Natalie's bike blog

Natalie's Bike Blog

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Homemade mushroom soup with polenta and garnished with parsley
Ingredients:
Shiitake mushrooms
Carrots
Cipollini onions
Green onions
Garlic
Parsley
Cooking instructions:
Chop veggies same size and shape to encourage cooking at the same speed.
Make soup stock.  Cook veggies in water by bringing to boil and then reducing heat and simmering until vegetables are soft.
 Fry polenta separately in a pan with some olive oil.
Serve up a bowl of soup, add a couple slices of polenta and top it off with a few springs of parsley.
Basic soup stock primer courtesy of tips from rock star chef Amanda Cohen, carried out in practice in Natalie’s kitchen.  Enjoy!

Homemade mushroom soup with polenta and garnished with parsley

Ingredients:

Shiitake mushrooms

Carrots

Cipollini onions

Green onions

Garlic

Parsley

Cooking instructions:

Chop veggies same size and shape to encourage cooking at the same speed.

Make soup stock.  Cook veggies in water by bringing to boil and then reducing heat and simmering until vegetables are soft.

 Fry polenta separately in a pan with some olive oil.

Serve up a bowl of soup, add a couple slices of polenta and top it off with a few springs of parsley.

Basic soup stock primer courtesy of tips from rock star chef Amanda Cohen, carried out in practice in Natalie’s kitchen.  Enjoy!

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Warm Blueberry Compote
Ingredients:
2 cups frozen blueberries
3 Tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Cooking instructions:
Combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Serve warm.
Thanks for the awesome recipe Food Network!

Warm Blueberry Compote

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen blueberries

3 Tablespoons water

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cooking instructions:

Combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Serve warm.

Thanks for the awesome recipe Food Network!

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Juicing it up!  Celery, cucumber and lemon, topped with a couple freshly harvested lettuce leaves from my indoor organic garden (it’s still snowy in the northwoods of Minnesota!).  Thank you for the inspiration David Wolfe! @foodmattersfilm @davidwolfe @Dvitalis

Juicing it up!  Celery, cucumber and lemon, topped with a couple freshly harvested lettuce leaves from my indoor organic garden (it’s still snowy in the northwoods of Minnesota!).  Thank you for the inspiration David Wolfe! @foodmattersfilm @davidwolfe @Dvitalis

Filed under celery cucumber lemon organic foodmatters juicing

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Spring equinox along the north shore of Lake Superior

It’s been an awesome day in Grand Marais!  My morning began by waking to an amazing sunrise across Lake Superior and the bright rays of dawn, reflecting off the beautiful birch trees behind the hotel.  After breakfast,  coffee, and working on my computer for a little bit, I jumped on my bike and rode up 2nd Avenue and across West 5th Street to the new and very awesome YMCA.  After meetings, I took a little different return route, heading down Broadway to the harbor for a late lunch at the Gunflint Tavern.  I’m always impressed by the menu selection here.  Today, the butternut squash ravioli was delish.  Happy Spring!

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Homemade chocolate crumble crust is very yummy!
Ingredients: 5 T. butter, 1 C. flour, 2 t. cornstarch, 1/4 C. sugar, salt, 1/4 C. cocoa powder (+ 1 T butter later).
Combine in a bowl, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spread out dough on cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes.
Add dough from the cookie sheet plus the 1 T of butter I mentioned earlier in a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes.
Press into a pie tin.
Add pie filling and either serve or bake pie (depending upon whether you’re making a banana cream, strawberry or another type of pie).
Recipe inspiration: Netflix cooking show by David Chang.  (I made this crust for a strawberry pie and it turned out fantastic!)

Homemade chocolate crumble crust is very yummy!

Ingredients: 5 T. butter, 1 C. flour, 2 t. cornstarch, 1/4 C. sugar, salt, 1/4 C. cocoa powder (+ 1 T butter later).

Combine in a bowl, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, spread out dough on cookie sheet and bake 5 minutes.

