It is almost Thanksgiving and the snow has fallen in Steamboat! We are hoping it is here to stay. But before Thanksgiving celebs… This weekend I am looking forward to heading down to Austin to celebrate Alden and Scott’s wedding, drinking lots of good Texas beer and of course, eating lots of BBQ! I am super excited for them and can’t wait to help them celebrate their togetherness. Standby for updates on that. Probably lots of pictures of the entire pig Scott plans to roast…
Meanwhile, with the colder weather, I have been baking a lot. Baking for the dog (yes, I know) and baking for myself! Check out this super tasty gluten free banana bread. I think the almond flour was a huge flavor addition. Points for GF baking, people!
GF Banana Bread:
1 1/2 cups flour * I used oat and almond about half and half of each
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (or oil)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans (any nut, really)
1/2 cup coconut (also, you can use chocolate chips or more nuts)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour, baking powder, spices, nuts and coconut or chocolate chips (mixing these in with the dry keeps them from sinking in the batter) in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and butter together, add eggs and mashed banana. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and then pour into a greased 9×5 loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour or until a knife comes out clean. (you might need to cover with aluminum foil half way through baking to avoid burning the top of the loaf)
Sooo yum. I cant get enough banana bread in my life, I don’t think. I am always trying different recipes and I thought this one was pretty great! Especially with a little butter on a toasted slice. Breakfast. Heaven.
AND, check out Mount Rushmore below!! We celebrated Halloween in Chicago (see Mango’s great costume, also below) and drove through the Badlands and the Black Hills on our way home~ Checks off the bucket list right there. I highly recommend road tripping through South Dakota as soon as you can. Mostly just the South West corner of it. Enjoy!
October is nearly over and that means: Halloween!!!! It also means the later end of 2013 is here and its time to review the resolutions. So far, I have given it a good go on everything but the budgeted lifestyle. The easiest cure for that would be traveling less…but that sounds so contradictory to my resolution to travel! Oh well. I have made a significant budget leap this month as I have been trying to make pantry creations as much as possible, which leads me to: pesto!
I decided to use some of my fresh basil to make a pesto since I found a meager two-ish servings of spinach linguini in the pantry. I also found half a bag of frozen broccoli. So I mixed up the pesto (recipe below), cooked the noodles and the broccoli and then I tossed all of that with some pesto. Topped it with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and it was delish!
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup pecans
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup spinach
5-6 leaves fresh basil
Directions: Blend everything together in a food processor and serve!
SNOW! Yesterday, it was 70degrees and we were discussing the lake, this morning, we had at least 10″ of snow…and it kept.on.snowing. We capped out at 14″ and wow, is it glorious. Freezing, but amazing. It was the Mango dog’s first real snow and he absolutely loved it. He spent most of the morning sprinting around the fields and disappearing into the drifts. Of course, we know its all going to melt away in the next week or so, but its a great beginning to the winter times!
In preparing for the snow, Peggy and I have been digging up her garden and bringing the outside in. So a few days ago, we extracted a MASSIVE turnip from the ground…I am talking baby-head-size. AND I decided to make a soup!
2Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 Lbs of turnips, peeled and chopped
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp fresh parlsey
6 cups vegetable stock
Saute onions and garlic in olive oil with salt and pepper and cook until onion is fragrant and soft. Add turnips and the rest of the spices and stir well. Let cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the stock. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 20 minutes or so until the turnips are soft. Now you can either use a submersion blender, household blender or choose not to blend it. I blended it about 50%, so I had a kind of chunky blend, which I recommend! Serve with cheese if you’d like! I used shredded sharp cheddar.
I also made some beer bread to go with it. I haven’t made beer bread in a while and I forgot how tasty and great it is! Soft but it has an excellent crunch when toasted. Mmmmm. I think next time, maybe a sweet potato or two to bring down the bitterness, but then that could just be a result of the gigantic turnip.
And now for the
1/4 cup butter
3 cups flour
3 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 bottle of beer (I used a pumpkin ale)
Preheat oven to 375F. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and then add beer. Melt butter and pour half into the bottom of a 9×5″ loaf pan. Pour in batter (its a little sticky, so spread it until its kind of even) and top with the rest of the melted butter. Bake for 45min or until knife comes clean.
Soooo easy and yummy! You can add cheeses and spices as well. I usually sprinkle some salt and pepper and garlic on top of it.
Here are some shots of Mango at sunrise this morning.
Mom…what IS this stuff?
Last week, my sweet puppy came in from playing outside at the ranch and when he trotted up to me, I noticed a giant tennis ball sized lump on his right front shoulder that had not been there mere minutes before. Assuming at first glance he’d dislocated something, I felt around and realized it was actually a large lump under this skin. Since it appeared so fast, we decided he had been stung by a bee, so I gave him some benadryl and kept and eye on him for the day. When it was slightly larger the next morning, we headed to the vet.
