Aug 272014
 

Sailing to Orcas Island via J5MM.com

Earlier this summer we had a party by the sea with our Airstream on Orcas Island in the beautiful San Juan Islands of Washington State . . .

I invited my sweet friends I have made on island over the years and it was a night I will never forget ♥

West Beach Resort Airstream Party via J5MM.com

One thing was for certain, if it wasn’t for my talented friend Gavin Glenn-Walstrom, who runs Asher & Olive Catering on island and his assistant Teddy, this party would not have been the success that it was!  From the most unique appetizer of hibiscus flowers stuffed with peppery goat cheese to a flavor explosion of a tomato and mango bruschetta topped with a thick balsamic glaze, our guests enjoyed some of the finest food there was to offer.  I also should not forget the Chinese salad served up in adorable little Chinese food take out boxes with fancy chopsticks.  So easy to eat and most of all, so very delicious! A grand flaming-finale of banana’s foster was served at the end to bring the night together full circle.  With Gavin and Teddy’s help, I am forever grateful !!  Thank you !

From some of the hippest Hollywood red-carpet event parties in Los Angeles to romantic weddings on idyllic Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, my friend Gavin does not disappoint with his catering magic.  Gavin has no problem masterminding his vision of a most perfect evening by bringing people together in a beautifully showcased, harmonious blend of scrumptious food and refreshing, chic beverages as I was so fortunate to have experienced.

Airstream by the sea party via J5MM.com

A few weeks later, after our big night, I was lucky enough to be invited by Gavin to come and see his beach house on Orcas Island — home to Asher & Olive Catering to get up close and personal with Gavin’s design style and thought process and see where the culinary catering magic happens.

Wedding Caterers Asher and Olive on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

Orcas Island Catering Asher and Olive via J5MM.com

Wedding Caterers Asher and Olive on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

If you are ever in need of catering on Orcas Island, I can’t recommend Asher & Olive enough!  Its world class catering department is second to none. In addition to Orcas Island, Asher & Olive has kitchens in Bellingham and Seattle making itself  the Pacific Northwest’s premier catering company. Working exclusively with local, trusted vendors to bring their clients the absolute freshest of everything is something Gavin takes great pride in. All of the signature sauces and dressings are made in-house and the meats / poultry are procured through artisan local butchers while the seafood is sourced right off the dock.  In addition, the Pastry Chef creates cakes that dreams are made of.

Welcome to Asher & Olive’s Culinary Heaven.

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Airstream by the sea party via J5MM.com

Airstream Party By The Sea via J5MM.com

A big shout out and thank you to Gavin and Teddy for the magical night and for helping me bring it all together.  I heart you both XOXO

Jun 102014
 

Anacortes ferry landing via J5MM.com

Sometimes when life gets super busy, it helps me to sit down and take note of everything happening around me.   The last two weekends for us have been spent up on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

The purpose of our first visit was to reconnect with friends and have a party in their honor back at our camp.   I wanted everything to be perfect so I worked very hard on that trip for a couple of months prior.  The party went off without a hitch and so many wonderful things happened that weekend that I really look forward to sharing with you.

orcas2

West Beach Resort Airstream Party via J5MM.com

The following weekend, Oliver and I packed up our tent and gear and headed back to Orcas with the mission to learn more about the Farm to Cafeteria / Farm to Classroom program that the school children of Orcas are so fortunate to be a part of.  We also stopped by Gavin and Teddy’s Asher & Olive’s catering digs to have a look around.  Wait until you hear about them.  They are amazing caterers on Island!  Just LOVE them both so very much and look forward to spending more time with those two.

I was so looking forward to this trip with just Ollie and I and as it turned out, it was a very transforming trip for me.  I’ve never camped alone before and I think I managed quite well :)

Oliver and I enjoyed quiet nights, campfires and skillet dinners.  We slept under the stars and were happy as could be . . .

