Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Vacation Day 3

Today was a travel day. We got up, ate leftover pizza for breakfast and headed down the road to Montrose to spend Christmas with Dev's mom. 

We always stop in Grand Junction because it's the halfway point.  REI was our first stop (to look at ski racks for the car), then we spent some time in Barnes and Noble. 

We waited to have lunch at Colorado Boy Pizza in Montrose. Their spinach salad is to die for (spinach leaves, walnuts, roasted red pepper and gorganzola tossed in a pesto vinaigrette).

After lunch we went to Devin's mom's house. We sat around and talked til dinner time. She had made BBQ ribs, scalloped potatoes and cranberry salad. It was delicious!  I forgot to take pics. 

That was about it. We all hit the living room and watched TV until we were too sleepy to keep our eyes open. Then we went to bed.

Vacation Day 2

So let's see... Day 2 was not very active. 

I made homemade buttermilk pancakes for breakfast. 
They are always a hit. 

Lunch was less spectacular. I made boring tuna fish sandwiches. 

In the late afternoon, we went to Glenwood Springs to see our friend Greg play rec league hockey. Then we headed out for pizza after the game. 

It was still a pretty good day!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Vacation- Day 1

I have set a goal for Winter Break.  While I recognize the need for rest and relaxation, I don't want to sit around like a lump on the couch the whole time.  I want to get out and do something active most of the days we're off.

Today, we were off to a great start!  My alarm went off at 7am (a full hour and a half later than normal), but we stayed in bed for about another 30 minutes.   For breakfast, I decided to make migas.  I had never heard of this dish before I moved to Alamosa, CO.  I'm assuming it has it's beginnings in New Mexico.  I find it's a great way to use up the crumblies left in the bottom of the bag of tortilla chips.

I start by heating some oil (olive or canola) and putting the dredges of the chip bag in the pan.  I let them sizzle around and toast until they are light brown.  Then I throw in some chopped onion and fresh jalapeno.  After the onion softens, I put in diced tomato (this time of year I use canned- in the summer, I use fresh).  After the tomatoes have warmed through, I throw in 3 beaten eggs that have been seasoned with salt, a little milk and about a tablespoon of sriracha chile sauce.  After the eggs are scrambled, I plate it with garnishes of pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and lime juice.  This morning I also added to the plate some sliced oranges, and sliced avocado (seasoned with salt, lime and crushed chile de arbol).

After breakfast I sat down and almost finished a fingerless mitt I'm working on for a friend.  I also watched 2 episodes of "Top Gear" on BBC America.

For lunch I wanted some soup, so I made tomato.

There are a zillion recipes for tomato soup floating around on the interwebs.  I decided to wing it and clean some stuff out of the pantry and fridge.




I started with half a chopped onion.  I sauteed it in olive oil until it began to soften.  Then I added a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and about a cup of chicken stock.  I let that come to a simmer and added some Greek seasoning blend I had in the spice rack.  After about 10 minutes of bubbling, I put it in a bowl and added a handful of cubed home made bread that I sauteed in olive oil to crisp up.  On top of the bread cubes I put a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese.  I popped the bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds to melt the cheese.  I garnished with the last of the chopped fresh cilantro.
In addition, for my bowl, I added some diced avocado and just a bit of Greek yogurt.

After lunch, we took a nap.  About 3ish we bundled up and went cross country skiing.  While I like being outside, skiing really isn't my thing.  I spent the vast majority of the time face down in the snow.  And I do not have the strength to pull myself up without taking the skis off.  That makes for a long afternoon.

I think dinner is going to be a pickled beet and goat cheese salad.  I hate to undo all the good I did out on the golf course!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Veggie Udon Noodles with Peanut Sauce

My oven has stopped working!  I had no idea how much I depended on it until I couldn't.  I sat around all day, moping about what to make for dinner without my oven.

Then, I remembered the package of refrigerated udon noodles I picked up at the store this weekend.  I decided I'd whip up a peanut sauce and stir fry the noodles with veggies.

That's how this dish was born.  It was really good.  Like I could eat this once a week and be happy, good.

Here's the recipe for the peanut sauce.  It is really simple and I had all the ingredients on hand.  Oh- and I added about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to the list- as well as subbing vegetable broth for the chicken.   I only used the sauce recipe- I didn't follow the rest of it.

While the sauce festered on the stove, I thinly sliced half an onion, about 4 large cremini mushrooms and about a cup of sugar snap peas.  I heated a non-stick skillet to medium high and put a couple of tablespoons of olive in.  When it was piping hot, I threw all the veggies in.  When they began to soften I opened the package of udon noodles and tossed them in as well.  I stirred them around, then poured the sauce on.  I let it cook for about 3 minutes, letting the noodles absorb as much of the sauce as possible.  I served it with a garnish of julienned carrots, fresh cilantro and toasted peanuts.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Holidays are here again...

So today I finished my Christmas shopping and began my Christmas baking.  I'm not doing too much this year, mostly because I get so busy at school, I don't have time.

I concentrated on 3 recipes.  All of them are insanely simple, but have big impact.

The first recipe I did is called "Firecracker Cheez-its."  I found the recipe on one of the many blogs I read.  If you're interested in giving them a try, go here.  But be prepared to become addicted.

The next recipe I chose is an old standard- Oreo Truffles.  The recipe could not be simpler- one- eight ounce block of cream cheese, softened, and one bag of Oreo cookies.  I put the Oreos in my food processor and whiz them around until they look like sand, then cut the cream cheese into smaller pieces and toss it in with the cookies.  Whiz it all around until it becomes a dark, black mass of yumminess.  Form the dough into whatever size balls you want, then you have lots of choices!  I like to roll them in chopped salted peanuts, but unsweetened cocoa is good, as is dipping them in melted dark or white chocolate.

The third recipe isn't going to happen today.  The couch and a cup of hot tea is calling my name.  But when I get around to it, I will make a recipe of my mother's pound cake recipe, and bake it in little gift-loaf pans.  I love having those around for last minute gifts.

I'm kinda glad to be aiming low this year, so I have time to enjoy the season.  What kind of baking plans do you have for this Christmas?
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