Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Weekend Ski

We had a really windy weekend with gusts up to 75 mph here at the pier house. It really rattled the windows and the metal roof. We are located in one of the windiest spots in the area – the wind blows right over the mountains directly at our house. You can usually see the gusts come over on the water. The water starts to ripple and then it hits the house with a blast.

We thought that it probably wouldn't be as windy out by the glacier and we were right. The other 75 people had the same idea but the area is pretty big so it didn't seem too crowded. We skied around the lake and only had wind for about a quarter mile while we were heading to the north. It didn't take long for the track to get filled up with blowing snow. I bet with the wind chill it was -15 - similar skiing weather in Fairbanks. It wasn't too bad and most of the time the wind was at our backs. It wasn't blowing enough to push you along, dangit!

It was really nice to get outside during the daylight!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Flax Oatmeal Cookies - aka Pecan Pie Cookies

I made these cookies last night - they were yummy.

Flax Oatmeal Cookies
1 c margarine or butter ( I used canola oil)
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
Cream until light and fluffy.

2 eggs
1 t vanilla
Beat well.

1/2 c ground flaxseed
2 c flour
1 c oatmeal
1/2 t salt (I left this out)
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
Stir into creamed mixture.

1 1 /2 c chopped almonds (Since Tim is allergic to almonds I substituted chopped pecans.)
2 c chocolate chips (optional) (I left out)

Form into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet leaving 2-inches between. Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes. Yield 72 cookies. I made mine into about 2-inch balls and baked them for 15-17 minutes.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

restaurant review #12

The Broiler - Nugget Mall
Pretty good burger selection and decent looking salad bar - all at the mall. You order at the counter and then get served at your table. I had the avocado and swiss burger and Tim had the Rodman burger which was a 1/2 pd burger with grilled onions, mushrooms, and bacon. The fries weren't very good - not very warm nor crispy. In fact they tasted liked they had been cooked the day before and then put under a heat lamp. Next time I'll have the salad bar instead. There was a good selection of veggies and crunchies to put on mixed green. Even green jello!

Friday, January 25, 2008


I never shop at Walmart. Ok, I rarely shop at Walmart. I went today because I didn't have much on the list, mainly veggies, so I thought I would stop in and see just what they had to offer. So I guess its a "super" walmart since they have groceries…well…whatever…We're not much for processed, prepared food. My high blood pressure can't take it among other reasons. I found some baby bok choy in the veggie department - not often found at other groceries so that was a find. But not much else to fill my basket.

But much to my surprise - one of my favorite things from Wyoming - good ole Dorothy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To warm those cold nights

Here's a couple of recipes for some favorite liqueurs:

Irish Cream
1 1/4 c blended whiskey (or to taste)
1 pint half-and-half cream
1 t vanilla
3 T chocolate syrup
1 c sweetened condensed milk

Combine ingredients until blended. Refrigerate what doesn't get consumed.

1 lb coffee beans, coarsely ground (decaf or regular) I usually try to get a pretty dark roast bean
Soak in 1 1/2 quarts water in a small cooking pot. After it sits for 24 hours, simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and strain.

3 c brown sugar
2 c white sugar
2 1/2 qts water
Simmer in a larger cooking pot for 60 minutes until thickened. Cool.

Add the coffee to the sugar mixture in the larger pot.
Add 1 fifth everclear (or vodka)
2 oz vanilla (good mexican vanilla, if possible)

Combine and pour into bottles. This usually makes about 5 1/2 Grolsch bottles of Kahlua. Best if you let it age for 2-3 months.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Juneau!

We've been here for a year...can you believe it. It seems like a short time ago that we were on the ferry out of Haines going down the Lynn Canal with a blazer full of essential items we thought we'd need right away and/or didn't trust to have shipped to us. But here we are, 365 days since we first arrived. So looking back, what have we accomplished, what have we seen, how many miles have we put in during our year here. LOL too bad I haven' been keeping better track and I could tell you.

