getaway to the desert: our stay in morongo valley
We headed out to the desert on Saturday around mid-morning. There was no way I wanted to leave on a Friday before a long weekend – can you imagine the hellish traffic that would have been waiting for us?! We planned a trip out this way for a little quiet time and Jake wanted to show me around Yucca Valley. He lived there for a little while back in the 90’s and wanted to see how much had changed since he left in 1995.
I was seriously debating whether or not to bring this little furry girl with us. The house was dog friendly but since she’s never been on a long trip before, I wasn’t sure how she’d be. Turns out she’s a much better traveler than I thought she’d be!
We used Airbnb and stayed in this little house in Morongo Valley. It was situated on a huge horse ranch property and the little house was set far back on the property so you couldn’t even see the main house. We had our own entrance and our own little secluded area.
Each of the two mornings we were there, I sat on the porch and looked at the mountains. I enjoyed a cup of coffee or tea, listening to the melody of birds surrounding me. It was very peaceful.
On the property there was also a grove of pepper trees (which looked like willow trees to me at first) with a sole hammock. I didn’t partake but I could imagine having a lovely nap right under these trees.
The inside of the little house was darling. There was this cute kitchen which I made good use of for our meals during our getaway. It had all the utsentils, pots, and pans that I needed plus the cabinets were stocked with spices, oil, and other kitchen needs. It was more stocked that I was expecting it to be!
Plus a cozy living room with a pull out sofa.
Jake and T played horseshoes while I started making dinner.
They had a propane grill which we couldn’t quite figure out how to use, but I had brought a little hibachi grill with us for the weekend. Course it took me forever to light the damn thing… FYI: That was NOT enough coals. Clearly I was out of practice. I almost grilled our entire dinner on the little hibachi! SO CLOSE.
First up: Flap steak! I went to Whole Foods originally to buy this, but seeing the $13.99/lb price tag made me think the better of it. I know it was all organic and grass fed and crap, but geez! $13.99/lb?! Jake was able to find it on sale at Ralph’s for $5.99/lb which is a much more reasonable price. We bought extra meat so I could use the leftovers for two more meals, woo!
I love that sizzling sound:
The coals started to disintegrate on me by the time I got to the corn and I ended up having to put those in a pot to finish cooking them. The flap steak was seasoned with only a little bit of “Cosmic Cow” which made it really delicious. The asparagus got the full treatment with a dip in some olive oil and coated with salt, pepper, more Cosmic Cow and a little garlic powder. The corn didn’t want to be left out, so I rolled the cobs in butter and added some grated Parmesan cheese for a boost of flavor.
It wasn’t hot enough for the sourdough bread, either! Luckily there was a toaster to save the day! I rubbed a piece of garlic over the top of the bread and then topped it with ricotta, honey, fleur de sel, pepper, and basil. YUM. I could eat this FOREVER.
If I had used enough coals, I also would have grilled the pound cake on it, but instead I put the slices in the toaster oven. I had T slice and macerate the strawberries for an easy little shortcake-like dessert.
Not a shabby meal for our first night in the desert! The weather was perfect – mid to low 70’s in the day and a dip into the upper 50’s at night – and made for some nice stargazing nights. More to come tomorrow about funky swap meets and delicious donuts in Yucca Valley plus quirky desert art in Joshua Tree!