May 29, 2012

May Favorites

 Rachel Cooks - Homemade Cheez-Its - After my homemade Wheat Thin Pinfailure, maybe I should try these?

 How Sweet It Is - Tilapia Burgers with Watermelon Salsa + Avocado - I don't think anything else needs to be said.

coconut chocolate tart The Healthy Green Kitchen - Salted Chocolate Tart - I think by now everyone knows how much I ♥ salted caramel and salted chocolate, so here you go!

 Live, Love, DIY - DIY Stencil Sharpie Pillow - I actually think even I could do this one.  It looks so much like what she was going for too!

 Iowa Girl Eats - Chipotle Mango BBQ Chicken Salad aka The End of Boring Chicken Dinners - I am so tired of chicken and this post caught my eye.

bacon, egg and leek risotto Smitten Kitchen - Bacon, Egg & Leek Risotto - Meet my new best friend.

 Delighted Momma - How To Make Your Own Nail Polish In Any Color - That's just coolio.  Not that I ever find time to actually paint my nails.  Toes, yes.  Nails, not so much.

 Georgia Pellegrini - How to Build a Planter Box - It should be, how to build a really nice, super cool planter box.  Um....Cyclist?  I need help.  :)

 My New Roots - Happy Crackers - I am still on a mission to make my own crackers after the cracker disaster and these look good.


Flash mob in Copenhagen via Iowa Girl Eats - This is totally worth watching.  Just sayin'.

 Tommy & Ellie - Farmhouse Table DIY - I found this via somewhere else that I can't remember.  My apologies.  This is an incredibly detailed farmhouse table DIY that I think even I could follow....assuming I also learn how to do things like measure or work a saw.  Who am I kidding?!  That's The Cyclist's job.  Cyclist....?  Hellooooooo????

31 Joy the Baker - These Things I've Learned In Thirty Years - This is a great post for all ladies to read.  I especially agree with her sentiments that ice cream can solve most anything and ladies (in general) should be nicer to each other.

 Poppytalk - DIY Bendable Cake Flags - These could make a plain old birthday cake really special.

masonjardresserbefore.jpgmasonjardresserafter.jpg Apartment Therapy - Before and After Mid Century Inspired Dresser Knobs from Mason Jar Lids - Mason Jars are awesome, but people are even more clever.  This is seriously clever.






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Cold Quinoa Salad with fresh mint, craisins & almonds

Howdy everyone!  How was your Memorial Day weekend?  Longer than normal, I hope.
It's a funny thing about long weekends.  If you're like me you have this idea that you'll be able to get a bunch of extra stuff done.  But in reality, more stuff is going on, so you end up getting less done.
Oh well.

Instead of talking about what we didn't get done, let's talk about what we did get done!


This little beauty of a salad is something I did manage to get done.

I can't seem to resist buying mint at the farmer's market....it smells too good.  But that's OK because it forces me to find ways to use it.  It's refreshing taste is perfect in this Cold Quinoa salad.  Add a little sweetness with craisins and rice vinegar combined with hearty and protein filled quinoa and sliced almonds and you have yourself a healthy-hearty-tasty snack.  Plus, it's totally easy to make.

Ingredients:
1 Cup Quinoa (+ water to cook quinoa in) - whichever brand you like will do.  I use this one:
1 Cup of fresh mint, chopped
1/4 Cup of craisins
1/4 Cup of sliced almonds
Rice vinegar, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste

How to:
Cook quinoa in water based on the package instructions.
Let it cool.  To speed up the cooling process you can rinse the quinoa in cold water; you will probably lose some through the holes in your strainer, but if you're in a hurry this method works.
Place quinoa in your serving bowl and add chopped mint, craisins and sliced almonds; mix.
Add rice vinegar to taste.  I add a couple of shakes, stir, taste and add more if I think it needs it.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve & enjoy!

You can also find this at Tasty Kitchen!

**I've shared this recipe on the following sites, click the links for more tasty recipe ideas!





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May 23, 2012

Pinsipiration! Recipe Find - Spanish Roast Chicken with Romesco and Grilled Onions

Hello Everyone!  I continue to be Pinspired.  I spotted this on Pinterest awhile back and thought it looked sooo good....I also assumed it would be difficult so it sat on my Food! board for awhile looking pretty but not being made.

