Sunday, May 31, 2015

Homemade Pizza

A few weekends ago, we made homemade pizzas as our weekend cooking adventure. We were cheating a little bit because we have attempted to make pizzas from scratch before... But this was one of the first times where we got everything right, and we ended up with some perfect pies.

The trick is to use enough flour to make sure that nothing sticks to the stones, and I always love building my own pizza with whatever toppings I want!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happy Memorial Day 2015

We left the rainy, chilly weather of Colorado this Memorial Day weekend for the sunny warmth of Southern Ohio. We were heading home to visit family and friends, and we were able to visit with just about everyone on our list. It was a plan I'd been trying to execute for a couple of years now, and something that I've been working on for several months. I was so happy that everything worked out and we were able to make it work!

On Saturday, we spent the day with our nephew and my family. Little man is getting so big, and is talking and joking and laughing all the time. I was sad that it took a while for him to warm up to us, since he was a little shy re-meeting us after almost a year of just Skyping... Once he finally started to open up, it was almost time for us to be on our way, and I was sad we only had a day to spend together. But it was such a great day with him, and we were all able to participate in my grandma's family reunion dinner this year in Lebanon. I'm not sure the next time we'll all get to be together, so it meant a lot to me to be a part of it this year.

On Sunday, we were able to pull together a barbecue dinner, and invited a bunch of our friends who are still in the area. It had been years since we'd seen some people, and all of them have kids and babies now, who we'd never even met before. I have to say that this was the biggest ray of sunshine on our trip. It meant so much to me to have everyone show up and see us while we were in town, and have all of their kids play together. It is a memory that I will cherish for a long time to come, and I thank everyone who helped to make it happen!

Last but VERY not least, we were really in town to meet our new niece! The hubby's brother and sister-in-law had their first baby girl back in February, and we were so happy to spend the majority of our trip with her. She makes some of the greatest smiley faces already, and is very laid back. I was more than happy to do anything I could do to help, while carrying the baby around. She was really a little ball of joy.

Next on the travel docket is a trip to New York to see our godsons and very good friends who just moved up to West Point. We'll also need to figure out a good time to have some more visitors out here, to the new house. It's shaping up to be a good year of visiting with family and friends, to keep filling our lives with happy memories. There is so much to look forward to!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Last Weekend is Happily Behind Us...

You may (or may not) have noticed that there was no cooking post from last weekend... Well, we had a few events going on, and it just seemed more important to take it easy, rather than push ourselves to also try and do some experimenting in the kitchen.

Saturday, May 2nd, the hubs went out to race one of the sketchier routes of the season, the Koppenberg Criterium. It is a six lap race, where the pinnacle is a nasty uphill climb on a dirt road. Thanks to some non-stop rain the week before, the road was no longer dirt, but mud. The race organizers had put down some hay to sop up the wet mud, and hopefully make the route more bearable for the racers, but it sounds like it was still a mess... Lap 2 of the race, two racers bumped each other right in front of him, and went down. With nowhere else to go, he went down right on top of them. Front crank gears shoved themselves into his front right shin, and he has some nasty puncture wounds. He needed a couple of stitches in the ER that day... Among the gashes were some more bumps, bruises, and patches of road rash that have been taking their time to heal. Maybe saddest of all, the bike is officially retired. A crack in the carbon fiber frame means that we are on the hunt for a new bike and new parts ASAP. Stitches come out on Wednesday, and maybe we'll see him try on some new running shoes with a different kind of racing in his future??

Sunday, May 3rd, was my first race of the season. Needless to say, I was probably not very helpful to my poor husband as he lay in the ER for the second time in a year. My mind was on my race, and how often I needed to eat, and that I should be resting my legs as much as possible. Hopefully I wasn't too awful about it... When I woke up at 4:45 in the morning on Sunday to get in a proper breakfast before the event, the hubs was in all kinds of pain. I couldn't possibly make him come with me, so I got in the car with all of my food and race gear, and sang Journey at the top of my lungs the whole way to the race. I hadn't been training well. My longest run had been 10 miles, 3 weeks before the race, and it wasn't a pretty 10 miles... But I started slow and made it a full 12.5 miles before my knees started screaming and my will-power was defeated. A nasty little hill climb at the 12.5 mile marker broke me, and I walked the next quarter mile. I finished the 13.1 mile race running across the line, but I hadn't met my goals. I wanted to complete the race fully running, and I missed my goal time by 11 minutes.

We have spent the last week nursing injuries. Open wounds, bruises, busted knees and torn muscles. I am happy that all of it is behind us, and it gives us some new goals to look forward to now. I'm only hoping that the disappointments spark a little fire that gets this season back on track!

Circassian Chicken

Today's dinner experiment was a little more outside of the box than we usually venture. We made a Turkish dish, called Circassian Chicken. It is made with shredded chicken and a spicy/sweet walnut sauce, which turned out to be very delicious! It was drizzled with paprika oil, which gave the dish great color and depth of flavor. Surprisingly easy to cook and quickly devoured!

If we were traveling in Turkey, I'm not sure that we would have gone for this dish if we saw it in a local buffet... But it's so cool to be experimenting and learning world cuisine little by little now, so that we're not quite so scared when we do make our way around the globe! Some day!!!