Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread


I like to make sweet nut breads because they can be used as a breakfast item, a lunch snack or an easy dessert after dinner. I make several sweet breads for this purpose. If I have ripe bananas, it's Banana Nut Bread. I also make a Cranberry Pineapple Nut Bread.  But my favourite is Cranberry Orange Nut Bread. Here's the recipe I used from allrecipes.com.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

If you use dried cranberries, put one cup in a little water and bring them to a boil. Remove from heat and let them reconstitute while you prepare the other ingredients.

Mix together the egg, oil, orange juice, and orange zest. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until just blended. Mix in cranberries and nuts (I prefer pecans).

Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan (or two smaller ones) and sp
oon in the batter. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan(s) and cool completely.

I like to use the small pans because the bread cuts just the right size to make little sandwiches filled with pineapple cream cheese spread for lunch.

Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

http://nancyonthehomefront.com/Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Friday, June 9, 2017

3 FREE Kindle e-Books from June 24-28


As a special thank you to all of our blog readers, here are three Kindle e-Books just for you.

Pick one or all, they're FREE
from June 24-28 

and you don't have to own a Kindle to enjoy them. Just get a free Kindle app for your smartphone, pad or computer.

Check here if you need a free Kindle App.



Flying the Pacific Northwest 

Description: Airports of Western Washington and Oregon form the backdrop for adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Take the controls of a Piper Arrow, as your personal flight instructor leads you to out-of-the-way spots. For armchair pilots and experienced pros, this book is an escape so realistic you’ll swear you’re airborne.

Click here for your FREE copy of Flying the Pacific Northwest.



Up the Inlet

Description: Come boating up the inlets of coastal British Columbia, where the mountains drop into the sea, and lifestyles focus on self-assurance and a different sense of purpose. Follow along as we cruise northward from the Strait of Georgia, to Cortes and Quadra Islands, and beyond.

Click here for your FREE copy of Up the Inlet.



http://www.amazon.com/Across-Galactic-Sea-Wayne-Lutz-ebook/dp/B00AR6AOLCAcross the Galactic Sea

Description: Spaceship Challenger is on mankind’s first galactic voyage using a high-tech blend of space jumps and cryogenic hibernation. Captain Tina Brett leads her ship towards the ultimate goal, first contact with alien intelligence, until a navigational glitch changes everything. Then there's a mutiny, or is it something more? Six individuals on an epic journey for the good of mankind.

Click here for your FREE copy of Across the Galactic Sea


Happy reading from Wayne and Margy
www.PowellRiverBooks.com

Saturday, June 3, 2017

“The Queen of the North Disaster” by Colin Henthorne


I got The Queen of the North Disaster: The Captain’s Story (Harbour Publishing, 2016) by Colin Henthorne as a Christmas present for Wayne.

I knew we both would be interested in the captain’s first-hand account of the sinking of the BC Ferries Queen of the North off Gil Island in the Inside Passage of British Columbia’s northern coast.

Our hometown of Powell River is ferry dependent. If you want to come to or leave Powell River there are only two choices, by sea or air.

Flying on Pacific Coastal Airlines from Vancouver is quick, but relatively expensive. For the majority of people, BC Ferries is the logical choice for public transportation.

The other reason we were greatly interested in this book was because we were awakened around midnight on March 22, 2006, to heavy rain and destructive winds slamming our float cabin back and forth on her steel cable shore anchors. There was no way to get back to sleep, so we turned on the radio to listen to CBC. Rather than calming our nerves, we listened to the unfolding disaster happening to 101 passengers and crew far to the north.

Our bedside rechargeable CC Radio.
It was a terrible night for passengers and crew. Without warning, the side of the ferry was ripped open. Within 32 minutes, the crew searched and evacuated the entire ship. Even though it was a dangerous night, people with fishing boats from the First Nations community at Hartley Bay came to their assistance before the Coast Guard arrived. While it appeared everyone was evacuated, it was later determined that two passengers could not be found despite extensive land and sea searches.

