Monday, September 01, 2008

flogging and weekend in review

First, catching up with the flogging:

Yesterday, 8/31/08:

two cups of black coffee
slice of zucchini bread, toasted, with fat-free cream cheese

another slice of zucchini bread

tabouli in a pita
a plum
terra vegetable chips
two slices of havarti cheese
a piece of baklava

Dan and I went to the Namaste Cafe, which I have visited before, but Dan has not. I ordered their coconut curry with eggplant, mushrooms, and tofu -- SOOOOO delicious! Served with white basmati rice, of course. I also ordered their "Spicy Masala Chai" -- excellent chai with a hit of black pepper. Deeeeeeeelicious! I do really love that restaurant -- the food is excellent, the servers are polite and helpful, and the ambiance is clean, hip, and interesting! (The restaurant has orange walls, for example.)

Today, 9/1/08:

coffee with agave and half-and-half, and
granola with almond milk

picnic at Fort Snelling State Park:
Salad of tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, with bread on the side to sop up the juices. Also, some watermelon! (More about the state park below.)

ice cream! (see below)

Whole-wheat pasta with sauce made last weekend from Dan's garden veggies, topped with parmesan, and a salad on the side.

slice of banana bread (see below)
more ice cream (only one scoop this time!)


And now begins the weekend review . . .


Yesterday afternoon, we went canoeing with Dan's parents. I had meant to bring my camera along to take some pictures during our trip, but . . . it's a good thing I didn't. Why? Because, well, Dan and I had a major canoeing mishap, resulting in everything in our canoe ending up in the river, including us. Hm. What happened, you ask? Well, simply, we hit a rock -- and the current tipped the canoe sideways, and then buckled the canoe around the rock, creating a giant dent and two holes in the sides of the canoe. All this, only about ten minutes into our canoe trip! So, I spent the rest of the trip sitting in Dan's parents' canoe, as did Dan's mom, while Dan and his dad paddled like crazy to steer around all of the remaining rocks and many, many tubers. I didn't realize tubing was such a big thing in Minnesota . . . and frankly, I don't like tubers very much. Why? Because Dan and I hit the rock because we were trying to get around a bunch of tubers who were NOT paying ANY attention to where they were going or what they were doing, and we just didn't see it. BAH. So, moral of the story: I was really wet all afternoon yesterday, but at least my camera's not toast.


I stopped at Kowalski's on my way home from the restaurant last night to pick up just a few groceries:
Dan brought over more garden tomatoes, so we, of course, needed more basil and bread with which to enjoy them! I still have plenty of balsamic vinegar, mozzarella, and olive oil. Yum.


I also made homemade ice cream last night! I used my basic vanilla recipe, edited to include a hefty amount of fruit preserves to turn it into cherry ice cream. And then I added some chopped chocolate to make a homemade "Cherry Garcia!" Yum:
This is the easiest and tastiest fruit ice cream I have made to date . . . who knew that the secret was preserves? Just make sure you choose as natural a product as possible, with as few ingredients as possible. :) (Bonne Maman is my favorite jam of late . . . good amount of sweetness, great flavor!)
Recipe for Fruit Ice Cream:
Whisk together 3 cups half and half, 3/4 cup fruit preserves of your choice, and 1/4 cup agave nectar until smooth. Chill the ice cream base until it is very cold. Proces in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. During the last five minutes of processing, add any extras you would like: coconut, chopped chocolate, nuts, etc. Enjoy!


Believe it or not, there is a State Park in the Twin Cities metro area! Dan and I decided to enjoy our extra day off today by enjoying a picnic, and then taking a 3 1/2 mile hike around the park. We hiked out onto Pike Island, at the tip of which the Minnesota River joins the Mississippi River! Pictures from our hike:


I also made banana bread today:
I can't follow a recipe. Can anybody? Anyhow, here's what I did tonight:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup barley flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup agave
3 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup yogurt (I had dairy on hand, but soy would work just as well)
2 flax "eggs"
1 cup mashed ripe banana

350 for about an hour. Not the best banana bread ever, not the worst.


And last, my silly Oliver:
Loving the catnip inside the grocery bag.


Question of the evening:
What's your worst nature mishap?

Me? I think the canoeing adventure Sunday takes the cake!


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Delicious food, as always.

Eek!! Thank goodness you're okay after the canoe incident!!

Aww, Oliver :0)

My worst nature mishap = kayaking. I'll just end it there, as I do NOT want to remember that experience, haha ;0)

J said...

Sounds like you have been feeding yourself well. And all those lucious tomatoes, yum!

Great pictures. I especially like the one of the tree stump with a little sapling growing out of it - beautiful. Makes me want to go camping or at least hiking - I keep saying that, but we really should. There are some great "nature preserves" here in CoMo that wouldn't even require a car!

I LOVE that picture of Oscar.

My worst nature mishap is where I developed my unrational fear of butterflies - this is more embarrassing than one of those "where I almost died" stories though. I was visiting my grandparents in Houston when I was younger, and they always love to take me to educational places (which I having always been a nerd, LOVE), but one trip there, they took me to a butterfly exhibit. I was under the impression that this was one of those where the butterflies are under glass, pinned down, you know? Well it wasn't, it was an atrium with lots of foliage and LOTS of live, rare, and exotic butterflies. Needless to say, I walked out there, and butterflies came swarming, I went screaming, running, and flailing my arms in fear, embarrassing my grandparents and likely taking a few butterflies out with me! I am currently trying to get over this fear. I know it's silly, but they truly scare me! I've gone from not going anywhere near where a butterfly COULD POSSIBLY be, to standing rigid with my palms sweating when one passes by to trying to push my limits of comfort and seek them out. I'm getting there. You know, in hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have shared this story..... ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am glad you and Dan are okay! Did the water at least cool you off a bit on Sat?!

I cannot believe you went to Kowalski's without getting the organic figs that were on sale! But, your ice cream sounds like a very sweet treat...if I had some of that maybe I wouldn't need figs either...

My worst nature mishap? When I was about 6 I was "exploring" with my sister and I fell through a thin layer of ice on the pond and then got trapped underneath the ice! Lucky for me there was a woman passing by the pond who heard my sister yelling and was able to get me out...we were not allowed to go out exploring on our own for quite a while after that!


Catherine Weber said...

Courtney, I swear I looked for the figs! I was sooooo disappointed when I didn't see them!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post - I love your flogging.

My worst nature mishap was once I forced my Mom to go on a 2 mile hike with me at this nature preserve. She loathes nature and only likes to view it from behind "protective glass".

Anyway I assured her this was a great trail and very safe. She asked about snakes and I said - there will be no SNAKES on the trail.

We walked the trail and then came back to the center where they had a wildlife sanctuary. We went in to tour it and there the Forest Ranger proceeded to show us the one dozen varieties of poisonous snakes that could be found RIGHT ON THE TRAIL WE JUST WALKED.

My mother almost passed out.

Incidentally that was the LAST hike we went on 9 years ago!

Deb Schiff said...

Really enjoyed your flogging. :D Also, thought your new recipe for agave ice cream is awesome! I recently made some agave peach ice cream with a very similar recipe (lots of fresh peaches instead of jam) and was very happy with it.