Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Adventures with Harry Potter's Diet by the Kyles

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. This food-centric entry came about when Kyle discovered the book and found some delightful recipes. I've always loved breakfast foods so I lobbied for the rosemary roasted potatoes and a farmhouse bacon scramble. For dessert we had pumpkin pasties. After debating the pronunciation for a while we got to work. Kyle did the lion's share of the work but I prepped the bacon and the potatoes. She is also the much bigger Harry Potter fan so she could probably tell you when and where the different foods were eaten. (Side note, the new Harry Potter movie is very entertaining.) The food all turned out really well, and we can definitively say that we're 2 for 2 with our food adventures. There's something lovely about cooking things in bacon grease. And I'm realizing more and more that rosemary is my favorite herb. I love it on chicken, corn, potatoes, even in beer (find Babayaga by Pretty Things)! The pasties were lovely and just filling enough to top off a fun meal. It's a fun cookbook and I'd recommend checking it out. The recipes leave plenty of room to improvise and are easy enough for novice cooks like me to follow along. We still could use more suggestions from you guys. If there's something you'd like to see us do, send us an email at KyleandKyleBlog@gmail.com with your ideas.

I have been a big fan of Harry Potter for many years. So when I heard that there was a cookbook out, I knew that I had to get it and try out some recipes. There's a very wide selection of food to choose from. With each recipe, the author cites where the food is mentioned in the books and also gives some English history related to the food as well. Anyone who has ever read the books will be very familiar with the pumpkin pasties. They are mentioned many times throughout the series. This was the only super Harry Potter food we made for the night. Here is the recipe if you are interested in making them yourself:
Pastry Crust:
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbs cold butter, cut into chunks
3 tbs vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into chunks
4-6 tbs ice water
1 c canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter and shortening over the flour mixture. Pulse about 15 times until the mixture resembles coarse yellow meal, with no white powdery bits remaining.
2. Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 4 tbs cold water over the mixture. Toss the mixture together with the spatula until it starts clumping together. If it's too dry, add more water 1 tbs at a time. Gather the dough into a ball and pat it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Combine the pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Use a saucer to cut out 6-inch circles.
4. Put 2-3 tbs of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Moisten the edges with water, fold the dough over the filling, and crimp with a fork to seal the edges. Cut slits to make vents. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 minutes or until browned.
Makes 6 pasties

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Adventures with The Frames by Girl Kyle

I was particularly excited about this week's adventure. Boy Kyle and I went to NYC to see The Frames. If you have never heard of them then I suggest that you go onto youtube right now and listen to some of their songs. I first got into them after watching the movie Once which came out in 2007. Glen Hansard, the lead singer of the band, plays a busker on the streets of Dublin and meets a fellow musician from the Czech Republic. The music in this movie is incredible. I unfortunately have never had the opportunity to see them live before. Boy Kyle was lucky enough to see Glen Harnsard's side project, Swell Season, about 2 years ago. Time went by achingly slow since we bought the tickets about 2 months ago. Kyle's cousin, Sarah, was gracious enough to let us crash at her apartment so we didn't have to get a hotel. This was proving to be a great weekend.
The train ride into the city was fine. When we got to Penn Station, we had no idea where to go from there. Boy Kyle contacted his brother to find out the easiest route to get to Terminal 5 where the band was performing. Google's directions were so convoluted that we just decided to walk there. We had to walk 22 blocks through the city. It wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the ridiculous amount of people and the very odd smells. We got to the club early even after we almost lost each other about 15 times in the crowds. We celebrated our achievement with two pints of Guinness. We figured it was fitting since we were seeing an Irish band. We were able to get incredible spots on the balcony. No one was obstructing our view and we were able to see the stage clearly. Whenever Kyle or I went to visit the bar or the bathroom, we had many people try to squeeze their way into our spot. We had to be aggressive in guarding our spots. I would have punched someone in the face if they tried to squeeze their way past me and obstruct my view. (I really wouldn't have of course, but it would have been very tempting.) There was one opening act that wasn't too bad. Thankfully they only played about 4-5 songs. Then The Frames got on stage and I freaked out. I was jumping up and down and yelling and clapping. Boy Kyle just stood there with a big smile on his face. It reflected our personalities perfectly.