Add dough from the cookie sheet plus the 1 T of butter I mentioned earlier in a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes.

Press into a pie tin.

Add pie filling and either serve or bake pie (depending upon whether you’re making a banana cream, strawberry or another type of pie).

Recipe inspiration: Netflix cooking show by David Chang.  (I made this crust for a strawberry pie and it turned out fantastic!)

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Broccoli for breakfast?!  YES, broccoli can add an unexpected burst of flavor to start your day.Folks in the winter wonderland, if you’re taking vitamin D supplements to get through the winter, broccoli has a very strong combination of vitamin A and K that will help keep vitamin D metabolism in balance.
Top 3 benefits of broccoli: detoxification of unwanted contaminants, lower cholesterol and anti-inflammatory to lessen the impact of allergy related substances.
Enjoy and stay healthy!
Yours truly,
Kitchen ninja from the wintery Minnesota north woods

Broccoli for breakfast?!  YES, broccoli can add an unexpected burst of flavor to start your day.

Folks in the winter wonderland, if you’re taking vitamin D supplements to get through the winter, broccoli has a very strong combination of vitamin A and K that will help keep vitamin D metabolism in balance.

Top 3 benefits of broccoli: detoxification of unwanted contaminants, lower cholesterol and anti-inflammatory to lessen the impact of allergy related substances.

Enjoy and stay healthy!

Yours truly,

Kitchen ninja from the wintery Minnesota north woods

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Eggs: Natalie’s 6 minute rule.
Featured in this photo is one of a variety of breakfast variations I make, which includes potatoes, eggs, mushrooms, onions, garlic and ginger, topped with fresh chives.  
There is a method that I use that is a common thread is all of my stovetop egg cooking and that is to limit the amount of time the eggs are in the pan to 6 minutes or less.
Why? Have you every had dry eggs, tasteless eggs, or eggs that have even turned brown?  Well, the egg at that point may have gone past the 6 minute limit in the pan, which zaps it of moisture that contributes to a tasty breakfast.
First, start out with local farm fresh eggs, if possible. The fresher the better and if you either know the farmer or ARE the farmer, all the better. Local foods are more economical, reduce the energy input to bring them to your table and also may contain elements that bring you that much closer in harmony with nature in your local environment. (Do not add the eggs to the pan yet.)
Second, heat up your oil or butter.
Third, flavor your oil or butter. It is very common in my kitchen to flavor oil with garlic and/or ginger.
Forth, begin cooking ingredients, starting with elements of your dish that require longer cooking times, such as potatoes. Add in mushrooms, onions and other ingredients, possibly peppers.
Add eggs to the dish, cooking 3 minutes, flip and then cooking 3 minutes more.
Pull the pan off the heat and sprinkle fresh herbs on top of your dish, while everything is still in the pan.
Plate up your dish and enjoy a wonderful breakfast, with tasty eggs that are cooked just right. Total prep & cook time approximately 30 minutes.
Viola! Bon appetite!
La cuisine de Natalie

Eggs: Natalie’s 6 minute rule.

Featured in this photo is one of a variety of breakfast variations I make, which includes potatoes, eggs, mushrooms, onions, garlic and ginger, topped with fresh chives.  

There is a method that I use that is a common thread is all of my stovetop egg cooking and that is to limit the amount of time the eggs are in the pan to 6 minutes or less.

Why? Have you every had dry eggs, tasteless eggs, or eggs that have even turned brown?  Well, the egg at that point may have gone past the 6 minute limit in the pan, which zaps it of moisture that contributes to a tasty breakfast.

First, start out with local farm fresh eggs, if possible. The fresher the better and if you either know the farmer or ARE the farmer, all the better. Local foods are more economical, reduce the energy input to bring them to your table and also may contain elements that bring you that much closer in harmony with nature in your local environment. (Do not add the eggs to the pan yet.)

Second, heat up your oil or butter.

Third, flavor your oil or butter. It is very common in my kitchen to flavor oil with garlic and/or ginger.

