Sunday, July 31, 2011

opportunity knocks

We can't seem to stop....
.....forgoing responsibility and real life mundaneness, in exchange for family play.

Our kids are perfect ages to do just about anything right now. 
And while we still have a few more precious weeks of summer break, 
we are taking advantage of that. 
Any opportunity to do something together--we take it.

You see, not to brag (but really, I'm about to brag), our kids are pretty awesome.
(Whoa! I didn't even try to be a little bit humble!)
They are up for anything we put in front of them, and attack it with full energy,
curiosity, and exactly one billion questions.

This weekend we set out on a 5 mile hike. 
Five. Miles. 
Up 3, down 2. 
About 1000ft elevation gain.
As long as I'm throwing numbers at you--my children are 4 and 6 years old,
 and neither stand much taller than 3 feet something inches--that makes for tiny little legs.
Five miles seemed like alot, so we knew we'd take it a little at a time--if we didn't make it, oh well.

So Saturday afternoon, 
we left the dishes in the sink, 
the dirty clothes piled up, 
and set out for our adventure. 
Chores could wait......this, most definitely, could not.

We had drinks, snacks, and Charly--all we needed,
and headed up through the aspens and wild flowers.
And they just kept climbing. 
And climbing and climbing.

Up they went, and at last we made it to the lake.
We sat and ate our snack together, and I couldn't help but think how valuable 
this little moment was.

can you see them? 1, 2, 3, and charly in the lead
hike5 copyhike15 copyhike14 copyhike2 copyhike11 copyhike3 copyhike13 copyhike12 copyhike7 copyhike9 copyhike4 copyme&lu copyhike6 copyhike10hike1 copy
all photos taken on Big and Little Water Trails, and at Dog Lake, UT.

While my house is nowhere near sparkling clean,
the weeds might be a little bit tall,
my laundry room looks like a hoarders paradise,
(should I keep going?)
my bed sometimes forgets to make itself (oh, wait, beds can't make themselves?)
I have a coffee table, a dresser, and a chair waiting to be painted.... children are not going to grow up and remember ANY of these things. 

So instead of making those things my focus,
any opportunity we get 
to play with them 
and teach them 
and help them to experience something new, 
We will take it.

Responsibility can wait.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

it makes me very happy.....

tomatoes on toast

....goat cheese, cherry tomatoes still warm from the sun, basil and cracked pepper on toast
....small town rodeos, country music, and fireworks
....camping trips, fishing, and cozy tents
....the last Harry Potter. love love loved sad it's done
....thunderstorms crazy eights, and old maid
....running as the sun is coming up over the mountain
....weekend. always, weekend.

what makes you happy?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

whole wheat naan with chicken and veggies

I've posted this whole wheat naan recipe before--but it's one of our favorites and simple make, so I thought it would be worth the re-post.....right? It's also easy to fill with all your favorite summer vegetables for a quick lunch or dinner.

Before I made the naan, I quickly threw together some chicken breasts, chickpeas, minced garlic, lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, s&p, into the slow cooker for a few hours so I didn't have to worry about it at dinner time.
naan1 copy

Whole Wheat Naan
makes 6-8 naan
(I usually double the recipe and freeze half for dinner in a hurry--just take the dough out in the morning and let it thaw and rise)

1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (+ more for dusting)
1 tsp vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
coconut oil, for cooking

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and sugar and let stand for 5-10minutes, or until foamy.

Stir in the oil, yogurt, and egg until mixed, and then stir in the flour, gluten, and salt. Knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size.....about an hour.

Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a thin circle(ish)

Cook each naan in a nice hot skillet drizzled with oil (just a teeny tiny bit--you're not frying it like a scone) until blistered and cooked, flipping as necessary. (When the surface has big blisters and is golden on the bottom, flip it over and cook until golden on the other side.
naan2 copynaan3 copynaan4 copynaan5 copynaan6 copynaan7 copynaan8 copy
We filled ours with
 -slow cooked chicken and chickpeas
-cherry tomatoes
-salad greens
-herbed goat cheese
-lemon and olive oil


Monday, July 25, 2011


mountains2 copy1

He came home from work.
What should we do tonight? he said
Something summery, I replied.
Drive-in movie?
Let's go up the canyon. 
mountains4 copymountains8 copymountains7 copymountains5 copymountains6 copymountains3 copymountains2 copymountains1 copy
and just like that, we were there.

*It appears as though we eat a lot of s'mores......we do.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

summer eats

Every single time we sit down to eat something--be it a snack, or backyard feast--I feel so thankful for everything that grows out of the earth and goes straight to our plates....and is then shoveled into our mouths.
(and then I wonder how we ever survive winter)

Our tomatoes are still a bit sad for the year--the spring was so cold and lasted forever, but we are fiiiinally starting to see some progress with our first teeny tiny tomatoes.

So while the plants are loaded down with green tomatoes--we are enjoying them that! 
Fried green tomatoes are soooooooooooo good, and a perfect for a simple salad. 

Pasta and Garden Veggies
favorite whole wheat pasta
baby onions
fresh basil
parmesan cheese
 while pasta is cooking sauté garlic, onions, and a few pinches of crushed red pepper in a bit of olive oil. 
Add zucchini and and sauté a few more minutes, then add chard and walnuts. 
Mix in pasta and basil and a bit more olive oil. Top with parmesan cheese.

