Friday, July 30, 2010

Pollo Asado y Pico de Gallo

Ernesto and I have been in San Diego for the last month staying with mis suegros.  The summer weather here has been strange.  It's not sunny and warm everyday like it usually is, but I am happy to be out of the GA humidity.  We have been hiking, biking, kayaking, lobster eating in Mexico, watching horse races, and of course cooking lots of Mexican food. 

Although I haven't posted since last month, do not fear!  I have several great recipes to share with you on VLC.   When mi suegra is cooking, I have to be right there with a pen and paper to capture everything.  She cooks from memory so I am constantly asking questions, "What did you just add there? How much of that?"  I really appreciate her taking the time to pass these recipes on to me [and you]. 

On some nights we cook dinner and give everyone else the night off.  Back in Atlanta, Ernesto got addicted to grilling whole chickens.  
It's so simple too.  You will just need a whole chicken, five cloves of garlic (chopped), olive oil and salt and pepper.  Rub oil on outside of chicken and under skin.  Rub garlic under skin.
Place chicken on hot grill for 45 minutes, flipping it over several times.  
Every time this chicken comes out flavorful and so juicy. 
One chicken does not a meal make? Agreed.
My favorite way to serve this, is to make a quick pico de gallo to go on top and refried beans on the side.

Pico de Gallo
5 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
4 serrano peppers, chopped (less if you don't like it spicy)
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 squeeze of lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
Pico de gallo

Fit Fridays: San Diego Part 5

Well, we are on our last full week here in San Diego.  I wish I could say it was a fit one, but alas the entertaining, the beers.....The below picture is from a bar called Toronado in North Park, a cool little neighborhood just north east of downtown.  I sampled a few local beers which were to my liking, unfortunately I forget the names. 

 I have not always been a beer snob, but long gone are the days that I drink any 'ol beer just to drink.  It seems in the last year I have really zeroed in on my favorite type:  IPA's.  (more hops please, I like it bitter)
Our Atlanta friends left Wednesday night, so we are trying to get back to our "regular schedule" ( there is such a thing)  Entertaining all week left us no time to work out.  That sounds so believable, doesn't it?  Truth is, we didn't even leave the house before 2pm any of the days they were here, so there was plenty of time to work out.  I will just say what I always say when we skip workouts, "it's good to give your body a rest now and again." 

Since both of our friends has already been to San Diego, we didn't have a long list of "must see-and-do's."  And despite never leaving the house early, we had quite a busy week.

Hiking Cowles Mountain this morning, is about the only thing I would qualify as a workout, but....

Here is the week in pictures:

{hanging out at Balboa Park}

{visiting sea lions and seals in La Jolla}

{making a friend at Torrey Pines}

{hiking Cowles Mountain}

{cochinita pibil tacos}

{watching los Padres at Petco Park)

{kayaking La Jolla caves}

Sunday, July 25, 2010

First Time This Year....A Mexico!

Last week I went to Mexico twice.   It was the first time I left the country ALL YEAR.  Big deal you say? Maybe not to you......but I haven't gone this long without an international trip in 10 YEARS!  It's a hard thing to let go of I tell you.......

Dear Mexico, 
Thank you for speaking Spanish, thank you for having such a beautiful coastline, thank you for selling seafood on the beach for such reasonable prices,  and thank you for being just a 15 minute drive from la casa de mis suegros.  
When we came to San Diego in March, Ernesto and I forgot our passports, and since the days of crossing the border with just a drivers license are gone, we weren't able to go into mexico.  We have been looking forward to eating lobster on the beach ever since.  

Puerto Nuevo is located just south of Tijuana and Rosarito and is well known for seafood.  Only a few square blocks, this little pueblo relies on tourists, which Im sure has really been slow lately.  Needless to say,  they were happy to see us and fighting for our business.  
{Jason and I munching on candied almonds and coco}

All the restaurants prices are the same, you really just pick for ambiance.  My only criteria was a great view, and that is just what we got at Olas del Mar.
Four plates of shrimp and fish ceviche started us off while the lobsters were being steamed or grilled.  Although prices have gone up since last time (I think they were $12 in 2007) they were still only $20 and come with beans freshly made tortillas and salsas. 
Ernesto's cousin Victor  met us to hang out.  He is a great guy and an AWESOME artist.
While perusing through his portfolio, I came across this masterpiece.  He painted this wall [and many other rooms in a house] for a movie set.  I am in LOVE with it and have already asked him if he can recreate it in my [future] house.  It will go perfectly in our old Spanish style house. 
After lunch/dinner, we cruised on down the coast [another 40 minutes] to Ensenada where we visited the famous Cantina Hussongs.  Supposedly the margarita was invented here back in October 1941.  Im not sure about that, but it was definitely an authentic Mexican cantina complete with mariachis and locals singing along.  
It was a long drive back to the US.  We were so tired and pleasantly surprised when the border crossing only took us 20 minutes! 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fit Fridays: San Diego Part 4

{Visiting with the sea lions in La Jolla}

Another great workout week.  Are you guys keeping up with workout goals?

Saturday: bike to Coronado (30 miles rt)
Sunday: run 3 miles, run 10 flights of stairs
Monday: rest
Tuesday: Crossfit: 5 rounds of 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, 50 squats
Wednesday: run one "fast" mile (just under 8 minutes)
Thursday: walk Torrey Pines trail and beach
Friday:  hike Cowles Mountain

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Opening Day at Del Mar 2010

I like the idea of making traditions.  Isn't it cool when you ALWAYS do a certain thing on a certain day?
We are only on year number 2 in making this a tradition, but the Opening Day at Del Mar horse track is something I would like to continue.

