Saturday, June 29, 2013

Glorious

We are feeling better here...thank goodness, since Saturday around noon, my mom should be flying in. (Fingers crossed and prayers said since the beautiful weather we have had turned icky tonight as a low pressure system moved in. Tommorrow forcast is for rain and wind, and with the airport here, the small lenght of the runway, and the fact that we have no control tower and it is visual flight rules, well flying in is always questionable.) 
As I said, we have had some absolutly beautiful days here. Since A and I were both well on our way to recovery from this nasty summer cold, we headed down the mountain for a walk and some outdoor fun.

We found the first of the wishing flowers and of course had to stop to make a wish.





 It has greened up so much in just the last few weeks. It is really good for my soul. Winters can be so long here that it always feels like spring will never come. I live for these few short months.





Shh....don't tell anybody but we found a whole nice sized patch of nagoon berries. (Just some of the rarest berries in Alaska.) They are absolutely delicious.
 I have no clue what this little flower is, but it is so pretty.
 The lupine is in bloom and we picked a vase full for Nana's room.
 Just beautiful!

 Look at the intricate work of God's creation. 
Amazing

 A and I love observing nature. We sat for the longest time watching the bumblebees flit from flower to flower...
 ...even capturing the pollon dusted on his body.
Incredible

See you all tomorrow.
Night

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Being Geologists....and flower picking fun

Monday A and I woke up both with a little case of the sniffles. Nothing to bad, just a scratchy throat and such, definitely not enough to slow us down. (Unlike this today where we both were mowed down by a nasty summer cold and spent to day snuggling on the couch watching Tom and Jerry and in bed reading.) Luckily we had a lot of fun Monday, and will hopefully be back to our normal selves tomorrow.

We started off the day being geologists and excavating crystals. (I picked up this set while I was in Louisiana this spring, and A had so much fun)

The kit didn't include safty glasses, but after the dust irritated A's eyes a few times, she ran into the school room and grabbed a pair from one of her other science kits.
I didn't snap any pics of the crystals she mined, but there were 12 total. She's been carting them everywhere with her in a little leather pouch....including into the tundra to pic flowers with friends, which is where we headed later that afternoon.






For now I am off to bed, hoping my ear and nose will unstop enough to let me sleep.
Sigh

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shrimp Etouffe Smothered Alaskan Salmon


My mom will be here in less than a week! I am so excited. I love having my mom here, and I love cooking for her. Well I have already started planning the menu and I realized I never posted this 101 Ways to Cook Fish recipe! I can't believe that because it is one of my all time favorites. It is somewhat time consuming, but the end result is worth every minute. There is nothing better than combining my Louisiana heritage with my love for Alaskan subsistance! So on that note, I give to you, Shrimp Etouffe Smothered Alaskan Salmon. YUM!


 Look at that! I know you are just dying for the recipe, so here it goes.

1 green bell pepper- chopped
1 yellow bell pepper- chopped
1 red bell pepper- chopped
1/2 to 1 cup chopped celery
1 bunch of green onions chopped
2TBS olive oil
4TBS butter
4tsps minced garlic
1 cup white wine
Tony's Cajun Seasoning
flour and oil for roux
3/4 cup orange juice
24 medium sized shrimp- mine are the already peeled frozen kind LOL.
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1 cup cream
1 large salmon fillet
cooked rice

In a large pan,  heat olive oil and 2 TBS of butter.  Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbs of the wine to deglaze pan.
Add diced bell peppers, celery and green onions and saute for  2 to 3 minutes. Add a generous amount of Tony's Seasoning ) I didn't measure but I would say about 4 TBS depending on your preference.Add the final 2 TBS of butter. Turn off heat while you make roux.

In a small sauce pan heat 1/4 cup olive oil. Slowly add 1/4 cup flour, stirring constantly over medium heat until roux thickens and reaches desired color. For this I aim for a honeyed brown color.

