While On Dry Land We….

This was a water free weekend for us and I can assure you we do not hope for many of these. Even though we did have some fun this weekend, it just did not happen in a body of water anywhere.

After planning all week to finally get our son to a beach and let him see if he was able to paddle a recreational kayak (not his whitewater kayak quite yet) mother nature seemed to have a better idea for us. He has not touched a paddle since his accident and misses kayaking so much. However, with storms predicted mid afternoon, cloudy conditions  and wind on Saturday…this all meant the beach was not a good idea. That was ok, but then Sunday mother nature thought it would be funny to predict a high of 72 degrees (which it never reached) in the middle of August….which also meant the beach was off limits. I would have froze. And in our home, when mom is not happy no one is happy.

Instead we made a trip to our favorite veggie market Saturday.

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Stocked up on cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, corn, zucchini and one peach for my hubby. Then we came home and started cooking. First we made fire roasted salsa,

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then refrigerator pickles,

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and I used a wonderful idea from Jen and decorated a store brand hummus for a get together we had planned for Saturday night. I also plan to make our favorite zucchini bread this week with my daycare kiddos. They love to do cooking activities.

While we are on the topic of food, let’s talk about our dinner plans that happened Saturday. We invited our neighbor over for some taste sampling before our camping trip we will be taking together for the first time in the near future. She had never had a freeze dried meal and we have an entire case for emergency purposes. You know, in case I have a bad day and feel the need to hike up a cliff away from it all….not the natural disaster type of emergencies, we are not that organized here:) Anyways, we picked out three of our favorites and prepared them at home for dinner and we each had a little of all of them. Along with the meals, I also served that jazzed up hummus, salsa, chips, veggies, and spinach dip.

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Her reaction to the meals before preparing them were amusing but when she was served a sampling of each she was even more skeptical of the outcome. Much to our surprise each meal passed her approval.

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She is even talking about trying a few of her own now that she has a little experience with this form of food.

Switching the topic from food to camping brings me to my wonderful buy of the weekend. Since our last camping trip at Copperfalls State Park, my husband and I decided to invest in two self inflating sleeping mats. I think we are either getting old or the ground is getting harder, either way we needed something to make us feel more mobile in the morning. Well, I am proud to say, I came across a spectacular buy and could not believe it when I found them. We shopped around locally testing out various mats and had our minds set on Therm-A-Rest  Basecamp mats.

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Although, at our local sporting goods store they were quite costly coming in at $109.00 each, so I came home to research how cheap I could find them online. The best I could do online was $98.00 for the size we wanted and that was still to much for my frugal mind to spend. Then I just happen to drive past another store near the grocery store I needed to go to on Saturday. I thought, what the heck, it does not hurt to check, right? In I went, found the correct size right away and saw a red sale sticker for $69.99 and could not believe my eyes. I even had the sales associate do a price check and he happily came back and said, yes that is correct….SOLD I took two immediately. So of course we had to do a trial run and see if they would be comfy all night on hard ground. So hubby and I camped out on the floor Saturday night and could not have been happier. No hip or back pain at all. I was thrilled:)

As for Sunday, we decided to take a drive to one of our favorite disc golf courses. It’s a little bit of a drive but worth it. I will share all the good information later this week regarding the course and how we did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crock Pot Shredded Taco Chicken

This shredded taco chicken dish I would not really even consider a recipe. I literally threw what I had in a crock pot before leaving one day so I would not have to deal with any preparation when we returned from a day of hiking. It turned out very tasty so I thought I would share it with you all.

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Crock Pot Shredded Taco Chicken

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups of any salsa (I used Pace)

1 Tbsp. taco seasoning mix

1 cup frozen corn

1-15oz can black beans

Lay the chicken breast in the crock pot and sprinkle them with the taco seasoning. Pour the salsa over the top. Then pour the frozen corn on top of the salsa. Cover and set to low for 6 hours.

Next,after 6 hours, take two forks and shred the chicken breast right in the crock pot. This will be very easy to do at this point. Take your beans and rinse them under cool water. After rinsing, add them to the chicken mixture . Heat them for about 10 minutes and serve.

I chose to serve the chicken on salad greens with our favorite taco toppings. You could also serve this in shells or tortillas with your favorite taco toppings. Which ever you prefer will be just as tasty.

Enjoy!

 

Homemade Fire Roasted Salsa

My family waits all year for my famous homemade fire roasted salsa. I made it for the first time this year this past weekend.

I hope you find it appealing enough to give it a try.

Homemade Fire Roasted Salsa

3 large seeded tomatoes

1 garlic clove-minced

1/2 jalapeno- finely chopped(to taste)

two sweet bell peppers-roasted

3 ears of corn-roasted

1 big sweet onion-roasted

1 15oz can black beans-rinsed

4 TBSP. lime juice

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 TBSP. chili powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Roast the corn, pepper, onions and jalapeno over hot coals for approx. 10 minutes or so.

IMG_2411Take the sweet peppers and place them in a plastic bag when the skins blister, and close the bag tightly. (This will make skinning them easier) Let them sit about 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, while the other veggies are cooling after being roasted, start seeding your tomatoes.

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After your tomatoes are all seeded, dice them into small pieces and place into a glass or plastic bowl. Start dicing your jalapeno, onions and cut the corn from the cob.

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Add this all to the tomatoes.  Now take your sweet peppers out of the bag and while rinsing them under cool water peel the skins off carefully. The skin should just fall right off. Then cut, seed and dice them into small pieces. Add this also to the mixture.

Measure out your spices and add the lime juice. Drain the black beans and rinse under cool water. Add to the mixture, and mix all together. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours for all the flavors to combine.

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Enjoy with chips, on tacos, or in your favorite mexican dishes.

****NOTE: This recipe is not meant to be spicy. If you prefer more spice add more cayenne and jalapenos.

Weekend Happenings….

This is the first weekend all summer we have not had preplanned plans. Which left us wondering, what should we do? We have so many upcoming adventures, that laying low and close to home sounded quite nice to me.

Saturday morning we started by sleeping in until 6am.(Yes, normal wake up time for us is 4am, so 6:00am was very nice.) I did a few chores, worked out, ran a few errands, hubby did some of his “honey do” list, and then we thought it was too beautiful to just sit and waste a sunny day. We checked out the Algoma/ Lake Michigan web cam to see what the big lake looked like, and it was sunny, with a little ripple. Exactly what I have been waiting for all summer. We loaded up the paddle board, packed a quick lunch and we were off to the big lake.

My boys brought kayaks to goof around and practice rolling with and I had my board, who could ask for anything more perfect.

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I was so happy to finally have my moment with beautiful blue water, sunny skies and my board.

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Meanwhile, my boys were testing out my kayak, to see who could roll it the best. Doesn’t my husband look so concerned standing there with his arms crossed and our son is upside down in my kayak?

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No need to fret though, we have all come to know how long each one of us is comfortable being upside down. He was up in seconds. My kayak is the easiest to roll of all of them, so each one was over and back up with no problem.

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It was a spectacular day at the beach. Sun, sand and paddling:) Pure Happiness!

Sunday brought a day of tasks we have been wanting to do for some time. With the help of my brother, my husband trimmed dead and hanging branches from our huge tree in the backyard.

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We made a visit to the veggie market in Black Creek.

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I bought $16.00 worth of veggie happiness!

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We came home and immediately lit the grill and started roasting veggies for homemade salsa. Recipe will be posted this week.

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What a terrific weekend. A lot of chores were accomplished with a little added fun in between.