Posts made in August, 2013

Second Chances

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in New | 1 comment

Second Chances

The cool summer here along the coast has us wondering about the sudden sizzling humid days and warmer nights too.








The garden has withered--while a fair amount of dazzling yellow volunteer pear tomatoes have wildly sprung up through the jasmine.

Are you ready for this?








Look and see what I found hiding and blooming behind the green bench.








But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:21-23




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Love and Fast Forward

Posted by on Aug 28, 2013 in New | 2 comments

Maddy and me—together for 3 hours and only 20 unanswered texts.

Her toes are turquoise and mine are vintage sea foam green.









A quick view from Maddy's work station.  She claims readiness for her sophomore year.

God’s plan for your life will often come through unexpected events that force you in a direction you never would have gone.

--Jentezen Franklin










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Easing Back to School

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Breakfast and Brunch | 1 comment



Madelynne begins school on Wednesday—10th grade.  How could that be happening?








Since we have a play date tomorrow I made Banana Nut Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel to launch the school year.

The recipe came from an old issue of Cooking Light.








Assembling the ingredients was the most difficult part.








Whisk together the flours, cinnamon, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.








Combine the banana with the wet ingredients.








Stir just until moistened and toss in the nuts.  The recipe called for walnuts.  I didn’t have any so I used pecans.








Spoon the batter into the greased paper liners.








Stir the streusel ingredients together and sprinkle over the batter.








The outcome was a light muffin with subtle banana flavor and not too sweet either.

Easily an acceptable start to the inevitable--

One little suggestion is to spray the paper liners with cooking spray allowing the muffin to release more easily.

Sophomore memories anyone?












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Stuff a peck of peppers.

Posted by on Aug 23, 2013 in Breakfast and Brunch | 0 comments

Stuff a peck of peppers.


Our garden suffered from the summer that skipped town.  When we returned from Carson Valley on Monday I challenged myself to harvest what remained and do something with it.







Selecting ingredients without going to the market meant the process evolved.  I began with the idea of stuffing the pretty little peppers with red quinoa and a saute of onion, celery, and toasted spices.








Quinoa is quick to cook--but it needs to be rinsed well.  The seed is a complete yummy protein.







It cooks in about 15 minutes similar to rice. 2 parts water or stock  to one part quinoa.  It grows a lot.  I used 1/2 cup here.







1 teaspoon each cumin and coriander seeds toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant and moved









to rest and be ground.








I adore the aroma of warm freshly ground spices.








I took a couple of stalks of celery and the remaining onion from whatever and sauted them with 3 cloves of garlic. Season with salt and pepper here.








When they were softened; I stirred in the herbs just long enough to cook and warm them.








Pause.  The stuffing was shaping up.  It needed body and crunch.  Enter a cup of cooked garbanzo beans.









The stuffing goes into a bowl.







Garden Patch (TJ's) or tomato juice covers the bottom of that same skillet.








The stuffing was perfected after adding the quinoa, yellow pear and tiny cherry tomatoes sliced in half.  Taste and add more salt and pepper to your taste.








Prepare to stuff.  I slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds and ribs with a spoon--leaving the stem attached for stability.







Simply scoop and pack.








Load the skillet and pour more tomato juice to bathe the peppers half way up.








Simmer the peppers covered; basting occasionally until the peppers are tender.  This takes 30 minutes or so.  Remove the lid and continue to cook until the juices thicken slightly making a sauce.








Compose a Cesar Salad and love that MP and I enjoy the same food creations!


psst-- lob a little cheese on top.  I used ricotta.  Goat or Feta would be swell too.

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Beck on the Deck

Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in New | 5 comments

Beck on the Deck

On the third Saturday of August our friends throw a big summertime bar-be-que bash, and an evening of songs, poetry, and cowboy storytelling--






for nearly a hundred of their local and lifelong friends!















The abundant green pasture becomes a parking lot;








the barn silhouette and glorious animals set the scene.








MP and I stocked our Jeep with provisions and journeyed to Gardnerville to offer our "mad skills".











Guests arrive to visit and share “starter” platters of pickled garden vegetables; crudities--even Rocky Mountain Oysters.

Here is a photo of MP's celebrated venison strips...








The sky is an unpredictable element in the bevy of busyness.







Eyes are on the heavens—and the forest of blowing trees--natures wind chimes.








As soon as the deck cools and the weather obeys; MP and I present the food fare.








Marinated and Grilled  Tri-Tip








Layered Chiles Rellenos








Corn, Rice, and Bean Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette and the








Legendary Broccoli Salad










When the sun melts over the mountain range, chairs turn and all eyes are on Mike Beck.











Mike composes and performs a vast songbook of folk, rock and American music reflecting his life as a professional musician and a working cowboy in California, Nevada and Montana.


Mike’s new album “Tribute” is a special collection of horse songs.   All sales of this album go to benefit The Joyful Noise Project’s veterans program that brings former combat soldiers together with horses that are being rehabilitated for adoption.











Good night-- almost Blue Moon—til’ next year.

--with special thanks to Bill and Andi for their forever smiling hospitality

and to Jeff Liilard for contributing photos.

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