Posts tagged ‘fish’

July 1, 2013

Ten Things to be Happy About 7/1

I need a healthy dose of gratitude today. It’s been one of those days where every nerve in my body seems to be agitated. From large life issues to the post office changing their lunch hour, everything I do today seems to challenge me.

So I think it’s time to sit back and find a little thanks. Life is beautiful and often far too short to be taken for granted.


1. Tomorrow is my last day of work this week! I’m very excited about this. Short weeks are the best!

2. Wednesday, Husband and I head to Alaska to celebrate a birthday, a wedding and the 4th of July! Below is a photo of beautiful Prince of Wales Island.


3. I got pretty new rain boots for our trip! I just hope they fit! Cute, right? You need rain boots on the boat. It’s wet and miserable if all you have a tennis shoes.

rain boots

4. My freezer will soon be filled with fresh, wild salmon, halibut, shrimp and crab! The best part about having a family fishing lodge in Alaska is you pretty much have access to really good quality fish whenever you want it, all year round.

5. We have so many tomatoes on our plants! And we harvested two cucumbers and two jalapenos this weekend…oh, and one strawberry last week that went right into my mouth! These were the first tomatoes that popped up on our Early Girl. The plant is full of them now!


6. I get to see my mommy this week! I haven’t seen her in almost a month.

7. I have the most amazing husband ever! Just saying… )


8. I am alive. I’m going to stop at number eight today. Because what more matters? I have this day. I may not have tomorrow, but I have today and I’m going to stop writing now, and go out and enjoy the heck out of it!

May 6, 2013

Summertime White Sangria

I love sangria. Jim loves it too, and whenever we go to Mexican restaurants that serve it, we get a glass…or a pitcher, whatever.

I’ve always wanted to try making my own, but never have had the patience to let it sit overnight and all that. But when we decided to have people over for fish tacos for Cinco de Mayo, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to give it a whirl.

I searched through our wine “cellar” for a relatively inexpensive bottle of red that I didn’t mind sacrificing (of course there was the potential that this would turn out horribly and waste an entire bottle of wine), and unfortunately I came up short. I didn’t have a single bottle of red wine that I wanted to turn into sangria. So I switched gears. We had TONS of bottles of white because we both enjoy red just a little bit better (until summer comes around anyway), so I decided to make some sangria out of white wine instead.

We popped open a bottle of Rome Valley Vineyards‘ Chardonnay and started making magic!


Summertime White Sangria

The beauty of sangria is that you can pretty much put whatever fruit into it that you want. I mean sure there’s a traditional recipe, but you can make something completely delicious and unique to your own taste just as easily. I used a handful of different fruits we already had on hand.

2 oranges, sliced

1 lime, sliced

5 strawberries, cut in half, tops removed

5 thin slices of rhubarb

2 shots of triple sec

I bottle of chardonnay (you can use whatever white wine you like or have on hand)

Sparkling water (Mine was lime scented, and I used about 36 ounces, but you can taste as you go. It’s not a science)

Pour your wine into a pitcher. Add fruit and triple sec. Cover and let sit in the fridge overnight or for several hours. The longer, the better. When you’re ready to serve, pour in the sparkling water. Serve ice cold in your most beautiful glasses, garnished with extra fruit.


It turned out pretty dern delicious, if I don’t say so myself. Originally I wanted to use limes, raspberries and peaches, but they only had limes at our local grocery store…you know, the only one open at 10:30 when I decided I wanted to attempt this endeavor. I think I’ll try that combination next time. I’ve also heard people use ginger ale instead of the sparkling water and it gives it more flavor. I didn’t want the added sugar (or high fructose corn syrup. Yuck!), so I will probably always stick with the water.


Also this weekend, I finally got to play around with my new camera. It does a pretty good job, eh? Here are a few of my favorite shots of Katie that I took. She’s a hard dog to photograph, let me tell you! She’s like my brother when it comes to taking her picture. She always turns away from the camera! So the fact that I got these ones was a miracle in and of itself!

black lab

Isn’t she cute? Just chilling in the grass.


This one I made a funny sound at her, so she tilted her head as if to ask “what the heck was that?!”

I hope everyone is having a happy Monday! Or at least a not-sucky Monday as Mondays can be pretty challenging.

