April 19, 2015 When Grandkids grow up – Grandparents Have Fun!!

???????????????????????????????   ???????????????????????????????  We spent the afternoon with our oldest Grandson, Jimmy/James, his fiancé, Amber and his best friend, ‘Abe’ and had just the best time!! Introduced them to wine tasting and these beer drinkers took to it like champs; picking up the nuances of matching wines they weren’t particularly liking with food which brought a sparkle to their eye as they discovered how food can change the whole perspective of liking vs. disliking a particular wine.
Apr 19 wine taste 3  Apr 19 wine tasting 4
And, a new experience for Roy and me, after years of wine tastings, we were introduced to a  new way of tasting. Instead of ‘bellying’ up to the bar for one taste after another, we were given wine flights of the wines we chose to taste. 2 Hawk winery, in Medford, OR, also offered a bistro-style menu, which we took advantage of and this was the best possible thing we could have done. Ordering an Artisan cheese and charcuterie platter plus an Olive mix of three varieties served with Pita triangles gave the perfect introduction for the ‘kids’ to mix and match flavors with wine.

Manning the wine tasting bar, Amy was knowledgeable and ready with the history of the wines, winery and the beautiful building housing the tasting room. Had to go with a bottle of their Red-Tail Red

Tasting notes: “Released in November 2014, Red-Tail Red is a proprietary blend with an emphasis on Cabernet Sauvignon. The fruit used was sourced from the Rogue Valley and the wine was aged in both French and American Oak barrels, blended specifically for 2Hawk. The nose on this wine is full of black cherry and currant; the flavors on the pallet include tangy berries, black cherry, wood spice, and herbs. This is a full-bodied red with ripe flavors. The firm tannins are off-set nicely by a touch of oak on the finish. This wine will pair wonderfully with just about any meat dish you might put a glass of it next to!”
http://www.2hawkwinery.com/
When you are in the Medford, OR area, you will miss a real joy of a winery if you don’t stop in for the beauty of the winery itself plus superb wines. And, tell Amy hello!

Two other wineries we experienced the same day were:
http://www.delriovineyards.com/
picked up a bottle of Semi-Sparkling Rose Jolee  –

Tasting Notes: “A lovely pink shade, with soft aromas of rose and mango provide a delicately balanced wine perfect for summer fun. The sweet fragrance is enhanced by the flavors of grapefruit and strawberry. Completed with a slight spritz, this wine provides joy with each sip.”

On to Ledger David Winery
http://ledgerdavid.com/
Had to buy two bottles here of their 2012 Epitome of Three (a blend of Syrah, Sangiovese and Tempranillo) – what a luscious wine this is.

Tasting Notes: “Our proprietary Syrah-based blend is redolent of raspberry jam, briary black fruit and distinct pepper notes. Oak shadings are noticeable on the palate behind the concentrated ripe fruit and round tannins giving the wine a feeling of delicate balance and substantial density.”
Apr 19 wine tasting 5  And, back to our daughter’s for grilled burgers and winding down after a full day of enjoyment with family.

Thank you Jimmy, Amber and ‘Abe” for making us such proud grandparents!

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March 26 – March 28 – A Visit with Wonderful Forever Friends

The Young’uns were our neighbors when we lived in the ’barn on the hill’ and the mature couple – Coleenie has been one of my closest friends since the early 70s, such a large part of my life and her husband, Roger. While new friends over the years are treasures, old friends who have walked your life path with you are so precious you never want to lose touch with them. Thanks for a wonderful visit!! (even if you did send me to bed for 10 straight hours!!)
???????????????????????????????  Our Kelly multi-tasking….
Mar 26 Roy Brent Discussing 2   Roy & Brent ‘discussing’

Mar 26 Roy Brent discussing 1 ….and, still discussing before Brent turned to me and picked on the ‘bleeding heart liberal’ in his life. 🙂

Next leg of our journey took us to Healdsburg, where we lived for six of our greatest family years – ever!!

Coleenie took a break from K.P. duty and we visited some interesting food stops in the Healdsburg/Windsor area. First stop was Kin and lots of dishes to share and taste.
???????????????????????????????  Pea Puree with Mint Bruschetta ( pea, mint, goat cheese and radish)Could  have made a meal on this one.
???????????????????????????????  My Charcuterie plate – soon to be a Pizza topping

???????????????????????????????  Roger & Coleenie and we all shared Blueberry Crisps.
???????????????????????????????  Coleenie infusing our coffee with Kahlua!! To get us started the next morning. Then on to an Omelet place to have brunch – 3 of us had the Red Flannel Hash and it was excellent with an egg topping.

