The Hoppy Okapi

A 2012 Pacific Crest Trail Adventure

101 Things In 1001 Days: One Year Later August 9, 2009

It’s been just over a year since I created my 101 Things list, so it seems like a good time to review my progress and update my list – switch out  some of the running goals to reflect this year’s focus on biking, for example, and recognize that the writing section is probably a bit too ambitious, but there are several more cooking projects that I want to try.  Start and end dates remain the same. Check out the revised list below (new goals are green):

Start Date: 8/4/2008

End Date: 5/2/2011

Goals in progress are in blue text.

25% complete as of 8/09/2009

Update 10/18/2009: 29% complete!

Update 01/03/2010: 31% complete!

Running, Sports & Fitness:
1    Run a 5K in under 30 min (best time to date: 34:56, March 2008  )
2   Participate in a bike riding event (Bike The Bay, Aug 2009)
3    Participate in a bike club group ride
4    Try a spinning class (1/21/2009)
5    Ride a Century (100 miles)
6    Do pilates 2x per week for a month
7    Go Kayaking
8    Take rock climbing lessons
9    Swim Laps at My Gym
10    Get A Massage
11    Go horseback riding
12    Go mini-golfing
13    Play tennis 6 times
14    Play table tennis 10 times (8/10/08, 8/17/08, 8/25/08, 11/30/08  )
15    Do 25 consecutive push-ups
Cooking:
16    Make one recipe from every cookbook I own (63 as of 8/4/2008 ) (25 complete as of 1/3/10 )
17    Decorate a Cake
18    Successfully make an Italian Meringue
19    Make homemade marshmallows
20    Make a sourdough starter from scratch (1/3/2010)
21    Create a signature beer drink (8/7/2008 )
22    Create a signature sangria (2/15/2009)
23    Create a signature muddled drink
24    Enter a recipe in a competition
25    Complete four Iron Chef dinners (all dishes featuring a “secret ingredient”)
26    Make my own infused sea salt
27    Make an infused vodka
28    Host a brunch party
29    Make pickles
30    Organize Cooks’ Illustrated Recipes (1/18/2009)
31    Make homemade truffles
32    Grow an herb plant
33    Grow a vegetable plant
34    Make something on our grill (instead of making Chuck cook it!) (10/21/2008)
35    Make chicken noodle soup from scratch
36    Make homemade bagels
37    Make tamales
Blogging & Writing & Reading:
38    Complete a cook-through (or drink-through) blog project
39    Post an entry on BlogHer
40    Write a short story
41    Write a travel essay
42    Write 5 poems
43    Read books so that my “to-read” shelf has <= 10 books
44    Write a mini-cookbook (at least 10 recipes, with pictures)
45    Comment on blogs I read: at least one comment per week for two months(done as of 2/1/2009)
46    Read a mystery novel
47    Put together photo albums for my vacations
48    Make a journal of writing ideas & inspirations
49    Send a secret to PostSecret

Traveling:

50    Hike to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite (in this case, almost counts! 9/16/2008 )
51    Hike a 14’er
52    Take a Beer Tour of Belgium (Sept 2009)
53    Hike the Inca Trail <or> Climb Kilimanjaro
54    Visit the Salton Sea (3/8/2009)
55    Visit a National Park I haven’t been to before
56    Take a backpacking trip, at least two nights (5/24/2009)
57    Visit a US city I’ve never been to before (Austin, 11/16/2008 )
58    Visit a US state I’ve never been to before
59    Visit Anza-Borrego State Park (11/1/2008 )
60    Visit a California Mission I haven’t been to before
61    Visit Catalina Island
62    Visit Pizza Port San Clemente (9/7/2008 )
63    Visit Griffith Observatory (June 2009)
64    See an okapi in a zoo I haven’t been to before
65    Visit a brewery I haven’t been to before (The Bruery! 9/5/2008 )
66    Go to Canada(5/1/2009)
67    Spend a weekend at BigBear (or other ski resort area)
Community:
68    Volunteer for a political campaign (phone-banked for Obama, 11/3/08 )
69    Volunteer on a community project (9/28/2008 )
70    Volunteer at a running (or other sport) event
71    Volunteer on a trail maintenance project
72    Donate $25 to charity/community organizations at least 10 times (KPBS, SDCats)
Music:
73    Finish all the lessons in my piano workbook
74    Learn 5 songs from my ragtime book
75    Take a guitar lesson (UCSD extension, July/Aug 2009)
76    Learn to play 2 songs on the guitar
77    Write a song
78    Join a community choir / singing group
79    Take accordion lessons
Festivals / Events:
80    Go to a film festival (Bicycle Film Festival, Sept 2009)
81    Go to a book signing / author event (done! Ann Patchett on Aug 6, 2008 )
82    Go to the National Sandcastle Competition (July 2009)
83    Go to a food festival (strawberries in Ojai, tamales in Palm Springs, Garlic in Gilroy???)
84    Go to a wine festival
85    Go to a music festival
86    Go to a play (Man From Nebraska, 10/17/09)
87    Go to a musical or opera
88    Go to a parade
Other/Local:
89    See a mainstream movie in a theater (do I really need to make this a goal? Well, yes…13 months and counting since the last time…)
90    See an indie movie in a theater (Race Across the Sky, Oct 2009)
91    Visit a San Diego Museum (6/6/2009)
92    Go to the beach! (Maui, Dec 2009)
93    Visit Chula Vista
94    Visit the San Diego County Fair
95    Go to the Lakeside Rodeo(4/24/2009)
96    Go to 10 new San Diego restaurants (Urban Solace, Toronado, Osteria Romantica, Gulf Coast Grill, Tioli’s Crazee Burger, Cefalu’s, Liar’s Club, Vincenzo Ristorante, Blind Lady Ale House, Pho La Jolla)
Learning:
97    Learn to use photo editing software (counting Picassa for this one, it does what I want)
98    Complete all three levels of “Learn Spanish in Your Car”
99    Take a drawing (or other art) lesson
100    Write an app in a programming language I haven’t used before
101    Learn to snap my fingers