Have you ever tried making sangria before? If so, did you use a recipe or did you just wing it like I did?

April 4, 2013

Getting away for a weekend

This past weekend, Jim and I were finally able to take a long weekend and do some good relaxing. Even though it meant missing Easter with the families, we took Monday off and spent the weekend at my family’s house on the coast in Northern California. It’s about the most relaxing place I’ve been. The house is beautiful, the view is unparalleled and there’s nothing like the sound of waves crashing against rock to release life’s tensions.

shelter cove2

Of course, we had to overcome a few obstacles before we could actually do any relaxing.

Like find a way to get propane to the house.

We arrived late on Friday night to a little blue card on the door that said the propane tank had been capped off because the account wasn’t current. We called them and apparently the card on file had been declined (we later learned it was because of a fraud alert), and of course, there was nothing they could do until Monday. So we had no heater, no stove, no HOT WATER. Until Jim came up with the brilliant idea to buy a 5 gallon tank and attach it to the line to the house.

So we went down to the cove to find propane.

And walk around the tidal flats a bit.

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And get a delicious fish burger.

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We LOOOOOOOOOOVE our fish burgers!


Fortunately for us, the general store sold 5 -gallon propane tanks. Full. It looked pretty funny sitting next to the big tank, like it was the little brother tank learning to warm the big house.

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That problem finally under control and we were darn ready for a shower, so we go upstairs to this beauty and turn on the tap. It’s cold. Wait for it. Still cold. A few more minutes. Still like ice. So now we need to find the water heater. But there isn’t one to be found anywhere. We deduce the following: it’s tankless. So we look around some more, and finally I point to the crawl space panel on the ceiling in the master bathroom. “Maybe up there?”

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Except it’s dark, so I go back downstairs for a flashlight. Armed with the light Jim, who is the only one tall enough to even touch the panel let alone get his head into the hole, takes a peek. There are no lights on. It needs to be reset. But it’s quite a ways in there. Jim can’t reach it at all. I told him I’d go find him a poking device, head back downstairs and return with a pool cue. So Jim’s standing on the bench with the flashlight in one hand, the pool cue in another poking at a hole in the ceiling. If he’d been sufficiently clothed I totally would have taken a photo! Instead you get the tools out of place in the bathroom.

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So we take our shower and it’s amazingly luxurious. This shower is Jim’s number one reason for wanting to come to this house. We each get our own lovely shower head, plus body jets. It’s pretty amazing.

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Once we’re done with our shower (it’s about 3p.m. by this point), we’re ready for a snack, so we go back to the kitchen where we left our food on the counter only to find ants crawling all over the dirty pancake batter bowl from breakfast (I left it because it had raw egg in it and I wanted to wait to wash it until we had hot water) and heading for the rest of our food. We quickly moved it all to the kitchen island, checked everything that was open and bagged it all in freezer bags so they couldn’t get in if they found it again. Then we went about killing all the ants we could find and putting traps (which we found under the kitchen sink) by the window where they seemed to be getting in.

Ok, so we’re halfway through the first of our two full days of relaxation and finally we can sit down.

We brought a puzzle, which we put together while partaking in “adult coffees.”

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Katie lounged around the house, being lazy and trying to sneak upstairs whenever she thought we weren’t looking.

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I spent a lot of time reading Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr.  I am thoroughly enjoying it. I bought her Crazy, Sex Kitchen book a few months ago, and was so intrigued by her philosophies that I decided I needed to read Crazy, Sexy Diet too. Initially I turned away from this book because I hate the word “diet.” It’s so unfriendly. But I took a peek inside the book on Amazon, and decided it wasn’t really a diet book, so to speak and bought it anyway. It actually outlines exactly how I want to live my life in regards to what I put in my body and what I expect from it in return. I’ve been a vegetarian for eighteen years, but I feel like I’m ready to take that next step and cut out dairy, eggs and processed foods as well.

Ok, so back to the weekend. One of my favorite movies was on: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Even Jim thinks this movie is hilarious! We sat down with our “nosh” dinner and watched the movie.

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The sunsets up there are absolutely gorgeous, and we were fortunate that the clouds didn’t completely block our view either night.

