Friday, September 28, 2012

Coyote Country

The wild ones are about.

I have yet to see a wild coyote,

but someday it will happen, 

and it will be life-changing

and I will feel something inside myself grow a little wilder

and stronger for the experience of looking into those eyes.

Coyote scat!  Somebody feasted on nectarines or maybe plums recently.

There is a bit of the old railroad

that leads over the stream from the field

and into the town of Erie, Colorado,

where the day is closing into dusk.

Time to go home, Romeo.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quinoa Stuffed Squash

This recipe is really delicious, super filling and perfect for a vegetarian main course.  Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is chock full of protein and all the flavors and textures are sublime.  If you have no imagination and don't enjoy eating out of the gourd, serve the squash separately.  It isn't much to look at, but trust me, it's tasty.


2 acorn OR 2 butternut squash
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water OR vegetable broth
1/4 cup minced onion (half a medium onion)
1/4 cup chopped celery, optional
2 tbsp. minced fresh OR 1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 cup raisins OR cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans OR pinenuts
1-2 tbsp. balsamic OR apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
sea salt and black pepper to taste

To make:

-First you need to get the squash baking.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds into a small bowl.  Poke 2-3 holes through each squash half and set them face down in an oven proof pan with about half an inch of water in it.  Cover it with tinfoil, pop it in the oven, and set the timer for 25 minutes.  If you like roasted squash seeds = rinse them off, stir them around with a tablespoon of oil and some salt and pepper, spread out in a pan, and bake for 10-15 minutes.

-Get your water or broth boiling and chop the onion while you're waiting on it.  When the liquid boils, reduce the heat to medium, stir in the quinoa and chopped onion and celery, cover, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.  When done, the liquid should be absorbed and the quinoa cooked.  Set the pan off the heat, add the remaining ingredients, and stir together.

-Listen for your timer: when the squash is done, you should be able to easily pierce it with a fork.  Take it from the oven and uncover, turn the squash right side up, and butter it like a piece of toast.  Fill each squash half with quinoa mixture and serve with a dash of poultry seasoning on top.  If you time it right, the squash and the quinoa should be done within minutes of each other; if not pop them back in the oven for a few minutes, serve warm.  (And don't forget to recycle or reuse your aluminum foil!)  So so good!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Outlined in Shade

A shot of a rescued tiger at The Animal Sanctuary. I spent a day there in June.  The tigers had just finished eating when I got there at about 10 in the morning.  This one preferred to doze in a food coma outside its den, where there was an occasional breeze.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Breckenridge Biscuits

I just can't stop with the comfort food.  This time, it's buttermilk biscuits.  I came across Pie in the Sky at the library and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for high altitude baking recipes.  (Since I'm 10 minutes outside the Mile High City, I used the 5,000 ft. chart. ) This was the first batch of biscuits I've made here that were edible and not like hockey pucks!  Thank you, author Susan G. Purdy!  I recommend baking the biscuits close together, it seems to help them rise more.  And a nifty tip: if you don't happen to have buttermilk on hand, use cow's milk/soy milk/ or almond milk and just add a tablespoon of vinegar.  Voila!

Baked chicken and biscuits, with green beans and gravy for the meat eater.

Baked tofu, biscuits, meatless gravy and beans, por moi.