Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May Foodie Pen Pals

Another month of the fun & exciting box of foodie goodies.  This time I was happily surprised with service via UPS direct to my door! Love that!

May's delicious Foodie Pen Pals package arrived from Jen. Her blog is

  • Quaker Banana Nut Bars
  • Pretzel Crips
  • Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
  • Multi Grain Cheerios
  • Tropical Trail Mix
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Ground Coffee

We are regular purchasers of the BBQ sauce and Montreal seasoning.  They are both super tasty! The other tasty treats are new to us.  I look forward to trying them this week!

Thank you Jen for the wonderful variety of delicious food & the pretty card! I appreciate it

Beautiful pansy photo card

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I'm going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by June 4th as pairings will be emailed on June 5th.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Frosted Sunshine Butter Cookies

              Just in time for summer!

                                 I love the lemon frosting in this recipe.


                It tastes great. It's smooth. It spreads easily. It dries nicely. 

These are easy to make but a bit labor intensive. Here's how to make it easier:

Day 1:

Cookie dough
Bake cookies
Prep candies

Day 2:

Make frosting
Frost cookies
Decorate cookies

How to:

Cookie dough

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
Grated peel of half a lemon
1 teaspoon frozen lemonade from concentrate (thawed)

Cookie Decorating

Pretzel sticks (half a bag)
6-8 drops of yellow food coloring
Gummy fruit for sunglasses 
Gummy rope or licorice strings for the happy smile. Cut to an 1" long

Lemonde Icing

3 3/4 cup sifted powder sugar
3 tablespoons lemon meringue powder (sold in a box)
6 tablespoons frozen lemonade from concentrate (thawed)

Cookie dough

Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add egg and beat again.

In a separate bowl, add flour, salt & lemon peel. Stir. Then mix into the butter mixture.

Stir in lemonade then refrigerate for 2 hours.

Roll dough on floured surface at 1/8 inch thickness. Using a 3" round cookie cutter place cookies on a greased baking sheet. Arrange pretzel stick around cookies to resemble rays, pressing lightly. I used 7-10 sticks per cookie. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown on 350 degrees.

Cool on a wire rack.

Lemonade Icing

Beat all ingredients in an electric mixer on high speed.  Adding additional lemonade concentrate as needed. Spoon or spread icing onto cookies.

Decorate with fruit slices (the type I used were too thick so I cut them in half). Add gummy rope for the happy smile.

Recipe Source: 101 Cookie Recipes. Publications International, LTD.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ski to Sea Race: 93.5 Mile Relay Race

2011 Ski to Sea Mountain Bike leg at Hovander Park.

It's one of our favorite times of the year! The Ski to Sea race is finally here!  It's the Epic relay race that gathers top athletes from around the globe & mixes them with the everyday folk like us that love the camaraderie & cultural relevance of the race (and hey I'm not gonna lie..the parties aren't too bad either!).  For over a 100 years the community where we call home has been hosting a version of this race. Even the children have the Jr. Ski to Sea Race! The races are a vital part of our community. Engaging friendships, teamwork, community involvement, civic responsibility & civic opportunities.

It begins with 500 teams at Mt.Baker Ski Resort with the cross country skier racing 4 miles & passing to the downhill skier or snowboarder. The skier/snowboarder runs up the slope (no ski lifts here) with all gear and shreds down a 2.5 mile loop. Next, the runner will charge down the mountain for 8 miles trying to keep their toe nails in tact as the pavement pounding actions takes its toll. The road bike travels for 42.5 miles past Maple Falls and ends in Nooksak where the 2 canoeist  take over. 18.5 miles later they will end in Ferndale at the beautiful Hovander Park and pass off the ever important wrist band that is tracking each of their times to the mountain biker who will carry-on and end at Squalicum Harbor 13 miles later. Last, the sea kayaker will embark in the open waters of Bellingham Bay for 5 miles (4.3 nautical miles). The commencement of the race is at Marine Park in Fairhaven.

It's a lot to follow, huh? A number of years ago I was the cross country skier on the team.  It was a blast to plan & be part of the race but I was passed by a lot of skiers on the course which bruised my ego-ha!  My husband has taken over and he has participated in the mountain bike & snowboard legs. As I'm typing this he is carpooling up the mountain to embark on the canoe leg of the race for the first time.  I look forward to meeting him at the end of the race at Hovander Park to hear how canoe adventure went.

                                                  Go Team Lucid!

By the way, if you see the Girl Scouts at the many recycling & waste centers please listen to them....they are helping keep our community green.  They like high fives too!

*A special thank you to Lucid Consulting for inviting us to be part of this tradition. I wonder if superman will show up today ;-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

50th Anniversary Table Decor & Cupcakes

               My folks have been married for 50 years.

                       Typing this feels strange to me. 

Maybe part of the problem lies in the fact that I think I'm still a 20 something (ha!). How could they possibly be at the age where they are celebrating being married for 50 years? The other part of this feeling may stem from that fact that my folks are active, healthy & independent. No blue hair here.  They travel, navigate and cruise on their boat to far away places like Alaska, Canada and the San Juan Islands. They fish, crab and shrimp in all waters and conditions. They are still entertaining friends and family into the wee hours of the night.  Yes, it's true, my folks are good fun. They are also an inspiration in enduring love & youthful living!

