Sunday, July 8, 2012

On being American, eating well, gardening, and other stuff

Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long! I have missed doing this and have a lot to cover for one Sunday afternoon but I am going to try to hit all the weeks highlights!

First, there was July 4th.  We practiced being good Americans.  First we went for a hike in a preserve in the nearby village of Rensselaerville.  The hike takes you past two waterfalls and up to a really pretty lake.  It is short and not too strenuous which is good because as most of you probably experienced, by noon that day it got HOT.  Check out the pics!

I thought those roots were pretty amazing... and that last pic is on the porch of a cabin that we found out there. .. it was boarded up but it was cool.

Later in the day we went to Dinosaur BBQ in Troy for a beer... first we passed this AMAZING store on the way there...

The TROY PORK STORE.  I love this.  I absolutely must go back.  Anyways... we went to Dinosaur BBQ for a beer before the baseball game...

Brandon ordered us some fried green tomatoes... YUM!

(isn't he so cute?) We sat and looked out on the water...

This was nice.  Then we headed over to see the Albany ValleyCats play a game!  It was a great time!  They have a nice stadium, small, cheap tickets, good people and lots of fans... good concessions too... we had a healthy meal of peanuts, french fries, hotdogs, and ice cream... awesome.

FUN!  So that was the 4th.  And that my friends, is a good holiday.  Oh and no, we did not last (or I did not I should say) until the fireworks... I had to go home and sleep so I could get up at 4:45 to go to the gym on Thursday... because yes, I am crazy.  So.

This weekend was good.  Friday night I came home after a good first week back at work.   We had crab canape as an appetizer.  This is my FAVORITE appetizer.  I have it only when I am super happy... for friends... or to celebrate a first week of work... or just because... and we had it on homemade sourdough bread! YUM.  Which I set to rise on Thursday night and Brandon baked for me on Friday morning (he's a keeper huh?!)...

Love it.  Fresh dill from the garden.  Perfecto.  And that is the cutest tray! I got that at IKEA a couple years ago.  Anyways.  Saturday I got up at 5:15... (yeah... on a Saturday... ) to go run my 9 miles with my running group.  It was not that enjoyable this week because it was REALLY too hot for a long run, even so early.  But it was good to be finished by 7:30 and I still ran under a 9 minute mile which is pretty great.  And afterwards I went out to breakfast with about 15 people from the group.  It was a lot of fun...

BUT something horrible happened while we were sleeping Friday night... The squirrels went totally ape****crazy on Brandon's bird feeders!  They somehow destroyed them BOTH.  This is so so awful.  We hate these piggy squirrels... Look at this!


Isn't that sad??

OK so you are probably wondering why the bird feeders look like a federal penitentiary with the barbed wires and all?  Well, that is yep, you guessed it, because of those greedy squirrels!  They were eating all the bird seed (even though Brandon generously left some for them on the ground) so Brandon gave in and put up barbed wire... to no avail... so he spent time building that cool thing you see there in the last picture out of old coffee cans to keep them out.  So he did this as an experiment on the big feeder, but hadn't gotten to the small feeder yet... so what did the squirrels do? They climbed the small one and JUMPED to the big one and in the process sent both crashing to the ground in pieces.  Not too smart and not too cool either if you ask me...  Pigs.  Anyways... he is going to try to fix them. I hope he does. 

Otherwise, Saturday was about food.  I made Cowboy Cookies.  My favorite!!

I forgot to take step-by-step pictures of these (I'm sorry! Lack of sleep) but you can find the recipe online here if you want it.  I think these are the best! They are chewy and have chocolate and oats and pecans and coconut and yeah, pretty much amazing... (it is actually Barbara Bush's recipe... this is a shame but... I guess they did something right?... at least she did...).

Then we had fish tacos for dinner with a baja cream sauce and cabbage slaw...

These were excellent!  And I am going to post the recipe right now! The only said thing was that I was finally going to get to use my tortilla press to make some corn tortillas... but for this you need masa harina... and Brandon went to the grocery store and got harina de mais... and yes, these are apparently vastly different things, the former being a corn flour and the latter being a polenta... so no home made tortillas this time... next time!

And of course, no post is complete without some pics of the little Lupa....


Oh, and a few of the garden!  Which is doing so well!  Today I worked in it for a couple hours... pulled out the peas which were done and now it is a little naked looking but still awesome.  The tomato plants are really growing!  And the cabbage and melons and peppers!

OK that is it!  I think I got it all!  I am spending the rest of the afternoon relaxing (after my food posts!) and then making a Marcella Hazan pasta tonight with mozzarella, tomato, eggplant, basil... it should be yummy.  Until next time!

-- Anya

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