Saturday, October 29, 2005

Marin Headlands Rules all Bike Routes

Today Sheri and I went on a huge adventure in San Francisco. It was her inaugural bike ride on her new custom-made Seven we had to do it right. We started the morning very early and went to VeloSwap which turned out to be just a lot of gear heads peddling their old crap to other gear heads. So we took off and had breakfast at Whole Foods to prepare us for the day's journey that was ahead of us.

We ended up spending a lot of time at Sports Basement which is very dangerous because both of us have zero control of our shopping addiction for fitness items. As the San Francisco skies turned gray and cold we decided to buy arm and leg warmers. Check this out, this is what we were faced with!

We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and climbed up Marin Headlands, our favorite ride. This is such a special ride for us because it's always an excellent day when we're there. It's not like the other routes local to us in the South Bay....that's always just work for the purpose of training. Marin Headlands, on the other hand, is a special treat and an excuse to completely slack off....AFTER we climb the big freakin' hill! Anyway, the weather cleared halfway across the bridge.

I was so proud of Sheri for getting up the Headlands without stopping. Her new bicycle absolutely loves her! This is us at the top of the Headlands.

As soon as we started our descend over the other side of the Headlands into Fort Cronkhite, it got freezing cold again. We were so thankful for our arm and leg warmers, it was a very smart purchase. The simple fact that you can just roll them up when you're cold and roll them back down when you get warm is sheer genius. Thank you Mister or Miss Arm and Leg Warmer Inventor Person!

So, 25 miles later, we end up in Tiburon at 4:00PM! What the heck did we do all day long?! We can really waste some time when we're together. It must have been all the breaks to enjoy little places along the way and snack. We were so hungry by this time but none of the restaurants were serving food! Why close a kitchen in the middle of the day? Service me! We eventually found a burger joint and had ourselves some very healthy fried food;) Hamburger and Fries after a 3 hr ride....heaven! While here, we met a fellow cyclist named Andrew and he informed us he had taken the wussy way to Tiburon (no Headlands climb) from the City and that he was taking the ferry back! Sheri and I looked at each other and immediately thought that was a brilliant idea because it was going to go very dark on us in a very little while. It wouldn't have been smart to ride back 20 miles in those conditions. So we finished our food and boarded the ferry.

When the ferry got back to the City, we rode our bikes back out to Sports Basement and loaded up our stuff to head home. It's always an excellent trek and I love the time I get to spend with my faithful training partner and most wonderful friend:) Now it's time for a shower and then a snack and then a well deserved sleep!

Weekend Cat Blogging #21


Cat food bloggers unite every weekend and share photos of your gorgeous kitties with us! Send Clare at Eatstuff a comment with your permalink! and add a "weekend cat blogging" tag to your post!
Happy birthday Kiri! You look very handsome all dressed up:)

While Sheri and I were on our bike ride to Marin Headlands and Tiburon, the hubby snapped this shot of our Butterscotch and Stella catching some snuggles together on the dog's bed. Cute.....Super Cute!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chicken Roulades and Pumpkin Cloise

I had a meeting AFTER work tonight...what the hell is that all about? Well, my department hosted a Diversity Roundtable panel discussion on women in business. It's a great concept...but DAMN...why not during work hours.

So I was grateful for the foresight I had last night when I roasted a pumpkin for use!

I learned how to make Chicken Roulades from Sheri when she made them for me and the hubby a while back. They were completely delicious and yummy and scrummy and felt good in the tummy! I executed them perfectly if I do say so myself.

The pumpkin cloise was supposed to be pumpkin gnocci, but I changed my mind at the last moment....not that there is much difference, but cloise sounds better to me since I'm of German descent:) I mashed the pumpkin and then added some pumpkin pie spice and a touch of turbinado sugar. Then I added flour and egg whites until it all came together in a firm but spongy ball. I split it into three sections and rolled it into long logs 1" in diameter. I cut the log into 1" pieces and then popped them into boiling water. They're done when they float easily. As if that weren't enough cooking, I threw them into a large saucepan with butter and sage leaves....made them nice and crispy and yum yum yum!

For dessert, I made something 100% from a Fine Cooking recipe!!! Jumbo Cranberry Oatmeal Jumbles Fine Cooking, November 2005. The recipe doesn't yield that many. But what the hell do I need with more cookies anyway?! Sheri...if you're a good girl, I might send some with Les to work tomorrow:)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sloppy Polenta

I was seriously craving sloppy joes tonight, but didn't want to put it on the usual bun. I made my own sweet and spicy sauce (proprietary blend...I will not tell you what it consists of...mostly because I don't remember what's in it:P). I sauteed onions and garlic and browned the turkey meat then added the sauce.