The Frames are absolutely amazing live. Glen Hansard has an incredible presence while on stage. You can tell that he gets lost in the performance. I love when musicians do that because you can see that even though they've been playing for 20 years, they can still put just as much emotion into it as when they first started playing many years ago. I wasn't disappointed with their set list, either. They played for about 2.5 hours and had around 4-5 encores. The crowd was going crazy the whole time. It was a very exciting show. (Minus all the loud drunk people and then the sober people shushing even louder than the loud drunk people.)

We got out of the club around 11:30 and knew we had to walk back to Penn Station. The walk back was just as crazy as the walk to the show. After seeing that much of NYC I have come to the conclusion that I don't really enjoy it. It's too much for me to handle. It's too loud, there are too many people in one small area, and it smells pretty awful. I could go on. Jeez, I sound like an old lady. I've been on the Cape for far too long. The train ride back wasn't bad. We were both exhausted and couldn't wait to get to Sarah's apartment and sleep for a long time.
We had a fantastic time and I've never seen a show as good as that one. I really really hope that they will come back soon enough so I can enjoy their spectacular performance again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adventures in (failing at) Geocaching by the Kyles

Our apologies for the delay in posting a new activity. As we mentioned last week, we're running out of ideas, daylight, and expendable income. However we did find some time to go Geocaching this past weekend. "What is that ridiculous word that Kyle just made up?" you might ask; it is a glorified scavenger hunt, complete with its own website. I used to be a bit more active with my hunting but I lost my handheld GPS device about 5 years ago. I found it again recently and thought it would be fun to get back in the habit of exploring. I picked 3 places that were all within 3 miles of my house because I didn't want to spend a lot of time driving around. The first cache was reportedly located just off Rte. 132. After a quick walk around where it was supposed to be, I decided that most likely it wasn't still here since there was no dog park like the website said, only a Comfort Inn. The second place was a nature trail on Rte. 6A in Barnstable. As we pulled into the parking lot, we discovered that there was a man getting ready to go off into the woods to hunt. Since we would also be in the woods (hunting inanimate objects for the purpose of discovery, not their sweet flesh-meat) we were a bit nervous. But it takes more than the threat of getting our human faces mistaken for that of a deer/turkey/bear/sasquatch to deter us. We located the coordinates about a half mile into the woods and I began to look around. I soon gave up though because I'm impatient. The last place we looked was at the Wheldon Library in West Barnstable. This location was even more frustrating than the nature trail because there clearly was nowhere to hide a cache. I also remembered that sometimes the "cache" is just the location. Which is all well and good but dammit, I want an actual prize I can hold in my hand. Yeah, a library is great. Where's my effing plastic sheriff's badge? So I had to resign myself to the fact that I would have to look again some other time. Which I will. And I'll make note of it in whatever completely non-related entry it coincides with.

I have never personally been geocaching before so when boy Kyle suggested it, I thought it would be interesting to try it out. And it was the first nice day we had for quite a long time so it was a good excuse to go for a walk. Kyle did most of the work so I just followed and enjoyed the nice weather.

The only excitement of the day was when we came into contact with the hunter. Thankfully he was hunting for non-humans so we made it out of the woods alive.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Adventures in Laziness by the Kyles

So we apologize for being so lazy. We have been trying to figure out affordable things to do since it's now getting colder and colder, but alas we have failed. We have something lined up in a couple of weeks but other than that we're stumped. We'll keep trying to come up with something to do in the meantime. If you have any suggestions either post them in a comment here or email us at kyleandkyleblog@gmail.com. Please please please help us with some ideas!