Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Good Eats - #3 Smoked Salmon Chowder (4th Sunday of the Month)

Our favorite restaurant locally has to be Kokopelli's in Port Angeles.  Along with many tasty entrees, they make a fabulous smoked salmon chowder.  I love clam chowder, but this is even better.  After a few tries, we were able to "kopy kat" the recipe and now we have it every 4th Sunday of the month.

Lots of salmon comes through our front door here on the O Peninsula (although this year has been a little skimpy) either from a good fishing trip or from friends.  A good portion of the fish is smoked by the husband and used either in a salmon spread for appetizers or in the smoked salmon chowder.  Every effort is made to use local, fresh ingredients.

Smoked Salmon Chowder

2 cups of small red potatoes, cut into quarters (Nash's Organic Produce, if we are lucky)
1 stick of butter (Sunny Farms Grocery carries a local butter)
1/4 cup diced onion (an eastern Washington treat is the Walla Walla onion, but Nash's for a good wanna-be)
1/4 cup flour  (Nash's actually grinds their own.  I kid you not!)
1 cup of smoked salmon (in pieces and de-boned)
1 tsp salt to taste (Sequim Tea and Spice shop fills my container with coarse sea salt)
16 oz Half and Half (or whole milk)  (Dungeness Creamery is about 2 miles down the road)
several diced stalks of celery (Nash's)

Place potatoes in saucepan and cover with water, cook on medium heat until tender.  (If I am feeling lazy, I let the potatoes cook on low in the slow cooker until they are tender.)  Remove potatoes from heat, drain and set aside.  In 2 quart saucepan on medium low heat to melt butter, add diced onions and celery, cook until onions are slightly clear.  Add flour to butter and stir briskly.  Mixture will start to thicken.  Add half and half a little at a time while stirring briskly.  Mixture should be creamy and thick.  Place salt, salmon, and potatoes in mixture.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping.  I know dipping is not well-mannered at the dinner table, but let's keep it real.


Saturday, August 27, 2016

No Waste Wednesday - #43 Homemade Lotion Version 2

Several years ago, I posted a "recipe" for homemade lotion containing beeswax, olive oil and essential oils.  It was great for getting rid of dry skin.  BUT.  It was sticky and greasy.  I found I used it more as a lip balm and nail cuticle softener rather than overall skin lotion. (See original post here from May 2013: )

Still determined to find a homemade lotion I loved, it was finally discovered in the Autumn edition of Willow and Sage magazine, page 10-13, by Lia Griffith.  Only three ingredients-- Aloe Vera Gelly, (6 oz.) fractionated coconut oil (1.5 oz.) and the essential oil of your choice.  I was skeptical when I bought the gelly and oil.  Both are clear.  But, when you whisk them together, it all turns fluffy and creamy white.  I add tangerine and vanilla oil for my scent (another blend for fall/winter is in order).  I think another batch for hubby with a bay rum scent will work nicely.  This stuff is not greasy at all and he actually likes it minus the girly scent.

Adding up the price of ingredients, the cost was about $10 for 16 oz. I can probably get the cost way down if I buy the gelly in a bigger bottle, but I wanted to test before committing to a large volume.  And I love that you can personalize the scent with essential oils and no un-needed plastic bottles (I reuse a glass container and canning jars).  If I believe the hype on aromatherapy, then the essential oil is an added healthy benefit of the lotion too.

A keeper!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

International and Domestic

On the domestic front, our kitchen remodel is almost complete.  The project took six weeks rather than the planned three.  Washing the dishes in the laundry room sink is not my idea of a good time.  Will post pictures soon.  Really loving the whole look and function.

Because we have been putting in so much effort and money into our new home, there is not much left to travel (time and money).  But, that is not stopping us from making plans.  Portugal seems like a very interesting place and we are looking into the Rick Steves' tour of Portugal for the Spring of 2018. 

The biggest downside to overseas travel for both of us has been the effect of jet lag.  It can almost ruin the trip. Even planning two extra days before the actual tour does not seem to get us past it.  But, we have a plan.  Met a fellow last December in Puerto Vallarta who travels extensively and he shared that jet lag has the same effect on him.  He has found a solution.  Rather than flying to his overseas destination, he travels on a relocating cruise ship crossing the Atlantic.  Taking 10 to 14 days, you are able to slowly get used to the time change.  The cost of the cruise is approximately the same as a one-way business class ticket.

So, our plans will include a transatlantic cruise in mid-April embarking in Miami and disembarking into Lisbon, Portugal.  Fingers crossed for making this work for us in a year and a half.
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