The marine disaster resulted in commendations for the orderly evacuation, then lawsuits, court cases, sentences and firings. Colin Henthorne lost, then regained, only to lose again his position with BC Ferries. Crew on the bridge that night also had their lives disrupted by conjecture and innuendo, even prison time for one.

Captain Henthorne tells the story from his point of view including details about the Queen of the North as a ship, her workings, her crew and their responsibilities, and the events of that fateful night.

I recommend this book if you are interested in the history of naval accounts, if you use BC Ferries, or if you remember the incident and subsequent investigations. I learned a lot about the disaster and the ferry system that is a big part of my life. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pilot or Co-Pilot

Sometimes it's hard to tell.

I fly from the left seat.


Wayne, with his instructor background, flies from the right seat.


And George, our autopilot, flies from the font panel.


No matter how we do it, it's fun to fly in 997 . . .

Final approach to Mahlon Sweet Field Airport in Eugene, Oregon,

. . . to places far and near. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pacific Northwest Plants:


Cottonwood Trees

Full grown Cottonwood Tree
For a week now in Bellingham there have been puffy white seeds floating everywhere from the Cottonwood Trees.

Cottonwoods are a type of poplar, with the same quivering leaves. They grow in moist areas, so the wetlands behind our Bellingham condo is a prime spot.

Male and female flowers are in separate catkins (long, slim clusters) that appear before the leaves each spring.

The female catkin produces the cottony seeds that are blown long distances. It's these fluffy white masses that give the tree its name.


Each spring the white fluff flies through the air creating the plant version of a snow storm.

video

The seeds are very small (1X4 mm) which is remarkable considering they can grow into one of the largest trees in North America, up to 100 feet (30+ metres) high.

Cottonwood Catkins
Not only are Cottonwoods large, but fast growing, reaching maturity in 10-30 years. Young trees can add an amazing six feet per year.

Historically, their trunks were used by Native Americans to make dugout canoes. As a commercial product, their course wood is best suited for making pulpwood in the paper industry, pallets and shipping crates.

As summer changes to fall, the leaves of turn bright yellow and orange, making a warm contrast to the cooling blue skies.


Here's one framed by a double rainbow near sunset. -- Margy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie


You've heard of chain letters. This is a chain recipe. I googled and found it at Krista Kooks. She got it from Beantown Baker. And she got it from Stephanie O'Dea. Stephanie got it from Lorie's Stitch in Time. Each blog has some great recipes. Now it's my turn to add my own twists to Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie.

When we were recently in town, I bought a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Afterwards, there was lots left, so I boned it and here's how I used the meat.

Crock Pot Chicken Tamale Pie

What drew me to this recipe was its simplicity. Spray the crock pot with cooking spray. Put all of the filling ingredients in the pot and stir until completely mixed. That's it.

Filling Ingredients

2 cups diced chicken
1 can drained red beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can drained corn (reserve 1/4 cup)
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can diced green chilies
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cornbread Topping

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup drained canned corn

In a bowl, mix the cornbread topping. Start with the dry ingredients, then the wet and blend. When finished, pour evenly on top of the filling in the crock pot. If it is too thick to pour, add a little extra milk.

Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.

I always use the low setting. That way there's a hot supper ready for when we are ready to eat, a win, win for everyone.

p.s. Let me know if the chain continues. -- Margy

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Christmas Spirit on Lopez Island, WA


During a trip to Lopez Island, Wayne and I walked from the airport to the marina to get lunch. On the way, we passed a unique mailbox.

As you can see, every day is like Christmas on Lopez Island.

Lopez is one of the San Juan Islands off the northern Washington coast. It can be reached by air (your own plane, Kenmore Air or San Juan Airlines) or sea (boat or ferry). Lopez is one of the most rural of the San Juans. Walk or drive the quiet back roads and you'll see lots of interesting mailboxes. Come and see for yourself. -- Margy

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Powell River Sunset


We returned town in Powell River to see this awesome sunset from our balcony. The view is northwest towards Vancouver Island. I think you can guess why they call this the Sunshine Coast. If you haven't made your summer holiday plans, this is the place to come. It is uncrowded, lots of outdoor activities for all ages, and friendly people. Want more information?