Dropped from the list:

1    Run a 10K
2    Complete a race longer than 10K
3    Take a Cooking Class
4    Go to a conference (professional, BlogHer, ??)
5    Watch three Audrey Hepburn movies I haven’t seen before
6   Take a writing class
7   Write a fantasy story OR create a fantasy universe outline
8   Write 2 book review posts
9   Post a monthly self-portrait (pictures of me that someone else takes are ok)

 

Yee-Haw! The Lakeside Rodeo May 5, 2009

The Lakeside Rodeo usually sneaks up on me and passes by before I know it, but this year I put it on my 101 Things list and added the ticket sale date to my Google calendar so I wouldn’t miss it. And so on April 24th, I pulled on my cowboy boots and headed to the rodeo! My camera wasn’t quite up to the fast action and low light, so the pictures are a bit blurry, but watching the rodeo was fun!

View of the Chutes (and giant inflatable Budweiser)

View of the Chutes (and giant inflatable Budweiser)

Bull Riding

Bull Riding (1st of two rounds)

Another Bull Rider

Another Bull Rider

Calf Roping - the calf has been conquered!

Calf Roping - the calf has been conquered!

Calf Roping - heading back to the horse

Calf Roping - heading back to the horse

Freeing the calf - harder than roping it!

Freeing the calf - harder than roping it!

Chasing the calf out of the arena

Chasing the calf out of the arena

Bareback Riding

Bareback Riding

Stick-Horse Racing

Getting ready for the Stick-Horse Race

Rainbow Riders Drill Team

Rainbow Riders Drill Team

In addition to these events, we also got to watch team roping, saddle bronc riding, and barrel racing. I think the bareback and saddle bronc riding was even more fun than the bull riding – the horses really took off across the arena! The action was fast, and the interaction between the people and animals was really impressive – it seems like it would be fun to have a really good camera and be a professional rodeo photographer.

Now I just need to convince Chuck to buy cowboy boots to wear to the rodeo next year…

 

Sangria Drink-Through #4: Limonada Espana December 22, 2008

Lemons and Peaches

Lemons and Peaches

I’m trying to make the sangrias for my drink-through when the required fruits are in season, but sometimes it doesn’t quite work out. I wanted to make a sangria for my Christmas cookie baking party, but the seasonal sangrias that I hadn’t already tried (grapefruit sparkling, pomegranite/persimmon/tangerine) seemed a little too risky to make for the first time for a party. (Well, the grapefruit sangria seemed to risky, and I just didn’t feel like messing around with pomegranite seeds that weekend!) So instead I chose a semi-seasonal sangria instead – Limonada Espana.

Limonada Espana recipe

Limonada Espana recipe

I stocked up on fresh lemons – the recipe takes two lemons plus a half-cup of lemon juice! – but I had to settle for canned peaches from Trader Joe’s instead of fresh.

Sangria Ingredients

Sangria Ingredients

Since the peaches were preserved in white grape juice, I cut down a little bit on the added sugar. The featured liquor in this sangria is Liquor 43 (Cuarenta Y Tres), a Spanish vanilla flavored liquor with 43 ingredients in its top secret recipe.

