May 152015
 

The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

Hwy 101, as it meanders around and occasionally hugs the Washington coastline takes us to our last stop during our road trip through the Olympic Peninsula not too long ago.  I have shared our OP trips on GoRVing’s blog up until this one.  This one, I’ve been saving for J5MM.

Here is a map I designed detailing our road trip in visual detail with our three stops:

Map of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State via J5MM.comj // #Airstream #GoRVing

My first post for GoRVing shared our experiences at the Waterfront at Potlatch . . .

Waterfront at Potlatch via J5MM.com // #Airstream Olympic Peninsula

and then we continued on to: Grayland Beach State Park . . .

Grayland Beach State Park in Washington State via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingToday, I share with you a story about our adventures and explorations at Kalaloch Beach State Park.

We arrived at our campsite at Kalaloch in the late-ish morning.  The clouds rolled in overnight and hung around all day.  Occasionally they would transform and allow a bit of blue to peek through, but we took the weather as it was.  If you have ever visited the Olympic Peninsula along the coast, you know that the weather can change in the blink of an eye.  One moment it’s nothing but blue skies and before you know it, the dark grey clouds creep in over the ocean’s horizon.  You can see it coming.

After we found our site and set up camp, we did what we usually do when arriving in a new spot.  We explored!  Down to the beach we headed.

The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

We also took a walk around the campground in general.  There are some really nice spots with sweeping ocean views in the D loop as you can see.

The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

But we weren’t complaining about our site at all and were very grateful for it.  Here is a shot of my silver girl in her happy spot :)

The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

And here is a view from the inside looking out, to where I was standing when I took the shot prior :)

The boys were still out exploring and I came back inside to fix something to eat.  I whipped up some easy chocolate crepes for a late breakfast and while I was cooking those up, I had in the oven some savory drop biscuits we would enjoy later in the day while we were away.

Our View Inside Out at Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #AirstreamChocolate Crepes from the Airstream Kitchen via J5MM.com // #AirstreamSavory Drop Biscuits via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

We packed up the truck and headed down the road.  What is really wonderful about visiting Kalaloch Beach State Park is the close proximity to all the beaches. The beaches here are numbered in sequence from south to north — Beach 1 – Beach 6.  South Beach is at the far south end, Ruby Beach is at the far north, and Kalaloch Beach, where we are, is located between Beaches 2 and 3.  So if you come, start at South Beach and work your way up the road.  It can take a full day and will be one your most memorable days ever, I can guarantee it.

The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingBeach 1The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingBeach 2The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing #MushroomsOlympic Peninsula Rain Forest via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing #Mushrooms

Beach 4 — this was our favorite.  So much in fact, we returned in the early morning the next day to explore the tide pools (more to come in Part 2)

Olympic Peninsula Rain Forest via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing The Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingThe Road To Kalaloch State Park on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingRuby Beach, Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingRuby Beach, Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingRuby Beach, Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingRuby Beach, Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingRuby Beach, Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

When we came back to camp, we noticed that a few spots down from us, the previous occupants had left!  It was a beautiful ocean view site so we quickly packed up our silver girl and moved her on over.  After we were settled,  I made a delicious smoked salmon spread that we enjoyed before embarking on another trip down to the Kalaloch Beach.

Pacific Northwest Smoked Salmon Spread via J5MM.com // #AirstreamPacific Northwest Smoked Salmon Spread via J5MM.com // #AirstreamCanine Wanderlust on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

If you have been following me along here on J5MM, you know how much my little dog means to me.  I love him so much and with all my heart.  He is always — ALWAYS on his harness because I fear losing him.  Not that he would take off running and leave me intentionally but if he does happen to see something that catches his eye, I can see his instinct to chase.  The thrill of the chase lives deep inside of this little dog and it comes out unexpectedly when we are walking along and a little bird decides to pop out of a nearby bush, or a chipmunk, or anything — even a leaf could buzz by and Oliver would be off.  Maybe it’s the terrier in him.  I don’t know.  He even tries to chase B’s school bus as it drives away.  So, with all that said, this little dog has lived on a harness his entire little life so far until this day.

