Archive for January, 2015

Roasted Crimini Mushrooms

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Roasted Crimini Mushrooms with Herbed Goat Cheese & Balsamic Glaze

These are quite simple to make. Rinse and pat dry your mushrooms. Remove the stems and set aside for another use. Drizzle the mushroom caps with a little olive oil and salt, and place stem side down in a roasting dish. Roast in a preheated oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool. You can prepare these a day ahead and store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

To make the herbed goat cheese, you’ll want to use a good quality plain goat cheese, such as Laura Chenel Chevre. Blend the cheese with a splash or two of good olive oil and your choice of freshly chopped herbs. I used fresh thyme and rosemary, a classic combination, in my opinion. Use just enough olive oil to get a smooth, creamy consistency that you’ll be able to pipe into the mushroom caps.

To assemble, gently pat the mushrooms dry to remove excess moisture. Using a pastry bag*, pipe the cheese into the mushroom caps. Arrange the mushrooms on a platter and drizzle with a balsamic glaze. I like this one from Trader Joe’s.

If you have leftover herbed goat cheese, this is also lovely on bread or crackers.

* If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can use a zip-top plastic bag with a corner snipped off.

Craving a Purple Smoothie

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The day looks deceptively beautiful, but the air this morning was thick and cold. Not a good combination for breathing. My guess is that lots of fireplaces are going, lots of people are driving, and recent winds all coupled with the lack of rain are contributing to poor air quality. So, it was an indoor ride for me today. Thank goodness for the trainer!

After 90 minutes, I was thirsty, hungry, and craving something super healthy.  What I really wanted was a Magenta Mystery Smoothie, but I had no purple cabbage. So, here’s what I made.

Purple Smoothie

1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 cup dark cherries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 raspberries
1/2 cup red grapes
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup apricot chunks
1/2 cup papaya chunks

Measure water into a large capacity blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the fruit. Start on low speed, then increase to high and blend until smooth. For a thicker smoothie either use frozen fruit or add ice cubes and blend until smooth.

Makes enough for one large or two medium smoothies packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Enjoy in good health!

Now it’s time to get ready for tonight’s dinner party! The last of the holiday splurges, but with healthy enough treats to meet at least most New Year’s Resolutions.


Walking About Folsom Lake

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Yesterday we went for a walk at Folsom Lake. We started out at Beal’s Point and walked along the trail for about 3 miles before heading down to the beach at one of the boat launch areas. It was a beautiful day, but felt quite chilly for our standards here. There were a few mountain bikers on the trail and I wondered if I’ll ever mountain bike again. I do have my awesome Klein Pinnacle I used to ride a lot in Annadel State Park, but now I just road bike.

Looking towards the boat ramp.

We meandered back along the beach, enjoying the scenery, stopping to visit with an occasional friendly dog out walking his humans.

Near the Beal's Point parking lot. You can see how low the water level is.

While I appreciate these beautiful, sunny days, we really do need some more rain. We’ve had dry, very breezy weather lately, which lead to lots of junk in the air, which you can see hanging over the hills in these photos.

It’s time to brave the cold this morning and head out for a quick ride. I’ve got lots to do today to get ready for a dinner party tomorrow night. I’ll be making Ciopinno, mostly following this Giada De Laurentiis recipe. A friend is bringing one of her amazing salads, with a super healthy orange vinaigrette. We’ll have some good cheeses, loads of veggies, some good crusty bread to go with the Ciopinno, and I haven’t quite figured out dessert yet. It will be just a little decadent, but not too much. I’ve got a lot of Granny Smith apples, so I’m leaning towards perhaps a comforting, warm apple crisp. Perhaps with just a tiny scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

Happy New Year – Please Ring it in Safely!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Hi Everyone!

It’s that time of year again – New Year’s Eve!

If you find yourself out and about and not in condition to get yourself (and your friends) home safely, please remember that The American Automobile Association (AAA) is again running their holiday Free Tipsy Tow Home service for New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day morning for anyone in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. If you’re drinking and don’t think you should drive, give them a call.

Write the number down and keep it in your car’s glove box:

800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP)

Just tell the AAA operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a truck will be on its way.

You (or your friends) do not need to be AAA members – this service is available to anyone in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. For full information, please click here.

If you’re not in Northern California, Nevada, or Utah, there are lots of other Sober Ride options all over the country, so please, keep yourself, your friends, and everyone in your path safe. Call for a Sober Ride.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy, joyous, fun, safe, delicious and healthy New Year! I see lots of cycling opportunities in 2015 – hope you can join me in some of them.