As a preface to this, M asked for ongoing cooking and food posts, so here ya' have it (along with some other unrelated topics). It might be helpful to know that I enjoy cooking and am always trying something new, so here are a few "reviews" of today's experiments:
this recipe that Emily mentioned yesterday. That turned out well. But then what's not to love - cold and sugary????
For dinner, we tried Shrimp Quesadillas with Grill-Your-Own Salsa. It was really good, but don't make it too often - the fat grams are pretty hefty - or use some variety of reduced fat cheese. I usually just skip the jalapenos when called for in a recipe because I'm kind of a wimp about eating them, but decided to try using about half of one and managed OK with that. Little G even ate some of it. My one recommendation would be to only grill the tomatoes skin-side down and just for a few minutes to loosen the skin. They got a little mushy for my taste.
The past few days we have been inundated (hundreds per square foot) with miniscule little gnats. When you walk out the door, they are in your hair, nose, plastered all over the front of your shirt, etc. I know I shouldn't be whining about gnats because some of you experience much worse things (sometime I'll have to tell the story of the cockroaches crawling across my head while I slept the year we were in Florida), but they are bothersome. When planning to grill for dinner, I didn't take into account that there was going to be a layer of gnats on everything that went out the door, including myself and the food. But hey, what's a little extra protein? And they're so little you almost can't see them. Blech...
We decided to brave the gnats after dinner and take a little walk (and hopefully burn off some of those quesadillas). Due to a certain (friendly but annoying) pit bull who likes to jump his meager fence and join us when we pass his house, we chose an alternate route from our usual one tonight. It led to a discovery of a very cool little hike in this wash across the street from the house behind us that for some reason we have never ventured down. After we went a little ways we came upon a spring flowing out of the side of the wash and making a little stream down to the meadow a ways below. The kids were delighted to play in it for some time and we enjoyed watching three elk grazing and hummingbirds flitting about overhead. Can't believe it has been so close all these years and we've never even explored it!!!!!
These family walks in the evening after dinner have been a blessing recently in gaining some ground in the battle for our children's hearts, which we sometimes feel we are losing at a faster pace all the time as they get older.
Geoff found a book in a box of some at the school called The Klondike Gold Rush: Photographs from 1896-1899. Once he showed it to me, I had to read the whole thing. Fascinating. Didn't know a single thing about it till just tonight. What a sad situation in many ways, and incredible hardships faced, often with little or no results other than the loss of all a "stampeder" had in the first place. You can get a brief overview here and view many of the pictures here.