The best part of opening day is, hands down,  the people watching.  Outfits and hats are out of control. Some good, and a lot of bad.  I learned my lesson from last year and didn't wear high heels this year. It was a good choice, although I had lower back pain from standing all day in flats (girls just can't win) ha!

I think last year was more fun for some reason.  Maybe it was because we won $300, or that we snuck into good seats, or because it was sunny out.  The overcast weather yesterday took away from the event.  Sunny = happy.

Our friends Jason and Monica flew in from Atlanta the night before.  We told them to be ready for a fun [long] day. Traffic was horrible getting to the park, and due to the several stops we had to make on the way, we were already running late.  The "line" (if that's what you want to call it) was crazy to get in the park.
We missed betting on the first few races due to lines and running back and forth.  Jason was betting for himself and a friend.  Monica was picking horses by "best name" which is what I do too. 
By race #5 we had a winner!  Monica picked Lion's Story "to win" and he came in first!

There were several friends that Ernesto was trying to meet up with, but with all the noise and crowds it is almost impossible. While Ernesto was talking to Freddy on the phone,  he happened to walk right in front of us.  
Freddy's wife Raylene lent me a hat this year which was great, because there were none to be found (at my store at least)  It was a huge floppy hat, striped black and natural straw.  I wore a simple black dress some rubies by Zafiro  and metallic gladiators.  My hot hubby found some awesome [red and tan] plaid pants.  He said he bought them because he know I would love them. So sweet!
Del Mar is a great day out with friends, just be prepared to be surrounded by drunk-a$$es.   I always find it easier to deal with that situation if I drink myself.  To wait for traffic to die down after the races we headed to Brigantine and sat outside at a garden table for some appetizers and drinks.  

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Biking San Diego

Sometimes getting an "early start" isn't all it's cracked up to be.  Saturday morning Ernesto wanted to leave early on our long bike ride so we could get back early.   We would ride a loop that goes from his parents house in Paradise Hills to the Silver Stand to Coronado.  There we would take the ferry from Coronado to downtown San Diego and back to the house.  About 30 miles in total.   3 hours tops with a few stops to take in the views.
Like a lot of things in life, you have to "roll with it."  If things don't go as planned, take a minute to breathe and decide what you can do to get around the problem.  This is what we did when we got our first flat tire.  Neto pulled out the patch kit and pumped his tire back up.  Good as new!
NOT!  A few miles after the "fix" we heard a little pop........flat again.  This time we called Ernesto's dad for a ride to a bike shop to buy a new tube.  OK, now we were on our way. 
We rode by the mountains of salt at the South Bay Salt Works Factory, the second oldest business in San Diego.   Right there is the entrance to the Silver Strand along the bay.  It is an 8 mile paved path to Coronado and such an enjoyable ride. 
Until.....flat tire number 3.  This time it was my tire.  WTH!?
With about 2 more miles on the trail to reach Coronado, we pulled over and Ernesto took rode ahead to buy a new tube while I walked with my flat tire.  I didn't even care.  I turned on my ipod and enjoyed my walk.  What is there really to be upset about?
Ernesto got back to me within 30 minutes or so and we continued on.    I snapped a few pics of some houses that I would not mind living in.  Someday I need to walk in this neighborhood and take more pics.  Coronado living is the "American dream" type of place. 
All that and just a few steps away from the water.  We made our way to the ferry along the trail. 
The tickets are $3.75 for the 15 minute ride to downtown. 
We debated hopping on the trolley to cut some of the miles home, but instead decided we needed a break at BASIC , a converted warehouse that specializes in thin crust pizza y beer.  We parked the bikes inside and ordered a pizza with bacon and basil and a couple IPA's. 
 I must say after all the pizza, salad and beer my tummy was full.  The thought of another 15 miles on the bike seemed like too much, but it was beautiful out and wanted to finish it.  I felt really good afterward. What could have been a 3 hour trip turned into 8! haha.  Roll with it baby!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hiking at Mission Trails Regional Park

The other morning, Ernesto and I were driving back from dropping papa at work (one car was in the shop) and we drove on Mission Gorge Rd, which not surprisingly, winds through Mission Gorge.   We passed the Mission Trails Regional Park.  We know the park because we have climbed Cowles Mountain many times.  (It is only a 1.5 mile climb but takes us 30 minutes.  Needless to say, it is a workout)  We  popped into the visitors center to see what else there is to do in the huge park.  

We picked up a great map of over 40 miles of trails.  We were not dressed for hiking so we came back the next day checked out the little Mission Dam and Oak Canyon Trail.  (3-4 miles)

Besides the little dam area, I have 3 words about this park:  "Dry, very dry."
The dirt trail is well marked with signs and offers amazing views of all the surrounding mountains.
On Friday we hiked again. This time we got a 7am start on the trails with Ernesto's dad and neighbor Agustin.  We usually hike on Fridays, but they were happy to try a new mountain.  A much longer route.  3 hours.
In addition to many bunny rabbits,  I saw two animals I have never seen before.  This horny toad......
and a road runner!  Much smaller than I imagined. Of course my idea of a road runner was based on a cartoon.  True to the cartoon though, they are quick! So much so that I couldn't snap a picture. 
The last 10 minutes before we reached the top winded up a wood staircase, and really got us sweating.

We even had to do some climbing on huge boulders. 

It was challenging, but we made it! 


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