Friday, January 30, 2009

Another hike

Well, we have been out hiking again, and this time we saw lots of footprints in the wet clay.

I am including a photo of what I believe (after looking it up) to be mountain lion tracks- they were ALL over the trail we were on. We saw deer and bunny tracks too, but my camera battery was pretty low and I couldn't take as many photos as I usually do.

It is so cool to be able to hike in light clothes in January! But the ground is a weird texture this time of year. As our soil is clay, the water/snow doesn't get absorbed too far down, and so even the grassy areas are slippery to walk on. You definitely have to watch your step. It would be so easy to slip and fall or twist your ankle.

We didn't go out much last weekend, Colorado actually had a cold snap and it was a bit too chilly to be out long.

Chloe started riding lessons at Coventry and loved it. Learning English will be a bit of a challenge, but she is up to it!

Other than that, I have been keeping busy with housework, quilt classes, and volunteer stuff- I have to do something to stay out of trouble! lol

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cooking Gourmet...

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to cook and bake. And boy howdy! Am I ever having a blast doing that here!

I was concerned about cooking on a gas stove- but I love it. I was concerned about cooking at high altitudes- but I really haven't found much difference to tell the truth.

Rich bought me subscriptions to Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines and I go through them cover to cover. I cook things out of them regularly. Rich will often choose something he wants to try and then together we make it on the weekend.

The thing about the recipes in those magazines is that they usually feed a small army! However, though it increases the prep time and ingredients to have, the cooking time is the same, and then I have an extra meal or two for the freezer for those days that I am at a quilt class or otherwise occupied. So I love that they make a lot!

Today, I am making a dish called Sunday Ragu, with Polpette as an appetizer- though I have no idea why you would need an appetizer before this dish. Polpette are torpedo-shaped meatballs- and they are made from the same meat mixture as the big meatballs. I guess it is to tease you a little before the main event. The ragu is basically a bunch of different meats prepared, browned, and then cooked in the tomato sauce, then you take the meats out onto a platter and serve them with a side of pasta and the sauce.

I am including a bunch of photos because I don't believe I have ever cooked- or eaten- a dish with so many meats in it! There is a total of NINE pounds of meat! This will be at least three meals for the four of us, and a couple of lunches for Rich too. The frying pan holding this meat is a 5.2L pan...

The list of meats is: beef braciole (bra-chee-oh-lee), which is top round cut thin, pounded thinner, filled with a mixture of garlic, parsley, romano, and pancetta then rolled into little parcels; sweet Italian sausage; hot Italian sausage; pork shoulder; country-style pork ribs, and huge meatballs made from veal, beef, and pork.

This house smells SOOOO good right now! So, the sauce is simmering and now it is time to make cookie dough for lunches this week- chocolate chip cookies and also some almond biscotti. Later I will bake enough just for tomorrow. After a 3+ mile hike this morning and cooking so much of today, I am getting a bit tired.

Then I will sit.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ready to Ride!

We finally found a place for Chloe to ride and we went there to see it today.

We were given a tour of the barns and arenas, introduced to all of the horses, and made arrangements for Chloe to start her English lessons next Saturday. She has taken a year of lessons but they were Western and so there will be a bit of an adjustment.

Next stop was the Tack Shack for a helmet, boots, and breeches. Chloe is ready to ride!

Doesn't she look adorable? And excited! It will be a LONG week! lol

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Come and Gone!

Well, the holidays here are officially over. Rich went back to work yesterday, Heidi and Chloe went to school today to start a new semester, and Holly and Ben had to fly back to Ontario. :((

The week with them went really fast, and a good time was had by all! The kids spent the week together mostly in a harmonious way... playing Rock Band and other various video games, shopping, watching movies, playing games, and eating.

It's good to see Holly and Ben making their own way so well. Though I don't always agree with their choices or their way of doing things- the point is, they ARE doing it. They are not running to me for things, they are learning and doing on their own. When they make mistakes, they work it out. When they get things right (and that is a lot of the time!), they get the satisfaction of knowing they got there on their own steam. I am so proud of them!

I feel a little sad though, this will be a longer stretch till we see them again. We left at the end of June, they came here at the beginning of October, and again just now. Summer seems a long time away.

But they have school and their lives to keep them busy and so do the girls and I. Thank goodness for internet, e-mail, and telephones! Oh, the mail is good too... lol

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