I cooked the polenta and added a couple of tablespoons of molassis (I LOVE molassis) to tie it in with flavors in the sauce. I transferred the polenta from the stove into the oven so it would get nice and firm.

I topped the polenta with the sloppy turkey and served it with spinach tossed in sesame oil and kosher salt.

I have a guilty confession to make about dessert: I actually bought one of those Betty Crocker Warm Delights - Molten Chocolate Cake. I tried splitting it with Les but he didn't like it. I didn't mind it....even though it was pretty bad...I was just totally into the chocolate fudge action. I had to force myself to stop eating it and threw half of it away. Good for me for not eating the entire 370 calorie dessert:D

Monday, October 24, 2005

Stiches OUT!

Okay, I've been waiting 10 damn days for these things to be out of my feet and finally it's done with. So after the doctor gave me the OK for doing my half maraton in a couple of weeks I decided I had to get some training done.

I went to the gym and did an hour of weights, 10 minutes on the StairMaster, 3 miles on the dreadmill, and then came home and walked Huggy for 2.5 miles when I got home! I had soooo much pent up energy in my body from this lay-up and it just had to get out.

I feel wonderful...completely back to normal....whatever that is;)

Braised Lamb

Tonight we went to Gene's Fine Foods in Saratoga. The reason we went aaaaaaaaaaaalllll the way over there is because I have coupons for free Tofutti ice cream and they are the closest retailer. Welp....when we got there, there was no Tofutti! Such is the way of things with me, nothing can ever be easy. So we picked up some food for dinner and Les liked the look of the lamb so we brought it home.

I braised the lamb in Pichetti Cab Sauv from our wine club booty this month. I am not a fan of Cab. I know, that's considered a sin to some Californians since Cab is our wine...but I just don't like it.

Anyway, braised the lamb and roasted some carrots and parsnips. Mmmmmmmmm parsnips! Damn those things are tasty. I think we also had some spinach, but that's not news in this house, we always have spinach with din din.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Fast Appetizers into Dinner

Les and I went to Barnes & Noble bookstore tonight. He was looking for computer books and I went straight to the food section. What else is new? It's an obsession now. I even buy Fine Cooking now:P I've yet to make any of the recipes 100% to the letter, but at least I'm trying to understand the way the foodies eat.

Digress! So, I had so much fun making appetizers for Les' birthday party with Sheri that I had to pick up Hugh Carpenter's "Fast Appetizers" book. I flipped straight to the Lamb Meatballs on page 71:) Rather than having them on thier own, I did this:

Sauteed red chard with onions and garlic until tender. While this was going on I made the meatballs and boiled pasta. Over the pasta went the red chard as well as some peeled tomatoes...and topped with the meatballs. Les loves these meatballs....I do too. They totally rock:)

BLT and RRP!

I made Les a BLT, it was beautiful.but felt it needed something else...Roasted Red Peppers! I toasted whole grain wheat bread and put a thin layer of mayo on them. Then in my typical sandwich fashion, I piled the bread high on both sides with equal amounts of bacon, lettuce (romaine), tomato (beefsteak) and red peppers. I also made him a cup of miso soup. He was happy.

I, on the other hand, had a giant salad with many many veggies and nothing bad. After reading Jillian Michaels' "Winning by Losing - Drop the Weight, Change Your Life" last night I am completely motivated to stop the binge eating, bad eating, emotional and bored eating and just get back into my damn self! The way she wrote this book was amazingly clever. It was like she was having a personal appointment with you and kept you interested the entire time. I read it in three hours. Anyway, after all the books on nutrition I've read and the nutrition seminars and the consultation at SMI...I know what to do, I just have a problem putting it all into focus. Thanks to Jillian, I've got clarity and can concentrate on the fact that a calorie is a calorie and no matter what they look like, more have to leave my body rather than enter. I can do this! I also got an idea as to why with all the training I do, I'm not dropping any weight. Now I know and now it stops!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fritatta or Omelette?

