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Archive for "Food and Drink"

Brian’s 43rd Birthday

Posted on July 2, 2017 by under Events, Family, Food and Drink.    

There were a ton of things going on this year and multiple birthday celebrations. Brian and I started out by having a quiet dinner at Granite City (East) on Friday, June 9. He wanted a “just the two of us” dinner.

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Well, the two of us and his giant beer.

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Pics of our dinner…

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The next day was Symphony in the Flint Hills. This was more for me than Brian but he was a good sport about it. His reward and birthday present was a deluxe massage with Johnson Nguyen at Sveta’s. I got to try Johnson a couple of months ago when he first started doing massages at Sveta’s and I wanted Brian to experience his style of massage because my massage was very good. Brian said it was a great massage but Mindy Nuce is still his number one choice. He said Johnson is now his second though, for those times when Mindy isn’t available.

He didn’t get a big present this year like he did last year but we had that trip to Alaska that we’re still recovering from. Trips are not cheap!

Fast forward to June 13, his actual birthday. I actually ended up double booking because I promised to keep the PowerGEN trivia night thing going for work and we agreed on Tuesday night trivia at the Pumphouse on June 13 as our next trivia night. Then Jimmy Washington, who is on the board of directors for the Wichita Orpheum, offered us tickets to the Celebrity & Chef Cook Off.

Since it was Brian’s birthday and I was completely hijacking it with work events, I figured that I should at least let him choose what he wanted to do. He picked the Celebrity & Chef Cook Off, naturally. It’s one of his favorite fundraising events.

Lucky for me, Ryan Muzzy (one of my coworkers and fellow PowerGENer) was more than happy to take charge of trivia night. That freed us up to attend the Orpheum benefit.

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The Lexus parking lot was open that night but we got a hangtag anyway because we are nerds. As we were walking to the arena, we were stopped by this couple who asked if they could park there and I would have said yes because no one was there to check tags anyway and the gate was open but Brian told them they had to have a hangtag and made them park somewhere else. He’s mean like that. But it’s his birthday so he can do whatever. LOL.

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Here are some pictures of all the amazing food. As with every year that we’ve been, we don’t really get to try everything. We usually give up before we’ve even sampled half of what’s there.

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I had to take a pic of their sign because I enjoyed this immensely. I may have Brian take me there this weekend because now I’m craving it.

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I may or may not have gone back a few times for this dessert. You know I went at least twice because I got a couple of photos.

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Brian and I ran into our friend Bill Ramsey at the event.

Here’s a picture of our handsome group.

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Usually we stay for the whole thing but I felt bad for bailing on the trivia night so I talked Brian into stopping by the Pumphouse on the way home.

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We arrived just in time for the final two rounds. The PowerGEN team just went by “PowerGEN” and didn’t come up with a clever name this time.

That’s Leo and Tammie’s team, the Oatmeal, at the next table. You can see Leo in the pic above with Tammie next to him. She has her back to the camera. I think that might be Scott to the right of Leo. He’s been going to Tuesday night trivia religiously. Their team always does really well. I think they were in second place when we got there.

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Here’s Ryan, Teresa and Ted. PowerGEN was doing pretty well. They hadn’t breached the top three yet but they were close enough in score to be in the running.

PowerGEN was in fourth going into the final round, which is a really good place to be because you have a great shot at placing depending on what happens with the top three teams. The final round is where you get to wager some of your points, up to a maximum of 20 points. This is why I say that fourth place is a good spot. Obviously, if you’re close to the bottom, 20 points isn’t going to make much of a difference but if you’re within the top five and the spread is not that vast then you could really pull off an upset.

I was super excited when the trivia master announced “movies” as the final round category. We would have been hosed with sports but Brian and I know a lot about movies so I was like, “We got this!”

They gave us four Charlize Theron movies in random order and we had to list it in order chronologically. The movies they gave us were:

I’m a huge Charlize Theron fan so I was pretty familiar with her filmography. I knew that Mighty Joe Young was the oldest and Aeon Flux was the newest. However, I wasn’t so confident about the two movies in the middle. I was very familiar with Monster though because, besides Charlize Theron being made to look ugly, that had one of my favorite Journey songs it: Don’t Stop Believing.

