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!