Friday Ramblings in Nevada

Well…I made it to the end of the work week. Another day of being wide awake at 4:30am with my mind racing about all the things I need to do here at work. 😦

So to give my wee brain time to recoop I thought I’d post some banana recipes (I have a few ripe ones at home and needed something to make) and a few pictures.

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The Sensation Lilac (Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’) that I planted in April of 2008 is about to bloom! I’m so excited…it will have single reddish buds that will open to deep purple edged in white.

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A few of the Lemon Queen sunflowers that I planted for the bee project are starting to come up.

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Digging up sod from the front yard (we have way too much lawn) so I can put in another garden area. Will put up a decorative fence of some sort to divide the lawn from the garden. All the grass from the shovel back is coming out.

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Below are two recipes that I’ve tried…and both are real tasty! Enjoy.

French Toast Stuffed with Bananas and Pecans
recipe from Williams-Sonoma Breakfasts & Brunches, page 66

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6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (original is walnuts, but I like pecans)
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
8 slices egg bread
4 Tbsp butter
powdered sugar
jam or pure maple syrup

In a large, shallow bowl, beat eggs until lightly frothy. Stir in milk. Set aside.

Peel nanners into a small bowl and mash. Stir in nuts and nutmeg. Spread the banana-nut mixture evenly over half the bread slices, leaving space around the edges. Top with the remaining bread slices and press down lightly to seal.

Place sandwiches into the egg mixture. Turn gently until evenly saturated on both sides. In a frying pan or griddle, big enough to make all sandwiches, melt 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add sandwiches and fry until the undersides are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Melt other 2 Tbsp and then flip sandwiches.

Place on plates, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with jam or syrup.

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Sweet Omelet Souffle with Caramelized Bananas
recipe from Williams-Sonoma Breakfasts & Brunches, page 24

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6 Tbsp butter
2 firm but ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
pinch of salt

In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter. Add the banana slices and, using a fork, turn to coat them well with butter. Saute until very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the bananas. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to saute until the sugar melts. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Put egg whites in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat until very frothy but still fairly liquid. In another bowl, beat the yolks until blended. Gradually stir the whites into the yolks until fully incorporated.

In a 8″ nonstick pan, over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter. Add the eggs and as they began to set, carefully lift the edges and gently push them to the center, tilting the pan slightly to allow the liquid egg on top to flow undernegth. Continue to cook the eggs until they are almost completely set but still moist on top.

Arrange the bananas evenly over half of the omelet. Beginning with the banana-covered side of the omelet, slide the omelet from the pan to a warmed serving plate and, when halfway out, flip the pan over to fold the olemet in half over the bananas. Cut in half and serve at once.

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For Today ~ 23 April 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 23 April 2009

Outside My Window… Pretty day…sunny with increasing clouds. A “cool” front is coming. A really big tonka toy is outside my window. The construction guys are doing something really close to our building.

I am thinking… my brain is spinning to fast to think.

I am thankful for… my job, even though it’s been crazy here.

From the kitchen… Leftover pizza, but I may stop off to get some fresh veggies and make some lentil soup.

I am wearing… Blue jeans, 3/4 sleaved maroon shirt, tennis shoes, hair pulled back into a ponytail.

I am creating… Sheesh…same as last time ~ I really need to start back up on the crazy quilt. My mom is waiting for my last four blocks.

I am going… no where fast.

I am reading… the Secret Life of Bees at night.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one.

I am hearing… What sounds like a Huey Gunship sitting on top of the building…not sure what they are doing outside the building, but it sure is loud.

Around the house… laundry and dishes.

One of my favorite things… Sleeping with the window open. It’s been warmer at night now.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Work in the yard, maybe go look for springtime flowers to take some pictures.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

This is Olivia, my Garden Bug. I found her at a yard sale over the weekend.

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook will take place each Monday.

Here’s how to take part:

1. Write up and publish your journal page using the questions/picture ideasI have listed below onto your blog. Be as descriptive as you can! This makes it more interesting to your readers. (You may cut and paste them for the purpose to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook.)

2. Copy the “permalink” from your “The Simple Woman’s Daybook” post, not the link to the front page of your blog. This will make it much easier for others to find instead of looking through the entire list of entries at your blog for your “daybook”. This will save time for all of us.

3. Come back here and add your permalink to Mister Linky.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game ~ Reno Aces ~ 19 April 2009

Since Opening Day game of the Reno Aces soldout before I could buy tickets, I bought tickets to Sunday’s day game…while it wasn’t a soldout crowd it was pretty dang close.

I haven’t been to a major league game in a long time. We used to always go to Dodger Stadium, and when we moved up here I’ve been to a few A’s games when the Twinkies came to town (we’d buy the cheap seats so I could harass Canseco and cheer Puckett)…SO I WAS VERY EXCITED for my first Minor League game!