This day, hubby convinced me, that for once, to let this little dog off his leash and let him run free.  He begged me to do it.  I could tell he felt sorry for Oliver.  All this big open space surrounding him, beckoning him to come and run and be free.

I looked around, analyzed the entire beach for as many miles as I could see.  No one was around.  No animal was around.  It was beach and ocean.  That was it.

So I did it.  I let him free . . . and held my breath . . .

Canine Wanderlust on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingCanine Wanderlust on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingCanine Wanderlust on the Olympic Peninsula via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

I kept my eye on Oliver like a hawk and eventually, as we drew closer to camp, back went on his harness.  What a feeling of happiness it was to let his little legs free and to allow him to run like that.  We were all happy for Oliver :)

Back at camp, we started a fire — or should I say, B started a fire.  He is getting very adept at building campfires.  Hubby has been teaching him how since we started this Airstreaming adventure back in 2010.  I am so proud of my boy and he, proud of himself!

And for dinner?  Toas-tites!  Melted ham and cheese Toas-tites are the best as are the sliced strawberry and chocolate chip variety.  The combinations are endless and I couldn’t imagine being without this campfire treat from now on.  The boys agree too.

Toas-tite Treats via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingToas-tite Treats via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVing

Even Oliver enjoyed a smidge of a ham and cheese Toas-tite thanks to B :)

Toas-tite Treats via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingCampfire with an Ocean view via J5MM.com

Day one of our visit to Kalaloch Beach State Park was full of memories we will cherish forever.  The weather today was chilly, cloudy and sometimes drizzly, but here on the Olympic Peninsula you take each day as it comes.  When the weather was as it was today, it creates a very romantic and cozy experience.  We loved it.

When B and Ollie were safely tucked into their beds in the late evening, hubby and I had some alone time, outside, just the two of us. We chatted about our day and what to expect tomorrow.  We watched the storm clouds roll in over the ocean ahead and we were mesmerized.  What a beautiful day and even more beautiful night.

Evening Ocean View via J5MM.com // #Airstream #GoRVingTomorrow is a new day with new surprises I can wait to share with you — stay tuned for Part 2 coming very soon!  I know you will love it.

Thank you for being here,

with all my heart,

Monica xx

:: Postus Scriptus ::

Recipes coming soon :) !!

May 042015
 

Meal Planning for RV Trips via J5MM.com // #AirstreamLifestyle

Back when I was a stay at home mom with B, I would carefully plan out our monthly menus.  Every first Sunday of the new month I would seek out my recipe books looking for new culinary adventures I could introduce to B.  Some recipes were a success and others, well, not so much.  Live and learn.  Cook and learn.  Either way you had it, I really had my act together as far as organization and getting things done around the house.

Since returning back to corporate America, I have found that my days are no longer leisurely on those Sundays.  Each minute I have off from work I take advantage of and try to keep the house, Airstream, etc. organized, but sometimes I fail and run out of precious time.

I still do take the time to plan our menus but instead of the entire month, I take it week by week now which has really worked out well.  I designed a spreadsheet that I could fill out weekly (and quickly).  My sheet has the days of the week at the top and beneath each day lives:  breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  In each block I write what we will be having for that particular meal and the block under that goes ingredients I don’t have on hand that I need to shop for.

I modified this spreadsheet for our Airstream trips to include a place at the bottom where I can list the ingredients that I do have on hand, in my brick and mortar fridge.  This method, for me, ensures I won’t forget a single item — or should I rather say, it ensures that I don’t bring the entire contents of my fridge with me.  Also,  I keep the menu simple and leave room for days where markets are on our list to visit.  Bringing home goodies from local markets and cooking them up for dinner is something I relish during our road trips.

If you would like to give my method of menu planning madness a try, you can download my spreadsheet below by clicking on the image of it.

Meal Planning for RV Trips via J5MM.com // #AirstreamLifestyle

Free Download // Weekly Menu Planner via J5MM.com // #AirstreamLifeStyle

Click Here To Download a PDF

In addition to my freebie spreadsheet, may I also share this most perfect and delicious fudgy brownie recipe with you.  I have been making this for years.  My dad learned how to make them from one of Julia Child’s recipe books and it is the best.  Of course I am partial because my dad taught me how to make them and I have a vivid memory of him telling me, “Monica, the trick with these brownies are to not over bake them.”