Camp at West Beach Resort on Orcas Island via J5MM.comSitting by the crackling fire with Ollie in my lap was one of the (many) highlights of our trip together . . .Cracklin' Camp Fire via J5MM.comThe next morning we woke up bright and early and were ready to begin exploring.

From the beaches down below  . . .

Oliver Canine Wanderlust via J5MM.com

To the top of Mt. Constitution — we explored as much as we possibly could.

Our experience together was quiet and peaceful.

Just me and my little dog.

top of Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

Also on our agenda was taking a tour of the Orcas Island elementary school garden while learning all about the (wonderful) Farm to Cafeteria and Farm to Classroom Program that is run by Madie Murray.  Madie and I have been trying to connect for a couple of years and finally this past weekend it all worked out.  I really look forward to writing about that experience :)  It was completely amazing.

Oliver and I also had the honor to meet the charming young lady Arla Sutton.  Arla was one of 54 students ages eight to 12 who won a trip to the White House in August of 2012 to attend the very first “Kids’ State Dinner” hosted by the First Lady Michelle Obama. Her recipe for salad noodle wraps won over all other entries in the entire state of Washington.

 Thank you Arla for sharing your recipe with me and taking the time to meet with Oliver and I :)

Farm to Cafeteria and Farm to Classroom Program on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

As the sun slowly started to set,  Oliver and I went back to camp and I made dinner but not before stopping off at the local bakery and picking up a beautiful round loaf of bread to take back to camp.  Our dinner that night would be skillet Ling Cod fish with lemons, grape tomatoes, chamomile flowers, a splash of avocado oil and some salt.

We cooked that over the campfire and really enjoyed the simple flavors.

Sometimes, less is more and in this case with our dinner, it was a home run.

Camp Dinner at West Beach Resort on Orcas Island via J5MM.com

I’m really looking forward to posting here on J5MM in more detail all about those adventures we’ve had so far on Orcas Island.

Next week I do something a little different than my usual travel routine.  I fly out to Montana.  I have been invited by Montana Tourism to come and experience a “Heyday on the High Plains,” — a story-gathering mission to Montana’s semi-secret prairie lands.  I’m so very excited about that but I will admit, flying is not my cup of tea so I’m a little nervous.  But like all things in life, one must conquer and carry on :)

While in Montana I’ll be active on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter if you would like to follow along.  I will be very eager to share my discoveries with you ♥

Then a few days after I return from Montana, we hitch up the Airstream and b-line it back to McCall, Idaho !!  We’ll spend some time at our favorite RV park – McCall RV Resort !! We’ll also be taking a three day trip through Hells Canyon with Hells Canyon Raft, jet skiing on Lake Payette with Cheap Thrills.  Then as we continue on into Oregon, we will be fly fishing the Deschutes River with Deschutes River Outfitters and glamping our way through Oregon back up into Washington.  I’ll be cooking every night in my Airstream sourcing local ingredients and using recipes I’ll be collecting from our guides and locals that we’ll meet along our way.

Here’s to a great start to summertime XOXO

~ Monica ♥

Airstream Party By The Sea via J5MM.com

 

May 082014
 

When traveling with an RV there are many benefits to be had.  Take for example the fact that you have all the comforts of home with you including a fully equipped kitchen.  Sure it’s probably smaller than your kitchen at home, but with a little organization and planning, you can easily whip up the same healthy meals you do for your family at home, but on the road.

My Travel Trailer Kitchen

What’s better is that you’re actually on the road.  Traveling.  Exploring.  Seeking out new adventures.  Can you imagine a better way to experience the “here and now,” than visiting a local market where you just happen to be seeking out the freshest, in season goodies to cook a meal with?  Take it to the next level and talk to some locals shopping in the market.  Ask them how they like to cook those “in season” ingredients.  More often than not, you’ll make a new friend and come back to your RV inspired, ready to cook. Continue reading »

May 042014
 

Suncadia and Tumble Creek in the Wenatchee National Forest Setting

When hubby and I first met, one of our very first trips taken together was to the Bennett cabin which is located next to the Wenatchee National Forest.  I’ve heard a lot about this cabin and how it took many, many years for the Bennett family to build, by hand — all themselves.  No machinery here, just pulley systems and lots of muscles to get the logs one on top of the other. Continue reading »

Dec 262013
 

orcas-island-map

Ever since bringing home our Airstream in 2010 it has somewhat become a tradition to spend the cozy Thanksgiving holiday in the San Juan Islands – specifically Orcas Island.   Year after year we return with the longing of peace, relaxation and just taking things easy next to the Salish Sea.

