Archive for May, 2013

Happy Monday … I mean Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Woo hoo! Four day work week and starting it out just right with a lovely pre-work ride. No pictures, just riding.

Zucchini, Summer Squash, & Tomato Gratin

Monday, May 27th, 2013

This cool, cloudy weather has me staying inside today getting caught up on some chores and wanting some good, healthy comfort food. I’ve just assembled a Zucchini, Summer Squash, & Tomato Gratin for a light, but satisfying and comforting, dinner. It’s great as a vegetarian entree or a side dish.

Just about to go in the oven ... Zucchini, Squash, & Tomato Gratin

This is so simple to make – just slice some zucchini and squash, layer it in a baking dish. Top with halved cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs of your choice, salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 325 – 350 degrees until done (about 1 hour). This is a little subjective and will depend on your preference.

Some good parmesan or asiago cheese is good, too. I’m going to sprinkle a romano, parmesan, and asiago blend on this about halfway through cooking. A sprinkling of bread crumbs can be good, also, and will make for a nice crunchy topping.

If you’re using large tomatoes, slice them and layer them with the sliced zucchini. You can also use eggplant, potatoes, onions, or other vegetables of your choice. Just be sure that the vegetables are evenly sliced, about 1/4 to 3/8-inch thick.


Farmers Market, Breakfast, Ride, Pizza

Monday, May 27th, 2013

I’m quite behind on posts! Here’s a quick summary of Saturday:

Whole Wheat Rye Fennel Pizza Dough

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1/2 cup room temperature water
1/4 cup rye flour

1 1/8 cup room temperature water
3 cups flour (I used 3/8 cup high protein whole wheat, 3/8 cup rye, 1 1/4 cup whole wheat, 1 cup all purpose unbleached)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fennel seeds

Bench flour for shaping

Make the sponge: pour 1/2 cup room temperature water into the mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over and allow to dissolve, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of rye flour. Cover with a towel and allow to rest about 15 to 30 minutes.

Add the remaining 1 cup water and begin mixing in the flour on low speed. Mix in the olive oil on low speed. Check the consistency and if too dry, add a little water or olive oil.

You want to make sure this dough is pretty wet when it finishes mixing – the fennel seeds will absorb water as the dough proofs.

Continue to mix on low speed about 10 minutes, then add the salt. Turn on high and mix on high for 2-3 minutes. Add the fennel seeds in the last 30 seconds of mixing. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. If you are making pizza, divide the dough into two pieces and gently shape each into a ball. Place each dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. The dough is ready to use once it has doubled in size. I like to use the dough within 2 days of mixing it. This batch makes enough dough for two 15-16 inch pizzas.

Note how wet this dough looks

Turn the dough out onto a floured board.

Gently shape into a ball.


Davis Farmers Market







Our bounty!





Breakfast at Cafe Bernardo

Breakfast burrito

Oatmeal with Bananas & Pecans


A rare treat




A nice jaunt to Winters and back, with a quick stop for some icy cold refreshment.

Homemade pizza for dinner

Mushroom, Grilled Veggies, Golden Tomato Sauce

A nice, light sauce of golden tomatoes gently cooked down and run through a food mill, then reduced over low heat to just the right texture, with a touch of fresh thyme and rosemary, was just the right base for mushrooms and grilled veggies. We used a combination of mushrooms we picked up at the Farmers Market this morning: oyster, maitake, and beech oyster mushrooms. I picked up a few shiitakes at the store, too. We had some leftover grilled veggies from Friday night: eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash.

We fired up the grill and cooked the pizza outside, to avoid heating up the entire house. I placed my baking stone on the grill, and turned the heat up as high as it would go. The end result was a light, airy crust, but the bottom was a little dark and the top not quite done enough – I like the cheese to bubble and brown a little. But overall, it was a success and a nice end to a nice day.

Coming soon … reporting on foodie adventures in Ohio!


Close Call Today!