Be warned, there is a fine line between these brownies being perfectly baked and over baked so make sure to have toothpicks on hand when you cut into the center to test their “doneness” out.  But if you do miss that mark, they are still pretty darn good :)

I hope you enjoy :) xoxo

Fudgy Brownies via J5MM.com // #AirstreamKitchen Thank you for being here,

Monica xoxo

Dads Best Brownies — adapted from Julia Child 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1⁄4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate – coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate – coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°
  2. With a whisk, whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan making sure to stir often and keeping an eagle eye out to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.  Add 1 cup of the sugar to the mixture and stir for half a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Put the remaining 1 cup sugar and eggs into a bowl mixing just to combine.
  6. Temper the sugar and egg mixture into the chocolate mixture by adding only half of the mixture and adding it slowly, stirring gently with a rubber spatula so that the eggs don’t set from the heat.  Add the rest of the mixture and mix well.
  7. With a hand held mixer, whip the remaining sugar and eggs until they are thick and doubled in volume which is around three minutes.
  8. Delicately fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture using the same rubber spatula.
  9. When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, it’s time to gently fold in the dry ingredients and the walnuts.
  10. Pour and scrape the batter in to an unbuttered 9 inch square pan.
  11. Cut into the center at about the 22-minute mark to see how the brownies are progressing. They are done if they are just barely set and still pretty gooey.
  12. Cool the brownies in the pan on a rack.  They will continue to cook for a little bit while entering their cooling phase.
  13. Once cooled, spread the top with a chocolate ganache if you would like (my dad and I liked, very much).

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Bring the heavy cream and vanilla extract to a boil in a small saucepan on the stovetop.
  2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Stir until the chocolate chips are smooth and melted. Allow mixture to cool slightly (it will thicken) and spread atop brownies.

A Sweet Bon Appetit :) xoxo

Apr 282015
 

Chocolate Waffles via J5MM.comLast summer in Rolsyn, Washington I visited the farmer’s market quite often.  Just a short walk from where my silver girl was camped, I felt very spoiled and so lucky to have it so close.  From the farm fresh veggies to culinary artisanal delights such as a totally indulgent cheddar cheese spread and fresh baked baguettes, the market was Heaven on earth for any foodie for sure.  In addition there was a darling waffle stand with the sweetest lady making waffles.  I will never forget her summery pink dress, long silver hair braided into a bun on top of her head and her infectious smile that she gave me when my curious self went over to check things out.  There was a small group of young children before me, watching with big eyes as she poured the batter into the waffle iron.

She offered up endless toppings from Nutella to raspberry jam for the sweet varieties and cheddar,  sausage or bacon stuffed waffles for the savory.  When it was our turn, B ordered his with Nutella that we took to enjoy while sitting at a picnic table under a maple tree.

This memory for me is fresh in my mind — as if it just happened.  As summer draws near, we will be taking our silver girl back to Roslyn to enjoy the mountain country life and that special farmers market.  I’m excited to share with you our outdoor adventures that we experience from fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking and swimming in cool mountain lakes.  I also look forward to sharing with you new recipes with ingredients sourced from the market.  I am so looking forward.

Here are two waffle recipes that I would like to share with you  — kind of a homage to the sweet waffle lady I met last summer.  I hope she will be at the market again this year so I can snap a picture of her beautiful self and share with you :)

Sweet-Spring-Strawberries via J5MM.com // #AirstreamDark Chocolate Waffles via J5MM.com // #AirstreamKitchenDark Chocolate Waffles via J5MM.com // #AirstreamKitchenCornmeal & Sausage Waffles via J5MM.com // #AirstreamKitchenCornmeal & Sausage Waffles via J5MM.com // #AirstreamCornmeal & Sausage Waffles via J5MM.com // #Airstream

My waffle iron by Oster deserves front and center seating under my kitchen sink.  It has performed so well all while keeping incredibly clean.  This to me, is a dream quality for a waffle iron as all my irons in the past have resulted in stuck on waffles and were a pain to clean.  This one is excellent — bought him at Target for $20.00.

