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My husband is finally coming home. ❤️

While I generally prefer cooking with fresh things, this is an easy, tasty vegetarian dish that I can throw together in minutes. It’s might spicy, so tastebuds beware!

Mexican Quinoa

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic (I use the bottled stuff)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 c. quinoa (I use the stuff that’s already kind of cooked)
  • 1 c. vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15 oz. can corn, drained
  • 1 can diced jalapeño peppers, drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Diced avocado

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cumin and stir for about a minute. Add the beans, tomatoes, corn, jalapeños, and quinoa. After about 1 minute, add the broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes until the quinoa is cooked. Remove pan from heat and let it rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Add a half an avocado, diced, to each bowl when serving. Serves 4 as an excellent spicy comfort food.

Cat in a Box.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Firefighters
  • Having the end of MKL’s move in sight
  • Almost two months with no sugar (because I’m sweet enough as it is, damn it)

Lake with the Spanish Peaks as a backdrop.
Peak Peeking.
A Tempting Trail.
Anytime. But nary a horse to be found.
My best friend ready to head on.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Goats
  • Grazing alpacas
  • MKL
  • Tulips blooming today
At least it’s pretending to be so.
I am hopeful.
Quite hopeful.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Lovely neighbors
  • Horses
  • Counting down the days
  • A plane ticket in hand (even if it’s just to Dallas)

On Hwy. 12, somewhere between Weston and Segundo.

Empty but welcoming.
The world through windows.
Nests in the eaves.
Angles.
Did she say yes?
No longer needed.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Lemon ginger tea
Took a detour down a little Forest Service road, hoping to reach a random lake, but was stopped by too-deep snow. There were, however, lovely tree roots.
Atop Cuchara Pass.
Choices.
North Lake.
Abandoned Church.
The former Weston General Store.
The former Weston Elementary School.
Bird on a limb.
Looking back with love.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • That K does not have COVID-19
  • Sleep
  • Lemon ginger tea
  • A repaired stair
Corners Diner, which looks sadly defunct.
Such unique rock formations.
Curves ahead.
Roadside barn.
And roadside shed.
My stomach was disappointed that it could not have a burger at the Dog Bar. A little too early for the season.
Happy Mailboxes.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • That MKL came up for the day
  • Only nine more days until I actually live with my husband
  • That the Fire Department is trying to contain the fire four miles northwest of here (which is really stressing me out)
  • A successful experimental smoothie

I’m really not traveling the county roads in numerical order – though that might be fun.

But this one was irresistible.
Down the tracks.
And always look both ways.
Sketchy bridge ahead.
The Sangre de Cristos in one direction…
And the Spanish Peaks in the other. I have a particular fondness for the Spanish Peaks.
They all came running up to the fence to say hello. I think they liked my music. I blew them a kiss as I left.
This is the kind of mountain I used to draw as a child, basically a triangle. I love the way the rooftop echoes the peak’s contours.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Dirt roads
  • An annual State parks pass
  • Meadowlarks
  • Getting gas for under $4.00/gallon

Welcome to the second edition of Feed Me Fridays! Today, in honor of Good Friday (aren’t all Fridays good though, really?), I give you my ridiculously good sugar cookie recipe. I have given up sugar since Lent began, though I’m not of a faith that celebrates, requires, or encourages me to mark Lent. Sugar is a hard addiction to break and I know I’m better off when I’m not eating sugary stuff, so I’m not sure I’ll go back to doing so come Easter. That said, if you’ve given it up like me, YOU can start eating sugary stuff on Easter Sunday and I suggest you start with these little noms. Here we go:

  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. salted butter (2 sticks), room temperature (I usually soften it in the microwave)
  • 1c. + 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar (for rolling)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars together until light in color and fluffy (medium speed if you’re using a mixer, which I never do). Add the egg and mix until well combined. Add the vanilla and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and (guess what?) mix until well combined. The dough will be thick but not sticky.

Using your hands, make ping pong ball-sized balls of cookie dough, gently roll each in sugar, and put on your cookie sheet. Space them a couple of inches apart, as they will spread, but if they spread into each other, they just form giant cookies, so don’t worry about it too much. Bake for 8 minutes and check to see how they’re doing. They will spread and their centers will look soft. If that hasn’t happened yet, bake for up to 12 minutes. Remove them just before the edges begin to turn golden. This is important – if you overbake them, they won’t be chewy, which is key to their deliciousness. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 4-5 minutes; they will fall as they cool. Transfer cookies to a towel or wire rack to cool completely. Or just eat them all right away. I find that simpler.

Makes 30-40 cookies, depending on how big your balls are. (I said what I said.)

Remember that I don’t take good pictures of food, so here is a cat with rainbow sneakers.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Picking the next book to read
  • Sunshine
  • A day off
  • Wrestling with Headless Matilda

Via a rather circuitous route that included Hwy 69, Hwy 96, and Hwy 165.

The Sangre de Cristo range.
Abandoned.
But still watchful.
The Three Trees.
Contrasts.
My Best Friend.
Grazing.
Aspens on the verge of Spring.
Higher and higher.
I found some bison!
Along the road home.

Today’s gratitudes:

  • Trying to figure out the cat
  • The first tree in bloom
  • That K is back safely from her trip
May 2022
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