Monthly Archives: July 2017

Bread and your coffee grinder

Follow my blog with BloglovinI love fresh ground coffee in the morning. The smell takes me to a calm and relaxing place full of wonderful memories (I don’t know what those memories are but I like them.) What I don’t like is cleaning the coffee grinder, especially when the grounds get all over the place and stick to everything.
An easy way to clean the coffee grinder is with a slice of white bread. And yes, it has to be white because white bread is softer than other types and easy to maneuver inside the grinder without breakfast no into crumbs. Make sure your grinder is unplugged and stick the slice of bread in there and wipe the coffee grounds out. That’s it, it will leave your grinder clean and fresh. Now throw that bread to the birds so it doesn’t go to waste!

Simple Fruit Tart

With such an abundance of stone fruit and berries during the summer months it’s easy to have leftovers that have over ripened.  This simple fruit tart has been my go-to recipe for many years.  It is passed down to me from my aunt who is an amazing cook.  She’s in her 80’s now, but growing up we would to go to her house for different occasions and she made the trendiest food, before trendy and food were even used in the same sentence.

This is  a very basic batter to which you can add any mixture of fruit that you have lying around.  This time I happened to have leftover peaches that I sprinkled on top before baking.  Give it a light dusting of powdered sugar, and you can serve this simple tart anytime of the day.  Preheat your oven to 350F, or 176C and grease a 12×12 round dish or 9×9 rectangular dish.  The smaller the dish, the taller the tart will be.

  • 400 grams sugar
  • 400 grams all purpose flour
  • 200 ml vegetable oil
  • zest from one lemon
  • 4 eggs, yolks and white separated
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 8 tbsp hot water
  • 2 cups your choice fruit (leave whole if  berries, cut small if  other fruit)

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat on high until lightly foamy (you don’t want peaks forming just a light foam.) Into the egg white foam add one after the other while gently mixing in between, the sugar, the egg yolks one at a time, the cold water, the hot water, the oil, lemon zest and finally the flour.

Mix these gently until just well incorporated and pour the batter into your baking dish.  Evenly sprinkle the fruit on top and bake about 30 minutes, or until lightly brown on top, and when toothpick is inserted in the middle it comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack before serving. Enjoy!





Portabella – Swiss Burger

Grilling time is still on and portabella mushrooms are one of my favorite meat alternatives.  It’s meaty, juicy, and very flavorful.  You can use your favorite toppings to turn it into your own meat-free burger creation.  Most of the time I caramelize onions and place on top, this time I used pre-bought crispy onions. In a bowl or dish place the following.

  • 4 large portabella mushroom caps, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup  olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 4 ciabatta buns
  • 4 slices swiss cheese
  • Mustard of choice
  • 1 Cup prepackaged crispy onions, or 1 onion sliced and caramelized

Place mushrooms in dish.  Drizzle evenly with the olive oil on both sides and rub evenly with the minced garlic.  Sprinkle both sides with the salt, pepper and smoked paprika.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Reserve the marinate oil that is left over in the dish or bowl. On medium fire, grill mushrooms approximately 6 minutes per side.  While mushrooms are cooking, brush the ciabatta buns with the garlic oil reserved from earlier.  Grill the buns over low heat taking care not to burn them, about 1 minute per side.  When mushrooms are about 1-2 minutes from being done, top with the swiss cheese and finish cooking. Now for assembly, place a mushroom on each bun, top with the onions.  Brush the other half of bun with mustard.  Don’t forget extra napkins!


Selkirk Loop-Sandpoint,Idaho

We have completed the Selkirk Loop and what a site it was. Wild flowers in all colors sprinkling the hills and valleys. Waterfalls galore. Does delicately eating the fresh grass as their fawn stand close by. Hawks and eagles grazing the tall pine tops ready to dive for a meal scurrying on the ground.

Sandpoint is a town in Northern Idaho sitting on the banks of Lake Pend d’Oreille. With an abundance of water sports, beaches, nature trails,  a ski resort,  and let me not forget my favorite…antique shops, there is something for everyone here.