Fried Green Tomatoes
slice tomatoes 1/4" thick
dip in a beaten egg
dip into an equal parts flour and cornmeal mixture (with a bit of garlic powder and cayenne pepper)
Lightly fry in a little olive oil until golden.
Sprinkle with a bit of salt.

Mix with greens, carrots, peas, baby onions, and a simple vinaigrette.

Fish Tacos
one of our very favorites!!

grilled corn tortillas
this time we used cod--grilled with olive oil, lime, salt and pepper
-cabbage (tossed with a little vinegar and s&p)
-fresh salsa
-Tomatillo dressing (tomatillos+sour cream+lots of cilantro+green onions+a pinch of cayenne+salt, 
all blended together)

Black Bean, Corn and Zucchini Salad
Sauté fresh corn, zucchini, jalepeno, and minced garlic in olive oil, until zucchini is tender.
Stir in black beans for a few minutes until heated through.
Remove from heat and add lime juice, lime zest, a pinch of salt, and lots of fresh chopped cilantro. 

The best thing about this dinner, is the next night you can throw all of the taco leftovers+the black bean salad leftovers into some greens and have a giant taco salad.

And while this photo is not a picture of food....I'm sure those fishing boats are catching something tasty...

trinidad harbor, trinidad california

I'd love to hear what you are eating this summer!
happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

just a little home movie....

our family*. out exploring. when can we go back?

hide and seek in the redwoods.

song: "Keep It There" by the weepies

*i make an appearance for, like, .5 seconds

Monday, July 18, 2011

black raspberry and chocolate chunk ice cream

After much debate (from four people, with four very different opinions...) we had finally settled on an ice cream flavor: raspberry ice cream with chocolate chunks....the perfect combination, and pleasing to everyone.
We headed to the farmer's market Saturday morning on the hunt for the perfect ice-cream-making-raspberries. We were just about to purchase our freshly picked little red ruby's when we looked across the way and saw raspberries. We had to have them.
Look at them! Just like a raspberry, but a bit more tart.
 And I think they made the prettiest colored ice cream. Ever.
black raspberriesicecream2 copyicecream3 copy

Black Raspberry and Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
a few drops of pure vanilla extract (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
7 egg yolks
2 cups black raspberries
4oz dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
black raspberry icecream
Over medium heat, bring cream and milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk together sugar and yolks until pale and thickened. When small bubbles have started to form on the surface of the cream mixture, slowly whisk in to sugar and yolks, then return to the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat--stir continuously until mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat (add vanilla if using) and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer. While mixture is cooling, place 1 1/2 cups of the berries in a saucepan and cook on low heat so they start to get nice and juicy. Smash with a fork, and allow to cool. 

Once cream mixture and berries are cool, mix together. Gently stir in remaining 1/2 c whole berries. Add to ice cream maker and follow manufactures instructions. After the ice cream has been churning for about a half hour, add chocolate chunks (you can add them earlier if you are sure your mixture is 100% cooled--you don't want them melting into your ice cream). 

icecream5 copy


I'd love to hear your favorite flavor of ice cream to make!

post edit:
I have received several emails asking if these are black berries--they're not! 
Black raspberries are a type of raspberry, and while similar to regular red raspberries, they are a bit more tart. 
If you can't find black raspberries, regular raspberries would be a perfect substitute for this recipe--and I'm sure blackberry ice cream would be delicious as well.

guessing game

I'll be posting this (deadly) recipe a bit later.....
any guesses as to what it is?
The winner gets to sample it.
ingredients copy

Just kidding. 
We're not sharing this with aaaannnyone.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

among giants

I feel a little ache in my heart as I post this......
going through these photos makes me want to go back. 
I have never been anywhere like this in my life--
and to be there with just my little family was absolute perfection. 

We spent the entire day exploring.
I was so proud of my Littles--their little legs carried them over five miles in one day. 
up hills.
down hills.
through, across, in streams.
over and under fallen trees.

It's quiet out there. 
but still.

You would think, 
that after being out there all day,
you'd start to get used to it. 

but no.

we were constantly amazed,
over and over and over,
at how grand
everything was.
We never grew tired of it.

There was just something about it....
....something that couldn't be captured by any piece of modern day gadgetry.
A feeling.
We took a bit with us as we left. 
and I can't wait to go back and experience it again.
up copy++rw3 copyrw34 copyrw33 copyrw32 copyrw31 copyrw29 copyrw30 copyusredwoodrw35 copyrw28 copyrw25 copyrw40 copyrw27 copyrw39 copyrw23 copyw17 copyrw24 copyrw38 copyrw22 copyrw26 copyferncanyonrw17 copyrw18 copyrw42 copy+rw21 copyrw20 copy+rw10 copyrw6 copyrw7 copyrw8 copy+

photos taken on Lady Bird Trail in Redwood National Park, Lost Man Creek Trail in Redwood National Park, Fern Canyon in Redwoods State Park, and Humbolt Redwoods State Park

Keen is not an official sponsor, but hey Keen, you should be! We will be your poster family!