Awesome in August

August seemed to go by slower than molasses. The heat continued to weigh us down in the afternoon and keep us awake at night, and I worked at the most boring job imaginable. But exciting things are on the frontier. August was a month of waiting, and waiting isn’t fun.

 

Awesomest bar without windows: Home Bar

 

My awesome photo of tater tot nachos disappeared. This one has my stupid face in it. That cider is great, though.
My awesome photo of tater tot nachos disappeared. This one has my stupid face in it. That cider is great, though.
 
We finally made it to Home Bar this month, and I cannot wait to write a happy hour post for you guys. This place is definitely a bar. It’s dark, no windows, and there are large TV screens on every wall. This is part of what makes it awesome. I suppose if you are the sort of person who likes to watch people throw things at each other, this would be a great place to do it. But if you’re just a person who likes to relax after work with a cold cider and some tater tot nachos, definitely check out Home Bar. It’s old school dive bar good times.
 

Awesomest thing to stuff in your face 24 hours a day: Breakfast Burger

 

Photo by Jessica of How Sweet It Is
Photo by Jessica of How Sweet It Is
 
The brilliant Jessica from How Sweet It Is posted the most beautiful breakfast burger. You guys! I cannot wait to try this. I absolutely love a bacon and egg burger, and this one is just ridiculous. Maple aioli adds an extra sweet and spicy hint of excitement. And she served it on a toasted English muffin because she is the smartest/coolest. Just look at it. Don’t you want to dive in face first?
 

Awesomest time machine to 2000’s politics: The West Wing

 

 
Where was I when The West Wing was originally on the air? Well, I was most likely watching Food Network. That’s pretty much all I ever did back then. But man, I can’t believe what I was missing. Sometimes Aaron Sorkin can be so pretentious you kind of want to tie his shoe laces together, but I am totally behind the Bartlet administration. I think Josh, Donna, CJ, and I should definitely get together for pancakes. Netflix streaming is pretty much the best thing ever. First Firefly, now The West Wing. I can get all the best stuff whenever I’m ready. It’s the future, kids. Get on board.
 

Things you thought were awesome (hint: it’s chocolate)

 
 
You fell in love with the amazingness that is no-bake chocolate peanut butter pie. How could you not?
 
Just in case you didn’t get your choco-PB fix already, you are also totally digging chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. I feel you. I can’t get enough, either.
 
But you really really love to wake up to chocolate. Double chocolate muffins were your favorite post this month. Maybe I should just make nothing but chocolate from now on.
 
August is over. We made it. New and exciting things are coming in September, and I for one can’t wait to get started. 
Jalapeno Deviled Eggs from Awesome on 20

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs from Awesome on 20

Last Saturday we had a surprise party. Not the kind where you plan for weeks and weeks and everybody hides and then jumps out and shouts things, hopefully “Surprise!” I’m talking about the kind of surprise party where as you’re going to bed on Friday night your husband tells you that you have to host a birthday party tomorrow.” Um.. okay… Anything else I should know?” Nope. That’s it.

So, if you’re short on cash but overrun with eggs, there’s only one logical solution for an absolutely delicious party snack, spicy deviled eggs. I bought a red jalapeno to make them pretty, but everything else I already had in my kitchen. I never think much about deviled eggs until they’re in front of me. Then I can’t stop eating them, and I remember they are completely awesome.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs from Awesome on 20

These particular eggs are loaded with flavor and an extra dash of spice. I got a little heavy handed with the cayenne pepper. It happens to the best of us. I also upped the umami factor with a dash of soy sauce since I was all out of Worcestershire. Work with what you got. And make it awesome! Then top it with a bright red slice of jalapeno because you can and you should.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs from Awesome on 20

The party was awesome. The food was awesome. The drinks were awesome. And most especially, the people were awesome. Many laughs were had. I think that might be the whole point of life.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs
Yields 12
Spicy deviled eggs are perfect for a party, no matter how long you have to plan.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 eggs
  2. 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  3. 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1 teaspoon dill paste
  6. 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  7. 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  8. 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  9. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  10. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  11. Salt and pepper
  12. 1 red jalapeno, sliced thinly
Instructions
  1. Put your eggs into a medium sauce pan and cover them with cold water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil then turn off the heat, put a lid on the pot, and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs to cool them off. I like to park mine in the fridge for five minutes to help them cool down more quickly.
  4. Peel your eggs and slice them in half lengthwise. Pop the yolks out into a mixing bowl.
  5. Stir together remaining ingredients, except for the jalapeno, until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
  6. Put your egg yolk mixture into a zip top bag, then cut off a small corner with scissors. Slightly overfill the cavity on your egg white halves.
  7. Garnish each egg half with a slice of jalapeno.
  8. Stash in fridge until you are ready to party.
Adapted from My Year in Meals by Rachael Ray
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20
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Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

Chocolate Orange Scones

Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

I had a dream about chocolate orange scones. I should be kidding. I’m not. This is how deep my problem goes. I actually dream about baked goods. What is wrong with me?

Of course, in my subconscious mind, they took a form that isn’t actually physically possible. The warm tender scones had super thin layers of chocolate running throughout. These layers of chocolate sort of resembled the lines formed in sedimentary rock and had a snap to them when you bit into the scone. As far as I can figure, there’s no such thing as a warm scone with snappy chocolate. But in my dream, they tasted so so so good.

Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

In real life, these scones are full of the bright flavor of orange zest and studded with dark chocolate. They’re lovely served warm with a cup of hot tea or coffee. They certainly brightened my morning.

I also loved getting to play Jackson Pollock when I added the chocolate to the top. Just dip a fork into some melted chocolate and shake it quickly over your scones. You’ll have abstract expressionist scones in no time. 

Chocolate Orange Scones from Awesome on 20

I am not an expert scone maker. I can never seem to get them to come out pretty, but they usually come out tasting pretty awesome. I love having an excuse to practice, though. Let’s eat all the scones!

Chocolate Orange Scones
Yields 8
Lovely big scones overflowing with chocolate and orange zest
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small bits
  6. 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  7. zest of 2 oranges
  8. 3 to 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped thin
  9. A few chocolate chips for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or smear with butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Add cold butter and work it into the flour with your clean hands using a pinching motion until you work out all the big chunks. Park your butter and flour mixture in the freezer while you get on with your work.
  4. Measure out the cream and then zest the oranges over the measuring cup. You don't want to lose those good oils. Chop your chocolate.
  5. Remove your bowl from the freezer and add the cream and orange zest. Gently stir that in. I found at this point that my dough was still quite wet, so I added another half cup of flour. You want it to just hold together. Fold in the chocolate.
  6. Turn your dough out onto a well-floured cutting board. Sprinkle plenty of flour over the top and on your hands, then form it into a one inch thick rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, cut your dough into four squares, then cut the squares into triangles.
  7. If you're more skilled than me, you'll be able to transfer individual scones to your baking sheet, but this quite frequently ends in disaster for me, so I just gently lay the baking sheet on top of the dough, and invert it. You just have to cut them again right after you take them out of the oven. Baking time may be a bit longer.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they just barely start to brown.
  9. Let the scones cool for about ten minutes, then melt your handful of chocolate chips and get crazy with your fork. Or you could be nice and neat and pipe on pretty lines of chocolate. Whatever floats your artistic boat.
  10. Best served warm.
Adapted from What's Gaby Cooking
http://awesomeon20.com/
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