Bloodtests showed all of his levels were dangerously high or dangerously low. Too many white cells, next to no red cells, too much sodium, no iron, tons of neutrocytes (infection fighting cells) and a fever of 105. The knot on his shoulder turned out to be an abscess full of infected bloodcells. Dr. Craig got right to work removing the abscess and nearly six hours after we arrived, I left the vet with a woozy, hydrated puppy and four bottles of various pain meds, anti-inflammatory and antibiotics.
A week later, hes doing much better! In fact, he has more energy than ever and we have been enjoying lots of hikes. We go back next week for another blood test to make sure his weird levels were from the infection and hopefully not a genetic thing.
And since he is being royally spoiled, I figured what better way than to make him some treats! I wanted to find a recipe that involved red meat so we could do a little upkeep on his anemia. So I went out and got some bison…yes.
Bison Bisquick Dog Treats:
1 cup cooked bison (or beef)
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 ¼ cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
½ cup pumpkin
Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and stir well. Using a cookie scoop or table spoon measure, spoon out into round balls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18min until golden brown. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
When they came out of the oven, I broke one in half so it would cool faster and then it was time for the test! He loved them. In fact, he spent the next half hour staring at the oven door from whence they came, wondering why more weren’t magically appearing in front of his mouth. I even tried one, and I give it my approval. For humans, I’d add some garlic and some cheese, but lets not get ahead of ourselves here. :]
Hello! It has been quite a while! Life has been busy as usual, also fun, amazing and maybe the best ever. I have spent the last few months in Steamboat hiking, biking and hanging out with various amazing people doing various amazing things. And then Alden, Mom, Scott and Dad came to visit for Labor day, which was super fun! We managed to hike around Fishcreek Falls, up to Thunderhead, soak in the springs, and even visit Sunpies for an afternoon of by-the-river-brews. Awesome. Plus, my art show at the Red Contemporary Gallery opened that Friday, so it was cool they were in town!
When they left, I was a little homesick, so I decided to whip up one of my favorite down-south summer recipes. Tomato Pie. For some reason, I decided to try a new recipe, rather than my go-to…but it was pretty good! Made better, I think, because I actually grew all the tomatoes. Yayyy!
Tomato Pie II
1 cup flour (I used WW, you can use AP)
2/4 cup yellow cornmeal
¾ tsp salt
1 stick cold butter cubed
¼ cup shredded cheese
5 Tbsp ice water
Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl, cut butter with flour and cornmeal, until fine and crumbly. Add cheese and water and mix (I use my hands) until it forms a dough. Press into greased pie pan and bake for 15min until golden brown.
½ large onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 medium tomatoes, sliced
½ cup shredded swiss cheese
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup mayo
1Tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp pepper
Directions: (While crust pre-bakes) Chop tomatoes and lay out on paper towels to drain. Meanwhile, cook onions with olive oil over medium heat until they caramelize and then set them aside. Ina small bowl, mix cheese, mayo and spices. When the crust is ready, layer tomatoes in the bottom, top with onions and then with cheese mixture. Raise oven to 375F and bake for 15-20min until cheese bubbles.
I think the biggest difference was the cornmeal crust rather than the usual pie crust. BUT it was yummy! I like the cheesiness. I also think the crust could use some more cheese…can you go wrong with cheese? Didn’t think so.
As promised, pictures of the garden! Squash and zucchini doing well. Pumpkin and Spaghetti Squash seedlings have popped up! Tomatoes are slowly ripening and the herbs are flourishing!! We couldn’t ask for better.
In some efforts to save the dollars and use up what I have, I got out some rice from the pantry and frozen stock from the spring and came up with this! There is something similar in the New England Soups book that I have, but they use barley, cellery and more parsnip and carrots.
Wild Rice and Sweet Potato Soup:
8 cups stock (I used turkey…chicken or veggie would work!)
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 white onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp dried dill
pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 1/4 cups wild rice (cooked)
Yummmmm! I loved this soup. I am taking it cold for lunch as well…I actually started it in the crock pot because I didn’t have a lot of time. Then I cooked the rice separate and mixed the crock pot with the rice in a larger stock pot right before I served it. Enjoy!
The garden is in full bloom and the puppy is finally settling in here in Steamboat! It took him minute to get used to the cold mornings (poor Caribbean guy!) but now he complains about the heat! When we are out walking, he runs towards any shady tree or bush or anything he can find. He spends the rest of his day pitifully sleeping away his exhaustion. Obviously, its hard to be a puppy..
Anyways, summer camp also started and I am packing lunches a few days a week. Soooo along with some homemade hummus, I am trying to experiment with different types of crackers. These were pretty yummy!!!!!
2/3 cup ground flax seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Grease a cookie sheet (you can use greased aluminum foil or parchment paper too). Press or roll the dough as thin as possible on the cookie sheet. Bake for 20minutes. Let cool and break into small pieces.
I will definitely double the recipe next time. Soooo yummy! Nice and rustic with a good toasted cheese flavor. Crunchy and easy easy easy to make!
And just because he is cute…one more of the pup.