Summing Up the Summer Adventures

I am sad that the feeling of summer is ending.  But at the same time I am starting to feel the creative force within me triggered by the beginning of the feeling of Fall in the air.

I wanted to spend a lot of quality time with the kids this summer before school started.  My daughter is 6 years old and started kindergarten this week.  It's bitter sweet.  I do miss having her around with me all the time.  It felt like school took her away from me and even entertained the idea of home schooling on the day one last week.  Then I quickly realized I'm being way too sentimental and home schooling is for me.  She doesn't need me to baby her all day anymore.  She's ready to take care of herself way more than I can admit.  

Anyhow, back to the summer adventures. This summer was filled with many outdoor adventures for us.  We started crabbing, rode our bikes everywhere and went camping trips a few times.  

Breakfast is my favorite thing when we camp.  I love smelling the foresty air and sip on a good cup of coffee in my enamel camping mug.  I'm literally a happy camper with my cup of joe.  I also brought a batch of muesli.  

The Pacific Northwest is undoubtedly one of the best camping regions.  There are all types of camping available all around.  We have two small kids, so our choices are more towards kids friendly ones.  At the beginning of summer, we went to Camano Island, 20 miles north of Seattle.  One of the easiest, cleanest, closest, safest camping places around Seattle.  The camp ground is right above the ocean.  We went crabbing on our little inflatable boat and actually caught a couple of crabs which made the kids all excited. 

I made this crab salad with carrots and kale.  We ate it with home made ponzu dressing and it was so clean and good.  Ponzu is usually just mixed with soy sauce and lemon or lime juice.  

Though Camano Island was relaxing and fun, I wouldn't call it an adventure. It was more like a warm up for our upcoming bigger trip.  We go to our annual camping trip with a group of friends to Banks Lake, WA.  It is about 3.5 hours of driving east of Seattle.  It is one of the most mesmerizing landscapes I have ever ever seen in my life.  The lake is surrounded by gorgeous canyons.  We usually ride on our friends' boat to get to the beach that we camp, so the spot is isolated from the crowd and very private.  This feels like the escape from our life at home. 

This year was unfortunately much cooler than usual. Usually we jump in the water in the morning and stay at the beach all day and sun bath. But we still we managed to have an amazing time.  We fished in our boat (it needs a name!), water tubed from the big boats, swam in the narrows in the lake,  and ate very well.  

Cooking out here is always fun for me.  This year, my main dishes were smoked trouts, grilled trouts and Japanese yakitori (skewered grilled chicken).  It's so much fun to cook out in the wild. 

Here are some photos from the trip.  Our summer went bye bye quickly but it was filled with family quality time and look forward to more adventures next year!  I'm thinking a van and road trip...


muesili; about 5 medium savings

2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconuts
1 cup of sliced almonds
1/2 cup of dried apricots
1/2 cup of dried mixed raisins
2 table spoons of melted coconut oil

Heat a pan and put 2 table spoons of coconut oil.  Toast rolled oats and coconuts in the pan until it browns a bit over the medium heat.  Transfer into a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it well.  Keep it in a jar and eat them with fresh fruits, yogurt, honey, whatever else you like!

crab salad;

crab meat from one crab
2 yellow carrots
3 big kale leaves
shiso leaves (optional)

punzu dressing;

1/2 lemon juiced
1/3 lime juiced
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of tamarin soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
salt and pepper

Bring the water to boil in a large pot with dash of salt.  Put the crab in and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Since we used the fresh crab we caught, I undercooked mine slightly.  Take crab meat out of the shell.

For ponzu dressing, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk it well.  Julienne shiso leaves.  I love shiso leaves. It's like basil of Japan. I grown my own and it's not widely available, so this is optional. 

Julienne carrots.  Par cook kale in hot water and blanch it.  Take the stalks off and dice them.  Chop the leaves into chunks.

Pour some ponzu dressing over salad and toss it well.  Top it with crab meat.


I found how to do this here! Please follow the instructions on the link at the Jamie Oliver site.

staked grilled trouts;

2 trouts
a cup of course sea salt
1 small lemon
2 long tree brunches 

Stake the tree brunches through the trouts (as pictured above).  Coat the fish all around and inside with sea salt.  Grill them over the charcoal until it's nice and sizzling.  Cooking time depends on the size of fish and the amount of heat, so check often and rotate the fish if necessary as you grill the fish.

Squeeze the lemon juice over and enjoy!

yakitori (skewered grilled chicken);

3 big chicken thighs
3-4 tablespoons of tamarin soy sauce
2 tablespoons of mirin
1 tablespoon of cooking sake
1 teaspoon of salt
15 skeweres

Slice the chicken thighs into strips.  Mix tamarin soy sauce, mirin, sake, and salt.  Put the graze mixture in a pan and bring it to boil.  Turn off the heat and let it cool.  Skewer the strips of chicken by twisting them around the skewers.  Brush the graze as you grill. 



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