Apr 242014
 

Springtime In The Forest via J5MM.com

This forest, right behind my house is a very special place for me.  For almost 15 years I’ve been retreating to mothers nature’s magical playground to think, clear my mind and take in the fresh air.

There is no time better in my opinion, to hike these woods than in the Springtime.  Little flower buds are popping out of woody dangly branches, the curly fiddleheads of the fern plant begin to slowly emerge and colorful flower blossoms seem to bend your way as you walk by so you can admire their beauty.

Oliver and I set off on a hike the morning before Easter to experience all the beauty that lay in these woods.  As we hiked along, I thought about Easter dinner the following evening.  The Bennett family was coming over and I always love to cook for them.

Today would be a test run of some of the appetizer and side dishes I had in mind to serve and I could hardly wait to get started.  Practice menu runs for me not only give me peace of mind the following day when cooking, it also gives me the opportunity to fine tune and perfect any given recipe. Continue reading »

Jan 242014
 

Five Or Less Friday via J5MM.com

How much do I love this heavenly green concoction I’ve called Pesto?  Well let me just count the ways :)

I love it gently swirled into a deep bowl of delicate angel hair pasta — B thinks it’s even better with his eggs over easy and I won’t forget hubby’s favorite way —  straight out of the jar (naughty, naughty).

But today I enjoy it this way — on a Tartine :)  which means, “open faced sandwich,” in French :)

This style of eating is one my favorites :) and B’s favorite too.

A slice of toasted French bread smeared with a generous helping of peppered ricotta followed by a nice dollop of the pesto and a thin slice of ‎ proscuiotto followed by a grand finale of perfectly roasted tomatoes.

Perfection.

Pesto is what I first called it — but upon further consideration it could easily merge into the category of Heavenly Deliciousness taking any meal to higher levels :)

You may remember this trip we took when I first created this recipe.  I realized I had forgotten the real Italian pesto at home :(  So, using what I had onboard I introduce you to our new favorite pesto/sauce/heavenly concoction  ♥

Cheddar Almond Chive Pesto via J5MM.com

Five Or Less Friday via J5MM.com

Airstream Kitchen Pesto Recipe via J5MM.com

My next thought for this?  Atop a hot baked potato with a dollop of sour cream ♥

If you do try this, please let me know — I would love to hear what you think xo

Bon Appetit xoxo

~ Monica

Smoky Almond, Cheddar and Chive Pesto

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chives (just take the bunch of chives and roughly break them apart so they will loosely fill three cups)
  • 1/2 cup smoked and salted almonds (roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (finely shredded)
  • Zest of one small lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste (at the end)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Step 1
In a food processor (I used my trusty little 3-cup capacity food processor I keep on board the Airstream) put the chives, almonds, cheese, lemon zest and give it a whirl. Add your olive oil to it - a little at a time until your desired consistency is met.
Step 2
Add salt and pepper to taste at the end. Hubby said I should bottle this stuff and sell it. I also think next time I may add some garlic . . .
Step 3
In addition to topping eggs with this, I imagine it would be delicious with pasta or on sandwiches :) ♥
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 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 »

Apr 182013
 

Oh beautiful Oregon.  How I love you and how much I realize a trip back is in order.  Our trip visiting with you last Spring was one we will never forget . . .

We were sad to be leaving Kahneeta.  We had such a wonderful time spending our days hiking, swimming, golfing and just relaxing.  We will forever remember the good times we had there.

Like anything else in life, it was time to move on.  We had a schedule that we needed to stick to if we truly wanted to visit all of the places we had in mind in Oregon.

So off we went.  Our next stop was Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne where we would be able to see some rock climbers in action.

When we arrived We pulled the Airstream into a nice big spot and had a picnic lunch of prosciutto, feta and tomato tartines accompanied with Burrata.

Oh that Burrata.

Continue reading »

Mar 122012
 

On the road home to the U.S.A. from British Columbia

Driving home from Rossland, B.C. back into the U.S.A. and onward to Seattle was quite an adventure for us.

We experienced:

icy roads,

slush covered roads,

dry and sunny roads, and

stage 1 snow emergency roads declared in Spokane, WA.

Here is a shot of that experience:

Stage 1 Snow Emergency, Spokane, WA February 2012

. . . and then we had beautiful dry and sunny roads again . . .