Lemons, Peaches, sugar, Liquor 42, lemon juice

Lemons, Peaches, sugar, Liquor 43, lemon juice

Adding wine to the fruit

Adding wine to the fruit

Since we did our grocery shopping on the same morning as the party, this sangria had only about six hours for the flavors to meld before serving. it turned out well, but I think the lemon flavor overwhelmed the peaches, and I probably should have added the full amount of sugar because it was still pretty tart – I think Chuck added extra sugar to his.

The finished sangria

The finished sangria

Eating the wine-soaked peaches was fun, but I suspect that  fresh peaches would have lent more peachy flavor to the finished product. Overall, there are other red wine sangrias that I prefer over this one, but I’d be interested in trying this fruit combination with a citrusy white wine sometime in the summer.

 

Sangria Drink-Through #3: Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria December 6, 2008

Filed under: 101Things,sangria,wine — Amanda @ 19:11
Tags: , , , , ,

This fall-flavored sangria was originally intended to go with our Thanksgiving dinner, but we were cooking so much that day and refrigerator space was at a premium, so we waited until the Sunday after to make sangria. We were still eating Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner anyway, so it all worked out in the end.

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria recipe

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria recipe

This sangria features several layers of apple flavor: raw apple slices, apple brandy, and sparkling cider. We jumped on this oppurtunity to try an apple brandy, and purchaed one made by Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, OR. Trying the apple brandy was fun, and Clear Creek makes a lot of interesting “pure fruit spirits” that I want to try – especially the eau de vie of Douglas Fir!

ingredients

I sliced the apple the easy way, and tried to make my inelegant orange and lemon peels look pretty:

applezest

Adding the cinnamon to the non-wine ingredients made me feel like I was making an apple pie.

pre_wine

combined ingredients, pre-wine

I added the wine…

Drunken Apples

Drunken Apples

And then waited for a while! Just before dinner I added the apple cider and poured the sangria into our butterfly glasses:

Ready to Drink!

Ready to Drink!

I think the wine I used here was a little bit darker than what the book called for (or else the glasses in their pictures were just narrower and on a lighter background!), but the flavor of the sangria was good nonetheless. I think the darker wine stood up well to the sweetness added by the sparkling cider, and there was just a hint of cinamon in the finish. It’s the closest to a classic sangria that I’ve done so far in the drink through – classic with an apply twist. For warmer weather, I might lighten it up by chosing tarter apples and using half cider and half sparkling water, but this is a good treat for fall.

 

Sangria Drink-Through #2: Three-Berry Basil Rose November 11, 2008

Last Sunday was my Birthday-Observed, the weekend day when Chuck made a wonderful homemade birthday dinner (with cake!) for me and we opened presents and cards from each other. What could be better than a festive sangria to help celebrate the occasion?

I chose three-berry basil rose sangria to pair with our lamb chops and lemony cake, guessing that this would be light and a little tart, cutting through any heaviness in the meat, and playing well with the sour lemon flavors in the cake. I think it worked!

Three-Berry Basil Rose sangria recipe

Three-Berry Basil Rose sangria recipe

The exciting ingredient for this sangria was Drambuie, a liquor combining Scotch whisky, honey, and an ultra-secret combination of herbs and spices.  The recipe called for a half-cup each of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, which was conveniently accomplished by buying a bag of frozen mixed berries at Trader Joe’s. I think fresh berries would have been prettier, but the frozen ones worked well flavor-wise.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Like the  first sangria, the steps are pretty simple: combine fruit (and basil) in a pitcher, add liquors (Drambuie and Brandy), then add a bottle of wine (in this case, a dry Spanish rose); refrigerate for several hours, and add sparkling water just before serving.

fruit and basil mixture

fruit and basil mixture

fruit with Drambuie and brandy

fruit with Drambuie and brandy

fruit, liquors, and wine

fruit, liquors, and wine

I mixed up the sangria in the morning, and when I tasted it in the afternoon it was a little too tart, so I mixed up some honey-flavored simple syrup: one half-cup water, one half-cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar, and two tablespoons honey, brought to a boil and then simmered for about 5 minutes.

three-berry basil sangria

I felt like the basil flavor got a little lost in the sangria, but adding the sprig of basil as garnish really brought out the flavor. Adding about two teaspoons of the honey syrup also helped perk up the flavor. Overall, this was a nice, refreshing sangria – not as rich and luscious as the cherry-fig sanrgia, but something that would be welcome with a light meal any time of year – I think it would be an especially good brunch sangria.

 

 
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