Blue Cat Goes Fishing

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Today was Labor Day (a celebration of the contribution of workers) in the United States and so Blue Cat got the day off. His scribe’s son set up a fishing trip for Blue Cat and his scribe, so off they went to Rampart Reservoir. Located in the Pikes Peak National Forest in Colorado, the reservoir is at an altitude of 9,000 feet and is really big (13 billion gallons big). And it’s stocked every two weeks or so with tasty trout.

The first thing you need to know about Rampart Reservoir is that, while it’s close to the Blue Cat’s home in Colorado Springs (and supplies a lot of the city’s water), it’s hard to get there. That’s because there’s a military base (the Air Force Academy) and a mountain in the way, so Blue Cat had to go around the mountain to get there. A scenic drive, but a long one!

But it’s really beautiful once you get there. Here’s Blue Cat and his scribe’s son enjoying the fishing:

On Rampart Reservoir's shore.

On Rampart Reservoir’s shore.

As you can tell, Blue Cat is a little small to be fishing, especially since the fish in Rampart Reservoir are pretty big. His scribe had to take over, and was lucky enough to catch two rainbow trout. If you’re wondering, he used Powerball Trout Bait and a small trout hook – once with a floating rig and once with a bottom rig.

Blue Cat's trout bait of choice.

Blue Cat’s trout bait of choice.

Here are the fish – and yes, one is over 13 inches long!

The prize fish!

The prize fish!

Since this was Blue Cat’s first foray into the world of fishing, he had to learn how to clean the trout and cook them. We’ll leave the cleaning process to your imagination (or you can look at the video) but here’s how the fish were pan fried – flour with salt and pepper, then frying in butter (about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat). Watch out for bones – there are a lot! (Blue Cat is going to try to fillet the fish he catches next time.)

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And they were very tasty!

So the next time you’re in Colorado Springs you might consider fishing at the Rampart Reservoir! It’s a pretty drive, a beautiful location, and there are plenty of fish to catch. Tell them that Blue Cat sent you!

© William P Doyle, Jr  All Rights Reserved  2015

Blue Cat Makes Breakfast

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Sometimes Blue Cat wants something new for breakfast, but he never wants to spend a lot of time cooking. That would mean a lot of cold cereal and milk, but Blue Cat also knows that it’s best to have protein at every meal, and a cup of milk just doesn’t have enough protein for all those carbohydrates. So he invented the Blue Cat Breakfast Burrito.

Blue Cat says that you first have to start with good ingredients, but ones that are easy to get and store. No fresh arugula (whatever that is) or pickled pea pods – just things available at your local store. And here’s what he uses:

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Corned beef hash, tortillas, and cheese…

Blue Cat’s burrito is made from corned beef hash with a bit of cheese thrown in. He says to make sure that you use the “reduced fat” hash – otherwise you’ll be getting more fat than you’d like. And you can use any kind of cheese you like – Blue Cat’s family likes sharp cheddar cheese.

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Make sure you leave space so you can roll your burrito!

Blue Cat places the hash (about a quarter cup) and cheese (about 2 tablespoons) in a flour tortilla. He always makes sure to leave space around the edges so he can fold over the ends and then roll the burrito. You don’t want any of the tasty goodness coming out.

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Fold over the ends first…

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… and then roll it up.

Blue Cat cooks his burrito in the mircrowave oven, because that’s the easiest and fastest way. He puts in on high power for about a minute, but his microwave oven is pretty weak, so you might want to adjust the time. You want everything hot and the cheese melted, but nothing that glows in the dark afterward.

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And now it’s ready to eat!

And now the burrito is ready to eat! Unless you want to spice it up with some kind of sauce. Blue Cat is particularly fond of Sriracha Sauce – spicy but not too hot.

For those of you are that are health conscious, Blue Cat’s Breakfast Burrito has 35 grams of carbohydrate, 12 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat for a total of about 290 calories. His burrito may also be illegal in California, since it has a trace amount (0.1 grams) of trans fat from the corned beef hash.

So the next time you’re hungry for something different for breakfast, try Blue Cat’s Breakfast Burrito. And use the comments section to let us know what you think!

© William P Doyle  2014  All Rights Reserved

Special Post: Blue Cat Defrosts a Turkey

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Blue Cat’s family is having a big Thanksgiving this year. Really big – with 14 family members (everyone except Blue Cat’s creator, who is still on her mission in California). That means Blue Cat needs turkey – lots of turkey – to feed all those hungry mouths. So Blue Cat bought two 18-pound turkeys on Saturday.

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But Blue Cat had a problem – all the store had left were frozen turkeys. And, although the wrapper says that an 18-pound turkey will defrost in the refrigerator in 4 days, Blue Cat didn’t believe it. Especially since one of the turkeys would be in the refrigerator in the garage, where the outside temperature is below freezing.

Luckily, Blue Cat understands thermodynamics. He knew that he needed the turkey in a warm place, but needed to keep it cool so it wouldn’t spoil. How to transfer heat  while keeping things cool? With a bucket of water.

Blue Cat found the right bucket at Lowe’s – but the 5-gallon orange ones at Home Depot would work as well.

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He put the turkey in the bucket and then filled the bucket with cold water. Now, the water would warm from contact with the side of the bucket, but the water would be cooled by the ice-cold turkey. Heat would flow into the turkey from the warm house air through the water, ensuring that the turkey never got too warm.

