Thursday, August 29, 2013

I have garden, now what...

So for the past few years, Jeff and I have played around with a garden but I wouldn't have eaten anything tat came out of them. Our last house had the smallest front yard and no backyard at all. We tried to plant tomatoes and other produce that seemed easy to tend to but we were squeezing I between bushes by the front porch. Well this year, we have a real yard with real space for a real garden...this is produce I will eat! The problem now is that I have to figure out eat to do with all this produce??
I am going to include a few things that I have tried, some have recipes but of course I tweaked these recipes to make them more my creation.
1. Crockpot Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 acorn squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 lb sage breakfast sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
1 large egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 apple cut in chunks
1/4 cup of water

*Tip microwave squash for 2 minutes to make cutting easier
Cut stems off the squash, and scoop out the seeds. Slice off a small piece from the bottom of each squash so they will sit level in the slow cooker.

In a skillet cook the sausage. Place in a bowl to cool. In the same pan add the oil and cook the onion and garlic until softened. Add the onion and garlic to the sausage, let cool. Mix in breadcrumbs, walnuts, egg, salt and pepper. Fill the squash with the sausage mixture.

Place the apple chunks and water in the bottom of the crockpot then, use cooking spray to coat a piece of heavy-duty foil that’s large enough to cover the whole inside of your slow cooker. Place the squash cut side up on the foil. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

In an aluminum foil lined crockpot for 6 hrs
Cut in half and makes 4 servings 

2. Zucchini Lasagna
There is no real recipe for this, I basically used my favorite lasagna recipe that I have developed over the years and substituted slices of zucchini instead.
*One tip that I saw several places was that you should grill the zucchini before layering the lasagna.
*Personal tip, I used chicken sausage instead of beef for a lighter twist.

Slice the zucchini and salt to bring out the moisture. After about 10 min, pat dry with a paper towel.

Grill the zucchini on both sides, just enough to lightly brown. Lay cooked slices on paper towel to soak up any moisture.

 While the zucchini is resting on paper towels, cook the meat (or go meatless), then add your favorite red sauce.

Begin to layer just like you would with any lasagna.

Cover and cook for about 45 minutes, then uncover for about 15 more minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

Looks just like my favorite lasagna!! I did not even miss the pasta!!

 3. Grilled Zucchini Pizza
No real recipe for this one either but it is super simple! I saw various versions of this on Pinterest but we just played around with the zucchini until it was what we liked.

Grill both sides, then pull of the grill to begin topping.

We topped it with regular pizza toppings like, pepperoni and mushroom, then we did a few with leftover BBQ chicken. 
Place back on the grill until the cheese melts.

USA Pro Challenge Stage Six Fort Collins, Colorado

This past Saturday, August 24th, the USA Pro Challenge came through the familiar streets and mountains of Northern Colorado. There were vendors and music playing all through Old Town during the day as sightseers waited until about 4:00pm for the bicyclists to cruise (fly through in a blur) to the finish line on Mountain Avenue, near College Avenue. It was a lot of fun to see it in person as well as on big screens throughout Old Town and at New Belgium Brewery. We watched them climb the mountains of Estes Park, cruise by our old workplaces, continue down HWY 34 towards Fort Collins.
Super exciting...even if I do not know anything about bike racing and get annoyed by how long the Tour de France lasts. I will stick to my cruiser bike with the cute little basket as I roam the streets and bike trails of Fort Collins.

There was not a vacant spot near the race route, high or low...

Waiting at the finish line...

Awarding the winners...obviously, I could not see the winners but the crowd was proud!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Super simple, super yummy...

So I tell people that I can't cook so that people don't expect much...but I can cook a little. Today while watching old school (2004) cooking shows I saw this pasta dish that I thought I could easily cook. The dish was so easy and quick, I had to share.

Just follow the recipe and yum! (Might be fun to add grilled shrimp??)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Food Truck Madness

Food Trucks...they are popping up everywhere in Fort Collins. There have been the usual suspects in front of the breweries, set up at festivals, and just around town, well tonight in downtown Fort Collins, Colorado, we had a Food Truck Round-Up. All of the local favorites were there with lines that lasted longer than you would expect but nobody was complaining. It is rumored that this could be a regular event on Wednesdays.
We struggled to decide but all of the lines were about the same so we tried something new. We went with the "Pineapple Express" for a Hawaiian approach to dinner. Jeff and I chose to try several things and with tip and all, we were out $23 for dinner for two, a definite plus on dining out. The down side was that we were in line for 50 minutes and our friends wound up leaving since they were finished with dinner. We were hoping to a fun time outside with several friends but it was so crowded that we decided to take our dinner home to enjoy, which was another plus in a way since we live so close.
 North side of Washington Park
 East side of Washington Park

 After about 45 minutes, it looks like we are next...
Our dinner...I don't remember what we ordered but there are leftovers!!

More Snapshots of Summer 2013-focused on the babies around us!


More moments from the summer would have to include the all the babies we are surrounded by at BBQ and backyard gatherings. We are lucky to have great friends for years and now as their families grow, we feel like part of that family too, experiencing daily life with great people. So this post is a celebration of the little guys in out little world.
There have been great celebrations, short visits, and daily life! Here are just moments from this summer with the Greenes, Baldwins, Morris family, Jayroes, and Roman girls!

Just a gathering at the Laney's house with some super cute little guys.
Nicolai Baldwin, Tyden and Bode Greene, and Addison Morris

Shannon Curtis performing
Backyard concert with Shannon Curtis
Babies may have outnumbered the adults during the concert but they were all sooo cute!!

Park time with the Jayroe babies, Jack and Kaya!

Jodi and Clara Roman came out for a Colorado visit!
So we bruched at Snooze!

Tyden was helping mom set up for the BBQ games. Such a great helper!!

 Hanging the twins & Bentons with the boys playing Rolle Bolle at New Belgium.

Babies hanging out at Teri and Mitch's baby shower!! 
A few really got with the Rock n' Roll shower theme!!