We were so happy to enjoy spring break in Maui again. I love a beach vacation and this was our third time relaxing in Maui so we have our favorite activities for sure (Napili Bay) but we did some new exploring, too. The above photo is from the beach at the Honua Kai Resort and Spa where we stayed.
We spent our beach days at Napili Bay beach in northwest Maui. It’s just a short drive north from Ka’anapali Beach area where we stayed.
Sunset at Napili Bay.
And there was lots of boogie boarding at Napili.
We took a day to explore the Road to Hana. It was a good 3 hour drive each way through the narrow roads to Hana and our destination was the Pipiwai Trail and the Pools of O’Heo. The hike at the Pipiwai Trail was marvelous with the bamboo forest being the highlight. The Pools of O’Heo (Seven Sacred Pools) were what we looked forward to but the water levels were so low there were no pool! We wanted to take a dip after the hot hike. If you explore more on the Road to Hana there are pools to dip in…just do your homework. We had a wonderful break at one of the smoothie/banana bread stands on the way back.
The beautiful bamboo forest. It was quite a site.
We decided to check out Wailea one night. Our destination was the Wailea Oceanfront Boardwalk. The walk was lovely and serene and just checking out the Marriott, Grand Wailea and the Four Seasons in Wailea was an experience.
View from the Marriott at Wailea at night.
Our last sunset on Ka’anapali Beach.
All in all we had a wonderful and relaxing vacation. And we are lucky to be back in the sunshine in Portland!
Here’s an option for St. Patrick’s Day in case you don’t have all day to cook your corned beef. The ingredients are similar to the standard Corned Beef and Cabbage except they are cooked in a broth. The soup takes about an hour from start to finish with a bit of chopping. Perhaps the most difficult item to find is the already cooked corned beef. You may check your deli section of your local grocer. Trader Joe’s carries an uncured cooked corned beef that I had bought in years past and heated in the oven for a more traditional fare.
Corned Beef, Cabbage and Veggie Soup
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 4 cups chopped red potatoes
- 1/2 cabbage, chopped
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound (uncured) cooked corned beef, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- salt and pepper to taste (may not need much salt)
In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium to low heat and add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the potatoes, cabbage, low sodium broth, corned beef and spices. Simmer on medium to low heat for 30-40 minutes until veggies are softened. Serve with a crusty bread or Irish Soda Bread.
Source: The soup was loosely adapted from Family Fresh Meals.
Yummy. The refreshing flavor of blended frozen strawberries, sweetened with a bit of banana and raw honey. This one is really good and the added coconut water will refresh you. The kids will love it, too. Enjoy!
Blend the following until smooth:
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
- 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
Makes one generous serving.
Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane
Omelettes provide a protein punch in the morning and I created a tasty one this week. I had brussels sprouts, fresh parsley and mushrooms in the fridge and decided to kick up my usual routine omelet a notch. Omelettes take just minutes to make and and are so healthy. I highly recommend this one with good greens and ‘shrooms.
Winter Veggie Omelette
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 good sized brussels sprouts
- 4 good sized mushrooms
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 eggs
- sprinkle of parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
Rinse veggies. Heat small omelet pan and add the pat of butter. Spread the butter as it melts with a spatula. Cut brussels sprouts and mushrooms into pan and sauté in butter until browned. Add small pieces of fresh parsley at end of the sauté. After veggies are browned (a few minutes) add 2 beaten eggs, spreading egg around by lifting and angling pan. Add parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until eggs are firm to your personal preference. With a spatula, take one side of the omelette and fold over to form a half fold traditional omelette. Serves one immediately.
Source: Jackie Mack, Lingonberry Lane
There wasn’t a holiday that went by that Carol didn’t serve her homestead cranberry sauce. Growing up on the homestead by the river, we were surrounded by lingonberries – a low bush berry native to the boreal forest. There were so many lingonberries around us in the woods our street was eventually aptly named Lingonberry Lane.
Carol was an avid cook and always served a wonderful holiday meal. Our Thanksgiving meal tradition was very similar to our Christmas meal and each time we loved it. Standard fare was turkey with stuffing cooked in the turkey for added juices, mashed potatoes and gravy made from the juice of the turkey. Candied yams baked were a hit with a molasses and butter syrup. I do remember a jello molded dish here and there in the 70’s. We had homemade rolls, too. The dinner was a process and a work of art, I learned in later years, after preparing my own holiday meals. I distinctly remember my Mom leaving the lingonberry sauce prep until the end many years and in a rush the lingonberries would be on the stove in a pan too small and a temperature too high and every time they would boil over ~ what a mess that was with an electric stove. Stress was high, but somehow it always worked out. Extra adult and kid hands helped at the last minute stirring the gravy, Dad carved the turkey and the table had long been set. The potatoes were mashed at the last minute and magic – the holiday dinner began. I have so many memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas food comas….I ate so so much and felt just awful for a while. But, somehow I’d manage to sneak in a piece of pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream hours later. The pumpkin pie was always homemade – perhaps by a guest if Carol was lucky.
The most fun was the chatter and laughter and games at the table after our bellies were full as we waited for the 2nd round. I’ve heard rumors that our dear Alaskan friends whom we share Thanksgiving secured a bag of the precious lingonberries from my cousin for our holiday dinner. I can’t wait to share the lingonberries and chatter with our dear Alaskan friends…the same friends we shared many holidays with in Carol’s kitchen on the homestead. Thanks for the memories, Carol and family. We are making more.
Carol’s Cranberry Sauce
- 4 cups cranberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1/2 cup orange peel and juice
Start with 1/2 cup H2O and cook til done.
