Friday, June 28, 2013

Natalie, Sherpa House, Degas and Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken

Natalie and I became friends in college. She has been one of my most important friends ever since. Most of that time we have not lived in the same place. She's lived in New York, California and Grand Junction. Next week she is moving to Golden, and I could not be more thrilled. They came to town to find a place to rent. They ultimately want to buy a house, but the right one has not come up.

We got together earlier in the week to have lunch at The Sherpa House, a Himalayan restaurant in Golden.

On Wednesday we took in the Edgar Degas exhibit at the Foothills Art Center.It was ah exhibit of his sketches and some of the art of the friends that influenced Degas.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BGLwQAqADIc/T0q8pTW8YYI/AAAAAAAACZg/94NoIssbo3o/s400/22+self+portrait2.jpg
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c3/Edgar_Degas_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg/581px-Edgar_Degas_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
When he was young he made many sketches of his family. Here is a drawing he made of his brother, Achilles.
When Edgar graduated from high school he became a copyist at the Louvre. Many important artist believed that the way to become an artist is to copy the work of the great artists. Edgar made over 500 copies of paintings, sculptures, etc. He also drew people he knew. This is Madame Dembowska.
http://www.a-r-t.com/degas/images/thumbnails/12%20Mlle%20Dembowska2.jpg
He also loved to draw horses, but often they were the work horse that he seemed to love, not just the race horses.
http://www.newmainetimes.org/media/img/blog/2012/03/20/Degas_horse_1.jpg.580x435_q85.jpg
http://www.artandantiquesmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/201204_degas_04.jpg
There were also some funny depictions of Degas done by more modern artist, like the one below by David Levine.

While I am fine with taking in art exhibits and going to plays by myself, I am thrilled that I will now have company. She is, too.

---------

Here's a recipe that I am making for dinner tonight. My friend, Shirley, posted it on Facebook. I will serve it over rice.

Sweet Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken

1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup light soy sauce
2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins.

Directions:
Add all ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hrs and they should just fall apart.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Checking on the Bees and Adding Brood Boxes

Ethan was home for the weekend so we took a bit of time to add brood boxes to the bee hives. It is always interesting to see what the bees have been up to.
Here Ethan pulls a frame from the edge of the hive. You can see that the bees have been working.The third hive already had its brood box. It is where the queen, who is now full size, lays the eggs that will become new bees. We do not pull honey from here. It is the nursery.
I've included the photos here so that you can see the new comb that the bees have created. I think it is all pretty incredible.
When we pulled out the frame some of the cells were broken open. The bees quickly moved in, eating the honey, which will be placed somewhere else or will help sustain them.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Michelle's Baby Shower + No Bake Energy Bites

I have a dear friend, Michelle, who will be giving birth in September. It has been a long, hard road for her and I am so pleased that life is finally going her way. She and Nils will make wonderful parents!
Her friend Pam hosted a great baby shower for her. Pam makes cake bubbles (small balls of cake covered in chocolate) and is very artistic, as well as creative. We had a lot of fun.
We decorated receiving blankets, onsies and made fancy headbands. We also did a game involving plastic babies in ice tied to balloons. And of course there were presents.
Instead of cards, Pam requested that we give the baby a book. I opted for a Richard Scary book, one of our family favorites. It was really hard to decide which one to pick. I also gave her nicely scented lotion (because giving birth is a very smelly process) and aloe infused super soft socks (because the ones from the hospital are scratchy and yucky).
My favorite part of the gift I have them was the two playlists that I made for them. Nils LOVES music. He published playlists for their wedding and their reception, so I thought he would love some songs for the playlists to start or add to the ones that he has or wants to create for the baby. The playlist includes songs I used to play for our kids when they were young. I've added some newer songs, too.