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Sunday morning we again cooked breakfast on the griddle. We had propane, but we weren’t sure how for five gallons was going to get us, so we didn’t want to waste it where we didn’t need it. After breakfast we took Katie down to the black sand beach. It was really really foggy, but she enjoyed running in the sand and trying to avoid the waves, sniffing around at everything she saw.

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She was a happy pooch.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging, being lazy, doing that relaxing thing. We watched a Friends marathon, followed by a marathon of our favorite show of all time: Monk.

We made sausages (meat for him, veggie for me) on the griddle and ate them with a big salad for dinner.

After dinner we took a bath, one of my favorite parts of this house. Technically it can fit three people and has amazingly relaxing jets and changes colors and makes tons of bubbles and the freaking works. It was amazing. A glass of wine, a few chocolates and we were in heaven. Well, at least I was.

shelter cove15The blanket is up over the window because people finally moved into the house next door. The other window has the sun shade down.

Someone thought it was appropriate to light off fireworks for Easter. We weren’t complaining. They were small, but they were pretty.

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The next morning we packed up and headed home, feeling much more refreshed than when we started. I could have used a week. Maybe not there because there’s so little to do I’d get bored, but a good week vacation definitely must be in my future, hopefully sooner than later.

June 18, 2012

Weekend Highlights

I’m writing to you today from the serene comfort of my couch…rather than the far less serene location of my desk at work. Why, you ask? Day off? Vacation? No, nothing quite so exciting or fun. You see, I’m pretty much confined to this couch…to our apartment anyway…because I was a complete dummy and evidently make poor snap decisions that, on occasion, leave me unable to drive myself anywhere.

But let’s start from the beginning. It was a warm Saturday morning, perfect for a trip to the lake.

Yes, my rod is pink. 🙂

There weren’t yet too many people on the lake, so the water was nice and calm, the breeze still felt refreshing on your cheeks and the day was young and full of hope. Even the geese were out for a morning stroll.

don’t they look like they’re strolling?

Jim was at the helm.

And I was in my usual spot at the bow.

It was a lovely morning….until the hoards of other people found their way out of bed and to our lake, which happens pretty much most summer days at this particular lake.

We even caught a fish.

And then we both posed with him before throwing him back. We decided his name was Oscar.

It was a pretty good day….until it wasn’t anymore.

Let’s just say a combination of things created a less than ideal situation where I needed to think quickly, and somehow lunging for the boat as I felt it slipping away from me, my feet on the dock and my hands still holding on to the boat, seemed like a more favorable idea than just falling into the water.

Fortunately, I didn’t need stitches and I didn’t break anything, but I think given the opportunity again, I’m going to choose the water.

I could barely walk the rest of Saturday. Yesterday it was…better. I could bend it, and move it a little. But even today, I can’t lift it on its own. To get onto my bed, onto the couch, into the car I have to lift it up with my hands and put it where I want it. It makes it quite hard to push in the clutch and drive.

So here I sit, catching up on recorded shows and trying to “relax” and heal. Eventually I’ll try to take a shower. Yes, I know it’s gross. I haven’t had one since…Friday night? Yuck, right? But maybe the dip I took in the lake after gashing my leg counts?

Later I plan to make myself a citrus salad with lunch, like this one I made Friday afternoon:

It’s so simple: a grapefruit, an orange, a few mint leaves and a splash of my favorite olive oil, scented with lime.

It’s a local company that makes a ton of different flavors of oil. The garlic is my favorite overall. But they also have the lime, orange, jalapeno and a variety of unflavored ones as well. They have a store in downtown Placerville, and my mom and I always make it a stop when we are there.

Well, two episodes of Pretty Little Liars are beckoning, so I am going to go fill my brain with someone else’s drama for a while. Have a wonderful Monday!

March 5, 2012

So sensational salmon salad

Today was challenging.

I got to work and my adorable little nephew was there, which made me smile. He always makes me smile and his presence when I arrived at the office was a great start to my day.

Tucker with Jim this weekend. He stayed over on Saturday night while his parents were away. (please excuse the crappy cell phone photo. I thought it was pretty cute).

But that’s about where it ended. The poor guy hasn’t been feeling well, and about an hour before his scheduled doctor’s appointment, he threw up all over the front of himself and all over his office pack-n-play. From there, things kept rolling downhill.

