Wednesday, February 23, 2011

sweets, than ain't too sweet.

so i'm sugar fasting. not completely mind you. i'm gonna eat jam and drink juice and such. just no chocolate, or cake, or cookies, dessert basically. once i start i just can't stop and before i know it i'm horkin down left over cake for breakfast. but i still need something a little sweet to keep me going. here's my go to "healthy but isn't gross" snack courtesy of my good friend Mykel.
Also my sister in law Jenny is the most awesomest of cooks. she has a blog were she shares her menus for the week and lots of really great recipes. she just posted one with homemade tortilla chips (only 100 cal.) and 3 different homemade salsas. you can click here to see all the healthy eats jenny's cookin' up. eating good can be so grubbin'

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup maple syrup ( I use Agava Nectar)
1 c. brown sugar ( i use 3/4 c.)
6 cups oats
1 cup chopped almonds ( i use the mixed nuts from costco - brazil nuts ew.)
1 cup pecans ( I use pumpkin seeds)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut ( I put more cause I like coconut)
1 cup dried blueberries (find em at costco)
1 cup dried cranberries
( I add also 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pineapple)
(also I add 1/4-1/2 cup of flax or wheat germ sometimes both)
Place oven racks in two center positions. Preheat oven to 350. Spray two jelly roll pans with cooking oil spray. Set aside.
In medium bowl, combine oil, syrup, and brown sugar. Microwave uncovered for 3 minutes and whisk until any lumps disappear.
In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. ( I don't add the fruit until after its done cooking because they get all chewy and gross if they cook so just leave them out for now)
Toss to mix well. Pour syrup mixture over dry mixture and stir well until well mixed. Spread evenly onto jelly roll pans.
Place both pans in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pans from oven atir granola, then place back in the oven rotating to the opposite rack. Bake 8 minutes more before removing from oven. ( I put both pans back in a large bowl and add the fruit. Mix really well. ) Cool to room temperature. Stir again. Store in airtight container up to one month. makes about 4 quarts
( I added all my modifications but whatever you do don't cook your berries. I did once and I ended up throwing it out, WASTEFUL. )

Monday, February 21, 2011

an alaskan marathon

i found it emotionally impossible to post my farewell to alaska as i was actually in the process of leaving it. six months removed and i can finally share some of our last great experiences there.
up first: the best date i've ever been on

thanks to our wonderful friends "the hartzells" who entertained our kids for at least 36 hours so we could tackle a great alaskan institution: the 26 miles of iditarod trail from Girdwood to Eagle River. no words can possibly describe so here is a visual tour of the best hiking in the world.

the beginning

one of many waterfalls along the way.

our first view of the first mountain climb on the hike.

glacier melt waterfalls.

at the top of the mountain there is a public use cabin if you want to camp. most people were just using tents however.


raven glacier.

heading down the mountain we had to go through some snow, it was challenging because if you fell you were headed for a steep ride down into the glacier fed stream.

a look back at how far we'd come, about 3 miles since the beginning.

this is our first "river" crossing. it is raven stream or creek or river.....i forget. it was cold, but nothing compared to what was to come....

the flowers were incredible, i really wanted to frolick...

this is were the creek drops into a spectacular waterfall. it falls over 100 ft. these pictures just don't do it justice. about 5 miles into the hike...

just up and to the right of my head is the raven glacier. and this rock's name is sylvester.

ginormous bull moose.

mike is standing on the trail here. the foliage was so thick and deep we had to look down alot. we took turns whistling to scare off the bear. we didn't see any, much to mike's sorrow. but we found out later we were close to a crazy incounter....


just so green......

bear poop. i guess this one likes berries.

our first view of eagle glacier, that feeds the Eagle River, that is 40 yards across, that we have to cross, that people have died trying to cross it.......
so we get to the crossing, about 13 miles into the hike and we are hot and a little dusty, and so we get some sticks and hold hands and plunge into the river. it is up a little past my knees and my first thought is "this feels good on my feet" immediately followed by, "someone is pounding my feet with hammers," and rapid breathing and panic. i started to head for a sand bar in the middle of the river because i was seriously dying of pain and luckily mike wouldn't let me go and said, "we can make it across. if he hadn't been there, i'd be a causualty of that river too. love that man. so we get to the other side, (but we still have to cross another 20 very shallow feet) and my body feels like it is going into shock and i tell mike to build a fire (it is 75 degrees) and he says, walk around you'll be okay!!

this is me trying to deal with the pain on the other side of the river. all the blood left my face and hands and arms for a minute to rush to my legs and warm them up. i couldn't move my hands or face for a few minutes. it was kinda funny though.

after the river we made good time. on one of these ladders mike's knee suddenly gave out. he had to limp the last 7 miles. we found out later that he just had severely fatigued tendons.

bear poop. 18 miles in.

a dryer, warmer, river crossing. 20 miles in.

oh my. i'll never forget this view. 22 miles in.

this is the eagle river nature center. 25.75 miles in.

the end!! 26 ish miles.

it took us from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to hike it. it was one of the greatest days of my life. mike and i had so much fun. when we got to the end there was a sign that said a big grizzly bear was gaurding a moose kill on the trail (at about mile 18) and that it had charged several hikers and that the trail was closed!!! crazy. we didn't even see it. i think it was the whistling.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

complaint department

do you ever just....get sick of stuff? and it's really hard to pretend like your kids aren't driving you crazy? do you try to pretend that the 8th time you sweep the floor is no big deal? like after you've spent 2 hours making a giant dinner and when it's ready no one says, "thank-you this is fabulous!," they just say something like, "geez.....finally." and so you want to really just smack someone, but instead you dish up everyone's plate and then like the mother in "a christmas story" spend the rest of the meal in the middle of a game of keep away between your fork and your sweet family's demands for seconds and milk? do you hate dishes and laundry and peepee toilets? to the point that when you see one, you don't even get mad. you just stand there. waving your white flag.
sometimes everyone is simultaneously needing help, asking a question, needing a drinky at one time. and i want to yell at the top of my lungs, "SHUT! UP!" and sometimes i think if one more kid argues about one more trivial thing, i'm going to develop a tick. maybe i already have one actually? i did smudge mascara all over today.
i think a gal just needs to lock the bathroom door, scream and cry into a pillow, and then go back out there and beg for more. it's like when you play sports and you say to your teammates, "sacrifice your body!" you know, give it everything. even when it hurts.
luckily, i love these people, especially when they are asleep.
and then like a good pep talk, someone says, "mom you bum is squishy, i like to squish it." or "hold me?" or "i love you." or "snuggle me." or the rarer still, "these mashed potatoes are awesome! you are the best cook." stuff like know.
and then it all sorta makes sense. they need me. to do those annoying insane things. that most people won't do. because i'm strong. i was born for this. i can take it. i can be awesome.
and that looks good on me.
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