The food part of this blog has moved to http://motherblissmunchies.blogspot.com I'll see all you foodies over there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Best Ice Cream Flavor Ever

...is vanilla! It is just a good base for so many possibilities. But it tastes great plain or with some fresh blueberries. This recipe called for 3 cups heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk, 4 egg yolks, and 3/4 c sugar. It was rich.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tahquitz Peak

Teru was up for several days visiting us, so one day we decided to go for a hike. Abby and Sage HATE hiking, they just don't like getting tired. But since Teru was going with us, and we gave them incentives if they don't whine AT ALL, they were up for it.
Started off heading up Devil Slide trail. Sage and Abby had never been on this trail before, for a good reason too: 1700' elevation gain in 2.5 miles to Saddle Junction. But we promised to take a lot of breaks.
We had lunch at the saddle, where we decided this would be a good place for Abby to turn back instead of continuing on to the peak. She didn't mind. ^_^
Did you know that in the northern hemisphere moss tends to grow only on the north side of trees? So if you're ever lost in the forest, this is good to know. I learned this from Hank Hill (from the cartoon King of the Hill.) Funny I can remember this, and can't remember what I learned in school. The reason behind this is that the north side gets the least amount of sun, so it is able to stay moist the longest. Now, if you're in a forest where the sun doesn't hit any part of the tree, you'll see moss growing on all sides, and you'd be lost.


We were glad to see this sign, since that meant we were getting close.
Looking at Tahquitz from the rear with Suicide in the distance.

We made it! Elevation 8828', 4.3 miles later.
The kids got a Squirrel Card saying they made it to the peak.

Sitting on a rock with nice views for a snack before heading down.
That circled area is our little town, Idyllwild. Looks like it's in the middle of nowhere, doesn't it?
Heading down via South Ridge where David and Abby drove the car around to pick us up. Total stats: 2548' gain up, 2028' down, about 8 miles in 6 hours. This was Sage's first summit and he didn't complain one bit so I owe him a pack of baseball cards. ^_^

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Triple Dog Dare - July Challenge



This month's Triple Dog Dare challenge: veggies. Oh, there were so many veggies I can choose from on this one. So I chose kale. Kale is one of those veggies that has never interested me. It just looked like a huge, bitter weed. So this was a good choice. Now, how do I cook this thing... I asked my brother who's had it before and he said salad or soup. I wanted something kinda light and refreshing, so I turned it into "ohitashi" which is a Japanese side dish of boiled greens (most commonly spinach), often garnished with dried bonito flakes, and flavored with soy sauce. And I served it next to some hiya-yakko (chilled tofu). The kale had a strong taste, but wasn't bitter as I had imagined. My kids thought it was spinach, and Abby liked it. I can see myself buying kale again! ^_^

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pedal 1 Long BLOG

We're still working on a website for our shirts. In the meanwhile, we've set up our Pedal 1 Long blog. It will show which shirts we are currently selling as well as a link to the Pedal 1 Long etsy store. Link to this blog is available via my side links. Check it out and spread the love!

Watermelon Rind Pickles

If there's anything I've ever made that makes me feel frugal, it's this: pickled watermelon rinds. When you think about it, it's not as weird as it sounds, for it is edible and it's a shame to throw away food, right? Most people don't even think about eating this part of the watermelon, but I guess it's pretty common in other parts of the country and the world, for that matter. Most recipes I saw contained cinnamon and cloves. That just sounded gross. So I went with the Japanese version: just some salt, dried kombu, and yuzu (a lemon-like fruit) juice. I tossed the rinds with some salt and massaged them in, added the kombu and yuzu and put it in my japanese pickle maker, a plastic container with a spring-loaded dish that puts pressure on the pickles and helps extract the juices, creating a mild brine. Click here for a visual. Leave for 12-24 hrs, then take out and refrigerate. The final product: crunchy and edible (^_^) and not bad at all. Abby likes it so she helps me eat them. Good with a little soy sauce. Next time, I'll try the nuka (soy bran) pickles.

2nd Annual Summer Ballgame

It's minor league baseball season, so we made the trip to the Storm ballpark in Lake Elsinore with Sage's friend Ben and Makai.

Cool thing about minor league games, DIRT CHEAP TICKETS for really good seats to boot. We sat in the 2nd row, right behind the 66ers dugout for $10, plus it was Family Night so the kids tix were buy-one-get-one-free, free hotdog and soda for the kids, and free parking. Can't beat that!
The funny thing was that Sage and his friends didn't really watch most of the game. They were too busy playing in the Fun Zone with the huge inflatable slides, playing catch, and visiting the gift shop. And the girls who really don't care for baseball sat and watched the entire game.
I had gotten the boys blank baseballs so they can get autographs. So after the game, we went out to where the 66ers (minors for the Dodgers, their favorite team) and got some autographs.
Luckily Ben's dad knew about Charlie Hough, an ex-Dodger pitcher known for his knuckleballs, now a pitching coach for the 66ers. So they made sure they stuck around to meet him.
And he was nice enough to let us take a picture. They were stoked.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sheepherder's Bread


If I buy bread, I usually buy Sheepherder's Bread. It's big and soft, and good toasted as well as a sandwich bread. I've always wanted to make this bread at home, but it is made in a dutch oven, which I don't have, and didn't want to pay $30-40 for one. I was browsing recipes again, and one site said I can make this in a regular bread pan or even make a french braid with it. Oh, I was so happy to hear this. So the next day, I tried the recipe which made so much dough that it wouldn't of fit into two loaf pans, so I just shaped it and placed it on the baking sheet and crossed my fingers. When I opened the oven after it was baked, it had grown significantly, and I could not help but let out a sound of surprise (which Emi overheard from her room, and immediately asks, "are you okay?"). The bread was HUGE. Now, the taste test. MMMMM, it was a little sweet, but soft and delicious. We are bread pigs, and we finished one right away despite having just ate dinner. Here's the recipe I used although I used about 1.5 more cups flour than the recipe states, and baked 20 minutes at 400*F.

