Monday, April 12, 2010

A beautiful Sunday in Minnesota

No run on Sunday after the 19 miler. Instead, I took a two hour hike up at the local park on an absolutely gorgeous spring day. I hadn't been out here since last fall, so I wanted to check out what was going on.

Lots of new bird arrivals - got to see my first trumpeter swans, double-crested cormorants, ruby-crowned kinglets, and brown-headed cowbirds of the season. There were plenty of other feathered friends as well, including song sparrows, eastern phoebes, northern flickers, cardinals, American goldfinches, killdeer, and wood ducks.

Trees are getting greener by the day, and the forest floor is coming to life. Bloodroots are starting to bloom, and all sorts of vegetation is beginning to sprout.

Some images from Sunday:

Gray squirrel finding snacks in the treetops



Bloodroots blooming on the forest floor



Trails getting greener



Trumpeter swans inspecting a possible nesting site



As you can see, it is a great time to be in Minnesota right now.

A quick food note - Saturday's dinner was pretty good; linguine carbonara with apple-cinnamon bacon.

Pasta with bacon and eggs - it's not just for breakfast anymore!



This was very loosely based on a Giada recipe where she worked with some pancetta dusted with cinnamon. I bought some wonderful apple-cinnamon bacon from Old World Meats when I drove through Duluth last week, so I used that instead. It is not a traditional carbonara in any sense of the word, but it was really delicious and quick to put together. The cinnamon adds an earthy and unexpected warmth and sweetness to the dish that was quite tasty. A simple dish, slightly exotic, and really good stuff.

Until next time,

Jean
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