Walking/Hiking: based on the 90 short walks of Juneau which lists most of the trails around here we have walked about 34 of them for about 118 miles and this doesn't count the ones that we've done more than once and all the miles we've walked along the beaches. Our favorite biking Trail is definitely the Herbert Glacier Trail. Our favorite walk that's an easy walk with a big payoff (a long sandy beach) is the Boy Scout Trail, and our favorite after-work walk would be at Sandy Beach.

Birding: we've seen at least 9 new bird species to add to our life list: Golden Crowned Kinglet, Eurasian Widgeon, Lapland Longspur, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Merganser, American Redstart, Western Wood Peewee, and Heidi's favorite, the Northern Shrike. Tim chooses the Mountain Bluebird because there were so many of the them and they seemed to want to hang out and give a good show. There might be a few others but these are the ones that easily come to mind. We've seen 35 species just from the couch looking out the front window.

Food: Haven't eaten in all the restaurants in town yet! Actually we haven't been eating out very often at all. Heidi's favorite restaurant is the Island Pub (I don't think they have updated their website since we've gotten here) for beer and pizza. Tim casts his vote for the Zephyr: a Mediterranean bristro. Our favorite brewery would be Alaska Brewing Company!

We'd have several people come and visit us here and have taken 11 pictures of groups with Cappy, our house mascot. We've been to Sitka twice on the Ferry and have been to Fairbanks and Anchorage at least 4 times. We have driven to the end of the Thane Road and to the end of the Douglas Highway but have not driven to the end of the road towards Echo Cove yet!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Awesome Artwork

Check out Peter Callesen's work in paper : Paperdolls won't ever be the same. This really makes my silly little Christmas card tree pale in comparison!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Pasta

This is a great tasting pasta - the flavor of the Kalamata olives and the red pepper really make it interesting. It was taken from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson.

Ziti, Artichokes, and Olives in Spicy Tomato Sauce
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T tomato paste (I didn't have any so I left it out)
2 pds ripe plum tomatoes, chopped or 1-28oz can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped (I used a can of tomato puree plus I chopped up a roma tomato
1-9 oz package frozen artichoke hearts, cooked according to package or 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained
2 T dry red wine
1/2 t red pepper flakes (I doubled this)
1/2 c kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped (which happens when you try to pit them with a knife)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pd ziti
1/4 c chopped fresh basil and parsley leaves

Saute onion in oil. Add garlic and tomato paste. Add tomato, artichokes, wine, red pepper. Reduce to low and stir in olives. Season with salt and pepper and simmer while you cook the ziti. When pasta is ready add to sauce and garnish with fresh basil or parsley.

Serves 4

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

restaurant review #11

As one does on vacation, we had many meals out of the house and had mostly good experiences.

Aspen: Hickory House - right on main street in Aspen. We timed our arrival perfectly getting one of the last tables and placing our order before the one larger group that got there before us had a chance to settle down. Two bbq sauces, one a little spicier than the other, but it was hard to pick a favorite. Jeanne and I had the pulled pork sandwich which wasn't really a sandwich as it was so stuffed you had to eat it with a fork. Tim got talked into having the baby-back ribs by a smooth-talking server. Kelsie had just had her braces adjusted so she settled for mac and cheese despite that server trying to talk her into the chili and although we tried to talk her into just having the applesauce. (stick to your guns, girl, don't bow to peer pressure!)

Glenwood Springs: Zheng - in Glenwood Meadows Mall. Interesting Asian Bistro with a diverse menu. We had it all: lots of water, asian beer, crab rangoon, potstickers, atomic shrimp, more water, ginger pork, garlic pork, two pitchers of water, General's chicken with special dipping sauce, shrimp lo mien, lots of great flavors. Oh yeah, we went here after soaking in the hot springs!

Seattle: Steelhead Diner (right above the public market) good place to get out of the rain and enjoy an interesting menu. I had a roasted pork sandwich with melted gouda cheese and Tim had a mushroom, onion burger served on sourdough. Fries came with and they were the best - hot and crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside. Just the right amount of salt. You didn't even want to spoil their taste with catsup!

