Crunchy Veggie Salad with Cilantro and Lime

IMG_8549January is a great month for fresh new ideas and food. I’ve been eating lots of fruits and veggies this month and one of my favorite quick and delicious salads is this one. This can be changed up by adding celery or cucumbers or your choice of other fresh veggies.

Crunchy Veggie Salad with Cilantro and Lime

  • 1/2 red, yellow or orange pepper
  • green onion – the green part
  • 1 dozen grape or other mini tomatoes
  • avocado
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Chop the pepper, green onion, tomatoes and cilantro and mix in small bowl. Juice the lime and add to the salad. Add sliced avocado. Mix and add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2-3.

Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane

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Arloa’s Crescent Rolls

Arloa's Crescent RollsMany moons ago when I joined my husbands family and witnessed the magic of a Midwest baking extravaganza in the farm house kitchen. My mother-in-law would spend what appeared to be all of December baking Christmas cookies rolled out, ginger cookies rolled out, peanut butter blossom, breads in the shape of candy canes with red/white frosting, kringles, etc; you name it, she made it. Lefse,which is an amazing art in itself, also fit into her December schedule. The baked goods must have frozen well because Arloa’s creations were all out for the big family Christmas celebration. If we were lucky enough to be around for Christmas Day breakfast, we would be the recipients of the amazing candy cane bread. One of the non-sweet treats that we waited for on Christmas Eve was her crescent rolls. I was truly amazed at the homemade treasures she would create every year by hand. By hand I mean the old fashioned kneading way – no bread maker. The baker’s treats that have become traditions in our home are the lefse, ginger cookies and the crescent rolls. My husband spearheads the lefse and ginger cookies production. My daughter and I usually share the making of the crescent rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The dough can also be used as a base for sweet rolls – my daughter plans to try her hand at sweet rolls this Christmas.

Today I bring you the bread maker’s version of Arloa’s Crescent Rolls. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have over the years. Merry Christmas.

Arloa’s Crescent Rolls

  • 1 cup milk – warm to 105-115 degrees
  • 2 packages yeast – 2T
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/8 cup molasses
  • Melted butter with pastry brush
  • extra flour for rolling out dough

Warm milk to 105-115 degrees. Mix in sugar and sprinkle yeast on top of milk. Let stand for a short time and mix to dissolve. Pour milk mixture into bread maker pan. Add the eggs, 1/4 cup butter, white and wheat flour and molasses. Set bread maker on dough cycle for wheat rolls and start.

When dough cycle is completed it should be nicely risen to top of pan or beyond. Take dough out and flour a hard surface. Cut the dough in half. Rollout half of the dough into a circle about 12″ round. Spread with melted butter with a pastry brush. With a pizza cutter, cut into 16 wedges (just like cutting a pizza into 16 pieces). Roll up, beginning at the wide end. Place rolls with points underneath on a greased baking sheet (this is important because if not tucked underneath the points will be sticking up after baking). Cover with towel. Let rise for approximately 10 minutes. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Place rolls on cooling rack and brush with melted butter. Rolls freeze well.

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Thanksgiving Holiday Menu

Fall Colors

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  If you’re frantically searching the net for tried and true recipes for a terrific holiday meal, I’ve got 5 ideas for you right here. Attached are recipes I have used year after year for Thanksgiving and you can make all of the recipes the day or night before and heat the dishes in the last hour before dinner.  Just plan for oven space in that crazy hour!

Make these recipes ahead and enjoy more time relaxing and conversing with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Carol’s Cranberry Sauce

The Creamiest Creamed Corn

Creamy Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Steamed Mashed Yams

Pumpkin Custard


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Pork Chops & Apples

Pork Chops & ApplesThere are plenty of apples to go around this time of year and cooked apples are yummy as they bring out their sweetness. I created this simple recipe for a quick weeknight meal or a nice Sunday dinner.

Pork Chops & Apples

  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • seasoning salt
  • 2-3 apples, sliced

Heat a frying pan to medium heat. Melt coconut oil and sprinkle seasoning salt into oil. Set your pork chops in oil to sear. Sprinkle top of pork with seasoning salt. Set sliced apples into pan surrounding pork chops so that they cook in the oil. Turn chops every few minutes to cook evenly. Stir apples when turning chops. When chops are nicely browned, make sure they are cooked completely through before serving. Serve pork chops and apples with roasted vegetables. Serves 4.

Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane


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The Garden Tour – Alaska

Westchester Lagoon

Westchester Lagoon, Anchorage

We headed to Anchorage the Wednesday before Labor Day. The weather was cool at Westchester Lagoon along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail but the shadows intriguing. Friday we followed Turnagain Arm towards Whittier and experienced the longest tunnel in North America – 2.5 miles long! I can say my stomach was in a knot until we saw the light of day again. This tunnel was built for train traffic but all day long it is scheduled for car/truck traffic to keep Whittier connected to the ‘mainland’ Peninsula. Whittier was chilly and wet but I know it has potential on a warm summer day when you can see the water and surrounding and schedule a boat excursion.


“Log Cabin Gifts”, Whittier


Kenai Lake at Cooper Landing

The trip from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula was spectacular. A few clouds made way for blue skies through Turnagain Arm and Tern Lake at the Seward Cutoff. The views of never-ending mountains with glaciers, albeit melting, are amazing. Cooper Landing is the sight of Kenai Lake, the beginning of the glacier fed river. The Kenai River flows 82 miles westward from Cooper Landing to the mouth of the Kenai at Cook Inlet. Along the way it flows through Soldotna, my hometown and right next to Lingonberry Lane.


Garden fresh omelet, Homer

At the end of the road, we stopped overnight in Homer and were treated to a wonderful night’s stay with a view of Kachemak Bay. We had dinner at Two Sister’s Bakery with fresh seafood and greens – the mussels in garlic and wine were divine. We picked up some baked goods for our Sunday Brunch by the garden.

The next morning, even with cloud cover the views are stunning from West Hill Road. My cousin’s garden is lush. We were treated to a garden fresh omelet, (chickens onsite) fresh berry and melons.



View from Island Watch Vacation Rentals, Homer


Eagle on Bishops Beach, Homer

After heading back to Anchorage to meet my brother’s family again, we ventured up to Palmer on Labor Day to take in the onion harvest at Glacier Valley Farm. We marveled at the beautiful HUGE onions and my husband of farming roots complimented the soil quality. We were treated to a tour of the farming facilities and neighboring VanderWeele Farms, the largest vegetable farmer in Alaska who immigrated from the Netherlands 50 years ago. Alaska Agriculture is going strong in the Valley! We dined on cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, zucchini, summer squash, strawberries and cauliflower. The quality of the produce we enjoyed for dinner that night was tip top.


Onion Harvest at Glacier Valley Farm, Palmer


Glacier Valley Farm floral

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VanderWeele Farms, Palmer

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Alaska Garden TourOur Alaska mini-break was a complete success. The best part of the long weekend was the relationship with my Alaska family.  By circumstance we connected through beautiful gardens.

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Alaska Awaits

Kenai Lake, Cooper Landing, Alaska

Kenai Lake, Cooper Landing, Alaska

The summer has flown by; family trips to Utah and Minnesota and hikes and beach outing in Oregon. Our college student left early to start her training for her major of study and she has made the leap into Greek life. I saw an amazing eclipse last Monday in Portland. We were graced with blue skies at the University of Portland to watch the eclipse of the sun/moon above the bell tower in the Quad. The eclipse was a special moment in time when for 2 minutes everyone looked skyward together and was reminded of how utterly amazing the universe is and how small we really compared to the power of the sun. There are so many things in our life to be thankful for. A roof over our head, great food to eat, dear friends and family – the list is long. However with all the unrest in the greater world it’s hard not to get caught up in the low energy of mankind and that energy unfortunately has reared it’s head on college campuses, including my daughters. I was secretly hoping our world would realize the power and synchronicity of the universe during the eclipse and drop all cultural disagreements and live in harmony forevermore. But that didn’t happen. There are times when I really feel like I need a good dose of grounding and this next week I will look for that.