As I said, we were able to catch up on our beauty rest with 10 straight hours of sleep and we’re ready to go again… I think. A few more days here to catch up with son Matt and our wonderful d-I-l, Wendy and hopefully more of the kids…

 

A Wonderful Day In Louisiana!!

This post will be a little disjointed, but bear with me – I cannot believe the people we are meeting here. I’m so shaggy (have not had a haircut since we left P.A.!), so drove to Lake Charles to a shop I’ve heard good things about.

On the way, we stopped at Hackett’s Cajun Kitchen and picked up Boudin Sausage, Spicy Pork Sausage and Pork Tasso
http://www.hackettscajunkitchen.com/
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Did some running around and stopped back at Pat’s of Henderson – we’d been there a week or so ago and just had a ball with everyone. Nancy, the owner, is the one who took our Merry Christmas picture I posted on facebook – she and I just bonded immediately.
http://patsofhenderson.com/menu.html

Anyway, we had another wonderful lunch – I had Crawfish Fettuccine and Roy had Crawfish Gumbo   Our leftovers from Pat’s – my crawfish fettuccine (in the dish it was served in ’cause it had all that crusty goodness!!) and Roy’s crawfish gumbo and a loaf of bread!!!!
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AND THEN, as Nancy & I were talking, she said hold on I’ve got some things for you to play with –
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Care pkg. from Pat’s: 1 3/4 lbs. of their corneal breading, 1 1/2 lbs. FRESH alligator, Sauce (1 Qt.) of some kind – hotter than hell, have to call & ask what it is, two pcs. Cheese cake with sauces and 2 unbaked loaves of their bread offering.

Unfriggin’believaable – These people are just unbelievably kind around here.

AND THEN, these notes from the different wait staff – that we can all play with

Daniel – stuff mushrooms with crab cake mixture.

Tina – her mom makes her gravy when she makes Yorkshire puddings (in a muffin pan) with equal amounts of jus and black coffee.

Tina again – she makes: Brown pork chops, set aside. IN same skillet make a sauce of sliced peaches (canned are fine) Nutmeg Butter Cinnamon Granulated sugar & brown sugar Milk to make creamy S&P

Ya think we’re going to be eating for the next week high off the hog??????????????

I’ll be back as soon as I play with some of this wonderful food!!! 🙂

Arkansas – Cooking and Tasting and Sitting on the Banks of the Mississippi River

Finally, catfish filets, coated perfectly and fried flawlessly!! So very good; even Roy ordered this along with a baked sweet potato, which he loved. I tried the fried okra and it was also very good – another first for Roy, he like them also. Complimentary hushpuppies were heavy and dense as was the slice of Key Lime pie we shared. But, I would return just for the catfish!      http://www.coltonssteakhouse.com/#
Oct 28 Colton's Catfish

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Oct. 29th arrived at West Memphis RV park – right on the Mississippi and what a great view of the barges going back and forth. Those little guys work their hearts out pushing the loaded multiple barges.
Restaurant leftovers were wonderful – catfish, fries and okra.
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The slaw dressing was perfect and everything we usually have in the pantry:
2 T. Mayonnaise
1 T.  Cider vinegar
1 T. granulated sugar
1 tsp. horseradish
Salt & pepper
Combine all and toss with your favorite slaw ingredients.
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Barbecue Spaghetti a Tennessee favorite
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I’m cooking a Memphis, TN dish, BBQ Spaghetti. This dish was created by Brady Vincent who ran a BBQ joint in the 50s and wanted something different to offer his customers to make his place stand out. He developed the Spaghetti to compete with the normal beans that were offered with BBQ. It worked. The dish didn’t really take off until the 80s and now it is a classic Memphis offering. And, it is now a classic in our house! I had a little portion of fried alligator and catfish in the freezer, so added them to the dish – yes, so good!!

Kind of a fusion dinner – made a green salad with bleu cheese dressing and the coolness of the salad went so well with the heat and spiciness of the spaghetti – think heat of buffalo wings + bleu cheese dipping sauce. A great match.
This Memphis-style side dish is a perfect way of utilizing leftover pulled pork. This recipe is adapted from one which first appeared in the June/July 2011 BBQ issue. Saveur, 3/25/13.

