Monday, June 22, 2009

Chili-lime Grilled Quail and Stuffed Zucchini

Chili-lime Quail
Chili powder
Smoked paprika
Cumin, ground
Garlic (minced/microplaned)
pepper and kosher salt
Juice and rind of 1 or 2 limes
Olive oil

Mix the above ingredients together. I have not included measurements because I did not measure and you should just do it to your taste and for enough to lightly cover the birds. I will say that I only used a pinch of cumin; I wanted the fullness of it without making it completely Southwestern in flavour. I only added about a tablespoon of oil, just to get a nice consistency. You want it to be paste-like not runny. Spread over quail. Grill as desired.

Stuffed Zucchini
I started to gather flavour ideas for these beautiful market zucchini I wanted to stuff and then grill. I read a couple of recipes that said to boil the whole zuch. first for about 8 to 10 minutes! I stopped looking for recipes, I wasn't interested in making baby food :)

First, cut in half and scoop out some of the centre.

1/2 Cup couscous + 1 Cup boiling water --let sit in bowl until couscous is done and water is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
~1/4 C. Chopped tomato (I recommend removing seeds etc. or it will make filling too wet)
Chopped fresh basil
~1/2 C. Parmesan, grated
splash of red-wine vinegar
salt & pepper

You don't need much of each ingredient. I started with about half a cup of the couscous and added the other ingredients to that. Reserve some of the parmesan for the top of each half. Any leftover filling is yummy to snack on while you wait for dinner. Place on grill (low flame) for about 10 minutes.


Blogger is automatically rotating my pictures no matter what I do! This looks a little funny but I can't figure it out so it will have to stay this way.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New House

This is my new house! Both sides have agreed to the conditions so now it is just a matter of satisfying them. They had finished the basement but the electrical panel was in the washroom, which is not acceptable according to electrical code. So, they have agreed to re-do the bathroom so that the panel is no longer in the room. I couldn't be happier since that is the only issue we had with the place. I love this house! I don't know how many viewings we've done in the last 3 months but it was a lot and this house just stood out to me right away. It has some quirks, but they are all quirks I am fine with (except the panel not being code compliant!).

We now have one week to get the inspection done and our insurance and financing finalized. It seems so fast! Of course, work is crazy busy lately AND I have physio to go to three mornings next week. Ah, life.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Quick post because I am behind in "important" (to me) updates.

My cast is off. Yep, good and gone! I went in for a follow up and new x-rays. The doctor says he could no longer see the fracture. It seems very fast healing to me but I'm not going to argue! I am starting physiotherapy tomorrow to repair the sprain. I am hoping I can make my lesson next week :) I will, of course, follow the advice of the therapist because it is better to work for long-term gain. I can't help but hope though. It feels like forever since I was on a horse...I go hug & sniff the last saddle pad I used once in awhile. It's sad, really. Soon.

I am about to make an offer on my first house purchase!!!! I am so excited and also terrified. But it is perfect and the yard is huge and it is not-quite-too-late to move my vegetables to a proper garden. My tummy is all twisty-turny. It's good though. Soon!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Dog the Pacifist; My Dog the Protector.

Tonight I took Hazel out really late. We had been out for our usual evening/night walks, today was 4:30 to 5:30 and then again 10:30 to 11. I stayed up late. My wrist hurts, husband is out of town and I was in no mood to sleep. Hazel, who had put herself to bed after the last walk, started looking a little like she might want to go out. Knowing I would want to sleep in, I figured I would just take her up the street and back. It was about one o'clock in the morning.

I live in a nice enough neighbourhood, though it is close to downtown so sometimes interesting characters are about. Usually not an issue. As we walked, a man was walking towards us from the other side of the street. I thought nothing of it, it is Friday night and it isn't unusual to see people at this time. Hazel was busy sniffing for rabbits. The guy stopped and turned away from us, facing into a tree. For a second I thought he was going to pee or something! I think he was just trying to prevent me from getting a look at him, to be honest. Hazel saw him, looked for a bit, and then her posture changed. She sensed something and started to bark and growl at the guy.

Now, I need to add that this is not usual behaviour for Hazel. We pass people late at night all the time. Especially when my husband is out of town, as I tend to have a harder time getting to sleep. She usually pays them no mind at all. The few times it has happened, the person usually laughs and says a few words to me and Hazel calms down. This guy just looked even more sketchy. I am fairly sure he was looking for a place to break into. I know, it sounds paranoid.