Wind Turbines near Vantage, WA -- they are HUGE compared to the semi truck down there

It was all enough for me.  I was ready to be home.

But guess what?  To really get home, we had to drive over Snoqualmie Pass.  According to the road report, traction tires were required as well as chains for trucks.

We decided to keep that adventure for the next day.

Luckily Whispering Pines RV Resort was on our way and we pulled in — into a pull through!

We were happy.  Sometimes we really love those pull through sites.  Really.  No un-hitching.  Just pull on through and pull right out and continue on . . .

Let’s camp and eat!!

And think about tomorrow, well, tomorrow.

Camp at Whispering Pines Campground, Cle Elum, WA and Oprah's favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This is by far, one of my most favorite grilled cheese recipes.  Okay, well maybe for except this one.

But really, it is SO good.  Sweet and savory, both at once.

A couple of years ago (or maybe more?) I was watching Oprah and she and Gayle King featured this grilled cheese recipe on their show.  I was starving when I watched it and of course, had to make it straight away after watching the show.

Needless to say, I make it often.

Very, often.

Beautiful Organic Tomatoes from Full Circle Farms

Camp at Whispering Pines, Cle Elum, WA

Here is the link to the recipe.

Bon appetit!

Mar 022012
 

Caramelized Onion and Feta Cheese Buckwheat Tarts

We were on vacation. A nice, long vacation.  We were preparing for this trip for a very long time and finally we were here at Red Mountain in Rossland, British Columbia. It is just a few hours north of Spokane, Washington. The drive coming up was beautiful. The drive going back home? Not so much. I will be posting about our trip home soon, it was very interesting.

The routine was the same, everyday. It was nice. Wake up early, feed the boys and set them off for a day of skiing. Hubby on his way for cat skiing with Big Red Cats and our photographers Matt Small and Kenny Blum and B off to his ski class with his favorite instructor, Maude from France.

“Mommy, is Maude going to teach me skiing today again?” he would ask as I helped him get dressed in all of his layers.

Layer.  After.  Layer.

“Yes she is,” I would tell him and then would come the smiles. Big smiles. He really enjoyed his days skiing, thank you so much Maude. You’ve created wonderful memories for him.

While everyone was off enjoying their days of skiing, I would walk around the resort and take photographs and seek out inspiration for our next meal.  The fact that I had my box of goodies from Full Circle Farms was an added bonus.  A box full of fresh, organic veggies — the possibilities were endless. If you live in Washington State, Alaska and Idaho I am sure you have heard of Full Circle Farms.  They are an “organic food delivery service,” and it feels like Christmas morning every time my box is delivered to my door.  Community Supported Agriculture — I am very proud to be a supporting member.  Here is more about Full Circle Farms

Red Mountain Resort, British Columbia

Out of my box I pulled some beautiful organic red potatoes, an onion and got to work slicing, sauteing and assembling.  I have only made sweet tarts before, never a savory one.  I was excited for this one.

Potatoes, buckwheat flour (I have been on a buckwheat kick lately — I am in love with the taste), caramelized onions and parmesan cheese — once baked together we experienced deep, earthy savory flavors.  It was incredible.

Buckwheat Tarts with Caramelized Onions & Feta Cheese

After I picked up B from class we came back to the Airstream for some hot cocoa (our apres-skiing ritual).

He saw the tarts on the counter, cooling.

“What are those mommy?” his eyes wide with curiosity.

“A potato tart.  Would you like one?”

He ate two.

Caramelized Onion and Feta Cheese Buckwheat Tart

Recipe for Caramelized Onion & Parmesan Cheese Potato Tarts with Buckwheat Flour

 

Feb 242011
 

On the morning of our second day in Rockaway, Oregon, where our Airstream was camped right across from the ocean, we woke up to the endings of a coastal storm.   The night was amazing — incredible high winds, huge waves crashing in the distance, rain pounding down on the Airstream.  The Airstream was literally rocking back and forth from those winds — hubby commented how it felt like it used to when we were on our boat.  The night definitely gave the name “Land Yacht” some true meaning.  But while the Airstream was gently rocking from those high winds, I had a warm and fuzzy feeling inside knowing we were toasty warm, cozy and safe from those elements.  I don’t think I ever slept so good as I did that night.

On the menu for breakfast was a breakfast scramble to go — we took these little tasty pockets of heaven down to the beach and enjoyed the sweeping views of the Oregon coast.