Archive for November, 2016

Wrapping Up the Holiday Weekend

Monday, November 28th, 2016
Getting decorated for the holidays!

Getting decorated for the holidays!

The weather cooperated pretty well this holiday weekend. I was able to ride a total of 160+ miles

  • Wednesday = 57
  • Thursday = 40
  • Friday = 20
  • Saturday = 0 [rain]
  • Sunday = 54

I think I have successfully worked off the Thanksgiving Holiday meal, even that leftover piece of sweet potato pie I brought home. By the way, the pie was fabulous. This recipe will become a regular at my Thanksgiving table!

I was going to cook dinner for a girlfriend to night, but … I am so craving pizza right now. Looks like it’s a girls’ night dinner out.

Here’s a peaceful moment from today’s ride to enjoy…

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

WOW! It is glorious outside this morning. The weather forecast for today is cool, sunny, with light winds. It’s time to bundle up, slather with sunscreen, and get out on the bike. I’ve just got to figure out how to get to where I want to go without going through the park – it’s “Run to Feed the Hungry” day and they’re starting at 8:15 am and the park will be filled with runners and other participants.

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From yesterday’s ride – along Pleasants Valley Road.

Here’s hoping for polite traffic on the surface roads.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with family, friends, and festivities! And … here’s hoping you get a great ride in, too!!

Let The Holidays Begin

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Tonight was a baking night for Thanksgiving. This is the first Thanksgiving without Mom, so I am especially thankful to have been invited to join friends tomorrow. I’m bringing appetizers, desserts, and the makings for Tangerine Mimosas.

I’ll be putting together a cheese plate tomorrow, with the star being baked brie with fig jam.

Brie with fig jam in pastry, ready to bake.

Brie with fig jam in pastry, ready to bake.

It’s Thanksgiving, so it’s time for a classic dessert, right? However, pumpkin does not agree with me, so I made a Sweet Potato Pie, based on this recipe. If it tastes as good as it smells (and looks!), it will be divine.

sweet-potato-pie

Sweet Potato Pie

I’m missing Mom, so I also wanted to bake one of her specialties. Mom made these every year during the holiday season, so when I came upon this recipe card, I knew that was the one to try tonight.

russian-tea-cake

Russian Tea Cakes … so tender and delicate … a childhood favorite!

Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be glorious, so I’m looking forward to a nice ride in the morning. Today I got about 57 miles in, a little rain shower, a lot of sunshine, a little breeze, and lots of smiling. Let’s just say that it was one of those days that I was glad I a little overdressed.

Rain?!

Rain?!

Here’s wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Three Day Weekends

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Don’t you just love three-day weekends? Especially when the weather is amazing? Until you catch that dreaded cold …

I got two days of good cycling in: 50+ miles on Friday and 50+ miles on Saturday. Both days I rode out to Winters from Vacaville and back. The routes were slightly different, so I feel like I can justify that. Saturday’s ride was a late start and I probably should have cut the ride a little short, but it was just too beautiful out. I guess I thought I could sweat the cold out, or something like that. Yeah, no, not this time. My ride back to Vacaville was pretty mellow on Saturday.

By Sunday morning I still felt a bit funky, but I mustered the energy to do a very mellow ride with some lovely scenery. These pictures don’t really capture the beauty of the day; they’re taken with my phone.

Just off Pleasants Valley Road in Vacaville.

Just off Pleasants Valley Road in Vacaville.

A nice, quiet country road recommended by some local cyclists.

A nice, quiet country road recommended by some local cyclists.

So peaceful ...

So peaceful …

Gates Canyon Road

Gates Canyon Road

Gates Canyon Road is a nice, mellow climb for about 2 miles. The cyclists I spoke with said it gets a bit steep after that and the pavement turns to gravel. I didn’t get to the gravel because a couple of vehicles needed to pass, so I got off my bike and got out of their way. Had I felt better, I might have restarted and gone further, but it was just right for that day.