The ballpark is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! They did a great job. There isn’t a parking garage for the ballpark so you have to park on the street or go to the casinos (which is probably what the casinos wanted anyhoo)…we got there at 11:30 am to find parking for the 1 pm game. We found parking about 3 blocks away, it was a short walk…and then we waited in line until a little bit after noon when they opened up the gates.

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Free programs and a schedule magnet were given out at the gate. Never did make it into the Aces Shop…the lines were longer than the beer & hotdog line. Note…if you just want to grab a hotdog and not stand in line go over to the “Party” Corners…there is a hotdog stand. 🙂 Beers are $7 each…way too much, but if you don’t drink you can bring in unopened plastic bottles of water.

Also, if you are over in the General Admission grass berm…you can bring low beach chairs to sit on. But after being there on a day game…in the sun…with no shade until 4pm (on 3rd base side)…I’m never gonna sit over on the grass berm (no shade whatsoever). I had the 70 SPF on (and I don’t even like sunscreen all that much). THIRD BASE LINE IS THE PLACE TO BE!

We lost 4-5…but WHAT A THRILL OF A GAME! 11 Innings! Thanks Guys for a great afternoon. I already have my Fourth of July tickets. We’d like to get tickets for every team that comes to visit. Following are some pictures of the game and Archie…the team’s something or other…and the very cool singing baseball head that sings Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the 7th Inning Stretch (that was pretty funny).

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I love, Love, loooooveeee catchers…everything about ’em! Big sigh.

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For Today ~ 17 April 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 17 April 2009

Outside My Window… Beautiful sunny warmer day…students out and about, construction workers out back, Ground’s dude working on a water pipe.

I am thinking… I’m going to take a well day on Monday. It’s supposed to be 80F! It’s been a busy week and my head hurts. I want to work in the yard.

I am thankful for… my job, even though it’s been stressful.

From the kitchen… Not really sure. Maybe some broccoli soup and bbq chicken? Maybe El Pollo Loco. Maybe BLT’s. Maybe I’ll sneak in the backdoor and bypass the kitchen altogether and crawl into bed.

I am wearing… Blue jeans, thin cotton 3/4 sleaved tshirt with 60’s print, tennis shoes, hair pulled back into a ponytail.

I am creating… I really need to start back up on the crazy quilt. My mom is waiting for my last four blocks.

I am going… to work in the yard this weekend. On Sunday we’re going to the Reno Aces ball game. It’s a day game and they still had tickets.

I am reading… the Secret Life of Bees at night…also just received the new Hobby Farm magazine.

I am hoping… My constant wish ~ That everyone that is looking for a job, finds one.

I am hearing… the HVAC system up on the roof. Voices from the next office over. My head hurting.

Around the house… a sink full of dishes to be washed. Am hoping my husband will do them.

One of my favorite things… Picinc lunch in the park with family. Thanks for the sandwich, Mom!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… Work in the yard, work at work, sleep, eat, sleep.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you… Isn’t this a cute quilt? It’s called Pecking Order by Janet Locey using Rise & Shine fabric.

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The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook will take place each Monday.

Here’s how to take part:

1. Write up and publish your journal page using the questions/picture ideasI have listed below onto your blog. Be as descriptive as you can! This makes it more interesting to your readers. (You may cut and paste them for the purpose to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook.)

2. Copy the “permalink” from your “The Simple Woman’s Daybook” post, not the link to the front page of your blog. This will make it much easier for others to find instead of looking through the entire list of entries at your blog for your “daybook”. This will save time for all of us.

3. Come back here and add your permalink to Mister Linky.

A New Chicken Recipe to Try! Mushroom Stuffed Chicken in Puff Pastry.

Over at Mennonite Girls Can Cook they posted a Stuffed Chicken Recipe the other day…it looked deeeelish, so I made it last night. The recipe comes from that cutie-patootie chef, Jamie Oliver.

Stuffed Chicken with Mustard Wine Sauce

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 box puff pastry
2 cups mushrooms finely chopped (I ended up with about 3-4 Cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat parsley (I used my Italian Parsley from my garden)
1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic (HAHAHA! 5 cloves for me)
1/2 tsp salt
3 grinds of fresh pepper (used more than 3 grinds, we love pepper)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Thaw your pastry puff, if frozen.

In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes. Add freshly chopped parsley, salt and pepper, and continue to saute for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside and cool.

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Score Chicken breast with a knife making a pocket. Stuff all chicken breasts with mushroom mixture. (I added a slice of Olive Oil & Rosemary Rubbed Asiago cheese from Raleys that was on sale the other day…I had it and it sounded good to add, so I did!)

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Roll out each puff pastry sheet to about 18×8 and cut down the middle making a total of 4 pieces. Place one breast on each pastry and roll up.

Place the breasts onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

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Beat one egg and brush the outsides of each roll. Bake in 400F oven for 35-40 minutes.

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While your chicken is baking start making the mustard wine sauce in a small pan.

