Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Crab Season



It is Dunganess Crab season in California.  Steamed, cracked and cleaned...eat it cold with hot butter, sourdough bread and your fingers.  Just like Santa likes it.  But you better make sure you have at least two crabs for him...he loves this time of year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Decade of Blessings

This weekend my little boy turns 10.  How in the world did that happen already?  He is an incredible kid.  He has been the light of our lives and we enjoy every minute with him...even math homework time!  He loves anything outdoors...snowmobiling, surfing on the lake, baseball, soccer you name it.  This weekend we will celebrate his birthday with his travel baseball team at a tournament.  Three other players have birthdays at exactly the same time so the party is on!  A tournament championship would be a great gift don't you think?  Go Muckdogs.  Happy Birthday Sweetie we love you more than you will ever know.

Monday, October 17, 2011

One Pot Meals are a Staple this Time of Year

With baseball, soccer, bible study, book reports, tutoring, school..oh yeah and work all converging sometimes dinner time is fast and furious.  I have been looking for one pot, crock pot or easy to assemble dishes that satisfy.  This Chicken Tomato and Mushroom dish from Martha Stewart was a hit.  Fast, easy and really flavorful. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It begins



October 6 and our first snow of the season.  So that makes summer from June 6 - Oct 6.  Officially short.  Oh well time to start tucking away the deck furniture, thinking about fall and hauling in wood pellets.  Fall does bring with it my favorite time of year to cook though...apples, roasted veggies, stews, soups and baking.  Yesterday I had Butternut Squash soup for lunch.  Yum. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

One of my favorite cooking tools



I am a big fan of grilling. This past summer we added a smoker grill to the family.  The Big Green Egg Smoker Grill is a dream when it comes to grilling.  The BGE is basically a giant ceramic oven.  It uses lump charcoal and comes up to perfect grilling temp in about 20 minutes.   The result is even grilling, smoky flavor and moist, perfectly cooked tri tip. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sweet Tomato Jam

Tomatoes are sweet and abundant right now.  I have been waiting to try this recipe that I found in a new book Gathering of Friends.  It is simple.  Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet, add 4-5 (or more) sliced tomatoes.  I used Roma's.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1/8 cup sugar.  Cook until the tomatoes begin to melt. Flip and repeat.  I cook mine until they are really close to jam.  Serve on a sliced baguette with a shmear of cream cheese.  Delicious. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

What's for dinner

Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Slow Cooker BBQ Beef + Corn from Farmer's Market and Tomato Salad
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken Skewers
Thursday - Truckee Thursdays means working until 8...soup, panini and watermelon
Friday - Off to a baseball tournament for the weekend...menu will include grilled burgers one night and fajitas and grilled shrimp tacos the next.  GO MUCKDOGS.

The view

My Sunday morning ritual...a cup of coffee enjoyed outside on the deck.  A view of the forest and all is right in my world.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Garden in Bloom

This is what 600" of snow and a lot of moisture will do for a high Sierra flower garden.  Everything is in bloom at once and looks gorgeous. With no help at all from me.  Perfect. 






Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Blueberry Crumb Cake for Breakfast

Blueberries are abundant right now in the store and at the Farmer's Market.  I had about 4 cups to use up or freeze and found this recipe for Blueberry Crumb Cake from one of my favorites...the Pioneer Woman.  Easy to make, moist and delicious. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy July 4

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Safe July 4.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Truckee All Stars are all stars

It is time for the Little League All Star baseball games.  Teams from Truckee, North and South Lake Tahoe, Reno, Sparks and Carson City all compete in the tournament from June 29-July 5.  The Truckee All Star team made up of 11 talented and dedicated boys played last night and won 9-8 in the bottom of the sixth inning.   Way to go Truckee. 
Proud of my little All Star. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The definition of summer

....is baseball, hotdogs and fireworks.  We have the chance to enjoy the local Minor League Reno Aces game last night. It was a warm night, high scoring game topped off by fireworks at the end of the game.  Truly the definition of summer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer

Today is the last day of school.  All of the snow days are made up and behind us.  The temperatures are warming, the crabapple tree and lilacs are blooming - they are a little behind but in full bloom now.  Gorgeous.  It is time to pull out the patio furniture and dine outside.  I think we'll start tonight.

