Sunday, February 24, 2013

Run Swim Bike Cook Week 3: Sage

If the days before Annika's arrival induced nesting, the final days before Jason's departure are the antidote. Instead of feeling a desire to get life organized (as wise as that would be), I simply want to freeze time and cherish every moment as a family. Everything else can wait.

As such, not a lot has happened in the Ironman department. I did squeeze in a couple of runs: Monday morning's trail run was fantastic, Thursday's encounter with the treadmill was tolerable. No swimming. If the weather cooperates, we might head up to Zion National Park for a bike ride tomorrow.

As for the Ironchef, we embraced it: cooking and eating make for great family time. This week's challenge was to use fresh sage in two ways. Instead of purchasing sage at the store, we drove to nearby Snow Canyon State Park and picked some wild sage--it grows so abundantly that I didn't think anyone would mind.

After walking about eight feet from the car, we came across some sagebrush that would do nicely.

Looks just about the same at home after being picked.

And here's the same sage after being tossed with pumpkin gnocchi...

...and roasted with broccoli and leeks.

The pumpkin gnocchi was tasty, although you could cut down significantly on the butter. The broccoli was okay, but would have been much better with less salt. The sage gave everything a nice flavor, although I'd be very curious to know how our version compares with "supermarket" sage. I definitely noticed a more bitter aftertaste with our sagebrush--not surprising considering its wild origin.

If case you are interested, here are the recipes:

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Sage Butter

(Adapted from Taste of Home)

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin (We used a combination of pumpkin and leftover winter squash)
6 quarts water
1/2 cup butter, cubed
4 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced

In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in pumpkin until blended. On a lightly floured surface, knead 10-12 times, forming a soft dough. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into four portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 1/2-in.-thick rope; cut into 3/4-in. pieces. Press and roll each piece with a lightly floured fork.
In a Dutch oven, bring water to a boil. Cook gnocchi in batches for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon; keep warm.
In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the sage, garlic and gnocchi; stir to coat. Yield: 4 servings.
Roasted Sage Broccoli
(Adapted from

1 (12 ounce) bag broccoli florets (We used fresh broccoli)
1/2 red onion, sliced (We used leeks)
8 fresh sage leaves, torn
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (I'd recommend omitting completely)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Spread broccoli in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle onion and sage leaves over broccoli; drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, garlic salt, and black pepper over broccoli mixture; toss to coat.
3. Roast in the preheated oven until broccoli is browned and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

And just for kicks, here are a few more pictures of weekend fun.

Talia's been decorating her Super Hero brother...

Brooklyn and Talia participated in the Girl Scout Powder Puff Derby...

And everyone gave Annika lots of love.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend too!


Julie L said...

I never thought of using sage brush as an herb. The sage I grow doesn't look anything like it so I'm curious - does the wild brush kind taste the same as the low growing wider leafed herb? Your recipes look so tasty, and I don't blame you one bit for trying to freeze time right now. The powder puff derby looked like a lot of fun for the girls, too. And I still can't believe how much hair Annika was blessed with. What a cutie!

Brittney Richards said...

Clever way to embrace the natural wildlife. I'll be praying for you after Jason leaves. Maybe we can coordinate visits to the Big Apple.

candice said...

In Italy they would grow huge sage leaves (as big as my hand), batter them, fry them and dip them in home made marinara sauce. It was divine.

Hang in there. You will surprised at how quickly you adapt to Jason being gone(even if you don't want to), and learn to rely on yourself and believe it or not it does not in any way diminish the relationship or dependance you and him have with each other.
Be patient with yourself, it'll stretch all of your resources and emotional reserves, but you will be so much stronger for it, and walk away afterwards feeling like you have conquered the world. (with A LOT more sympathy for the single mommas in and out of the church)

Susie said...

Freezing time right now is perfectly in order. Enjoy each other. There will be plenty of time for other things and you won't regret this time spent together as a family :) Love all the pictures. Brooklyn looks so grown up holding Annika. Great job on the face paints, Talia!