Thursday, February 9, 2012

Great Day to Ride a Bike!

   I snapped a photo of the 'hounds' as I embarked on my first REAL attempt to start an exercise program (the ride with the monkey doesn't really count, as we stopped A LOT to rest, since he is apparently 8 going on 80). They look like they are in prison, but they are very happy, spoiled dogs. They get nearly two fenced acres to: chase rabbits, loll in the dirtiest spots they can find, turn into a moonscape (i.e. dig huge craters), and go in/out of the house as they please...
   This is a view of the Cuddy Valley from one of the vacant lots on my street. In the summer, my neighbor's grass-fed beef graze on the pastureland below. They are currently wintering in Cuyama.
   I left Piñon Pines, crossed the highway, and began to pedal west. This view shows the hillside where I live. In person, you can easily see my house, but in the photo, the most discernable feature is my white ranch fencing. That big 'hill' in the backround is actually Mt. Pinos, which is about 8800' in elevation. We are at about 5600' at this spot. Perspective gets very distorted when you deal with wide, open spaces...
   I had to walk the bike through some very soft spots, as I stayed on the dirt path next to the road. I am embarrassed to admit, I'm pretty sure I heard MY dogs barking (yikes).
   Rats: in person, you can see the deteriorating house I am obsessed with photographing. I actually have permission from the neighboring property owner's daughter to access it, I just need to remember to let them know when I'm coming so I don't end up with a shotgun pointed at me (don't trespass in Kern County!).
   I love sharing recipes, so I'm thinking I will try to throw one up with most of my posts. I will be making either creme brulees or a banana cheesecake tomorrow, so I'll photograph & post the recipe.
   My beloved school I taught at for 13 years (Arlington, in Torrance), had the most wonderful parents, who could cook up a storm. They always made us a wonderful breakfast during Teacher Appreciation Week. One of my favorite items was the Chile Rellenos Casserole. I happen to own two of their fundraising cookbooks, and treasure them. Since I have a package of grated cheese, I may have to make this for dinner tonight! I can already see I'll be tweaking a few ingredients.
Chile Rellenos Casserole
  • 1 lb. grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cans evaporated milk
  • Two 7oz. cans of Ortega whole green chiles
  • Two 8oz. cans of Ortega whole green chili salsa
  • 1 lb. grated jack cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • Garlic salt & chile powder, to taste
   Butter a 9X13 inch casserole dish. Open chiles & remove seeds. Spread one can of opened chiles on the the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/2 of the cheddar cheese, then place another layer of chiles & remaining cheddar.
   Mix milk, eggs, flour & seasonings together. Pour over the cheese/chiles. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pour salsa over the casserole and top with the grated jack cheese. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Yum.
   I rode about 3 miles today, which is a tiny start, but better than nothing. I'm embarrassed to admit I had to walk the bike up part of the hill. I need to fix the shifters AND I am OUT OF SHAPE!

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