Jan 02 Bike Barn

I may have forgotten to post this…

I’m getting back into the saddle. My bike saddle, that is. Cycling season will be here before I know it, so I hopped on my Bowflex bike (which I adore) and opened on the Explore the World app on my iPad.

I chose Hawaii for this “trip,” hoping to catch glimpses of sun and sea. I think this app is awesome! I got to see the inner parts of Hawaii, not the ocean parts, but it was still cool. And there are tons of places to view while you ride!

Here

Here

Who knows where I’ll ride next… in the comfort of my living room. I might look for Egypt or somewhere hot. Meanwhile, my sweetheart got me a bike barn for Christmas, and it arrived! Time to put it up!

We’ll put down a concrete pad when it warms up a bit, but leveled out gravel will do for now.

Lots of parts, but everything is well labeled.

It came with the vent holes and everything pre-cut. It was just a matter of putting all together right.

Slowly but surely, it started taking shape. We had a “spatula” to help slide things together, and it helped. It was a tight fit, as it should be, to keep the weather out.

One of the last things to go in was the window. It’s plastic and allows for a bit of light inside.

It’s done!

I love it! My only complaint is that the locking mechanism is screwed on from the outside. So… it just take a screwdriver to bypass the lock. This is behind a locked gate, so I feel it’s pretty secure.

It fits my bikes perfectly! Eventually I may put a few hooks in for my helmet and some other items. I’ll wait until the weather is a bit better and I’m getting ready to ride more. I’m so happy with my new bike barn!

Makin’ Hot Sauce!

Folks, I love hot sauce. I also like trying new ones, always in search of the perfect sauce. It’s difficult because I like a lot of heat, but a lot of flavor, too. And I don’t like sweet sauces or sauces with a lot of vinegar.

My two favorite sauces currently are the Bend Sauce, made in my very own state of Oregon, and the Adoboloco Hamajang sauce. The Bend Sauce is not too hot, but has amaaaazing flavor. It also isn’t full of vinegar or sugar. The Adoboloco Hamajang sauce is VERY HOT, but is a bit vinegary. Sometimes put them both on my burritos and tacos for the best of both worlds.

My honey is the best. He bought me a hot sauce making kit! (You can check that out Here.) The thought of making my own hot sauce had never crossed my mind! But now… the possibilities are endless! Or at least there are many possibilities.

I chose to start with chipotle, habanero, and ancho pasilla peppers. I let them soak in hot water to soften them up.

After they were softened, de-stemmed, and de-seeded, I added the spice mix from the DIY kit (that smells a lot like cumin), some onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Now, some of you pepper people may wonder why I took the seeds out. That, after all, is a great source of heat! Well, I’m following the instructions… the first time. I’m wondering if it makes it too thick/fiberous?

I then added water and about half the apple cider vinegar that they suggested. I let it simmer, and it smelled great! As you can imagine, I had the oven fan on to make sure I didn’t gas myself, my husband, or our pets.

After several tweaks and tastings, I landed on what I felt was acceptable. I ended up adding a teaspoon of sugar (it was just a bit too acidic and harsh without it), and more spices, a tiny bit of vinegar and a little more water, the last two really for pourability. It started out pretty thick, otherwise.

Voila! I have my own smoky, chipotle hot sauce that has a fair amount of heat to it, not too much vinegar, and only a little sugar! It made enough to fill the glass bottle and a squeeze bottle, so I may give a squeezy away to a friend. I have a feeling this is going to be a fantastic new hobby for me!

01/01 at the Oregon Coast

January first! We decided to go to the coast for a nice day trip. It’s about one and a half hours, so not far. We went to one of the jetties, and there was a little wind, but not so much that you couldn’t enjoy the day.

Here on the coast, the skies were blue and beautiful! It was still chilly – I wore my Cotopaxi coat (which was actually a bit too warm) and a knit cap. My sweetheart was much less dressed for cool weather, but he tolerated it just fine.

There were quite a few people on the beach (it’s hard to tell from that picture), and some were cleaning plastic and other trash from our beautiful coastline. I appreciate them so much! It makes me want to grab a trash bag for next time I go.

