Monthly Archives: September 2010

2010 Races

Running is great!
These races wouldn’t have been as meaningful without my faithful running buddies the Sabins!


Lehi’s Round Up 10k (6.2 miles)

Provo River Trail Half Marathon (13.1 miles)

Utah Valley Relay Marathon (5.2 miles each)
Total Race Time:4:02:54
Rac’s Time: 50:35
Fran’s Time: 46:52J
ason’s Time: 41:38
Drew’s Time: 54:01
Amy’s Time: 49:48

My neighbor Amy came to race with one hour’s notice when our teammate, Jeremy, had to rush home with a bad case of food poisoning!

May everyone to even better next year!

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I loved the movie and decided to read the book. I loved it too although it was quite different.

Interesting concepts: Dantes believes himself to be God’s avenging angel… I think that although God often uses people to “punish the wicked” in his own due time, these people, if acting out of revenge, are actually comminting a sin. Dantes realizes that to some extent when things get out of hand and his enemies punishments end up being a lot harsher then Dantes intended. Feeling repentant, Dantes pardons, Danglar, his third enemy before his punishment is carried out completely.
Things I liked better in the book than the movie: I loved the way Alexandre Dumas describes the expression and the body language of the characters. The reader feels that much more involved.
In the book, you see Dantes doing good around him, especially toward the Morrell family.
Things I liked less in the book than the movie: I like fairy tales! In the movie, Albert is actually Dantes’ son and Mercedes only married someone else upon Dantesimprisonment because she was pregnant. When Dantes, comes back he gets both Mercedes and Albert back. ‘
My favorite parts: I really enjoyed the wisdom of the Abbe Faria.
The end of the book, when all “the dominoes fall” was very exciting, especially when Benedetto reveals, in the middle of a court session, that he is M. de Villefort illegitimate son.
The way Monte Cristo shatters most of the remainder of Danglar’s fortune is hilarious although the reader is brutally brought back to soberness upon the recall of Dante’s own starved to death father.
The reuniting of Maximilian and Valentine was of course sublime. From the time of Valentine’s “death”until her reappearance, the author does a fantastic job of cruelly playing with the reader’s emotion. He had me both anxiously hoping and desperately wondering.

Great read!!

Tortilla Soup

This has been our family’s favorite meal for a while now…

1 Tbsp oil
1 onion, minced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenderloin
2 Tbsp lime juice
Tortilla chips
3 plum tomatoes, diced
2 ripe avocadoes, sliced or prepared guacamole (Costco’s is delicious!)
1/2 cup cilantro

- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, jalapeno, chili powder and garlic. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer, partially covered, until no longer pink, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and let cool. Continue to simmer the broth for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Remove the broth from heat and stir in lime juice. Divide portions of tortilla chips, chicken, tomatoes and aocado among individual bowls. Ladle the broth over each bowl and sprinkle with cilantro.


Grapes Terrine

This dessert doesn’t taste like much, just grapes really, but it is very fun looking and the kids loved it.

- 2 env. enflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cold water
- 2 1/2 cup white grape juice
- 2 Tbsp fesh lemon juice
- 2 cups red seedless grapes
- 2 cups green seedless grapes
1- In cup, evenly sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand 2 minutes.
2- In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of juice on medium-low. Stir in softened gelatine mixture until dessolved. Remove pan from heat. Stir in lemon juice.
3- Pour gelatin mixture into a loaf pan. Refrigerate 1 1/2 hours. Add grapes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4- To unmold terrine, place loaf pan in a pan of warm water for a few seconds. Remove pan from water. Insert knife around edges. Place serving plate on top of loaf pan and grasping both together, invrt terrine onto plate.

Sausage & Tomatoes (Rougail Saucisses)

This is a popular dish from my native island. This picture doesn’t do it justice.

· 8 Italian sausages
· 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
· 4 roma tomatoes, sliced thin then chopped
· Salt & pepper
· 1 tbsp oil
· ½ cup water
Prick the sausages with a fork then boil for 10 minutes.
Drain sausages and cut each in 3 pieces
Brown the sausages in oil
Add onions then tomatoes
Add salt & pepper to taste
Cook on high for a few minutes
Add water. Simmer down.
Serve over Jasmine rice.

Great sides: sorry the directions are a little vague, I never measure these dishes!
Lentils – Pour picked over lentils in a saucepan. Place a bunch of thin onion slices, fresh crushed garlic or garlic powder, salt and a fresh thyme sprig if you want, on top. Cover with twice as much water as there are lentils. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until all liquid is absorbed and lentils are soft (20 minutes?)

Zucchini Etouffee
Place zucchini slices or chucks in a saucepan. Place sliced onion, garlic (crush or powder), salt, olive oil and a fresh thyme sprig on top. Add a little water (1/3 as much as the zucchinis?), cover and cook over medium heat until the zucchinis are soft. Some like it with a little bite left, others really squishy. I like them in between: still fairly green but soft enough to squish with your tongue.

Ginger, Garlic Rub

6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 piece (2 in) fresh ginger, peeled
1 Tbs coarse salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 lbs of meat to grill (beef or pork ribs work well)

Place garlic, ginger, salt & pepper in mortar or small food processor. Work in soy sauce and fish sauce. Spread spice paste over meat on both sides. Let ribs marinate in refrigerator, covered for 1 to 4 hours. Grill and enjoy!

Strawberry Basil Popsicles

So refreshing… great if you have a bunch of over-ripe strawberries.

original recipe calls for 1/3 cup sugar – I used 2Tbs honey

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

2 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

pinch salt

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and basil. Pour 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until suagar has desolved ans mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the basil syrup into a blender, discarding the basil leaves. Add the strawberry halves, lemon juice and salt. Process until very smooth.

Pour in popsicle molds.

Sisters Lunch

My sisters and I resumed our monthly lunches. I’m so glad we live close enough to each other to see each other on a regular basis! We went to “La Jolla Groves” at the Riverwoods (see review).
Mes soeurs et moi avont repris nos déjeuners mensuels entre soeurs. Je suis tellement heureuse que l’on habite suffisament proche les unes des autres pour se voir régulièrement!

La Jolla Groves

General Impression: Definitely on my list of favorites

The dishes I tried there (see below) were amazing– fresh, flavorful and cooked to perfection. The portions were small compared to the average portion around here but they were sufficient. The waitress brought a basket with various bread rolls to our table. They were ok. I prefer hard crust breads…

The dessert I tried (Lemon Tiramisu) was very sweet. I took it to go and fed it to Cam :) The waitress said that all their desserts were very sweet. They won’t be a temptation for me when I go there!

I also very much enjoyed the decor. Elegant, yet simple and fresh.


Raw Seared Sesame Tuna

Grilled Salmon with Cilantro Butter