1. Stay Awake / Julie Andrews 1:45
2. Inchworm / Danny Kaye 3:14
3. Hushabye Mountain / Various Artists 1:55
4. La la Lu / Peggy Lee 1:37
5. Edelweiss / Various Artists 2:16
6. Lullaby / Trout Fishing In America 3:41
7. Baby Mine (From "Dumbo") / Betty Noyes 2:07
8. Feed the Birds - Tuppence a Bag (From "Mary Poppins" 3:49
9. When You Dream / Barenaked Ladies 5:19
10.(They Long to Be) Close to You / Carpenters 4:36
11.The Luckiest / Ben Folds 4:25
12.Waltzing With Bears / Mack Bailey 3:48
13.All the Pretty Little Ponies / Kenny Loggins 3:59
14.Leatherwinged Bat / Kevin Roth 2:14
15.You Are My Sunshine (Pt. 1) / Elizabeth Mitchell 2:49
16.Somewhere Over the Rainbow / Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 3:31
17.Lullaby / Jack Johnson & Matt Costa 2:47
18.Gotta Have You / The Weepies 3:20
19.All Through the Night / Kevin Roth 2:06
20.Blessed Be / Alison Krauss 3:26
21.Night Mantra / Renee & Jeremy 3:20
22.Takes My Breath Away / Tuck & Patti 4:57
23.Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) / John Lennon 4:04

------

1. Gotta Have You / The Weepies 3:20
2. Daughters / John Mayer 3:58
3. All My Days / Alexi Murdoch 4:57
4. Blackbird / The Beatles 2:19
5. Common Threads / Bobby McFerrin 4:17
6. Takes My Breath Away / Tuck & Patti 4:57
7. The Lovely Years / Fisher 3:00
8. Power of Two / Indigo Girls 5:22
9. In My Daughter's Eyes / Martina McBride 3:14
10.I Knew I Loved You / Savage Garden 4:10
11.I'm Yours / Jason Mraz 4:03
12.Little Bird / Jonatha Brooke 2:30
13.White Winter Hymnal / Fleet Foxes 2:27
14.Hands In Pockets (feat. Laura Gibson) / Portland Cello 3:26
15.First Day of My Life / Bright Eyes 3:09
16.Tiger Mountain Peasant Song / Fleet Foxes 3:29
17.Sunshine On My Shoulders / John Denver 5:14
18.Annie's Song / John Denver 3:02
19.Night Mantra / Renee & Jeremy 3:20

I listened to some of the songs just to make sure that the CDs worked. It made me feel a little melancholy. Ellie joined me, listening and talking about the songs that we would sing to her. Even now she plays some of the songs for herself.

Isn't Michelle cute when she is pregnant?
------

Here's a recipe that Ellie is trying out. It is pretty tasty!

No Bake Energy Bites
via: Gimme some Oven blog

1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Method

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1" in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20-25 balls.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Maroon Bells & Devil's Punch Bowl + Spicy Citrus Glazed Shrimp, Broccoli, Apple, Walnut Salad & Snickerdoodles Recipes

(This set of photos is from our trip to Glenwood last week. I simply ran out of time to post them during that week since it was such a busy week.)

I've been to the Maroon Bells in late July. Seeing them again in the earlier part of summer and with my family, was a different and wonderful experience.

The colors were amazing.
We also found a nice hike to take.
My new camera takes underwater shots and Ellie had fun with that feature.
We also went up to The Devil's Punchbowl. It is a place where the locals like to jump from the rock into the river, but the guys there said it was the wildest that they have ever seen the water so they were not trying it. I think that was a good idea.
--------------
Here's what I made for dinner this evening. It was quick, easy and delicious!

Spicy Citrus-Glazed Shrimp
via: Passports and Pancakes blog

1/2 cup fresh citrus juice (the author used 6 mandarins and 1 lemon. I doubled the recipe so I used 2 oranges, 1 lemon & 1/2 cup of pineapple juice)

2 tablespoons sriracha

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed

sesame seeds (optional)

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the citrus juice, sriracha, and honey. Stir to combine, and simmer until it starts to reduce and thicken (about 10 minutes). Set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil on high until just before smoking. Add shrimp to the pan, shaking the pan and stirring the shrimp until they are cooked through, and have lightly-browned edges (this will happen quickley - about 5 minutes). Pour the glaze over the shrimp and toss to coat, top with sesame seeds (if using), and serve.

