The cycle of life.

We welcomed a new Weber grill into the fold today. We have 2 or 3 out back at a time, but when we burn through a grate or the body of a kettle, it’s time for a new one and recycle the old one.

So shiny!

Wood-fired pizza.

Julie and Ryan came over this weekend with their new toy – a wood (pellet) fired pizza oven! It’s made by ooni. They set it up out back and we made pizzas until we couldn’t eat another bite. It worked really well, and the pizzas were delicious.

I made my favorite, a knock-off of Brick Oven’s Tuscan Truffle pizza. It has a mushroom and truffle oil pesto, with a little bit of prosciutto. It is topped with arugula and shredded asiago cheese after it comes out of the oven. Stupendo!

To make the mushroom pesto, blend the following in a food processor:

  • 8 oz brown mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp white truffle oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 oz shredded parmesan cheese

Home for Thanksgiving!

After 29 days, 1300 miles by plane, 920 miles by boat, and 1100 miles by car, traveling through 10 states, I’m back home again. Thanks, Lori, for another adventure. Thanks, Monte, for being the shore-person watching out for us as we made our way down the east coast. Thanks, Tony, for joining us for our off-shore legs. And thanks, Michelle, for the warm welcome to your hometown.

It’s good to be home.

Not wasting any time, Monte and I whipped up a nice Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, and Julie joined us to celebrate the day and our blessings.

Year of the Rooster.

In honor of the 2017 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster, I whipped up a little chicken stir fry.  Delicious.

Chicken Stir-fry (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1lb), sliced thinly
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 2 T grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1 head of cut broccoli florets
  • 4-6 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 T oil with high smoke-point (e.g., peanut or sesame)
  • 3-4 cups cooked rice

Combine corn starch, soy sauce and chicken broth in large bowl, and stir until smooth.  Add ginger, garlic and pepper flakes to liquid and stir.  Marinate sliced chicken in this mixture for at least 30 mins.  Stir occassionally.


Place wok or saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 T oil and saute onions, mushrooms, broccoli and water chestnuts, stirring, until tender (5-7 minutes).  Empty these cooked veggies into a clean bowl and set aside.


Add 1 T oil to wok/saucepan and add chicken slices, reserving liquid marinade until a bit later.  Brown chicken 2-3 minutes per side.



Add remaining liquid marinade and veggies back to wok/saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occassionally, to allow sauce to thicken.


Serve over cooked rice.

Add more/different veggies, cashews, or other favorite ingredients, to taste.



Garbage-pail pasta.

We had a storm blow through this afternoon. Had to jockey cars to put them all under cover. There were reports of baseball-sized hail. But none made it here. For dinner tonight we dug through the fridge and made pasta with whatever looked like it would be good: onions, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, leftover grilled chicken, some white wine, broth and parmesan cheese. We used Buitoni fresh linguini for the noodles.


Grill grub

Hibachi pie.

Monte whipped up a batch of his pizza doughs this afternoon.  Instead of our usual thin, thin crust in the oven on the pizza stone, he wanted to give it a try on the grill this time.   We’ve tried grilled pizza before… once we put a pizza stone on top of the grate in a Weber charcoal grill and tried, unsuccessfully, to cook a loaded pizza dough on top.  After that experiment, we ended up with 3 or 4 inedible pizzas that were black on the bottom and raw on top.  And, the pizza stone eventually broke in 2 from the heat.

This time, he had something else in mind.   We have a charcoal hibachi grill out back as well.  This time he put one of our cast iron grill plates on the hibachi, and put the pizza dough on top of that.  After turning it the dough once, he put sauce and cheese on top while the other side was grilling.   It only took a few minutes per side – and it turned out great.

Viva la pizza!

Sunday postscript.

Red peppers, onion, garlic, black olives, mushrooms and goat cheese.

One last post for tonight.  We made 3 pizza doughs.  A margerita, a proscuitto-mozzarella-blackolive and this delicious one with red pepper and goat cheese.  Yum-mee.  2+ pizzas are in the fridge for leftovers this week.

