30 August 2011
26 August 2011
In other news I have 2 more semi-planned (not really since I just made this shit up) 30 x 30 items this weekend. Hopefully I'll get them done so that I can cross more shizzle of the listizle. Also I shot a gun for the first time in my life this past week. Crazy right? That's how I roll. Speaking of the list.. I went to the gun range with 3 co-workers; all of whom are very into the right to bare arms. Oh excuse me, I meant the right to "bear" arms... or did I;) So shooting a gun wasn't really on my 30 x 30, but going to South Africa was which didn't happen. I decided that I would substitute South Africa for shooting a gun. While I realize shooting a gun is a poor substitute for traveling across the Atlantic it has to be done in order to get close to 30 items crossed off. Besides it's my list and I'll say what i can and can't do.
Anyhoo a friend left a gun in my car the other weekend so he said I could have a go with his puppy. That puppy was a mean black glock named Jim Bob. Just kidding. I don't think it has a name, but if it did, it would be Jim Bob 'cuz it sounds mean. Well I played with Jim Bob a bit, but he freaked me the hell out with his constant jumping.. like I was scared he would jump out of my hands.. so I gave Jim Bob up in order to play with a pup named Paulette who was much kinder, nicer, and calmer. She was a .22. While playing with pups I have learned that I am a fairly close shot at close ranges. My co-worker who was showing me the ropes told me it was great that I knew how to use a gun now. Since I'm not planning on owning a gun, I'm not sure how knowing how to pull the trigger will help me. Unless of course there is a zombie attack and I find a gun on a dead comrade who hasn't yet morphed into a blood thirsty zombie. Then knowing how to pull the trigger might help. Let's just hope those zombie guns have large clips because I still don't know how to load the ammo.
**Sorry for the bluriness. My co was taking them on her cellie and they didn't come out so clear which is why I am posting a fabulous picture of myself with Jim Bob below. This was back when I didn't know how to shoot guns. Now I know. :)
16 August 2011
Saturday I borrowed a pack, grabbed a couple of friends, and off we went into the wild wild wilderness. We started off at Walasi-Yi and made our way up Blood Mountain, the highest point in Georgia, via the Appalachian Trail. Our plan was to go up Blood Mountain, take some trails to make a loop, and get back to the car by Sunday afternoon. After the map got dropped on the hike up, we decided a change of plan was in order. We changed the plan to head back down the mountain, cross the street, go under Walasi-YI, the only spot on the whole 2, 200 mile AT where the trail is covered (i.e. a breezeway), and hike the opposite way going southbound on the AT until we got tired and wanted to make our camp. We hiked up a ridge down a steep mountain side, and made camp at the bottom. We never saw any hikers on this part of the AT until the next day when a trail runner past us. We set up camp, T made a banging good camp fire, we cooked up some hot dogs and s'mores, I proceeded to get a bit drunk on my bag of wine, and then I was forced into bed. It was a bit of a rough night. Bella came with and while she is an awesome hiker she couldn't get very comfortable on the ground so she kept moving around, disturbing my tent mates. It also got a bit cold and my fleece was in my pack outside. I didn't get much sleep other than my couple hours of pass out drunk sleep. We woke, ate some delicious cheddar cheese on bagels that I had brought, and hiked out. It was a good time and I now plan on trying to backpack more often.
Hiking it up
Setting up camp. Bella was a bit pooped.
Enjoying a nice glass of wine (or 6) post hike.
Good Morning Appalachian Trail
Bella and I
15 August 2011
Go HERE to see the time lapse.
11 August 2011
Yield: 2 pizza crusts
1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
In a mixing bowl, pour the yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm water, stirring gently. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until the dough forms a ball. (You can also do this by hand.)
Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Divide the dough in half, then using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing it into an oiled pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks -- all the better to receive and hold toppings.
Put Toppings on pizza then bake for 11 minutes at 500 degrees or until pizza crust is browning at bottom.
The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.
The first pizza I made was a grilled veggie pizza. I grilled up some zucchini and roasted some red bell peppers. I started with a layer of store bought pesto on the bottom. Then I sliced fresh mozzarella and placed that atop the pest. I threw the grilled and roasted veggies on top of all that and crumbled goat cheese atop. Half of the pizza is pictured below.
The 2nd pizza I made was a potato leek pizza. It was delicious, but whatever you do don't forget to salt the potatoes. I also subbed out turkey bacon for regular bacon.
Yield: 1 pizza
1/2 recipe for Pizza Crust
extra virgin olive oil
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 leeks, rinsed well to remove grit and thinly sliced
5 small red or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced paper thin
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the pizza crust by drizzling lightly with olive oil and sprinkling lightly with salt.
In a skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until cooked but not crisp, then remove and set aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the skillet. Return it to the stove and, over medium-low heat, saute the leeks until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the leeks from the heat and set aside.
Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice the potatoes very thin. Be careful not to allow them enough time to oxidize. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer all over the crust, slightly overlapping the edges. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt, then lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer on top of the potatoes. Place the leeks on top of the cheese, then sprinkle the fried bacon pieces over the top. Add a generous dose of crumbled goat cheese, grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of pepper.
In an oven preheated to 500 degrees F, bake the pie for 8-11 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice it into wedges or squares and serve immediately.
The second item I accomplished was paying for someone behind me in the fast food drive thru line. I was on my way home from dropping Kohl, my foster dog, off with the rescue people in Chattanooga... oh did I tell you Kohl got adopted. Yay! It makes me sad that he's gone, but I know he has a great home with a new pug sis. Odd couple you say? Why yes indeed! Anyhoo back to the story. I was on my way home and decided to stop off at the outlet malls to do a little shopping. Post shopping and I was starving I made a quick turn into McDonald's. It occurred me that this was perfect and I could get my list item out of the way. After sitting in the slowest "fast" food line ever I got up to pay and told the country bumpkin lady taking the order that I wanted to pay for the person behind me. "Why you gunna do a thang like that?" she asked. Just said "'cuz" which seemed to placate her and she went on her merry ol' way. I wasn't around long enough to see the person behind me get told their meal was paid for which was a good thing. I hope it was a bright spot in their day though. Getting something for free from a stranger should always be.
Smoochies and I'll be back next week to tell you what 2 things I crossed off my list.
05 August 2011
04 August 2011
Birfday Gift Idea #1 (cost $3999, also known as 4K)
This will probably be the most expensive gift on my birfday gift wish list, but feel free to purchase this excellent gift for me if your heart so desires. My birfday gift idea for today is a trip with REI travel to Bhutan. This trip is called "Festivals of the Thunder Dragon" and consists of a whole lot of hiking, as well as visits to remote villages to check out their local festivals. Anyone who knows me knows I love a good festival. If you wanted to skimp and save $400 I would also accept "Mongolia Multisport: Through the Land of Nomads". Don't be a bitch and not purchase a ticket to the meetup point for me. Also if you buy me one of these trips I would be okay with you buying one for yourself too. I mean, I guess I can hang with you for the 14 days we will be traveling.