My sweetheart got a kite for Christmas, and today was a great day to try it out. It’s a parachute-style, so there’s nothing to break. That’s really much better for me, because I crash frequently.

Getting ready to launch!

The kite was up on the first attempt, and easy to fly!

The two strings make it easy to steer. He did dives and swooshes, and was easily able to maintain control.

I had more fun watching him fly the kite… When I tried it, I crashed immediately! But I was able to fly just fine after that.

Quick selfie! We don’t take enough pictures together! We had a nice, long walk on the beach after flying the kite. It was just wonderful.

We stopped for lunch at a place that has been around for many years. My husband had the halibut fish and chips, and they were so good! I had prawn linguine, which was not as good as the fish and chips. I can’t complain though, because it was such a nice day.

What a great way to start the year!

Easy Meal Prep

I’ve had another job change (same hospital, different department and shift), so I’m changing how I meal prep. My husband has made a bunch of breakfast burritos for his lunches before, and I love breakfast burritos! So, I decided to make a low carb (or keto?) version for myself.

This week I’m doing a green chili and cheese burrito. I want to bulk it up with veggies whenever I can, to make it more filling. And I looove green chilies! I had some that were diced and some whole, so I used both. I diced up the whole ones, of course.

It made for a LOT of green chilies, but I really don’t mind. On the contrary, I enjoy it!

I mixed in six eggs and started stirring for a good scramble.

It might not be the prettiest thing, but it is filling and good!

These are the wraps I use. They’re HUGE.

Not only huge, but they’re only 70 calories! Honestly, I shudder to think how they made such a large tortilla that only has 70 calories, but I’m trying to eat fewer carbs, so this is what I’m doing.

Ya’ll. It FILLS THE SKILLET.

We have Costco shredded cheese, so I put in what is apparently a serving: 1/3 cup. I think somebody in Costco likes me.

I work four days in a row, hence four burritos. The tortillas are toasted and the cheese is getting melty. Time to add the egg and chili scramble!

That is a monster breakfast burrito! I added Tapatio for more flavor and voila!

Rolled up and stacked in the refrigerator, I only have to take one out and heat it on the skillet (in the foil) to have a burrito to go. We don’t have a microwave, but it’s better heated up like this than in a microwave.

While I was at the store, I saw these Kettle & Fire Keto soups, so I thought I’d try them out! They’re kind of on the expensive side, so I have hope that they’re delicious. I also grabbed a butternut squash soup, which I don’t believe is super low carb. It is only 90 calories per serving, however, and when I eat two servings on my lunch, I don’t feel bad at all! I also bulked it up with some mushrooms, salsa, and added sriracha for fun.

I’ve had one of the breakfast burritos yesterday just before work, and it kept me full for a LONG time! The soup was perfect (and hotter than expected) and kept me filled up for the rest of the shift.

If you’d like to know the details on each breakfast burrito, here you go!
Calories: 307
Fat: 18.1g
Net Carbs: 11.5g
Protein: 25.4g

If you try it out, let me know in the comments! I already have plans for a chorizo burrito and more… YUM!

Scotch Eggs

As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved eggs. Boiled, scrambled, fried, poached… In a sandwich, in a salad, in my hand. It doesn’t matter to me!

I tried scotch eggs probably five years ago and fell in love with yet another way to eat eggs. I’ve gotten scotch eggs from a local Irish pub, and they make them with quail eggs. Delicious, two-bite pieces of joy! The market that carries quail eggs have been out for a little while (probably due to the holidays), so I decided to make regular ones.

If you ever have a hard time peeling boiled eggs, I have the fix for you! The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) has a tried-and-true method that I use, and you can find it HERE!

Putting sausage over boiled eggs, even patted dry eggs, is difficult. Nothing really wants to stick to them, much less raw sausage. I used breakfast sausage, and patted a thin-ish layer on my hand.

Putting the egg in the middle, I just wrapped the sausage around the egg and kept manipulating it until it was covered. Mostly.

Then, trying to stick to low carb, less grains, etc., I used pork rinds as a crusty coating. I recently found out you can buy ground up pork rinds on Amazon, which is too convenient for me to pass up.

