Archive for September, 2014

Thyme Fennel Pizza Dough

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Thyme Fennel Pizza Dough

It’s an almost rainy Sunday and that’s got me in the mood to make some bread. Pizza has been requested, so …

To make this dough, use your favorite pizza dough recipe. Simply add about a teaspoon of fresh thyme and a teaspoon or two of fennel seeds towards the end of the kneading. You’ll want to crush the fennel seeds a bit in a mortar and pestle first. Remember that the seeds will soak up some water, so make your dough a little extra wet to compensate for that.

Here are a couple of my pizza dough recipes from previous posts:

These are some of my variations of Michael Chiarello’s  Piadine Dough, from from The Tra Vigne Cookbook.

Now it’s time to get out on the bike and grab a quick ride. I have waaay too much stuff I need to get done.

Glorious Autumn Morning!

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

What a glorious morning for a ride! Cool, moist, clean air … aaaah … breathing is good.

I wish I could ride longer this morning, but I’ve got a hot football date. So, I’m off to Berkeley to see the California Golden Bears vs. Colorado Buffaloes. I guess I’m supposed to root for UC Berkeley, right? I’ve got my only UC t-shirt that doesn’t say UC Davis on, so … here goes!

Aaaah … Post Work Ride

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Lovely evening for a ride … the best stress buster.

Tower Bridge, Downtown Sacramento

Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

A spicy curry powder is a perfect complement for sweet potatoes. Rich and decadent tasting, this side dish will leave you satisfied and nourished. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, fiber, and a good source of potassium, copper, and and manganese. Curry also has many health benefits. Research has shown that the spices in curry powder may provide health benefits such as blood sugar control, anticancer benefits, and cholesterol management.

All you’ll need to make this is sweet potatoes, some good curry powder, a good quality olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the potatoes and pat dry.

Slice into about 1/2-inch thick rounds.

Drizzle with some good olive oil.

A generous sprinkle of good curry powder.

Gently toss to evenly coat and spread in a single layer in the roasting pan. Roast for about an hour, or until they’re soft, rich, and sweet. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

You can also make these with yams, but sweet potatoes pack a more powerful nutritional punch.

Enjoy in good health!

Mini Fritattas

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Mini Fritattas ... first attempt

Tonight I made a few items for a work party tomorrow:

  • Roasted Golden Potatoes with fresh Rosemary & Thyme
  • Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes
  • Mini Fritattas – with potato, mushroom, sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, and just a hint of cheddar cheese

The fritattas look and smell promising, but I have not tried one yet. Here’s hoping they’re as good as they smell.

I’ve never made these before, but they were pretty easy. I diced a couple of gold potatoes into about 1/4-inch cubes and sauteed in a bit of olive oil to brown and soften them a bit. Then, I diced about 6 ounces of crimini mushrooms into about a 1/4-inch dice and sauteed these in a bit of olive oil to cook out some of the moisture. I chopped a few sun dried tomatoes. It’s important to note that they were just dried, not packed in oil. I like the Trader Joe’s ones that come in a bag. They’re soft, and have great color and flavor. Some dried tomatoes are dark and taste old, for lack of better word at the moment. Whisk eggs with a dash of salt and pepper. Plan on one egg per muffin cup. Generously spray the muffin cups with a non-stick spray.

Assembling the Fritattas

Begin layering the ingredients in the cup: potatoes, mushrooms, dried tomatoes, fresh chopped herbs of your choice, then pour the egg mixture over to cover. Top with a little shredded cheese. Be sure to not overfill the pans. They’ll puff up a bit, but not too much.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. They should be fairly set, but be careful to not overcook.

Let them cool for 5-10 minutes and then gently loosen them from the pan. Serve hot or chilled. I’m thinking a little dash of hot sauce will be really good on these!

Enjoy!

Weekend Ride

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

California Crepe

Side of Banana!

Saturday we ventured to Davis, exploring the route to the Causeway. This will be a fun commute to work someday! For a break, we stopped at Crepeville, one of my favorite breakfast stops in Davis. A crepe is a bit much for me to eat mid-ride, so I just snuck a few bites along with my side of banana.

I do miss cycling in the Davis area, but it’s good to explore new rides.

Sunday I just grabbed a quick morning ride before a family visit and trip to Napa for a little wine tasting fun!

A splash of bubbly!

 

 

 

 

Here’s hoping you had a great weekend and got to enjoy some fun outdoor activities. If you’re in an area with lots of smoke (way too many fires burning in the area right now), be careful exercising too much outdoors right now, especially if you’ve got any sort of respiratory troubles. It’s important to have a back up plan for these bad air days.

