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Posts Tagged ‘blue cheese green beans with baked mushrooms’

final

Yesterday truly was the most ridiculous day. Sometimes I look at my life and wonder whether to laugh or cry.  After several months of recovery from his meningitis ordeal, Rick is beginning to venture out into the world again even reintroducing driving into his daily routine. Indian summer is lingering here in Northern California leaving temperatures in the eighties making it nice for getting out and about.

The SUV has been taking up space in our yard plagued with a dead battery since Rick’s illness.  Once back on his feet, he got the battery charged and we took the vehicle in for a much-needed bath and fluid check. The mechanic said the diagnostics indicated there was an impending spark plug issue but he felt this should hold for a couple of months. Deciding it might be fun to take the car for a run in the country on such a lovely day we made a plan. Colfax, a historical little mining town about a forty minute drive from us, was where we chose for a late lunch and to take a look around.

Unfamiliar with the restaurants in that area, I keyed in “best restaurants in Colfax, CA” and located four with excellent ratings programming the addresses into the GPS. Yea. In particular I was hoping to try the Mexican restaurant. The reviews were excellent and the menu intriguing. There are three Mexican themed restaurants in our area, none of which stand out over the other, so the idea of a great plate of enchiladas and an icy margarita made the trip all the more enticing.

The drive through the hills provided us with a preview of the fall foliage beginning to emerge in the prolific trees in our area.  Heeding the instructions from our GPS we turned off at our exit and quickly located the Mexican restaurant which was our destination. Having eaten a light breakfast early in the day my taste buds were on high alert. Yum. Parking the car we got our first good glimpse of the historic downtown area. The weathered buildings and rustic sidewalks still retained a hint of its original gold rush glory. If you closed your eyes and used your imagination you could picture miners driving horse draw buggies through town and hear laughter emanating from the saloon still standing several doors down from the restaurant.

Approaching the doors to the restaurant, we found them locked. Hmmmm. Looking at the signs posted in the glass display box out front lunch was served until 2:00, and it was now almost 3:00. Dinner, it appeared, was reserved for Thursday’s and Friday’s only. As it was Tuesday, my cheesy gooey enchilada bubble with the salt rimmed glass of limey goodness burst before the first hint of tequila touched my lips. Not to be discouraged, we headed to the number two restaurant on my list. At the second location the building gave the immediate impression of being closed. No lights were on and nobody was home. My stomach was beginning to protest. Ach. Reading the notice on the door, dinner service began at 5:00 and there was no lunch service.  Finding the same situation at the last two addresses Rick gently pointed out that perhaps I should have gathered this information prior to leaving the house.  A look from me indicated perhaps he should hold his suggestions until I’d eaten. I’m not at my best when hungry.

Deciding to head back down the hill and eat in Auburn, we reprogrammed out trusty GPS and headed south. The car, apparently over the whole program, turned on it’s “check engine” light and began to shudder and creak as we drove along. Great. Meanwhile the GPS was guiding us deeper into a heavily wooded area. Winding around a dirt road we came upon a sign reading “one lane bridge”.  The other option at this fork was marked “PRIVATE ROAD” in capital letters with an exclamation point. Whoever put it there didn’t seem receptive to unwanted company. Hmmmm. The problem with the bridge was a sign leading into it with a large arrow pointing in the direction from which we had just come. Feeling this was some sort of omen,  we turned around and headed back to civilization. The idea of getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere with nothing to eat surrounded by unwelcoming homeowners wasn’t sitting well with either of us.

Limping into Auburn we ended up at Panera Bread ordering soup and a sandwich. Still hungry after my meal, I got back in line to pick up a pumpkin cookie I’d seen on the way in. Thinking a cookie wouldn’t be more than the $1.50 I’d grabbed from my wallet I was surprised when the cashier rang up $2.89 on her register. What? It’s a cookie. I said I’d only brought $1.50 with me and put the cookie back. Going back and sitting down next to Rick he asked where my cookie was. Explaining what had happened, we got up to leave. A lady who had been behind me in line stopped by our table and rested a conciliatory hand on my shoulder. Extending her hand she handed me the pumpkin cookie smiling gently at me.  Huh? Realizing by her behavior she was under the impression I hadn’t purchased the cookie because I didn’t have enough money to pay for it I reached in my purse to get her $3.00. Remembering I only had a $100 bill and some change I asked if she could wait while I got change for the large bill. She smiled knowingly and said “pay it forward”. Good God. Ah well, my humiliation was now complete.

Accepting this as a kind act from a stranger, I decided to simply say thank you and indeed pay it forward at the next opportunity. In the end the thoughtful gesture made my day and reminded me there are lovely people out there hiding just at the tips of our elbows.

Another ridiculous day put to rest. Ach. HAPPY HALLOWEEN! One of my favorite holidays. No costume or party this year unless you include a red, red nose from my first cold of the year. Thus I am living vicariously through those brave people I see manning the cash registers in stores wearing lime green clown wigs or those serving burgers in Wonder Woman outfits. Yea for them for keeping the kid alive beyond graduation.

These beans are really easy and incredibly yummy. Rick says he could eat them for dinner without a main course.

Blue Cheese Green Beans with Baked Mushrooms

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper
1/4 cup crumbled buttermilk blue cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cover a cookie sheet with tin toil. Spray well with cooking spray. Toss mushrooms and garlic with olive oil. Spread in single layer on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 mins. turning several times until golden brown.

Meanwhile place green beans in deep frying pan and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat. Cook on high simmer for 15-20 mins. or until tender but not mushy. Remove from heat. Add butter and salt and pepper and stir until melted. Sprinkle blue cheese over top and place lid on. Add mushrooms and stir

Serves 4

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