Forth, begin cooking ingredients, starting with elements of your dish that require longer cooking times, such as potatoes. Add in mushrooms, onions and other ingredients, possibly peppers.

Add eggs to the dish, cooking 3 minutes, flip and then cooking 3 minutes more.

Pull the pan off the heat and sprinkle fresh herbs on top of your dish, while everything is still in the pan.

Plate up your dish and enjoy a wonderful breakfast, with tasty eggs that are cooked just right. Total prep & cook time approximately 30 minutes.

Viola! Bon appetite!

La cuisine de Natalie

Filed under eggs breakfast local

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It’s time for a winter bike ride! How about on New Year’s Day?Bemidji and Bowlus are rolling into 2014 with New Year Day bike rides.  Fat bike, mountain bike, road bike with studded tires or whatever other type of bike you may be rolling in this winter, join the fun at one of the following bike rides to kick off 2014!BEMIDJI, MN - 5th Annual Brrrrmidji New Years Day Bike Ride. 1:00pm meet at The Cabin Coffeehouse and Cafe. Long and short routes available.  Hosted by Shifting Gears.BOWLUS, MN - “The 1st Annual Frozen Toes & Nose New Year’s Day Fat Tire Bike Ride”. Meet at The Bowlus Trail head at 12:30 P.M. Depending on the wind. We are riding the Soo Line Trail either East to Blanchard Dam or West and looping around back to Bowlus. Alternative route is the local ice & snow covered gravel roads. Ride option: Fat Tire Bikes, MTB with knobby tires, Skis (?). Whatever floats your boat or paddles your canoe. Make sure you come prepared for the elements, and have good lights. Reminder: Snowmobiles have priority on the Soo Line Trail. Jordie’s Trailside Cafe for refueling. (Great Chicken Dumpling Soup) Hope to see you there!!” (Thank you Theresa Gregory for posting such an awesome description of this ride, which I’ve just reposted here on my blog.)  Hosted by the Central Minnesota Bicycle Group.
It’s wonderful to see the bicycling community in northern Minnesota continue to grow and this hearty group of riders continues rolling through the snow, ice and cold temperatures.Let’s kick up some snow and make tracks to another great year of riding bicycles in northern Minnesota!
Here’s a link to other winter cycling activities going on in Minnesota:
http://mnbiketrailnavigator.blogspot.com/2013/11/2014-minnesota-bike-tours-rides-races.html
Roll on, Natalie

It’s time for a winter bike ride! How about on New Year’s Day?

Bemidji and Bowlus are rolling into 2014 with New Year Day bike rides.  Fat bike, mountain bike, road bike with studded tires or whatever other type of bike you may be rolling in this winter, join the fun at one of the following bike rides to kick off 2014!

BEMIDJI, MN - 5th Annual Brrrrmidji New Years Day Bike Ride. 1:00pm meet at The Cabin Coffeehouse and Cafe. Long and short routes available.  Hosted by Shifting Gears.

BOWLUS, MN - “The 1st Annual Frozen Toes & Nose New Year’s Day Fat Tire Bike Ride”. Meet at The Bowlus Trail head at 12:30 P.M. Depending on the wind. We are riding the Soo Line Trail either East to Blanchard Dam or West and looping around back to Bowlus. Alternative route is the local ice & snow covered gravel roads. Ride option: Fat Tire Bikes, MTB with knobby tires, Skis (?). Whatever floats your boat or paddles your canoe. Make sure you come prepared for the elements, and have good lights. Reminder: Snowmobiles have priority on the Soo Line Trail. Jordie’s Trailside Cafe for refueling. (Great Chicken Dumpling Soup) Hope to see you there!!” (Thank you Theresa Gregory for posting such an awesome description of this ride, which I’ve just reposted here on my blog.)  Hosted by the Central Minnesota Bicycle Group.

It’s wonderful to see the bicycling community in northern Minnesota continue to grow and this hearty group of riders continues rolling through the snow, ice and cold temperatures.

Let’s kick up some snow and make tracks to another great year of riding bicycles in northern Minnesota!