I baked them in the air fryer at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, then flipped them and went 10 minutes more. They came out perfect! A couple of these protein-packed balls of flavor will set your morning up for success. At least, in my book they do.

Pisgah – Walking the Flats

Christine and I finally got to go on a hike! To “open” the season, we chose to walk Pisgah down in the flat parts. Her dog was overjoyed because that meant river appearances. It’s cold, and we bundled up and walked a brisk pace (or at least that’s what my short legs felt).

A lot of this area is on old gravel roads that aren’t traveled much, and dogs are allowed off leash. That golden dot down there is Christine’s dog, running and loving every bit of it.

A few of the areas were sheltered by trees and when it was raining, it was nice to have the bits of shelter.

Other areas were wide open, which I love. As a person who grew up in the woods, I have an appreciation for light and openness. I feel free.

There she goes! The pup checks in with us frequently, then takes off again. She had dipped in large puddles and found water in various locations, and Christine said she was staying warm by running.

We got to a parking lot where we veered off onto a trail. Look at all that Methuselah’s Beard lichen!

At this point it was trying to snow. I couldn’t capture it on the camera though.

The snow was getting a little bigger, and I was able to catch some on the camera. It was too wet on the ground, though, so it wasn’t sticking.

Look at her dipping in the water! Crazy girl! That water must be so cold, but she loved it. She didn’t roll in it, dipping was sufficient.

Overall, we did 4.5 miles in about an hour and a half. It was a great time catching up with my friend. Our lives get so busy sometimes. Luckily, I’m changing departments at work, and we’re going to be working in the same department. I’ll actually be working with a bunch of people who I worked with when I was a CNA and then as a new nurse. I’m really looking forward to the change!

Bacon Mushroom Burger

My husband absolutely *hates* mushrooms. I, on the other hand, love them! So, I was obviously eating by myself on this night. I got this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo, and you can get it HERE. It’s good. You want it.

Starting out with extra lean ground beef and minced bacon, I also minced some criminy mushrooms. I do believe I minced them just a tad too much, but I don’t mind. I cooked them until the moisture was gone, and added it to the meats.

Taking a portobello mushroom, I took the stem off and removed the gills, which I like to call fins. I tossed that in the oven while I did the other bits, letting it bake.

After I mixed the meats and mushrooms, I formed a few patties. I’m already looking forward to eating this!

When the portobello was done, I took it out and blotted off the extra moisture. While it cooled, I threw the patties on the skillet.

I don’t know if this looks delicious to you, but it does to me! Of course, I know what it tastes like, so I have an edge.

Since it had raw bacon in it, I was sure to cook it all the way through, something I don’t normally do with my burgers.

Here’s the stack: I started with the portobello and put my homemade mayonnaise on next. I added some red leaf lettuce, the burger, and avocado slices. It’s already a messy, difficult to eat food, so I put the tomato and pickles on the side.

Here’s another variation: I added gorgonzola and a couple of extra strips of bacon. Both versions were fantastic! Just messy. I mean, you should have a cloth napkin handy, because you’re going to need it!

This is a great burger. I ate way more veggies than meat, and it was so dang tasty! This one goes on the “make it again” list.

Pan-Fried Oysters with Homemade Tartar Sauce

I know not everyone likes oysters. I, however, am not one of those people. Oysters are one of my favorite foods, raw or cooked! This is the time of year for cooked oysters, so I went to one of the local fishmongers for a few.

Since i happened to have everything I needed to make homemade Tartar sauce, I decided to try it! I used some of my homemade mayonnaise because it has a shorter shelf life than store bought mayo, and I want to make the best uses of it!

It turned out pretty good! It’s important to make it first, so you can put it in the refrigerator for some time to thicken up.

Now for the oysters! This is a paleo recipe, as is the tartar sauce. Even the Slap Ya Mama seasoning is paleo! I rinsed the oysters and patted them dry. Then I dredged them in egg and into the coconut flour and spice mixture.

I used plenty of avocado oil to fry them in, and tried to to let them touch. These oysters were very small ones, and I was able to get a bunch into this large pan.

Oh my. They were wonderful! I had them with some baby arugula, which was perfect! These fried oysters were such a treat! They’re inexpensive, but make you feel like you’re eating something rare and special. Deeeelicious!