Thursday, July 26, 2007

The best damn pizza we made so far

Dough: Whole wheat/half unbleached white with millet, herbs and olive oil mixed into the dough.

Toppings: pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni, mozzeralla, red onions, turkey chipolte sausage, sauteed mushrooms and eggplant.

With two glasses of Blue label Chimay.

This was our 4th of July weekend feast. I made a slideshow out of pictures and could not figure out how to post it. Eventually, I imported the slideshow to iMovies and it became a "movie". I could not post it straight away from iMovies so I uploaded it to YouTube. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Squash Enchilada Casserole w/ 3 Cheeses

Oh yea. I am not sure if it is because we just finished our Wednesday Worlds or that I love cheese and spicy food but I must say, damn this dish is awesome. And easy to put together.

1 tbl olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb green zucchini or other summer squash, ends trimmed, and cut into 3/4 in thick rounds
1 lb yellow scalloped squash or other summer squash, cut into 3/4 in rounds
1 tsp dried oregano or 2 tbl minced fresh oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup fresh corn kernels, or frozen corn-thawed
2 cups finely shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
3 to 4 cups canned green chile enchilada sauce
1 dozen soft corn tortillas, each cut into 4 strips
8 oz queso fresco or rinsed and well drained mild feta cheese, crumbled
(Not your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook)

If you do not know this already, most recipes list ingredients in order that they are mixed together.

For example, all the veggies get stirred fried together in the olive oil and most time in shifts as the onions and zucchini/squash need to cook longer than others. Add the spices, stir. Add corn. Remove from heat. Takes about 5 to 10 minutes to cook. I did 5 minutes and let it sit as I prepped as I did not want my squash to get mushy because it might end up that way from the cooker. So far, I have some crunchy squash, the way I like it.

Combine the Jack and Cheddar cheese. Since I could not find green chili enchilada sauce in Lancaster County (freakin' East Coast), I bought one can mild & one hot of enchilada sauce and 3 little cans of chopped green chilies and mixed them together. Pour 1/2 c of the enchilada sauce mix into the slow cooker and spread it around.

Layer the 4 items, 1/3 tortilla strips, 1/4 enchilada sauce, 1/3 sauteed veggies, 1/4 cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 queso fresco on top of the layer. Repeat layers two more times, ending with the queso fresco. Of course I messed up the order of the layering but it all worked out. I could not figure out "Finish the casserole with the remaining tortilla strips, sauce, cheese, and queso fresco."

Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hrs or on LOW for 4 hrs. The casserole will begin to brown around the edges, but do not allow it to burn.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


This year I did not pay any attention to the Tour "Day" France details such as the course routes, selected teams, leaders, climbers, etc.

Yet, on July 7th, we started taping the tour. That is the only way to watch in on the tele, is by video. Those commercials are obnoxious and we prefer to watch the live tapes instead of the packaged, edited version during prime-time. The second best way to see the tour is live, that is if you are okay with crowds. In 2004, I experienced my favorite part of the tour, the mountain stages.

I set the VCR everyday for the last two and a half weeks. We watched amazing racing, the sprint finishes from the back of the peleton (McEwen), high leg spinning cadences climbing HC climbs, amazing TT efforts, etc. I tried to not be so cynical as the commentators did not mention anything about doping and dopers.

I live in the land of Floyd Landis, Lancaster County. I want to believe. I want to have faith. But all my superstars are dopers. Hamilton, Zabel, Basso, Ullrich??, ... I am so sad.

But I still am amazed. So I will program the VCR for the last few stages of the TDF 2007.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


I love my cats. Here is my baby, a seven-toed friendly little bugger with the pudgy belly. My other cat has my personality. I will blog about Mochachino when he is more photogenic. I will let the pictures do the talking as I know most people hate when others tell "pet" stories.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


You think it will not happen to you. Think again. We are one of the statistics who had our credit card number stolen. There was a message on our home machine to call a number with an ID number. We find what credit card is was and Brad calls the number. He miss dialed and the girl on the other end said it happens all the time. (1-800 versus 1-866)

He was suspicious of a scam so he call the number on the back of the credit card. In the end, the message on the machine was legitimate.

The card that got stolen happened to be one that we stopped using last year so we knew it wasn't good.

Someone charged $5000+ within the last two weeks in Louisville, KY. Nope. We were not in Kentucky. The card was covered against theft. We canceled the card.

We got lucky. But may not be so the next time.

Word of advice, cancel any extra credit cards you have and you don't really need to keep. Be aware of the receipts or old credit card imprints machines, online use, etc. Sure, most business "xxxxxx1234" the credit card number but not all. Worst Western, for example, printed my whole credit card number on my itemized receipt. Freaked me out. But I did not say anything. I use that card often and check the bill online frequently but that does not mean that number won't get stolen, either. Double check that your credit card is covered against theft. Word.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Lady Liberty

It is the only picture I have of Lady Liberty from last year's Tour de Pink ride. Can you see her in the distance?

I know you are trying to imagine how in the hell someone could write such a long post on a master's 50 mile road race. Me, too.

Happy Independence Day.

Monday, July 2, 2007

PMS Lancaster Ride

July 1st, A group of us rode to Peach Bottom, PA, to preview the Fulton RR course. It was my task to google the route. This was all decided the night before as we were drinking beer out of a boot.

Slightly hung over, I dragged myself out of bed to map out the ride.

I am not going to name any of the riders (GS Lancaster, Swashbucklers, ERA Cycling, Faulkner Honda) because they all were whining at one point or another. We had a fabulous day to ride to nowhere but half of us had kids or time constraints. The tailwind also had some of us worried about the ride back (me!).