Click here to link to the Tourism Powell River. Come join us in paradise. -- Margy

Friday, April 7, 2017

Quick Shuttle Service from Bellingham to Powell River, BC via Vancouver Airport


Quick Shuttle connection at the Bellingham Airport.
Want to get to Powell River without taking a car on the ferries? Take the Quick Shuttle bus that connects Seattle and Vancouver airports. It has several stops, one of which is Bellingham Airport. Reservations are mandatory and passports are required.

The bus uses the Pacific Highway Crossing in Blaine. You get off at a special building and take your bags inside to clear Canadian immigration and customs. For up-to-date information about border crossing requirements check with with the Canadian Border Service Agency and US Customs and Border Protection before you go.


Boarding the Quick Shuttle
The amount of time necessary depends on the number of passengers and buses in line. Plan on at least 30 minutes, more on holidays. By the way, the Quick Shuttle has free WiFi so you can surf the web the whole trip (or work if you must). The cost is very reasonable, currently about $49 round trip, or $29 from Bellingham to YVR. They will also stop at the train station, cruise ship terminals, downtown Vancouver and most major hotels. Along the way you will see forests, farmlands, small towns, glimpses of the ocean, and finally the big city.


Vancouver Airport South Terminal
Whether you arrive at Vancouver Airport by bus or plane, Pacific Coastal Airlines has a free shuttle every half hour outside the lower level to take you to the South Terminal. Pacific Coastal has connections to many Vancouver Island and BC destinations. From Vancouver, it is only a 25 minute flight to Powell River.


Over Powell River, BC
One-way fares start at about $140. The Quik Pass program includes discount fares for frequent fliers.

Transportation is easy in Powell River. Your Pacific Coastal flight crew can call ahead for a Powell River Taxi to be waiting to whisk you away to your first adventure. If you are on the ground, you can call them at (604) 483-3666. You might be lucky enough to get one of our good friend John's brothers, Rick or Rob. They both have Prius cars to be environmentally friendly and economical.


Powell River Airport
If you want a car, Budget car rental is in the terminal. There is also a stop for the Powell River Regional Transit District bus outside. This bus can take you all around town or, with a connection, to the community of Lund at the end (or beginning depending on your point of view) of Highway 101.  No matter how you get here, Powell River is the place to visit and live. Join us here someday soon. -- Margy

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Homemade Coffee Liqueur


Coffee liqueur resting in my pantry next to my Orangecello.
This is my second recipe to try for making a Kahlua style coffee liqueur. The first was simple and used instant coffee. You can see that recipe by clicking here.

This new recipe used whole coffee beans and cocoa nibs. Each one has its own merits.

Here's a similar recipe I found online. When I made it, I cut the recipe in half.


HOMEMADE COFFEE LIQUEUR

Ingredients:

750 ml white rum
2 cups dark rum
1 ½ cups sugar
¾ pound whole coffee beans
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
½ orange zest
1 vanilla bean

Directions:

On very low heat, melt the sugar in a small amount of rum to dissolve it into a syrup.

I had a hard time getting the sugar to dissolve this way so I added a bit of water.

Fill a glass jar with the coffee beans, cocoa nibs, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean.

I had to go to the bulk spice section of several stores before I could find the cocoa nibs.

Serious Eats describes them as "bits of fermented, dried, roasted and crushed cacao bean." In essence, they're "chocolate that hasn't been ground and mixed with sugar yet."

Pour in the dark rum and top with the white rum.

Place a lid on the jar and label it with the date.

Keep the mixture in a cool, dark place for about one month.

Shake it gently about three times a week.

Taste test the mixture occasionally. When the flavour is to your liking it is ready.

Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a clean jar.