Greens, Green Apple, Chevre, Spicy Pecans, & Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Back by popular demand …

Greens, Green Apple, Chevre, Spicy Pecans, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

2015 Napa Valley Tour de Cure Committee Orientation & Retreat

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Let the planning begin! The 2015 Napa Valley Tour de Cure will be the best yet! Check out this video to learn a little more about the Napa Valley Tour de Cure.

I am striving to be a Champion again in 2015, so if you would like to donate to my ride, please click here to help me reach this goal!

Today also marks my first official training ride for my 2015 Tour de Cure century. After the meeting, I enjoyed a 32-mile spin on the Silverado Trail. I started near Luna Winery and rode to St. Helena and back. The ride up the Valley seemed such a breeze! When I headed back down Valley, I understood why. That sneaky wind … Let’s just say it took a bit longer to get back to my car than I expected.

After my ride, I stopped by Luna Vineyards. As I had just cycled and it was hot, hot, hot outside, so I tried to avoid other guests as much as possible. However, the staff member who helped me was very hospitable. I was especially appreciative of the nice, chilled water he gave me … aaahh … I (finally) joined their wine club, which I have wanted to do for a long time. I sampled their Sangiovese and Bordeaux Blend. I am looking forward to making a special pizza for the Sangiovese, and either a perfect steak or lamb with the Bordeaux Blend.

ETBT … A Weekend of Firsts …

Friday, September 12th, 2014

The Emigrant Trails Bike Trek is three day cycling event that raises funds to support clean air, healthy lungs and a tobacco-free tomorrow. The ride was in the Lake Tahoe area this year.

Overall, the ride was a great experience. Wonderful, fun-spirited volunteers. Beautiful scenery. Friendly riders. I wish that I could say that Tahoe had friendly drivers, but, alas … I may never cycle in Tahoe again. These were some of the rudest drivers I have ever encountered. My hope is that ETBT will be in a different location next year!

Fresh, hot breakfast each morning.

Each rest stop had a different theme.

 

Peppers & Onions

+ Chicken =

Chicken Fajitas!

Warm Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

Post-Ride Beers!

There was no shortage of food, that is certain. Rest stops were well stocked and with some of my favorites – lots and lots of bananas, fig bars, and Honey Stinger gels, bars, waffles.

The ride was a weekend of firsts for me.

First time participating in Breathe California of Sacramento’s Emigrant Trails Bike Trek.

First time riding at altitude …

Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay

First time camping & biking together …

Camp Richardson, Lake Tahoe

 

First time having to bail on an organized ride … I rode very well on Friday, however, on Saturday the altitude got the better of me about 9 miles into the ride. I was very disappointed to have to abandon the climbing part of the ride. Luckily, I found a group of other cyclists who decided not to attempt this particular climb and headed back to camp with them. I ended up splitting off from this group with one of the riders. We got lost in Tahoe on our way back to camp. That was an adventure in and of itself! I ended up with almost 35 miles on Saturday, but it wasn’t nearly the ride I had hoped to accomplish.

First time ever having to SAG … Sunday was the short ride, but it had a difficult climb on a single lane, steep, twisty-turny road. I was doing OK on the climb, but then a car wanted to get past me, so I got off my bike. There was no restarting for me on the hill. So I walked. And I walked a little more. I finally got restarted, but only made it maybe 1/4 mile before it just got too steep and I got off my bike again. The SAG crew offered me a ride, and told me the rest of the hill to the rest stop was at least as steep. So, I gave up. First. Time. Ever. SAG.

Sad. Very sad. So very disappointed in myself that two days in a row I did not meet my goal. Even though I made it up more than half of the climb, I did not make it all the way on my own.

It was the altitude. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

First time ever being the last rider to finish. I was so very thankful that my riding partner stuck with me for the entire ride on Sunday.

The wisdom in this is that I knew when to stop on Saturday before ruining not only my own ride, but my riding partner’s ride.

The wisdom in this is that now I know what it is to feel this disappointment. I now know what it is to be on the receiving end of, “Don’t worry! It happens to everyone! Just have fun.”

The wisdom in this is that now I know it is OK to be disappointed and sad and frustrated and upset with yourself for not meeting your goal.

It really is OK. So the next time I encounter a cyclist who is upset about having to SAG, or having to quit, I’ll probably still say, “Hey! It’s OK to SAG!” I will, however, have a lot more empathy when the cyclist looks at me with that pang of disappointment that says, “Yeah, but it doesn’t happen to me.”

Sometimes you just need to …

Stop and enjoy the view.

… and then …

Jump in a cold lake to cool your muscles after a big ride.

 

 

 

 

Tahoe Rides

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

I just returned from the Breathe California of Sacramento Emigrant Trails Bike Trek. Let’s just say it was a weekend of firsts. Some moments were triumphs; some were not.

I have to get back to the “real world” and head off to work super early this morning, but I hope to be able to post about the trip by the weekend.