Friday, August 7, 2009

Random Updates and Recipes

Garden Update:
We have been super busy since getting back to Seattle. The garden was a total mess after not having me obsessing over it for the past year. Ben did a good job with watering, not so much on the weeding or pruning. We had a few plants battling for world domination. The raspberries were winning with daisies and lemon balm coming in a close second. Thats not including any of the other common weeds of course. After 5 hours of us both weeding, the garden is finally looking less abandoned lot like. Planning some fall plantings and photos soon.

Dogs Update: We are getting used to having 3 dogs in the house. Its surprisingly really easy to manage especially considering that we dedicated our "hobby" room to the dogs. Yes we have a "dog room". There is no turning back after a dog room.

Epic- The newest member of the pack is enjoying being a house dog and we are enjoying his recent lack of testicles! He has a herding lesson with Scott Glen on Monday. I cant wait to see him on sheep! He is making slow, steady progress with flyball. We are currently working on TUG DRIVE!!

Indigo - We had an awesome herding lesson at Dianes last weekend and she may even get a few minutes with Scott Glen too! She will be staying with friends while we are traveling (again) and participating in her first UFLI tournament.

Ari- Having two young dogs in the house has been good for Ari. It keeps him active, if for no other reason than to make sure they know that every toy in the house is his if he wants it. We also learned that he makes a good alert dog! He gets super stressed out about beeping noises. So the other night he was in my face panting and carrying on. I knew something had to be beeping. As expecting the Carbon Monoxide detector in the basement was going off!

Traveling Update: Ben and I and the Shryocks are going on a cruise to Eastern Europe in the end of this month. We are very excited and very unprepared at the moment. Good thing its mostly planned for us.

Food Update: With the recent heat wave, cooking inside has been out of the question. We have been doing a lot of grilling. Im still intimidated by the grill and Im not sure why. Ben seems to enjoy it so I leave it up to him. Another exciting food adventure going on in the kitchen right now is kombucha (a fermented beverage originally made in Asia). Its fermenting on the counter right now, so more updates and recipes about that soon.

Ben grilled his first T-bone steak last night using a rub with dry mustard, chili powder, cayenne, orange zest, paprika, crushed garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. He used Cooks Illustrated technique of angling the tenderloin side toward the cooler side of the grill with the coals piled on one side.

On the side we had a delicious salad

Roasted Red Onion and Pear Salad
adapted from a recipe by Carrie Vitt

2 T orange juice
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
6 T vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1 red onion cut into 1 inch wedges
10 cups baby spinach
1 pear (slightly underripe) cut into small pieces
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup roasted walnuts
1/4 cut dried currants

1. Move oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Whisk orange, lemon juice, mustard, honey, thyme in a bowl. Slowly whisk in 4 T oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss onion with 2 T oil, salt and pepper and move to a baking pan. Roast until brown about 25 minutes, flipping 1/2 way through cooking.
4. Divide spinach between plates. Arrange onions, walnuts, currants, pear, goat cheese on top and drizzle with salad dressing.

We were craving meat loaf and grilled meat so we combined the two! We went over to Kate and Jacobs new house and make Grilled Meatloaf sandwiches with Provolone cheese and Sourdough bread. On the side we had red cabbage coleslaw, corn and grilled summer squash. A perfect summer dinner.

BBQ Meat Loaf (makes two loaves)
by Weber Grill
1.25 lbs of ground beef (grass-fed is best)
1.25 lbs of ground pork
2 cups bread crumbs (panko ideally)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp pepper

1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup ketchup

Sliced sourdough
Sliced provolone cheese

Prepare grill for cooking over medium-high heat (indirect cooking) Combine all meat loaf ingredients (other than sauce) and form into two loaves. One can be saved in the freezer for later.
Mix the sauce together and brush each loaf with 3 T sauce. Save the rest for eating with the sandwiches. You may need to oil the cooking grate and then cook meat loaf with lid closed until it reaches 155 degrees or 50-60 minutes.

Remove loaves and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. While the meat loaf is resting, use the remaining heat from the grill to toast the bread and melt the cheese. Cut loaf into 1/2 inch slices and serve!


An English Shepherd said...

Great tuggy video !

Wizz :-)

Anonymous said...

sounds delicious, i would leave out the pork! C U thursday, have a safe trip! L, Mom