Awaiting a Giant Snake

There has been a lot of activity in the roadrunner nest over the last couple of weeks.  The babies hatched and the parents are being run ragged providing enough food for those voracious appetites.

I’ll put a picture of the babies (not very clear, though) on the Animals Spotted Page and add some more narrative for those interested in my long, drawn-out blabbering.

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Peppers and Sourdough Bread Appetizer

When the bread came out of the oven, the peppers were prepped and ready for their turn.


And yes, one pepper half is missing, as is a generous slab of fresh-outta-the oven sourdough bread.  It was about an hour until dinnertime, so the cook took her due!  So satisfying!

If I had been more patient (I wasn’t!), I could have sprinkled a little olive oil and Italian herbs onto the bread and perhaps a few shreds of a potent cheese into that pepper half, but I gotta’ tell you, it was so superb just as it was.  The pepper half was still hot, but the bread had cooled just enough to be able to slash off a bit of the end.

Can you tell I am still enjoying the memory?  ;->  It’s the little things that make life worth living!!!

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Three Pepper Supreme Cheeseburger 

Summer has definitely arrived in our desert.  The good part is that lovely green chilis are starting to show up in earnest.  We have some kind most of the year, but as summer arrives, and turns to fall, the harvest is vast and varied.

We are not keen on hot peppers in this household, but the mild to medium ones are a total delight and find their way onto our plates at many meals.  The nutritional value, along with the wonderful flavor and very low calorie count, makes these one of our favorite foods this time of year.

To explain the three peppers in the title . . . You can see the Anaheims on the plate, and there is a roasted half a sweet red bell pepper peeking out from under the burger.  The third?  Well, that is a small trace of jalapeño pepper that is embedded in the cheese.  That is plenty of “hotness”!


Now, for that “bun” . . .

Clearly not a bun at all, but a toasted slice of the loaf pictured below cut into halves to stand in for a bun.

I am experimenting with different whole grains to see what I can come up with.  I’m using all organic flours and meals, with either honey, maple syrup, or molasses as the sweetener.  I have acquired a rather large assortment of specialty flours and meals, so am making some variations from our usual sourdough staple bread.

This is also red pepper season, so when I bake the bread, I turn up the heat and toss in a shallow pan of cut-in-half red bells.  These are just the right size to add to a burger or sandwich.  If the half pepper is brought to room temperature, or especially if reheated in the pan the burger was cooked in, the flavor is intensified considerably.

The loaf shown below is supposed to be Seeded Rye.  I put in about half a handful of caraway seeds, thinking that might be too many, but upon tasting the bread, it is clear that I need to be much more generous with the seeds.

I didn’t use a particular recipe for this loaf – just sort of winged it – but as you can see, it is not dark in color like I would expect a “dark” rye loaf to be.  There are light rye loaves, too, but this is sort of in the middle.  To make a dark rye, recipes that I perused called for the addition of unsweetened dry cocoa powder.  I have plenty of it on hand, but it just did not appeal to me.  Maybe next time I will give it a try.


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Bee Careful


I know . . . everyone posts “the bee in the flower” captures – so here’s mine!  He disappeared down out of sight, but I just kept the phone trained on the spot, and soon he reappeared.  Got him!

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Jackrabbit Triptych

There has been quite a lot of animal activity over the last week or so.  I’ll try to catch up on the ANIMALS SPOTTED page (above).


Spring is definitely here.  The mesquite trees wait until it is dark and then they put out copious new tasty little leaves.  In the morning, we are treated to a profusion of greenery, which the jackrabbits seem to favor.

This guy got here first, but an interloper appeared nearly immediately – and the chase was on.


After chasing off the interloper, our friend here had a few nibbles, and then took off in the same direction that the other jackrabbit had gone.  These look like rangy teenagers, but they are the first we have seen this season.


Success was achieved – a tasty jackrabbit mesquite salad to start the day.

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We Have Nesting Roadrunners Again !

See full story at Animals Spotted (above) – two entries.

Click on:

for report.


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Almost Monte Cristo


Several months ago, a huge jar of sauerkraut landed in my shopping basket as I dreamed of the delightful grilled sandwiches overflowing with thin slices of corned beef and sauerkraut that I have sampled from Jewish delicatessens from time to time.  The last time I had one was in a restaurant in Bisbee, but it was at least 15 years ago.  Let’s see . . . is that a Croque-Monsieur or a Monte Cristo?

Last week, I snagged a pound of corned beef from the deli and made my own thin slices.  I had just roasted a huge turkey breast, so there was some of that available, along with the perennial favorite – Emmentaler Swiss cheese.  You can see the sauerkraut in the bowl to the left waiting for a chance to cover my little morsels.  I ended up not using the jalapeño dressing, but did make good use of the Dijon.

So it really wasn’t a Monte Cristo – more closely related to the croque-monsieur.  So the next day, I repeated the above and made a thin batter according to a net recipe and did it right.  Can’t say that it was any tastier than what you see above.  I didn’t bother to take a picture of it because mostly it just looked like a fat pancake with no personality whatsoever.  In fact, I used the leftover batter to make a little pancake that we ate for a snack later on in the day.  It was sort of a cross between a crêpe and a pancake.  Good for a snack because it was handy, but I wouldn’t go to any trouble to actually produce it again.  What you see above, covered in the veggies (cukes, tomatoes, and red peppers) in the surrounding little bowls was much more pleasant to eat.

I think just grilling it like a glorified grilled cheese sandwich might combine the best of both worlds with a minimum of fuss and clean up.

Anyone know of a place where these are served?  And are they super delicious?

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