Weekend’s over already, back to work tomorrow 😦 Fast weekend. Seems like they always are lately.
I spent the rest of my afternoon going through old photos, remembering “the good old days”.
yep. I was an avid horseback rider from just about the time I could walk up until a couple of years ago, when life got in the way.
I would spend my summers working all day in order to get a ride in, or to help pay off board for my horse. There’s no better feeling than bringing a young or green horse along, and successfully competing in their first show. The bond is an amazing feeling, but then of course the time comes to start over with a new one, yet rather than feel sadness at selling your old friend, it’s just pride as you watch your “baby” show a new rider the ropes, and watch a new bond form.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s also those horses that you keep with you forever, both of you learning together rather than one educating the other. I was fortunate enough to be able to partake in both of these roles.
I got so busy senior year of highschool, with school, working whenever I wasn’t in school, and college stuff. Then I worked 9-5:30 all summer, and then started school. 
Whenever I wasn’t busy, I would try to divide my time between “me” time, family time, friend time, and horse time, but it just got to be too much, and horse time ended up taking the backburner.
My horse at the time, Burly, the first horse in this post, ended up sitting in a pasture for the better part of the summer. Of course he was still fed and cared for – he was at a boarding barn – but it killed me that he wasn’t getting the love and attention he deserved, from one person (me) rather than the usual come-and-go of other boarders and lesson students passing through the barn. Burly was the horse I had finally settled on, who I had purchased using the money I had saved up from prior resale projects. He had the best personality, and every time I stopped to see him he would still give me just as much love as a family member would, regardless of the fact that it didn’t seem like I was giving it back. You could tell how proud and happy he was after each successful ride we’d squeeze in, and it seemed like the more time off he’d get, the more heart he’d give me. Usually, it’s the opposite.
I couldn’t sell him, but I knew I needed to find someone for him.
Luckily, I am able to lease him out to a place where he is getting all the love and attention he truly deserves. Hopefully, within the next couple of years, I’ll be able to dedicate a larger portion of my time to horses, and possibly bring him home. But who knows if I’ll have the heart to take him back from where he is now?
Burly – Summer 2008

Lately, I really miss it, and am hoping to find time to ride for at least one day a week.

But, enough babbling. Just thought I’d offer a small peak into my life. I feel like you guys hardly know me!
Back to food. And stuff. haha.
It’s no secret that I love polenta. And it seems like lately, polenta is sweeping the food-blogger world! After seeing so many recipes pop up for polenta casseroles, I couldn’t hold off any longer and had to make one myself. Strangely, I started off with the inkling for a Mexican Polenta Casserole, but like most everything I do, changed my mind last minute to incorporate scallops. 
No, I don’t all of a sudden have a scallop obsession – see last night’s meal – in fact, I could take or leave scallops, really. But these scallops have followed me from my last apartment, and they need to be consumed. That’s a couple months. I mean, they’re fine in the freezer and everything, but really now.
Sorry for the poor photos. I wanted to leave it in that cute little personal casserole dish – kept it nice and warm! – rather than plop it all out onto a plate. It’s fitting because I coincidentally, accidentally stole that mini casserole dish from my last roomates. It’s the perfect size for one! anyways, you can’t really see the layers, but here’s how it went down:
For the scallop layer: Sautee ~10-15 Bay Scallops in minced garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, chopped onion, and chopped red pepper. Season with paprika, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and chili powder. Set aside once done.
For the Veggie Layer: Sautee veggies of choice (I used broccoli, red pepper, tomato, onion, and carrot) in minced garlic. Season with same as above, or just some salt and pepper.
For the Polenta: Bring 1 cup water to a boil, and slowly whisk in 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal. Season with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic.

Layer in casserole dish – I went veggies, polenta, scallops, and then topped with tomato slices, parmesan cheese, real bacon bits, and red peppers. Bake for about 20m. at 400 degrees.
If you’re in a hurry, baking isn’t totally necessary since everything is cooked – but it’s definitely worth it. Gives the polenta a nice crust!

The scallops actually went really nicely with the polenta. Get a bit of everything! I liked the lemony flavor carrying through everything, but the chili powder gave it just the right mild kick.

Finish with:
a lime poppyseed oatmeal cookie and banana-raspberry-vanilla greek yogurt with dates, crystallized ginger, and total!

mmmm 🙂
Have you had to force a favorite pastime to the backburner in order to make room for other responsibilities?


Filed under casserole, cookie, dinner, dressage, equestrian, foodblog, greek yogurt, healthy living, horseback riding, polenta, scallops, snack

7 responses to “Recollections

  1. Kristen @ Change of Pace

    Those horse pictures made me cry… I too was an avid rider. I actually used to exercise other people's horses for a living. I had a baby a year ago and that changed everything. I don't have time to do it anymore 😦

  2. Jess - Healthy Exposures

    noo, don't cry! that makes me even more sad! Lately I've been thinking about riding so much…and it's one of those things that once you think it, you feel yourself in the saddle…half halting, collecting, everything…oh dear. let's hope we'll both find time in our lives within the next couple of years 🙂 Hey, if your daughter grows up around them, she'll be quite the equestrian – that's how I got into it! My mom's had horses all her life.

  3. bonnie

    I hope you find time in the future to go back to riding, you should never give up on what you love- great polenta, I know polenta is everywhere in blogger world- must be the weather!!

  4. Karla

    Wow those are amazing pictures! I hope you get time to go riding again. Sounds like you really love it! Do what makes you happy 🙂

  5. Kristen @ Change of Pace

    As soon as my daughter says the word "PONY" we'll have one! I miss it so much!

  6. Leo @ cupcakes in Paris

    Love the horse pics! I hope you find time to live this passion of yours. Sounds like it really makes you happy.I played the piano for years but had to stop when Med school got too intense. Then during my residency I developped a passion for fitness and worked out a lot. Since starting my fellowship last fall, I had to put that on the backburner too. I'm trying to go back into it now but I know I won't be able to do as much as I used to. At least not for some time. WHile this realization makes me sad, I know I am at this time of my life where I need to focus on my career too…

  7. Jess - Healthy Exposures

    Thank you! And yes, it certainly does (did?) Sounds like you know the feeling though. And I agree – I've kind of come to terms that right now is the time to just figure out what I'm doing, and where I'm going, but have faith I'll be able to get back into it eventually. I figure even if I just ride once on the weekends, it's better than nothing! Looking at all the people who work full time but still find time for the barn gives me hope 🙂 Good luck with getting back into it! I always wished I had a musical talent.

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