This Oregon Life

I have been eagerly awaiting decent Oregon weather so I can get out in the woods to enjoy some camping.  With my ready made camping vehicle, I can be on the go without much preparation other than food.  It is so awesome to get in and go!  I’ve been really excited to get out in nature and enjoy my beautiful Oregon.  Let me tell you, I desperately need out of Portland these days!  I enjoyed an extra long trip last weekend and this weekend I did an over-niter just because I can! Nature, beauty and primitive camping is not far from Portland.  Less than a two hour drive brings me to the peace I want.

 

My lovely state did not disappoint!  The weather was perfect both weekends.  Last weekend I stayed at a new campground for me and this weekend I went to an old time favorite spot where I have been camping for years.  Both spots brought me the calm solitude and connection with nature I love.

My sweet princess is not a fan of camping.  Her first weekend she spent terrified and preferred the comfort of my lap or on the bed safe inside my rig.  Even with friends she loved, being out and near the camp fire was much too scary for my little one.  Freshly returned from my second camping trip of the season my little girl is exhausted.  This time she was attacked by a dog much larger than her as we were taking a walk.  Irresponsible pet owners did not have their dog leashed at their campsite.  When we walked by, he ran out to us and attacked my baby. Thankfully, she has only minor physical injuries but she is now a skittish, terrified little thing.  I certainly hope she gets back to her usual spunky happy self soon.  My poor, sweet baby.  That was a terrifying experience for us both.

 

We’re taking a couple weeks break from camping to enjoy other weekend activities, but we’ll be back at it again with more adventures and good food in store!!  I’ve got some camping with dog experience behind me now so I think I’m more prepared for future trips. Every chance I get this coming season, I will be out in the great green of Oregon.  If my plans lay out as I hope, this will be my last summer in Oregon so I am taking advantage of what my great state offers so close to home. (I’ll share more about this later!)

As my usual style, food is the center of attention for my camping adventures.  Remember that raspberry sauce I wrote about not long ago?  Here’s the same version with blueberries added.  It made for a delicious pancake sauce this morning.  There’s nothing like freshly made food in the great outdoors.  It just tastes better!  I added a dollop of plain coconut Greek style yogurt, which is actually quite sweet and not tart like typical dairy yogurts. The combination was fantastic!  Add a steeping cup of fresh brewed java, a little fire to watch dance and this morning was divine!20160626_093914

 

 

 

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Scrumptious Raspberry Pancake Sauce

Raspberries are in abundance and I have been harvesting so many pounds of these delicious jewels!  The raspberries are incredibly bountiful this year.  I already have some in the freezer, I’ve made some yummy recipes, I’ve popped them in my mouth as is for a fresh, refreshing and healthful snack.  I’m giving them away even!  I’m not kidding!  There are copious amounts of raspberries.  This makes me so very happy because I love raspberries!

I always enjoy working in the kitchen with food.  I find the task of preparing food calming and it brings me back to my happy place, especially in times of distress.  With the recent tragedy in Orlando, I have felt heartache and grief.  I have found the past few days difficult to tend to the essentials in each day.  As such, I have found myself standing in the kitchen more often than usual after spontaneously deciding to see what I can throw together just to take my mind off all the hate and pain in this country.

With so many raspberries in my kitchen I decided to focus my attention on making something with those.  I went with a sauce.  It just sounded good.  I am craving pancakes, so guess what’s next?  Pancakes!  I’m going to make a batch and have breakfast for dinner!

This was super easy and took no time at all.  Check out the recipe below and give it a try yourself!  You won’t be disappointed!

Raspberry Pancake Sauce

3 cups of fresh raspberries20160614_182747

1/2 cup raw cane sugar

1/4 cup of water

a mix of arrowroot powder and water (for thickness)

pinch of salt

squeeze of lemon (about a 1/2 tsp)

Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan.  Place on stove top and bring to a boil.  In a separate small bowl, make a paste with arrowroot powder and water.  I tend to use about 2 tablespoons of the powder to 2 tablespoons of water.  Add to the sauce when it boils, stir until combined then continue to let it boil for 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken.  Reduce to simmer and let cook until it is your desired sauciness.  Serve warm. Yum!

 

 

 

Breakfast For Dinner-A Mother’s Day Tribute

This is the second Mother’s Day without my mom here.  This day brings such bittersweet memories with a touch of extra sadness as I think of the recent death of my bff’s mother. All the firsts; they really are the hardest.  Today has been a day of reflection for me.  I enjoyed breakfast with some of the family, then treated myself to a clothes shopping spree, something I rarely do.  Although I chatted with both my kids today, I missed them more than usual…wishing that they lived just a little bit closer.  I felt an underlying sadness most of the day even though I was having fun throughout it.

One of the things I fondly remember when my kids were young was our monthly tradition of breakfast for dinner.  It was the one dinner I knew my kids would eat without argument and I enjoyed making a comforting dinner that was quick, delicious and affordable.  As a single parent, all these things are valuable to quality of life and sanity!

Once home, I really wanted to bring myself back to a content state of mind so I put my new kitchen island to the test.  Recently gifted to me in the same magical way I have been receiving things the past several months, it was not in perfect condition.  It needed a good cleaning, a bit of tightening for stability and refinishing of the butcher block top.  Freshly rejuvenated by me with a little help from a friend.  I am very proud of my DIY kitchen island make over.  It still needs a couple of finishing touches but is usable and as of this morning, sits prominently in my kitchen area.  Happy Mother’s Day to me!!  It worked beautifully as I prepared my own breakfast for dinner to celebrate myself…well, and the fact that I have two amazing kids who call me mom.  That makes my heart very happy.

Today, I say thank you to my kids, grown and paving their own way in this world.  Thank you for choosing me to be your mom.  I am such a proud mama, a heart overflowing with love and gratitude.  As a tribute to them and to my mom, who would scoff at breakfast for dinner.  “Why, that is not the way you do things!”  I can hear her saying it.  I raise my fork to you, mom….I secretly think she would love breakfast for dinner.

It was fantastic.  I am content.  Back at my happy place.

Happy Mother’s Day.  Every day.

My finished project!!  Looking good!

My finished project!! Looking good!

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Pancakes

1/3 cup sorghum flour

1/4 cups brown rice flour

1/8 cup almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 Tbsp Xanthan gum

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup raw cane sugar

whisk ingredients together in a small bowl

1 egg

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

whisk together in a small until well incorporated and small bubbles form around edges of bowl

whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Mix until blended.  Let sit for 5 mins.  Scoop 1/3 cup of batter into a cup and pour into well oiled pan, preheated on medium heat.  Let brown until bubbles form on top, flip, cook for 5 more mins.  Plate with your choice of topping.

Frittata

whisk 5 eggs, your choice of spices and 1/2 cup almond milk in a medium bowl.  Saute diced onions, green onions and carrots.  Line the bottom of an 8×4 shallow glass casserole dish (greased) with onion mixture, spread a lay of baby spinach across the top of the mixture, covering it completely. Pour egg mixture over all of it, making sure all veggies are covered well.  Top with cheese, dairy free or not at all!!  Bake for 20 mins at 350 degrees.  Enjoy

Breakfast.  It’s what’s for dinner.