that I was really excited to go back.  I've been there once since then, and again this weekend. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Cain's.  They offer a U-Pick operation featuring 9 varieties over 20 impeccably clean acres.  





The price for blueberries this year was $1.45/lb.  Stop....read that again.  PER POUND.  In my area, I can go and get blueberries at the store in the pint containers but I rarely see them less than $2.  The best price I think I may have ever seen on blueberries was $1.30-1.50 per pint.  I did a little digging online and the general consensus is that those packs from the store generally weigh 11-12 ounces (so about 3/4 of a pound).  There used to be a much larger margin in price difference but the cost of everything just keeps rising.  While we did have to pay for gas to get there (and we stopped for breakfast at the Timber Valley Restaurant in the Hixton Travel Plaza for breakfast and FARM FRESH EGGS-which I love), I still consider the experience to be fun and worthwhile.  

While cruising around, looking for garage sales with the boyfriend's sister and my good friend, we stumbled across a roadside vendor selling peaches.  The boyfriend's sister and I got a bushel for $28 and split it.  Looking online, it seems like we made a good choice but I have to admit that once I got into the box I was a little disappointed to see how many were a little abused.  But I decided to push forward.  

I needed to make something and I wanted to incorporate both peaches and blueberries.  Here's what I ended up with: Blueberry curd filled peach cupcakes with blueberry buttercream frosting.  I didn't have a pastry injector, so I used a bag with a tip.  I didn't get as much curd in the cupcakes and I would have liked.  I think I'll definitely be looking into one in the near future.  Yum.


Under fluorescent lighting at work




Fresh at home




The Inside


This is the recipe I used.  It is modified from the recipe I found at A Spoon Full of Sugar:  http://sweetannieskitchenblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/peach-cupcakes-with-peach-buttercream/

Cupcakes  (yeilds about 24 cupcakes)
2-2 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup sugar
1 cup fresh peach puree
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup Peach Schnaaps 
2 tablespoons vinegar
Yellow and Red Food Coloring

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin.  I used my mixer so I mixed together dry ingredients in a bowl on the side.  Mix together the peach puree, oil, water, schnaaps and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the peach mixture and mix until combined - I added about 5-6 drops of yellow and some red food coloring for a brighter color.  When the batter is smooth, add the vinegar and keep mixing.  There will be some foaming where the baking soda and vinegar are reacting to each other.  Mix until everything is distributed evenly. Pour batter into muffin tins, and bake for about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool completely. 


Blueberry Curd
(photo by Jen Perez at www.beantownbaker.com)

I followed this recipe for blueberry curd from Beantown Baker exactly  (http://www.beantownbaker.com/2012/02/blueberry-curd.html).  I think I may have overcooked it slightly, but it was perfect!  I didn't get enough into the cupcakes, which I'm a little unhappy about but glad because I'll be eating this on everything I can think of for awhile.

1 cup blueberries
1 Tbsp water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Put blueberries and water in saucepan and cook over low heat until blueberries are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Press mixture through a fine mesh sieve and put liquid back into saucepan off of the heat. Stir everything together and cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.


Blueberry Buttercream
Buttercream and I have a complicated relationship.  I'm apparently very good at making it, but I don't always love the flavor.  I search the internet looking for a recipe and I couldn't find anything that looked quite like what I wanted so I had to go it alone. Here's my recipe:

2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar
Pinch fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 cup fresh blueberries, pureed with 1 tablespoon water and strained
1-3 Tablespoons very cold milk

In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy.  Slowly add confectioners' sugar and continue beating.

Add salt, vanilla, and strained blueberry puree and mix until well combined.  I like the look of the skins, so I added a little bit of the strained skins into the mix, but you can omit this for a prettier cupcake.  If the buttercream is too thick, slowly drizzle in milk until you reach the desired consistency (I used about 2 tablespoons).  Beat at high speed until smooth and fluffy.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Punishing children is Exhausting.

Perhaps I shouldn’t “go there”.  Perhaps I should have some limits.  But I'm hoping somewhere out there is someone who can sympathize.


The Kiddo (my boyfriend's daughter) lied to me.  We have her every other weekend and the last time she came to visit, in an outburst of tears and snot, she started her list of complaints about how she is being treated and the terrible crimes and abuses that have been committed against her (sibling feud) and then she dropped the bomb:

 “I want to come live with you guys”. 

Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it if that is what was 110% without a doubt the best possible thing for the child and completely necessary.  But I’m not going to lie…with her father working 14 hours a day she wouldn't be coming to live with US, she’d be coming to live with ME.  With the challenges she is posing lately though, and the restrictions posed on me as a non-parent, I don't think I could do it. 

When talking about the situation with her later, we learned she hadn't told her mom about anything.  We decided that her mom needed to be told the situation as it was being presented to us. When the Kiddo called her mom, what ended up happening was tears and statements that led me to believe she was being less than truthful.  I asked her if there was anything she wanted to come clean about, or if she wanted to tell me what part she played in it all.  She looked me in the eye and proclaimed her innocence to the bitter end.

It ended up coming to light that the Kiddo was perpetrator of the crimes that had been described to us as being done to her.  

*hangs head in shame*

I let the kid tell me a story.  I took her side.  I hugged her and told her I was proud of her for calling her mom and telling her what was going on even though it was hard as she had (allegedly) been threatened with repercussions by the perpetrator.  Isn't that what you’re supposed to do?  Believe a child when they claimed they’re being hurt to the point of excess?  I did all of that, only to find out that a 9 year old had taken me for a ride.

I’m not stupid…I know that in every single sibling fight that both children are usually equally guilty and the one that tells first usually gets the sympathy.  I know there have been pretty severe problems between the Kiddo and her sibling.  I knew that she couldn't be completely innocent in everything that had happened.  But when it came back that the problems that were occurring were actually caused by her…I admit, I felt and still feel like she made an ass out of me.   

I felt the problem needed to be addressed at our house as we were the ones who had been lied to in an epic, Grammy Award deserving performance.  My friends with children all suggested that this was for attention and that she needed to be talked to, and told she is loved.  The idea of doing that made me angry.  The kid lied to me yet again (this is NOT the first time) and I’m supposed to coddle her? 

When I was a kid, if I lied I got grounded.  Though memory is failing me at present, I may have even gotten spanked over it.  But grounding or taking things away as punishment only works if they child has something (like friends) to be grounded from.  How could it be effective, however, when you get the child at 5:00 on Friday and return her between 5-7 on Sunday?  So she goes without t.v. for a few days…in my experience, having something taken away (unless you use it constantly) doesn’t really bother you when it only happens for a day or two.  Both her father and I have talked and lectured until we’re blue in the face.  Nothing stops it. 

I spent my day Friday looking up what to do with children who lie.  And of course there are all these “Do’s and Don’ts” and what you’re supposed to say and not say and of course, they’re all in agreement.  NOT.  I had no idea what I was going to do when I woke up Saturday morning.  But…I think I went a little off the deep end.

I threatened to send her to Military School.

I spent the day enforcing her punishment, only to have her sit down at dinnertime and say that she didn't understand what she was supposed to be learning.  Fail.  And I admit, I kind of gave up after that point.  She got a lecture from me and then I checked out because I was exhausted, out of ideas, and no longer possessed the motivation to keep punishing her when she clearly wasn't getting any lesson from it.

I don’t know what can be done.   I’m starting to believe what Judge Judy says…. "Do you know how to tell if a teenager is lying to you? Her mouth moves!" applies to all children, not just teens.  I’m afraid that if we don’t do anything then we are failing her.  All of the websites I read on Friday just keep saying the same things…don’t take it personally.  How the hell can I not take it personally?  Isn't the fact that the kid is a liar kind of a reflection on “the village” raising her? And, by the way, according to the Internet (and you can't put stuff that isn't true on the Internet) I’m also not supposed to label her a liar but isn't there a limit to how many times she can lie before I can call her one?  Should I not be terrified that every other weekend, I live with a liar who could tell stories about ME?  Do I need to be concerned that the lying will escalate to something like stealing? And while we are riding that train, do I need to be concerned after she asked me what happens to my jewelry when I die on her last visit?

