Monday, June 25, 2007

All you ever wanted to know about Sushi.

Here is a great resource regarding sushi:

As well as the blog that goes along with it:

And a great spoof on sushi etiquette:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lunch for two, wouldn't you?

Well, I hurt my back this morning (doing nothing more than standing up from a couch! How much does that suck?).  So the lovely DaNece made us a wonderfull lunch of pasta. Boxed farfalle pasta, with jarred sauce (kicked up with some of the fresh garlic from the farmers market). Served with a side of toast (with garlic butter and parmasean cheese). Add in a babybel cheese, and you have yourself a winning combination!

Thanks hun!

More Farmer's Bounty

Well we made it to the farmer's market again today. We decided to go a little later this morning (arriving at 8:30 instead of 7:30), to see if more booths would be setup than last time. This worked to our advantage for two reasons:

1. There were more booths setup

2. There was a booth selling FRESH CHEESE!!!! which didn't show up till 8:00. I was hoping for cheese last time and was terribly disappointed with not finding any, so today was a good day.


We picked up some more tomatoes, some baked tarts for breakfast, and i even go DaNece to try a pork tamale (how you live in AZ for many years without ever eating a tamale is entirely beyond me)!!

The fresh cheese (non-aged, which is a bit of a bummer, but oh well). Rainbow Valley Farmer's Cheese. I'm sure i will be posting about this once we get a chance to dig it:


Some great looking sweet onions (DaNece cut off the tops while i wasn't paying attention and threw them away.... I freaked out a little.


Fresh Basil (a must in our household). The smell coming out of this bag is unbelievable:


And a new type of garlic. "Zemo: Porcelain Hardneck from the Republic of Georgia. Hot, strong, & stores well" the label reads. We put some in lunch, and it was totally tubular!


We are beginning to really dig this whole farmer's market thing!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Verde River

Me and DaNece decided that it was time to get out of the house last weekend, and find some water. The one obvious choice: the Verde River! Heading out Perkinsville Rd about 20 miles, one comes to a junction: Jerome - Right (more on this in a bit), or Perkins Ranch - left. At this stage, we opted for left. The river kind of comes out of nowhere, and suddenly you are crossing a bridge over green acres (you know what i mean). After finding a place to park amongst all the white trash gypsies that were camping there leaving trash everwhere, we headed down to water.

Scrappy has never gotten into a large body of water...

I assure him that all is well.. the water is his friend. He does not believe me.


I drag him, whining and pawing, into the deepest bit of water that i can find, leaving him there to sink or swim.


His revenge is swift and mighty. In a furious rage, he pounces on his hapless prey.


He continues his contemptuous treatment of me, by stealing the only vine that i liked in the whole creek, which he later destroyed entirely.


So terrifying is his rage, that he drives DaNece to balance precariously in a tree to avoid his path of destruction.


This poor creature felt safe from Scrappy only when inside of his hardened shell.


In a final act of hate, he allies himself with his mother, rather than find himself in my presence.


After eating a snack, and loading back up, we decided not to turn back onto Perkinsville rd (back to chino), but instead to follow the road to Jerome, having never gone this route before. We were rewarded by beautiful views.


And DaNece provided some entertainment in a quest to obtain a piece of flagstone (showing off her mountain goat lineage):


We are definately in red-rock country!

We finally ended up on the back side of Jerome (by the ghost town, in case you couldn't guess)


With one very pooped out puppy chillin' in the back of the 4runner.


All in all - a great day!

Dinner with MOM

So mom finally made it over for another Fat Tuesday (on thursday) so we made up a special treat We cooked up the handmade pasta that we bought at the farmers market (Tomatoe, basil, and garlic) with some chicken on top of it. On the side was Asparagus with a lemon/tarragon butter sauce, and shitake mushrooms, and vidalia sweet onions.

All in all; a success!

Nothing too fancy to make this dish, just boil the pasta (1 gallon of water, and no more than 5 minutes after it is boiling). Top the finished pasta with some olive oil and parm cheese.