3 cups canned tomato sauce (please don’t be turned off by this ingredient – I was but decided to go with it and it really works)
1/2 cup cane syrup
1 1/2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
pinch ground cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped pulled pork
12 to 16 oz. dried spaghetti

In a 4-qt. saucepan, bring tomato sauce, syrup, vinegar, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne, cloves, and salt and pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add pulled pork; cook until heated through.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add spaghetti; cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce. (I had leftover fried catfish and alligator which went perfectly with the spaghetti)

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“Trailer Trash Dining”… Spareribs with Blues Hog BBQ sauce, grilled potatoes AND we found a bottle of Opolo wine in a local wine shop!! (in Tennessee). Dessert, I’ve been combining ~6 oz. of frozen yogurt with different jams/jellies/sauces and last night was peach jam – so good. And we can have a different flavor everyday.
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The bane of my existence – this picture has been catawampus every time I’ve tried to rotate it but you get the idea. 🙂

And today, Nov. 4th – we had an old family favorite, albeit adapted to what I had on hand. Stuffed Acorn Squash – slight take-off of my Black Bean & Corn cookbook recipe – using Andouille Sausage, Kidney beans, and  jalapeno for the ground beef, black beans, and Tabasco. If you happen to have a Cab on hand, the dish was very good with it.

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash
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2 medium acorn squash
1/2 lb. ground beef (1/2 Andouille sausage, diced)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
15 oz. can black beans, drain & rinse (had kidney beans)
8 oz. can tomato sauce or marinara sauce (see The Pantry)
1 cup corn kernels, fresh, canned (drain and rinse) or frozen
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Tabasco (minced jalapeno pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
2 to 4 oz. (1/2 cup to 1 cup) shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a 13×10-inch baking pan with foil; lightly grease the foil or spray with cooking spray.

Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and cut a thin slice off the bottom of each half so they sit flat. Place squash, cut side down, on the foil. Bake for 30 minutes; remove from oven and turn the squash over and continue baking for approximately 20 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.

While the squash bake, cook the beef, onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink; add bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes longer. Stir in all remaining ingredients except cheese and set aside or refrigerate until it’s time to stuff the squash. Divide the mixture between the halves of the squash and put back on baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until hot. Add cheese and continue baking for a few minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. 4 servings.
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Our time is just about up for enjoying the barge traffic on the Mississippi River – tomorrow we leave for Vicksburg, Mississippi and we going to try (weather permitting) to follow the Mississippi south as long as possible.

And one last recipe to try in Arkansas – a packaged creation. Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Cuisine…Red Beans & Rice Dinner mix. Don’t know how many years it has been since I’ve purchased something like this, but I dearly love Tony’s Creole seasoning (which I still can’t find! in local shops),  so I’m going for it. If it works, I will share with you all.

I’ll close with a few of our favorite pictures –
Oct 30 Mississippi Boats 1
Oct 30 Mississippi Boats 2
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Oct 29 Sunrise on the Mississippi
What a gorgeous area – and, I’m sure we’ll be back.

+

Exploring Branson, Missouri

Had a great day yesterday scoping out the places and venues we want to revisit while we are here in town. Picked up our free Branson Guest card with all kinds of savings at various places and saved $5.00 on our first stop, White River Fish House. What a gorgeous old ‘barge’ building it is.
Oct 15 White River Fish House restaurant
http://restaurants.basspro.com/WhiteRiverFishHouse/

The atmosphere and wait staff was outstanding, but the food alas was really mediocre except for one item and this one made the whole meal worthwhile. I had a plate of alligator tails with a dipping sauce that was simplicity itself and went perfectly with the alligator (and, I’m guessing any fried fish) – cream cheese with jalapeno jelly – that’s it! The kitchen said they added a little green food coloring for looks. This is one of those ideas that you want to slap your forehead and whine, “Why didn’t I think of this?” Sweet, but lots of heat. I wasn’t planning on make jelly on the road, but I’m thinking I’d better get busy….
???????????????????????????????  ???????????????????????????????

