Cal Aggie Crit, Land Park, Sacramento 1/28/12

First race of the season was on Saturday!  It seems like last season just ended....even for me, the onlysometimesriding Wife of The Cyclist. I swear the cycling "off" season keeps getting shorter every year.  Don't you cyclist's like to take a bit more of a break?  Ha!  Who am I kidding?!

That said, it was nice to be back at a park on a Saturday with all of our friends, hanging out and watching the race. The fabulous weather we've been having was a plus too, even though nearly 65 degrees in January is a little scary.....I have a feeling this summer is going to be ridiculously hot.

I brought my camera to the race and was prepared to take lots of photos and share them up. But, being the meticulous and responsible blogger that i am, I left my camera in the car and didn't bother to go back and get it. I was having too much fun with this guy.....

(that is The Munchkin in disguise in case you were wondering).  We had a pretend picnic!  Imagined cheeseburgers and fries really do taste good when The Munchkin is your lunch date.

Instead I bring you this awesome video of the P-1-2-3 race that Data Driven Athlete (sorry, I don't know his real name) posted up to You-Tube....

I hope everyone had a great weekend! January favorites will be up tomorrow!


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Disappearing Pumpkin Cookie Chews

After the great pumpkin cookie debacle of 2011
I knew I wanted to modify my accidental copy-cat recipe.

Hence, I bring you...
Disappearing Pumpkin Cookie Chews

When you make these, they will disappear.
Even when The Cyclist your friend who says they hate coconut, 
complains about you putting it in cookies and "ruining" them
and refuses to eat them,
they will still eat them anyway.
And your cookies will disappear.
Like magic.

OK, moving on.
I wanted to keep the same idea of the Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies,
but add some extra flava (that's fancy for flavor).

I opted for my original idea of adding:
Golden Raisins (although Craisins would be good, I just didn't have any)

In the original recipe I used my own pumpkin puree,
but this time opted for this goodness...

(from a can).

You'll measure out that pumpkin like so...

And if you are like me and love your Kitchen Aid Mixer,
you'll dump all the ingredients in at once...

...then add the good stuff...

...and mix some more...

...and the final result is...
cookie dough.

Full recipe is below.  You can also find it at Tasty Kitchen.
If you are wondering why everything is in thirds, 
it is because my measuring cups are crappy,
I'm missing some,
I think I thought I was using a 1/2 cup until I started writing.
It's OK though. 
The Cyclist bought me new fancy measuring cups because he loves me.

1 2/3 cups Flour
1 cup Pumpkin
1/2 cups White Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
3 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
pinch of Salt
1 Stick of Butter, Softened (or 1/2 cup)
1 Egg
1/3 C chopped golden raisins (packed) + 1/3 C whole golden raisins
2/3 C raw sliced almonds (un-salted)
1/2 C flake coconut
6oz or 1/2 bag White Chocolate Chips

How to:
Put the pumpkin, sugars and butter in your mixer and mix until blended.
Add the egg and mix until blended.
Mix all of the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add in parts to the pumpkin/sugar/egg mixture.  Mix until blended.
Add raisins, almonds and coconut and mix until blended.
Add white chocolate chips last and mix in your mixer or stir in with a wooden spoon.
I let my dough sit in the fridge overnight, then baked all the cookies the following day.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

**I've shared this recipe at the following sites - follow the links for more great and tasty recipe ideas.
Alli N' Sons - Sweet Tooth Friday

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Savage Sprints at Hot Italian 1/22/12

We have missed the last few Savage Sprints for reasons including this:

But we were happy to return last night!!

And in attendance was last season's Savage Sprints Champion,

...who you can pretty much bet on seeing at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Very cool to have Kevin participating in Savage Sprints;  
it always makes for an exciting and record-setting evening.

As well as drawing a large crowd...

...and a band of ninja warriors riding Ducati Motorcycles...

Haha.  Just making sure you were still reading.

Now.  I must disclaim that I had trouble paying attention to every single bit of Savage Sprints when this was going on...

However.  I did mention it was a record setting evening, right?
And, although Mr. Mansker's presence definitely ups the ante,
I think the real credit for last night's speedy showing on the boards is due to this very generous man...

Mr. Bill Nicely.
Bill (on his birthday) donated $100 to Sac Valley Velodrome Association for every time under 8 seconds.

So, between Mr. Mansker,
and of course pizza,
or should I say,
Seasonal Pear with honey, Gorgonzola and pancetta pizza
(um.  yum!),
and beer (!),
(because it's illegal to have pizza without beer, fact.  And why would you when Racer 5 is on tap?)
Let's just say,
my head was on a swivel.

There was a lot of action including
not 1
not 2
not even 5
times under 8 seconds.