My husband and I are heading home to Alaska this week. I so look forward to breathing the clean autumn air. I expect to see a tinge of golden as the seasons are shorter in the North Country. I can’t wait to walk the Coastal Trail in Anchorage and visit with my brother and his family – maybe play a good game of Nerts. I can’t wait to drive from Anchorage to Soldotna through the mountain pass on one of the most beautiful drives on earth. And then Kenai Lake (above) – the outstanding blue green clear frigid water is healing to my soul and just being near it puts me in a place of comfort. I grew up listening to the water rush by our home on the banks of the Kenai and I so look forward to walking our Lingonberry Lane from Margie’s to Jean’s homes and taking in the fresh air. I’ll check the woods of our little road for ripe lingonberries. It may be early for them. I’ll gaze at the rushing waters of the Kenai – still blue green after all these years of power boats, fisherman and still holding up strong. We’ll head to Homer and Kachemak Bay and hopefully get out on the water – maybe to Halibut Cove? I just can’t wait. I know this will be renewing to see my family and to experience Alaska again. Thank goodness Mother Nature and home offers us the comfort when we most need a boost. Alaska – be at your best – we’re heading your way!

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Out in Oregon – Angel’s Rest, Cape Falcon and Short Sand Beach


Oregon is an amazing place to live if you like getting out and enjoying the beauty of nature. We’ve had 80 degree sunny weather for about a month (until a hot streak this week). A few weekends ago, I hiked Angels Rest, with my daughter, in the Columbia River Gorge. We hiked on a Sunday, which was a bit busy, but the hike up the top was worth while. The summit (2.4 miles one way) exposes a rocky three sided cliff with expansive views of the gorge both ways. As beautiful as the views are…extreme CAUTION should be taken at the summit. The views are amazing but hiking and observing should be done with care.

Last weekend we got to the coast and headed to Cape Falcon. The Cape is located in Oswald State Park, a gorgeous piece of property along the Oregon Coast between Cannon Beach and Manzanita. The trail is 2 1/2 miles each way and the trail is lush green on the way in with peaks of Short Sand Beach, a beginning surfer’s paradise, along the way. The walk is very protected and the sea air was quite comfortable. The end of the hike brought more steep cliffs so again, CAUTION should be taken. We were greeted by a group of hikers watching a whale frolic in the surf.

After hiking back down from Cape Falcon we ventured over to the Short Sand Beach. It was warm and protected in a cove. Beach goers were actually playing in the shallow water (site not often seen on the Oregon Coast because of the cool water temps). And there were dozens of wanna be surfers waiting to catch a wave. I wished, as I basked in the sun in my hiking clothes, that we would have found this beach 18 years ago. The beach is a short hike off highway 101, where you would park your car but it’s worth the struggle getting your gear in!IMG_8685

View of Short Sand Beach from Cape Falcon hiking trailIMG_8686

Short Sand BeachIMG_8694

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Crispy Cashews

Crispy CashewsNow this is the way to eat nuts! Nuts even in the raw form have an anti-nutrient called phytic acid. In order to get the most from our nuts, seeds and grains soaking is an age old time tested process. So as part of my health quest I soaked and roasted cashews for the first time. Yum. Crunchy, rich and so delightful are the finished product! This process takes only time and a long oven stint of 12 hours. Enjoy!

Crispy Cashews

  • 4 cups of raw cashews
  • Filtered water
  • sea salt

Cover raw cashews in a glass jar with warm filtered water. Add 1/2-1 tablespoon sea salt. Soak about 6 hours or overnight. Rinse the cashews after soaking. Put on a baking sheet or a  9 x 13 glass pan. Roast at 200 degrees for 12 hours. Cool and put in a glass jar with secure top for storage. Enjoy the crunch!

Source: The Heal Your Gut Cookbook

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Summer BBQ Menu

Summer BBQ MenuSummer BBQ season is in full swing! We are having an amazing weekend in Portland. If you’re looking for a few sides for your BBQ on Monday here are some good options for you. Serve these sides and dessert with your burgers and brats or even steaks.

Have a restful and memorable weekend!

Crock Baked Beans

Fresh Green and Veggie Salad with Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

Raspberry Blueberry Crisp

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Mexican Herb Salsa

Mexican Herb Salsa

It’s that time of year when the craving for fresh and new adds to our plate make us feel springy. Here’s a salsa that would be a great add to fish, pork, or chicken. It could be eaten with baked fish or a burrito. Tonight we’re trying it out with slow cooked pork.

Mexican Herb Salsa

  • 3 tablespoons diced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, diced
  • 1/8 cup avocado oil
  • sea salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons mango, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno

Soak shallots in the lime juice in a small bowl. Chop cilantro, mango and jalapeno finely and combine all ingredients. Salt to taste. Serves 4. Makes about 1/2 cup salsa.

Source: Inspired by a recipe in Good Housekeeping, April 2017

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