Some times the best hikes are not the smartest hikes and
sometimes these become the best adventures.
Next Exit Gas Food Laughter is a journey of my adventures
through the trails and streams of Southern california. Some times I trail run,
some times I hike mountains and some times I just relax with a fishing pole in
my hand.
One way or another adventures always seem to happen and they
are quite constantly hilarious.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Curried acorn squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

     We actually got half an inch of snow last night!
     A whole half an inch! So sad that this excited us in a drought year!
     It may have been just a dusting but at least it made the trails and dirt roads a little pretty.

     I spent my morning before work off roading in the snow and being thrilled that I have new snow capable tires.
    Than after work I made this curried acorn squash, great with a glass of wine in front if a fire on a slightly snowy evening.

 Curried Acorn Squash with Golden Raisins and Tofu

1 acorn squash
1tsp Curry powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 cup Wild rice
1/8th cup golden raisins
1 small block of high protein extra firm tofu
1/4 cup coconut oil

Cut the squash in half. Mix the curry powder, salt and cinnamon. Sprinkle half the mixture on the acorn squash as well as 1 tab melted coconut oil.
Bake the squash at 375 for 35 minutes until tender when poked with a fork.
Cut the tofu into bite size pieces.
Dredge the tofu in the remaining spices. Fry the tofu prices in the remaing coconut oil.
Cook the wild rice according to the directions. 
Drain the rice and add the tofu and the golden raisins.
When the squash is cooked stuff the squash with the wild rice and serve.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Number Two Most Fun Thing to do in Big Bear

     Today my boyfriend and I were talking about fun things to do in Big Bear.
      Of all the fun things to do in the mountains, today I'm going to learn about feces.
      When visiting the Big Bear area you could do a fifteen mike bike ride around what was once Baldwin Lake. With our severe Southern California drought the sad little lake is now a nature preserve. It's such a shame. Baldwin is one of the only natural lakes in our San Bernardino mountains. Yes, shockingly Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead and Lake Gregory are all man made! The bike ride around Baldwin Lake is really fantastic even if it's not exactly around a lake shore these days. You pedal past so much horse property and amazing million dollar mountain homes. Plus there is little traffic in this area of the mountains.
      If you don't have a bike you could do a four mile hike off the Pacific Crest Trail ( the PCT to locals) and see lions and tigers and bears along the way.
      Yes I said lions and tigers and bears. ( Oh my!)
      The PCT meanders from Mexico to Canada and it is an amazing hiking trail, very well maintained. The portion that goes through our local mountains is fantastic. 
       If you choose to start hiking the PCT near Onxy Summit ( the highest paved road in Big Bear at 8,443 feet) you only have to hike two miles to the west to come across Predators, a awesome encampment where lions, tigers, bears, raccoons and all kinds of awesome animals live when they are not being trained for movies. You can email the guy guy who owns the property and take tours but my favorite thing to do is take my friends running here, not tell them about the bear and wait til we get close and they hear it roar to scare the shit out of them.
     Speaking of shit that brings me to what I am going to do in Big Bear today.
     I'm going to learn about poo.
     While trail running the other day my boyfriend and I were talking about all the different animal poo you see on the trail. I mentioned to him that I know what bear and deer scat look like but if this random scat comes from cougars or bob cats, I have no idea.
      Now this might sound kind of weird that I'm so interested in trail feces but if I'm running some where out on a lonely trail by myself and I start seeing a ton of cougar poo it might he a good idea to run some where else. So I should really know more about poo.
      My boyfriend and I were discussing this and he had a great idea for me today. He mentioned if I go to the Big Bear Discovery Center they have a poo display.
       So that's what I'm going to do after my run this morning.
      I'm going to go look at their poo.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa

    I was driving home from my run this afternoon, sweaty, tired and absolutely starving.
    I was in no mood to deal with todays neighborhood shenanigans of my new homeless neighbors and the fact they are constantly in my way. ( I tried to remedy this situation the other night by sitting in my driveway blasting Rent, the musical from my Subarus speakers when I got home from work at midnight.)
    They must be a fan of musicals because they are still present, p.o.s. Truck still parked almost in my driveway again this morning.
    As I approached my street from the highway, dying to take off my running shoes and jump in a hot shower, there was traffic control.
    That's when I noticed the prisoners.
    Can my neighborhood get any more ghetto?
    Why yes it can.
    The Pilot Rock Prisoner work crew was clearing the brush and debris along the side of the highway, preparing for the coming winter.
     As I watched the prisoners strolling around my neighborhood WITH CHAINSAWS I thought to myself, really maybe giving prisoners chain saws is a bad idea.
     Than of course I wondered what these guys did and I hoped that none of them made a break for it, with their chainsaws into my neighborhood.
     When I finally made it home, and locked my front door, I made this amazing salsa for lunch.

Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa

1 bag dried chipotle peppers
2 cups water
4 tomatillos
2 limes juiced
1 tab salt
1 tab garlic
1 bunch cilantro

Toast the peppers in a sauce pan.
Add the water.
Bring the chipotle peppers to a boil.
Reserve half cup of the water.
( save the rest for carnitas or for spicy corn soup!)
In a food processer combine the peppers, water, tomatillos, line juice, salt, garlic and cilantro until combined.

This salsa is great if you cool carnitas on the preserved chipotle water and add corn, feta and cabbage to a corn tortilla.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lobster Bisque Pot Pies

    Years ago I had some crack heads as neighbors. Let me tell you, crack heads do not make the best neighbors and no one wants there neighborhood to smell like meth. Believe me living through a episode of Breaking Bad as the neighbor is no fun at all. I like neighbors who have all their teeth and not open sores on their faces. Luckily the crack heads eventually got evicted. I have not had neighbors now in something like five years and it has been fantastic.
    Except for the last week when the homeless men moved in.
    Well to be fair, they actually live in the back of their truck so I guess they are not exactly homeless as their truck is their home. By the way this truck has been parked behind my car for a week now. I'm assuming its broken down and will stay forever. I'm extremely frustrated by this situation as number one, the POS truck parked almost on my property is making my neighborhood look ghetto and it makes it a huge pain in the ass every time I try to pull out of my driveway to not hit the truck and crappy trailer attached to it.
     My good friend owns the restaurant across the street from me and as for what I am assuming is going on with this homeless men situation, I think he has hired them to work on his restaurant.
     They actually seem like nice people. They said good morning to my boyfriend when he left for work at seven a.m. Popping their little heads out of sleeping bags in the back of the truck. He said it was kind of cute.
     I'm annoyed by this situation because every time I try to sit on my front porch I feel like I am staring down into their "home" and being a creep, but damn it, I was here first and I live here, I'm not just squatting! I deserve to sit on my porch and talk to my cats if I feel like it!
     When I'm not accidently spying on my new homeless neighbors I'm spending my day off making an unbelievably delicious Lobster Pot Pie.
      I actually used langostinos in this recipe ( the pollock of the lobster family) but please use real lobster if you can get your hands on it.

Lobster Bisque Pot Pie

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 red onion
1/2 tsp garlic
1 cup lobster orlangoustines 
1/2 cup shellfish stock
2 tab sherry
1/2 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
1/2 cup cream
2 Russet potatoes, baked and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup corn
sheets puff pastry 

In the oil cook the onion for five minutes until browned. 
Add the garlic. 
Put in a food processer until smooth. Return to heat and deglaze with the sherry. Add the langostinos and the stock. Let cook for five minutes. 
Mix in the tomatoes and let cook five more minutes. Add the cream, pecorino, potatoes and corn and remove from heat.
In a greased baking dish layer one piece of puff pastry on the bottom.
Cook at 375 for five minutes. 
Spread the lobster base over this and put the other sheet of puff pastry on top.
Bake for 25 minutes until the puff pastry is brown.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pumpkin Coconut Tea Latte

