Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Salsa-fied Chicken

I don't have a photo for this one. Totally forgot to take one as I was devouring each dish made!

Salsa-fied Chicken

In a crockpot place:
2 Cups roughly chopped tomatoes. I used a mixture of orange cherry tomatoes and red Romas.
1/2 Green Bell Pepper Chopped
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion Chopped
1/2 Cup Torn Fresh Cilantro
1 Jalapeño de-seeded, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic Chopped
1 - 1.5 lb Chicken Tenders or Boneless Chicken pieces.
1 pkg Taco Seasoning.
Stir together well. Place lid and cook on high for 3-6 hrs (depending on your chicken piece size).

I made a meal with shredding some chicken and placing this chicken and some veggies in tortillas for tacos.

I then added chicken bouillon to taste to what was left in the crockpot for a Fajita Soup. Served with some cheese, sour cream, and a slice of lime.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

8 and 7 Months to a Better Me!

When I was in my early teen years my church came out with a video about "The Purpose of Life". After all the people gave their interpretation of this statement, it all boiled down to The purpose of life is - To Live Life Happily.

Each of us have our own version of what a "happy life" is. To one it might be to travel the world doing important things for important people, to another it may be to live quietly among family and friends. For me, my version of living happily contains caring for and being cared for by those that are important to me in my life.

You may be wondering what this has to do with my monthly goals to better myself. Well, not much, but it has been on my mind recently. Have I been living my life to it's fullest happy potential?

I have actually been reading the scriptures daily. I realized that my life has not changed greatly in doing so. What I mean by that is that it is the little things that change. Calmer in stressful situations. Being able to notice the little blessings in my life more.

I have started up on the treadmill again. It has been good so far. I have also done a couple lengthy hikes. Admittedly I like the hiking a lot better than the treadmill, but outdoors always trumps indoors for me.

Book Club starts this week. I am sure there are those of you thinking "Book Club" your putting this in your social life section? Yes, yes I am. This has been a goal of mine for a while. To get a random group of people together that don't know each other, and see how our lives intertwine in the reading of Jane Austen. LOL. I know, I'm a nerd!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

# 24

Learn to Be Self-Sufficient Monetarily

Whenever I looked at this goal on my "50Things" list I really didn't know what to make of it. I know I set that goal myself, but what was I trying to accomplish with it? The other day I was looking over some past posts and came across this one: No food for Me . I know that this post was written in a moment of frustration, but remembering how hard it was to live on so little and wonder at times how I was going to get gas money to make it to clinicals, is pretty humbling. Now I have an income I can support myself with. It is a good feeling to know that financially it will be OK. I know I have so much more to learn, but I feel like I have improved enough to say I have accomplished this goal.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Adventuring: Simpson Reef Loop

Simpson Reef
This is an easy hiking/walking/running trail that stretches 1.1 miles from the Simpson Reef pull-off to Simpson Beach. This is part of a larger trail loop which I am blogging about individually. There are a few places to park and enter this trail, but the best start point for a well positioned start is from the Simpson Reef pull-out that is AKA "The place you see the seals". Looking at the ocean you follow the parking lot to the right. A few feet after the end of the lot there is a trail. There are beautiful ocean views and some well placed benches to enjoy your wave and whale watching. Completing the there-and-back to Simpson Beach and back is a great 2.2 mile leg stretcher the whole family can enjoy.

Simpson Reef

Simpson Beach
Foggy Shores

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Adventuring: Above the Falls

I have hiked to the bottom and top of the Golden Falls multiple times. What I hadn't done was hike "above the falls". At one time there was a whole settlement above the Golden and Silver falls. The last family I believe moved  around 1957. I have always wanted to go exploring and see if there are any old homesteads still there without the earth reclaiming them. We followed the trails pretty easily leaving from the top of Golden. This connected with the  Old Glen Creek rd. We emerged from the thick woods to a view of a valley meadow still dotted with an apple orchard that was abundant with fruit. We wandered down to the heart of the orchard and I soaked in the thought of the history of this place. How children once played there. I didn't get to see any old homesteads, but I'm sure they are out there. We decided to stop there since there was fresh bear scat. I loved this hike and am looking forward to going up there again sometime.

Silver Falls

Golden Falls

A valley meadow spotted with an orchard
Old apple tree still bearing fruit

Where children once played

I would rate this hike easy to moderate. There are easy dirt paths to the bottom of both falls and to the top of the Golden. There is very rocky terrain close to the bottom of both falls. If you want to go "above the falls" it is a moderate hike. Don't forget that wildlife is highly populated in that area.  Get directions HERE.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

#34 Get all my Possessions in one Place!

After 41 moves, in 8 different states, I have all my possessions in one place. No longer do I have the random storage in another state, or a families garage. It's all here.

Adventuring: Spencer's Butte

I had forgotten during the year and a half when I recently lived near Eugene that this place existed. Oh what I was missing. I was reminded of Spencer's Butte when I asked a helpful employee at REI where I could do a nice safe hike. I was not disappointed. You can access trail details HERE.