(A few more directions: Bring all ingredients to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and serve. Nuts may be omitted.)
With the pumpkin holiday right around the corner it was time for a little gluten free custard in the house. I adapted this recipe from the Trader Joe’s recipe on their 15 ounce can of pumpkin. The custard is a wonderful taste of fall, without the gluten. Serve chilled with fresh whipped cream and a little cinnamon on it. You can also bake the custard in individual ramekin dishes for a shorter time period for a lovely looking dessert topped with whipped cream.
- 1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin
- 1/2 pint or 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in large bowl with blender until smooth and creamy. Butter pie plate and add filling. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until custard is set. Center can still ‘jiggle’ slightly. Custard will set more while cooling. Cool completely. Serve with freshly whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.
For a pretty individual dessert pour filling into individual ramekins and bake for a shorter time period.
Adapted loosely from Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie recipe.
From experience, I would say that it’s difficult to find a good solid recipe for gluten free/paleo baked goods. Most I’ve tried have turned out mushy and not good. I recently tried a recipe I adapted from Paleogrubs.com and their Paleo Banana Nut Muffins were good. The second time I made them I was inspired to add zucchini and I think that solidified my very first tasty gluten free muffin success. I did use butter in this recipe. You can substitute the butter for coconut oil for a true paleo version. These are a great lunch box snack for school or a breakfast treat.
Zucchini Banana Nut Muffins
- 4 bananas, mashed
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (or coconut oil for paleo version)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with twelve paper liners. In large bowl, mix the mashed bananas, eggs, almond butter, butter and vanilla until well blended. Add the zucchini, finely chopped nuts, coconut flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Blend well. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, fill the muffin liners about 2/3 full. You may have a bit of leftover batter and bake in another over safe dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Eat warm with more butter and enjoy. Store the cooled muffins in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Adapted from PaleoGrubs
Our family took a Northwest vacation. I really love a local vacation. There’s something magical about packing the car and driving north 4 hours and hopping a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. The trip up was relaxing. We stayed at my husband’s cousin’s home on our way up so we could get to the ferry early. You do have to arrive an hour and a half early to actually get a car on the ferry but it’s painless, you just need time. And the waiting helps you get into the ‘island time’ mode.
We arrived at Friday Harbor by 2pm and found a great lunch spot at The Market Chef. They had a grand selection of homemade salads, soup, sandwiches using local ingredients.
After lunch we toured the island and went up to adorable Roche Harbor. I could just hang out on the docks and eat lunch and kayak or paddle board here for a week. The first day at Roche we toured the harbor and got a first hand look at what life in a 2 million dollar boat looks like. Then we got back to reality and drove back south.
Our second day on the island we decided to go on a hike in the beautiful American Camp National Park. The hike started off wooded and ended on the gorgeous grassland filled vista overlooking the Olympic Peninsula across the bay. I highly recommend this 1.5-2 hour hike.
The next afternoon we decided to kayak and paddle board back in Roche Harbor. There are kayak tours available to whale watch but we chose to kayak in the harbor. After that 2 of us took paddle boards out in the harbor. On this picture perfect day I spent the second hour relaxing and taking in the scenery in the Roche Harbor Resort’s garden.
The view from a mini city park above Friday Harbor let us take in the views while eating our dinner that night from Vic’s Drive In. I could watch the ferries go in and out of the harbor for hours.
Our last day we spent on the water whale watching. We were aboard the Odyssey with San Juan Excursions. It was a 3+ hour tour that offered a look at San Juan Island from the water and wonderful sighting of orca whale pods. We followed the pods for at least 2 hours. The orcas were amazing and the crew very knowledgable.
And the last night on the island we decided to return to our favorite Roche Harbor and dine at McMillan’s at the resort. We got a lovely table by the window with a view and we each had a few courses. I had a delicious crab bisque and house salad with their halibut small plate. My husband had duck and daughter a sirloin small plate. The meal was topped off by a berry cobbler and coffee ice cream sundae. Perfect! We were surprised by a flag ceremony at sunset and taps. Lovely.
I have been jammin’ in my kitchen the last few days. I always over purchase raspberries and get a flat so I have lots to work with and this year I experimented. Traditional jams are so yummy but they come with baggage and that’s the excess amounts of sugar required but I must say if you follow the directions they are picture perfect and jelled to a T. I’ve seen recipes for chia seed jam and thought I’d try it to cut down on the sugar. I used Happy Healthy Mama’s recipe for a base and this recipe is so quick and easy and makes six – 8 ounce containers of jam. The jam is made of primarily fresh raspberries with a small amount of chia and honey and water. The flavor of the pure raspberries stands out. I love the flavor without the added sugars and feel really great to use raw honey as a sweetener. And you have the added health benefits of the chia like added protein, fiber and Omega 3’s, just to name a few. So enjoy your fresh raspberries on toast or a lovely biscuit.
Raspberry Chia Jam with a Bit o Honey
- 4 cups fresh raspberries, rinsed and drained
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 4 tablespoons warm water
- 4 tablespoons raw honey
Blend all ingredients on LOW speed in your blender. If you have a powerful blender you may want to use the PULSE setting. Blend for a very short time (seconds) until the berries, honey and chia are a consistency you prefer for jam. Pour into three – 8 ounce jam jars and cover tightly. Let set for one hour in the refrigerator.
I have not tested this as a freezer jam but I am going to and will assume it will taste great after frozen and thawed. Happy jammin’!
Source: Adapted from Happy Healthy Mama’s recipe.