Hazel did not give up her vigilance toward this guy and continued to utter low barks and growls and wouldn't let me walk in the opposite direction. I obliged, this is one of those moments when you should trust your dog, I thought. We walked a ways behind, still on the opposite side of the street. The guy stopped a few times and stared at us. Every time he did, Hazel barked at him loudly. I've honestly never seen her like that.

The man turned down the street just before my place where there are businesses. I worry that he is going to do something but I wasn't about to follow him and I wasn't sure it was something I could call the police about. What would I say?

I often wonder if Hazel would try to protect me if something happened. I don't encourage that type of behaivour and I am not really given an opportunity to reward or correct it, either way. She is so friendly with everyone and has almost never concerned herself with normal-looking people, even when I feel nervous about them. Tonight she showed me a bit of her doggie intuition and that she can certainly be a protector. She made her feelings crystal clear.

Is it wrong that I was really proud and happy with my dog for this? I did not react much to her, but I listened to her. I didn't say anything to her but I placed my hand on her and guided her home. Once inside I gave her a good pat and said "good girl". No panic, no excitement, but I'm sure she knew I was pleased.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

Horse of Course has a friendly challenge going. The best kind, if you ask me, because we get to think and write about our favorite horsey things.

This was more challenging than I expected! I knew I should really narrow it down to my very favorites and that required some thought. I expect they would change a bit if I owned my own horse, but not by a lot.

First on the list is Vet Wrap. It is not strictly a horsey thing but it's versatility is exactly why it makes my list. With it's ability to stick to itself and nothing else, it's perfect stretchiness allowing for different amounts of tension and the multitude of colours available, it is perfect for wrapping wounds in even awkward locations or simply keeping a tail clean and tangle free for a time. I would argue it's better than duct tape.One of the best purchases I made last year was a synthetic girth like this one. I was worried about buying a synthetic girth but I also didn't want to spend the money on a leather one. I love the way it moves with the horse, stays pliable and is easy to clean. It makes me happy every time I tack up. Note: I have heard that it is possible for a horse to have a reaction to the neoprene. Although no one I know who uses them has ever had a problem, it is something to be aware of, especially when first trying them out.

As a kid, I never rode in gloves except in the winter and they were not riding gloves. I'm not sure why, I just didn't need them I guess. Now, I really appreciate a good glove and I only ride glove-free on the occasional fun hack. I've used a number of types and my current pair the Ariat® Pro Grip Leather Glovesare my favorite. The leather is super-soft but has been very strong too. The thing I like most is that I don't feel like I'm wearing gloves at all. That is the mark of good equipment!

Finally, I have a very common grooming tool - the mane and tail comb. I have a "thing" for tangle-free manes and tails, so this is one of my favorite tools. Whether it's a newer model with rolling teeth like the Grooma comb or a plain old plastic comb, I love the finished product!

I hope you've enjoyed my list of favorites! This exercise made me realize how much I love almost everything associated with our equine partners.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What goes up....must come down

I was going to post on Wednesday about the simple pleasures of accomplishing something you weren't sure you were capable of. Last week, I completed a training level dressage test during a lesson on a horse I hadn't ridden in months and who I find a challenging ride. It wasn't perfect, but close, and I had no idea that we had been working at a more complex level than that for months! I know, it's "only" training level but I don't show (yet!) so I always thought it was far above me when I read other people discussing levels etc. I was interested in hearing stories from others about experiences with realizing their skills.

This week, my instructor wanted me to work with a new horse. He is not well trained right now and she thought it would be good for him to have me ride. I actually had a good time with him although the ride sure was a workout. Everyone was pleased with how we worked together. At the end of the lesson we (the "students") went for a cool-out hack in the upper fields. As we approached the barn again my horse was relaxed on a loose rein, I was relaxed too. Make that too relaxed.I don't know what happened (fly bite? bee sting?) but the horse suddenly started bucking quick little bucks and hopping sideways. He moved sideways enough that he was behind my car and then kicked my car which spooked him and he shot forward. I didn't really move forward with him and since I was horribly off balance from the bucking I came off the side.

I spent almost 9 hours in emergency! My wrist is broken (distal radius fracture) but I'm told I can probably have the cast off in 3 weeks which is pretty good.

I have a stockpile of blog topics I've been wanting to do but typing is slow with one hand! I guess I will have more time though...