I like using a Mason jar with a plastic lid. You can purchase them or save the tops from Parmesan cheese containers for free. I always like free.

Your coffee liqueur is now ready to enjoy as an aperitif, on the rocks, or my favourite way, topped with cream. It also makes a great addition to hot or cold coffee.

What better place to sip a cool drink than my front porch with the wonderful view of Powell Lake and Goat Island to enjoy.


How to you like to enjoy coffee liqueur? -- Margy

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“I Married the Klondike” by Laura Beatrice Berton


Many young women in the early 1900s started their adult lives and careers as teachers in remote areas. They accepted short-term contracts for the opportunity to put their new credentials work, for the money, and for the adventure.

Many did not last beyond that first year, but Laura Beatrice Berton turned her initial one year commitment into a life well lived in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Laura came from a well-to-do family in Toronto. As a young teacher in Toronto, she earned the paltry sum of $480 a year. When her superintendent offered her the position of kindergarten directress in far off Dawson City for $2100 a year, she quickly accepted.



Gold mining tailings on the Klondike River in 1994.
I Married the Klondike (Lost Moose: The Yukon Publisher, 2005) by Laura Beatrice Berton is a memoir encompassing twenty-five years including her teaching experiences, life in the bustling then dying gold mining town of Dawson City, and subsequent years of married life with Frank Berton, a miner and engineer who crossed the formidable Chilcoot Pass during the gold rush of 1898.



Dawson City's Yukon Hotel from our flying vacation in 1994.
The stories of life in Dawson City, the position of teachers, local high society, gold mining, a summer-long honeymoon in a tent at Sourdough Gulch, dance halls and women of ill-repute, steamboats and riverboats, raising children in the North, and the ubiquitous Yukon River that was everyone’s focal point of life.

If you like history, stories of brave women, and a look at life at the turn of the Twentieth Century, I Married the Klondike is an excellent choice.


A touristy paddlewheel boat on the Yukon River.
This is the second book about the Berton family that I’ve read. The first was Drifting Home by Laura’s son Pierre Berton, author, journalist, historian and host of The Pierre Berton Show.  In 1971 he followed in his father’s footsteps over the Chilkoot Pass and floated down the Yukon River to Dawson City with his grown children, a family bonding and remembrance experience rolled into one. You can read that review by clicking here.

Do you have any books you’d like to recommend? I love to read, and our float cabin home is the perfect place. -- Margy

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Butternut Squash with Kale and Quinoa


I love growing Green Curly Kale. I plant it in spring and can begin harvesting leaves by June. But that's not the best part. I continues to grow through winter and produce until planting time the next spring.

Winter is the best time to pick curly kale. By then the frost has made the leaves firm and fleshy, perfect to hold up during cooking.

To use some of my home grown kale, I made a side dish with butternut squash and quinoa.

Butternut Squash with Kale and Quinoa 
in Browned Butter

1 butternut squash
1 small onion
5 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Go to Simply Recipes for directions on how to brown butter.

Go to theKitchn for directions with pictures on how to cook quinoa.

Remove the seeds, peel and dice the butternut squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Chop onions, garlic, kale, and hazelnuts.

Heat butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Whisk frequently as the milk solids in the butter turn to a light brown and get a nutty aroma. Do not burn! Add onion and then garlic and cook on medium low heat until lightly caramelized.

Stir in thyme and add the diced squash. Toss to coat with the remaining butter then spread out in a single layer. Continue to cook on medium low heat without stirring until lightly browned on one side.

Stir and spread out again to brown on the other side and cook on low for 10 to 20 minutes or until the squash is tender. You can do this much ahead and finish just before dinner.

Before serving, add kale, hazelnuts, pre-cooked quinoa, and season to taste with Worcester sauce, salt and pepper.

Cook just long enough to wilt the kale and warm the quinoa. Serve and enjoy.

Quinoa is fairly new to me.  I like its nutty flavour in dishes like this.  Do you cook with quinoa? I would love to hear about your recipes. -- Margy