Monday, August 22, 2016

Yosemite: Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Yosemite. I have a love/hate relationship with this park. I love the roaring waterfalls, the sheer cliffs of granite, the beautiful lush trees and the glorious sound of the rushing river flowing next to me. I love pushing myself to my limits, then forcing myself to go even further; to reach the top of the falls. And what a magnificent reward at the top; rainbows made by the waterfall's own mist, a whooshing flood of water rushing down a granite table, so close you can almost feel its force. This is what draws people to the park. So.many.people. And that brings me to what I strongly dislike about Yosemite. Its popularity makes it crowded, busy, and very difficult to get camping reservations in. But these views...I just can't stay away!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tri Tip on the Grill

For a delicious, quick and easy summer dinner, you can have this beauty ready in about 30 minutes (or a little longer if you like your meat more well-done). You cook the meat on the outdoor grill so no heating up the house. And the zucchini are so easy to make, even my 11 and 8-year-olds love to cook them. Win, win, win! Let's get cooking!

Roasted Chicken, Artichoke and Pasta

This is a great summer dinner that the kids love. Artichokes are in season right now, and they are very popular at our house. I usually steam them on the stove, but I wanted to try them roasted this time. I loved them this way, but 2 of my kids slightly prefer them steamed. That didn't stop them from devouring these ones!

French Bread Pizza

My kids (and my) favorite meal is homemade pizza. But making the crust does take time. This recipe is a great shortcut to a pizza-ish meal! It's one of our few, quick, easy dinner recipes, so it's great to keep in the kitchen arsenal.
French Bread Pizza
One loaf (we use this one) French Bread
Sausage (we use Mulay's Mild Italian)  or ground beef (Costco has a great organic option)
Mozzerella Cheese (we buy organic whole milk mozzerella at our local grocery-it's delish!)
Tomatoes (dice)
Fresh Basil
Other ingredients we often add include: bell peppers, red onions, olives, zucchini, shredded romano cheese. 

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice baked (and cooled) bread and place on a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
3. Top with grated mozzerella and sausage (if you are using other veggies, you can add now too). 
4. Bake in 375 degree oven for just a few minutes, until cheese is melted.
5. Remove from oven and top with fresh diced tomatoes and chopped basil. 

Serve to some very happy people and enjoy!

Ingredients

Just sharing some of our favorite ingredients for baking:
We now use mostly organic ingredients in our baking, and I really can taste the difference (plus my daughter no longer has hives, so that's a huge bonus!). This flour has been especially great in every single recipe we make. I just took a quick picture because people often ask what I use to cook with. These are many of my baking staples.