Great weekend!

Perseids raft-up.

1st raftup with Nirvana in the books.

It’s Sunday night, and the end of another great weekend.  Yesterday my cousin Devitt and Aunt Joanne came over for a breakfast visit with Monte, Julie and I.  Monte made french omelettes, Julia Child style.  And we tried our hand at a potato recipe that we got from Devitt:

Browned Breakfast Potatoes

Large cast iron skillet
8 oz bacon, cut into 1-2″ pieces
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt & pepper

Cook bacon, onions and garlic in large cast iron skillet until browned.  Discard bacon fat from pan.  Add potatoes, salt & pepper.  Cook another 10 minutes or so over medium heat on the stovetop.  Then place skillet, uncovered, in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Lower temperature to 350 and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve and savor!

Afterwards, Julie headed home to study up for the last final exam of Summer session (good luck!), and we packed for the lake.

We planned to raft-up with friends overnight to watch the Perseids meteor shower.  We made it to the cove by about 5pm and set our first anchor on the new boat.  It was a good set.  We were soon joined by Joe on Prelude, Rory & Greg on Sapphire, Nick, Laurene & Morgan on Kalliopi, and Kurt & Kevin on Dancer.  Everyone was tied up by the time the golden hour was upon us.  The shot above is of the 5 boats, stern to the sunset.  Nirvana is in the middle.

After dinner and stories from the day, everyone grabbed a cushion and laid on the bow of their boats to watch for meteors.  It wasn’t a knock-out show, but we did get to see some good ones.   The night was peppered with random shouts of “There’s one!” every 10 or 15 minutes.

This morning everyone floated for a while and then people started peeling off at about noon.  I’m pleased to report that we got the anchor up with little problem.  I am loving the electric windlass to bring up the chain and anchor!

Monte and I sailed ALL afternoon.  The breezes started out sluggish but filled in to some great wind that we haven’t seen in a long time on the lake.   At about 3:30 we dropped sail and picked up Devitt at Arky cove to take him out for a sail.   He did great, taking the helm as Monte and I worked the lines.  We dropped him off back at the park around 5:30 and headed back to the marina.

By the time we got home several hours later we were pleasantly exhausted.

I can’t wait to get out there again.   Friday soon come!

Three P’s.


We’ve been anxiously awaiting some, *any*, rain at our house for the last 72 hours or so.   In between weather radar checks, I cooked dinner tonight.  And as we were finishing, the rain started falling — yeah!!

Pasta, Proscuitto & Peas

6 oz fresh pasta (I used linguine)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 shallot,  finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
2 oz sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 oz prosciutto, sliced into long thin strips (I trim off fat to throw it in while sauteing the shallots and garlic)
1/2 c white wine
6 oz green peas (i used frozen, you can also use fresh)
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz parmesan cheese, finely shredded

Boil pasta in salted water.  Over medium heat, saute onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes til soft in butter, olive oil and trimmed fat from prosciutto. After a minute or two, add sliced prosciutto.   Stir for 2-3 minutes.   Add wine to de-glaze pan, stir and reduce by 1/2.  Add peas and cream.  Stir again for 2-3 mins. 

When pasta is done, strain (saving 1 cup pasta water in case sauce needs thinning). Remove sauce from heat and place strained pasta in cream sauce.  Toss pasta in sauce.  Add pasta water if needed to thin sauce.

Stir in cheese.   Serve!

Pizza night.

Pizzas 2-4

We made pizza for dinner tonight.  4 doughs.   I didn’t get a picture of the first one – with homemade pesto, olives, and parmesan cheese.  Delicious!  Pizza 2 was a margherita with homemade sauce with tomatoes from the garden, homegrown basil, and mozzarella cheese.  Pizza 3 was red sauce, proscuitto, black olives, onions and mozzarella, and pizza 4 was red sauce, artichoke hearts, red bell peppers, olives and mozzarella cheese.

The best part of pizza night are the leftovers.

Julie and I watched Wanderlust tonight.   You guys will just have to watch it and judge for yourselves.  🙂


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