There is never a dull moment when spending time in the islands . . . Continue reading »

Nov 032013
 

Pressure Cooked Beef Short Ribs

From a summer full of adventure to the new season of Fall —  it’s been a lot of fun glamping in the Airstream during this season of change.  I continue to pick apples off my heirloom trees after my early morning walks through the quiet town of Roslyn with Oliver.  It’s a sweet ritual I have come to adore and really look forward to.

While cleaning/organizing the storage in my Airstream last weekend, I happened upon my beloved pressure cooker.  It was good timing too as sitting in my fridge were  some beautiful beef short ribs I was planning on braising away in the Airstream kitchen for a few hours for dinner that evening.  Thankfully with the pressure cooker it not only cut down the timing of braising by more than half, it also produced some of the most deliciously flavored short ribs I have had in a long time.  In less than one hour I was able to serve up those fall-off-the-bone beauties atop a bed of fluffy sweet potatoes. I will admit, I was little upset with myself that I had forgotten about my pressure cooker.  It truly is a time (and propane!)  saver in the silver kitchen. Continue reading »

Oct 232013
 

A Fall Harvest in Roslyn, Washington with our Airstream trailer

There is something about the Fall season that simply warms my heart and gets me thinking about the cooler weather ahead.

Our Airstream, which currently happily waits for us on our piece of property in Eastern Washington sits amongst heirloom apple and plum trees surrounded by this new season.

And it never fails — with the abundance of those late summer fruits — apples and plums — that I’m continually tempted into my silver kitchen to cook . . .

. . . and to escape the everyday hustle and bustle of corporate America.

For me, this is my refuge. Continue reading »

Jun 192013
 

Airstream Trailer

When we were driving home from our Memorial Day Weekend Olympic Peninsula Loop – this RV park (called Rest-A-While RV Park) caught my eye and I made a note of it.  It looked really cute and was located right on the water.  Very pretty.  When the following Friday rolled around, we left after I got off work to come and check it out.  We made it in time for sunset.

The following morning was so relaxing as we were in no hurry to do anything but wait for the tide to go out to gather clams and oysters.   I prepared breakfast and coffee while the boys went for a walk.  Oliver decided to stay with me and continue snoozing away :)   Continue reading »

Jun 132013
 

Airstream trailer road trip and glamping around the Olympic National Park

Map of Port Townsend Fort Worden

It was our last night glamping with our Airstream at Fort Worden State Park.  Around 2 am we awoke to winds howling and rain pouring down.   I’m glad we were smart and put the awning up before going to bed.  Have you ever had to put your awning up in the middle of the night because of strong winds and heavy rain?  Not a pleasant experience, that’s for sure.

Stormy night at Fort Worden

While the boys slept in, I took Oliver for a walk up to Fort Worden to get an up close and personal look at the historic buildings and also get a feel for where the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” was filmed.  I also thought about those crepes I would make for the boys when they woke up . . . Continue reading »

Jun 112013
 

Airstream trailer road trip and glamping around the Olympic National Park

Map of Port Townsend Fort Worden

It was day three of our Olympic Peninsula Loop which meant, two more days before returning back to reality of corporate America (insert sad face).   We enjoyed a breakfast of chocolate croissants, coffee and hot cocoa. With maps spread out over our morning table we began analyzing how our day would be spent.

“Can we go to the beach mommy?” B asks me pointing to Rialto Beach on the map . . .

Hubby and I looked at each other — “Yes! Let’s do that.”

And off we went . . .

Continue reading »