Ok.  That last one was a joke…mostly.  But I'm so confused as to how I am supposed to help this kid.  I'm terrified that something could happen and because she "cried wolf" so many times before that she'd be left without someone to help because no one believes her.  I hate feeling like I'm being put into a position where I can't help her.  I can't possibly "jump" to her every accusation and story; I don't want to falsely accuse people of things or be some kind of suspicious helicopter non-parental adult figure because let's be honest, the only thing worse than a helicopter parent is a helicopter stepmother that isn't.  

Ok, that's it.  I'm spent.  I've got nothing more to say on the issue.  I got it out and I feel better.  But on a serious note..."real" parents out there: how do you deal with this?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm the Missed Connections Chick

My obsession with Personal Ads probably began after seeing “Ghost World”. The main characters respond to a Missed Connections ad posing as the intended recipient to see what kind of freak puts Missed Connections ads in the paper. My fascination might go back even further, as I vaguely remember reading the personal ads in the Foxxy Shopper that would show up on our doorstep Wednesday nights. Eventually, I found Craigslist and their selection of lovely personals and started sharing the more interesting ones on my Facebook page, which even inspired weekly dramatic readings over Bloody Marys at my cousin’s house on Sunday mornings.

Why the obsession with Personals and Missed Connections? It is so romantic and utterly creepy that it is hard to not be attracted like a moth to a flame. Some of the messages are so sweet, the others so incredibly strange that it is frightening to know that these people live in our community, possibly even right next door to us.

The creepy version of the story is you reply to an ad, and wind up in a basement being told to put the lotion on the skin by this guy or someone like him:

Or if you want to see something really, really creepy. Check out www.takethislollipop.com and allow it to access your Facebook page. I had nightmares after that shit.

But what is romantic about it? The idea that love at first sight does exist; the nagging thought that perhaps when we weren't looking we missed the incredibly rare, real thing that manifests itself after a simple meeting of the eyes. It is the possibility that a simple interaction with another human being, a moment if you will, could lead to everything we've ever dreamed of in a story that sounds like a Meg Ryan movie. And at the very least, it is a huge compliment that with the hustle and bustle of our daily lives that in the middle of it all someone noticed you. Something about you made you stand out to someone and they want to get to know more about you.

Now, obviously, people aren't always on there looking for true love. Most of the ads I see are one of four things:

Creepy posts






Posts from people looking to reconnect with the past (in this case, in kind of a creepy way)


Posts by people unsure about approaching for whatever reason


Posts by people looking for a hook-up


What came from this was a terrible, terrible joke that I played on the boyfriend. I feel the need to confess (and brag a little) about the best prank I ever pulled.

It started when BF got hired to work for a home delivery service with a very distinct uniform. Think UPS, but not UPS (did you know they wear brown socks with the UPS logo on them?). He’d been at his job for about a month and a half when he ended up working Labor Day; I had the day off and knew where he was. A few days later, I made the first post.


"I saw you at Kwik Trip and a few place on the southside on monday. i think you have big blue eyes (?), longish brown hair, and your a big sexxy guy.  You were wearing a xxxxs uniform. did you notice me? I tryed to catch your eye a few times. If you saw me or would like to chat, email me and tell me what I was wearing or where i can meet you for coffee"

I blacked out the name of the company, but in the posts I spelled it wrong.  I also forced myself to exhibit textbook examples of text speak, poor spelling, and terrible grammar.  Then I waited a day or two before texting him a message that I was reading Missed Connections again and I thought someone was talking about him.  He, of course, laughed it off.  Then he tried to tell me that it must be another guy from the same company.  Later, at home, he expressed his thoughts on how lame someone must be that they would post such a thing on the Internet after reading the post for himself.

The ladies at work all thought it was pretty funny.  We all chuckled about it and let it go.  Until  a few months later one night when I found myself unable to sleep.   He hadn’t really responded to the first one, so I needed to really do something to get his attention.

"Sexxy xxxs guy....I saw you again! Your the big sexxy guy I see at kwik trip and driven in my neighborhood. Do u beleive in fate? A lil cold to b wearen shorts, but I can warm you up in no time. U were on the phone. Hope it ain't your gf, because I want to meet u and see if everything is big. She doesn't have to know, I can be descrete. Email me if y see this...lets hook up. If not I will just see if i can fund u when your down the block and get u to cum to my house. Pleaze email me!"