Brian was convinced that Monster was after Aeon Flux but I felt so sure that Aeon Flux was released after. Anyway, Alex was with me so the two of us overruled Brian. LOL. In the end, we went with The Legend of Bagger Vance after Mighty Joe Young and that’s what we submitted. I was very confident about our answer but I was nervous about the wager.

Ryan, who was a fantastic leader, finally put his foot down and said, “We didn’t come here to take third!” We ended up wagering the full 20 points.

I think everyone else got the final question wrong because all the point went down but ours. PowerGEN ended up taking first place that night.

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Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Everything lined up perfectly. The right people were there and the right trivia questions were asked but, ultimately, I think it was Ryan’s leadership that made the difference.

Brian’s actual birthday was Tuesday but we’ll fast forward to Friday because not much happened between his birthday and Friday. Well, stuff happened but it wasn’t birthday related.

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Anyway, April Padgett from the Wichita State University Foundation reached out to me to tell me that Brian’s picture with Dr. John Bardo and Elizabeth King that was taken at the Society of 1895 luncheon back in April was finally ready and she could drop it off. It was printed just in time for Brian’s birthday. How perfect!

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We met up for coffee at Mead’s Corner and she gave it to me then. I texted Brian to tell him I had his special luncheon photo and it was in a neat little holder so he could display it at his desk but he said he had no room so he let me keep it. It has been on display at my desk ever since.

Brian took the day off work on that Friday because that was the day of our big family celebration. We were having a BBQ in honor of Brian’s birthday, grandma’s birthday, and Father’s Day weekend. We were actually expecting a visit from his parents who live in Oklahoma but their plans fell through. At first his mom was staying home but his dad was still making the drive up for the weekend. But then his mom got really sick and his dad couldn’t leave. We were bummed when we found out a few days before the event that David wouldn’t be able to join us but we understood. Luckily, we didn’t have any major presents — just gift cards — and those are easy enough to mail so that’s what we did for him instead.

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The party still went on though because Brian had already bought all of that food and everyone else was still coming. Everyone else being Brian’s cousin/nephew Zach, my sister Jenni, my mom and dad, and of course grandma.

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Brian got a Boston creme cake. Yes, like his favorite donut.

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Mom made Filipino spaghetti. She made a ton so we had a bunch left over. I ended up refreshing it on Sunday night by adding another jar of meat sauce and I shared it with Faith and her kids when I went to work on Monday. She said they loved it.

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Brian grilled three full slabs of ribs.

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They ribs don’t all look the same because he couldn’t fit the third rack in our small charcoal grill so he had to start those in the oven and then finish them off in the grill. Those actually turned out the best. The meat literally fell off the bones and melted in your mouth.

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We also got a pan of our favorite mac n’ cheese from Costco.

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We also had other BBQ-type foods like baked beans, green beans, and corn on the cob. And then had Hawaiian sweet rolls, which are our favorite. I didn’t get to take pictures of everything but you get the idea.

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One of the milestones we celebrated was grandma’s birthday. She turned 95 on June 19. Can you believe it?

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We just got gift cards for her and our dads so they could get what they wanted. Grandma’s was to Dillon’s where she gets groceries and other things. Dad’s was to Lowe’s because home improvement is kind of his thing. For Brian’s dad, we got Cabella’s so he could get more ammo. It’s way easier to mail a gift card than ammo.

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I wanted to play some Uno but some people were party poopers. We ended up playing heads up. Just me and mom and Jenni because no one was really interested in playing games.

Anyway, that was the conclusion of Brian’s fun birthday week. Can’t wait to do it all again next year. I’m thinking of throwing a nautical themed birthday party because it’s going to be his 44th, which in poker-speak is sailboats.

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Saturdate with Grandma – Zoo Edition

Posted on June 27, 2017 by under Family, Food and Drink.    

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Brian and I took grandma out for an early birthday treat a couple of weeks ago. We went on a zoo date but, before that, we stopped for lunch at Aero Plains Brewing where we knew that LumpiaPalooza would be.

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Here’s a picture of Brian chatting with the owner, Cynthia Wilson. She is a relative of Matt, who was our server at 49th State Brewing Company in Anchorage.

