Thursday, September 27, 2012

There's an inch worm in a jar

.....on my daughter's night stand. How much do you want to bet it will be loose in her room by morning.

That is all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A's first book- installment 1

A finished an Ivy and Bean book today. They are a series of chapter books by Annie Barrows. After she finished, she announced she was going to write her own Ivy and Bean book and got to work.

She is nowhere near done she tells me, but she spent quite a while at work tonight and plans on getting right back to it in the morning. So I thought I would share with you this first installment of A's book entitles "Ivy & Bean: Is it Mud or Poop"

In case you have a hard time reading it from pics, this is what she wrote....

Bean was looking out the window. She saw Ivy. She had a big frown. Bean went outside, she asked what is wrong? Ivy said I got a new dog named Wilbet and I went to school and when I came back home there was poop or mud on the floor. Mommy said that she took him out. I think that it is mud but I am not sure? Well lets go up and see said Bean, so they went up to Ivys room. Ivy said lets get magnifying glasses, that are right over there. And if you want gogles Bean, you can. They are over there by the magnifying glasses. Bean said thank you and Bean went to go find some goggles that fit and she got a magnifying glass and she blew it off. It was very dusty. Bean blew it harder and harder until the dust flew off. She looked through it just to make sure. But it was still foggy.

Stay tuned for the next installment :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

101 Ways to Cook Fish- Number 9 and 10

Last week I made two yummy new fish dishes. These were both hits in our house so I thought I would add them to my 101 Ways To Cook Fish list. I hope you all enjoy.

Prosciutto-Apple Wrapped Salmon with a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

1 large salmon fillet
1 apple peeled and thinly sliced
8 thin slices of prosciutto
dried sage rub

Lay prosciutto out on wax paper. In center of ham layer apple slices that were coated with lemon juice. Sprinkle apple slices with a little sage rub. Place salmon fillet flesh side down on apples. Wrap ends of prosciutto around salmon to seal on skin side. With 1 TBS olive oil sear salmon skin side up in cast iron skillet over medium heat until a slight crust appears. Roll salmon over and place skillet in oven. Cook at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until salmon flakes easily.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
2 TBS diced green onions
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS Honey
1 TBS mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients with an immersion blender and serve over salmon.

This was a fairly time consuming recipe but was definitely a show stopper and something I think I would make again if we have guests over.

The other dish I made is more of an everyday dish. It is adapted from a recipe in a Country Italian cookbook I have owned for years.

 Halibut alla Milanese

A delicious dish that A devoured and I plan on making again and again!
Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 small onion finely diced

Remove skin from Halibut. Pat dry and marinate fish for one hour... turning occasionally.

2 eggs
1TBS milk
1/2 cup flour
1 cup dry bread crumbs

Remove fish from marinade, pat dry. Dip fish in flour to coat both sides, then in egg mixture (eggs and milk) and then in bread crumbs. Press crumb topping onto fish. Refrigerate on wax paper 15 mins

Heat 2 TBS oil and 2 TBS butter in skillet over medium heat till bubbly. Cook fish about 3-5 minutes per side depending on thickness....until fish flakes easily and topping is a golden brown. Transfer to warming plate.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tsp minced garlic. Cook 1- to 2 minutes until butter turns light brown. Serve over fish.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

End of Summer.

 No, your eyes are not deceiving you. That is snow on the tops of those not so distant mountains. Termination dust....early this year...a sure sign that summer is over...fall is here...and winter isn't far behind.

It's time to get busy.

Busy picking....
 Busy canning...
the count so far-
6 pints blueberry jam
3 quarts blueberry pie filling
7 pints blueberry plum butter
2 quarts unsweetened dried blueberries
2 pints sweetened dried blueberries
in the plans-
3 more quarts pie filling
6 pints blueberry marmalade
and more dried blueberries
 and busy baking...
over ripe bananas were on sale for 50cents a pound at safeway...unheard of here. So of course I bought a ton, and have now baked 8 loaves of bread, most of which have made there way to the freezer for quick and yummy snacks and breakfasts.
For now it is off to bed where I am sure I will be dreaming blueberry dreams. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Checking in- and a request for advice

I have so much to post but I am tired so I thought I would just do a quick check in. We have been so busy here. In the last 2 days I have made 6 loaves of banana nut bread for freezing with overripe bananas that I picked up for 50cents a pound at Safeway, 6 jars of blueberry jam, and 3 large jars of blueberry pie filling. I still have plans to can blueberry pear butter tomorrow, and both blueberry chutney, and blueberry marmalade. I am still out there picking everyday I can, and honestly my legs are sore from hiking all over the tundra, but I know it will be worth it in the end. While out there, I have been checking on the cranberries, and they still need a few weeks to ripen.