Roy chose Venison Stuffed Mushrooms with pan roasted potatoes and onions
Oct 15 Venisaon Stuffed Mushrooms

Since I’m collecting ideas for what we will do with a house once we’re back in Washington, I was so pleased to find a couple of ideas at the restaurant – Most of the window seating was made up of classic tables and we both want to replicate this one –
White River Fish HOuse table

Along with keeping this table in mind, also the windows and their latches in the restaurant are made such that they could easily be transformed into sliding glass doors for a home – another idea we will certainly use
Oct 15 White River Fish House windows for sliding doors  Oct 15 White River Fish House Door Latch 2

When we do settle down, we are going to have the most fun house with all the ideas we are collecting across the country!!
That was our first excursion around the area, now to decide just what all we can do in the time allotted. Fun decisions.

Meanwhile, cooking on the home front, I’m doing some comfort food during these rainy days – Apple Fritter Bread, a recipe my friend, Maryann Heininger, brought to my attention and what a breakfast treat it is –
??????????????????????????????? The only change I would make is to add a few chopped nuts next time. For breakfast with a pat of butter melted over, it’s delicious. The recipe halves nicely.

Apple Fritter Bread
Source: http://thecookinchicks.com/2014/10/apple-fritter-bread/

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan (or you can use a muffin tray).
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Set aside. In a different bowl, mix the sugar and butter together using an electric mixer. Once creamy, add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Slowly add in the flour and baking powder. Add in the milk. Set aside.

n a small bowl, add the chopped apples with the 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Add half the apple mixture on top of the batter, followed by half the sugar/cinnamon mixture (from step #2). Pour remaining batter into loaf pan, followed by remaining apples, then sugar cinnamon mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for about 55-60 minutes, or less if using muffin tray. Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool for about 25 minutes.

Combine the powdered sugar and milk together to create a glaze. Drizzle glaze over bread and slice into desired size pieces.

One other item I made this week is an old chocolate sauce that we’re using two ways. The RV office carries these cute little Dixie cups of vanilla ice cream, about 4-5 oz. each. We alternate between using this sauce as a topping or mixing it up  in the ice cream for a wonderful chocolate ice cream treat.

Chocolate Sauce
1/2          cup  milk
1/4           cup  sugar
5            squares  semisweet chocolate
1         tablespoon  butter
1           teaspoon  vanilla extract
1         tablespoon  rum kirsch or any other liqueur (optional)

Combine milk and sugar in heavy-bottom saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Add small pieces of chocolate, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and add butter, stir until melted, add vanilla extract. Liqueur may be added if desired. Serve warm over bread pudding.
(Personal note: Kahlua is so good added to this sauce – homemade Kahlua!! )
Kahlua in the Phallic  Symbol

One last note on today’s happenings – it’s my Matthew’s birthday today and I wish we could be with him to celebrate – if he still celebrates them as he is getting up in years now. 🙂
Mattie 4  What a handsome lad he is!!!
Happy birthday, Mattie!

August 4, 2014 – Glacier Nat’l Park

I don’t have the vocabulary to express the beauty and grandeur of this park – from the creeks and lakes to the scariest drive of my life on the ‘Going to the Sun Hiway’ and seeing the world from 6,650 ft elevation at the top of a Glacier. My pictures  don’t do it justice, but this day will always be in my mind’s eye. If you’ve not been here, I suggest you move it up your bucket list, it is so worth it.

Starting at the west entrance to the park and starting on the ‘Going to the Sun Hiway,’ we came upon Lake McDonald as our first breathtaking view with the Glacier’s in the background. This is our very first selfie.
Aug 4 Lake McDonaldAug 4 Lake McDonald looking at GlaciersAug 4 Selfie at Lake McDonaldUp the road just a short way began Logan Creek in all it’s beauty and ferocity. Here is a link to the film I took of the creek (which does not do it justice, but the water against the rocks is beautiful) .
Aug 4 Logan Creek

http://vid3.photobucket.com/albums/y72/cjdacook/COOKING%20PICTURES%202014/Aug4LoganCreekFilm_zpsbc4b60e2.mp4

After being lulled by the tranquility of the waterways, we began the climb that gave this highway its name…Going to the Sun Hiway. By the time the day was over I did feel we had conquered that quest. I have never been so afraid on a road in my life – I was literally leaning towards the inside of the mountain to help keep the truck from going over the cliff.

