Tuesday, October 19, 2010

photo by 'sam' through durhammountainbiking.ca

Tomorrow night, my wheels will be scoping out the new trail carved out in Durham Forest. A big thanks to the thirty dedicated DMBA members who worked on bypassing a badly eroded gully and successfully added 250 meters of sweet, new single-track. Rumour has it there's a rock bridge of some sort?? Very exciting! Thanks to all who sponsor and fund this and other essential trail maintenance in our forest: KHS Canada, LSRCA, Evolution Cycle, Chico Racing, Bike NXS and Kent Edmunds of SPMI.

Looking forward to strapping on some lights and riding well after the sunset. How cool that our own backyard is the trail work of this great conservation area.

Here's a carb favourite for those of you who want to fuel up for all of Mother Nature's adventures. It's one I've been making for the last ten years. See you on the trails!

"TV Sucks. Ride Your Bike"
Bloomfield Bicycle Co.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pasta

photo by 'You Can Count On Me' on flickr

8 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, slivered lengthwise, with their oil
1 cup sliced calamata olives (unlike no other!)
1 c up loosely packed fresh basil leaves; slivered
1/4 cup grated lemon zest (about 8 lemons)
2 cloves garlic; finely minced
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
12 oz. brie cheese, rind removed; coarsely shredded (shred from frozen for ease)
1/2 cup cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tbsp.
1 lb. linguine noodles

Combine the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of oil from the tomatoes, olives, basil, lemon zest, garlic and pepper, Brie, and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the linguine. Cook until tender.

Drain pasta and immediately toss with the sauce.

Friday, October 8, 2010


photo by Dan Moynihan on flickr

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

It's my turn this year to host the Green Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to a week overflowing with leftovers. I love turkey dinner but I think I love what comes after even more. Turkey soup, turkey and stuffing sandwiches, turkey hash, potato pancakes. Talk about stretching the most out of a 12-pound bird!

I also look forward to Denise's Sweet Potato Casserole. It's a good one and should adorn every holiday table.

Denise's Sweet Potato Casserole

14 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes (about 5 lbs)
1/2 cup half-and-half cream (come on, it's Thanksgiving!)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cus flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside.

Whisk together cream with next four ingredients. Add potatoes to this mixture and beat with mixer at medium speed. Spoon potatoes into 13 x 9 baking dish. Set aside.

Combine flour and sugar in food processor then add chilled butter. Mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans and sprinkle over potatoes.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Ucnover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until topping is browned.

Gobble! Gobble!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Can you feel it? I've been feeling it for a week or so now. I'm taking a stroll around the backyard today and it's quite obvious that our habitat, our home, our stomping ground is feeling it too. The air is a little more crisp, Mother Nature looks slightly tired and the creatures that feast on her bounty, well, they show signs of knowing change is approaching.

Squirrels hunt for nuts and even beg for more when we've let our supply (their supply) run low. They stand on their back haunches with annoyed little pleas for us to toss out more walnuts and peanuts. These are modern critters, I realize. Foraging goes hand-in-hand (or paw-in-paw) with begging from the humans.

As I browse the gardens, the bees work frantically for the last of the nectar. I don't even know how bees hibernate, but they sure look like they're preparing for some sort of rationing agenda.

As I continue my survey of our chunk of the great outdoors, I notice my bike looks worried. He isn't sure how many more rides he has left in him before the frost and snow hangs him from the rafters in the garage. Don't worry, bike. I've got some special plans for you that will keep your tires spinning.

Man, it's quiet out here. The pool yawns, while it awaits its winter closing. The sand box remains abandoned with its backhoes and dump trucks resting in fixed indents. Ponds have formed in their little scoops - a true sign that they've been ignored for some time now.

I'm sure our piece of earth is wondering where all the kids have gone. Was it only moments ago they were conquering all things evil in their summer shorts and bare feet; waving make-shift swords and bow and arrows to help them in their plight?

Yes, hibernation approaches. And the time has come to fold away the outdoor furniture, mow the lawn once more and stock the woodpile for cozy fires indoors.

Even though I can feel a change upon us, we're not quite there yet. Tomorrow, we will hibernate. But today, we shall ride. As long as we can, until we can't anymore.

And when the snow hits the ground and my bike looks at me and asks, "What now?" I will answer, "There's always Joyride 150".


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