MUSTARD WINE SAUCE

2 heaping (very heaping) Tbsp of whole grain prepared mustard (I used Raley’s brand Spicy Mustard with Horseradish)
1-1/2 cups of white wine (patooey…I love red wine, I didn’t get to do the one for you one for me thing)
1/2 cup of cream

Combine the first two ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, allowing the wine to reduce by 1/4. Turn to simmer and add cream. Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

I didn’t allow my sauce to reduce, me thinks…as it was a bit runny. BUT IT WAS DELICIOUS!

We had the stuffed chicken, green beans sauteed in olive oil and garlic, and apple sauce.

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Butterfly Migration through Reno/Sparks, Nevada! Easter 2009

Just wondering if anyone else in the Sparks area had noticed a huge amount of Painted Ladies in the sky yesterday. Lots and Lots of Flutterbys. 🙂 They were all heading WNW.

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I took this picture last year…didn’t have my camera with me yesterday. 😦

Springtime in Northern Nevada with Thoughts of Gardening

I love northern Nevada…but springtime here can be a killer. She teases you with 70F one day and then drops the daytime temps to 46F the next. You just want to hug your trees that are full of ready to burst blossoms and tell them to HANG ON BABIES!

Weeping Cherry

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Wrapping your newly transplanted cool weather veggies with pine needles or straw so they can make through the 25F-32F nights. Big Sigh.

Me thinks I’m going to have to buy myelf some more herbs at the Master Gardener's Plant Sale in May…some of them didn’t make it through the last cold snap, and we’re having another tonight for a couple of days.

I’ve noticed lots of people looking at my posts of how to make yourself a raised garden bed ~ Here’s what mine ended up looking like…Finished Raised Garden Beds.

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Thought I’d link you to a bunch of sites that are for us locally here in North Western Nevada…starting with Local Harvest: Real Food, Real Farmers, Real Community. I put in my zip of 89431…but it covers the Reno/Sparks, Sierra Valley, Truckee, Stagecoach Areas. You can just put in your Zip if you want something else. You can find Farms, Farmer’s Markets, Restaurants and Grocery Stores that sell/use locally produced veggies, fruits, diary and meats.

A list of LOCAL CSA's in our area. Including Reno, Silver Springs, Fallon, and Stagecoach.

The River School looks like a pretty cool place…an educational and event center that demonstrates a holistic approach to stustainable living. Organic Gardening.

Home Classes Workshops & Events Weddings & Parties Calendar Sustainable Practices Mayberry Farm Contact Photos Organic Gardening Series

Early Registration is now over but please drop in for the classes you would like to attend.

Winter & Spring Series
11 workshops, January 10th – May 23rd, 1 – 3 pm
Note: these are not consecutive Saturdays!!!

From planning to making compost to planting, this series will give you the know-how to create a vibrant and productive organic garden. We’ll take you through the following topics and offer expert advice from our years of organic growing experience:

•What is Organic? (1/10)
•Planning your Garden (3 parts: 1/24, 1/31, 2/7)
•Starting Seedlings – cool season crops (2/21)
•Pruning Fruit Trees, Shrubs & Grapes (3/7)
•Compost & Worms (3/21)
•Starting Seedlings – warm season crops (4/4)
•Soil & Beds (4/18)
•Raising Chickens (5/2)
•Planting your Garden (5/23)

Class just added: Garden & Tool Management (Sunday, 5/17 from 10-12pm)

$10/pp for all

Part of the River School is Mayberry Farm ~ Growing Organic Food in Reno, Nevada.

Mayberry Farm is a group of gardens and micro-farms throughout Reno, Nevada dedicated to growing organic foods and to sustainable living education. We are part of the effort to produce 20% of the Truckee Meadows food locally by the year 2020.

Workshop Programs at Mayberry Farm include Organic Micro Farm Series (Irrigation & Water Harvesting, Crop Planting & Seeding, Composting, Poultry Mangement, and Beekeeping). Green Building Workshop: The Pallet Chicken Coop.

University of Nevada, Cooperative Extension Office ~ Washoe County Calendar. There is a class coming up called Backyard Conservation Workshop taught by Leslie Allen. She’ll discuss methods and techniques of creating wildlife habitats in the home landscape with special focus on creating habitat for native pollinators and beneficial insects.

Earth Day is this coming Sunday ~ 19 April ~ don’t forget to go to Idlewild Park!

Community Gardens in Reno/Sparks area ~

Teglia's Paradise Park Community Garden
Yori Street/Libby Booth Garden
Mayberry Farm is in it’s early stages of making a garden plot on Valley Road between Sixth and Seventh Streets and are looking for other spaces to start…products raised will go to the Great Basing Community Food Co-op.

This is sort of an after thought … was checking out Craigslist and saw an ad called Got Polutry ~ I may have to check them out sometime as I’m still mulling over the idea of raising a couple of chickens for eggs.

Northern Nevada Poultry Fanciers Association