A pretty good solution, but those of you who know turkeys are probably laughing because you know … that turkeys float:

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Not good for Blue Cat – that part of the turkey that’s above the water line will get to room temperature quickly and start to spoil. What Blue Cat needed was something heavy and waterproof – like a tub of home-made soap:

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The tub holds the turkey under the water, and Blue Cat gets to sit in a cool place. And the soap just goes along for the ride.

Blue Cat is looking forward to Thanksgiving and all that turkey – especially since most of his family will be there to share it with him. What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?

© William P Doyle, Jr  2013  All Rights Reserved

Blue Cat and the Birthday Cake

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It’s Blue Cat’s scribe’s birthday, and his family decided to bake him a cake. Everyone in the family likes the minions from Despicable Me, so they decided to make a cake-minion for the celebration. They started with a plan…

Everyone likes minions!

Everyone likes minions!

and the usual ingredients…

You can make lots of things with cake mix.

You can make lots of things with cake mix.

But how do you make a shaped cake without a mold? And how do you decorate a cake when you don’t have fancy frosting tools? Like many projects, this one seemed too hard. But Blue Cat’s family is smart and resourceful – and happened to have a bowl, a plastic bag and a pair of scissors. They used the bowl to bake a minion head, and the bag and scissors to make a frosting tool.

Frosting isn't that tricky...

Frosting isn’t that tricky…

And here’s the result!

Cake minion to the rescue!

Cake minion to the rescue!

The party was a great success, and it showed how you can get great results from mundane materials. So the next time you have a project that seems too hard, Blue Cat suggests you just look at what you’ve got and improvise. You’ll be glad you did!

© William P Doyle, Jr  2013  All Rights Reserved

Blue Cat Gets Plenty of Fiber

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Humans need to drink lots of liquids because their bodies are mostly water. Blue Cat, on the other hand, is mostly fiber-fill, so what do you think he needs to eat lots of?

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7 grams of fiber per serving - yum!

Of course, fiber is good for humans too – that’s why they have lots of Grape-Nuts at Blue Cat’s house. Which is good, because its a lot tastier than fiber-fill.

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And 8 grams of protein, too!

You are what you eat, so eat sensibly and don’t forget that fiber. That’s what Blue Cat does!

(c) William P Doyle, Jr  2013  All Rights Reserved

Blue Cat and Recovering From Disaster

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According to some, the world ends (or at least experiences a major disaster) today. Blue Cat doesn’t think that’s going to happen, but he did experience a minor disaster and saw how improvising and being creative can help you when things don’t go the way you’ve planned.

Blue Cat’s creator is going to a party today and promised to bake a cake. She used a new recipe, but didn’t remember to adjust the recipe for high altitude baking. (Blue Cat lives in Colorado Springs at an altitude of over 6000 feet above sea level.) You may not know it, but you need to add more flour and liquid to recipes when you’re baking at altitudes higher than 3500 feet, or else your cake may not rise the way you’d like it to.

The cake ended up severely depressed (which, for a cake – a usually festive piece of food – is catastrophic). Instead of a fluffy center, there was a giant dip. And layering the cake didn’t help…

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The cake was depressed, but Blue Cat’s creator wasn’t…

Blue Cat’s creator didn’t panic – instead, she used the result to make an even cooler cake than she had planned. The depression became a crater, and she used materials from around the kitchen (including some cookie crumbs from another baking mishap) to create a semi-realistic meteor impact site (complete with high-temperature glass shards and a barely-surviving house). She took what could have been a baking nightmare and turned it into the perfect cake for a party on the last day of the Mayan calendar.

So the next time your plan doesn’t go as you had hoped, Blue Cat suggests you don’t give up. He says to use the situation to your advantage and see how it presents an opportunity to be successful in a different way.

Blue Cat also hopes there are some leftovers…

© William P Doyle, Jr  2012  All Rights Reserved

Blue Cat Discovers the Meaning of Life

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Today Blue Cat was looking for one of his creator’s old cookbooks so he could make popcorn truffles for Family Home Evening snack. He was in a real hurry, but he didn’t find the cookbook. He did, however, discover something about life in general…

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It’s not with the other cookbooks…

What Blue Cat discovered is that sometimes what you’re doing becomes more important than the goal, and that it never pays to be in too much of a hurry.

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It’s not with the pet supplies, either…

After a while he could have gotten frustrated, but the search became even more interesting than the cookbook.

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Wow – there are a lot of interesting spices to try…

Although sometimes life can get a little dangerous…

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Why is it so dark all of a sudden?

But he discovered hidden treasures…

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Look! TWO boxes of fudge brownie mix!

… and he got reacquainted with some long lost friends.

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“So – a sock monkey, a cat, and a bear went into a shawarma restaurant…”

In the end, he found something just as good as popcorn truffles.

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Cookies and hot chocolate – I think that will do!

So remember what Blue Cat learned today – life is a journey, not a race. So take time to enjoy the journey, and don’t be so focused that you miss the interesting sidelights that are all around you. And remember that sometimes you need to keep the bigger vision in mind and improvise on how to measure success.

At least that’s what Blue Cat thinks!

© William P. Doyle, Jr.  2012  All rights reserved