Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day! I didn't even get you a card!

Did you celebrate Earth Day yesterday? I did by flying over 1400 miles, eco friendly huh? yeah, not really. So the "latest hip thing" is to be green, eco-friendly, insert hippy term here. This is something I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, I do take the bus to work instead of drive, and we have bought some of those CFL bulbs, but we're not weaving our own shoes out of hemp or anything.

Since I've been reading more and more food related blogs (like you hadn't noticed) the big thing for Earth Day on the blogs was to eat "green", or responsibly. There is growing debate about how much impact on carbon emissions eating locally actually has, but that's not what this blog post is about. The main theme I saw in many posts yesterday and today was for folks to start their own garden. So we started a garden.

To be honest though we didn't start it to be "green". We started it for the tomatoes. And the cucumbers. And the magic that happens when you combine the two in a salad with some balsamic and olive oil. So this past weekend we planted our first seeds outside, some romaine lettuce and some spinach. Hopefully, if all goes well, they should be sprouting in about another 21 days or so, I'm not really sure I've never done this.

The next step is to finish the main area of the garden by taking out the last of the tree stump left that we took out. Then tilling in some leaves and manure (the compost isn't quite there yet but will be by fall). Come the middle of May I'll put some seeds in the ground for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, herbs and some flowers. The middle of June will see us planting some store bought seedlings, I want to see which will do better. Maybe next year we'll get a grow light and start some seeds inside ourselves, just need to find a place that will be warm enough . .

So watch for more and more garden updates, unless it all dies in which case we'll never speak of this again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Last Night's Dinner: Meatloaf and Syrah

We had a very productive Saturday (planted spinach and lettuce, fertilized the lawn, re-arranged closets, made 2 loaves of bread and watched a baseball game) and we finished the day off by making a meatloaf, potatoes au gratin and drinking a nice bottle of Syrah.

The meatloaf turned out rather nicely we thought, it was a 3 to 2 mixture of ground beef and ground pork, half an onion sauteed with some garlic, an egg, ketchup, oats, Worcestershire sauce, milk and black pepper. In the past we've almost always done onion, green pepper and onion trying sauteed, raw and pured, none of which we really liked all that much. I think we finally settled on a good method with just the onion and much less that most recipes call for.

For the potatoes we were going to go with a recipe we had tried before and really enjoyed but we felt that some cheese would make these potatoes even better. We did not follow any real set recipe, just figured sliced potatoes layered with cheese, salt, pepper and garlic salt and then a little milk and melted butter in the corner should cook about as long as meatloaf. What do you know, it worked.

The wine was a bottle given to my wife by the big boss at work (the winery sent him 4 bottles for his birthday which he gave away, nice guy). The wine was a 2005 Benziger Syrah which my wife loved from her first sip till the end of the glass, I wasn't as big of a fan. I thought the wine was a little too oaky for the meal but would have gone nicely with some roast beef and rosemary potatoes.

Overall a pretty great way to finish a Saturday, even if we couldn't get the fire pit to light.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Last Night's dinner: Steaks on the grill pan

Hm Hm steak, salad and corn. The only downside was that it was canned corn not grilled corn on the cob.

I grilled up some Sirloin tip steaks last night, the first foray into the steaks we get in our beef delivery. The grilling was done in the new shiny grill pan we got a month or so ago from a Pampered Chef party. The good part was that the pan got nice and hot and delivered some excellent grill lines. The not so good part was that the steaks didn't really cook all the way through on the pan even after letting them sit on the counter for 90 minutes before the grilling and resting for 15 minutes after. Next time I believe I'll char them in the pan and then move them to the oven to finish cooking through, that should leave them juicy in the middle but still get some char on them. Of course having a grill with multiple burners on hand would be handy too . . . where is that Gov Stimulus money?!

For any of you who do read nytimes.com (Jay) your suspicions that these on-going dinner last night blog entries are stolen from inspired by Mark Bittman are correct.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Rockies Triple Play

Over the past 3 days we've spent a lot of time at the ballpark. We inherited some tickets for the Sunday game at the last minute from some friends, thanks guys! That day game was warmer than expected, and our seats were sunnier than expected, these things combined for a resulting sunburn that is still pink but gradually getting less tender.

The Monday night game was the complete opposite, I went from short sleeves to two coats, hat and gloves in just over 24 hours. Spring in Colorado is pretty awesome*! Finally the Rockies won a game and Cook's gem of an outing didn't go to waste. I hear that it was the fastest game in Rockies history as well, wouldn't be surprised since it was too cold to swing at the ball.

Tuesday's game was the first one for our normal Tuesday night tickets. This year the group is up to 6 from the original 4 of the past two years, we're slowly assimilating baseball fans into our clutches. Another game where pitching was pretty good overall and really great in spots, hopefully this was a confidence boosting game for Uball. Maybe most importantly is the fact that they Rox scored more than 2 runs for the first time this year. Hopefully this trend continues and they can turn things around when they go to the Snake Pit this weekend.

*We're under a Winter Storm watch as of 8 tonight and expecting 3-8" of snow in the city on Thursday, then a heat wave and highs in the mid 60's for the weekend!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

hmmm tacos

Tonight's dinner was tacos, tasty tasty tacos. I like to make my tacos by boiling the beef, that's right, I said BOILING! (blame my dad) It isn't quicker than browning the beef, but it is easy to throw the beef, some onion, some potato, salt and pepper in a pot with water turn on the heat and then chop up your tomato and avocado. (yes I said potato, try it, you'll love it) Now the real reason I started boiling beef was to cut down on the grease in the tacos, when you fry them. No frying tonight though, we're trying to cut the calories over here.

So that was dinner tonight and the second thing we made with our share of beef. Lots more beef in the freezer, lots more recipes to come.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Alive and Kicking

I'm here.

I've been focusing on my 3 fantasy teams, yes 3. We got a quarter of a cow last friday, woo hoo cow! Look for many recipes on using up all that ground beef we just got. I finally finished the book on Captain Cook, not the pirate, I was reading, now onto a book about the history of gambling, thanks C! Baseball season is finally here, good thing the Rockies got a do-over for opening day. And finally I'm a little sad, we didn't get on the ball soon enough to get opening day seats this year, so our first game will be Monday instead followed by the first Guys Night Out game on Tuesday night, C and S will be joining the party this year, woo hoo!