I hiked the from the farthest starting point, making it about a 6 miler. This trail starts at an  old orchard and soon starts winding among beautiful leafy green trees.
The trails are well maintained and you'd have to try really hard to get lost.
There is even a few bridges, (and you know I love bridges)!
The view from the top is awing, and one can sit and look over the tree tops for hours.
Over all I'd say that the trail is a moderate trail. Considering the length, and that the last half mile is over uneven rocky terrain.  There are a lot of families with children on the trails, usually starting from the shorter trail-heads. This is definitely a must if your in the Eugene area. Happy Hiking!

Goal "Queen" Accomplished!

A year ago in August I had expressed my desire to be the "Canning Queen" at the Coos County Fair. Well goal accomplished! It was a bit of a surprise since I did not preserve near as much as I had planned. I guess I just did  a good job on what I did preserve! I admit that I am pretty proud of this achievement and happy that now folks are asking me to share this talent with them! Maybe I'll even get certified as a master food preserver..... Today I traded the pressure canner in for a dehydrator, oh the possibilities!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Multi-Delicious Pancakes!

The blueberries and coconut oil in these bring a sweet light taste that compliments the earthy flours!!!

1 Egg

Beat in:
1 1/4 Cups Milk

Then beat in:
1/2 Cup White Flour
1/2 Cup Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Oat Flour
1 tsp Honey
2 Tbsp melted Coconut Oil
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt

Beat until smooth.

Stir in:
2 Cups Blueberries

Cook, grill, bake however you like to make your pancakes.

I like to eat mine with butter, powdered sugar, and a little drizzle of real maple syrup!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shrimp, Papaya, and Mango Salad

Salad for breakfast, yes please!

I'm not a traditional breakfast eater. Some of my favorite breakfast foods include potato salad and tomatoes. So when I woke up this morning with my brain thinking shrimp salad, my stomach said why not!

Thus the Shrimp, Papaya, Mango Salad is born.

1 large Mango pealed and chunked
1 small Papaya seeded, peeled and chunked
10-15 or so pre-cooked medium Shrimp
1 tablespoon Coconut oil
1 Lime
1 teaspoon Honey
1/4 cup shredded Coconut
a couple leaves fresh Basil

Combine papaya and mango in a bowl. Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan and lightly sauté shrimp until warm. Spoon shrimp into the bowl with the fruit. Juice the lime, and mix in the honey into the sauté pan with with leftover coconut oil. Pour over shrimp and fruit. Tear the basil and place in the bowl along with the shredded coconut. Mix with a fork and dig in!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I think I can easily put this down as one of my favorite foods....

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic Minced
2 Yukon Gold Potatoes Thinly Sliced
2 Roma Tomatoes Thinly Sliced
1 Zucchini Thinly Sliced
1 Yellow Squash Thinly Sliced
1 Tbsp Herbs De' Provence
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly olive oil a baking dish. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saute pan. Add onion and saute till golden and tender. Add garlic and continue to saute for 60 seconds. Evenly spread this mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Alternating each vegetable, layer the potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash in the dish on top of the onions. Drizzle the other Tbsp of oil on top of the vegetables. Then sprinkle the herbs De' Provence and thyme on top, followed by salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil and place in oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake uncovered an additional 20 minutes until golden on top.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Sunshine Smoothie

I have been on a smoothie kick for a while now. My goal was to compile some of my most popular recipes and blog about them all together. Until today.

Sunshine Smoothie

1/2 Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 Cup Frozen Mango Chunks
1 Frozen Banana
1 Mandarin Orange, or 1/4 Cup Canned Mandarin Oranges
1/2 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

Put all ingredients in a blender and smoothie away. One serving has approximately 275 calories, 35 carbs, and 26 grams of protein.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mango- With a Hint of Thai- Salad

Mango- With a Hint of Thai- Salad

1 Mango Sliced
1 Cup Julienned Zucchini
1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Cucumber
1/2 Cup Peas
1 Tbsp Chopped Mint
1 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Medium Lime Juiced
1 tsp Honey

 Prepare Mango, Vegetables, and Herbs.

Make dressing in a medium bowl by combining: Soy Sauce, Lime Juice, and Honey.

Add to dressing: Zucchini, Peas, Mint, and Cilantro. Stir to Coat.
Pile this mixture onto two plates. Place cucumber and Mango on top.

* Adapted from Veggie Wedgie

Rocky Road Cookies

Warning: This is a cheater recipe.

Double Warning: Plan to gain a couple pounds after you make these.

Rocky Road Cookies

One Box Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
1/3 Cup Greek Yogurt (or oil, or applesauce)
1 Egg
Mix these ingredients together in a large bowl.
Stir in:
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 Cups Miniature Marshmallows
1 C Sliced Almonds

Spoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Follow prearranged measures to get them out of the house, or hide the scale. 

