Cooking, Eating and Biking

This weekend started off with Friday night dinner at our favorite local Mexican joint – cabbage slaw, chiles rellenos, enchiladas…mmmm.  Saturday promised to be hot, so my friend A and I took a quick ride out above the vineyards here:

Bird’s Eye view of the Colorado River

Then dinner time rolled around…the BF got started grilling some chicken and I got started on these beauties:

Toaster Oven twice-baked potatoes

Ok, so I did the first “baking” in the microwave.  Then I carefully halved the potatoes and scooped out the insides.  I dropped those in a bowl with butter, cheddar cheese, garlic and chives.  I sprayed the shells of the potatoes with some olive oil and sprinkled in some parmesan.  I started actually toasting these in the oven while I readied some other things.  To the filling I added a splash of milk and mashed everything up.  I took the toasted skins out, filled them, sprinkled more parmesan and olive oil on top and returned them to the toaster to brown.  They were delish!

Today brought more early morning biking on the other end of town:

The Colorado River from the western end of the valley

Dinner tonight brought some yummy things as well.  Again we utilized the grill to keep as much heat out of the house as possible – this time the BF cooked up some pork chops.  I made coleslaw and corn-on-the-cob.  I decided to change up the coleslaw a little bit this time though which is why it gets a picture and a description:

Spicy cilantro slaw

Slaw dressing is fairly easy to make:  You just take about 1 cup of mayo, add about 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp (start with 1) of cider vinegar.  Whisk this and then add splashes of milk until it’s the right consistency.  Then adjust – add a little more sugar or vinegar for taste.  To this I added about 2 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tbsp of jalapeno and 2 tbsp of finely chopped onion.  It really changed the flavor and was a great twist on typical coleslaw.

Earlier in the day, after the biking was over and I was restless, I decided it was time for some cookies.  We were out of cherry crisp from last week and almost out of apricot sherbet (can you tell what fruits are in season here?), so I knew we’d need a new dessert soon.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

There’s nothing magical about these, but there is a twist to them:  I only had 1 stick of butter (I know, I know!) so I had to substitute…since last month’s issue of “Vegetarian Times” was all about baking with olive oil, that’s what I used!  So, instead of 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, I used 1 stick of butter and then 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of olive oil.  I looked up the substitution measurements online.  I did add an extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla as well.  The cookies are great and I figure the olive oil is better for us than that other stick of butter anyway.

Finally, ok, I did not make these, but I have consumed almost the entire jar since Thursday evening.  My co-worker’s wife has started a pickle business- YUM pickles, and she is talented! These are her bombshell beans – pickled green beans.  They. are. awesome.  The evidence is in the almost empty jar after only 4 days.

YUM pickles’ bombshell beans

If you happen to be out this way, she’ll be back at the GJ downtown farmer’s market July 5th with more beans, pickles, pickled okra and spicy pickled carrots!

So, what have you been eating and creating this week?

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