Blanch the asparagus until only slightly softened

Sautee up some chicken / mushrooms / onions

Melt the butter in a pan with 1/2 a lemon's worth of juice (and some grated skin), throw in some tarragon and fresh-minced garlic.

Throw it all in a bowl.


Fish and Quesadillas


So, Mom got me the 4 Tilapia that I mentioned in the last post, and I became an absolute[ly horrible] fish filleting master! DaNece looked a little squeamish as she took the picture...

4 of the filets ended up cooking in a tomatoe-pimento sauce that i linked to last week (HERE AGAIN substituted the onion with potato). I loved it - but it was a bit on the fishy side for DaNece. The other 4 filets are still waiting to be devoured. Of course, i can't find the pictures of this cooked fish to prove it's existence, so you will just have to trust me.

EDIT: The missing picture was found!!!


What i did take pictures of were some lovely Chicken/Apple quesadillas that we made:

Cooking away on a pancake pan:

And the finished product:


To cook (sans recipe):

- cut up a few chicken breasts into cubes, and spice with whatever you like (smoked paprika did the trick here)

- cook the chicken in a sautee pan over high heat until done

- cut up portabello mushroom, and onion (omit these items for DaNece Style quesadilla) and sautee in some olive oil until done

- slice apples (we used gala, which were awesome!)

- grate cheese (colby-jack was all we had, so it worked)

- slice up tomato, onion, bell pepper, and cilantro - toss together to make pico de gallo. Top with some citrus (lemon or lime)

- heat up griddle pan

- place tortilla on pan, until it starts to bubble (or get brown depending on the tortilla you are using)

- flip tortilla over

- on half of tortilla (while cooking) place grated cheese, chicken, mushrooms/onions, apple, and pico de gallo.

- once cheese is melty, flip over taco-style, tortilla should be slightly crispy

- enjoy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Granite Creek Vineyards

 Well me and DaNece heard from one of my clients about a vineyard that is practically in our backyard (no more than 2 miles away!!). After learning of this amazing fact, we were even more ellated to learn that through the summer they have a local musician playing every Saturday from 11am-3pm, and invite the public out to a picnic setting. If you dont feel like packing your own lunch (which i rarely do) then they offer a box lunch which includes some awesome chicken salad, fresh baguette, cheeses (a semi-soft babybel, as well as a spreadable herb/garlic cheese), a piece of fruit, and a few chocolates for desert. All of this for only $7.50!!!!! How can you pass up a deal like that?

The name of the place is Granite Creek Vineyards, and if you get the chance, you should check it out.


The band when we went was listed as Pat Beary - Acoustic Guitar and Vocals. They were pretty darn good, though the guitar overpowered everything else, including the vocals and the violin (which is a darn crying shame, because the violinist seemed to be really talented, and i would have liked to hear it more prominently).

We checked out the wine tasting room, and sampled all their wares. DaNece loved the chardonnay, and my fav was the Concord Harvest (last day of sale for this wine, so i am a lucky duck). All the wine tasting left Tom a little tipsy (quite an unfamiliar feeling for this nerdy kid).


A great time, and we definately recommend it to everybody in the area!!

Long time no post.

Well, it has been entirely too long since I have updated this fancy blog thing. No time like the present, right?

Anywho, not a ton of stuff going on lately, mostly just the day-to-day rural life stuff that would make for only slightly more interesting reading than the phone book. :)

Lots of maintenance on the truck, now that it is warm enough out to work on it. I got a new TJM bumper installed, due to a minor accident that left the original bumper in a sad state of being.


Other than that we recently hit up the local farmer's market at yavapai college, which was a lot of fun. I was a little disappointed by the small number of vendors, and the fact that nobody had any mushrooms, or cheese. Then we followed it up with a trip to the Yavapai College Agribusiness Center in Chino Valley, where mom works to get some fresh basil, some more tomatoes, and some strawberries.

I also got a chance to check out the 1000+ tilapia fish that they are raising over there, and had mom put my name down for 4 of them when they decide to start offloading them. Can't wait to get some fresh tilapia filets for this recipe or perhaps this one.