The second message got quite the response.    Both from Craigslist users and the BF.  I received over 30 emails from users on Craigslist telling me that he obviously wasn't interested but they were.  I received emails from men offering themselves in his place, men willing to play delivery men, men claiming to be wearing sexier uniforms, and men telling me I sounded hot and they’d love the opportunity to knock on my door. 

The boyfriend?  Priceless.  I texted him to ask him if anything weird had happened the day before, and when he asked why I told him there was another post and I sent the message to him on his cell phone.  He came home that night and kept exclaiming what a weird loser this girl must be.  The icing on the cake, however, was when he came to visit me for lunch one day and told my favorite coworker (who knew) all about the unbalanced weirdo who was leaving creepy posts on Craigslist, and how he couldn't figure out why I thought it was so damn funny.

Months went by.  We cracked jokes about it here and there.  One of the BF’s former coworkers even went so far as to try and bet him that it was me.  He didn't think it was, and his coworker thought it had to be...luckily, he didn't take that bet.  December rolled around and we went Christmas shopping at the mall one day and the boyfriend decided to be a smart ass.  We were play bickering and then the conversation turned into something like this….

HIM:  You better be careful and be really nice to me.  I have options waiting for me on Craigslist.
ME: Yeah.  I’ve been thinking about that.  I think we should do like a Rent to Own thing.
HIM (looking startled, slightly concerned and a little butthurt): Uh……honey….I don’t think you understand how that works.
ME: Sure I do!  Those companies charge people more than the actual cost of an item and allow them to pay it off on a month to month basis or “rent” it until it is paid off.  If they default on the payments, the company takes the furniture back; if they make the payments then they get to keep it.
HIM: Yeah, they get to KEEP it.  You want someone else to keep me?
ME: No.  But I figure there’s no way she’d keep you until the end of the contract.  I mean, she might make it a week or two but once she figures out how much it costs to feed you she’ll send you back. It’s really pure profit.


The look on his face…I’m completely unable to describe it.  We went about our shopping, and the boyfriend was incredibly irritating all day (he really hates the mall, and letting me spend his money).  When we were leaving, there was a girl in the food court waving.  I didn't recognize her, so I looked behind me and I didn't see anyone there either.  He was snagging a sample from the Chinese food place and when he finally caught up to me I asked him if he knew the girl over there because she looked like she was waving at us.  Captain Obvious looked around and loudly said, “What girl? Where?”  I finally just told him to forget it because there was no way to direct his attention to her without being completely obvious (I’d have to point and practically poke her in the forehead-he is not very subtle or observant I’m afraid.)  This little moment spurred the last and final post.  AND I just HAD to say something sweet about myself! 

"I saw u at the mall tonight. You were holding hands with some girl...she was pretty.  I waived, but you didnt look. Dose she like girls? I was interested in getting you and seeing where it went, but the 3 of us could get together sometime...?  Hope your seeing this. Email me."

The truth came out shortly after Christmas when he couldn't figure out why I thought it was so funny and he was afraid I was going to think something was going on. Poor guy. I finally had to tell him. But up until this point, I haven’t confessed to his parents (though his sister might have told them that the obscene posts he told them about late one night was really me), or all of my Facebook friends. When I heard the Morning Show I usually listen to talking about this on the radio, I knew I had to write this and confess. So now you know...I'm a bad, bad girlfriend.

But nothing, NOTHING, beat the feeling of telling a new friend what I had done only to have her start screaming "OMG, You're the *Company Name* chick!  We read ALL of your posts!"  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Birchbox: July

Yay!  My July Birchbox arrived Saturday.  I waited a few days to give my new products a try and here we are!  The theme for this month's Birchbox is Power play and featured products and lessons from the ladies of USA's hit serious SUITS.  I won't lie...I cheated a little and watched the sneak peek this month.  I probably shouldn't watch the sneak peeks because I'll just be sad if I see something I really want to try and then it doesn't show up in the box, luckily the one thing I was really excited about showed up in my box!!

