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Aster, Paddling Glutton

Friday, May 28, 2010

So my single week is not going exactly as planned. Until yesterday, it had been rainy in the evenings. So much so on Tuesday that we delayed sushi until next Tuesday because driving around when there are flash flood warnings is just stupid and unnecessary. I'm going to admit that without a plan dinner that night, I resorted to chips and salsa. Not my finest moment.

Last night, I met a friend for dinner, biking further from home after work to eat and thus having a longer bike ride home on a really pleasant evening. I also had a really good steak sandwich that came with a salad in a small and funky restaurant and bar in a neighborhood that I used to live in but don't get to very much anymore.

This morning, I put the kayak racks on the car before I left for work so that I can hoist the boat up there as soon as I get home. The weekend plans are like this:

Tonight: Cherokee Marsh or the Yahara River
Tomorrow: Sugar River
Sunday morning before I have to do prairie restoration: Lake Wingra
Monday: Yahara River or Cherokee Marsh; whichever one I don't hit tonight

Dinner tonight is going to be salad with grilled shrimp and a bunch of vegetables. I'm thinking southwestern flavors like chili, lime and cumin. It would be nice to find a ripe avocado. I need a plan for tomorrow night. I think that should come together at the farmers' market tomorrow morning.

It's been a really nice week including French press coffee instead of automatic drip, but I imagine I'll also be happy to see my husband when he gets back late Tuesday night.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASTER2606 5/28/2010 7:19PM

    Yeah, I think my rationale at the time was: well, they are lightly salted whole grain chips....and salsa is made with vegetables. Still sad. And not really a meal.

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MDTWEETY 5/28/2010 2:46PM

    I had to laugh at your dinner of chips and salsa. I once ate Doritos for dinner because we had nothing really else to eat and hubby was away at a work function. emoticon

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KELPIE57 5/28/2010 10:21AM

    You know Aster, here in France they don't even have French press coffee makers! I really don't know why they're called as they are..... emoticon

Glad the week has been nice, even if not 100% to plan...sometimes you just have to go with the flow......

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My week as a single girl, days 1 & 2

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yesterday, my husband flew to Seattle to meet up with his brother and parents for an Alaska Cruise that departs today. My sister-in-law, nieces and I aren't going for a variety of reasons. I'm relieved that I'm not there since as much as I would like to visit Alaska some day, a Carnival Cruise is pretty far from my idea of fun.

It's also really nice to be getting a week of alone time. I finally got to watch "Julie and Julia" last night. I also get to eat whatever I want without taking other preferences into account. Last night, I made a big salad with spinach, arugula, green onions, carrots, radishes and grape tomatoes and then I grilled some asparagus and a half pound tuna steak.

I ate half the tuna steak and four big spears of asparagus, putting the other half of each away to eat on salad tomorrow night. Tonight, I'm meeting my friend Celia for sushi, so it would appear that I'm getting a very fishy start to my week.

I'm also hoping to get some evening kayaking in later in the week, so hopefully I'll get home early enough tonight to rack my car so that I can just put the boat up there and do some local paddling right after work. I have three (or more) choices of places to go which don't involve much driving.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MDTWEETY 5/26/2010 2:54PM

    MMMMM..that salad sounds delish! And I haven't had sushi in forever. I miss it! Looks like you have some nice things planned for your alone time. Enjoy it.

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KAYOTIC 5/25/2010 9:47AM

    I really enjoyed that movie...

Glad you are enjoying your alone time!

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CLIMBERCHICK14 5/25/2010 9:32AM

    Sounds like you're making the most out of your alone time. Good for you!

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TERRI77 5/25/2010 9:30AM

    Enjoy your week!

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KELPIE57 5/25/2010 9:05AM

    Have fun!

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JETTSTAR999 5/25/2010 8:47AM


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Garlic Mustard Pesto

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So tonight we're eating weeds for dinner, not because we have to, but because we can. On my way home from work tonight, I pulled a big bag of garlic mustard pesto, getting the roots when I could since it is, after all an invasive weed which crowds out native plants like trilliums, jack in the pulpits, blood roots, probably trout lilies and violets too. Basically, it kills the biodiversity in the under story of deciduous forests. But enough about my environmental politics.

Originally, I planned to make Wild Man Steve Brill's garlic mustard pesto

As I thought about his recipe, I realized that I didn't want to pay for a cup's worth of basil and that instead I could get great local spinach from our CSA farmers at the Westside Community Market and I realized the miso that I have is red which may or may not be the mellow miso Brill asks for. I also thought that olives were kind of weird as a pesto ingredient, that I didn't want to use so much miso because of the salt content, that he used a heck of a lot of olive oil, too great a ratio of nuts to green stuff and that I wanted to use some parmesan cheese in my pasta. I consulted a couple of my cookbooks for other pesto recipes. I also rearranged the order of additions to the food processor to minimize bruising of the greens.

Here is what I came up with:

1/2 c. walnuts

3 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped

4 garlic mustard tap roots, chopped

pinch of salt

Put the first four ingredients in a food processor and grind into a paste.

