A Moostly Fun Adventure in Kake

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I was fortunate enough to be able to accompany Lee on a moose hunt this week.  He went back down to Kake, AK with high hopes for round #2 of the moose hunt, but still no moose could be found.   We found sign that they really do exist in Kake, Lee called and called and called but unfortunately no moose this year.  In the closing moments of daylight on the last day, I saw a black bear on the side of the road.  Lee all but fell out of the truck door rifle in hand and made a very impressive shot that pretty much dropped the bear in his tracks.  So, he did not come home empty-handed and with a 2013 hunting record much improved.

The weather was quite a challenge for me … solid rain for 1 of 2 days of the hunt.  I may or may not have been in sheer misery for most of that first day.  The second day the sky cleared and the sun even came out … Kake is a beautiful area and I truly was able to enjoy the trip and be thankful that I had this opportunity to explore a new part of this great state and have some quality time with Lee.

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So what does moose hunting look like?  Well, my soggy camera dried out enough to snap a few photos on the second day:

Shawn (Lee’s brother) and his daughter Carly came along too.  They slept in the tent while Lee and I laid our bedrolls in the covered bed of the truck.  We did all the cooking on the tailgate under the tarp to get out of the rain and mist.

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Lee and Shawn are two salty guys … they toughed out most of 10 days hunting in the rain earlier in October!

My man:

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Carly shot a grouse, her first hunted beast.  We ate it sauted in Lipton Southwestern Rice.  Yum!

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We did a little hike into Goose Lake …

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I tried to get my hair to look like my mountain man’s hair … he said I did not have enough grease.

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Miss Carly

2013-10-15 14.32.56 The sun came out!  We found this beautiful area of woods off of an old logging road that we spent some hours calling and hunting in.

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We left Kake early in the morning on Wednesday, check out the beautiful sunrise over the new snow on mountain tops!

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Lee always looks forward to a hearty ferry breakfast!  Well-rounded eggs, hashbrowns, toast and sausage with a healthy side of bacon!

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Posted in Hunting & Fishing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Quick Little Projects

Quick little projects are so good for the soul … instant gratification …

A cheery new curtain for the kitchen:

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A close up of the fabric:

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Then I knitted this sweet little hedgehog for Mom!

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I used The Purl Bee’s pattern and some leftover scrap yarn … awww, he is so cute!

** www.purlbee.com is a great site with a pleathera of knitting, crocheting and sewing ideas and FREE patterns **

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… he is so sweet that Neka kept trying to eat him!

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Posted in Knitting, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Myriah’s Tours the Ice Caves

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Neka and I played trail guide and took Myriah out to the ice caves so that she too could experience this Alaskan phenomenon!

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I took these pictures without a flash in order to appropriately capture the glacial blue color, any slight movement is blurred hence the photo below of Neka.  She just loves water and is always digging for rocks … even if she is inside a block of ice and the water is just above freezing!

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A view from inside looking towards the mouth of the cave:

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Myriah also recently had a birthday and I made her Blueberry Apple Pie Bars which were AMAZING!  (See http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/06/24/apple-blueberry-pie-bars/ for the recipe.)

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This website has a lot of potential recipes … both healthy and not-so-healthy.  I have already made her Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars twice, and the next recipe on this site I will try this fall will be … Skinny Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies!  No gluten or saturated fat AND no black beans!  (I just don’t understand why some of you are skeptical about my black bean brownies?!?  They’re wonderful!)  Cheers!

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Homemade Clif Bars

This summer I rediscovered how much I liked Clif Bars.  They are perfect for long runs through the mountains … portable, easy to digest with quick release simple sugars, flavorful, no high fructose corn syrup, some protein and fiber … and all summer on those long runs I have been thinking about how I can make my own instead of buying them for $1.25/bar.  And also for the satisfaction of feeling wholesome in that I am fueling my own body with food that I have made myself … food that I have tweaked to my own personal preference.

A quick google search reveal thousands of site for homemade Clif Bar recipes with all sorts of variations.  I decided to try “Brown Eyed Baker’s” version as it seemed to add up the best with the ingredient list from the back of the Clif Bar wrapper.