But I don’t want to rehash every detail, so I’m going to bypass the painful parts and move on to my evening, which got better from the moment I fell into my wonderful husband’s arms.

He always makes things better. I love coming home from a bad day because he gives the best hugs and always listens and finds some way to make me smile.

And then there was dinner, which was fresh, healthy and fabulously delicious.

I made a salmon salad with fresh, wild salmon from my family’s fishing lodge in Alaska poached in white wine and champagne dressing, lettuce, spinach and radicchio from a local organic farm, tomato, avocado, grilled asparagus, boiled potatoes and homemade croutons made from a whole wheat english muffin.

It was so delicious! I ate a huge plate of it with a glass of bubbly water made with our SodaStream soda maker we got for our wedding.

Everything was so fresh and filling, we got up from the table with full bellies.

Now it’s off to bed with us so we can start it all over again tomorrow! Hopefully it will go a little more smoothly than today did!

Goodnight, friends!

February 21, 2012

10 things to be happy about 2/21

It’s been a while since I wrote up a “ten things” post, and I think that makes me pretty overdue for one. For that matter, it’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything. I’m not sure where my lack of motivation comes from. I guess sometimes I just don’t have anything to say. Or maybe I have so many things going on in my head that I can’t pluck just one of them out to write about.

Anyway, here they are, in no particular order:

1. Winter sunsets. Is there anything more beautiful?

2. Jim and I are, once again, spending about a week up at the vineyard. I can’t explain it, but being up there just feels like home. Maybe it’s the amazing house, or the breathtaking sunsets (see above), but somehow I think it probably has more to do with the fact that we’re surrounded by “family.”

3. I got a cute new dress yesterday! With less money than usual, new things become more and more exciting. It’s so cute and springish. I need to find a cute belt to go with it though. My brown one might go, but not the black one…

4. Trying not to jinx it, but I’m so excited! I might have a wedding to co-photograph in May. Crossing fingers, knocking on wood and searching for 4-leaf clovers!

5. I got my new camera bag! It was love at first sight! It looks more like a purse than a camera bag AND it fits all of my stuff! And it’s purple! The love never ends…

6. There’s promise of a delicious fish sandwich for dinner tonight. We’re going to Jim’s parents’ house for his brother-in-law’s birthday dinner. And his step dad is cooking, which means this fish sandwich is going to be off the hook!

7. Do you ever get that feeling like things are moving around you? Like little bits of your life are falling into place, but you might not necessarily be able to see the big picture yet? Am I getting a little too deep here? Anyway, I feel like that’s happening. And I’m kind of excited for the big picture to come into focus.

8. I am an organization freak. And I’m in the middle of the most wonderful pantry reorganization! I’m a little giddy about it.

9. Bear with me, I’m a little behind, but I just discoveredjumped on the Pinterest bandwagon.And I’ve been uploading my own photos. And it’s an INDESCRIBABLE feeling when someone repins my photo on a board labeled “awesome photography.” It’s the most amazing validation ever!

I know, I'm lame, but look at the caption! eeep!!!


10. You knew he was coming! MY HUSBAND. Since he’s been out of work, I haven’t had to clean the kitchen more than..maybe twice. I could get used to this! But aside from the cleaning, he keeps me going. He’s my best friend, the love of my life and I’m not sure how I ever lived without him.

Our first dating anniversary

Okay, so I have more than 10 today!

11. We got Weekend at Bernie’s! We lost our copy a few months ago and we found it on sale for $4.99 at Best Buy on Sunday! Woo Hoo!

I hope everyone is having a lovely week!

February 9, 2012

Spring is…here?

I had the most glorious realization today: It’s Thursday! I showed up at work completely convinced it was Wednesday. I love this kind of day!

The only downside that I can see at the moment is that my butt is in a serious state of soreness. Jim and I, as I mentioned yesterday, got our bikes back, so we took the nice weather as an opportunity to go for a ride last night. Let me just mention, I haven’t been on that bike in…oh…probably close to a year, so my butt is nowhere near used to having a small seat in such close proximity to the middle of it.

Also yesterday, I received my business cards. At the time I ordered them, I did exactly as they said and checked the image carefully for mistakes. Well, when I opened the box yesterday, instead of feeling elated because I HAD BUSINESS CARDS! I felt nothing but disappointment. They printed FAR darker than the preview, to the point where you couldn’t even read the crucial information!

