Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Butterstick Squash and Birthday Cake Shakes

by J.R.

It’s five past 5 across Conference III (leave work early, Colorado — you have our permission), time to hit bricks and get that freakin’ weekend started, am I right?

Of course I am.

It’s been a tough week for some of you so loosen your belt, pop a top, grab a spoon and stop being such a sourpuss. III Communication’s got good news for everybody.

The Particulars

8006What We’re Eating: At the risk of over-sharing my affection for squash and therefore running the risk of ending up with 600 pounds of gratis gourd, allow me to introduce you to the butterstick squash.

Larger, more golden and more zucchini-ey shaped than your normal crookneck, yellow squash, the butterstick is also firmer with nuttier, almost buttery (like its name!) flavor.

One of my favorite summer dishes is ciambotta, an Italian summer vegetable stew. Like ratatouille, it relies on eggplant. A straight weight-for-weight replacement with the butterstick squash, though, works well, the squash being robust enough to hold up to several hours in the crock pot.

My wife noted that at times the butterstick even has a bit of an avocado flavor. If it was a little ripe or, perhaps, slight cooked, it might make for an alternative to the avocado for an offbeat, yellow guacamole.

confetti-shake-mainWhat We’re Drinking: Speaking of my wife, she found a recipe for a protein shake that tastes like cake batter. The ingredients seemingly don’t make much sense (cottage cheese?), but trust me, it tastes like straight-up cake batter, except it’s apparently healthy?

We eat dinner pretty early — usually between 5 and 6 — because it fits our schedule with the baby and because cooking right when I get home from work helps me to wind down. The downside of that is that there is a lot of snacking around 9 PM (thus my affection for toast). This little shake is a nice (and apparently healthy) treat.

Reasons To Celebrate

Chicago: Dave Bolland took your Cup through suburban Toronto and then the Leafs made some kind of silly, hubristic Flortheast statement about it because they are absurd. But you don’t need some off-site Cup celebration, you’ve got Lollapalooza.

Your Weekend Jam: “Weekend” by Smith Westerns

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Colorado: Gosh, you make massive, potentially illegal mistakes on a campaign financial disclosure and your boss up and fires you? Tough luck, pal. At least you are unlikely to get arrested if you spark a public J.

Your Weekend Jam: “Rocky Mountain High” by Dead Meadow

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Dallas: Byron Frisch, a former Cowboys offensive lineman you probably don’t remember, is charged with massive amounts of mail and wire fraud. Sounds like he should have gone into oil.

Your Weekend Jam: “I’m A Tool Pusher From Snyder” by Slim Willet

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Minnesota: Speaking of Texas oil money, could the Wild be not long for the Land of 10,000 Lakes? Probably not, but in case you need a smile, just remember there is a real place called Dinkytown. And “Funkytown” is probably about it. Seriously.

Your Weekend Jam: “Funky Town” by Pseudo Echo

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Nashville: Reporters getting fired all over the place. Jack White acting a fool. Your Itness under attack. At least you can’t get a zero in school.

Your Weekend Jam: “Fell In Love With A Girl” by The White Stripes

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St. Louis: Five years for J-Bo, eh? But not Pietrangelo? It seems like people think Bouwmeester is better than he really is and my theory is that it’s because he was so frequently the subject of trade rumors, so frequently cited as the guy Team X needed to make a deep push in the playoffs. And since Jay Feaster refused to move him for so long, it only served to further inflate that perception. Call it the Bouwmeester Phenomenon.

Your Weekend Jam: “Five Year Plan” by Dirty Rotten Imbeciles

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Winnipeg: If you are into obscure festivals, Manitoba is the place to be this weekend. The Icelandic Festival in Gimil and the Ukrainian Festival in Barry Trotz’s hometown of Dauphin are ongoing. Get on that.

Your Weekend Jam: “Wonderful Winnipeg” by Young Kidd

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