Kansas City, opinion, cocktails, snark.

May 31, 2009

“Let me hear your body talk.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — akcb @ 2:19 am

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My body said “fuck you.”

The Husband and I recently began a get-in-shape regimen at the gym around the corner from our house. I’ve tried this a number of times before, but never stuck with it because there was nobody there to keep me honest. So we had our fitness assessments last week and the trainer at the gym put together individual plans for us. Both consist of upper body workouts on Mondays and Fridays, lower body on Wednesdays and cardio on Tuesdays, Thursdays and (optionally) Saturdays.

I’d been doing cardio for a couple of weeks, mostly stationary bike and elliptical for 40+ minutes and working toward an hour. The lower body on Wednesday left me a little twinge-y, but not terribly so. It was the upper body stuff I was dreading. Turns out the reality was far worse than what I’d imagined.

We’re doing this plan where we start with a set of 12 reps at a low weight, then 10 heavier, then 8 heavier, then 6 even heavier and a final burnout set of 24 of the lowest weight (the weights were calculated by the trainer and we both have different weights on the various machines). I finished pretty much everything except the chest stuff which I just couldn’t push through. While waiting for The Husband to finish, I checked Twitter on my cell phone and discovered that I sorta needed both hands to hold up my phone. On the short stroll home, we both commented on how we felt kinda numb and lifting our arms above shoulder-level wasn’t really an option.

Upon arriving home, we tooks showers. Shampooing was a bit of a struggle. Managed to phone my mom to offer condolences as she’d had to have one the horses euthanized that morning. Headed down to Harry’s Country Club for dinner with our pal Jay, had a couple of Boulevard Wheats and came home. Was still a little numb and twinging when I went to bed, but thought maybe I was going to be OK.

Not so much.

Woke up at 4am this morning hoping for death’s sweet release. The weight of the sheet on my arms was sheer torture and no matter which way I turned and tossed (an experiment in terror in and of itself), I couldn’t find a position in which I experienced anything resembling the remote memory of comfort. I got up and gimped downstairs, rummaged in the kitchen cabinet for some prescription ibuprofen and threw back 800mg and crawled back to bed. Still couldn’t get comfortable so I went back downstairs where the soft sofa provided some relief. I fell asleep and when I woke up around 6 the ibuprofen had finally kicked in reducing the shreiking pain to a dull ache. Felt normal enough to attend the Heart Walk with Scoots and a couple of bloody mary’s at the Classic Cup improved my condition even more.

So, I’m hoping tonight’s better, and I’m hoping tomorrow’s better still because come Monday, I get to do this all over again.

Getting fit’s a real bitch.

May 19, 2009

Three tequila, floor.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — akcb @ 1:49 am

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Margaritas, when made with a modicum of skill and care, are just about the greatest drink in the world. Tragically, so many pre-made mixes, throw-as-you-go recipes and second-rate Tex Mex establishments have done such a disservice to this classic cocktail that a lot of folks think the margarita is supposed to taste disgustinlgy sweet, look artificially green or yellow and come directly from a revolve-y freeze-y thing looking like a technicolor dog pile in a funny-shaped glass. I make margaritas three ways, depending on my mood, to whom I’m serving them and how much time I have.

The first and fastest is the traditional method. Tequila, Cointreau & lime juice, shaker, ice, done. Easy to make for one or twenty-one, this is a fantastic drink. A word about tequila: I pretty much use Hornitos Reposado as my go-to tequila, though some purists call for silver or blanco tequila in the margartia. Whatever you choose, make sure its 100% agave.

The Traditional Margarita

  • 1.5 oz Tequila
  • 3/4 oz lime juice (fresh squeezed, natch. Those yellow hand squeezers are the best)
  • 1 oz Cointreau (you can substitute triple sec here if you like. Hiram Walker is pretty good and you can buy four bottles of it for every bottle of Cointreau, but Cointreau is traditional and dryer in flavor)
  • 1 tsp or more agave syrup, to taste (optional. I don’t use it, but if you like a sweeter drink, by all means add some)

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. You can rim the glass with salt if you’re so inclined. I never am. Garnish with a lime twist or slice. Play with the proportions until you reach the flavor that most suits you.

The Advanced, Focus-Group-Tested but Crazy Good, Pain-in-the-A$$-to-Make Margarita

The second margarita I enjoy is from the good folks at America’s Test Kitchen. The recipe is part of their pay-site and I’m a bit leary of posting it here. However, I’m not above linking to someone else who’s already posted it so here you go. This is undoubtedly delicious and complex. Unfortunately, it takes about a year and half to make. If you can plan ahead, this is the ideal margarita for a small party of 4 or 6 guests, on the patio with the grill going. It was the hands-down winner in the margarita contest at my dear friend Ladybird’s annual Avocado and Tequila Bash.

The third margarita I make with alarming regularity is adapted from Amy Sedaris’s fantastic book, I Like You. On its face, its everything I don’t like in a margarita: artificial, sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and blendy. The beer in this mitigates the frozen margarita mix making the drink ridiculously mellow and subtle, its teh awesome and a favorite.

The Long Neck Rita

  • One 10-oz can frozen margarita mix (Bacardi’s preferred)
  • 1/2 can tequila (any will do; I’m working my way through a huge bottle of El Jimador from Costco. Vile in most applications it…well, I wouldn’t say it shines, but it’s perfectly servicable here.)
  • 1/4 can Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1 bottle Miller Chill (or any sort of American-style lager, I suppose)

Mix these in pichter or jar. In batches and in a blender, blend with enough ice to make slushy but so much that it becomes granita-like. This will make at least six good-sized glasses of numminess. Enjoy on the porch with your feet on the railing. Or in your chair in front of the television watching Buffy DVDs like I did yesterday afternoon.

May 14, 2009

Three KC things I hate everybody else seems to love.

Filed under: Uncategorized — akcb @ 1:14 am

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1. Roasterie coffee. Except when I want overpriced and bitter. Then I’m all over it.
2. Arthur Bryant’s. The sun rises and sets with LC’s and this place doesn’t even try anymore.
3. The Marching Cobras. Oh, and with the fiery passion of thousand suns. Every time I see them, I pray for an out-of-control delivery van to end the nightmare.

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