This morning's breakfast was completed in record time. Bacon fried while the Rosemary and Garlic Potato Express potatoes were cooking. Mushrooms sauteeing while coffee was brewing. Eggs being whipped into a frenzy by my new silicon whisk. I dropped the eggs into the skillet and topped them with the mushrooms and bacon and topped that with some shredded cheddar...under the broiler it went for some quick melty action and voila!

I served with a side of Indian cilantro salsa in my new baby silicone cups. Cute...super cute!

I made coffee. I don't usually make coffee. It never turns out paletable...but this time I could actually drink was quite okay:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cauliflower Thai Soup

Oh yes, this was good! I always wanted to make something with coconut milk....had no idea when or how that was going to happen. I was fearful. I didn't know what to expect. Then I remembered a recipe from my friend Dave that has coconut milk in it and I just went for it.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly because that just goes against my every grain. Following the rules is never any fun:D AND...the recipe is vegetarian...and I need meat. Need meat!

Into the pot went garlic, ginger, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and parsnips and cooked until tender. Then I added some broth, coconut milk, lemon juice and fish sauce. As if that weren't enough, I threw in some chicken I had leftover from last night. Yum:)

This recipe is posted on

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I have been inspired by all the Oktoberfest festivals going on lately. I don't really need an excuse to cook German food (as I'm of German descent...Oma and Opa straight from the Motherland), so I put it all together tonight with my own usual flare added for good measure.

Instead of 21-fat-gram bratwurst I made chicken and artichoke sausages. Red cabbage and mashed red potatoes (and one sweet potato because it's been around the house too long) served alongside. Les was happy and full for an early dinner around hungry again at 9pm and ate all the leftovers:)

I attempted a pumpkin pie. I even made my own damn crust...but the oven crapped out on me as usual. It doesn't like to be under 400 degrees anymore, so I thought by cooking it just a little bit longer at 350, it would be okay. Well, the crust over cooked and the filling didn't cook enough. It was almost there, but not enough. Lame.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Weekend Cat Blogging

Okay, been trolling all the food blogs lately and found some really great sites. I've found a lot of great foodie info...but most of all...found they have cats! and dogs! So, I thought I would share some pictures of my furry children as well:) All is right in the world when the Carter house is full of animals:D

You can see what I'm on about here at Eatstuff and Sweetnicks
How much is that Buddy in the window?

Huggy is All Smiles All the Time

Stella the Psycho Kitten

Camera is on the fritz

I won't post any more pictures until I have a new one....I've put the bug in hubby's he knows what I want:)

Huevos Rancheros

They weren't truly rancheros because I used enchilada sauce, which was a fine substitute. I made sure to use lots of onions and garlic (when don't I?!) and smothered my over-easy eggs with the sauce and onions. Served with yellow corn tortillas and love in the morning:)

Friday, October 14, 2005

My damn foot hurts

For those of you that missed the news, here's a recap. Yesterday morning I was walking around the house barefoot (normal) and stepped onto a carpet nail which proceeded to rip a hole in the bottom of my foot!

Local anesthetic (ouch!!!), four stiches and a tetanus shot later this is what I've been reduced to: hobbling. Not even limping. I've been hobbling around for the past two days and I'm getting a little sick of it. I can't do any walking, running, swimming, biking or anything else that I love to do and I can feel myself getting wider as I sit here on the couch.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Identity Crisis

This dinner really does not know what it is. It could be white-girl enchiladas or mexican lasagna...either was delish.

I roasted a turkey breast the other day and shredded the meat. I sauteed some red onion and garlic and then added the turkey. I used this pattern for layering in a baking dish:
corn tortilla
enchilada sauce
baby spinach
turkey - onions - garlic

Les ate it all, there is nothing for leftovers at lunch tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Roasted Things

Mom was here for the day and we went on her first bike ride in clipless pedals. She did great!

We worked up an appetite and decided on lots of veggies and a pork tenderloin. Mom cut the potatoes and sliced garlic and tossed them in olive oil. I threw the rest of the veggies in the roasting pan and voila.

Mom made our dessert out of the Chocoholics Chocolate Sauce she bought Les as a Muddy Buddy finishers gift. Yes, that's ice cream in those glasses!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Baked Penne

Yep, another 30 minute meal:P

I browned the ground turkey and added bottled sauce (was going to make my own but was defficient in tomato sauce). Tossed it in with almost al-dente penne into a baking dish and sprinkled moz cheese on top. Good.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

My turn...Kitchen Photos:)

Okay, it's finally clean enough to post photos up! And a little more organized than before.

