Meatfest leading to a Meat Coma!

So today is an event I have been looking forward to for two years! One of my friends/coworker/was my math teacher and her husband have an annual Meatfest. It is many courses of meat, cooked correctly (and by that, I mean over HOURS), paced out throughout an afternoon. So a forewarning before I post these pictures: If you are a vegetarian/vegan and grossed out by meat pictures…do not scroll down!

When you arrive, you are greeted with the menu:

(Note the Mac and Cheese at 4pm. This is an integral part of the MeatFest. It is perfect and elusive. Only dedicated MeatFest-ers receive it…you need to get in line EARLY. I, of course, got in line at 3:30 for the 4pm showing because it involved bacon, cheese, and breadcrumbs)

First course was chili and cornbread (sweet chili, not spicy! PS I love corn in chili!)

Next up, pulled pork. After I made this plate, I was warned (as a newbie) to pace myself. I was in it for the long haul though, so I mentally got ready to forge on.

Then, mac and cheese. And by far the tastiest chicken wings I have ever had. To be fair, I only had 2 of those, and saved one for PW. They were breaded and fried. And one was buffalo (the sauce, not the animal, as I was so corrected :) )  The mac and cheese EXCEEDED the hype.  The best I have ever had, and Ive had a lot of mac and cheese.  The pasta was cooked perfectly.  The best bread crumbs/pasta ratio.  It was HEAVENLY! 

I started to slow down at this point. I took a meat break and had a big bowl of fruit (which was an awesome fruit salad by the way–mango, kiwi, peach, plum, strawberry, grapes, and watermelon!) and a brownie.

Then it was time for ribs. I have to get this off my chest…Ribs freak me out (pun intended). I had never had one before. So, I went for the ribs that Chris had cut off the bone. I was pleasantly surprised!!

I then had 2 more brownies to cleanse my palate ( ha ha ha )

Lastly, it was time for brisket. I really like brisket, so I had to push through and fit it somewhere. Luckily, I have a stomach of enormous proportions and I was able to get it in!

Along with half a piece of cheesecake.

To be fair to my blog readers I also have to admit to consuming some of my potato salad, some avocado/corn salad, and some doritos.

I ate eveeeerything shown above, plus all those odds and (dessert) ends.

This “cookout” was legit!! These people know their meat! If you are lucky enough to receive an invitation, you better go! I earned next years invite by participating in every course and not going into a meat coma (until I got home).

We remodeled our dining room ourselves…Before and After Pictures!

Alright, I say we but really…PW. My only input was doing all the painting, ordering the countertop, and picking out/putting together the dining room set. He did all the demolition, wall building, insulting, drywall installing, etc!

So, our house is from “around” 1915. Its pretty old. And before us, some pretty old people lived here. Here is the before picture from the day we moved in:

We noticed there was no insulation anywhere in the house (by the drafts and how freezing cold it got in the winter!). And, the room was wallpapered. The only solution? Tear down the drywall.


This made THE biggest mess, and I am so happy this time in my life is over. Seriously!

PW and his dad put in insulation:

And drywall:

THAT was an event. Install, tape, plaster, sand, plaster again, sand. Gah! I did NOT do much of that. I was too busy painting window trim with 100 coats of paint!

In the middle of all this, we found a happy surprise. We could see this hiding under the carpet. Could it be?

Didnt want to get too excited, just in case the rest of the floor was in bad shape. But PW and I made the commitment 2 days ago, and ripped it all up.

And…

Installed the countertop between the dining room and kitchen:

Bought a classy dining room set:

And now? Its perfect! The only thing left to do is the line on the wall/ceiling between the kitchen and dining room, and the baseboards. Check it out!

Here is a before/after right next to eachother. Tearing down that wall opened the entire house up!


Love it!!

Last night we even had a dinner party to celebrate the new room (and having somewhere for us all to eat). Taco bar!

And I made the best margaritas….ever, for us. The recipe? Frozen limemade concentrate instead of margarita mix. So good!

Alright, I am off to do my long run before our BakedPotatoSaladReceiving Parties!!

Baked Potato Salad. And a dining room remodel sneak peek!

I have so much to blog about, I dont even know where to start. I think I will have to do it in installments.

1) Baked potato salad
2) Dining room remodeled (now finished)
3) Our first dinner party!

Okay so part one. It is Labor Day weekend. I got an extra week off from work due to Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Irene. We have a lot of parties to attend. I decided to make one side dish for these parties. I had it once before and knew I had to recreate it–Baked Potato Salad!

I am not usually a fan of potato salad (read: not at all). I AM a fan of bacon though! I mean really, most people are. I am also a fan of all things potato/bacon related: baked potato soup, potato skins, mashed potatoes with add-ins, etc. So this recipe was a homerun for me! Not to mention it was SO easy!

Ingredients:
-Bacon (!!!)
-2 lbs potatoes (I used red.)
-Green onions
-Salt/pepper
-Mayo
-Sour Cream
-White vinegar
-Cheddar cheese (optional)

So far, so good. While frying up the bacon (I cooked an entire pound because its impossible for me to cook it without eating 1/3 of it), boil your potatoes. I peeled half, and left the other half with its pretty red skin. Cube them, boil them. They are done when they are potato salad consistency. Drain.

Mix 1/2 cup mayo with 3/4 cup sour cream. I used light for both of them, because really, with bacon can you really tell if its low-fat? Add in salt and pepper to taste. and 2 Tablespoons vinegar. Mix potatoes in this fabulous dressing you just made. Top with cut green onions (include the top!), cheese, and crumbled bacon. Done.

You will be a hit, I promise! Mess around with the sour cream/mayo ratio until you get one you like. But dont leave out the bacon.

In other news, I dyed my hair black. I meant to make it dark brown but that didnt happen. Oops!

I have to go finish prepping for this dinner fiesta, but here is a sneak peak of the dining room. We pulled up the carpet to reveal…perfectly intact wood floors! Woohoo!

My intention is to post a before/after picture of the dining room tonight…along with dinner party pictures. So check back!