Photo via Serious Eats

Then, as I walked the aisles at Trader Joe's, those little chickens would taunt me from the cold case.  "Roast me, roast me!"

I finally gave in.  Boy am I glad I did!  I had never roasted a chicken before (what the what?!), but it was much easier than I anticipated.  Although, I did need The Cyclist's help "tucking wing tips behind shoulder of the bird".  Yeah, what the heck does that mean?  The Cyclist knew thankfully.

It turns out roasting a chicken is not so difficult, but a little time consuming.  The author explains this recipe as being made for a Sunday dinner, so I did just that, made it on a Sunday when I had some time to put in.

Now that you are convinced you too must roast a chicken on Sunday, let me share with you my process (in photos)...




 

 

The Scoop - A yummy Spanish roast chicken with interesting seasoning and sauce.  Great for a Sunday, weekend or dinner party dinner.
The Verdict - As tasty as it looked and something I would definitely make again.
The Fix - There is no fix to this recipe.  The only thing I would have changed is we don't have a meat thermometer, so we were guessing.  Luckily The Cyclist guessed right (he's really good at cooking meat), so ours was perfect, but you could easily dry this birdie out if you don't have a meat thermometer or skilz like The Cyclist.
Mentionables - The Romesco was so freaking good!  The recipe makes a lot, but that's good because you will want these left-overs.  I used the rest of the Romesco the following day in black bean & chicken tacos, topped with some cilantro - the Romesco made those babies without a doubt.  Others:  I couldn't find hazelnuts so I didn't use them; I don't have a v-rack so I used our regular roasting pan and it seemed to work just fine; I didn't buy my chicken at Trader Joe's after all, instead I opted for an organic brand at our local co-op.

You can find the whole recipe here:

Enjoy!
TCW










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May 21, 2012

A Random List of Things

  1. One of my new favorite things to do is read the list of searches completed to reach my blog.  My favorite so far is "wife hates cycling".
  2. I got an e-mail from Google deals this morning for an offer at baconry.com. I'm afraid the Google search engine is getting to know me too well.
  3. I have done a terrible job at participating in May is Bike month.  I have 10 days to change this for the better.
  4. How come it seems like sometimes when you have a really really good day it's followed by a really crappy one?  Bummer.
  5. I literally can't wait to go running today.  This is probably the only time you will see this in writing.
  6. My new favorite word is "blerg".  It is replacing "urgh" in my vocabulary.
  7. I visited my friend and her new baby yesterday.  Baby O is perfect and it is such a wonderful and beautiful thing to see a good friend as a new mom.  Good job E!
  8. I will have a new travel post coming up in the near future but I'm keeping the destination a secret!
  9. I watched last week's Grey's....and well blerg!  I think I'm over that show.  I thought it was super lame overall.  I know I'm probably alone here, and that's OK.
  10. Sometimes, I just don't understand.  


This, though, I do understand.


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May 18, 2012

Restaurant Find - The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar, Sacramento, CA


We went to Red Rabbit last night for our 2nd Yelp Elite Event.  Our first event was at Monsoon Cuisine of India.  I will again preface by saying this event was free to us, although this time we did order (and pay for) two items from the menu.

We had the idea it would be good to arrive early; it's a good thing we did because that line got long really fast.  We scored a two-top at the front of the restaurant where we were quickly given a menu by a friendly staff person.  We were immediately impressed that basically everything on the menu was prepared with local ingredients.  Nice job on that RR!





Did I mention it was a Masquerade Party?







The staff was having a difficult time getting the food around (inside at least, we were not outside), but it was not for lack of trying.  The servers were getting swarmed as soon as they exited the kitchen.

Initially we thought we would wait for some appetizers to come around before ordering off of the menu, but it became clear the free food might not make it over to our section.



We started with the Lamb Bocadillas (off of the menu #1), which were tasty lamb sliders with a mint chimmi churri and my all-time favorite cheese, manchengo.  There were two sliders on the plate with a side of fries.  The sliders were delish!  The spiciness of the lamb mixed with the mint and the saltiness of the cheese was a great combo.

