Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Food & Bike Racing

Last weekend the state of Colorado was enamored with bike racing. The USA Pro Challenge to be exact. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically the US’s version of the Tour de France. Known as America’s Race, it’s a multi-day road bike race that brings together professional riders from all over the world. Going through Colorado, the race takes riders to incredible heights – 12,000 feet to be exact! The seventh and last stage of the race took place in Denver on Sunday and consisted of 8 laps of a circuit through downtown. Being so close to the action, we had to check it out!

USA Pro Challenge leaders

USA Pro Challenge

So, they practically flew by and were a blur. With all the great riders who were there, a Coloradoan took home first place! Tejay van Garderen of the BMC Racing team won the Pro Challenge.

Afterwards we headed over to REI – big sale going on – and checked out bikes and helmets. One of my goals is to start riding a bike again (it’s been nearly two decades since I’ve been on one) but the first step is getting a helmet so I can test out my skills on a Denver B-Cycle (like Citi Bikes in NYC) before we invest in a bike. So, we had some fun…

REI Helmet TestREI Helmet Test 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll have to check back to see what we chose!

Aside from watching professional riders fly by and trying on helmets, I did a little cooking. Here are my favorites from the weekend:

Potato smashers

Potato Smashes

This tasty side dish was so incredibly easy I am making these again soon. We had this as a side dish with dinner but I think it would be a great alternative for breakfast potatoes as well! I also want to try it with a mixture of red & purple potatoes.

Steps:

  1. Scrub and boil red potatoes
  2. Let cool & pre-heat oven to 375’
  3. Spray foil-lined cookie sheet with olive oil spray
  4. Place potatoes on cookie sheet and flatten with the bottom of a cup (glass is best, potatoes won’t stick to it) or back of a large spoon or pie server
  5. In a small prep cup combine grape seed oil (or olive oil) with fresh ground pepper and chipotle – stir to combine
  6. Using a silicone brush, spread mixture on each smashed potato and bake in oven for 45 minutes or until satisfyingly crunchy yet soft

Eggplant Stackers

eggplant stacker

So, I need to perfect this one a bit more but it turned out well enough I didn’t want to wait to share it. Again, really simple and a great alternative for a veggie side dish. The one thing I’d do differently would be to cut thinner slices of eggplant and use a little less mozzarella.

Steps:

  1. Slice eggplant – two slices per serving – and grill on each side till nearly cooked
  2. Top one slice of eggplant with a smear of pesto, tomato slice, bit of mozzarella (it melts easily so you don’t need too much!), a bit of wilted fresh spinach then second slice of eggplant
  3. Continue to grill for a minute then flip and grill on the other side for another minute – until warmed through
  4. Remove from grill and drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving

I love that we have a balcony now so we can grill! Just wish it was self-cleaning!

What’s your favorite thing to grill? * How are you planning to spend the holiday weekend? * Are you more excited for college football or pro football?

4 comments:

Lisa said...

Love the watermelon helmet! :) Those potatoes look so good, I will have to make them for sure!



That bike race looks intense, but awesome you got to get so close to the action!

Lisa said...

That watermelon helmet is hilarious, you should get that one! Even on a bad day that thing would may anyone smile.

Also, so very cool that the bike race was right there and you got to check it out!

Lisa said...

both recipes look delicious and easy to follow, I will have to try cooking again now that it's not boiling hot in NYC. I love to grill tomatoes, corn, and asparagus. Yummy!


Miss you lots!

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