Turn heat back on sauteed vegtrables. Stir in 1/3 cup of the roux mixture and stir to combine. Continue to stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Stir in 3/4 cup orange juice and turn down heat. Let simmer until mixture is reduced and nice and thick. Add in shrimp and cooking sherry. Simmer on low for 5 minutes and stir in heavy cream.
Now this is the most important step.....stop yourself from eating the entire etouffe sauce while you cook the salmon! LOL. Trust me, that part is very hard to do! :)

Now, you want to let your sauce simmer on very low heat while you cook your salmon fillets. I used one large sockeye salmon fillet, seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Cook at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Plate salmon on bed of rice and top with etoufee sauce....ENJOY!



Saturday, June 22, 2013

Smoked Salmon Crab Cakes and Blueberry Lemon Cake

The other night I made the most delicious meal, and I thought I should share it with my blogger friends. That's you, in case you were wondering ;)
After the bonfire the other night, we had a bucket full of cooked kind crab legs taking up room in my fridge. Dh has been busy catching sockeye salmon the past week and he has had the smoker fired up several times in the last week. It's that time of year again that we are subsistence fishing to stock our freezers and off set the cost of food in the Alaskan bush. Seeing that I needed to do something with the crab so I would actually have room for other food in the fridge, and we have smoked salmon coming out our ears at the moment, I decided why not combine the to....not crab cakes or salmon cakes, but how about Smoked Salmon Crab Cakes. 
Ummm.....yes please!


I just made this recipe up on the fly, but it was absolutely scrumptious.

Smoked Salmon Crab Cakes
(FYI some of the measurements are estimates)
1 lb shelled king crab meat (could us other kinds as well as canned if your not as lucky as us to live in Alaska)
1 smoked salmon fillet, flaked (again we did these ourselves, but you could substitute store bought)
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
enough mayonaise to bind it together (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
pepper and salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and press into patties- mine made about seven. Press extra panko bread crumbs- about 1/4 cup on to outsides of cakes to coat
Heat oil in pan until hot and fry cakes in oil over med high heat for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden.
Serve with a dollop of tater sauce.


For desert I made a favorite of dh's. Lemon blueberry cake served with warm blueberry compote and homemade whipped cream.
Yum!

Blueberry Lemon Cake

1pkg of lemon cake mix
8 oz of vanilla yogurt
1 tsp of grated lemon zest
4 eggs
1 cup blueberries-frozen
1TBS flower

4 TBS milk
4 TBS powdered sugar

1 jar blueberry pie filling (I can my own every year)

Combine cake mix, yogurt, lemon zest, and egss and beat with an electric mixer on medium for 1 min. Roll frozen blueberries in flour and carefully fold into batter. Pour batter into a oiled and floured bunt cake pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool and remove from pan.

Whisk together milk and powder sugar to create glaze and drizzled over cake.

Heat blueberry pie filling on stove top until warm. Serve with cake and homemade whipped cream.
Enjoy


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

First Bonfire of the Season

 Summer is finally here! Well at least the hills are greening up and it was warm enough to have the first bonfire of the season Saturday.
And what is an Aleutian bonfire with out fresh caught king crab? You know your jealous!
 It was warm, and absolutely beautiful. If you look closely at the top of the mountain there, you will see the local teen boys who decided to go for a climb.

 After dinner, the teens started an impromptu baseball came (tiny foam bat and all) and of course all of the adults had to join it too.
 ...and yes, I actually it the ball. Pretty awesom!
 A was nice and dirty, which meant she was having lots of fun.
 Then it was the kids turn. That's L with he bat in her hand...A's best friend, with the visiting med student playing catcher.
 Then it was A's turn...
 She was having a bit of a hard time, so L stepped in to help... but after a while A got the hang of it on her own, and actually hit a great shot.
 It was just absolutely beautiful. It is so hard to capture in pics. The air, the vastness, the colors....it is a true respite for the soul.

 The best of friends...
 ...tracking ground squirrels


 ...and trying to force the little guys out of there hole.
 The drive home feels you with wonder.

 And the midnight sunset view from my window is a testament to God's majesty.

I am blessed.