Dinner tonight:  Grilled Bread, Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Fresh Tomatoes from the Farmer's Market and Sliced Peaches also from Farmer's Market.  Hungry already.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

It is June 6 and still snowing in the high Sierra.  Not kidding.  Although my grill is covered with snow I just can't make another crock pot or soup or stew.  Can't do it.  It's grill time.


Monday - Chicken Tacos...using the leftover fried chicken from Sunday supper
Tuesday - Little League Baseball game then Grilled Pizza and Fruit Salad.  Berries are very abundant right now in our store.
Wednesday - The guys are off on a school overnight camping trip so it's popcorn for dinner for me :)
Thursday - Grilled Steak Fajitas.
Friday - Little League Baseball game then Grilled Feta Stuffed Burgers and grilled potato slices.

Let it snow.  The grill is hot. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day






We remember those who serve and have served our country to ensure our freedom. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Passing thru

Passing thru our yard this morning were two California black bears.  One really black, the smaller one and the other, probably the mother more brown.  And she is a big girl.  They just strolled through along the deck and up to the play area.  Chili Dog was not impressed.  I was.  Welcome to spring bears.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May 17, 2011

It is the middle of May.  It is snowing.  Enough said.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lemon Ginger Scones

I have a new cookbook.  For me cookbooks are like novels.  I sit, I read, I absorb, I get lost in the pages.   Flour is from Boston based Flour Bakery owner Joanne Chang.  It is packed with delicious recipes for all kinds of baked goods.  Cakes, cupcakes, bread, cookies and scones. 
I tried the Lemon Ginger Scone recipe this week.  It includes three kinds of ginger - ground, diced crystalized and fresh as well as fresh grated lemon.  I also threw in blueberries from the freezer.  I also ran out of flour mid recipe so had to add about a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour to round it out.  The texture is more rustic than they normally would be but I liked it.  They turned out well and are making for delicious breakfast treats.  I will be trying more recipes from this cookbook - soon!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mom's are an amazing gift.  I know because I have one and she is amazing.  One day to celebrate Moms really isn't enough.  I am surround by incredible women who are mothers and I am blessed to share the journey of parenting with them.  There is no guidebook just the examples set before us by our own mothers and those around us.  This Mother's Day I want to thank my Mom for all of the gifts she's given me.  The gift of faith, a model for love, desire to learn, the ability to comfort, to feel compassion, to take a stand, to take chances and never give up.  My Mom has given me a lot of gifts.  She showed me how to be a woman of faith, pray and believe.  She taught me how to cook, faithfully standing in a hot kitchen summer after summer to perfect cookies or quick bread for the 4-H judges.  Cooking fearlessly, trying new recipes, baking from scratch is something I love thanks to my Mom.  Many of my favorite recipes are hers.  She sewed beautiful matching dresses for my sister and I every Easter and Christmas and tried mightily to pass on that skill.  She gardens with a green thumb passed on from her Mother and we grew up digging in the garden.  I love to plant and grow and harvest. She works harder than anyone I know or have ever known.  Her work ethic is part of my DNA although I have yet to match her pace.   She has a classic sense of style and looks half her age.  Happy Mother's Day to all of the beautiful, strong, smart, skillful, stylish women in my life - especially my Mom.  I love you. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Penne with Roasted Asparagus + Grilled Chicken

This recipe for Penne with Roasted Asparagus from Food & Wine popped up on my Facebook page yesterday and looked perfect for a quick dinner after baseball practice.  I added grilled chicken and a spinach/strawberry/goat cheese salad.  I liked it. My nine-year old thought he 'liked the usual pasta sauce' better but ate the chicken and asparagus.  Worth a try.

Penne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter


Simmering the balsamic vinegar both mellows and thickens it. When tossed with the hot pasta and the butter, it forms a smooth, uniquely flavored sauce.

