Sunday, June 23, 2013

Enjoying her day off?

She's more likely wondering why we're not out riding!

Sunday 16 June

Won't be long now. I groomed L Thursday night and yesterday I put on a t shirt! And it took a while but I cleaned her stall too! I couldn't dump the wheelbarrow though. Milestones nonetheless.

I'm really eager to ride. Maybe us horse people really are crazy after all.

Meanwhile. A lot of things say "Summer" to me. Gin and tonic comes immediately to mind. And gazpacho. Daisies. Crickets.

And then there's this traditional Scandinavian shrimp sandwich.

Popular summertime dish throughout Scandinavia

Very simple to prepare. Mix together a cup of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of honey and a *ton* of fresh dill. Add cooked medium shrimp. Spoon it over a thinly sliced baguette for a perfectly delicious open faced sandwich.

Have that and pickled herring with cucumbers and radishes on a Wasa cracker.

And pickled beets (I use this recipe, add some parsley to it) for a really nice refreshing and delicious summertime meal. The beverage of choice is your favorite beer. Or maybe a sparkling water.

Happy first days of Summer!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Something simple

Compared to a week ago I feel like a million bucks. I still won't be running a 10 minute mile anytime soon.

Food has a huge impact on my spirits and after thinking it over I decided I wanted to enjoy something simple.

Comfort Food. Thin spaghetti in marinara. Yes I know it's over sauced.

That, by the way, is whole wheat spaghetti. The texture of whole wheat pasta is a little more firm and the surface a little more coarse when compared to refined white flour pasta. I think whole wheat pasta holds up really well in a sauce and certainly with a sauce like this nobody will taste any difference.

I've blogged this recipe before. It's from Tyler Florence. He described it as *the* authentic Neapolitan marinara.

Sauté 4 or 5 chopped anchovies and chopped garlic in anchovy oil, add a (28 oz.) can of ground peeled tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes. That's it.

I've messed with that recipe a hundred different ways. It just doesn't get much better than that original recipe. That recipe was life changing. I learned what "something simple done well" really means and, more significantly, I discovered I love anchovies.

In years and years of trying I've only found a couple of tweaks to improve on the original.
  • I add the tiniest pinch of red pepper flakes to the anchovies and garlic
  • I rinse the tomato can into the sauce with whatever wine I'm drinking
  • I add a generous pinch of chopped parsley at the end, after it's off the heat
  • I splash in (barely) a tablespoon of really nice extra virgin olive oil when I add the parsley
I'm also not as impressed with San Marzano tomatoes as I used to be. In a side by side taste test with my favorite San Marzano tomatoes I picked Pastene Kitchen Ready tomatoes. I hate it when I find I buy into marketing as easily as the next guy. I'm a huge fan of blind taste tests!

I'm hoping to ride in a couple of weeks. That might be overly optimistic. I think if I can get a saddle on L without any help I ought to be able to ride. With the 8 and a half inches of rain we've had these past 2 weeks our trails will be gone by the time we get back out there. I'm actually pretty sure L will still find them even if I can't!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Luck runs out?

Sort of. I've fallen off of horses more times than I can count. A few bumps and bruises is all. Several days ago, while enjoying the last few minutes of a perfectly lovely ride on a most picture perfect day, L spooked at..nothing. Absolutely. Nothing. Huge spook. I was airborne headed for a fence before I could even say "hey" and it was just one of those things. I knew. I just knew. I was

Everybody was too upset to take pictures. I managed to get one off in the ambulance before they told me not to do that. Not bad what with being strapped to a backboard and all.

I'm being "evaluated". Make for the nearest trauma center?

The guys from the fire department were great. The horses kept getting in their faces and they didn't miss a beat. I'm gonna have to get them a gift card to Papa Gino's something.

A few broken ribs and a bruised kidney. *Not* what I had planned for my summer vacation! Could have been worse. I didn't break my neck. And I didn't puncture a lung. Make no mistake though. Hurts like hell. And apparently having more than 3 broken ribs is serious business.

Oh and by the way. You need to REPLACE YOUR HELMET whenever it takes a good whack.

My biggest problem right now is managing my Percocet and my beer. Don't *ever* mix them.

With many thanks to my good friends taking care of my horses for the time being that's not the big problem it could be.

There's that and of course, fixing dinner. I don't think I'll be flinging cast iron frying pans around for a while.

Which brings me to the wrap!

It takes me a while, but I can still manage things like this!

Tomato Basil Wrap

No heavy lifting! No vigorous technique! Actually, I wasn't so sure I could whip up a dressing. Hell I wasn't so sure I could even slice a tomato. But I managed and that was encouraging. This tomato/basil wrap was inspired by Panera Bread's Mediterranean Veggie Cafe sandwich.

I put a double line of thinly sliced cucumber on a bed of chopped lettuce (frisèe in this case) on a whole wheat tortilla.
Scattered some chopped tomato over that.
Scattered whole basil leaves over that.
Scattered some chopped Peppadew peppers over that. I *love* those Peppadew peppers!
I crumbled some chèvre over that and made up a light honey lemon vinaigrette to spoon on. Used not hardly more than a teaspoon.

Roll that up and I found it light and flavorful and satisfying. Great with Chianti!

Oh. I just happened to have some roasted red onions so I put them on there too. It needed a chili pepper. Next time!

I have a feeling I'm going to be making a lot of wraps.

And being able to pick up stuff with your feet is a good skill to have.

I'll probably start using a saddle for the foreseeable future. Maybe I just don't react as fast as I used to. I knew she was a little wound up but at the same time I was sure it was too hot for her to get stupid. Maybe my judgment just isn't as good as it used to be...
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