We love going into town and having lunch at this little place called The Pie Hut. You have to get there early in order to grab a pot pie because they run out fast. If you miss out, try their sandwiches and pies, they are equally delicious. I recommend the chocolate peanut butter pie. Not too sweet and not to peanuty, just right  and very silky.  You can enter the antique store next door right from the restaurant. We always end up finding some kind of treasure there.

Such a beautiful, unspoiled place, Sandpoint should be on everyone’s “must see” list.

Selkirk Loop-Nelson BC

One of the last cities we stayed in while driving the Selkirk Loop, was  the town of Nelson. It is a hippie, cute town that kinda reminds me of Berkeley in that way.  The people are friendly and very outdoorsy. We spent one of the days at Lakeside Park. It’s a park that  basically has everything you would want for a great summer day. There is grass and beautiful flowers, plenty of benches, an outdoor bar that serves snacks, cold drinks and even delicious ice cream. There is a beautiful beach next to the lake (Kootenay) where you can rent paddle boards, canoes or kayaks for $7/ person for 3 hours!

I think that’s pretty incredible. We had so much fun kayaking and paddle  boarding. My husband lost his  second pair of sunglasses on this trip while trying out the paddle board.

The downtown area is full of boutique shops and restaurants. We stopped for crepes at this adorable place called Sanderella’s boutique and Starbird Tea house. Inside  is a charming boutique selling jewelry, candles and soaps, but towards the back of the store they make crepes, paninis and drinks.

We didn’t have all the time we wanted to explore this little town, but the three days we spent here were wonderful. Hopefully we can come back one day and explore some more.

 Ghost Town of Sandon

Considered one of the last ” true ghost towns” Sandon B.C was booming in the late 1800’s. It had stores, brothels and even a school. A fire almost destroyed the whole town, but it was rebuilt over a period a few years. Sandon was a mining town, silver mining to be exact. It has an interesting story about two men from different places partnering up the find the mother load of silver and strike it rich. One of them betrays the other (sounds like most stories in history) and strikes it rich while the other moves on.

What’s left of the town can still be seen in the leftover shantys and few buildings. The miner’s old housing was turned into a museum. It has great information  and artifacts about the town and its history.

Walking through Sandon a few trolley buses from the 1940’s can be seen on what used to be the Main Street. The buses are awaiting refurbishing and possible placement back into circulation in Vancouver.

It’s believed there are possibly 10,000 silver coins along the bottom of Carpenter Creek which runs along the ghost town.  Anyone interested in a swim?

The Selkirk Loop-Ainsworth B.C

Three and a half hours from the Norther Idaho border is the quaint village of Ainsworth in British Columbia, Canada. It sits on Kootenay Lake and it is a popular destination during summer and winter alike. What is so popular about Ainsworth is it’s natural hot springs resort.

We spent three days at the Ainsworth Hot Springs Inn. The outside pool has natural hot spring water that has to be cooled down as it comes from the underground spring. It’s such a relaxing feeling to soak in the warm waters and take in the beautiful surroundings of Kootenay Lake and mountains. If you prefer a hotter experience, you can head to the caves which are next to the pool. It’s exactly that, a walk through cave with mineral water which comes from the hot springs, it feels like a natural sauna inside. The Native Americans would come after battle and soak in these waters which they believed had healing  properties. When you’ve had enough of the caves take a cold dip in the plunge pool which is filled with natural spring water continuously flowing through a spigot from the mountain. Let me tell you, it’s chilly taking a dip in there!

The resort has its own restaurant, the Ktunaxa Grill. We had lunch and dinner here and were pleasantly surprised. With items on the menu such as bison burgers, venison rack, and fish and chips, there is something for everyone. All the food is fresh and local, and most importantly very tasty.

We didn’t get a chance to visit Cody Caves, which is a very popular destination here as well. I was afraid my car wouldn’t  make it up the 10 km steep and bumpy drive. I was already nervous about doing this 3 week close to 3000 mile road trip, I didn’t want to push my luck. I’ve heard the caves are an amazing experience…maybe next time!

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