I’m embarrassed to say I couldn’t even get out of the truck for pictures. We did stop and Roy got out admiring and I managed to take a picture at the summit (6,650 ft.) from the truck. Never thought I was so frightened about heights. I’m so glad we did this drive, but I never want to be on that road again!! In the picture below, you can see the road going along the top of the mountain – the very TOP of the picture of the mountain…that’s the road I’m talking about! Heart in the throat scary.
??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Aug 4 6560 ft on Glaciers
We hit a pub the minute we reached St. Marys outside the park for a drink to sooth my nerves and a bit of sausage.
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Branningan’s in Kalispell offers the Reuben sandwich which is ranked No. 1 in town, so of course, that’s where we headed. Being an Irish pub, they also offered pasties, and I’ve never tasted one. Pastry stuffed with ground beef, potatoes, onions & carrots and Guinness gravy. I wasn’t impressed; the pastry itself was very flaky, but with the potatoes added, it gave me the sense of doughiness (a word?). My normal pub fare of fried calamari was perfectly cooked, tho, so I was a happy camper along with Roy.
Aug. 4 Roy's Reuben BranningansAug 4 Beef PastieAug 4 Calamri Branningans
Came home and just collapsed – believe me it is exhausting to be tense for so long; but oh so worth it.

A Visit to Creston, B.C.

First time I’ve been in Canada except for ferry rides over to Victoria while we lived in Port Angeles, WA. What a beautiful country (I know ours is pretty spectacular also, but I’m just beginning to enjoy it!!) Canada is and have not met a rude ‘Cannuck’ (is that a slur – so hope not!) yet.
These pictures are as we were leaving Bonners Ferry crossing the Kootenai River
Aug 1 Kootenay River???????????????????????????????

Creston is a growing small town of approximately 5,600 to 6,000 residents at the base of the Kootenay River and joins the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. The sightseeing covers all the bases and interests of visitors, from museums, wildlife preservation farms, fruit stands every 1/2 block, Delis, but….only 3 wineries. That was a disappointment for us – but, we made the most of it.
http://www.crestonvalleybc.com/activities/wineries
Wynnwood Cellars, we didn’t even find – but Skimmerhorn Winery makes predominately white wines, as does  Baillie-Grohman winery because the weather is much more conducive to growing whites than reds. They both had Cab and Merlot, but that was it.

I brought a bottle of Skimmerhorn’s 2012 Devil’s Chair a Red wine/Vin Rouge (Gewurztraminer)  and from Baillie-Grohman, a bottle of 2013 Blanc de Noirs Rose which I’m hoping to match with some of the indigenous bounty here and develop some fun dishes.

Had lunch at Jimmy’s Pub and Grill, a dive on ‘Main St’ – and what was I thinking to order a Grilled Salmon Salad…I even asked the server if the salmon was grilled ‘properly’ and she assured me he knew what he was doing. The salad itself wasn’t too bad with a piquant vinaigrette, feta crumbles and more toasted pecans and walnuts (same salad) than I’ve seen in an 8 serving salad!!  Not thinking this place is a repeat.

The highlight of the day was stopping in at Famous Fritz Meats & Deli –
http://famousfritz.ca/
They had an European Sausage which because its casing is lamb, it can’t be taken into the U.S. So, we had to buy one to try – a very long, maybe 8” long and just 3/4″ in diameter and very pale looking. The flavor was bologna and if you like bologna (which we do) was very tasty. Also, picked up at Fritz’s, Beef Bacon, Bison Smokies (pizza?????), an envelope of Knorr’s `Jager sauce, which I’ve never seen in the states. Also, a loaf of the best rye bread I think I’ve ever tasted – and, yes, we are having trouble staying out of it. Wow, it’s tasty!
???????????????????????????????That’s it for our excursion into Canada at this point, maybe we’ll swing up again further along the route. Now, it’s time to return to the beach and Trinity at City Beach for an evening of live music, chowder and probably a dish or three of Huckleberry ice cream!!!
July 26 Sandpoint Sailboat

Sandpoint/Bonners Ferry, Idaho – epitome of small town(s) America

Yesterday it seems we spent half the day driving thru stunning countryside and half tasting the local fare.  Started the day at Sandpoint farmers market picking up leeks, zucchini, local jams – a spicy tomato and a roasted garlic, both were outstanding. (note to me: duplicate!) Don’t know why I didn’t pick up a jar of the roasted garlic, but I do have a recipe already for a garlic jam, so I can go from there.

