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Finally Friday- June 30th

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | June 30th, 2017 | Finally Friday
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I’m writing this weekly article from Utica, New York, before I begin my drive back to New Hampshire. I was in the Mohawk Valley for the last few days in my other role as the Associate Dean of the Wasabi Ventures Academy. Last night was Demo Day for the AFRL Commercialization Academy. You can see me above with the winning teams and VIPs. That role is totally different than creating recipes, but one I thoroughly enjoy as it allows me to use my experiences, both as an educator and a startup founder. Plus, maybe one of these teams that I coach will have a food focus! With this cohort done and me wanting to get on the road home for the long weekend, let’s take a peek at the past week.

What I Cooked

  • Last Saturday was the final day of the Royal Ascot. To celebrate this glamorous occasion I made my own spin on an English breakfast. There were homemade crumpets, eggs, sausage, sweet potato home fries, fried tomatoes, and mimosas. I had never made crumpets before but enjoyed them very much served warm with butter and raspberry jam.
  • On Monday I made one of my favorite (and easy!) vegetarian dishes, Buffalo Tofu Bites. I did a little testing with this tried and true recipe, coating half in crushed pretzels and the other half in crushed cereal. The cereal was the winner, something about its sweet contrast to the spice made it irresistible.
  • I also made a new version of broccoli salad to accompany the tofu. This recipe was not vegetarian. Although the meat ingredient (bacon) is used only as a topping, I think it’s fairly key. You’ll be able to see thing recipe in the coming weeks.

What I Ate

  • Last Friday my husband and I did a little shopping in the evening at a local outlet mall, which had us in a different location for dinner. We decided to go to Buckley’s Great Steaks, which is a restaurant we have dined at for special occasions with the kids. With just two of us we sat at the bar and had a couple snacks. My favorite dish was the order of Oven Baked Oysters. I could have eaten a dozen.
  • On the drive there we drove by an ice cream stand that advertised a lemon-lime twist. That impacted our dinner order, and as such, we headed to King Kone for dessert. They only offer soft serve, but sometimes that is all you need. Just a cup of vanilla topped with rainbow sprinkles. Yum!
  • Somehow the first full weekend of summer collided with two nights at an ice cream stand. We spent Saturday evening with my sister-in-law and nephews and ended the day with a trip to Richardson’s Farm. Serving homemade ice cream and other treats, I thoroughly enjoyed a cup of their blueberry pie ice cream. Filled with a generous amount of blueberries and graham cracker crust, it was simply amazing.
  • My final place of interest was Copper City Brewing in Rome, NY. I didn’t eat any food there, although there’s a food truck in the parking that looked tempting, but I did enjoy a beverage. I’m not a fan of beer (Sorry, Copper City), but they had an amazing cranberry mango hard cider. It was light and refreshing, perfect after a long day.

What I Did

  • On the unexciting front, to get back and forth to Demo Day, I spent five hours driving on Wednesday and will do the same today. Of course, it’s good to have a big chunk of alone time, if the traffic is light. I flip between listening to talk radio or playing music and planning many different aspects of life- recipe creation, work schedules, weekend activities, and more.
  • With good weather here for the season, I’ve been enjoying some weekend downtime on our building’s rooftop deck. Just me, a good book, and some water. I’ll spend an hour or so enjoying the warmth of the sun, the cooling breezes, and the delight of literature.
  • I’ve started watching the latest season of Master Chef. While I enjoy watching the competition and choosing people to cheer for, I also love watching the challenges and wondering what I’d make. I can’t imagine the stress of being filmed and timed, but I love the idea of working in such an amazing kitchen.

Looking forward to a long-ish weekend, as I’m sure there will be some work throughout the next four days. Here’s to a wonderful holiday weekend, hopefully filled with fun, foods, and friends for all!

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