But I just finished reordering them. They let me upload a lighter photo AND they threw in the glossy finish, which I told them I’d like to pay to add, FOR FREE! I love VistaPrint, and if you ever need business cards, I HIGHLY recommend them. They have amazing prices, too!

Has anyone else noticed that spring is starting to pop up, well, everywhere? While at my mom’s house for lunch, I snapped this cute little flower’s photo, after which I asked it politely if it was aware that winter was not yet over and it would probably not make it through the next big freeze…assuming, of course, that there will BE a big freeze this year.

My daffodil bulbs in the planter boxes at work are starting to come up too. They’ll never make it either. It makes me sad to think about, but I am enjoying the nice weather, so I suppose I can’t complain too much.

Did anyone else watch American Idol last night? How sad that Jim Carrey’s daughter went home. But I’m glad they didn’t let her through just because of who were dad was. Honestly, though, who really starts paying attention until, like, after group week? How can you even pick a favorite when everyone is still so anonymous?

Nonetheless, I can’t wait for tonight’s episode so we can find out what happened to the girl who seemed to pass out on stage, probably over fish tacos, which were moved to tonight instead of last night.

I hope everyone is having a lovely THURSDAY (not Wednesday) and enjoying some gorgeous springesque weather like I am!

January 23, 2012

Macadamia nut halibut

I realized yesterday it’s been a loooong time since I’ve posted a recipe. So I decided last night’s delicious macadamia nut halibut was just the ticket.

The recipe was really created by Jim’s step dad. And includes a seasoning mix that you won’t have access to because Donnie mixes it himself and measures by SMELL. I have a container of the stuff, but I can’t tell you exatly what’s in it, mostly because I have no idea. I simply know it’s delicious and goes on pretty much anything.

Macadamia nut halibut

1 halibut filet (size doesn’t matter)

1 egg

Equal parts crushed macadamia nuts and Bisquick (like 1/2 – 3/4 cup each depending on the size of your fish)

Seasonings: garlic, salt, pepper, parsley. Those are the main components of Donnie’s seasoning salt

Parmesan cheese (you like parmesan? you use more)

Preheat oven to 375.

Crack the egg into a shallow bowl or other dish that will fit your halibut filet and wisk it a little. In a separate bowl, combine the Bisquick, nuts and seasoning. Make sure your filet is rinsed and dried. Dip it in the egg, turn it over and then transfer it into the bowl with the mut mixture. Place in a baking dish, sprinkle with parmesan and bake for approx. 15 minutes.

Serve with a side of veggies, maybe a little bit of pasta or rice and wha-la! Delicious!

I’m so excited about tonight. My sister-in-law and her daughter are coming over to catch up on the last two week’s worth of Bachelor episodes. It’s not a show I’ve historically been terribly into, but I’ve seen a couple of season’s (Jake’s and Ali’s) and I can watch it…especially if it involves getting together with people I love and eating delicious food.

Have a lovely week everyone!

November 2, 2011

Fish tacos!

At the ingenius influence of one of my new twitter friends, I made fish tacos for dinner last night.

I love fish. And halibut is one of my favorites. This particular halibut was leftover from the 150 lbs my mom brought back from our family’s fishing lodge in Alaska this summer for use at our wedding. Jim’s stepdad is an AMAZING…ITALIAN cook, and he made a plethora of delicious things for our wedding including macadamia nut halibut, and by the way, his is the best ever.

halibut, grilled perfectly by the love of my life.

So anyway, the seed of fish tacos was planted in my head yesterday around this time, and I knew it was a must for dinner.

After spending a meager, but better than nothing (right?) 30 minutes at the gym, I went to the store and picked up whole wheat tortillas, some lettuce and Spanish Rice-a-Roni (I know, not the healthiest, but my mom always made it with tacos, so it sort of belongs, as far as my taste buds are concerned), and some reduced fat shredded cheddar.

To these things, I added the halibut (which Jim grilled on the BBQ with a bit of his stepdad’s “seasoning salt” which he mixes by smell…crazy, right? and just a spray of olive oil), some diced tomato, avocado and reduced fat sour cream (I would have used nonfat greek yogurt, but we were out).


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