Aug 252015
Heirloom Tomato Summer Pie via // #airstream

Birthday Flowers via // #GoRVing #Airstream

It’s official.  I am 44 years old.  And for the record, I am very much enjoying my 40s.  Living, loving, working, exploring, cooking, laughing, learning (always learning), being . . .  it all seems to just get better with time.  I am also much smarter than I was in my 30s, 20s, etc.  Thank goodness.

My boys are good to me on my birthday, always have.

“Honey, what would you like to do for your birthday?” hubby asks . . .

“I’d like to go and visit our Airstream and spend the weekend with her,” I replied.

I say, “visit,” because my silver girl is at a lovely RV repair shop in Cle Elum, Washington which just happens to be right next door to an even lovelier campground called the Whispering Pines RV park.  Sadly, she suffered some mishaps during our recent trip through Idaho and Montana like losing power (our 30 amp plug-in failed miserably and couldn’t provide us any power for an entire day!  That is, until the light bulbs went off over our heads and we realized we had another 30-amp plug in towards the front of the Airstream, oiy doi !  Sometimes we are truly geniuses I tell you – ha ha).  In addition to that, there were other minor issues such as the electrical wall outlets being pull out from the wall (impatient little boys pulling out chargers with no regard to the delicate nature of how the wall outlets are installed, lesson learned) and my beloved microwave has lost her lovely feet and now likes to slide and dance all over the inside cabinet while under tow . . . when hubby complains about these minor infractions I remind him like this, “Well honey, this is all much less money than owning a boat.  Do you remember?” and I poke him in the side to remind him and he laughs.  Case dismissed.

“What about dinner?  Shall we take you out?” he asks some more . . .

“You know what honey?  I would really like to cook YOU a delicious dinner, for my birthday,” I tell him . . .

Why do I pass on a glorious evening out at a fancy restaurant?  Well this is why.  Cooking for my boys is what I love to do when visiting my silver girl.  During the week at home I am rushed every day.  Rush, rush, rush.  I come home from work, the boys are “oh so hungry!” and I am whipping together this and that.  Poor Oliver sits at my feet hoping I will drop something to the floor (which always does happen) I slave at the stove, we sit down to eat and in 10 minutes, the meal is gone.  Oh how things are different when I actually have the time to cook.  Typically I am in a beautiful setting with my Silver Girl with the birds singing just outside my sunshine filled screen door, the radio is pouring out sweet melody’s that sooth my soul and finally, I am relaxed.  I cook with goodies from the local market, butcher, and/or fish monger.  Whatever the ingredient is, it is fresh and it is local.

Needless to say, I was very much looking forward to my birthday weekend with my Silver Girl.

Here is how it went:

Airstream Birthday Celebrations via J5MM.comAirstream Trailer Birthday Celebrations via

During our fly fishing outings, the skies were very smokey from the wildfires . . .

Smoke Filled Sky J5MM.comThe Yakima River via J5MM.comSmokey River and Forest via J5MM.comYakima River Day Outing via // #Airstream #GoRVingLichen decorated cedar via J5MM.commoonrise via

Dinner compliments of my home garden and Owen’s Meat Market in Cle Elum . . .

Birthday Steak Dinner via J5MM.comAluminum Glow via // #Airstream #GoRVingRosemary & Thyme Skillet Steak via J5MM.comGuiding Light via // #Airstream #GoRVingHappy New Day via

That’s my Vitamix.  It is a commercial model that I found on Craigslist for $150.  I decided to fancy it up with stickers (because it really isn’t the prettiest thing to look at).  This is the first sticker of many to come, I’m sure . . .

Smoothie Powerhouse via // #AirstreamKitchen #GoRVingPineapple & Cherry Cream Smoothie via J5MM.comHeirloom Tomatoes via J5MM.comFoolproof Pie Crust recipe via

An incredible pie crust that I stumbled upon over at Food52.  Recipe to follow with a few minor exceptions:

Vodka Pie Crust via J5MM.comFelt Ball Necklace via // #AirstreamFoolproof Pie Crust via // #Airstream #GoRVingCooling Vodka Pie Crust via J5MM.comOutdoor Hike along the Yakima River via J5MM.comOutdoor Hike along the Yakima River via J5MM.comTomato Summer Pie in the Making via J5MM.comTomato Summer Pie via J5MM.comTomato Summer Pie via J5MM.comHeirloom Tomato Summer Pie via J5MM.comA Good Place To Be via // #AirstreamHappy Birthday Airstream Style via This was a birthday celebration for the books — and one that I will remember for a very long time.

Thank you to all of the sweet birthday wishes — means so much!
Here is the recipe for the Heirloom Tomato Summer Pie.  Please note, you only bake the crust and layer the fresh fillings on top.
Prepare pie crust:

Found on Food52, I used Chris Kimball’s recipe from Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen (Click here for pie crust recipe) with a few exceptions:


  1. You will see the recipe calls for 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening. I don’t really use that ingredient so I just replaced it with butter.
  2. I did not use any sugar.
  3. I added ground black pepper into the dough — I just eyeballed how much I think I would have liked.
  4. I put the water and vodka, together in a mason jar in the freezer to chill it up vs. keeping them separate. It turned into a slush before I added it.  I think that helped and was a good thing.
  5. I did have dough left over that is now in the freezer for later use.
  6. Once the dough was chilled, I rolled it out (adding a sprinkling of flour to prevent from sticking — this is a tacky dough), placed it into the tart pan, pricked it with a fork and put the tart pan into the freezer for 30-40 minutes to freeze it up to avoid shrinkage in the oven.  It still did shrink a little, I imagine if I skipped this step it wouldn’t have turned out so well.
  7. I then baked it for about 20 minutes at 375 until it turned a slight golden color.  I allowed the crust to cool. If you like your crust a darker golden brown color, keep your eye on it and bake it a bit longer.

