Friday, May 27, 2011

sunny outlook for a sunny weekend

Totally slept through Strictly Strength this afternoon. Not too mad about it though because my upper body is so sore putting on deodorant hurt! Instead, I ended up going for a trail run with Timmy, who's home from his internship in Boston for the weekend.

We went for probably 25 - 30 minutes through a local reservation. This was my first time trail running and I am so glad I went! Granted, the nature was a killer on the allergies but the shade and all of the green was awesome. Next time I'd totally go for longer! The good thing about running with Tim today was that he helped keep my speed up. Lovely.

Came back and rehydrated with a Kennebunkport IPA while I made another whole wheat flat bread pizza with babaganoush, baby spinach, tomatoes, and goat cheese. I know- beer is a horrible rehydrater but it just tasted to good!

While I was making dinner, Colin was making a milkshake and asked if he could make it on the blog. My first answer was "uhhhh" and then Colin said "We all know my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard." How could I refuse that reasoning?!

Just made a nice salsa/salad for the horse races in Fair Hill, MD tomorrow. My dad's side of the family goes every year and set up a tailgate. This recipe is pretty fool proof- just a lot of chopping. You can swap in or out any veggies you have. Quantities are just what I had around and can be altered no problem! The dressing and original recipe are form my mom's college best friend, Nina, so I can;t take all of the credit. Enjoy this as a side dish, salad topper, or salsa.  You could also mix in with rice or orzo and some cheese.

 Summer Veggie Salsa-Salad

 2 English cucumbers (seeded) 
1 red or yellow pepper 
5 medium tomatoes (seeded)
15 oz canned black beans (low sodium, rinsed)
1 small red onion 
1 bunch cilantro
1 bag white corn
  1. Chop all veggies and cilantro. Dry cucumbers and tomatoes with paper towel or dish towel if very wet. 
  2. Thaw frozen corn in colander under hot water. Do not cook. 
  3. Toss veggies, black beans, corn, and cilantro. 
  4. Add dressing (recipe follows). Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 - 60 minutes, tossing occasionally. Refrigerate and serve. Gets even better with time!

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 - 1 tsp salt 
black pepper (to taste)
3 T olive oil 
1-2 T sugar
juice from jarred jalapenos (to taste level)
  1. Whisk all ingredients together. Add jalapeno juice to spice level desired. You could also use fresh jalapeno instead but the juice is easier to adjust and helps avoid super hot bites. 

After dinner it was hanging around the fire pit outside.... with a homemade Dark and Stormy in hand!
I made the recipe for ginger beer from Jeffery Morganthaler's blog. I followed the recipe very closely with a few changes.  FYI: ginger beer is a stronger, spicier ginger ale and does not have any significant alcohol. Here ya go:

Ginger Beer
(makes 32 oz)

fresh ginger 
4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup cane sugar 
6 oz boiling water 
8 dried cloves (optional) 
20 ounces warm water (as warm as the tap will make it)
1/4 tsp baker's dry yeast
  1. Add sugar to boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool mixture once sugar dissolves. This will make simple syrup.
  2. Grate ginger using a Microplane grater and place in cheesecloth or paper towel. You will need a fair amount of ginger root. Squeeze to release ginger juice. You need a total of 2 oz. More if you want your ginger beer spicier.
  3. Mix simple syrup, yeast, warm water, ginger juice, and lemon juice in a plastic soda bottle. I used my Soda Stream bottle. (Plastic is safer than glass in case of explosions.)
  4. Place sealed bottle in warm, dark place. Like a cabinet. Allow to sit for exactly 48 hours. Release gas from bottle at least twice in 48 hour period. 
  5. Chill in fridge at exactly the 48 hour mark to stop the yeast's activity. 
  6. In a glass with ice, add a shot of dark Jamaican rum (I used Myer's) and fill with desired amount of ginger beer. Garnish with lime.

I was REALLY skeptical about this experiment- especially because when I released the gas it didn't smell very good.  So, when I mixed my drink tonight it was an awesome surprise that it was super tasty! The cloves add an interesting spice- not usually a clove fan but I think they added a lot. I may add vanilla or some other spice next time.

This is a super easy recipe to make even though making your own soda may sound intimidating. Give it a try or come over and I'll make a drink for ya so you can taste the product yourself. Tim was my first guinea pig and he approved!

Looks like a cocktail recipe section is in the making....

This will probably be the last blog post for a few days. I am headed to the horse races tomorrow with the fam then off to the beach with Tierney,  Caroline, and Bridget. CANNOT WAIT to see all of them. My how I miss my Hoya friends! Pictures and an update to come next week of course.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Show your vets some love!

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