Around this time the deviled eggs came around.  I thought they were good; not on the menu so I'm assuming this was special for us.  We also tried the free punch.  The first batch we got must have been bottom of the barrel because it was STRONG.  The next batch seemed more fresh and had a nice flavor and some carbonation.  Other free appetizers we tried: salmon croquetts - essentially salmon mixed with some sort of cheese and deep fried (good but not outstanding); turkey meatball wrapped in bacon with some sort of white cheese sauce (good but my least favorite of the three types of meatballs); meatball with red sauce (really tasty meatball); lamb meatball with mint chimmi churri (essentially the same as our sliders) and mini chicken taco (good, basic chicken taco).

We also ordered the Lemon Grass Beef Stir Fry (off the menu #2).  This dish was really tasty and filled with a lot of nice vegetables.  Actually, there were a ton of vegetables and very little rice which I enjoyed.

A note on the dishes we ordered - my first thought (about both plates) was that they were kind of small.  In retrospect I realize that they were regular sized portions and not the whopping giant dish of food some restaurants give you.  Based on the farm to table menu at RR I think they are sacrificing quantity for quality which I greatly appreciate.


The bar menu is also very interesting and different and all of the beers are local.  Cheers to that.

Overall I thought this was a good event, although I'm glad we arrived a bit early and scored a table.  I like RR and would go back.

Here are some handy linky's:
The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar
Red Rabbit Dinner Menu
Red Rabbit Bar Menu
My Yelp Review
The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon



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May 16, 2012

Recipe Find - Joy the Baker's Savory Waffles

I can't remember where I first saw these....I think it was on a Tuesday Things edition of How Sweet It Is, but I can't figure out which one.

Either way, I think you should do like I did and make up Joy the Baker's Savory Cornmeal and Chive Waffles with Salsa and Eggs for dinner tonight.

IMG_6473
Photo via Joy the Baker


You are hungry now right?  You should be.  

I made these after a track workout one night.  My standard after track meal is eggs on toast, but I had seen these during the day and I had some buttermilk to use up at home, so I went for it.

I didn't have chives, so I used regular old yellow onion, sliced up.  My salsa didn't look as good as Joy's, but it worked.  I also didn't have parsley, so I left it out.

Even with all of these changes, these waffles were so delicious I had to share.  And I can't even describe how good they smell while cooking.  Seriously, you should make these.

Additionally, in making this recipe I learned that the key to delicious and fluffy waffles is buttermilk and cornmeal!!  Holy waffles I tell you!

Just ask The Munchkin.  Whenever I ask him what he wants to eat he says "an-cakes" or "awfuls".  I used the basics of this recipe to make a regular old non-savory waffle for me and The Munchkin on a Saturday morning and he declared the "awfuls" were "mmmm".  

I can tell you're inspired now.  So go make these waffles!
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May 15, 2012

Bean Salad....in a hurry

I don't know about you, but most things I do are in a hurry.

Hurry, let's get this load of laundry in before I leave for work.
I need to hurry up and get dinner going.
I need to hurry up and get ready.
I don't have much time to get this run in, so let's hurry.

Hurry, hurry, hurry.  Such is life.

Sometimes good things come out of a hurry though.

Take this bean salad for instance.

I made it in a hurry and it was really good.

The best part is all of the ingredients can be changed or adjusted to your liking - you can include or exclude pretty much anything based on what you've got in your fridge and pantry.

Ingredients:
2 14.5oz cans of black beans, drained & rinsed (or about 3 cups of  black beans*)
1 14.5oz can of kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 sliced onion 
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1tbsp crushed fresh ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
Rice vinegar to taste
Salt & pepper to taste

*I have been buying beans in bulk from my local co-op.  I already had some made, so I used those instead of canned beans.

How to:
Drain & rinse the beans and throw them into the bowl you will be using to serve.
Slice the onion and add it to the beans.
Chop the cilantro and add it to the salad.
Peel the ginger and use your garlic press to crush it, add it to the salad.
Use your garlic press again to crush the garlic, add it to the salad.
Add grapeseed oil and stir everything together.
Add a few shakes of rice vinegar (mine has a funky top that makes it come out slow), taste and add more if you think it needs it.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Enjoy.