It's All Gone !!!

Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces for financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. I have been trying to get my girls to cut their hair for they struggle every morning with tangles. I had been thinking about cutting my hair, and when I decided to donate my hair, Emi wanted to do it too.

Before:
After:
And although Abby didn't have the 10" required to participate, she wanted to cut hers too so she could be in the club.

Now David has the longest hair in our family, and as soon as his grows 10" I think he'll do this too. Nice thing is that if you donate your hair, you can get a free haircut (at participating salons.) We went to Fantastic Sam's in Hemet. It was Emi's first salon experience. David says I look younger, which is always a good thing, right? Maybe now, I'll get carded more often.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I SCREAM ! ! !

More goodies from my ice cream maker...

Mango sorbet...
... and blueberry ice cream. This was very good. It's so cool I can make so many different flavors. There have been requests by the kids. Sometime in the near future... Dark chocolate ice cream and green apple sorbet. Yum!

Japanese Thai Curry

We like Japanese curry and we like Thai curry, but Thai curry is too spicy. So I used Japanese curry roux and subbed coconut milk for some of the water. And served it with basmati rice. It was very good and the kids liked it just as much as regular curry. I put in some onions, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms. No meat this time, and the kids really didn't miss it.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Like a Child with a New Toy

I had a birthday a few weeks ago, and with my b-day $$$ got myself an ice cream maker. I had wanted one for a while now, but had always thought it would take years for the savings to add up to its cost and never got one. Now that the price of ice cream has gone up to a ridiculous $6 for 1.5 qts of Dreyer's (everything's overpriced in my area for that matter...), I finally got one. I got a Cuisinart ICE-20, which had very good reviews and wasn't too expensive at $50.
























There were so many things I wanted to make as my first ice cream. Everything sounded oh so good. Choosing something I could make with what I had at home, I ended up making Cantaloupe Sorbet. It was different and sounded very refreshing. And it was really good. And only three ingredients: water, sugar, and cantaloupe. The kids and I were so excited, we kept peeking inside as it churned. I can't help thinking about what else I can make. Pretty soon, I'll want a bigger freezer...^_^

A Lucky Find

Vanilla beans are one of those things that are outrageously expensive. Two beans for $9. So I never use them, unless someone gives them to me. Luckily someone gave my mom a bottle of three beans, but she had no use for them and gave them to me. I like making my own vanilla extract with it, since I get more with less money. And I know it's pure and real. I can get away without using vanilla beans, but vanilla extract is a different story. It's practically in every baked good I make (except bread, of course.) One day I was browsing people's blogs and their links, and came across The Organic Vanilla Bean Company. They sound expensive, since they are "organic" but turns out they were dirt cheap! I mean, 20 beans for a little over $10! (including shipping.) Doubt ran in my head, what's wrong with them? But they claimed they were the sh** so I tried them out. Now, I'm not a vanilla bean expert, but they looked like any other bean I've seen, and they were organic so that much better, right? They came vacuum sealed, I got the sample pack, 10 each of Tahitian and Bourbon, min. 6" long. They arrived just in time for the last Daring Baker challenge.
So I threw a couple into some brandy. I use one bean, split lengthwise per 1 c. of liquor. You can use rum, brandy, or bourbon. I used brandy. They say it's ready in a month, but the longer it sits the better. You just need to shake it every now and then. Now this should last me a while...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tour Divide Shirts

Siren Mary's still out there riding her bike. She's been out there since June 13th. I think she's finally made it to her last state, New Mexico. She's on the home stretch and looks like she'll finish. She's a tough girl and I'm really glad to see she'll make it . Her hubby Brendan came up with this idea of making TD shirts for the racers and hand them out as they finish at the Mexican border. Since there were racers from across the US, and UK, Germany, and Romania, it's cool to know shirts I made will travel all the way to Europe.

July 4th on the 3rd

Soboba Casino had a 4th of July celebration a day early. Our friends have been going every year, and told us about it. I had never been to Soboba Casino, and it was only 45 minutes away, we get to see a free concert and some fireworks, and despite being 100 degrees, we went. David said, hell no, and stayed home.
There were some vendors and some free jumpers...
We got to see Kool and the Gang...
...and KC and the Sunshine Band. There were some songs the kids knew so it was good. Emi went all the way to the front row and hung out there, while Abby danced around me. Sage kept asking what time it was... ^_^
And then got to see some fireworks up close. Emi asks, can we do this again next year? Sure, depending on the band, it'll be a good way to see some independence fireworks (since there are none in Idyllwild.)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

DB Challenge - Part 2

Unrolled the other half of the dough and made some blueberry danishes. The edges didn't stay on too well, but I'm sure it'll still taste good. It'll be our dessert tonight...