LaConner: Seafood and Prime Rib House within walking distance of most things in this quaint little town amidst the tulip fields of the Skagit Valley. This restaurant was pretty good - nothing earth shattering but what you might expect from a seafood and steak house. I had crab stuffed prawns and Tim had the snapper fish and chips. Both served with Mac and Jack African Amber - one of our favorite beers. We stayed at the Channel Lodge a very nice place along the swinomish water channel. Complete with wine reception and extensive continental breakfast, we enjoyed the gas fireplace, big comfy arm chairs, and unlimited hot water.

Seattle: Ipanema Brazilian Grill An awesome dining experience that has to be planned since its all you can eat! Nothing better than young brazilain men welding long skewers of roasted meat, poultry, shrimp, and coming directly to your table and carving a hand-picked slice (or chuck). Thirteen types of grilled cuts including: beef, pork, boar, turkey, chicken, sausage, shrimp ending with grilled pineapple. This all comes after a trip to the salad/appetizer bar. Plus there's greens, black beans, fried bananas, whoo…and then we ordered dessert! Pave de Maracuja - passion fruit mousse and marscarpone cheese with lady fingers - a tropical tiramusu! Its a little on the pricey side but its an evening's worth of dining and entertainment.

Interesting Links

Here's some more interesting links that I've come across recently - there's a variety of uses for these:

Graph Paper Generator: you never know when you might need a sheet of graph paper - and when you do you might not need an entire pack - just one sheet! This site offers a variety of sizes.

Teleprompter: you might find yourself in a situation where you need to read something that you can' t memorize and find this a useful tool. I tried it with firefox and it seemed to work although the programmers developed it for internet explorer.

Public Domain or Copyright holder's permission: download books for free! ? Some restrictions may apply, please see the really small print on the website. Not recommented for nursering women, women who may become pregnant, women in general, children, men, or doggies.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Soaking it in

While visiting our friends in Glenwood Hot Springs Colorado we took advantage of the hot water pools that are located in the heart of downtown. Its really a tremendous way to spend several hours. There were two main pools open - one about 104° and the other cooler with varying temperatures depending on where you were (along the edges were definitely cooler). The pools where enormous - the longest one felt like the length of 3-Olympic pools (no kidding). There were some water slides which looked like a lot of fun but they are closed in the winter (not sure why - I can't image soaking in the pool when its 80° outside!).

There is a hotel right on the premise and that would be an excellent way to really enjoy the pools giving you the opportunity to come and go throughout the day. There's a bunch of different restaurants within walking distance and the amtrak station is right next door. Next time you're in the area we highly recommend it!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Provisional Cast-on

I learned a new technique for casting on called the Provisional method using a crochet hook and scrap yarn. Basically you cast-on with the contrasting yarn and then you start the first row with your pattern yarn once you have the right number of stitches set up. When you have finished with your project, you can un-cast the contrasting yarn and pick-up the original stitches on a needle and go from there. You could then add a lace edging, make the garment larger, use the 3-needle method to bind with other stitches and not have to pick up stitches along the edge.

I'm working on a hat from a book Zac and Rachelle gave me for Christmas called 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders that suggested using this cast-on method. You knit the hat sideways and then pickup stitches for the crown. I'm using some really soft, fluffy yarn and it should make for a really warm hat.

There are a lot of other patterns in this book that look intriguing. Since I don't have much of a yarn stash built us since making the move here I just might have to purchase new yarn specifically for a project or two... dang it!

update 1/10: I thought I had enough yarn but I ran out so had to rip it out - grrrr

Saturday, January 5, 2008

San Man aka Marty Feldman

Here our own little Marty Feldman yucks it up during a viewing of Young Frankenstein. He wouldn't give up the remote no matter what we tried. When asked about where he got the stunning sparkly necklace he said, "from Abby. Abby, abby, abby-something, oh abby-normal.

Happy New Year!

We celebrated the new year at Zac's new house in Burien. The house is very cute and is in a quiet neighborhood very easy to get to from the freeway. We had our own bedroom with a huge puffy bed with down comforter.

Here Rachelle, Tim, Naomi, Zac, and Jim show the camera just how loud those noisemakers can be. I kept telling them it was a still photo but they all insisted on blowing as loud as they could!