Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Colorado nature

Just a few shots from my recent trip to Colorado.
There were rabbits & other wildlife everywhere!

We took a short trip up into the mountains
for lunch one day.
We ended up in the adorable town of Nederland,
where we ate delectable dishes
I got to shoot a few pics of the area before we
headed back to Boulder.

We are moving early next week, 
so I'm busy with packing, 
but look for more pics soon from Colorado!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Road Trippin'

Last week my mama flew to CA to take a road trip with me.
Our mission was to find a place for Z & I to live in CO, 
where Z has gotten a new job.

But instead of taking the quickest route, 
we decided to take advantage of the opportunity
to visit places we'd never been.

Just like Thelma & Louise
(minus the guns, murder, theft, Wild Turkey, 
and the whole driving over a cliff thing)
we set out for an adventure!

We found out that the name Grand Canyon
is a bit of an understatement, 
and know that we will have to return some day
when we have more than 2 1/2 hours.

Then we made our way through
the Painted Desert, Monument Valley, 
and past Arches NP before
heading over the Colorado mountains.

Love this shot Mama took of the arch
out the car window!

It was such an awesome trip
seeing part of this country I had never seen, 
laughing and talking with my mama,
and getting to know our new home.

Click on the Flickr link on the sidebar...
there are tons more photos from the trip!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Running in the heat

Last night Z ran in another race, 
even though it was still at least 100 degrees.
It was part of a summer series of races
where your time in the first race
determines your start time in the following races.

I ran the first one, but wasn't crazy hardcore
enough to run when it was so hot, 
so I just brought along my camera.

Anyway, since Z was a top finisher in the first race, 
he was one of the last racers to start last night, 
meaning that he had to spend the whole 5k
passing slower folks who started before him.

Here he is wondering if this is such a good idea, after all.

And....he's off!

Here's a long line of runners/walkers
making their way to the finish.

As if the heat isn't enough punishment, 
the course ends on an uphill.
(And no, I have no idea why that guy
is dressed as a ninja.)

And finally, with the sunset comes a little relief.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Challah recipe!

Ok, dear friends, 
here is my challah recipe, 
as given to me by my father.
(Thanks, Dad!)

Ingredients (Makes 2 loaves)
Group A:  2 Tbsp yeast
                4 tsp sea salt
                  3/4 cup honey
                          1 3/4 cup hot water
                Group B: 2 cups all-purpose flour
           Group C: 1 1/4 cup canola oil
                                3 eggs (lightly whisked)
                    Group D: 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
     Group E: 1 egg (for wash)

(I prefer to to this by hand/fork/wooden spoon.)
Mix together Group A & let sit for about 5 minutes.
Mix in Group B until incorporated, then stir in Group C.
Start adding flour from Group D to mixture 1 cup at a time until 
it forms a sticky dough.
Start kneading the dough in the bowl (you can turn it out
onto a floured surface if that is easier for you), adding flour as needed
until dough becomes an elastic ball.
Cover & let dough rise in a large bowl until doubled.
Punch down.
Divide dough into 6 equal portions & roll into smooth strands/snakes
about 12 inches long. (Just like playing with Play-Doh!)
Take 3 strands & place them parallel to each other
& vertically to you |||
Start your braid in the middle of the strand.
I know it sounds weird, but it will make the braid
more even & your loaves will turn out much better!
Starting in the middle, braid one side of loaf & then the other.
Tuck ends under the loaf.
Repeat with second set of 3 dough strands.
Place braided dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, 
cover and let rise until doubled again.
Whisk 3 eggs from Group E & brush onto the doubled loaves, 
covering as much as possible of the tops & sides.

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven & bake for approximately 
50 minutes at 350 degrees. 
This will vary according to your oven, so be sure to 
check on the bread while baking.
I typically rotate the pan for more even baking. 
When done, the top should be golden brown (not too dark). 

This bread is definitely time intensive, 
but so delicious that it is absolutely worth it!
(If you want to cut down on time, 
quick-rise yeast works just fine for this.)

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!