Been crazy busy, it seems. Kevin took me to Reno for the weekend (we’d planned it for a few months now). We had a GREAT time. (Thanks, Hon!) We drove all the way around Lake Tahoe on Friday. I cannot even tell you how breathtaking that lake is to me. One of the most beautiful places I’ve seen on this earth (I haven’t been to to many places, but still.) I’ve never seen such blue water and gorgeous mountains surrounding the lake.
We ate at a few fun places in Reno. At the Gold & Silver Inn, which Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive Ins & Dives reviewed on the show, Kevin got a tri tip sandwich that Guy raved about. He ended up thinking it was just okay. The meal I had there wasn’t really very good at all—salmon that was WAY overcooked. Dry as can be, I didn’t even eat but a few bites of it. Oh well. The whole meal wasn’t horrible.
Saturday morning we met a former co-worker of mine (who used to live in Utah and now lives in Reno) for breakfast. The place we originally wanted to go to was closed on Saturday (whatever!), so we ended up at Peg’s Ham & Eggs with Norm! Norm (not knowingly) ordered the biggest breakfast we’d ever seen—served in about a 16 inch skillet. (I hadn’t seen or really even talked to Norm for about 12 years, but recently “found” him on Facebook and after finding out he lives in Reno we decided to meet up while we were there.
Stormin’ Norman with the Chiles Rellenos breakfast. He said it was very good. It was great to see Norm. He was always a fun guy to work with. “B, B, B, Benny and the Jets……..Ben-nay!” We chatted a way with Norm for a couple hours. Kevin and I then ran a couple errands and met one of my longtime-ist (I can’t say old since I’m a few months older than her), Ann. Ann and I met when we were 11 years old in 6th grade. We were best of friends through our teenage years, then through distance, haven’t seen each other as much. We were guessing this time it had been about five years. Ann lives in Nowhereland, Nevada. She drove 3 1/2 hours to Reno to meet up with us. Thanks, Ann! Great to see you and Dan. We ate lunch at BJ’s Nevada BBQ, which was voted Best BBQ in the West. Well, we had to see what we thought having just lived in Kansas City for five years and eaten lots of BBQ there. I’m not a huge eat-lots-of-meat kind of gal, so I never LOVED BBQ. Kevin does. But just in my own comparison, I hate to say it, but I liked BJ’s BBQ flavor better than any I recall from Kansas City. Kevin liked it a lot, but couldn’t really decide. Great to chat with Ann for a few hours!
(I always overcompensate when I make sure I don’t blink for pictures and end up looking like a dork. Great photo-op with Ann though!)
Sick of the travel log yet? I’m getting to the TWD cookies shortly. Last big event of the quick weekend—the concert. Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard’s Timeless tour. Everyone who knows me knows I’ve always “loved” Clay Aiken. I just think he has one of the most fantastic voices. Kevin has made it possible for me to be at almost all of his concerts when he tours. While we lived in Kansas, we saw Clay in concert in Kansas City once, we drove to Tulsa once for a concert and Wichita, as well as that, I was able to go to NYC twice in 2008 to see Clay perform in Spamalot—one of the funniest shows ever! I was not expecting to make it to this latest concert tour when I told Kevin about it months ago, since we just moved and with everything we’ve had going on this summer. But Kevin surprised me for Mother’s Day and got tickets to go see the concert in Reno (the closest venue to Utah). I seriously feel so spoiled and loved by Kevin. Thanks for the great weekend! The concert was so fun.
Okay, okay. Cookies! Our recipe for TWD this week is Dorie’s Gingered Carrot Cookies, page 162 in Baking From My Home to Yours. Natalia, author of the delicious Italian blog, gatti fili e farina chose this week’s recipe. Because we’d been out of town over the weekend, I was going to skip this week, but decided last minute to just make them. I’m glad I did. The cookies are good and different and I had fun with them.
I used one cup of whole wheat flour and one cup of all purpose flour for the cookies. I thought I had some fresh ginger in the freezer but could not find it (I’m probably just remembering that I for sure had some in Kansas.) So I used ground ginger. I finely grated the carrots. I used just 1/2 cup Pomegranate flavored Craisins (they are good!). And I used walnuts instead of pecans.
Saturday morning in Reno, before we met Norm for breakfast, we went to the Reno Farmers’ Market. They have a pretty good market. I took lots of pictures, but I will spare you photos of lots of fresh produce. One vendor had lots of nuts from the area surrounding Reno. Including some red walnuts. I’d never seen or heard of red walnuts before. So I had to get some.
Cool, huh. I thought they’d be great to put in these carrot cookies.
These cookies are just okay plain, as written (with my minimal changes). But nothing goes better with carrot cookies or cake than cream cheese frosting.
Oh yeah, much better.
I left about half of them with no frosting, since Kevin doesn’t like frosting. But these are much, much better with it. Even like this---
Simple Cream Cheese Frosting, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!
4 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Cream butter and cream cheese together, add vanilla and salt to combine. Scrape sides of bowl. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time and beat well.
You can get the recipe for these cookies on Natalia’s blog. I’m excited to see the other blogger’s cookies, you can, too---here. Next week’s TWD pick---it’s my turn! Hope to see you then, if not sooner—I’ve got a couple yummy things to share with you this week!