That's what I said Bill.
Now, including those eleven showings, there were also new men's & women's records set for the evening.

Below you can check out video of the men's semi-finals...

Oliver v. Allen

women's semi-finals...

Women's Finals...

Missy v. Autumn

(Dang ladies, there is your new time to beat!)

And the showdown,
Men's Finals
Oliver v. Mansker

Dang.  7.3?!

Dear Cyclist,
I know you don't like getting 2nd place.  But, I say losing to a track champion/future Olympian at least 10 years your junior is not too shabby.  Good job!

Below are more photos of another great night at Savage Sprints!
Thank you again to Mr. Bill Nicely for your generous donation to the cause!

Last but not least, look for a Sacramento Bee article on February 5th!

Oh, and if you've scrolled this far down, the Niners blew it.
Just in case you were wondering.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Hot Italian
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Restaurant Find - The Porch, Sacramento, CA

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We visited The Porch for The Cyclist's b-day and it was too good not to share.

Let's start with a question:  If you go out to eat and you are still dreaming about the food over a week later, is there something wrong with you? that means it was good right?  Right!!  I should probably add that the particular food I'm dreaming of was not even what I ordered, but what I shamelessly tasted (more than once) off of Mrs. Bestie's plate....

Good lookin food

That's right.
Fried chicken y'all.

Being the child of a hippie granola woman meant I never ate any real fried chicken (KFC doesn't count) until I sampled this.  Oh the shock and awe!  It's true.  To the best of my memory I never tried real fried chicken until I visited The Porch.

Thank you hippie granola mom.  For if it wasn't for you secluding me from the sinful wonder of fried chicken I certainly would not be the mostly healthy eating exercising lady I am today.  Mom does know best.

But oh lordy.  That fried chicken goodness.  That Buttermilk Fried Chicken....airline breast, leg & thigh, yukon mashed potatoes, sausage gravy, collard greens, buttermilk biscuit, green tabasco honey...I think I love you.  But my thighs hate your guts.

I did not try the biscuit although I would have loved to take a giant bite of it's flaky, fluffy goodness.  Mrs. Bestie would have slapped my hand, and rightly so, but it looked and smelled delicious.

The Cyclist and I actually shared (!) two entrees, the  Crab Cakes (carolina red rice, sautéed broccoli & greens, apple wood bacon, remoulade)  and the hanger steak (which is not listed on the on-line menu so my fancy description is mashed potatoes, garlicky kale and some type of mustardy cream sauce).  I shamefully do not have photos of either one.  I did not bring my camera (we were celebrating The Cyclist's birthday, why would I do something like bring a camera?  Fail.) and I was too busy eating.  Unfortunately The Porch does not have photos of this food on their website (like the one above that I stole), so you will have to go yourself to see it.  The crab cakes were gigantic and tasty.  The hanger steak was delicious and perfectly cooked and oh me oh my, the sauce was so tasty too....even the kale was good.  Wait, was I supposed to eat that or was it a garnish?  Who cares, it was good!

I also tried:
Fried Green Tomatoes 9
mixed greens, apple wood bacon, roasted red pepper vinaigrette, goat cheese, pecans
Fried to perfection and had a great flavor.  
Southern Mule
Absolut APeach, ginger beer, lime simple syrup, muddled basil, and blackberries 7.50
This cocktail was dangerously good!  Refreshing and did not taste like a cocktail, i.e., dangerous.

Here is my one complaint...
Skillet Cornbread 8
apple wood smoked bacon, green tomato jam, jalapeno honey butter  
The cornbread needs work y'all!  I feel like the mini skillet may have something to do with it (too shallow?) but the cornbread also had an eggy-ness too it.  No good.  Corn bread should be cake-like (in my opinion).  Additionally, although I can appreciate putting bacon in everything, I think it should have been left out of the cornbread.

Other items ordered at our table:

Hearts of Romaine 13
hearts of romaine, corn & tomato relish, tomato basil vinaigrette, blackened crawfish, pecorino romano, fresh avocado
There's a crawfish on top!

Grilled Chicken Salad 12
spinach, apple wood bacon, cucumbers, roasted red pepper vinaigrette, grilled chicken breast, corn bread croutons
I did not try, but heard it was salty.  Also, the chicken was more like chicken salad (like a chicken salad sandwich salad), which is a little deceiving based on the menu description.

Shrimp Po’ Boy 16
french bread, lettuce, avocado, crab mayo, white cheddar, apple wood bacon, pickled onions, cornmeal fried shrimp
This was BIG and looked good.  I heard no complaints.

Stuff I would like to try when I go back:

Grilled Brie 10
house made jam, grilled crostini bread, spinach, balsamic honey reduction
Of course I want to try it, it's cheese.