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We couldn’t decide what to get so we ordered the “Make Me One With Everything” – TWICE! This package consists of five savory lumpia flavors (original with spicy sweet and sour sauce, pulled pork with BBQ sauce, Caribbean veggie with mango salsa, mac and cheese and bacon with BBQ sauce, and mozzarella stick with marinara sauce) and three dessert lumpias (lemon blueberry, chocolate chip cookie dough, and Nutella banana).

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Here’s the full menu.

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Areo Plains is Brian’s favorite brewery in town so he took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a glass while we waited for our food.

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I also took a picture of Brian and grandma while we were waiting.

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And, an obligatory group selfie.

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Here are some pictures of our amazing lumpias.

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This was grandma’s very first food truck experience so, of course, we had to take a picture with the owner before we left.

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Then it was off to the zoo for the rest of grandma’s pre-birthday treat.

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Here are some of my favorite pics from our zoo trip that day.

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We were going to go on the boat ride but they shut it down early because of the weather. It was rainy the day. It had been raining lightly on and off but then it started to really pour. We didn’t get our boat ride but we got to see a lot of stuff and it was a fun day overall.

Brian and I had a great time and hope that grandma did as well.

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49th State Brewing Company

Posted on June 25, 2017 by under Food and Drink.    

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No trip anywhere is complete without visiting a local brewery.

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This one has a neat restaurant with lots of good food choices.

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Grownups only on this dining excursion, for obvious reasons.

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The flights were a good deal. They offered several options that you could mix and match or even completely create your own.

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I really wanted a set of these cute little pilsners. Alas, they weren’t for sale.

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We weren’t that hungry so we just ordered a bunch of appetizers to share.

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The chips were just okay. Nothing to write home about.

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This was the crab dip, which I enjoyed, even though I think it was fake crab.

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These bacon bites were my favorite out of everything we tried.

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And, of course, we had to try their chicharrones, which were just okay too. We still like the ones they serve at The Hill the best.

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Here’s a pic of Brian trying one of the bacon bites.

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It was cloudy and cold the entire time we were in Anchorage but imagine this view had Mother Nature decided to cooperate.

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This is the view from 49th State Brewing Company’s deck.

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I imagine this would be a neat place to hangout in throughout the summer.

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Here’s a panoramic so you get the full effect.

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And a group photo of us out on the deck.

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After taking a short break for photos on the deck, it was time for dessert. This is the tiramisu that Clayton and Sheryll picked out.

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This is a slice of chocolate pie, which was Brian’s pick.

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I got creme brûlée.

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All four of us shared the appetizers and desserts though, so everyone got to try a little bit of everything. It was a great experience over all with good food, good drinks, and good friends.

Our server Matt was super friendly and, because it’s a small world, we found out that he has family in Wichita. He’s actually loosely related to Cynthia, the owner of Lumpiapalooza and Parsnipity Cafe.

The only thing I would have changed about the entire experience, had I had the foresight to plan the activity, would have been to schedule a brewery tour. I think that would have been really cool. Perhaps we will do so on our next visit because I doubt this will be our last trip to Alaska.

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Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria

Posted on June 18, 2017 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

Our eating times were all sorts of jacked up when we were in Alaska. We were eating lunch and dinner at random times. I guess when there is no night time it’s not that unusual to eat dinner at 9 or 10 o’clock in the evening because it doesn’t feel like it’s that late outside.

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Moose’s Tooth is where we ended up eating a late lunch after our Thunder Bird Falls adventure. Thunder Bird Falls is a nice trail really close to Anchorage in Chugiak, Alaska. It’s a pretty easy hike and easy to get to as well. It’s only about 25-minutes from Anchorage. Once you’re there, you can go up to view the waterfall from afar or you can take the creekside trail and get close to the waterfall.

We didn’t do that much hiking and we stopped plenty of times to take photos so it wasn’t like we were exhausted or anything, but we were starving nonetheless. So we decided to go to Moose’s Tooth for a late lunch.

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Here’s what the restaurant looks like inside.

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It’s kind of neat and it’s very popular with tourists and locals alike. We had to wait 30-40 minutes to be seated.

