Rain, finally!


We have finally been getting some rain here in Northern California and I am loving it! It does interfere a bit with cycling, but the air is cleaner, fresher, and far more breathable. I am fortunate enough to have access to a fancy Compu-Trainer, elliptical, and treadmill so I am getting at least some exercise.

The rain has held off this weekend, so I was able to get a short ride in yesterday and a longer ride in this morning. Cool temperatures and very little breeze made for a pleasant ride on the American River Bike Trail.

The rainy weather is calling for some serious comfort food.

Cream of Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Probably not the healthiest dinner, but sometimes comfort wins out and that’s OK. It’s not entirely unhealthy, though. I always add my little touches that help ease the guilt a bit … organic, lower-sodium cream of tomato soup … whole grain bread … just a touch of butter in the pan, mixed with a touch of olive oil to give a nice, flavorful crisp the the bread … a combination of cheese that included at least half reduced fat cheese.The trick is to use just enough full fat cheese to give a touch of the ooey-gooey melty cheese thing that people love about a grilled cheese sandwich.

So, that was Friday night’s dinner … after what felt like an unusually long week.

Saturday … the sale I’ve waited all year for! The Meyer Factory Outlet Sale!! I haven’t been to this in years and I had planned to go last year, but I missed it. It’s running until December 15th – if you need any kitchen stuff, now is the time to stock up. Check out their website and you can download a coupon for an extra 30% off. Go ahead – splurge on your inner foodie.

After some shopping and errands, I grabbed a quick late afternoon ride yesterday. The weather cleared up and it was gorgeous!

Tower Bridge

River heading towards Downtown Sacramento

Last night’s dinner was a bit healthier – a spicy beef stir fry with asparagus, green beans, and mushrooms, served over brown rice.

Spicy Beef with Asparagus, Green Beans, & Mushrooms with a little extra chili garlic sauce

This was super easy to make. Simply marinate some thinly sliced beef in a bit of soy sauce, white white (or dry sherry), fresh minced garlic, Tiger Sauce, a little honey, and a little sesame oil. I didn’t measure … just go by taste. Whisk together these ingredients and then taste before adding the raw meat. Next time I make this, I will add some chili garlic sauce or Sriracha sauce. I wanted it spicier!

Clean and trim your vegetables. Be sure to cut them into consistently sized pieces so that they’ll cook evenly. Heat up your wok with a little avocado (or peanut) oil. Quickly stir fry the mushrooms, then set aside. Next cook the asparagus, then green beans, setting aside. Remove the meat from the sauce and set the sauce aside. Cook the beef a few pieces at a time so that they’ll cook quickly. Remove from the heat and set aside, repeat until you’ve cooked all the meat. Pour the reserved sauce into the pan and heat quickly, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat, add the meat and vegetables and toss to combine. Cover for just a few moments to heat through. You want the vegetables to be crisp-tender, so be careful to not overcook.

Serve over brown rice and if desired, add a splash more hot sauce.

Be sure you make a BIG batch, because it makes for terrific and easy leftovers. Enjoy!

Now it’s time to turn the Christmas lights on and enjoy a Christmas movie to get in the spirit. This week I’ve got to get started on my holiday baking.

Suggestions? Requests?

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