Thursday, July 31, 2014

Scootard's Birthday Bash!

Well, it's that time again....:-).  My beloved was sleeping in while I was scribbling 'Happy Birthday" on the bathroom mirror to greet him when we woke up....:-)

Part of his birthday wish was to give Ruby a run.....:-).  Okie doke then!

I got ready to saddle up on Raspberry and see what the day would bring....

But first, a trip to the garden to check on the progress of things....

The tomatoes were coming along pretty well.  Some of the vines are so heavy that they had to be braced up
even though they are in cages!

I'm told that the corn is ready when the tassels turn brown.  This one still has a few more days to go.

These peppers are about the size of a golf ball.  They are supposed to turn orange when they are ripe.  I hope we are here to harvest them!

I have found that tomatoes (these are "champions" ) are very tricky to care for.  Some of these seem to be struggling.  I think the corn is clocking the sun.

These are "cherry tomatoes" and they are doing fine except for one bunch that I will remove on my next trip down there.

After a quick check and water of the garden, we made our way to a little place we had not been in a couple of years.  We made it!

I couldn't remember if I liked the food here or not the last time we were here.  I guess I would find out once we got in there.  Scootard was going to move the bikes to the back of the restaurant.

And there they are.  The dynamic duo.....:-)

 Scootard was playing with his phone and I was patiently waiting for brunch.

ok, then.  His order: poached eggs over chili in taco shells that were shaped like little bowls.

I ordered scrambled eggs with spinach, swiss cheese, and mushrooms with spicy vegetarian chili.
It wasn't spicy at all.

After a good burp, we hit the road again.....:-)  Ain't they cute

Raspberry looks soooo tiny next to the backdrop...:-).

It is a gorgeous day.....:-)

there's the birthday boy with "Ruby".....  He's kinda cute too....:-)

We rode all through the back roads enjoying the scenery...

But I was getting "money butt" so we decided to switch bikes.   Now, that was a sight for sore eyes, but unfortunately I do not have pictures of my 6 foot tall man on Raspberry.

We made it back home exhausted but very satisfied with the day.  Next thing was to make Scootard's birthday cake....:-)

I think he's having a good birthday!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What's Cooking? Arugula Pear Pesto!

As you know, if you have been following me for a while; I like to cook (and eat)!  Sometimes I get inspired just by walking through the market seeing things and smelling things.  Other times, it just pops into my head and I decide to give it a whirl.  This time I was partly inspired by a short video by a man whose name I can't pronounce..ha.  So, suffice it to say that today's blog is about my creation of an "Arugula Pear Pesto"!  I generally do not cook by "measuring", but rather by taste and smell.  So, some of the following measurements are my best estimates of what I actually used.

You are going to need the following:

3 cups of  baby Arugula or one medium package.
1 package of Pecorino cheese (goat/ feta cheese).
3 pears ( I used the brown).
5 Roma Tomatoes
4 ounces of sun dried tomatoes
3 ounces (or 1 package) of fresh basil
1 cup of walnuts 
Olive Oil - (first cold pressed).
Salt and Pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
3 cloves of garlic 
2 serrano peppers  

I bruised the basil with a pestle to release the aroma and oils. Chop the sun dried tomatoes.

Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil and place the pears into it. 

After two minutes remove the pears and place them in a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking process.  Leave them in the water for two minutes. Drain, peel, and set aside. 

Do the same with the Roma tomatoes.  Blanche for two minutes and cool in very cold water for two minutes
The skin will very easily lift right off.  Set aside in a bowl.

I blanched the last two tomatoes separately because I had not yet decided if I was going to use them all in one recipe or not.  But you can put them all in the pot together. I ended up using the last two in a Pear and Arugula side salad with Grand Padano cheese.

Chop the pears, peppers, garlic and tomatoes and place in a blender along with the cheese.

Add 1 cup of olive oil, the arugula and blend until smooth adding oil as necessary.  It should be the consistency of a light cake batter. Add salt and the black and cayenne peppers to taste.

Pour into a bowl and use it over pasta, gnocchi or risotto.  I used mine with risotto that evening.  I had enough left over to fill a 16 ounce jar.  It should keep in the fridge for several days.

Watch your man go into a full belly "food coma" after dinner.....hahaha

Bon Apetit!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ruby's Run

After experiencing temps in the 90's for almost a week, it rained for almost three days.  Ruby, Raspberry and Thing Two sat waiting for an adventure....:-(.  And then it happened!  The sun finally came out and we got ready to roll.  Now, who gets to go this time?

And the winner is......Ruby!  I had only taken her around the neighborhood once since I had gotten her a week ago.  Time to hit the highway....:-).

What a good looking pair.....:-).  Well, Ruby is pretty.....and Thing Two is ....well, a thing! ha

Don't forget the ear plugs!

We rode over to one of our favorite places for coffee.  You can't lose when you drink coffee at a place called "Bean Around The World"....ha.

Somebody needed a sugar fix and it wasn't me!

uh huh....all fixed up now.....:-).

Wow....we must be the new sheriffs in town.  The place cleared out shortly after we arrived! ha

There only remained a couple of folks and one nice lady who offered to take our picture just as we were about to leave.....:-).

I love riding through the forest....:-).  I love the smells and the quietness of nature.  No rude neighbors to deal with.

There's my stud on his steed....:-).

After galavanting around for nearly two hours, we headed home and decided to stop by the garden.


We couldn't do very much since we were not dressed for the occasion, but a quick check revealed that all was well and it would soon be time to harvest corn, bean, and more potatoes!

And alas...we arrived at home again.  It was a good day.  Time to put the bikes to bed until next time.

See you then!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Smell Me Something Good!

If you have ever had your own garden, then you will know that you can sometimes have more harvest than you actually have space to keep everything.  Being in a condo presents "space challenges".  So, everything we harvest has to either be eaten in a few days or frozen.  There is absolutely no more room in the freezer!

Sooooo, I hit the kitchen to cook some of the things that were about to languish in the fridge.  The quickest thing to do was to make a huge pot of soup.  Besides, it had been a bit cooler lately anyway...:-)

Chris had already separated the last of the beets that we harvested from the leaves and stems for me.
Unfortunately, I forgot to get pictures of a lot of the things I used.  So, Ill just tell you when I am missing a picture.  Hopefully, if you ever use this, you will enjoy it.

these are carrot tops, beets and radishes.

Start with a large stock pot of water or vegetable stock if you have some.  Let it heat while you are cooking the beets in a separate pot.  Add the beet water to the stock pot when the beets are finished along with a large chopped onion, a cup of barley(optional), and 3 large cloves of garlic- pressed.   I also used 4 carrots that were sliced into medium pieces and two large Yukon Gold potatoes cut into half inch pieces (or chunks).  Take the skin off of the beets and potatoes, dice and add to the pot.  Stir in half can of tomato paste and I tablespoon of raw honey.

I cut up two chicken breast, washed them and marinated them in some rice vinegar, thyme, olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and fresh sage from my garden.  I let it sit for about an hour before browning.

Add the browned chicken to the pot along with the chopped beet greens and radish greens.  Add a tablespoon of greek or italian seasoning.

Let cook on medium  for an additional twenty minutes stirring occasionally to make sure the barley and potatoes don't stick to the bottom of the pot.

You should have lots left over to freeze.....if you have room!  Otherwise, be kind to a neighbor and give some away....:-)

Lastly, serve with lots of love!  And don't forget the cracker....:-)

Bon Appetit!