Friday, August 29, 2014

Last Week of Summer

It's the last week of summer. I'm not terribly thrilled with that. I feel like summer has been too short, and routine is not exactly what I am wanting in my life. I've enjoyed the flexibility of sleeping in a bit and still not hijacking my day. I've enjoyed the somewhat slower pace or at least-the different pace.

This week has been a bunch of "lasts".

Last early morning bike ride until next May. I somewhat belatedly realized why I am able to do serious triathlon training in the summer. I can get back from a bike ride and swim at 9:00 or 9:30, and it is okay. Obviously that can't happen while simultaneously trying to teach school. By 9:00 kids are fed and dressed and groomed. Devotions are done and reading time has been embarked upon.

But, now I am fighting the joint issues of sunlight (lack of) and school time. It is too dark to leave on a bike ride before 7:00, so I can't be back in time for school. Bike rides will now have to be fit into the afternoons.

Between writing and chores and other such necessary things.

Our last tri of the season is a week from tomorrow. So, we can call me more laid back training next week "tapering". It is more official than "school starting."

My odometer clicked past 950 this week. That is a full 200 miles more than last summer. And while I will be biking less, I still expect to get another 200-250 miles in before the first of October. Cooler, colorful fall rides.

Hopefully this week all marks the last of the alarm turning off for a while. It is a good thing, but it is also a good thing to get an early start on the day before the kids get up. Here's to being more disciplined about those wakeup calls.

I visited a farm this week to pick peaches. While there, I also picked up some cheap zucchini. For whatever reason, I have never had success growing zucchini in my garden. But, I love cooking with it, so I try to buy several at the farm whenever I am there. It is much cheaper at a farm than at the grocery store. At farms they are begging you to take it. At the grocery store they are expecting to make money in selling it. Who knew?

So, most zucchini recipes take 2 cups of zucchini. Which is great. But, it you have a baseball bat sized zucchini, you are going to be making a whole lot of bread and cake. Which is good too. Just not exactly good for you.

I have a recipe that uses a ton of zucchini, and it's savory. Spicy Zucchini Skillet uses 12-15 cups of shredded zucchini. It can be eaten as an entree (because of the bean protein), or as a side dish (really good with grilled pork and chicken) or as a salsa with your favorite tortilla chips.

It's spiciness comes from the cans of tomatoes with green chilies, and the Mexican style chili beans. You can chose mild or spicy tomatoes. The bean spiciness varies by brand.

Spicy Zucchini Skillet
12-15 cups grated zucchini
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans tomatoes with green chiles
2 (15.5 oz) cans Mexican style chili beans
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 medium onions

-Shred the zucchini.
-In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high. Add the zucchini. Sauté until translucent, occasionally draining any extra juices.
-Meanwhile, chop the onions and add to the zucchini.
-Drain the tomatoes and the beans. Add to the translucent zucchini and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
-Sprinkle the cheese overtop the skillet and allow to melt. Serve.
*you can half this recipe if you don't want this big amount.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! And don't labor too hard!