What I've been up to

At 1:54AM last night my family, Scott, and I pulled into my parent's garage totally worn out from 16 hours of driving home from our vacation in the Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Well, really, I would say we were just as worn out from our vacation as from the driving.  We saw and did a ton!  We made my poor parents go on nine mile hikes (when my dad doesn't even walk a half mile for exercise) and take a white-water rafting trip down the Snake River. When we encountered the most difficult rapids, everybody in the raft flipped out and lost their paddles (including the guide) except Scott who lost his paddle, but remained in the raft (kind of scary as well!).  It was quite an ordeal to get everyone safely into the nearest raft, then back into our raft, and finally to continue the rest of the way with only four paddles.  After swimming in the frigid water and having to compensate for the lack of paddle power, my poor little arms were completely fatigued as I tried to paddle the rest of the way with every ounce of my strength.  I could barely lift my water bottle to take a drink at the end of the trip!  The adventures didn't end there though.  On a late afternoon hike around an island with Scott, we were charged by a mama moose as we came around a curve in the path.  We dove into the woods, Scott between the moose and myself, as we tried to get as many trees between us and the moose as we could! (F.Y.I. moose are more deadly than bears!)  Thankfully the charge was a warning charge, as the moose was with her calf and couldn't be away from it too long.  We then waited hidden in the woods with a group of five other people for twenty minutes until the moose and her calf had finished eating and left the sand bar that connected the island back to the main land. I was on edge the whole time as we waited and was so relieved when we got back on the main land away from that moose inhabited island!  

Despite these wild adventures, Scott and I did get some much needed time to relax. The weeks preceeding the vacation had been busier than normal with Scott finishing up his rotation in surgery (no more 4:00A.M. alarms!) and with my coworker gone on vacation to Italy, I had been going nonstop at work.  This is why I haven’t been as frequent with my posts as I would like these last few weeks, and so to tie you over until my next post, I thought I’d show you some pics of some of the things I’ve made but haven’t had time to blog about.

A slice of one of the four sourdough pizzas I made for a progressive dinner (the main course was at our place).  This section of the pizza was brushed with garlic infused olive oil and topped with slow roasted roma tomatoes, roasted onions, asparagus, pistachios, and parmesan cheese.

This was taken underneath the shelter of a blanket hung on long sticks stretching between two picnic tables as rain poured down all around us on an attempted picnic.  While the weather turned out for the worse, the food was great!  Here I grilled a head of bok choy, a beer brat, and morel mushrooms.  I sprinkled freshly grated parmesan on top, and drizzled the salad with a dressing of olive oil, garlic, rice vinegar, and a little red wine vinegar.  The combination of vinegars in the dressing gave the salad just enough tangy pop to draw out and brighten the flavors without overpowering them. Delish!

The topping of the baked French toast I made for a friend from Venezuela who had never had French toast.  While the banana caramel pecan topping tasted delicious, the bananas didn’t look so pretty once they were baked with the orange-infused French toast! (They turned an unappetizing gray-brown.) For a traditional pan-fried French toast, I added a little almond extract to the egg mixture and served it with fresh strawberries and toasted slivered almonds.

Aged-Cheddar Cheese Risotto.  Wow.  I don’t have room enough here to explain how and why this was so stinking good and why I may never make macaroni and cheese again when I can have this.  Macaroni and cheese pales in comparison, in fact, it’s almost invisible.  Scott and I savored every bite of this meal and literally licked our plates at the end.

I impulsively bought an 8 ½ lb. box of “splits” (tomatoes whose skin had split and cracked open) for $6.00 and proceeded to spend the entire weekend in the kitchen making the following things.  Not my original plan for the weekend, but how could I pass up such a good deal?

A sourdough pizza for myself one night while Scott was working call. 

This pizza proceded to fall on the floor, distressed but not defeated, I salvaged what I could and ate a first rate, slightly smaller, pizza.

On Sunday I set to work after church and made three, yes three, different homemade tomato sauces.  A tomato basil, a butter and onion sauce, and a sauce out of pureed slow roasted tomatoes.   Each one was delicious in it’s own right.

Eggplant Involtini, done Italian and Middle Eastern style (Italian pictured)

Roasted cauliflower with parmesan, garlic, crunchy breadcrumbs on a bed of arugula tossed in lemon juice.

One-year anniversary picnic.  Copper river salmon with a crème fraiche coating, homemade roasted tomato gnocchi, and browned butter sweet corn.  Thankfully it did not rain on this picnic!

Until next time!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Whitney!
    YIKES with the white water rafting and moose stories! We are excited to hear more about your trip. See you tonight!
    PS. Your meals look amazing.