July Birchbox


This month's contents:
  

Birchbox Bobby Pins - Set of Six ($5).  If you look above, I received the silver colored ones. 
They're super cute.  I haven't been able to give them much of an endurance test (I'm hard on my things, this is important stuff for people to know).  What I like it that they feel very firm, not flimsy or easy to bend.  I also gave them I quick scratch and both the white background and the pattern is on there pretty good, which was important to me because I have a tendency to scratch things like this that are cheaper quality.






theBalm® cosmetics InStain® Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush ($22).  This was the product I was hoping I would get.  Really.  I crossed my fingers and everything.  I received "Swiss Dot" (above).  I really like it.  It went on really smooth (I used fingers this morning because my brush somehow magically got misplaced) and blended well.  7 hours later and I still have a beautifully blushed face.  I think I may be in love.  I might actually buy this product. 


Benefit it's potent! Eye cream ($32) My first Benefit product, isn't that sad?  I used this the other day after a particularly long evening.  I looked pretty ragged and this brightened me up and took care of my puffy wrinkled eyes.  The scent wasn't thrilling, but it was mild and I guess I should be glad it wasn't some perfume-y or fruity scented thing. 



DDF® Acne Control Treatment ($44).  I've only tried this once so far.  No results from the zit as of yet, but I'm willing to bet this will be really great on some of the breakouts I've had lately.  1.5% Salicylic Acid, which is what is usually in these kinds of medications.  What I really liked was when I read the Inactive ingredients.  I've never noticed things like Witch Hazel extract, aloe leaf juice, calendula extract, and ginger root extract in the products I've used in the past.  I'm definitely going to be using this for my next breakout.  




Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect ($32).  I already use a product similar to this.  I really didn't notice much detangling power, which could be due to my new shorter haircut.  The smell is mild.  Overall my hair looks nice and I don't have any complaints. 


Overall, I'm really happy with this month's selections.  I wont lie though, my greedy butt looks at all of the products that went out this month and I get a little jealous but I'll just have to wait until next month!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cricket Cruncher

Sometimes, I get myself into situations.  I get an idea into my head.  I read a bit about it and watch some YouTube videos and decide "I might like to try that".  This is usually how I find myself trying/doing disgusting, embarassing, awkward, occasionally awful new things.  That being said, about a month or so ago, I watched a show on tv (My Strange Addiction, perhaps?  A terrible show for someone with too much to do and a touch of OCD) about a man who eats bugs.  He was showing all the insects he keeps in his freezer, and showing how he prepares them.  A few days later, the kiddo and I were talking and I was telling her about the show, and we ended up watching a presentation where a woman was talking about the nutritional value of eating crickets, or as she called them "land shrimp".  Somewhere along the way, we decided we wanted to try it.  I don't want to call it a big mistake but...well, I won't be making land shrimp tacos any time soon.

The boyfriend found suckers with critters in them.  I'd seen them before and had purchased them as gifts, but never tried one myself.  After hearing the kiddo and I talking about them, he decided to purchase a sucker for each of us from the local candy shop downtown.  He brought us two suckers, one orange and one grape from Hotlix (http://www.hotlix.com/candy/).  They sat there for two and a half weeks.  

This weekend, he decided enough was enough and we could eat them on the way to his parent's house.  She took the orange and I was left with the grape.  We started licking.  I really wasn't thrilled with the flavor, it was not delicious like grape koolaid or some other, delicious grape flavor.  It was actually kind of like grape medicine that isn't terrible, but isn't good either.  I could tell that it had sat at the candy shop for awhile but there we were, sucking away as we drove down the road.



The first part to stick out of the sucker was a leg.  Mine wasn't as pretty and centered as the one pictured above.'  It stuck out and scratched my tongue and I finally had to just scrape my teeth over it to stop the pokey feeling on my tongue.  It was probably what you would imagine the leg of a critter with an exoskeleton to be: crunchy. 

The sucking continued.  I flipped it over and started licking the other side after I realized I had been licking the abdomen for awhile (ICK!).  I sat with the sucker in my mouth sideways in an attempt to avoid the bug.  Truth be told, I started to feel sick after awhile.  I think my nauseousness was more due to the terrible flavor and motion sickness than exposure to insect, but it is truly debatable.

We reached my boyfriend's parent's home, where his parents and his sister got to witness the end of the grape cricket sucker.  I'd grown tired of sucking and finally starting to bite off little pieces of sucker.  The leg can off first.  I couldn't really feel or taste anything over the flavor of the sucker and the texture of the candy.  I bite again, trying to get as close to the head as possible without breaking it off.  I had every intention of just trying to swallow it.  But, of course, the head broke off in the piece I bit off.  I considered stopping, and decided to just chew.  

