Exciting Trip Plans + Yummy Autumnal Dinner
Last night, my need to use vacation time on a fun trip got the best of me, and we bought plane tickets to go visit Fort Collins in late September. It's going to be a great (though short) visit! In addition to visiting my family (which is always a good time), we'll be attending the Tour de Fat, which is chock full of exciting stuff, like a bike parade, beer, and a vaudeville/burlesque show!
Here's how this exciting plan came about: A few months ago, I was perusing iTunes, looking for new music, and I came upon a list of music featured in Grey's Anatomy. Among the songs I purchased were two by the Ditty Bops, because they were catchy!
We were listening to my music yesterday, and one of their songs came on, and Patrick went to their website to check them out. As it turns out, they are currently doing a U.S. Bike Tour, in which they ride their bikes across the country and perform at various locations. How awesome is that? And then Patrick pointed out that one of the places in which they would be performing was my very own hometown, Fort Collins, CO, at our favorite environmentally-conscious, bike-loving brewery, New Belgium Brewery!
When I was in high school, Fort Collins didn't seem very cool, but all sorts of neat stuff is happening there now! I wish we could go to the bike-in movies. And New Belgium's commercials make me want an old-timey generator headlight for my bike (but, sigh, they're expensive).
Anyway, when Patrick pointed out that the Ditty Bops would be at the Tour de Fat in Fort Collins, I said that we should fly out there to attend the show and visit my family! Upon exploring the Ditty Bops website and looking at the other events slated for the day, I said more emphatically that we should go! He looked at me skeptically, which is an understandable response, as I don't normally suggest we go on crazy trips, and this was the third time in the last few weeks that I had proposed such a thing.
But somehow I convinced him that it would be a good time (the bikes, beer and burlesque may have helped sway him), and so we bought plane tickets and let my family know we'd be coming for a visit. I'm so excited! We're not much for dressing up for things, but I may have to make an exception for this event. I think we'll even try to rent bikes from Recycled Cycles and ride in the bike parade. Oooh, I'm so excited for this visit! I'm glad we get to see my family too! Once a year isn't enough.
And now for the more mundane part of the entry...
Here is some Perfecta Baby's Breath I got at the farmers' market yesterday. I find baby's breath kind of boring in mixed bouquets, but I like it by itself. Very light and airy. It casts pretty shadows.
For dinner last night, I made another trio of recipes from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites: Wild Rice Waldorf Salad (don't trust the nutritional information on that page; it's more like 300 calories per serving), Barbecue Beans, and Brown Bread, plus some steamed baby red and green spinach.
It was all really good! I used our Rancho Gordo tepary beans in the Barbecue Beans. I tried using the quick soak method instead of soaking them overnight, but they turned out kind of al dente, even after I'd boiled them for an hour longer than the recipe stated. But the beans still tasted really good. I think the brown tepary beans are well-suited to the dish. I'll have to buy another bag and do it right next time.
All three dishes were nice and sweet, which is just what I wanted from that particular meal. The waldorf salad had a nice combination of chewy, nutty brown rice and crisp, sweet fruit. Yum! I used a pre-mixed blend of brown rice and wild rice from Lundberg Farms and used the oven method to cook both before adding the rest of the salad ingredients. These apples were among the first of the year at the farmers' market, so I guess my meal choices are almost seasonally appropriate now.
I really liked the brown bread, and it was easy to make--just mix together a bunch of dry ingredients and stir in molasses and buttermilk. It made a very short, squat, dense loaf, a little sweet and studded with golden raisins. Normally I don't like raisins in baked goods, but this was a good combination.
Even the spinach was good. I'd never seen red spinach before. A nice tattooed lady at my favorite greens stand at the farmers' market sold it to me. I just steamed it and sprinkled salt and pepper on top, and it totally hit the spot. I'm glad I like fruits, vegetables and whole grains; otherwise this whole diet thing would be much less enjoyable.