Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bread Making

I spent an afternoon at Grace's making bread with friends.  We were provided a poolish.
Which we mixed with water and then added flour and yeast.
After rising three times covered in the mixing bowl with some stretching, we placed them in loaf pans for the last rise.
Into the oven and out came loaves of bread.
Cameos of Gus.
Dinner of green beans, lamb, and of course bread.

Lovely time learning a new technique and having bread as a reward.

Monday, April 27, 2015

April Spin Group

Juli hosted spin group and I tackled the crazy batt from the spin retreat.  Finished spinning the single.
I decided to ply with some llama that I spun a while ago.
Finished plied yarn which will become Yaling's fingerless mitts and maybe another pair for someone else.
Lori brought her animal menagerie, but she still has to name each one and create a back story.  My favorite one has a pet pygora who supplied fiber for a blue sweater.
Food included vegetable stew with milk rolls, cheese wrapped ham, yam salad, and chips and salsa.
Good times catching up and crafting.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Del Mar Sampling Excursion

On a recent outing with Grace, I went to the Del Mar Highlands Town Center where we stopped at the Leaf and Kettle for a tasting menu of teas.  After trying multiple types, I bought some lavender tea to make lavender lemonade.

I also restocked my olive oil and vinegar supply since Grace told me the Glendale store I went to had closed.

She found a similar shop called Baker & Olive where I purchase two combinations.  One to match the one I already have and a new combination of fig and orange.
We stopped and had dinner at Sammy's woodfire pizza where she shared the kobe mini burgers and a fig and cheese flatbread.  And found the Towne Bakery was having happy hour half off cupcakes.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Earth Day Project

So for Earth Day this year, I decided to restart my worm composter.  I did some google-fu on the net and found that I could use my worm composter to recycle dog waste.  This set up an intriguing idea which eliminates the use of plastic bags to the landfill and the added benefit of fertilizer for ornamentals (not food plants).

So I decided to repurpose my existing black composter for this project which entails buying some starter supplies and worms.  Since the composter still has soil from way back, I also purchased a elevated planter so I could start a herb garden in the back.

While waiting for the supplies to come in to start that project, I purchased a separate worm composter for food waste.  It has a smaller footprint with more bins.  I have everything ready except for the worms which are enroute.
I have already started collecting food waste in a bin for my first feeding.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Great News Cooking Class

Took a class with Grace at Great News titled Supper Club Dining at Home.  It was pretty good with recipes from a steak house menu.  Phillis Carey described supper clubs coming from Wisconsin where people went to neighborhood restaurant for dinner on a weekly basis.  It is a different concept of my supper club definition.
We started with Herbs de Provence Rubbed Rib Eye Steaks with Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olive Vinaigrette.  Tasty and should have been cooked all on the grill, but we got smoked out and everything was finished either in the stove or on the stove top.  Learned that the steaks should rest on paper towels for up to an hour in room temperature before cooking.
Lobster linguine with Rosy Herb Sauce.  Lots of cream sauce but it turned out with not too much flavor.  The lobster which was cooked separately was also a bit tough.  I might try this recipe with a shrimp substitution.
Flambeed Whisky Pepper Fillets with Creamy Shallot Sauce and Mustard Roasted Potatoes.  Very tasty potatoes with mustard seeds instead of just mustard.  Onions were a bit over powering, but learned that you could cut the acid to raw onions by soaking in water and vinegar.
Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce.  Very sweet that the ice cream cut a bit.  I found that I like butterscotch and it is very easy to make.  I think it would make a good substitution for caramel sauce.

Overall a filling meal, but it was interesting that the flavors were lacking a bit.  It has been quite a while since I have taken a class here and the quality is a bit lower than before.  Portions of food were better and now they have wine and/or coffee and espresso for the guests.

I did use my 10% discount to buy a few things including the grain container for my vitamix blender.  The inventory of the store was very light which was surprising.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Gallup Field Trip

At the end of the week, we made a stop over in Gallup before heading home.  We passed by the continental divide from Albuquerque to Gallup.
In our little red hot wheel.
At the end of the day, we shopped for blankets.
And ate at Applebees for dinner.
We shared the appetizer combo of meatballs and buffalo wings and I had salmon on spinach.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Temple Square

While in Utah, we had some time at the end of the day for some sightseeing and hit the Temple Square.

We first hit the City Creek Center where we checked out some shops and also saw the cool creek that the mall was built around.
We then walked over to Temple Square and took a tour.
The temple was off limits, but we went to the conference center and went up to their garden roof top with views of the surrounding areas.  The place is massive with great grounds.
Not sure what to think about the religion, but their buildings are pretty impressive.  The conference center is a million square feet and the auditorium was massive.

Salt Lake City also had these helpful signs on each pedestrian crossing.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Utah Field Trip

Headed to Utah for some field work and I haven't been to this state in quite a while and even then it was for family obligation and not much sight seeing.

We started in Ogden.
Where these trees were blooming everywhere.
Saw these mini dogs in a yard and they were super cute.
We stayed in Salt Lake City near the city center and went to the Market Street Grill for dinner.
I had expected a burger/sandwich type place, but it was mainly all seafood which is surprising since Utah is land locked.
Clam chowder and seared tuna for dinner.
It was super windy and giant flags flew most places.
Not much snow this season according to the locals.
Best meal we had was the second night where we hit Takeshi.
Interesting sushi was the fare for the night - easy rider, the box, yellow submarine, the summit, and sunshine.
We finished the night with a little walk where tulips and pansies bloomed.
And ended up at the gelateria italiana.
Where I had the vanilla bean and passion fruit.