    For two days I have been walking like an old cowboy who just got off his horse.
    No I have not spent days in the saddle. Two days ago I came close to summiting San Bernardino Peak and my calves, butt and yes, even my shoulders are still feeling the burn. ( No, I did not hand stand my way to the top of the mountain. My shoulders hurt from carrying a moderately heavy back pack for twelve miles.)
    I did not have plans to do a work out of any kind this morning but I woke up to the power out.
    There would be no coffee, no heat and no Fox News this morning. I was cold, sleepy and grumpy that I couldn't watch reruns of Shep Smith from yesterday.  So I decided to go for a run.
    I mean my only other option was clean the house,  talk to the cats, read or spy on my homeless neighbors. I just didn't feel like being a creep or being a cat lady so off to the trails I went.
    Good thing I did because the marine layer was thick over the valley and unbelievably gorgeous this morning.
     The clouds were stacked up so thick at about three thousand feet and as my feet pounded the dirt trails above seven thousand feet I had a epic view of clouds so thick I felt like I would walk on them.
     My calves were aching like they would explode any second as I tried to wearily make my way up the steep hill sides. The only thing that kept me going was the fantastic views above seven thousand feet. The cloud coverage got thicker as I looked out to the west and Mt Baldy.

      After I accomplished a good four mile run without my calves exploding some how, I made my way back home to my cabin and the power was back on, oh think god!
      I was already awake and pumped from my run so I whipped up a Pumpkin Coconut Tea Latte in my nutri bullet.
      This tea latte just screams fall! Making it in the nutri bullet will foam it up like a latte  without  using a espresso machine!

Pumpkin Coconut Tea Latte

1 pumpkin spice tea bag
Sprinkle common
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp coconut cream
1/2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp raw honey
Steep the tea bag in the water for five minutes. Remove the tea bag. Combine all in the nutri bullet. Pulse for thirty seconds and serve in a big coffee cup.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spinach and Feta Quiche with Bitchin Sauce

     After a twelve mile hike I just want to eat a quiche.
      And yes, I mean I want to eat an entire quiche.
      By myself.
      The other day I hiked twelve miles.

      In this twelve mile hike I burned over four thousand calories.
      Any time in your life you burn that many calories, I think the event is brag worthy.
      Unfortunately for me, eight of those twelve miles my feet hurt.
      Do you burn more calories when you are in pain and limping?
     By the time I limped my way back to the car six hours and many foot sores later I vowed to throw my Merrill hiking boots in the trash as soon as I got home.
     Or give them to some one I hate.
     I also vowed to make a quiche, smother it in bitchin sauce and shove it in my mouth hole.

Feta and Spinach Quiche with Bitchin Sauce

4 eggs, whipped
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tab coconut oil
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 cup feta
1/2 cup Bitchin Sauce (Found at Whole Foods)
2 sheets Puff pastry

Whip the eggs and Greek yogurt.
Heat the oil in a sauce pan and add the spinach a few minutes until wilted.
Turn off the heat
Add the eggs and and feta, stir until combined.
Grease a baking dish, layer one sheet of puff pastry in the bottom of the pan.
Top with the eggs and than another sheet of puff pastry.
Bake at 375 for twenty minutes until the puff pastry is brown.
Serve with bitchin sauce, lots of bitchin sauce.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coconut Cream Cappuccino ( made without a espresso machine!)

     It was a simply gorgeous fall day.
     The leaves on the oaks were all oranges and yellows in the vibrant blue sky at seven thousand feet as I tied the white laces of my running shoes that morning.
     I parked my Subaru in the lot with the other Subaru and Jeep owners from our mountain towns and stepped out of my SUV into a chilly fall morning. It was maybe forty degrees in the shade as I stood shivering in my shorts and light weight sweater. This, I know now, is why runners wear Hefty trash bags before races. They keep you warm but you don't have to run layers back to the car far off in some parking lot seconds before the race starts. ( precious moments you should be spending in the porta potty line as you won't have time for a potty break for 13.1 miles.) 
     Months and months before I stood in a parking lot shivering in shorts and not nearly enough layers on a brisk morning, I had decided to run my first half marathon.
     This was four years ago and try as I might training before hand, I had never run 13.1 before.
     The next three and a half hours would start off invigorating and end up agonizing.
     It was 13.1 miles later and my white shoe laces were no longer white. They were a dusty brown and caked in mud after running my hardest for three and a half hours.
     My legs ached from my butt cheeks to my ankles and we had to walk a mile back to the car from the finish line to the parking lot!
     This is what happens when you do not train enough!

Coconut Cream Cappuccino

1 cup hot coffee
1 tab coconut cream
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine the hot coffee and the other three ingredients in a nutri bullet for thirty seconds until slightly foamy.