Adventuring: Shore Acres Loop

One of my most favorite places to go is Shore Acres. It was one of the few places that my Dad, Ben, loved to go. As a child we would wind through the garden, smelling all the roses and picking out our favorite to grow next in our flower garden a home.

Simpson Beach was a place for picnics and  playing in the sand. The sand there is different than any other sand in the area. Beautiful.

At the look-out area many people gather and watch for whales, or witness the amazing waves crash against the shore.

Shore Acres State Park contains many trails and walking/hiking adventures. Since I love them all I decided to blog about them all individually.

Shore Acres Loop:
This loop can start in the park itself, or outside about a quart mile before the park entrance. Since there is a fee for the park many people like to start from the later starting place. About a quarter of a mile past Sunset Bay there is a parking area with a beautiful view of the Cape Arago Lighthouse. Take the stairs down from the parking lot. Turning left puts you on the Shore Acres Loop. After a short distance there is a Y. Either trail will take you to the park. Going straight will take you along the original trail into the park. There are still stone entrance markers to establish the grand entrance.
Taking the trail to the right has you follow the cliffs along the shoreline till you reach the look-out area. For some reason I like going this way. Once at the look-out parking area follow the park entrance road to where the original entrance road enters the park. (Approximately across from the toll booth). Completing this trail takes you back to where you parked. The loop is approx. 1.8 miles and is an easy trail with dirt paths. It is good to note that in the really rainy months the trails are sometimes flooded, but still fun!

Friday, July 20, 2012

9 Months to A Better Me!

Oh the stories I can tell.

Run three times a week, with a long hike/walk on an alternate day: This started out great!!! I really liked starting to run. Then I had to stop due to my tumor and surgery. Darn. Now I am doing the opposite and hoping that I don't resemble jello jigglers when I start back up.

New Goal: I am going to revert back to keeping within daily calorie limits. I will also make a more conscious effort to eat more nutritional foods. I am experimenting with Chia seeds.

Read the Scriptures daily: I don't know why I have such a hard time with this.  I quote the scriptures daily....

New Goal: Ahem. Read the Scriptures Daily.

Have a friend, or friends to my house twice a month: This has actually been pretty easy, and very rewarding.

New Goal: Have an evening out this month. I find that I do most of my activities in the daylight. Time to spice it up and take in some nightlife.

Adventuring: The North Spit

I had this adventure on my list for a while. After reading the description online and pulling into the parking lot I was sooooo excited. Sand, water, paths, equals prettiness. The beginning brought no disappointment. Then the trail ended.

Lower path North Spit
  I circled around to follow a different trail that had a bridge, and I love bridges. Then after a few feet, that trail ended. Finally, after wandering around the lakes, and making my own trails, I found the actual trail.
 The directions can be found here. Remember to go to the top of the road. The trail will then start in the back. It is all sand dunes. So be prepared.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Adventuring: Sisters Rocks

Blink and you miss it. That's what you have to remind yourself when your looking for Sisters Rocks State Park. The area itself consists of two beautiful beaches, a cave, and lots of exploring areas. It also is the home to multiple starfish, other sea creatures, and pelicans. Look for a little gravel area between mileposts 314 and 315 on Oregon's Hwy 101.
Sisters Rocks
The Third Sister

Side entrance to the cave

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Gathering of Friends

Every year my Book Club group does a beach retreat. This year, since I live near the beach, I got to host. Now we aren't the typical book club group. I don't know how much book talk we do. The history, if I'm not mistaken, is that the group used to be larger and everyone lived near each other. Then as it usually goes, everyone started moving. This group comprised of 2 from Beaverton, 2 from St.Helens, 1 from California, and me, Coos Bay.

We actually did talk about a book. Since I live in Coos Bay it was a goal of some to read "A Gathering of Finches", by Jane Kirkpatrick. This book tells the tale of Cassie Hendrick Stearns Simpson. You might recognize the name Simpson there. She is one of  "The Simpson's" That the Simpson's of Shore Acres is known for. The book has tons of details about the beginnings of North Bend, Empire, and surrounding areas. A great read for anyone, especially if you live in this area!
 Our Adventure Begins: Simpson Reef
  The group at Shore Acres Botanical Garden
 Oregon Roots: Candy, Merilee, Renee, Darilyn, Aundrea, Me!
Simpson Beach

Adventureing: New River

New River is a Wetlands area just south of Bandon. There are paved trails mixed with a few well traveled paths. The distance can range from one mile, to about 3. You can walk out along the marsh for some beautiful New River views. Along these paths there is an old natural cranberry bog that is being reclaimed by the natural regrowth. There is also Muddy Lake, a small, but serene lake you can sit in a little hut and bird watch, ect. There is another trail along the other side of the Greeting Center. I haven't done this one yet, but am looking forward to it!

  New River

                     New River Marshes
Tracy at Muddy Lake
Muddy Lake