The coolio part of this recipe is you can pretty much change up everything in it to suit what you have or what you like.  Here are some ideas:

Use different beans - chick peas (garbanzo), pinto, all black, all kidney, anything will do.
Add more, less or different vegetables - tomato, bell pepper, carrot, avocado....pretty much anything will work.
Use something different for your spice.  I like ginger and I had it and I put garlic in everything, but jalapeno would also work, or just cilantro by itself.
Change up the oil.  I didn't use olive oil because I thought the flavor would be too strong.  Just as a personal preference I typically use grapeseed instead of vegetable or corn, but any of those would work.
Use a different vinegar or no vinegar at all.  You could probably use white vinegar.  I used rice vinegar because it's a tad sweet.  But I think salsa would have worked well in it's place too.

You can also find this at Tasty Kitchen!

Have a nice day,
TCW

**I've shared this recipe at the following sites - follow the links for more great and tasty recipe ideas.





  








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May 9, 2012

A Random List of Things

1.  The Cyclist hates wedges of all kinds.  I showed him these and he said "eww".  What say you?  I accept the fact that I am not the best shoe (or clothing) picker outer and The Cyclist does a much better job of picking stuff for me.....but I still think these are cute.









2.  We got evacuated from work yesterday.  It was not as fun as fire drills when I was a kid.  It was hot and I wished I had grabbed a bottle of water before I left.  Plus my duffle bag purse weighs 500 lbs.

3.  Having my feedburner burn out was not cool.  I'm kind of impressed with myself that I was able to fix it.

4.  Is anyone else as irritated as I am with this Text Enhance garbage?  It makes it look like stuff on web-pages is linked but it's really just an ad.  I keep trying to opt out and I can't get rid of it, it just tells me "you have not been opted out".  Of course their help desk won't respond.  Urgh.

5.  I have a nifty picture only post I'm preparing for you all on Moodboard, but I keep forgetting to take a picture of a banana in a glass of water.  Yeah.  More on that later.

6.  After telling me the shoes in #1 were "eww" The Cyclist then said he wanted these...









....um seriously?  He even prefaced the subject line with "Boom!!".  I think he's been eating too many of those crack...ers.

7.  The Cyclist and I recently became attached to this awesomely good series we found on Netflix called The Killing.  We watched 3 episodes the first night and only stopped because we both fell asleep.  Hey 11pm is the late night when you pass 30.  Just sayin'.

8.  Speaking of being past 30, apparently two and a half margaritas now results in stupid behavior, sickness and an entire day of feeling like garbage.  For both of us.

9.  Speaking of spending an entire day feeling like garbage, I was forced (what?!) to skip my long run on Sunday.  Which meant I had to do the run in my three least favorite conditions: on Monday, after work and in the heat (90+).  I succeeded!  8 miles!

10.  Speaking of running, a bunch of us ladies are doing this race on Saturday, in which my Mom will most likely totally kick my butt, which is really all kinds of cool.

<List End>


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May 8, 2012

Feedburner Oh My!

To those of you reading these posts via RSS Feed or e-mail, my apologies.  Something funky happened in my April Favorites post which created a crapton of html code, making my post too big for the feed....which then stopped the feed from sharing all of my subsequent posts.

It appears to now be fixed, so you should be seeing those three missing posts.  But if not, you can find them here:


If you still aren't getting the feed PLEASE let me know!! thecyclistswife@gmail.com

Thank you!
TCW


Ignore this.... YGRAEG4EAAGB




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May 7, 2012

Pinspiration?? Not so much: Most Certainly Not Wheat Thins


Well, I had my first Pinfailure.  Kind of a bummer actually.

I was pinning around one day and came across a pin for homemade Wheat Thins.  Wheat Thins are definitely the cracker of choice in our house (they are like crack!...ers).  Considering between the two and a half of us we can just about consume a whole box in a day, I figured at four bucks a box making them from scratch could come in handy.

I was excited about this recipe...like I am about most recipes and food in general.  Plus it looked easy - can't beat that.  But it did seem a little too easy.....and could there really only be those 6 ingredients in Wheat Thins?....and that picture....they look exactly like real Wheat Thins.....hmmmm.

But I made them anyway.  And as the process moved forward the more skeptical I became.  And when they were done they looked like this.....



......and tasted pretty much how they looked.  Like crunchy whole wheat pie crust with salt.  Not...bad?  Not great for sure, but most certainly not like a Wheat Thin.

