Monthly Archives: April 2012
Slow roasted another pork butt yesterday – rubbed in the Tex Mex chipotle seasoning mix I like, cut slits in the meat and inserted a handful of garlic cloves, and left it in the oven on 250 or so while we went about our Sunday.
They sell those cute little baby carrots now, all cleaned and colorful, they make sauteing pretty easy – just a few minutes in the pan will soften them enough that you don’t get the “still raw” vibe. The broccoli was steamed and then quenched before cooking both veggies in a mix of olive oil and butter.There are a few different cheeses in this mac n cheese side – a generous grating of aged Parmesan for starters, then some odds and ends from the sliced cheese drawer in the fridge. I had some mild cheddar and a few slices of muenster, and added some freshly purchased farmer’s cheese along with shredded Swiss. I used some half & half in the white sauce to round up the fat content of the 2% milk that provided the bulk of the liquid, and added a good sprinkle of ground cayenne. The secret to creamy, moist mac n cheese is to use a lot of liquid, more than you think you need. The pasta will soak a lot up and there will be some evaporation in the oven, and the whole dish will thicken as it heats.
My second lesson was today, with first lesson jitters behind me, I settled into my horse (yea Katy!) and managed to make some serious progress. Next week I’ll have a different mount, but feeling confident enough that I’m looking forward to the challenge.
It was a beautiful morning for a ride today. Cool, Colorado blue sky, snow on the mountain peaks and to top it all off, a bald eagle spent quite a bit of time lazily cruising over the pasture. Being more comfortable as the lesson began today, I was really able to spend more time getting to know all the horses, their names, their abilities, their little quirks. Got totally loved on by the aptly named Romeo, who snuggled me like he was a 10lb puppy, not a two thousand pound gelding.
I think Katy will have a special place in my heart as I move onto Jack. It was clear during my first lesson that she has no patience for bulls***, which is something I adore about her. After I left last week, knowing I’d ride her again this week, I knew I was going to have to calm my demeanor, be the confident rider I knew I was, and trust her. I got fewer dirty looks from her this week for sure and let me tell you, she knows how to throw them. Every once in a while, she’d turn her head back toward me while we were awaiting our turn and glare. Made me laugh every time.
The rest of the weekend was busy with garden shopping – I had to at least get some flowers – a bit of cooking (tomato-spinach soup for lunch this week), and cycling. The local farmer’s market is already open with some lettuces, cool weather crops and some greenhouse varieties. I may stop by this week and see how things look.
Our front garden project is past the construction phase, all the old space has been covered with weed barrier and pebble mulch. Now the long slog to develop plantings that will work. The crew dug up and replanted many of Mrs J’s plants but the survival wasn’t 100%. We have gained some new stuff, a new redbud tree, some grasses, and a few flowers that are new to us. I’ll do a post on all that when I have more time. The veggies we have going in containers are doing very well:These are, from L to R: Oregano, thyme,chives, and a bay laurel (all made it through the winter), another oregano, rosemary, and flat leaf parsley (partially hidden). I really need to re-pot the first three.At a lower level are two jalapenos bookending sweet basil.On the other side of the step is a cherry tomato “Husky Red Cherry” – a compact tomato bred for containers.Cilantro, mint, curly leaf parsley, and dill.And two more tomatoes, one a cherry type and the other a “grape” tomato. Alas, I forgot the variety names and can’t seem to find the tags. I expect that these will grow tall enough to need the cages.
I did the usual pinto beans recipe with the overnight soaking and slow cooking with smoked ham hocks and diced onions but thought to try an addition of a couple of chili powders I’ve grown quite fond of. I have a largish jar of ground chipotle peppers, and another of anchos, both bought through a seller at Amazon.
I have to tread a fine line with this stuff because Mrs J’s notion of “hot peppers” starts just north of peperoncini. I debated adding some tomatoes of some sort, and looked at a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies for a minute before deciding against them for this batch, pending the outcome with the chili powders.
I must say that the addition of the ground peppers was met with approval. They will be a standard part of my recipe from now on. I think I’ll start soaking another batch to try with the tomatoes:)