Comfort Food

Camping

We were supposed to go camping at the beginning of summer. I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but here in the NW you book your campgrounds/yurts/cabins 9 months in advance. That’s the window. It’s always a crap shoot. Like, will the weather be good “this weekend” in 9 months? Who knows! Last summer we had a bunch of camping weekends booked and then we sold our house, bought a new house and were moving. I remember we were camping in Eastern Oregon this time last year when we got the phone call from our realtor that our old house had closed!

How could we predict a global pandemic would cancel our camping plans for this year?!

Anyways. I was bummed. I had booked a super awesome cabin at Fort Stevens near Astoria, OR. I went there a bunch of times with my family when I was a kid. I remember it being very fun and cool and my brother and I would just take off riding our bikes on the trails. And there’s a shipwreck on the beach. It’s a cool place. I was so excited to take Logan! Needless to say, huge disappointment when it closed at the beginning of this pandemic.

As campgrounds started opening up in July on a limited basis, and reservations were now 2 weeks in advance only, I thought maybe we could do something. But it wasn’t in the cards. Michael got a new job (which is good) but there was no vacation time. Then Stevie got sick and until this weekend he’s been on a lot medications and I didn’t want to leave him.

Well, we decided to camp in our backyard!

We kept it a secret and then when Logan got up from his nap Saturday afternoon the boys started putting up the tent!

Logan was OVER THE MOON! He was so excited. And you know what? It was good to be outside. He had a lot of screen time when this pandemic started and it was nice to just get outside for many many hours.

He played outside with his toys. We listened to music and had hot dogs for dinner! Plus the most amazing hummus I’ve ever had that we bought that morning at the local farmer’s market.

Logan was so excited about camping he said “let’s go to sleep now!” When it was still light out. LOL We explained we had to wait until dark and that meant he got to stay up past his bedtime.

One thing missing from our campout was a fire pit and s’mores. I’ve wanted a fire pit in our yard for 10+ years. We still haven’t gotten one, hopefully soon! Instead we had yummy popsicles (Logan’s first). And we did some music:

It was finally getting dark. Logan was so excited he went inside and put his PJs on all by himself. He was ready!

We tried to get Bella to go in tent with us (she’s camped with us before) but she didn’t want to do it this time. So she went back in the house with the cats. πŸ˜‰

Camping was a blast. Logan said he wants to do it every day now. hahaha. I’m thinking we’ll do it again before summer is over. Maybe Labor Day weekend! And hopefully we’ll have our fire pit by then.

Sun Basket Week 3

This is the last post for awhile. We’ve done this experiment for three weeks and enjoyed the diversity and the unique recipes we wouldn’t normally try. But the cost was a little out of our budget and honestly, I was looking forward to being able to experiment more with new recipes on our own. That is not to say that I am quitting Sun Basket, but I am skipping the next few weeks of delivery and when I see a week that sounds really good to me, I might try it. I am thinking once a month this would be a good service to do.

Week Three

Spanish shrimp fritters with artichoke relish

420 calories,Β Gluten-Free,Β Dairy-Free,Β Soy-Free,Β Mediterranean,Β Diabetes-Friendly

The first meal of this box we did the shrimp fritters. I did all the prep work and then Michael stepped in to make the fritters while I put Logan to bed.

There was a medium amount of prep involved in this particular dish, but it wasn’t too bad. We both really liked the texture and flavor of the roasted green beans. As for the fritters, I was especially excited about this recipe because it sounded so unique. I was a bit disappointed. The flavors were kind of bland. Michael thought the fritters needed to be cooked at a higher temperature next time and I agree. I wanted them to be slightly crispier.

The green beans were great. The relish was just ok. I liked the concept and would recreate it, but I would probably use a different flavor profile–like spicy/cajun seasoning for the fritters and a corn and onion relish instead.

The serving size for the green beans also seemed a bit big. We got three servings out of what they sent. Which was fine with me because I had the beans for lunch the next day!

Spicy Balinese chicken with cucumber-cabbage salad

530 calories, Paleo,Β Gluten-Free,Β Dairy-Free,Β Soy-Free,Β Lean & Clean,Β Diabetes-Friendly

We LOVED this one. It was pretty easy to make and it was absolutely delicious. It was definitely MY flavor profile (I love everything spicy and curry-ish) and Michael is less interested in those flavors. He is not a fan of Indian food but I love it and I keep trying to sneak in recipes that are SORT of Indian that I think he’ll like. I’m glad he liked this one.

The chicken was great (boneless chicken thighs) and delicious. Lots of flavor, lots of spice and the chicken wasn’t dry. I liked the cashew dressing and the chopped cashews on top.

I was a little nervous about the mint–mint can be really overpowering, but it worked. All of it was great. This was definitely a winner and we will definitely make it again! Be aware–it IS spicy! Which is nice, because most “spicy” recipes are not spicy at all. I thought it would be nice with a dollop of plain greek yogurt on top of the chicken, too.

Taiwanese noodle soup with pork and baby greens

470 calories,Β Dairy-Free

I was really looking forward to this recipe. The weather is turning cooler and darker and I am feeling more tired and like I’m possibly fighting off a cold. So a hearty, warm, flavorful soup sounded really good.

This recipe had a little more prep and more steps involved, but it was ok. First off– we both loved the freshly made ramen noodles. They were amazing! So much better than store-bought, dried noodles. Second, the kitchen smelled amazing.

How was the soup? It was pretty good! We both felt like it was missing something but it still tasted really good. We decided we’d make it again and use 2 cups of beef broth and 3 cups of water for the soup broth (instead of just 5 cups of water like the recipe said).

It was kinda like pho but not exactly. We topped the ramen and pork with fresh onions, raw minced garlic and the cilantro. All the flavors of the toppings were really nice in the soup. And we both added sriracha! It was a great fall soup for dinner.

I have a discount code, if you want to use it!