Showing posts from August, 2015

So This is 30...

I don't really remember my 20th birthday.  I know that I was about to start my sophomore year of college, and I was probably moving into my Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house for the first time during my birthday week.  I was starting a new school year at Illinois Wesleyan University with new friends, a determined Major, a work study job, a steady boyfriend, and a positive outlook on life.  I only owned one credit card, and I could probably count on my fingers the number of alcoholic drinks I had consumed.  I had never had a speeding ticket, or even been pulled over.  I had never seen drugs, I had never puked, and none of my friends had been arrested.  The President was terrible, but the economy was prosperous.  I had already figured out that bragging about high school was fruitless because everyone I went to college with was perfect in high school and nobody cares, but I still thought I was pretty awesome.  I was smart (almost as smart as I thought I was), responsible, and coming o…

Pedernal Hike

Ever since visiting the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe, my mom and I have had the ambition of climbing Pedernal, a distinctive, flat-topped mesa in Abiquiu that the famous painter depicted several times.  O'Keeffe was once quoted as saying, "It is my private mountain.  God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it."

This weekend we made our plans a reality and set out to Abiquiu early Sunday morning to climb the mountain!  The trail to the Pedernal is about an 8 mile round-trip hike just south of Lake Abiquiu, near Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O'Keeffe spent many years during her life. 

The hike to Pedernal begins along a jeep road at 8,000 feet elevation.  The trail winds uphill along the west side of the mountain.  There were so many beautiful wildflowers, and the trail was scattered with colorful flint rocks.  After a few miles the trail comes to a wide clearing, then zigzags up the steep, rocky terrain toward the mesa.  We crossed over a boulder fiel…

Hard Cider Apple Pie

What screams "America!" more than alcoholic apple pie?  This delicious recipe is from my favorite cookbook, The Boozy Baker.  The combination of tart green apples, molasses-y dark brown sugar, and hard apple cider is irresistible!

Hard Cider Apple Pie
From The Boozy Baker

Ingredients for the Crust:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon vodka
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon raw sugar (optional)

Ingredients for the Pie:
2 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut in 3/4-inch slices
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hard cider, divided
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Zest of 1 lemon

1.  To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the work bowl of a food proce…

Xterra Tri the Torture

One year ago I faced my fear of flying over my handlebars on my bike by doing just that in the Xterra Tri the Torture off-road triathlon.  I survived with a few bumps and bruises, finished the long and challenging race, and "got back on the horse."  This year I have felt much more confident and in control with my mountain biking.  I am still fearful of the same types of terrain, specifically steep, rocky down-hills and sharp switch-backs, but my endurance and speed have improved.  I decided to sign up for this difficult race again this year, although this time with a team!  My mom, who is an excellent swimmer, was planning a visit to Santa Fe, so it was the perfect opportunity to meet up with my friend Alice, an avid and athletic trail runner, and tackle the triathlon together.

It was a beautiful morning for a race this past Saturday!  The gun went off at 9 a.m. and my mom completed the first leg of our team triathlon with an 880 meter open-water "adventure" swim (c…