I reviewed the steps and I'm positive I followed the recipe exactly as stated, the only difference being I used fine whole wheat flour as opposed to regular whole wheat flour.  I don't think this would have made such a huge difference.

Still doubting my abilities, I posted a friendly comment to the originating blog:

Hi There,


I made these and they turned out nothing like regular wheat thins.  They didn't look like wheat thins either.  Is the picture included here the actual result?  The only difference was I used fine whole wheat flour as opposed to regular whole wheat flour, but I don't think this would really change anything too much.  Any suggestions?


I went back to see if there was a reply and noted my comment was never posted.  Actually, there are zero comments posted.  So, I tried to post it again and over a week later my comment is still not posted.

Anyway, I becoming suspicious this is a bogus recipe with a picture of real Wheat Thins out of a box, but you should decide for yourself.

So in conclusion, I summarize as normally done in my Pinspiration! series:

The Scoop - A homemade Wheat Thins recipe, sweet!
The Verdict - Waah-Waaaaah (insert game show sound effect here).
The Fix - Buy a box of real Wheat Thins.  They are least expensive in bulk at your friendly neighborhood Costco.
Mentionables - See above.


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May 2, 2012

Day Trippin'

Back in mid January The Cyclist had a day off of school for MLK Day.  I was scheduled to work but at the last minute (seriously last minute...as in texting the boss-man at 5PM the day before) I took the day off so we could take a day trip.

The Cyclist picked a destination and didn't tell me what it was.  We jumped in the car, grabbed coffee's for each of us and hit the road.
We were heading East towards Tahoe.  For those of you not familiar with old Sac Town, we are sort of right smack dab in the middle of San Francisco and South Lake Tahoe (not a bad place to be!).


View SF--SacTown--Tahoe in a larger map


When going from Sac to Tahoe, you would typically drive straight up Hwy 50, but we decided to take the more scenic route, via Hwy 88.


We ended up at Bear River Lake Resort which was (obviously) dead at that time of year, but looked like it could be a cool place for summer if you are into ATV's - it appears to be an ATV friendly campsite....we prefer more granola style camping.


We were both shocked by the lack of snow and water.  The Sierra's saw so little snow this year and really didn't get any until March, which is very weird.  It looked like a moonscape out there.


What, you don't see it?
Enjoy that postcard from the moon.  
There was a dam at one end of the lake so we sauntered over to check it out.


We walked up and over so I could snap some more pictures.

The spillway was sadly not even close to spilling anything.  We crossed over to the other side and this is when my hind quarters started to tingle.  Is it weird for someone who's nearly 6 feet tall to be afraid of heights?

I think so.  It's a good thing the rangers used their giant label maker to put up that sign.  Wait....err.  Nevermind.



I got brave and bellied up to the barrier....then zoomed in....
That shizzle was a long way down.  I also wouldn't want to be the poor soul who has to cross that rickety little bridge to get to the water house station dealio.  No way!
We perused the scary side of the spillway, took a picture of our shadows....
....and headed back to the car, passing some cool stuff along the way....




We started driving again and passed a couple of frozen lakes....

The Cyclist didn't want to get out of the car anymore, so I snapped all these through the window...


...and then I made him stop....the frozen lakes looked cool and made me think of ice skating in the Olympics.  Because I am so coordinated I thought that seemed like the perfect job for me as a little girl. Seriously.

We kept seeing trees that looked like this....


Was that snow, or were the trees just super dry?  It did look like this after all....


....lots of dirt where there should be snow.  After passing enough of the trees we determined it was actually snow stuck to the very tippy tops of the trees.


We ended up heading home down Highway 50 and took a detour at Ice House....


We attempted to bonzai down an ice covered road that went past the lake, but I got scurred so The Cyclist backed her up.  Then this guy came along and we agreed that if he went for it, we would too!  But alas, he backed her up as well.


Adventure complete and tired of driving we headed home.  Then I got bummed because we spent most of the day in the car and I would have liked to do more hiking which resulted in me whining (annoyingly) to The Cyclist.  Fail.  So, for our next day trip adventure, I pick hiking at the ocean!!

Where do you day trip?

Oh by the way, my Marinara #1 is being featured over at The Tasty Alternative today!  Check it out!


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