I keep my fruit and veggies (that don't require refrigeration) in a big platter on the jutty part of my countertop - above the dishwaher. It's sparse right now becaues I've not been shopping in a week. The cabinets in this area house my dishes, bowls, cups and mugs.

I have a two part sink and a high faucet that I love. It's handle comes out and it also has a spray feature as well as the regular stream.

The corner cubby area where my microwave resides is where I do all of my prep work and is usually where my recipes, cookbook or laptop are while I'm cooking. There is a cutting board hidden above the top drawer. I don't really like this wooden cutting board, but using the counter space for other cutting boards is not efficient at all.
These cabinets have all the canned goods, rice, beans, cereal etc.

My oven and stovetop are electric. When we finally buy our own house, this will be changed to gas. The oven is not reliable under 325 degrees. The hotter the better around here. That's why I end up roasting a lot of veggies. The cabinet on the right is where I keep all the spices.

My fridge is covered with magnets that my husband and I collect when we visit new places. These magnets range from Whistler, BC to the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot to Dallas, TX. It's a fun habit we got into together.

All-in-all, I like my kitchen. Mostly because it's white and roomy. I dream of granite countertops, double ovens and a kitchen island...but until home prices in the Bay Area subside dramatically...this is all I have:)

Our cats really do conspire against Huggy...but it serves her right because she breaks into their room and tries to starve them to death by eating all of their food!

If you have kitchen pitures, you can tag them here:

Quick Curry

This was my first curry ever. Quite nice tasting, a little bit spicy.

First I browned some lean pork and removed it from the pan after just brown. Then, I sauteed onions, garlic and ginger. Then I added chicken broth and brought it to a boil. In went a little bit of flour to thicken it up. I added the pork back in and added two heaping tablespoons of curry powder.

What I liked best about this was the spicy basmati rice. I roasted some coriander seeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds in a saucepan. Then I added the basmati rice and water. Using the trick that Sheri taught me last month: When the rice is done, wrap a towel around the lid and cover the pot. The towel absorbs the steam and keeps the rice separate and fluffy. I dislike it when my rice sticks together, problem solved thanks to Sheri:)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Authentic Philly Cheesesteak

Les and I were laid over in the Philadelphia Airport in 2003, it was the closest to an authentic Philly Cheesesteak we were going to get. The waitress at the airport bar & grill promised that this was how people in Philly really ate their sandwiches. We've since watched many shows on Food Network and PBS thatit is indeed true:)

Anyone can sautee up some onions, mushrooms and steak and pile it atop a french roll.....but it takes a really brave genius to pony up the secret ingrediant - Cheez Whiz! Yeah baby Cheez Whiz!'s made from real's just been processed beyond recognition and it's quite tasty. I don't care what you foodies say (I can see you rolling your eyes and turning green right now) there comes a time when the low road is also a good way to get to your destination:P

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Harvest Polenta and Steamed Salmon

I've been feeling guilty about not eating enough fish lately, so while I was on my way home I stopped at Mitsuwa Market. They are an Asian supermarket, so the fish is always fresh and Grade A because they like the sushi:D

I seasoned the salmon with salt, pepper and wasabi powder. Then I wrapped it with a bunch of cilantro and placed it in the steamer for about 40 minutes.

While that was cooking, I made some polenta on the stovetop and transfered it to the oven to get really firm. I pressed a leaf-shaped cookie cutter into the polenta because I'm feeling a bit festive these days. I really love the's my favorite time of year and I get really excited for cooking Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom. Oh, and not to mention pumpkin everything!

I roasted an acorn squash and make a sort of Raita to serve over the salmon as well as thinly sliced cucumbers.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Carmelized Onions

While on our bike ride over Marin Headlands, Sheri and I talk about everything. Of course, the conversation turned to food and she gave me an idea of what to do with all of the onions I have in my house.

My mom brought me a lot of onions from a local farmer near her home in Placerville. She told me that when she's got lots of onions, she puts them into a pot to reduce down and carmelize. Then she puts them on sandwiches and Oh how Les and I love carmelized onions, so that's exactly what I did.

This was the building point of tonights dinner. I bought some really yummy buns from Trader Joe's and topped them with chili, cheese and the onions. I boiled and salted edamame for the side.

Les wanted ice cream for dessert. Yes, LES wanted ice cream but I didn't stop him. We drove to PW Market and bought two kinds of Clover Stornetta: Cookies and Cream for me and Pralines and Cream for Les:)