(http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/09/18/homemade-clif-bars-no-bake/)

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So here we go:   Puree more dates in the food processor.  Mix oats, rice crispies and flax in the mixing bowl.   Melt together peanut butter and brown rice syrup on the stove. Combine all (3 cheers for the Kitchen Aid!) til well mixed.  Press into an 8×8 pan after both yourself and your faithful dog taste-test the dough.  Then, go forth and exercise … or refuel at work … or just enjoy!

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2013-09-18 08.28.472013-09-18 08.29.102013-09-18 08.29.28   She approves!  🙂

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Raw Brownies

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Raw Brownies!  (Inspiration and recipe from dear friends Emily & Aaron Routon)

1 cup dates

1 cups nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp coconut oil (I needed this to hold everything together better, I think because I used only almonds … walnuts or cashews should be moist enough to hold it together without the oil.  The oil definitely changes & enhances the taste though!)

All ingredients go into the food processor …

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Viola!

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Made enough to fill half a pie plate … HOWEVER, 1-2 bites is probably all you will need to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Notice the small chunk missing next to my fingers, that was enough for this gal … for now!  🙂

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A great raw source of energy for workouts or a great healthy dessert.

Basically:

1 cups any nuts or seeds:  Cashews are great for their neutral flavor, healthy fats, and creamy consistency. Other great options are almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds also make great additions.  Smaller seeds like chia, hemp, or flax seeds can be added in smaller amounts (experiment with 1-3 tablespoons per batch).

1 cup dried fruit base:  Dates, raisins, and prunes work great here because they are sweet and sticky so they hold together the mixture. Prunes have relatively less sugar per weight than dates and raisins so they’re a good option if you’re looking to keep the sugar content lower (although any way you cut it, these bars are naturally sweeeeet).

 1 cup additional filling:  Optional but this is where dried fruits can be added for flavoring. (Great options include dried apples, cherries, blueberries, apricots, cranberries, goji berries, and mangos. If using a full cup of additional dried fruit, try either cutting down the amount of dried fruit base to 1/2 cup or add an additional 1/2 cup of the nut/seed mixture.)

Additional flavoring:  Add one or more the following ingredients based on your chosen recipe (recommended amount in parentheses): Cocoa powder (2-4 Tbsp), vanilla (1-2 tsp), cinnamon (1-2 tsp), citrus zests (1tsp), mint extract (1/2-1 tsp), and coconut oil (1-2 Tbsp) can be added in moderate amounts to flavor your bars.

See  http://rawified.blogspot.com/2012/05/raw-larabars.html  for awesome raw concoctions if you are interested and intrigued with these vitamin & nutrient-rich bars.

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mendenhall Ice Caves

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Lee and I hiked West Glacier Trail to check out the ice caves that are melting out into the Mendenhall Glacier.  Neka of course accompanied us as the ever-faithful trail dog!  I have been hearing a lot about them and needed to see them in person.   The caves are ever-evolving and we have not been there in about 4 years … too long!

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It was a squirrely little trail through the rocky morraine and glacial silt to get to the ice itself.  The silt barely covered the ice is some places and was quite slippery if you stepped wrong and exposed the ice underneath your foot!

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We went the wrong direction at first and walked towards the edge of the glacier not realizing the the caves were further up in the thicker ice.  This arch at the face is not long for this world, a big fissure in the weakest point and lots of water dripping off it … will probably calve off within a day.

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Neka … forever a water dog and loves water in any form … liquid or solid ice!

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Retrieving ice chunks in the ice cold water:

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Breathtaking.

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Posted in Camping & Outdoor Adventures, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Spicy Pickles!

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Dill pickles with a little heat from jalapenos and a little sweet from mini peppers … throw in fresh dill and carrot slices … saying a prayer that it tastes as good as the expectations we have for set for these jars!  🙂

We used the recipe for ‘Quick Kosher Dills’ from Canning For a New Generation as a base guide, I love that book and was happy to try something else from it.  Did you know that adding fresh grape leaves to the jars helps to add crispness to the cucumbers?  If only we had some grape leaves to help ensure crisp veggies!

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We … Amber (a sweet ER RN) and I spent a couple night shifts eating spicy dill pickles and hence concocted the plan to make our own.  A quick Costco trip for produce, ‘Trampled By Turtles’ playing on pandora and we were up to our elbows in cucumbers and peppers!

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The finished product, including pickled onions and cucumber spears as a trial test:

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Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized | 2 Comments