3/1/15

Road Trip 2015


Yes, we did it again. Road trip has become a family vacation tradition. We covered 5 states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana) in 12 days this time.

Roughly 5,000 miles round-trip from our home in San Francisco to Joshua Tree National Park, Chiricahua National Monument, a run to the Mexican border in El Paso, a small town Fort Davis, Big Bend National Park, still hugging Mexican border along the Rio Grande, up through Austin and New Orleans, then drove back home through Dallas and Flagstaff. Simply remarkable. I honestly can't say enough. I'll just let the Pictures tell the story (and yes, there are many).

The highlight of this trip was Big Bend National Park. I really enjoyed 5 miles hiking at the Window Trail. It was a moderate hike down towards the fantastic view at the end (picture below). It was freezing cold when we were there, so we decided to sleep in the back of our van instead of sleep in a tent.



Here are some tips for this trip.

- It's a first come, first served campsite for Jumbo Rock Campground at Joshua Tree National Park. Plan ahead and avoid long weekend holidays because it is always full during holidays.
- You can make a reservation online for Bonita Canyon Campground at Chiricahua National Monument here.
- Check out Brak Thru, the place you can leave your dog for a couple days while you're exploring Big Bend National Park.
- Stone Village Tourist Camp is a good motel to stay overnight if you happen to be at Fort Davis.
- Make a reservation online for Chisos Basin Campground here.
- It's a first come, first served campsite for Cottonwood Campground at Big Bend National Park.
- In Austin, we left Moby (our Weimaraner) at Happy Mailman Dog Daycare for a few hours so that we can walk around town a bit.
- Motel 6 is a great place to stay when you travel with a dog. Pet friendly and great staff. You won't get an extra charge for your dog.
- Snooze in tepee motel. The office opens between 4:00-0:00 pm. You must call to make a reservation. Wigwam Village Motel 6


Check out my Road Trip 2014.









1/22/15

Savory Breakfast Muffins...

with quail egg...


I'm sure you've seen The Rebel Within muffin before, the most popular muffin at Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco. I'm taking their idea to make these bacon cheddar muffins. 

I prefer hard boiled eggs, so I cooked the quail eggs for 2.5 minutes in boiling water. If you like soft boiled eggs, cook them for 1.5 minutes. Stop the cooking process by shocking them in an ice water immediately.

If you use chicken eggs, find your perfect egg from this article How to boil an egg. You want to cook the eggs, peel them and keep them refrigerate before you start making a batter. When your batter is ready, spoon the batter into the mold, then put the cold boiled egg in the middle. This way you don't over cook the yolk in case you prefer a runny yolk. 

These muffins are everything you could possibly want for breakfast. They taste great and easy to make. Don't like bacon, use turkey or ham instead. Don't like chive, rosemary or parsley will work. Make too many, no worry. They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, just warm them up in microwave for 30 seconds.. 

Ingredients:
makes 12 muffins

- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup yellow corn meal
- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
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- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. sour cream
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- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup cooked bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
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- 12 cooked quail eggs, cold
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Sift all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, set aside.
3. Whisk all wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Mix dry into wet, just until incorporated.
5. Fold in cheeses, bacon and chives.
6. Spoon the batter into prepared mold, put the egg in the middle. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.





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