The roasted garlic jam is from a company called Sweet Heat Co. from Bonners Ferry area. http://www.sweetheatco.com/

Another booth  we visited, It’s What You Keep, LLC  – https://squareup.com/market/its-what-you-keep-llc – we will be checking out the shop in person – goat cheese, elk, lamb, etc. An abundance of goodies to play with.

From the farmers market, we headed for Bonners Ferry where we fell into a town celebration, Kootenai River Days; streets blocked off, huge rubber slides for the kids, arm wrestling, dunking burly looking guys in a water tank, wheelchair races, the whole shebang of a carnival day in a small town.

First stop was the Kootenai River Brewing Co., LLC for a beer flight tasting. My friend, Theresa will never believe I did this!! But, I actually enjoyed their lighter offerings.
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Stopped in at Mugsys, a local hot spot right in the middle of things and sat on the patio taking everything in. Met a wonderful local couple, who have opened a fitness gym in town –  http://www.ironmikesgym.com/iron-mike-davis.cfm – they and their old dog kept us entertained for a couple hours. And, as most of the folks we talk to, he also has a cookbook in him – 50 (100?? – can’t remember) Ways With Brown Rice.

Mugsy’s makes a mean catfish sandwich, which Roy & I shared and ended up taking the wrap he ordered home for Sunday morning breakfast!
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Left the merriment of Bonners Ferry behind and headed back to Sandpoint where the beach and sunshine beckoned us.  The dichotomy of the beach setting from when we arrived the day after the horrible windstorm that did so much damage in the area and going back yesterday, 2 days later, was amazing.
July 24 Trinity Restaurnat at RV ParkJuly 26 Sand Point BeachAs we sat lazily enjoying smoked pork nachos and a bottle of wine, and Huckleberry ice cream (telling tales on Roy Richard – he had two bowls!), a band set up for ‘our’ entertainment. Devon Wade and his band played everything from Elvis to modern day country/western/modern.  Must say he was quite the eye-candy, also…and we had a ringside seat.
July 26 Trinity Huckleberry ice creamJuly 26 Sandpoint Devon Wad band

http://www.reverbnation.com/devonwade

Between the ice cream, people and boat watching and wonderful wine, it was an outstanding afternoon. Best of all, we could look out the restaurant’s window and see our travel trailer – heck, we could have had a 2nd bottle of wine and still made it home! Which we did work on after getting ‘home’ and still being able to sit outside and listen to the band!! How can you beat this kind of living?
July 25 looking at our trailer from Trinity restaurantSee the bronze pickup?? That’s us!!

First Leg of Trip Everett –> Spokane

We sold our house 3 days after listing it and had 45 days to do what we had intended to take a few months doing – putting our things in storage whle we headed out for parts unknown. Instead we worked our butts off, selling what we decided we could live without and storing the treasures we could not.

After a wonderful farewell party the Saturday before, we pulled out of our driveway with the trailer for the last time. After crashing for 3 days in Everett, WA, we headed for Spokane and as a result entered the lands of the worst fire in Washington State’s history. We were turned around on Hiway 2 (backtracking approx. 55 miles) and had to head to North Bend and Hiway 90! Another detour because of a major accident from blowing winds and ash caused us the second detour. Finally made it, got settled in for a week’s stay.

July 19, 2014

Got settled in our site and unloaded the cooking gear and chairs – first grilled dinner on the road – roasted cod & asparagus with lemon-caper sauce.Two Vine Chardonnay was a great match with the dish.

July 19th
Despite the smoke in the air, we had a wonderful day exploring Spokane. First stop a farmers market to get some fresh corn and of course picked up a few extra goodies. Confronted the first reason I’m sorry we are homeless…I can only buy consumable products – no more little goodies to store away until we get home. This is a big hurdle for me. Especially when I saw this little appetizer plate

July 19 Bruschetta dip plate

I would have bought this in a minute!

Had to satisfy myself with the corn, beautiful Yukon Gold ‘tatoes, and goat Parmesan cheese from Chatteroy Cheese Co., a local cheese maker. http://www.chattaroycheese.com/Chattaroy_Cheese/Goat_Cheese.html. Another product I found is Camelina Gold cooking oil. This oil has a rich full-bodied flavor. http://camelinagold.com/?cat=4

Also, at the farmers market found an herb completely new to me – Lettuce Basil – what a great find and I’m sure going to plant this when I have the opportunity. The leaves are large, so much easier to use in sandwiches.

