Archive for November, 2014

Here’s to Friendly Cyclists You Meet Along the Way!

Monday, November 10th, 2014

This was a good cycling weekend. We rode about 46 miles yesterday and today I rode about 57 on a mostly solo ride. Both days were a pretty easy pace. About 3/4 of the way through my ride today a group of guys invited me to join their ride. I did my best to keep up, but 3 of them easily outpaced me. One of the guys, Al, hung back and rode with me. It was nice to have some friendly conversation on the ride. They were riding to Old Town Sac, from the Folsom area and back. I was planning to ride through Old Town, so it worked out great. So, here’s a shout out to Al and his buddies Tony, Anthony, and Phil – thanks for the company and especially for making sure that I got through that one area with some … interesting activity … safely. I hope you had a great ride back home!

No ride photos today, or yesterday. What’s up with that?

 

 

 

Bodega Bay Visit

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Can't you just smell that fresh, clean ocean air?

Beware the Guard Gull!

Hmm ... now here's an idea for Halloween 2015!

Pasta with Chicken & Vegetables

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

Last night I roasted a whole chicken. The basic procedure for roasting a chicken is posted here, but I modified it a bit based on what I had on hand. I found myself without any fresh herbs (gasp!) and no carrots, so I used a combination of dried herbs: thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, along with some fennel seeds. I let them sit in olive oil for a bit, while I prepared the chicken.

There was lots of leftover chicken. Tonight I used most that to make a pasta dish.For the recipe below, you will want to adjust the quantity of the ingredients based on what you have and how much meat vs. pasta vs. vegetables you want.

Pasta with Chicken & Vegetables

Chicken Mushroom Pasta

Your favorite pasta
Leftover roasted chicken
Fresh garlic, minced
Mushrooms
Cooking greens, cleaned and well drained (spinach, arugula, chard…)
Peas
Pine nuts
Avocado and/or olive oil

  1. Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Follow the directions on whatever pasta you’re using. Remember that if you’re using fresh pasta that it cooks very quickly, so you’ll want to do this last, not first. You’ll want to start cooking the pasta as soon as the water is boiling; it will be cooking while you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Rinse the mushrooms and set aside to drain. Tonight I used a combination of Chantrelle, Shiitake, and Crimini mushrooms.
  3. Cut or shred the chicken into bite-sized chunks.
  4. If you’re using frozen peas, remove from the freezer and rinse with cool water. Set aside in a colander to drain.
  5. Lightly toast the pine nuts and set aside. You can do this in a heavy bottomed skillet on the stove or in the oven. Just watch them very carefully – they can turn from not quite perfect to scorched in an instant. If you’re not sure, click here for more detailed instructions.
  6. In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat some of the oil. Place the garlic in the oil and cook until it just starts to color. Add the mushrooms and saute on medium-high heat. When they’re cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and set aside in a covered bowl. Return the pan to the heat.
  7. If needed, add a little more oil to the pan and then add the chicken. Saute over medium-high heat until it browns a little. Remove from heat and add to the bowl with the mushrooms. Add the peas, then cover to keep warm.
  8. If needed, add a little more oil to the pan and turn the heat to high. Add the greens and cover. They’ll cook quickly, so keep an eye on them. When the greens have wilted, return the chicken and mushroom mixture, toss to combine well, cover and allow to heat through. Tonight a used a combination of spinach and arugula, but really any cooking greens you like will be wonderful in this.
  9. The pasta should be cooked by now. Drain and return to the cooking pan. Add the chicken and mushroom mixture and gently toss to combine well.
  10. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper, red chile flakes.

Keep in mind that this makes for great leftovers, so feel free to make a big batch.

I think it was a hit ... don't you?

This pasta dish makes an excellent dinner for the night before a big ride, or a recovery dinner after a big ride. It’s also easy to make and comforting after a long day’s work. Protein, carbs, vegetables, healthy oils, and it tastes great!

It paired quite nicely with a Pinot Noir, or would also go well with a Chardonnay.

Enjoy in good health!

 

Wild Ling Cod Provencal

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Here’s a healthy, light, and easy to prepare dinner that’s perfect for a chilly autumn night.

Wild Ling Cod Provencal

2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 pieces of wild ling cod
1 1/2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons pesto

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Quickly sear the fish on each side. Reduce the heat and add the halved cherry tomatoes, spread evenly around and on top of the fish. Top with the pesto. Cover and simmer on low until the fish is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your pieces of fish.

Serve steamy hot with some brown rice, or a good, crusty bread.

I wish I had taken photos of this dish – it was beautiful!

Enjoy!

 

Gloria Ferrer Picnic

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

I have been trying to get this post done for more than a week. I don’t recall the name of the caterer and I need to find out because everything was so wonderful that I would like to give credit and add some more specifics about the menu. I’ll have to add that later, though, because I promised to post this and I need to do it now. How did life get so busy?

Recently I had the pleasure of joining a 10-year membership anniversary picnic at Gloria Ferrer in Sonoma, California. It was a lovely outing.

Welcome!

Enjoying the beautiful view.

We started with a cheese platter …

Manchego, Brie with Jam, and Proscuitto

And then a light salad with a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette …

Refreshing!

Both paired beautifully with Royal Cuvee

Royal Cuvee

For the main course, we enjoyed some beautiful sandwiches …

Chicken Sandwich

Tri Tip Sandwich

Each was paired with an aioli and served with a Bean Salad  …

I am not usually a big fan of bean salads. They’re typically too salty, overpoweringly vinegary, and just generally poorly seasoned. This salad, however, was delicately seasoned with fresh rosemary.

We paired the chicken with Chardonnay and the Tri Tip with Pinot Noir.

Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir

Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir

For dessert … paired with the Blanc de Noirs

Brownie with White Chocolate & Chocolate Truffle Cork

After enjoying this feast, we were treated to a private tour of the winery.

Special Events Room!

And of course the gardens … you didn’t really expect me to walk past flowers with a camera in my hands and not take photos, did you?

Enjoying the gardens ...

Enjoying the gardens ...

Enjoying the gardens ...

If you have never been to Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards, you should make it a point to visit. It truly was a perfect moment and some very welcome pampering!