A had a rough day today with listening and obedience. I lover her free spirit, but many days she just tests me. We worked on it all day, and still struggled. I am hoping tomorrow is a better day. She has her first homeschool swim lesson of the year tomorrow afternoon and I know she is looking forward to it. If anyone has any advice on quelling arguing and not listening, and plain disobeying because she doesn't like what was asked, please help. We have talked, time outs, read scripture and stories from the bible, and still she for the moment gets it or plays lip service to it, and the 5 minutes later it's a complete repeat. So tonight I am tired and I am off to bed, with the prayer that God will open her heart to obedience tonight as she sleeps, and grant me the patience I need to lead her.

Good night all. Hopefully tomorrow I can find the chance to share the wonderful photos of what we have been up to.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Salmon with Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar Sauce- 101 Ways to Cook Fish #8

There is absolutely nothing I love better than a meal fresh caught from the icy waters of the Bering Sea. The other day DH came home with these 2 large silver salmon. They were massive and after filleting them, I vacuumed sealed them into 8 meals for us....and kept one out to cook right then of course LOL.
 I decided to serve it with a blueberry balsamic vinegar sauce along with sauteed spinach and quinoa.

It turned out SPECTACULAR!

I started it on the stove in a cast iron skillet, and then transferred it to the oven to finish.
 Here is the final product!  It was to delicious for words! for the recipe-

Salmon with Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

1 medium thick salmon fillet, skin on
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic

Blueberry Sauce

1 Tbsp cornstarch
juice from half a lemon
5 oz. frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp brown sugar 
a sprinkling of dried thyme
black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp butter
1. In small bowl, mix butter and garlic.
2. Pat salmon dry with cloth or paper towel, then rub with butter and garlic mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In small glass or bowl, mix lemon juice and cornstarch until combined. Pour into small sauce pan along with remaining sauce ingredients (save for the butter, this will go in just before serving).
4. Bring sauce to a simmer and continue to cook on low for 20-30 minutes, which will reduce the sauce by approximately half the volume.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, in an cast iron skillet, heat a small amount of butter on med/high. When temperature is high enough, lay salmon, skin side down in pan. Fry for 2-4 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat (mine was really thick and needed longer) or until the flesh just begins to turn from pink  to a white-ish colour. Remove pan from heat and place in oven. Continue to cook in oven for another 10-20 minutes or until just cooked.
6. Stir butter into blueberry sauce to finish and pour over salmon fillets just before serving.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Half birthday, fall pics, and slugs equal a great day!

Today my baby is officially 5 and 1/2. Last year we decided we would celebrate her half birthdays. Nothing big, just a simple cupcake and song, but it makes us all smile. 

This afternoon the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and we headed out to play and to let me snap some fall pics on her adorable sweater dress (which I picked up from a thrift store in Anchorage on our last trip)

She is growing so fast. I look back at pictures from a year ago and she has changed so much. It is amazing. I am so blessed.

 What outside play for my daughter would be complete without turning over stones to find snails, slugs, and worms. "Come on mom, you can touch them. They won't hurt you....just wash your hands afterwards. That slimy trail they leave behind is perfectly normal." LOL

Well at least one of us thinks they are cool!

 These slugs along with 3 of their buddies and a worm are now safe and sound outside in a nice little habitat A created for them.
 After dinner....a half birthday treat.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monday morning breakfast

I shared with you all the other day A's foray into birthday cake. Well Monday morning she branched out even more and made breakfast for us under dad's watchful eye.

She did an amazing job heating up sausage and ham patties in the skillet.

 The she scrambled some eggs, all on her own.

 She was SO proud!
I love watching her grow and learn new skills! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Rejoice with Berries

As I sit here listening to the wind whipping around the house, the windows bellowing, and the rain hitting the windowpanes, I smile. This is my favorite time of the year. Fall is coming, berries are ripening, and I get in a nesting mood. I am feel the urge to prepare for the long quiet days of winter.

It hasn't been rainy all day though. In fact, we had a beautiful holiday weekend after DH's busy work week and were even blessed by the longest lasting rainbow I have ever witnessed. I call the months of September and October rainbow season. Some weeks we are lucky enough to see several in a day....but this rainbow was special. It graced the view from my window for over 2 hours. 

 We also spent much of the last few days berry picking. The salmonberries are late this year and are just recently ripening. The blueberries look to have a long season this year. Because of the different snow depths this winter, some are ripe and ready for picking now, while others still need several weeks. This is wonderful because it just allows me more chances to fill the freezer, can, and dehydrate my favorite fruit. While out picking we even checked in on our secret cranberry spots, and this looks to be an amazing year for them. They are much larger already then when ripe last year. They still need another month or so, but I am excited.

A loves this time of year as well, and in honor of it, she wrote this poem.
 And tonight I will leave you with a glimpse into what you can reap with just 3 hours out in the tundra. Enjoy!