Here’s a link to other winter cycling activities going on in Minnesota:

http://mnbiketrailnavigator.blogspot.com/2013/11/2014-minnesota-bike-tours-rides-races.html

Roll on, Natalie

Filed under New Years Day Bemidji Bowlus 2014 fat bike mountain bike road bike studded tires bike winter Brrrrmidji Shifting Gears Frozen Toes and Noes The Cabin Jordie's Trailside Cafe Central Minnesota Bicycle Group

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"Moros y cristianos" (a.k.a. Cuban black beans and rice)
Ingredients:
1 T. olive oil
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves (original recipe calls for 2; I also omitted the minced 1/2 green pepper)
1/3 minced serrano (original recipe calls for 1 jalepeno)
1/2 t. ground cumin (I grind seeds fresh right before cooking this recipe.  I also omitted the 1/4 t. oregano.)
8 garden tomatoes (original recipe calls for 1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained)
3 C. cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (from a can works too!)
1/2 t. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 C. hot cooked jasmine rice (original recipe calls for long-grain white rice)
Directions:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and serrano (and bell pepper and jalapeño, if you also include them in your recipe).  Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.  Stir in the cumin (and oregano) and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, spoon over the hot rice and serve.
(Original recipe from “One-Dish Vegetarian Meals”.)

"Moros y cristianos" (a.k.a. Cuban black beans and rice)

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1 medium size onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves (original recipe calls for 2; I also omitted the minced 1/2 green pepper)

1/3 minced serrano (original recipe calls for 1 jalepeno)

1/2 t. ground cumin (I grind seeds fresh right before cooking this recipe.  I also omitted the 1/4 t. oregano.)

8 garden tomatoes (original recipe calls for 1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained)

3 C. cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (from a can works too!)

1/2 t. salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 C. hot cooked jasmine rice (original recipe calls for long-grain white rice)

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and serrano (and bell pepper and jalapeño, if you also include them in your recipe).  Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.  Stir in the cumin (and oregano) and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.  Add the tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, spoon over the hot rice and serve.

(Original recipe from “One-Dish Vegetarian Meals”.)

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Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Feta

Ingredients:
1/4 C. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 serrano (original recipe calls for jalapeños), finely chopped
1 -15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained
2 t. paprika
1 t. ground cumin
1 T. chopped cilantro
14 medium sized garden tomatoes (frozen from my summer garden; original recipe calls for 1-28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes)
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
1 C. coarsely crumbled feta
6 eggs (original recipe calls for 8)
1 T. chopped parsley

Recipe:
Preheat over to 425 F.  Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic and serrano; cook stirring occasionally until onion is soft, about 8 minutes.  Add chickpeas, paprika and cumin and cook 2 min. longer.  Add crushed tomatoes and their juices (I added 1/2 C. water).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 min.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Sprinkle with feta.  Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, spacing evenly apart.  Transfer skillet to oven and bake until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 5-8 min.  Garnish with parsley and cilantro.  Serve with warm pita bread for dipping.

Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Feta

Ingredients:

1/4 C. olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/2 serrano (original recipe calls for jalapeños), finely chopped

1 -15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained

2 t. paprika

1 t. ground cumin

1 T. chopped cilantro

14 medium sized garden tomatoes (frozen from my summer garden; original recipe calls for 1-28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes)

Sea Salt

Black Pepper

1 C. coarsely crumbled feta

6 eggs (original recipe calls for 8)

1 T. chopped parsley

Recipe:

Preheat over to 425 F.  Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic and serrano; cook stirring occasionally until onion is soft, about 8 minutes.  Add chickpeas, paprika and cumin and cook 2 min. longer.  Add crushed tomatoes and their juices (I added 1/2 C. water).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 min.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Sprinkle with feta.  Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, spacing evenly apart.  Transfer skillet to oven and bake until whites are just set but yolks are still runny, 5-8 min.  Garnish with parsley and cilantro.  Serve with warm pita bread for dipping.