Here’s the 26-page “Guide” (MIL-C-44072C) to making the perfect military Cookies & Brownies.  As typical with any government document it leaves nothing to chance and has more references to other documents than actual ingredients!

On another note, THANK YOU to all of the military service personnel past & present.  It is your sacrifice that has made the United States of America what it is today & there is NO PLACE I would rather LIVE!

Uptown Cafe – Noblesville, IN

A “Greasy Spoon” that’s served downtown Noblesville for decades has been transformed into a gem of a diner, and just gained some loyal fans!

Having lived in Noblesville from age of 12 to 24, I’ve eaten at the Uptown Cafe on several occasions.  I always remembered it as a smokey little hole in the wall with OK coffee and so so service.  It’s changed hands few times but never really changed.  That’s until now…

The Uptown Cafe’s new owner purchased the place about two years ago.  She’s updated the interior to give it a more modern (contemporary) feel.  It’s still a small place that only seats about 30 p eople at a time, and when we visited on a Saturday morning we were fortunate to get a seat at the counter.

Before I talk about our experience I have to mention the disappointment I had with the CUSTOMERS!

<Soapbox ON> You walk into a SMALL diner on a SATURDAY morning in a BUSY downtown setting.  If the place is any good you’re most likely going to have to wait a few minutes to get seated.  It’s a beautiful May morning and there is ample seating for you and your uptight mother to wait outside.  I’m sorry that the 6-top in the back is not immediately available for you.  Had the owner known royalty was going to be visiting I’m sure she would have sterilized the area and roped it off for you the night before.  I appreciate we live in the Land of the Free, but do you REALLY have to stand right next to me and expel your displeasure all over MY breakfast?  How about you try Denny’s next time and take that crappy attitude with you… <Soapbox OFF>

Back to the Uptown… The weekend menu is limited but has enough variety to make just about everyone happy.  This is, after all, a diner and once you see the short order station you’ll understand the limited choice.  Speaking of Short Order, the cook they have is a lot of fun to watch.  We sat at the counter and were amazed at the speed and efficiency she displayed while working on no less than 6 orders at a time.

After getting settled and ordering a cup of coffee (GOOD coffee) I ordered the Uptown Biscuits and Gravy (with hash browns and an egg) and Zoe (my foodie daughter) ordered the Brown Sugar and Buttermilk Hotcakes (with chocolate chips) and THICK cut bacon.

One of the things I like about sitting at the counter of a small place is the ability to watch the preparation of your food and the movement of your ticket from printer, across the rack and onto the spike (or in this case the trash).

About 10 minutes after we placed our order it was out turn to enjoy the food.  Zoe’s pancakes were off the chart good.  I would do without the chocolate chips as they were flavorful enough on their own.  My Uptown Biscuits and Gravy came served in a bowl.  First time I’ve seen this and it works well!  Great scratch made biscuit with sausage cream gravy.  Exactly what I was wanting…

Total with tip was a little over $20, not bad for the portions and atmosphere.  We will be returning again SOON as I want to check out the other menu items I watched being prepared right in front of me.

The Uptown Cafe is located at 809 Conner St, Noblesville, IN 46060.  They also cater and offer a selection of sandwiches, boxed lunches & even breakfast items.  Details on their website.

Uptown Cafe on Urbanspoon

How to Make Perfect Thin and Crisp French Fries

I love good french fries (pommes frites) & have made them at home on a couple of occasions.  It’s not as easy as you would think!  Kenji Lopez over at the Serious Eats Burger Lab has an in depth article explaining how to make the prefect french fry.

While I’m on the subject, you can get a great batch of pommes frites at the Brugge Brassary in Broad Ripple.

4-Day Weekend!

Been a while since I posted on my blog.  Been SUPER busy at work and just have not had a lot to say!  Finally taking a day off tomorrow & taking advantage of a 4-day weekend.

The area Farmers Markets [PDF] are opening up this weekend too so it’s time go get back on the local food kick.

Dropped Comcast in favor of U-Verse about a month ago.  So far I’m pretty impressed!  We keep running into the 4-stream limit at night when we are recording shows and kids are trying to watch live TV.  Other than that little bit of frustration I would recommend the U-Verse service if it’s available in your area.

I have a lot of ideas for future posts so I’ll make an effort to get back on the Blog!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Priorities & Responsibilities

It’s been a while since I posted a “meaningful” entry to the blog. Woke up early this morning & spent some “me time” catching up on my RSS feeds & enjoying some music from Pandora.

I started thinking about Priorities & Responsibilities… We all have them.  The older you get the more you have & the more you should be able to manage them.  I think I do a reasonably good job of managing mine but without a regular review it’s easy for things to get out of balance.

My current responsibilities include (in no particular order) but are not limited to:

  • Husband
  • Father
  • Friend
  • Employee
  • Consultant
  • Leader
  • Home Owner
  • Citizen

Some responsibilities are easy to prioritize.  My family comes first above all else, including myself.  I absolutely cherish my friendships and my employment helps me enjoy all of it.  I’m deeply proud and honored to be an American citizen & could not imagine living in another country.

The difficulty I sometimes have is prioritizing my responsibilities.  I love my job and have been very fortunate to find a company as supportive and encouraging as the one I’ve been at for the last 5 years.  BUT, it’s very easy to get swept up in a project at work and let other things slip.

As hard as I work and as much as I love doing it, the weekend is my goal each Monday morning.  I live for the weekend and try to make the most of every one.

We all have our pleasures in life as well, and some of our responsibilities are actually pleasurable.  These have to be prioritized along with everything else.  Throw in a few wants/needs & you have the makings of a complicated, albeit rewarding, life!

If it’s been a while since you’ve sat down and reviewed your Priorities & Responsibilities, take a moment to do so.  I’ll bet you find a few areas that have been neglected…