Again, the texture wasn't noticeable, but then there was a flavor.  It wasn't tasty.  About halfway through chewing, my boyfriend's sister noticed I had bitten off the head, so of course I needed to open my mouth and showed her my ABC Cricket.  Then I stole some Doritos from her to wash the taste down.  

I tried to bite another piece off, the abdomen broke apart.  That was when I saw them.  I admit, morbid fascination caused me to look inside to see what it all looked like.  But...I was confused.  All that was there were these little yellowish pellet looking things.  What?  What is that?  I had no idea, but then I stole the kiddo's and realized mine had a more swollen looking abdomen.  It was then that I decided I thought it was pregnant (Google later confirmed this).

Looking at those eggs, and realizing some had fallen out of the hard candy encased insect and onto my shirt I got a little queasy.  I did not want to chew those little pokey things crickets have on their butts and looking at them and the eggs, I thought I was done.  But I wasn't going to fail.  So I licked the candy from around the cricket, getting into as small of a piece as I could.  I then pulled the remaining piece of candy off the stick (as my boyfriend's father sat laughing at me).  And I swallowed the rest of it whole. 

I then chased it down with more Cool Ranch Doritos and a Mountain Dew.  Fun if you want to freak out the kids, but I will never do it again.  On a side note, I wish I would have taken pictures.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Llama. It’s what’s for dinner.

Yup.  You read that right.  Last weekend at the Farmer’s Market in town I gave in and bought peppered Alpaca jerky and ground Llama.  The jerky was $5 for a bag and the ground llama I paid $7 a pound for. Obviously, $7/pound is not as good as what I buy ground beef for (on sale) but it was definitely less than buffalo meat.  While it was a little over the top, I figured I would eat the cost for the sake of trying something new. 

The jerky was delicious.  I’m not usually a fan of peppered jerky, but it reminded me of the jerky I used to buy at my favorite meat market before the owner decided to semi-retire, switch locations and quit selling their Award-winning, $27 per pound beef jerky.  No one else was willing to try it, but after my first bite I really didn’t care…more for me!

I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous about the llama meat.  The boyfriend had a steak he was going to enjoy, so the llama burgers were for me and his daughter.  I had found some recipes online and they all seemed to be pretty basic so I got started.  The first thing I noticed right away was that it looked really fatty.  It definitely smelled better than ground beef, and it was ground really nice so it didn’t feel any different (and yes, I totally smelled my raw meat.  Crap.  There's really not a nice way to say that).

I dumped the meat in a bowl and added a little onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Then I mashed it all together.  Of course, while wrist-deep in raw Llama meat is when I realized that I didn’t have any buns so I ran to the store and left the patties sitting in the fridge.  When I came back, I gave my patties a quick dip in some beer and a shake of pepper and sent them out to the grill. 

The grill master then chose to re-patty my patties as he claimed they were falling apart.  I sent down some Kraft cheese singles for the kiddo’s burger and some sliced Capriko for me (another Farmer’s Market find from Nordic Creamery http://www.nordiccreamery.com/).  I had tried the Capriko before I bought it, but I was able to have a nice slice at home.  The Nordic Creamery website describes it as “firm, yet has a creamy mouth feel and a sweet, nutty flavor, followed by a pleasant tanginess”.  It is surprising and delicious.  I definitely think Capriko is my new favorite cheese. 

The bite, albeit tentative, bite was good.  So I went back for more.  I don’t know if it was the seasoning or the meat, but it was the best burger I’d ever had.  It was incredible.  It wasn’t fatty or grisly or chewy like I thought it was going to be.  It is just a nice, juicy, meaty burger.  The flavor was excellent and the cheese was perfect.  I'm a simpleton when it comes to my cheeseburgers.  I like them on bread, the end.  Every once in a while I decide I want mushrooms and swiss but I keep it pretty basic.  I definitely think this would have been great with a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato. 

I highly recommend it.  If you’re interested in Nutrition Facts, they’re tricky to come by.  It is much easier to find information about alpaca meat.  But while they come from the same family, I’m not sure if the value would be the same but I’ve seen everything from 120-166 calories per 4 oz. serving.