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Here’s a picture of Sheryll with the kiddos that I took while we were waiting. The pretty girl next to Cameron is his girlfriend. She went on the hikes with us.

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Moose’s Tooth is known for their handcrafted pizzas but they also have great salads. This is the spicy buffalo chicken salad.

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There were lots of salad choices and they all sounded delicious.

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I really wanted to try the raspberry vinaigrette salad because the descriptions sounds very similar to the summer salad that I love at the Yard House which they have removed from the menu. I was really disappointed when they did that.

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Anyhow, the fat girl in me won. I was dying to try Moose’s Tooth pizza so I skipped the salad. One side of the menu is dedicated entirely to pizzas. Most pizzerias that I’ve been to will have two or three chicken pizza options. Moose’s Tooth had a dozen. They also had over a dozen regular meat options. There’s also more than a handful vegetarian pizza options. Something new that I hadn’t seen anywhere is a seafood pizza, which I now kind of wish I’d tried.

They have a very impressive menu.

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We ordered three different pizzas. I believe this is the brewhouse favorite, which consists of Italian and chorizo sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and Denali sauce. This was Clayton’s pick.

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This is the carnivore, which is the flavor that Brian and I really wanted. The carnivore consists of bacon, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, ground beef, Italian sausage, mozzarella, provolone, and marinara sauce.

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This is the avalanche pizza, which is what the kids really wanted. The avalanche has pepperoni, blackened chicken, bacon, red onions, parsley, cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, and barbecue sauce.

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We got the carnivore and avalanche in the largest size we could get and the brewhouse favorite in their medium size, which is also pretty big. I really wanted to the avalanche and the brewhouse but I got pretty full after one slice of the giant carnivore pizza.

I may or may not have tried to force a second slice down my throat. I couldn’t help it. It was so good! LOL.

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The problem with going to a restaurant when you’re starving is, just like when you’re at the grocery store hungry, you end up ordering way more food than you can eat. This is what happened to us. The carnivore and avalanche pizzas were enormous. We probably should have been more strategic when ordering rather than just listening to our bellies. Anyway, we packed up almost half of all our food and sent it home with the Orbases. This works perfectly because growing kids eat a lot so they had plenty of leftover pizza to munch on over the next couple of days.

So what’s the verdict? I really loved Moose’s Tooth pizza. The wait was totally worth it. Their pizza is super good — some of the best I’d had. I highly recommend dining at the restaurant when you’re in Anchorage.

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15th Service Anniversary Lunch

Posted on June 14, 2017 by under Food and Drink.    

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I had the good fortune of celebrating my fifteenth service anniversary with some wonderful people a few weeks ago. We ended up going to the Kitchen, a new restaurant that opened at the old Union Station. Well, it’s not that new but I hadn’t been there before until then.

Here are some pictures of our food.

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As you can tell from the numerous food pictures, we had a large party. I don’t think they were quite prepared for us because the food and service that day was subpar. I have no complaints about the company, though.

Anyway, we ended up celebrating on May 25, ahead of my actual anniversary date of May 28 for a couple of reasons. First, May 28 fell on a Sunday this year. Secondly, Brian and I were leaving for Alaska on Friday, the 26th, and I wouldn’t be back in the office until June 1.

A couple of people weren’t able to make it but it worked out well otherwise. What made my service anniversary celebration even more special is that Ginger and Michelle had received approval for my new job earlier that day so I officially transitioned to my new role. Ginger announced it at lunch.

I knew it was in the works but had no idea it had been approved. Michelle joked that I’d probably come back from vacation to a new job and boss. However, it was approved sooner than expected. I was amazed at how quickly everything happened.

Anniversary celebration lunches are always nice but what makes this one all the more memorable for me is that I got to celebrate with both my old and new bosses. That doesn’t happen very often.

I’ve learned a lot over the last fifteen years. I feel like I’ve matured a lot as well. I’m thrilled to embark on adventures in my role. I have really enjoyed working with Michelle the past few months and am grateful to have her as my new boss. I feel blessed that I’ve gone from one awesome boss to the next.

I am grateful and blessed to achieve this milestone and look forward to many more years of service. Here’s to more milestones ahead!

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