Monday, April 29, 2013

Lara Bars with a Twist



homemade lara bars

I normally buy Lara bars by the box when I am in Wasilla or Anchorage.  Having not been in either place for quite some time, my supply was depleted and I was in need of an energizing afternoon snack. I figured raw bars couldn't be too hard to make, based on the minimalist ingredient list (and the numerous blog posts bouncing around the internet).  I challenged myself to incorporate three ingredients that had been lying dormant in my cupboard:  dried yacon, goji berries, and Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Save Alaskan Salmon: Eat Pike



baked Alaskan pike


Pike are an invasive, predatory species where we live. They were introduced to lakes illegally, and now they hide in shallow swamps, preying on trout and salmon babies.  Back when TH thought the world was heading towards an apocalyptic demise, he fine-tuned his pike catching skills, to make sure we could self-sufficiently meet our protein needs.  Advantageously, pike can be caught year round (through holes in the ice during winter), there are no limits, and ridding the water of these creatures is encouraged by Fish and Game.  The meat is white and fairly mild, but many people are turned off by the boniness of pike. However, they  can be filleted in a unique manner to remove the y-bones.  View this YouTube video for a great demonstration.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Budget Belize

Glover's atoll fishing


A few things about TH:

  • he has a fishing problem
  • his natural element is the outdoors
  • his perfect vacation plan involves a tent, a fishing rod, rum, and very few people
Considering these factors, I knew we were going to Belize when he discovered Glover's Atoll, located on a coral reef two hours by boat from Sittee River Village.  Here we would have a chance to pitch our tent on the beach, and then fish, kayak (to a fishing hole), or snorkel (to a fishing hole), every day.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Sundays

Every Sunday I make a big batch of something tasty for our week's lunches. I am a huge slow cooker fan; meal prep can't get much easier. My concoctions usually involve my favorite ingredient: Thai red curry paste. I can almost eat it by the spoonful.

slow cooker thai red curry

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stitch Fix #3

A few weeks ago TH and I were doing a bit of cocktailing and our conversation somehow turned to Stitch Fix.

Me:  "It's been a while since I ordered a box."
TH:  "You should schedule a delivery."
Me:  "What?" (quickly refilling his drink)
TH:  "I don't think you spend enough money on clothes."
Me:  Is he being sarcastic? Is this some kind of reverse psychology? [refilling his cocktail] How should I play this? "You're saying you think I should set up a Stitch Fix shipment?"
TH: "Yes, you should spend more money on clothes."

When I reminded him about our conversation the next morning, by yelling, "Tap tap no takebacks!", he simply repeated the notion that I should spend more money.  Something strange is going on here, but I guess for now, I win....?

stitch fix

Saturday, April 20, 2013

An Enchanting Read



the snow child
source

I was overjoyed to hear that Eowyn Ivey's novel about homesteading in Alaska was a finalist for a Pulitzer.  After devouring this book last spring, I contacted Eowyn about visiting my school (just over 100 miles from her home in Chickaloon).  Eowyn eagerly offered her time and generously spent the afternoon sharing her writing experiences with excited high school students.  She is such a lovely, down-to-earth woman, and I am so grateful that her beautiful writing represents our state so accurately. (I really wanted to ask her if she would be my friend, but I felt sheepish as I knew this book was taking her to the big time.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Random Restaurant Review: Austin, Texas



highball bowling austin

Whoah, we weren't in Alaska anymore.  Gold plated walls.  Red leather bar.  Servers with sassily ironic mustaches. Cheese plates in a BOWLING ALLEY.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

HIking on Alaska's Big Island

Kodiak Alaska


Last summer our lodge-owning friend, Dave, hired us for five weeks to work at Saltery Lake Lodge, on Kodiak Island.  TH was the head fishing guide and my duties included grocery shopping in town,  picking up/dropping off guests at the airport, and other odd jobs at the lodge.  At least twice a week I had the opportunity to fly between Kodiak City and the lodge on Dave's Cessna 185 floatplane.  The flight was so stunning, it made my heart hurt.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where's My Spring?

alpacka rafts Alaska



...is late this year.  For the past two weeks we've had snow or below zero temperatures every day.

This has many potential repercussions (short summer, late salmon, ice jams in the rivers which lead to floods), but right now I am most worried about the Alaskan lottery.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not Just for Abraham

curried


I've had a bit of a lentil fetish of late; I think I've eaten them in some form every day for the past two months.  I feel like a biblical character; I just can't get enough.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Perks of Downsizing

In 2007 we built a teensy cabin about 1.5 hours north of Wasilla (of Sarah Palin fame) for recreational purposes.  In 2009 we sold or gave away all of our belongings (except for clothes, vehicles and outdoor gear), rented out our 1600 sq ft house in Wasilla, and moved into the 384 sq ft cabin full time.  Getting rid of our possessions was quite possibly the grandest high I've ever experienced.  As each item found a new home I enjoyed a freeing lightness that made me feel like my future was wide open.  Apply for a teaching job in Saudi Arabia?  Why not?  Spend the summer learning Spanish in Nicaragua?  I'll buy tickets tomorrow!

small cabin alaska