Monday, July 14, 2008

Scenic State Park


We traveled up to Scenic State Park, in Bigfork for a tremendously relaxing weekend. It was cool and breezy, with the sky only opening up occasionally. In my opinion, we ate well: barbecue chicken, potato salad, brats, con on the cob (hot curry or garlic/rosemary), various salads and smores. I didn't end up taking any food pictures at all, I guess the scenery was just too distracting.

I did really enjoy the BBQ sauce, so here is the recipe
3/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 huge garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce-gluten free
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard-mine is very spicy
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat till reduced by about half. Baste the chicken while grilling with a small amount of BBQ sauce. My improv camping basting technique ended up being a ziploc used like a pastry bag. I think it worked quite well. Use the rest of the BBQ sauce to dip. It was delicious.

This trip was exactly what I needed before I start Neurosurgery AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

I was able to swim, hike, take the esker trail and most importantly sit on the dock and read my book. This State park is too wonderful for words. Pictures will have to do!

The Campsite. Chase Point Campground, site #7. It was towards the end of the lake loop, and had a very long driveway. A bit farther from the steps down to the lake, but a very nice site.

The view from the dock. I sat here to read my book, ahhhh.

The lookout right across the road from our campsite. We ate our lunches at the picnic table here.

The first night was not rainy. You know what that means! Smore time! Or, at least marshmallows and chocolate. Who needs that stupid graham cracker anyway? I think the smore queen would approve.

Day 2

Beginning the Esker Hike

The first lookout. Not quite to the red-piney glory yet.

Still unidentified, but very abundant plant fungus.

Nearing the end

Finally my favorite part! I hike so fast just to get here. Oh how I love this campground.

At the point!

The End!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Arracheras y Indiana Jones

Tonight was perfect summer night. It was warm with a slight breeze, a perfect night for grilling out with the new charcoal grill. I've been trying to research how to make Arracheras for a while, after Jon mentioned how great they were and how much he missed them. Whenever I try to look recipes up, I end up getting frustrated because everyone and their dog has a completely different idea of "the ONLY way to properly make blah blah blah".

I decided to use suggestions from Jon's cousin on the marinade and just go with what I had, and what I felt at the moment. Sometimes my cooking can be a bit spastic...hmm a little more of this, oooo of course a splash of that. Oh well, not the easiest for me to replicate, but this is a work in progress anyways. I'll include my recipe for the rice and marinade. The other items were easy-peasy, grilled onion with olive oil salt and pepper, refried beans, and purchased salsa verde on top of a grilled corn tortilla. Don't forget to garnish with a lime slice, and if you aren't ridiculously lazy like myself, you'd have fresh chopped cilantro right? Next time...

In your beloved food processor puree:
2 tomatoes
1 sweet onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
A smallish spoonful of tomato paste ( I used a big ol spoonful, too much! Restraint!)

Add the puree to a measuring cup and add gluten free chicken broth to come to four cups liquid

Lightly toast 2 cups of Jasmine rice in a skillet with Canola oil-not too long, till just toasty

Add everything to the magical rice maker and stir once during the cooking process to reincorporate the tomato-ey goodness.

Arrachera Marinade

A bunch of limes, maybe a half cup
Two finely chopped garlic cloves
At least a Tablespoon of gluten free Worcestershire sauce
Whisk and stream in olive oil
See I have no clue what I did

I poked the flank steak with a fork, thinking it would help the marinade permeate. I have no idea if this works:) By the way, flank steak is the diaphragm of the cow... I Had to share, but I think I can breathe better already.

Season steak with salt and pepper and marinade for about 2 hrs, then grill outside and enjoy summer!

We found a um "beautiful" scratched red fiberglass table that had been sitting underneath a window in the back yard for years, but it cleaned up just fine. There were also, as luck would have it, some ripe raspberries by my fence, making a perfect appetizer for this summer meal.

Finish off the night by renting a silly old movie. We chose Indiana Jones-Raiders of the Lost Ark. George hated it, he bit me every time he saw a snake, he and Indy must be kindred souls.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Happy 5th

Tailgating!! My cousin's husband, Zuel, is the Superfan at the Saint Paul Saints games. He does such an amazing job and the crowd just LOVES him. The 5th was the official Superfan day at the saint paul saints, and the first 2000 fans got Superfan red white and blue sweatbands! I got two tickets from Missy and Zuel to attend Superfan day, and it was superfun! We tailgated first in the parking lot.

On the menu: brats (with buns from Cooqi), champagne vinegar/tarragon potato salad, grilled onion and corn on the cob. I pre-boiled the corn and then packaged them up in little foil packs with either smart balance margarine and garlic, or smart balance margarine mixed with garlic, chili powder, cumin, and a smidgen of ancho chili powder and chipotle chili powder. yum yum yum!

It was so much fun to tail gait again, and as always the Saints game was a blast. Thanks to Zuel and Missy:)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hummus Among Us

I made Karina's Jalepeno Lime Hummus again. Have you made it yet? Holy buckets you should.

I change it up a bit, using tahini and 2 limes!!! I know, wild. I like to make this with the help of the love of my life. Then munch munch munch it up with veggies and crackers. Enjoy!

Summer Treats

For some reason, the 4th of July brings out an insatiable sweet tooth in me. Speaking of teeth, better make that dentist appointment, especially after this dessert.

I made rice crispy treats last week, but was very disappointed. I just followed the recipe on the back of the marshmallow bag, and used an ANCIENT box of Cascadian Farms Rice Crispies. They were horrible to begin with, hence their ancient-ness, but even worse stale. Of course, it never crossed my mind to taste them before I mixed up my marshmallowy treats.

So here is take two, doctored up a bit, and delish!

A big spoonful peanut butter
A spoon of smart balance spread
Almost a full bag of marshmellows
A bunch of NOT STALE rice chex

melt in the microwave, mix up, and cool in a foil bread pan.

The peanut butter makes these WAY better. Plus, it's healthier. I mean you're adding fiber... that's good right?