Serves 4.
-------

Broccoli, Apple and Walnut Salad

via: Inner Harmony Nutrition

1 medium-sized broccoli head, cut into bite size
1 apple
1/4 raw walnuts, preferably soaked for 6 hours (I did not soak them as I like them crunchy)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup hummus of your choice
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
Salt & pepper (I omitted this)

1. Boil water in a medium size pot.

2. Slice apple into bite size. Place them in a medium size bowl, sprinkle lemon juice and mix well.

3. Dilute hummus with some water to make sauce. If you want some sweetness, add a little bit of sweetener, such as maple syrup or honey.(We did not need this.)

4. Cook broccoli in boiling water for 15 seconds. Transfer into a colander immediately and run cold water.

5. Add broccoli, sauce, walnuts and cranberries to the apple bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

* If you are looking for the traditional broccoli salad that has mayonnaise, then you might find that this one tastes a bit different. We are not eating mayo anymore, and this is a good substitute.

-----------
Snickerdoodle Cookies
via: Umami Holiday Blog

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp Kosher salt (table salt is fine, too)
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup white sugar


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at a medium-low setting for 3 minutes or until soft and creamy.

Add the brown and white sugar and mix for 5 minutes at medium-low, until the color of the batter lightens.

Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated.

Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl, then fold into the batter as three separate additions (for a more uniform batter).
Mix the cinnamon and white sugar into a small bowl.

Take a tablespoon amount of the dough, roll into a ball, then drop into the bowl of cinnamon sugar and roll until completely covered.

Place the cookie ball onto the sheet. Keep the cookie balls 2 inches apart from each other.

After filling the tray with cookie balls, take a small spoon and press down gently on each ball to flatten the top. This will create that nice cracked look on the top of the baked cookie.
Spoon a small amount (about ¼ tsp or less) of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of each flattened cookie.

Place in the oven to bake for five minutes.

After five minutes, take the tray out and flip it around so that the back is now facing front. Now place the flipped baking sheet back in the oven and close the door.

This next part is tricky—my oven is kind of wonky, so I can only keep the cookies in for another 2-3 minutes before they are finished. The original recipe calls for 7 minutes for each side. I would advise you set a timer for 3 minutes and check to see how the cookies are doing. If the center looks solid and you see VERY slight browning at the edges, you’re done! Don’t let it get golden-brown or the cookies will over-bake and the entire cookie will be crunchy.

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and allow the cookies to cool for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
After a few minutes, they’re ready to eat! Definitely best when right out of the oven, but if you keep them in an airtight container, they will maintain their chewiness. I’ve never been able to hold onto these for more than a night, so I couldn't vouch for how long they keep. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ethan's Joy - Succlulents and Hump Day Commercials

Ethan's job in Glenwood is done, at least for this year. He is home for just a few days before he heads off to Colorado Springs for the next project. Ethan spent yesterday with me and will go exploring with his dad today.
We began with breakfast at Snooze. I am pretty sure I had the perfect breakfast. It was house made corned beef hash, a handmade biscuit that was paired with the rosemary, sausage gravy. I also had a hot ginger chia made with almond milk. We then spent time at my favorite local garden center, Southwest Gardens. Ethan misses working in our garden at home so he made himself a succulent garden that he can take with him. The guy who owns the garden center specializes in succulents and he gave us a quick tour and education about the many varieties.

Here's a commercial that makes Ethan happy. It is pretty funny.

My favorite part is , "Mike, Mike, Mike!"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Bailey Hundo - Of Being on the Film Crew

The Film Crew

Early Morning Rider, photo by Ellie

Setting up by the big, white tent

Setting up the finish

A planning meeting to make sure that all of us are well orchestrated. I'm pretty sure Austin thought of everything and then some more. The organization was flawless.

Pausing a moment to take in the beauty that abounds - I feel so fortunate to live in such a magical and wondrous place.

Riders at the first spot. Photos by Ellie. Don't they make it look fun and easy?

Aid station #3, complete with people in goralla suits, a man in a sombrero and lots of fun.

Happy racers from Costa Rica. They are from the group of folks who put on the La Ruta race across Costa Rica. They were a reminder of how joy is contagious.

We were shooting video and stills. Here you can see Brian and Katie filming interviews at the aid station. Stories are what make a film interesting.

The last aid station, 94 miles into the race.

The finish line with happy riders who loved the downhill finish that helped them feel fast and rested, okay, well, a little rested since they just rode 102 miles in the mountains - impressive.

After party fun - more bikes, food, music, awards and friendship.