Shrimp & Grits 22
bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, creamy white cheddar grits, tasso ham, blue crab gravy
Because of that hippy granola mom I've never had real grits either.  And, they look like this:
Good lookin food

Southern Sunday
House infused bacon Woodford Reserve bourbon, 100% pure maple syrup and fresh egg whites…. shaken hard served over ice 8

Because who doesn't want to try a cocktail that is bacon infused?!

For those of you familiar with Sac-town, The Porch was formerly Celestine's.  Although I'm sad to see Celestine's go, The Porch is a great addition to mid-town dining.  The re-model of this restaurant turned out great.  The removal of the wall separating the bar and dining area really opened the place up.  Plus, I love the decor and color scheme.  Check it:

Good lookin food

It should also be noted that there is a great on tap beer selection:

Beer On TapLeffe, Blonde 10 oz 4.5 
Lagunitas, Pils 5 15
Mammoth, Hefewiesen 4.75 14.5 
Rubicon, Monkey Knife Pale Ale 4.75 14.5 
Speakeasy, Big Daddy IPA 5 15
Widmere, Brrrbon 10oz 7 
Big Sky, Powder Hound 4.75 14.5
Abita, Turbo Dog 4.75 14.50
La, Trappe, 10 oz 8
Rogue, Hazelnut Brown 6 18
Sudwerk, Dopple Bock 6 18
Victory, Stout 5 15

Thank you The Porch for providing us with something different, new and most importantly, tasty!
Yelp Review here

Dear Fried Chicken,

Me, my thighs and The Cyclist will be back for you.  We will share you and enjoy you and not break our rule of everything in moderation.  So there!

Cyclist & Wife

The Porch on Urbanspoon

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Recipe Find(s) - Tasty Kitchen

When I discovered The Pioneer Woman (actually, The Cyclist discovered her and asked me to make these and then we both fell in love with her), I also discovered Tasty Kitchen and quickly became a member.

Anyone who has ever Googled any recipe knows that you will likely get 10 gazillion hits back.  Tasty Kitchen is a fun and easy site with great recipes from regular people.  The site is easy to navigate and is set up so that you can easy collect recipes and share your own creations with other people.

Below are links to some of my Tasty Kitchen favorites.  All photos are from Tasty Kitchen except where otherwise indicated.

I made this for The Cyclist's birthday and it was ridiculously good.  For real.  The frosting is no joke and the recipe makes a ton of it.  If you are trying a New Year's diet right now, I'm sorry.  Don't even look at the picture.  Just scroll down.

I made this bread as an addition to Christmas baskets that we put together for our friends.  Take a peep at our finished product:

Yes.  That is a Trader Joe's bag that I cut with crazy scissors and used to wrap the bread & tie with twine.

This bread is easy and delicious.  I am new to bread making and I was happy to find this recipe; I plan to use the basic instructions to craft up some tasty wheat/seed bread for a later post.  I think the best thing about this particular bread was the sea salt addition to the crust.  It made great sandwich bread and "dinner" bread.

I wanted to cook with Soba Noodles and that is when I first came across this recipe.  The bases for the sauce and marinade have become staples in our house, which I have slightly tweaked to come up with different dishes (coming soon: Lemon Ginger Shrimp Pasta).  This recipe is easy and delicious and looks professional at the finish.  The Munchkin loves it too.

The Cyclist had a nasty day at the dentist last week so I declared I would come home and make him soup to help him feel better.  I had a bag of lentil's at home and lentil soup was on my mind.  I picked this recipe because it most closely matched what I knew I had in my cupboard (I love Trader Joe's, but a trip there just after 5:00 is a true test of patience).  I used the base recipe and added a whole bunch of other stuff (see my review).  What really makes this recipe tasty and delicious is the ginger and lemon in the base.  It gives it a nice zing and makes the base super flavorful.  The recipe as it is is also vegetarian (possibly vegan?).  This will become a staple too, especially since I'm ♥'ing soup right now.

Tasty Kitchen - Favorite Recipes from Real Kitchens Everywhere!
Those are only a few Tasty items from Tasty Kitchen.  It really is a great site and easy to use.  I often go there not to find a specific recipe, but to help develop recipe ideas I have in my head.  It's fun to see what creative things other people are doing with food.  I have also had the pleasure of being helped by the Tasty Kitchen staff when I have had problems submitting recipes.  I seriously could not believe how quickly they got back to me.  They were very helpful too. 

You can see my Tasty Kitchen recipe box here.

Additionally, other than being a site member, I am not affiliated with Tasty Kitchen and nobody is paying me or giving me anything free to say this stuff.  I just like it and I like to share stuff I like.  So there.

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