Monday, May 27th, 2013

I had a very close call today riding in Davis. I was in a roundabout and a car to my right tried to rush in to get ahead of me. I had to swerve to avoid a collision. I went up over a median divider, lost my balance, and down I went. Fortunately, I think everything is OK – no broken bones, no broken bike parts, and no ruined cycling clothing. I am bruised and sore, but hopefully will feel better tomorrow.

This driver looked right at me, but told me “Oh, sorry. I didn’t see you. I was looking at him.” He never even asked me if I was OK.

DRIVERS – PLEASE, please be aware of your surroundings and watch for pedestrians and cyclists! And, PLEASE drive safely – follow the rules. These rules are there for a reason:


1. Slow down. Obey traffic signs.
2. Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
3. Yield to traffic on your left already in the roundabout.
4. Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic.
5. Keep your speed low within the roundabout.
6. As you approach your exit, turn on your right turn signal.
7. Yield to pedestrians and bicycles as you exit.

For complete article, “GOING IN CIRCLES: The rules of the roundabout road,” please click here.


Congratulations – Davis Farmers Market!

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Congratulations to the Davis Farmers Market for being named “Bill Streng Business of the Year” award by the Davis Chamber of Commerce!

Lovely Morning!

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

It is a lovely morning for a ride! Here’s hoping you have a chance to get out for a spin today!

Pedal. Smile. Breathe. Repeat.

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

In less than 10 hours I will be starting my fifth Napa Valley Tour de Cure. Each year I ride to honor the memory of my brother Bill.

As I encounter challenges of my ride, my mantra will be …


As of now, I am at 57.5% of my fundraising goal. If you would like to donate to my ride, please click here. Even though the ride is tomorrow, it’s not too late to donate! Your tax deductible donation supports a great cause – the search for a cure to diabetes! Please support my ride.

Best of luck to all of the riders tomorrow! You are heroes!

Headed to Napa for Pre-Registration

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

I’m volunteering to help get riders per-registered for tomorrow’s 2013 Napa Valley Tour de Cure.

Less than 24 hours to go and I have only $430 to raise to meet my goal. If you would like to donate to my ride, please click here.

Here’s wishing the Roseville Tour de Cure riders today a very safe and enjoyable ride! The winds are a bit gnarly this morning in Davis – the Weather Channel says 10 mph, but I’m pretty sure they’re more than that. It looks like the Roseville riders will get about the same. We’re expecting 15 mph tomorrow in Napa. Just think of all those extra calories we’ll burn and all the great food we’ll be able to enjoy as a result!

Winds, and Rains, and Wildfires …

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Oh, my! This is going to be one adventurous Napa Valley Tour de Cure!

Just 48 hours to go and $501 to raise to meet my goal. If you would like to donate to my ride, please click here.


Greek Gods of the Winds

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

According to Greek mythology, there are Gods of the Winds . Boreas is the north wind, Zephyrus the west wind, and Eurus the east (or southeast) wind. Boreas is the coldest and most powerful. As far as I can tell, they’re brothers.

I’m trying to figure out which direction the winds are blowing today so I can figure out which Greek god to plead to. According to the Weather Channel’s hourly forecast for the Davis area this morning, 6am North (18 mph), 6:15am West (17 mph), 6:30 South (16 mph), 6:45am East (15 mph). Oh, dear. The Gods of the Winds appear to be at battle; perhaps what we have going on here right now is a sibling rivalry of epic proportions.

The evil North Wind is expected to blow ~15 mph (gusts up to 50 mph!) pretty much the rest of the day today.

Kaikias, the Northeast Wind, will bully his way in there now and then today. He’s a bad boy in Greek mythology, bringing with him cold and blizzards.  Apparently he always carries hail. Oh, yay.

Sunday’s Napa forecast is for 16 mph SSW winds. Notus is the South Wind, who was considered to be dangerous. Lips, or Livos, was the Southwest Wind. He was known to be lukewarm.

Oh, my. I am so confused now. I never was good at this Greek mythology thing.

Dear Gods of the Winds, can you please play nicely together on Sunday for our 2013 Napa Valley Tour de Cure ride? We humans would sure appreciate it!