Sunday, November 9, 2008

Joshua Tree National Park

So it's been two weeks since our Joshua Tree trip and I have been putting off blogging about it. I don't know why, but I just haven't felt the creative juices on this one and we didn't take too many photos.

Like I said in my post that we were back from the trip, things didn't go as planned. It seemed as if everyone had some issues of some sort. It was extremely cold in the evening. The hubby woke up early the first morning out there and the car said 39 degrees. That is much colder than the weather forecast predicted. During the day, it got to probably the high 80's. The sun is very intense out there as the elevation is around 4,000 feet. We spent most of the day while the sun was out under the easy ups.

David has decided that he does not want to return to Joshua Tree in the fall, as he thought the temperatures were too extreme. He wants to stick to the annual spring trip in April. Me on the other hand was fine with. Oh, well.

Food wise, the couscous salad was great. I loved white kidney beans in it and the basil. I would definitely make it again! The Firehouse Chicken was also very good. David really loved this one.

The campfire cakes were a little bit of a let down though. They were a lot of work to prepare. The cake part on the inside was really good, but as you got to the bottom they had a orange rind flavor, which I am not a big fan off. I wonder if I had watched them more carefully, while cooking on the fire or the coals were not as hot, that maybe they would not have tasted like orange rind as much.


Me making the campfire cakes

Here are the recipes for the couscous salad and the chicken.

Tuscan-Style Couscous Salad
Source:(adapted from Vegetarian Classics, by Jeanne Lemlin) via The Way The Cookie Crumbles
Serves 4 as a main course

1½ cups couscous
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups boiling water
½ cup pine nuts
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans such as navy or Great Northern, rinsed well and
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ cup shredded fresh basil
1 small red onion, slivered

The dressing:
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
Generous seasoning freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Place the couscous and turmeric in a large bowl and mix. Pour on the boiling water, stir, and immediately cover the bowl with a large plate. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and fluff the couscous with a fork. Let cool.

Place the pine nuts and unpeeled garlic cloves in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, tossing often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully because they can easily burn. Let the pine nuts cool, then mix them into the couscous along with the beans, tomatoes, basil, and red onion.

Mince the garlic. Place the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Pour over the couscous mixture and toss well. Let marinate at least 30 minutes before serving. Cover and chill if longer than 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.

Firehouse BBQ Grilled Chicken

Source: Picky Palate

6 thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ Cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
¾ Cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
4 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


Place all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag and marinate for at least an hour. Preheat stovetop grill pan (this is what I used) or outdoor grill over medium heat. Grill chicken for 5-6 minutes each side or until chicken is cooked through.

I leave you with a couple of pictures of our trip.

The hubby made me pose

David & Scott

1 comments on "Joshua Tree National Park"

Lindsey on November 10, 2008 at 10:04 AM said...

The pictures are too cute! And the food looks amazing!



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