Under Sink Storage in an Airstream via J5MM.comOster Waffle Iron via J5MM.com // #Airstream KitchenCornmeal & Sausage Waffles via J5MM.com // #AirstreamGood Times Keep On Rollin' via J5MM.com // #Airstream

Hope you are having a lovely Tuesday — thank you for being here :)

xoxo
Monica

PS I have no affiliation with Oster.  I just happen to think this particular Belgain waffle maker is great :)

happy little stars

Dark Chocolate Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. Combine with a whisk, flour, salt, cocoa, and baking powder into a bowl.
  2. Add the eggs, milk, vanilla, oil and sour cream and mix until just combined.  Mix until there are no longer large lumps (small lumps are okay).
  3. Preheat your waffle iron and meanwhile . . .
  4. Set aside the batter for about 10 minutes (while your iron is preheating) allowing the mixture to absorb the wet ingredients — this creates a thick, spoonable batter.
  5. Using a silicone basting brush (I use this one), brush both sides of your waffle iron with butter and spoon enough batter onto the iron leaving a 1/2″ between batter and edge of iron.
  6. Close the lid and cook until the steam stops escaping from the iron.  Give the waffles a slight tap with a fork and if they feel “soft,” continue cooking until they become “crispy” to the touch with a fork.
  7. Serve with hot maple syrup and a generous dusting of powdered sugar and sweet strawberries.  These waffles reminded me of brownies with a crisp top and a soft center.
  8. Like my dad always said before every meal, “Bon Appetit” :)

Cornmeal & Sausage Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large turkey sausage patties, fully cooked and chopped up into super small dice
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • cup buttermilk
  • 1egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • tablespoons of honey

Steps:

  1. Combine with a whisk, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and crumbled sausage into a bowl.
  2. Add the eggs, buttermilk, honey, melted butter and mix until just combined.  Mix until there are no longer large lumps (small lumps are okay).
  3. Preheat your waffle iron
  4. Set aside the batter for about 10 minutes (while your iron is preheating) allowing the mixture to absorb the wet ingredients — this creates a thick, spoonable batter.
  5. Using a silicone basting brush (I use this one), brush both sides of your waffle iron with butter and spoon enough batter onto the iron leaving a 1/2″ between batter and edge of iron.
  6. Close the lid and cook until the steam stops escaping from the iron.  When the steam stops, check your waffles and if they are not browned enough, close the lid and continue to cook until they become golden brown.  But keep your eye on them at this point — depending on your waffle iron, they make get golden quickly — or not so quickly.
  7. Serve with a fried egg on top and a few dashes (or more) of Sriracha hot sauce and a sprinkling of chives.  B suggested I add some hot maple syrup and to my surprise — it was really delicious!  Savory and sweet at the same time :)
  8. Bon Appetit :)

happy little stars

Roslyn Summer Memories:

Fishing the Cle Elum River in Washington State via J5MM.comCatch and Release Baby Rainbow Trout via J5MM.comA Walk At Cooper Lake in Washington State via J5MM.comBennett Cabin in Eastern WashingtonAn Airstream Birthday via J5MM.comHeirloom Coal Miner Apples via J5MM.com Twilight Glamping via J5MM.com

Feb 062013
 

If you are a regular reader of J5MM you may have heard me mention that wintertime is my favorite time to be with my Airstream. Spending our days outdoors in the snow to retreat into our warm and cozy trailer at the end of the day is something hubby, B and I enjoy.   Once we get settled in, the boys either read or play games while I’m whipping up our apres-ski dinner menu.  Then after dinner we typically pull down the shades and watch a movie together.  This time it was especially enjoyable since we had our little pup Oliver with us.  He fits into our “wolf pack” Airstreaming family just perfectly!

Continue reading »

Mar 082011
 

After a chilly day of skiing up at Alpental, this Mexican hot chocolate warmed hubby and I right up and took no time to make.

I’ve never made hot chocolate this way before using a solid block of chocolate, but I can tell you, once you make it this way, you will always want to make it this way.  It was really rich and delicious! The added amaretto and dark rum weren’t too bad of an addition either, lol. I did find it to be on the sweet side but since I did not sweeten the whipped cream, it really balanced out very well. Even hubby approved (and he’s not a big sweet tooth kinda guy).