Monday, July 8, 2013

Apricot Blueberry Wild Rice Pilaf

 I made this dish last summer and its been sitting on my to-write list for a long time. It was so delicious when I made it and I ate spoonfuls of it before it even got to my plate. I really love using packaged wild rice pilaf mixes and then making my own spice mix to go in it. I also love fruit in my rice pilaf, and the blueberries and apricots went great together.

Give this easy side dish a try tonight!

Apricot and Blueberry Wild Rice Pilaf

Serves 4

1 box wild rice pilaf (I like the Near East brand)
1 tsp ground sage
Salt and pepper
½ c. blueberries
2 apricots, diced

1.      Cook rice according to package directions, substituting in the sage and salt and pepper for the seasoning mix. After the rice is cooked, stir in the blueberries and apricots.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mailbox Peak

Mailbox peak is like a rite of passage for any serious hiker, and the stats are definitely intimidating. 3800 vertical feet in 2.5 miles. My knees were definitely hurting the next day (and a few days after that), but the hike up was well worth it. 


I am definitely one of those people that gets summit fever, and as soon as we came out of the trees, I started to race up to the top. I have no idea where I got that sudden burst of energy, but it was so worth it! Tina, Valerie and Crystal all looked at me like I was crazy. And I probably am!

Rainier was out and looking stunning, as ever. The views from the top were definitely worth the pain, and when I’m feeling a tad bit sadistic, I mention it to my friends that we should go again. I get lots of dirty looks for saying so!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Salmon and Pea Rice Bowl

Another recipe from my college days, this one came about as a way to use up my cafeteria money, but still eat healthy. I would buy some salmon from the store, then get precooked rice from the cafeteria and peas from the salad bar. I had a microwave steamer that I loved to use because then it meant not having to haul all my cooking utensils and ingredients down 4 stories and through an underground tunnel to get to the only stoves in the dorm.

I probably ate this dish at least once a week for my first year at UW. I had forgotten about it for several years until one day it popped in my head while I was at the store, trying to figure out a super quick meal I could make before hitting the books. This recipe definitely hits the spot!

Salmon and Pea Rice Bowl
Serves 2
1/3 lb. salmon fillet
½ c. frozen peas
1 c. cooked rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

 1.      Put salmon on a microwave safe plate and cover with saran wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes on high until salmon begins to flake. Set aside. Microwave peas with 1 tbsp water on high for 1 minute. Add rice and heat for 1 more minute.
2.      Flake salmon and mix with rice and peas. Toss mixture with soy sauce and sesame oil and serve.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Crystal Lakes, Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap

Ever since my co-workers took me up to Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap, I’ve always found a reason to go back. I can’t say why, but I sure do love that hike! (Except for the time when I got 32 mosquito bites. And yes, I counted!)

The first part of the trail can get rather dusty, but the view across the valley is gorgeous, and if you time it right, the flowers will be blooming. On a hot day, its best to start out early, otherwise you will fry! Before you know it, you’ll be heading into the forest and then pop out on the other side near the very picturesque Sheep Lake, perfect for a quick snack break and bug spray reapplication before heading up to Sourdough Gap.

I think one reason why I love Sourdough Gap is because it’s the name of my favorite bread! But probably also because the view from up there is so nice! I usually don’t stay long at the actual gap because I prefer to make the traverse over to a viewpoint above Crystal Lakes. 

For two years in a row, I would only go to the view point and oohhh and awww at Upper Crystal Lake, not knowing I could hike up to it! So this last summer, me and my friend Crystal hiked up to Crystal Lakes and it was so worth it! We lounged by the lake for lunch and then headed up to the viewpoint, and then lounged some more. It was a perfect hiking day!

This year, I want to start at Chinook Pass, hike to Sheep Lake, Sourdough Gap and then drop down to the cars via Crystal Lakes. It’s a long loop, but it’s totally do-able. I am planning on going in fall so I can see all the gorgeous fall colors – and avoid the mosquitoes!

Share This!