I lost my rights as map girl as I had potential of getting my arse dropped if we followed my route - through the hill and dales of southern Lancaster County. Pro-Wayne took reign and bee-lined us pretty close to the course. The false flats and few rollers seemed deceivingly flat with the tailwind. It was totally sweet.

On one section, Ober put the hammer down. There was a brain fart with one of the guys and he hit the brakes. My hand glider buddy gave a me and the Belgian beer drinker a puzzled look. We shook our heads and laughed. Then we had to get back on as we were gapped by 10+ seconds. Boozer drove us hitting 42+ mph as my hips were unhinging. Then I heard the flyer come by me. Wow. Oh, It was motorcycles with chicks on the back. No way it could have been "the flyer".

We eventually found the Fulton RR course after riding DOWN the hill that the race takes you UP!

I had a copy of the race course so after we turned ourselves around to ride up the climb proper, then down hill, made a left onto a false flat and up a rise that took us to a right where I decided to head back because I wanted to ride my pace into the headwind.

Pro-Wayne headed back with me as he had to move a freakin' 500 lb furniture for a buddy. We bee-lined back to Lancaster on Route 272 N and the wide shoulder was surprisingly pleasant on a busy road. I tried to pull in the headwind but I was a waste. I appreciated the company and the draft home. Did I say I wasn't going to name names? Oh, well.

The perks of racing - part deux

I signed up to race the 40-49 men's race this past weekend for training. The women's race was the last group in the afternoon and I could not work it in my schedule to race at 4 p.m. Racing at 9:30 for 50 miles opened up many possibilities of attending to other aspects of my life.

The perks of racing or "extras" as I was saying to the trapped, I mean captive listeners in the van - is buying alcohol when traveling out of Pennsylvania! I am all about getting great beer and wine at the lowest cost possible. Since most of my racing takes me out of state, I google for the nearest Costco, Wine and More, Trader Joes, Wild Oats or look for a discount liquor store. I spotted a discount liquor store off of Route 15 South, right near Mount St. Mary's University. I noted that for the drive home.

I carpooled with some of the hardest core racers in Lancaster County, John Spittal, Bill Care and my honey - Brad Ober (Dwayne Clinton was off racing in NJ). Again, I had a brain fart registering for the 40-49 men's race. We had to pre-register for the race. I wanted the 50 miles and knew I would not last long but really, what was I thinking?! Even if I started on the front, I would have been flushed to the back during the neutral start with 90 guys and the yellow line rule. I did not read the flyer well enough to realize that I could have registered for the 50-59 race as it started at 9:35 for 50 miles. Luckily, I worked it out with the promoter and officials to switch races (THANK YOU!)

We have been having FABULOUS weather the last few days of low humidity with temperatures in the high 70s, low 80s. But with it being so dry, I offered to Brad and John that if I happened to get dropped, I would go to the feed zone to feed them.

The 50-59 men's field had about 30 riders. And this age group is of stellar quality, too. Just the duration of the efforts usually less than the 40+ guys. The first two laps on the 10 km loop were pleasant as I sat third wheel. Into the third lap, some guy rolled off the front and gained 30 seconds on us. Randy Thrasher put the hammer down and so the racing began. There were some rollers on the course and with my waning fitness, I got flushed to the caboose over the last major rise, going into the fourth lap. Spinning like a mad woman, suffering on the false flat, I got disconnected as I about plowed into a guy who dropped his chain. Ping! The cord had been cut. The train kept a rollin'. Another winding, flat, false flat to the next riser and I did not reconnect. I worked to catch one rider; worked together to catch two more and tried to work together to ah, continue getting a workout.

It was getting hot. The finish was at different spot than the lap counter on the circuit. I waved to the officials that I was DONE. I rolled to the feed zone. Within a few minutes, the 40+ break comes flying down the hill to a flat stretch that was the feed zone. I stand in the middle of the lane, arms waving above so the GS Lancaster guys could spot me. (How could they not in my hunter orange racing kit) R. Muoio, an old teammate from LSV/Trek now called Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV Amateur Cycling, was the tallest in the break and took advantage of my feed. Doaph! R got a great grab as a bunch of water squirted out of the bottle as they traveled at least 30 mph through the zone. I was so glad I got popped to feed other guys in Brad's break. Great.

With one last feed to go, I hung out bumming water from a DC Velo feeder. An old teammate of Brad's was in the zone with me as he broke his pedal/crank arm in the first lap of his race. I situated myself at the beginning of the feed zone and Dave towards the end. The were flying down the hill into the zone. I heard Brad yell, "Guys, slow down, I need a feed." I braced myself; arm as far out as I could stretch it, holding the bottle from the top; nipple open and poof. It was out of my hand into his - thank goddess! Then at the same time, bottles were flying out of the break at me (R. yelled thanks as one accidentally welted me in the thigh). Down at the other end of the zone, Dave tries to feed Spittal but he did not need it and ducked under Dave's arm probably thinking who in the hell is he trying to feed?

I rolled the long way to the finish for the miles and the guys were flying. The break caught me in the final lap before the last turn for the final stretch to the finish. Ugh. Dave Osborne was off the break with a 15 second gap. The word I heard was he attacked after Brad and Spittal's attacks. The group said "let him wear himself out". Did they forget that he is Dave Osborne? They never touched him. Action happened on the last three rollers but all I know is the finish. R 2nd, Spittal 3rd and Brad 4th.

Hung out in the parking lot for the usual GS Lancaster wait for official results and prize money. Thankfully I packed fruit and nuts to eat while we waited. I used the opportunity to get my "extra". "Can we stop on the way home for beer? I will be quick; in and out." Spittal was thirty so he was game. Coronas, more Chimays and Duval.