The weather this coming weekend is supposed to be a bit stormy, so we’ll see how much cycling happens. It might be more of a hiking weekend. Perhaps it will even be a homemade bread weekend. I haven’t make homemade bread yet in my new home, so perhaps it’s time.

Oh, my … Thanksgiving is one week from tomorrow. Perhaps this weekend will be a good time to work on some recipes?! I’ll need some good, healthy food therapy to get through this holiday season. It’s the first one without Mom. She loved this time of year. Thanksgiving is supposed to be mostly sunny with about a 20% chance of rain and light wind (as of now, anyway).

Well, it’s time for Nyquil and sleep. I’ve got to kick this darn cold to the curb and soon!

Super Duper Moon …

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

I’m told that tonight’s moon was even more full than last night’s moon …

Super Moon over Dixon, November 14, 2016

Super Moon over Dixon, November 14, 2016

If you have the chance, go outside and check it out!

Super Moon

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Super Moon over Dixon, California

Super Moon over Dixon, California

November? Feels like May!

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Today’s ride was the usual out to Winters. It was glorious out! It is hard to believe that this is November – it feels more like May.

I love my Colnago!

I love my Colnago!

I love my sunscreen!

… and my sunscreen …

I love this view!

… and how could you not love this view?

I hope you’re out and about enjoying some of this lovely weather. I’m looking forward to a group ride tomorrow. I hope I can keep up … if not, I’m familiar with the roads, so … at least I won’t be lost!

Autumn Days

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

It is an absolutely stunning weekend here!

Absolutely stunning day for a ride. Don't you agree?

Oooh, look at those Autumn colors. Reminds me of home.

That was yesterday. Now time to get out there and ride today!

Pomegranate, Fuyu, & Pecan Salad

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Pomegranates are becoming one of my favorite holiday foods. They are super healthy – here’s a good article on some of their nutritional benefits – and every cyclist needs to pack as much nutrition into their diets as possible.

This is a twist on a salad a friend made for me recently.

Pomegranate, Fuyu Persimmon, & Pecan Salad

Pomegranate, Fuyu Persimmon, & Pecan Salad

Pomegranate, Persimmon, & Pecan Salad

1 large pomegranate
2 Fuyu persimmons
juice of 1 lemon
splash of Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of pecans, chopped

Combine all ingredients. Enjoy.

You’re welcome.

If you don’t have pure maple syrup, you could use honey or agave syrup. (But never use fake maple syrup. Yuck. Just yuck.) If you don’t have the TJ’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, you can use a little fresh-squeezed orange juice, or just a little more lemon juice. Oooh, Meyer lemon juice would also be fabulous.

If you’re not sure how to prepare this amazing fruit, here is a great article on how to cut and de-seed a pomegranate.

Happy Monday … off to work I go!

Weekends Are For Cycling!

Monday, November 7th, 2016

This was a wonderful weekend for cycling. Saturday’s weather was perfect – not too warm, not too cold, not too windy. I rode with a friend from Vacaville out towards Lake Berryessa and up Cardiac Hill.

Saturday's ride ... Cardiac Hill-bound. It's been too long.

Saturday’s ride … Cardiac Hill-bound. It’s been too long.

We saw some beautiful countryside and I enjoyed having company on the ride. I got just over 70 miles total for the day, with a little bit of much needed climbing.

I headed out for a shorter, solo ride this morning.

A lovely *pop* of color!

The overcast sky made for nice lighting to catch this *pop* of color.

Today’s ride was a bit more mellow – just about 30 miles of gentle rollers on Pleasants Valley Road. It was a lovely ride except for a (thankfully) brief encounter with an inexcusably rude group of guys in a large SUV. That was a bit alarming … I’ve been cycling solo out here for years and this was one of the very few times I have experienced something like this.

We've had a little rain recently and it's nice to see some green for a change.

We’ve had a little rain recently and it’s nice to see some green for a change.

All  in all, it was a beautiful Autumn day for a ride. I’m so thankful to have this bike …

I love my Colnago!

I love my Colnago!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful week! I hope you have the chance to get outside and get a few miles in!