Meanwhile I mixed 1/2 block of cream cheese with 1 cup of whole milk ricotta, a pinch of salt and whole heck of a lot of freshly ground black pepper until it was nice and smooth.  There were some lumps but I didn’t mind.  I spread this onto the pie crust once it was fully cooled, topped with sliced tomatoes, torn basil, crunchy salt and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds.

A drizzle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil before serving is quite nice.

Happy August to you !

~ Monica xoxo

Oct 082014
Lox and Currant Tartine via // #Airstream

Suddenly Last Summer with our Airstream via

Fall is upon us now and the other day, it suddenly dawned on me, that last summer — a lot of cooking had been done in my silver kitchen which never made it onto J5MM.  Pouring over all my photos I took of my culinary creations made me realize also — what a beautiful, gloriously long summer we had here in Washington.  The warm breezes continue to blow, even now in what should be a chilly October.  We have our funny days where temps reach 80!  But today will be a nice mid 60’s October day according to the weather woman.  I’m ready for warm sweaters in the upcoming season and exhilarating early morning hikes where the frost graces the edges of the creek near my home. Continue reading »

Apr 242014
Butter Poached Spring Asparagus via // #airstream

Springtime In The Forest via

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 »

Apr 302013


There is nothing I enjoy more than coming home from corporate America and preparing dinner in the Airstream on these beautifully sunny Seattle days.  Except for of course, preparing dinner in our Airstream when we are actually on the road – on vacation, lol :)

Continue reading »

Apr 182013
Proscuitto Tartine via // #Airstream

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 »

May 102012
Spring Tartines via // #Airstream

“You must go and visit the tulip fields Monica,” a friend of mine told me a very long time ago when I first moved here to Washington.

Now that I am here, I am wondering why I waited for so long to make the trip.  As far as your eyes could see, there were brilliant colors of reds, pinks, purples and yellows rolling over the gentle hills.

It was an early morning actually.  Very early.  That is probably one of the greatest benefits of having your home on wheels with you.  You can go anywhere and get there early before all of the crowds.

It was so beautiful here.  I’m sorry I didn’t make the trip sooner.

Also happening at the same time was the farmers market in Mt. Vernon which is very nearby to the fields.  We needed something for lunch and I was so happy to find fresh English peas, ready to eat edamame and some smoked salmon.  What a perfect way to enjoy our lunch that afternoon.

Fresh and simple with a light spread of savory mascarpone that I seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper.

That’s it :)

Oh and I won’t forget to tell you about those radishes :)  They were very, very spicy and added a nice crunch.

Mt. Vernon Farmers Market, Washington

~ an outdoor market in Mt. Vernon, Washington

What an amazing weekend full of bright colors, delicious food and just being together.  I hope that you can come and visit it here one day.  It is truly something to experience once in your life.




Mar 262012
Delicate Springtime Potato Salad via

It was probably one of the nicest weekends we have had here in Seattle in a very long time. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and just in general, the feeling in the air was one of happiness and excitement. Happiness because the sun felt so good on our skin and excitement for the beautiful weather ahead of us.

We spent this weekend at home spring cleaning. The Airstream needed a good bath after all of our winter skiing adventures and our poor garden that has been neglected over the winter needed some serious tending to.

As we all worked around the house I knew that soon enough there would be a call for lunch. Hubby was washing the Airstream, B was helping me plant some culinary herbs in the garden and hours had passed since breakfast.

I had my CSA box from Full Circle in the Airstream’s fridge and I was very excited about it. Inside of it I was greeted with the most beautiful bunch of carrots I had ever seen. In the box were also some red potatoes, crisp green beans and oranges. All of the necessary ingredients to create a really delicious potato salad were right there in my box.

A simple salad that really took no time and as we discovered, gets much better with time.

Spring in Seattle 2012

My Full Circle Farm CSA Box

B has been waiting for this day now for quite some time since he saw me bring a mossy looking basket home. He knew that he would be helping me plant some culinary herbs in it so that we can take it along with us on our travel adventures. There is nothing more rewarding to me in the kitchen than being able to use fresh herbs that I have grown and now, with this basket — I will always have them with me on our trips.

After we planted the herbs in the basket, we ventured into the garden. B dug nice big holes for the rest of the herbs and planted them himself. We also planted radish seeds – about six different varieties, carrots and beets.

We are ready for summer :)

“Mommy, this is so much fun,” B said looking up at me and smiling.

My heart was melting. I was so happy that he was really enjoying himself. To me, I think, it is so wonderful to teach your children how simple it is to grow their own food.  From one tiny seed come so many good things.

“We should play some music for the seeds mommy, like they did at Doe Bay. Do you remember?” he asked . . .

“Of course I remember.” I smiled looking down at him.

What a beautiful day it was.

I don’t think I will ever forget it.  I am sure of that.

Gardening in Seattle

And the salad?  I must say, it was the perfect lunch on such a beautiful day . . .

Potato Salad with Heirloom Carrots

. . . and we also enjoyed it for dinner alongside some chicken and apple sausages.  I simply sauteed the salad until the potatoes turned a nice golden brown color and turned crispy — and the carrots?  I think they were even better.

It was delicious!

Seattle Sunset

Mar 122012
Oprah's Favorite Grilled Cheese via // #Airstream

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!