Add 2 T of miso and whir the food processor until combined

Then add as they fit:

1 c. garlic mustard leaves

1 c. spinach

1/2-3/4 c flat leaf parsley

process until well-mixed.

Then add 3 T olive oil, more if needed

process again

Then add 1/2 c. parmesan cheese and mix.

Add pepper to taste and adjust salt if needed.

The paste was very flavorful on its own. It possibly could have used a little more salt the way we ate it over whole wheat bow ties with grilled shrimp and extra chopped parsley and freshly grated parmesan for garnish. We both thought it was pretty tasty.

This made enough for our dinner tonight, one leftover serving for someone's lunch tomorrow and an ice-cube tray which I will freeze overnight and put in a zip-top bag. Even though I barely made a dent in the garlic mustard along the bike path, I still went a little crazy and have a good bit of what I picked in the fridge. I might actually buy the basil now, use pine nuts instead of walnuts, up the miso a bit and freeze another couple of ice-cube tray's worth of pesto.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELPIE57 4/21/2010 1:11AM

    Yummy! emoticon

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One word survey

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not as easy as you might think! Copy and Paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. It's really hard to only use one word answers. Stole this from Kayotic in the Outdoor People Group...

Where is your cell phone?


Your hair?

Your mother?

Your father?

Your favourite thing?

Your dream last night?

Favourite drink?

What room are you in?

Your hobby?

Your fear?

Where do you want to be in 6 years?

Where were you last night?

Something that you aren't?


Wish list item?

Last thing you did?

What are you wearing?

Your pets?


Your life?

Your mood?

Missing someone?


Your car?

Something you're not wearing?

Your favourite store?

Your favourite color?

When is the last time you cried?

Where do you go over and over?

Five people who email me regularly?
Deron, Melanie, Peggy, Gaile, Aimee

Favorite place to eat?

Favourite place I'd like to be right now?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAUIMA 3/12/2010 1:27PM

    Aster- nice list...
your words...
chickens, homemade, dirty, happy, rivers...nice!

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KAYOTIC 3/11/2010 11:41PM

    Chickens! Awesome... (wish I had said that!) emoticon

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MDTWEETY 3/11/2010 8:54PM

    Wish list item - chickens???? LOL!
I love Flagstaff! Such a cute little town. I miss living in Phoenix and taking day trips there.

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KELPIE57 3/11/2010 4:30PM


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Spring Fever, Melting Snow

Sunday, March 07, 2010

I think we may have seen our last cross country skiing for the year. It's pretty melty and yesterday, we took advantage of that by hiking at Horicon Marsh.

The snow and ice are melting and the trail was in pretty good condition.

There were lots of geese both in the air and on the ice. We also saw and heard a few sandhill cranes which have also returned, but they were flying and never close enough for a photo opportunity.

Last weekend I started my prairie plant nursery in one of our sunnier rooms. As of yesterday, I had no germination, but today, two of the tiny pots have golden rod sprouting in them. Hopefully, I'll see more of those in the next week.

I also need to move on with planting the vegetable garden. The herbs (except the messy looking ones) will move to the front yard right next to the door. They should look and smell really nice. I want to try leeks again this year and maybe some onions. I'm also planning on growing Jimmy Nardello peppers again this year. I haven't grown them in a few years, but they are really good and they're the only peppers I've really grown successfully and from seeds. Besides that, the friend from whom I learned about the Jimmy Nardello peppers died earlier this year in an accident and it seems like a good way to honor his memory.

This post is kind of rambling, but today, that's the state of my brain. I sure hope to be riding my bike again soon. Maybe this week or next.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MDTWEETY 3/10/2010 9:11AM

    Wow, I think I would be the worst gardener ever. I did attempt some tomato plants in pots last year and some herbs too. The cherry tomatoes did OK, the bigger ones not so much. The herbs died, except for basil.But I found I didn't use it enough. I have the same problem buying fresh herbs from the store. I just never need as much as they sell in a package. I think the solution would be an indoor pot with herbs. When I get another house with more sun I might try that. OH...meant to ask: What are Jimmy Nardello peppers? Never heard of them.
Hope you're doing well and feeling good these days! C'mon spring!

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MAUIMA 3/9/2010 11:04AM

Prairie plants...there is something so wholesome and 'right' sounding about that.

Leeks...yum. I have not tried potato leek soup though.

Geese...nice pic...don't have those images out here in CA...I miss the re-birth of spring back in your neck of the woods. Its so dramatic.

Happy spring Aster.


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KELPIE57 3/9/2010 10:12AM

    I'm looking forward to the gardening too. I'm lucky, Jacques gives me seedlings... he does so love his garden, emoticon

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WOODHEAT 3/8/2010 11:02PM

I too have enjoyed a really good ski season, but I am also ready to get on the bike! Maybe tomorrow.

Have I ever told you that I'm really glad you joined Outdoor People. No? Well I'm really glad!

Life is good!

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