Ingredients

1 pound asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 pound penne
1/4 pound butter, cut into pieces  (I used about 3 Tblsp and it was plenty)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 400°. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with the oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat.
  3. Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the butter, vinegar, asparagus, Parmesan, and the remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt. Serve with additional Parmesan.

Notes

Variations:
Penne with Roasted Broccoli and Balsamic Butter When asparagus is not in season, cut 1 pound of broccoli into small spears for roasting. Toss them with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and roast for about 15 minutes. Continue with step 2.
Penne with Roasted Vegetables, Toasted Nuts, and Balsamic Butter Toss in 1/3 cup of toasted pine nuts, hazelnuts, or walnuts at the end with either asparagus or broccoli.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cupcakes and Baseball


Easter Weekend we traveled to a baseball tournament in the central valley.  The Muckdogs represented well -winning both the 9U and 10U divisions.   We camped with good friends, swam, rode bikes, hunted easter eggs and enjoyed yummy cupcakes baked by my close friend and partner in crime when it comes to all things buttercream.  The weather was near 70 degrees which after the winter we've had in Truckee feels downright tropical.  Great weekend. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Celebrating Another Fab 40 with Friends

Vanilla and Chocolate Cake Pops.

A table full of sweets worthy of a Big Four-Oh Celebration.


A crowd pleasing favorite, grilled pizzas.

This is the year to turn 40!  For my friends and I anyway.  This past weekend a few close friends gathered together to celebrate another Fab 40.  A girls day out, lunch and cocktails at a local favorite Bar of America - recommend the Ahi Tuna Salad and Fish Tacos, then a stop at Truth Tattoo and dinner party featuring appetizers, grilled pizzas, Extreme Vanilla Bean cupcakes and cake pops.  What a weekend.  Happy 40th K.  Really glad to be a part of the celebration.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sweet Saturday


Carrot cake cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  I am practicing my big swirly rose technique.  Need more practice and a little stiffer frosting.  Back to the mixing bowl.  Still pretty and yummy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Via Mexico





A couple of years ago we were lucky enough to spend several days with a few close friends at an amazing house north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in a little town on the ocean called Punta de Burro.  I was running through some photos and thought I would share these.  About this time of year and 300 inches of snow later I really wish we were there again.  Someday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Snow Day #4

This will be the fourth snow day this week.  It just will not stop snowing here in Truckee.  The kids will be going to school until July 4th at this rate and Little League has little hope of starting anytime soon. Such is life at 6000'.  It does make for some warm and cozy nights thumbing through food magazines and watching movies.  I recommend Secretariat and Temple Grandin. 

video

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Day of Spring = Snow Day


 No matter what the calendar might say it has not turned to spring here in Truckee.  600 inches of snow to date this season on the summit translates into about 300 inches at our elevation and means that green grass and spring blooms are still way off in the distance.  Another 3 foot of snow over the weekend and a school snow day today!  Not kidding.  I am only dreaming when thumbing through the garden and seed catalogs.  Thank you Mister Mailman for battling your way through the snow to deliver those catalogs. Finding our mailbox is a bit of a "where's Waldo proposition right now.  It is in there I promise.  Can someone promise that spring really is on the way?  I hope so.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Runza's for St Paddy's Day Dinner



Easy to make and delicious.  Why don't I remember to make these more often.

2 lbs Ground Beef - browned and seasoned
1/2 yellow onion - diced
1/2 red onion - diced
1 head of cabbage - diced
1 pkg of 24 freezer rolls - thawed
Melted butter

Add ground beef to a large skillet, brown and season.  Drain as needed.  Remove ground beef from pan and add onion and cook until it begins to sweat. Add cabbage and cook until begins to soften.  Add ground beef and combine, cook together for a few minutes.  Taste and season as needed.

Roll each roll out to make a disc.  Add about a 1/2 cup of beef and cabbage mixture, fold over, pinch edges forming a stuffed pocket like shape and place on baking sheet.  Baste each pocket with a little melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden on top.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patty's Day.







A friend ordered 20 cupcakes for her classroom to celebrate St Patrick's Day.  Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream and a Peppermint Patty.  Of course. 
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