 My mom is a gifted story teller & amazing hostess.  My dad is an excellent listener and no-nonsense sounding board. It's a certain magic that they have together. They are the kind of folks that other people want to be around. They are dynamic, engaging, interesting & sincere. They are the kind of parents that love their family and friends.  It was fitting, then, to throw a party for them in the spirit of the occasion.     

                       Embellishing the night with gold in 
           honor of their 50th wedding anniversary.

My sisters cupcakes & La Patisseri's round cake

Our kids & nephews decorated white frosting with edible gold color mist! Love this product.

Wilton edible heart sprinkles...lovely.

A simple gold ribbon placed at each end of our rented tablecloth. Thanks Master Rentals.

Each gold lame fabric star was hand cut from material by my brother in law.

The stems of the fresh flowers are resting in a small piece of bubble wrap.
This helps them float.

Faux crystal bowls and tongs found in a four pack at Dollar Tree

Gold truffles boxes house the magnificent Modern Dwellers truffles.

*A special thank you to my 3 sisters, 2 brothers, nephews, my husband & kids! Of course to our family friends who created the slide show, photography and the music, what lovely gifts you have given our families...many mahalos to you! A big thank you to Modern Dwellers for the amazing truffles that vanished from the tables as quickly as the evening. 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Nutella Rice Krispie Treats

I had the privilege of volunteering at the Scholastic Warehouse Sale last week.  During the slow times of the sale I lingered in the cookbook areas and couldn't resist buying the NFL Gameday Cookbook.

Our kids love Nutella on toast & as a fruit dip too.  This is a fun alternative to the usual marshmallow based rice krispies. They are fast & easy to make! Just 4 ingredients- love that!

  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 6 cups Rice Krispy cereal

Spray a 11x15' pan with non stick spray. In a large pot over medium heat stir corn syrup, sugar and Nutella for about 8 minutes (or until the sugar is melted).  Turn off the stove and add Rice Krispies. Toss until well coated. Using a spatula spread into the pan.

Cool for at least 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store a room temperature.

Serves: 20

Recipe Source: The NFL Gameday Cookbook. Ray Lampe

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BBQ Salmon Sauce for Ivory King Salmon

Wild caught salmon is a staple around here. We enjoy salmon about twice a month thanks to the unending supply from my folks.  If you haven't tried this sauce I encourage you to give it a go. I know the ingredient list looks wacky but something amazing happens when all the flavors combine! 

  • 1 cup butter
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 dashes of worchestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan over low/medium heat.  Stir continuously and serve when hot (about 10 minutes).

Sauce serves 2 pounds of salmon.

Yup, this is a salmon filet.  It's an ivory king salmon & quite frankly I don't know why some kings have white flesh.  I found this informative article from the Seattle Times. It offers various theories  why a mere 1 out of 100 king salmon are ivory.  Included in the link is Oceanair's Ivory King Salmon with Chantrelle Recipe.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Girl Scouts Northern Camp Work Party

Once in awhile you're given a chance to be a part of something from the beginning.  An opportunity to serve in a way beyond the usual modes. Yesterday was such a day.

As soon as Whatcom County permitting is complete, Girl Scouts throughout the state will have the chance to enjoy the pristine Northern Camp. To say the site is dreamy may be a bit of an understatement.  As you enter the 100 acre property surrounded by forest, you are greeted by a vast meadow & a pond centered ever so perfectly.  Apple trees are scattered near the pond, covered in moss and years of neglect, they offer clues to the wildlife that will share the hundred acre property.

We discovered bear claw scratches on the trunks of trees, deer prints in the mud & animal trails on the outskirts. Ducks glide quietly on the glacier formed pond letting us go about our work of sanding & staining the wood, reclaimed from fallen trees at the Girl Scout Camp in Carnation, WA. Building benches for the camp site, chopping and stacking wood for camp fires.  All things that make a Mom's heart proud...seeing your daughter use power tools, paint brushes/rollers & strength to build something in the spirit of service, with the encouragement & support of Troop Leaders.

Work Crew adjacent to the pump house

Trail from the parking lot to the camp sites, flanked by scotch broom

A special thank-you to our troop leader, Becky & all the other Girl Scout staff and volunteers who have been working on developing this property since 2006.

Tent Sites

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Raspberry Rhubarb Bars / Slab Pie

Good morning friends! I'm cheerfully sharing this recipe that my sister made last night.  
Love her for letting me share it with you!

We had a delicious salmon dinner with the sweet ending of these fabulous bars.  They taste just like a summer pie!  It was so fun to celebrate their oldest son being back in town on a school break.  Laughing and catching up with family is a treat!

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 5 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed and drained)
  • 3 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb (thawed and drained)

Vanilla Icing
11/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5-6 tsp milk

Mix flour and salt then cut in the cold butter. Stir in the milk and egg yolk. Toss and form into a ball. Divide the dough in half so that one half is slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge for an hour.

Roll out the larger portion of dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper (rectangle sized at 8x13"). Transfer to an ungreased 15x10x1" pan.

Combine sugar & cornstarch. Add raspberries & rhubarb. Toss then place spoon onto the pastry in the pan.

Roll out the remaining dough and place over the berries and rhubarb. Fold bottom pastry over the edge of the top pastry & seal with a fork.

Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes.

Vanilla Icing
Mix confectioners' sugar, vanilla and a little milk. Drizzle after the bars have cooled & you have cut into squares.

Recipe source: Jeanne Ambrose,Taste of Home April/May 2012