July 19 Lettuce Basil

From the farmers market we headed downtown to the city library for what I thought was going to be a pictorial display of evolution in this area, but instead were some of the most beautiful pictures of this area and so worth searching for a parking space large enough for a diesel pickup!!

July 19 Library pix of falls  July 19 Library pix of Sun Lakes

wish the pictures had turned out, they were so compelling. The 2nd picture is of Sun Lakes and I’m going to try and find out where it is.

Bill & Kathy Kostelec are amazing photographers – here’s a brief description of their work.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/may/01/kostelecs-use-historic-equipment-to-create/

Next stop Twigs Bistro & Martini Bar – http://www.twigsbistro.com/

And a great lunch and one of the best martinis Roy has had. Learned a trick for making his martini (and those of you who know about this, why didn’t you tell Roy??) Here’s their method:

Mist the bottom of a martini glass with vermouth (they used Martini & Rossi), then shake the gin, Bombay was used and pour into the glass. And forget all those flavored olives, he has decided he just loves the simple green olive stuffed with pimento best.

July 19 Twigs Chix wrap Roy's

His lunch was – a Turkey BLT Wrap: Sliced turkey, smoked bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and basil mayo wrapped in a grilled tomato basil tortilla.

July 19 Morrocan Beef Mine

my lunch: Moroccan Beef – sauteed beef tenders with a touch of Moroccan spices served with grilled focaccia poinits, gorgonzola fondue and balsamic glaze. Just outstanding. I could have eaten the entire dish, but I kept thinking of things I could play with with the leftovers, so backed off and brough half of it home. I’m thinking a flatbread topped with the fondue, greens and the beef chopped up. (addition ideas: cilantro, melted fig jam drizzled, toasted almond…….)

More ideas from Twigs menu I want to play with –

Honey Pecan Trout: Pecan crusted rainbow trout over an apricot couscous topped with an orange-rosemary butter sauce.

Huckleberry Streusel Pizza – pizza covered with sweet cream butter, cinnamon, classic streusel topping, baked golden, then topped with confectioner’s icing, wild huckleberry coulis and finished with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Mushroom & Goat Cheese Pizza – herb-oil roasted mushroom medley, roasted garlic cloves, fire-roasted red bells, chives and Mozzarella.

About 8 more ideas……  Happy Dance

One more stop to make – Latah Creek Winery is celebrating their 32nd anniversary and we’d never had their wines. Beautiful winery and great tastings matched with their wines.

July 19 Latah Creek winery  Latah winery – http://www.latahcreek.com/

First tasting was cracker topped with Chattaroy’s Garlic Chevre and a compote matched with a Cab Franc; watermelon salad matched with Huckleberry d’Latah (“The subtle blueberry-like flavors of the huckleberry add nice complexities to the wonderfully intense spice and floral characters of our Riesling”); a pasta salad matched with Malbec; and a feather light lemon cake matched with Riesling. The winery did a superb job of matching the foods with their wines. I’ve been promised the recipe for the lemon cake from the co-owner, Elena Conway, who has 3 cookbooks under her belt. You know I had fun talking with her.

The winery is one of only a few family owned and operated wineries within the State. Mike Conway, with over 34 years of winery experience, and his wife Ellena pair together to run one of the most successful small wineries in this relatively new viticultural region. While Mike assumes the management, winemaking and vineyard tasks, Ellena takes on the accounting, fiscal, tasting room, and gift shop responsibilities. Mike & Ellena announced in 2005 that their daughter Natalie would be joining the family business as the assistant winemaker.

We didn’t taste this, but I did buy it anyway – Wildbeary Huckleberry Lemonade which we have been directed to add some vodka and just enjoy!!!!

As we were checking out with our 2 bottles (had promised ourselves only 1 bottle per winery), on the display case I spotted – a wine bottle filled with M&Ms…..had to have.

July 19 Wnes and MandMs from Latah Creek

Came home and ended the day splitting the other half of Roy’s wrap. Sigh, love these kind of days.

And so this ends the first entry of what I hope will be an interesting read for some friends, family and new friends.

On the Road

We are homeless and we are on the road for – I HOPE – a year. So, for the next 12 months I will refer to ourselves as the ‘Homeless on the Road’ with no disrespect to those really homeless, because we do have a wonderful traveling home to enjoy while we explore the U.S.

This is my first blog in a long time, so please bear with me until I relearn the ropes.

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