Monday, April 15, 2013


Good morning! It's freezing outside and there's a frost of snow everywhere? What's with this? Doesn't the weather know it's the middle of April?

Let's see...highlights from this weekend!

We weren't able to find a dubbed version of From Up on Poppy Hill (lots of subbed versions available online) so we're still waiting on that, but we were able to struggle through making a new corn bag. I say struggle because, for whatever reason, my sewing machine is being very troublesome. I probably ought to just take it in and have it maintenanced but I feel like the trouble is probably just resulting from something insignificant I'm doing wrong. As it is, the rest of that project is currently on hold, but I do think the one corn bad we finished turned out rather nice. We put crushed cinnamon sticks and cloves in with the corn and the resulting scent is very nice.

Saturday's highlight was a fantastic hike to the peak of Antelope Island just north of Salt Lake City. There was a bit of a question as to whether we'd go as the weather was kind of murky and overcast, but we ended going with it and it was wonderful! Beautiful weather for hiking, very pretty island (didn't really feel like Utah!) and a fairly rigorous three and a half miles to the top. Oddly, though I was tired and breathing hard as we went up, muscularly, I felt fine, but on the way down my hips started to hurt...My hips have frequently been the achy part of me post-run, so I've become quite used to stretching them, but the ache that has resulted from the hike has been very resilient and pesky. Two mornings out from that hike, I still hurt a little, though it is starting to properly fade now. We were pretty exhausted so we decided to opt out of West Coast Swing, an oddity for us as we usually attend quite consistently. But a nice relaxing evening complete with some warm pho (did I mention that the temperature dropped steadily as soon as we started down the mountain?) ended up being perfect.

Up at the top of Antelope Island!
Cool framing of a far hill from a rock passage.

Out hike from the parking lot afterward!

Yesterday! Highlights included making dinner in the evening. I made some bread in my bread machine (first time in this machine) and it turned out fine, but there were a few oddities to it. I was using a recipe from online that had me put the yeast in and let it sit for a little while and then add the rest of the ingredients and press go, putting the cook time at three hours, but my machine has a little yeast dispenser (which I didn't end up using) as well as taking four hours instead of three. So, I'm not certain the bread turned out exactly as expected, but it was good enough. Along with the bread we made Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken and Roasted Broccoli with Grated Asiago (meant to be Manchego but we couldn't find that at the grocery store). When you use a recipe, all the flaws in its construction come out rather glaringly. With the chicken, it wasn't clear whether we were supposed to use a pan or a dish (we went with a dish) and it wasn't clear exactly what we were supposed to do with olive oil, so I ended up putting almost three tablespoons in a pan when we fried the garlic, which was way too much. So, here's the recipe again:

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsps brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tsps olive oil
  • Set the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Grease 9x13 casserole dish using 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Fry garlic with oil (1 tablespoon) until it becomes soft.
  • In a small bowl, combine garlic with brown sugar.
  • Put the chicken in dish for baking (sprinkle a little of garlic/brown sugar in pan before putting in chicken).
  • Put the garlic/brown sugar on the chicken.
  • Season with salt and/or pepper as you like.
  • Bake without cover for approx 20 mins.
Also, when we put the chicken in, the oven wasn't quite at 500 degrees and we simultaneously put in the vegetables, perhaps the cause of why the garlic/brown sugar didn't caramelize in the same way as the original picture. But the chicken was delicious!

As for the roasted broccoli, we took it out after ten minute to stir it but as it had started to burn a little (since the oven was at 500 degrees instead of 475) but we tried it, found it to be soft enough, and decided it was done.

Roasted Broccoli with Grated Asiago 
- 1 large head broccoli
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Coarse salt
-1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
-1 ounce Manchego (or Asiago) cheese, finely grated (1/3 cup)


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Trim 1 inch from end of broccoli stalks (and inch below where floret stalks diverge from main stalk). Cut off florets, and separate into large pieces. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel the outer layer of stalks; thinly slice crosswise (Essentially, you can eat as much of the stalk as you want, just make sure it is sliced into bite size pieces.)
  • Combine broccoli (both stalks and florets), garlic, oil, and red-pepper flakes in a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Roast until broccoli is crisp-tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom and tossing broccoli once halfway through.
  • Remove from oven. Sprinkle broccoli with lemon juice; toss to coat. Serve, topped with Manchego.
This evening I'm planning on running down to Brandon's soccer game again (about six miles). His game starts around 6:35 which means I'll need to leave my place on foot no later than 5:30. And that's pushing my luck a little. And on top of that, it will probably be pretty chilly outside. But who knows! It could end up being perfect. :)

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