Friday, September 27, 2013

Feeling Small

The boys and I took our first walk all by ourselves to the lake today. It was so warm!!! I definitely should've worn shorts. We went down to the shore for a while, and then to the end of the dock so Jackson could "go fishing". He kept getting "entangled" so Mommy was kept very busy. We didn't see much wildlife....just a few birds, a frog, some minnows, and a couple of dead moose tied up on the back of trailers.

The thoughts of the day....
When I'm in the house with the boys staying busy doing laundry, dishes, or sweeping (baaaahaha)....everything feels the same way that it would at "home". We get caught up in our routines and dinner plans and all of that "stuff". But when we go outside.....we get away from the "stuff". While sitting at the end of the dock looking out over the lake, I feel like it's easier to "see" my boys. I feel like it's easier to "see" myself. With the different colors in the changing trees, the hot sun, the bright blue sky, the fluffy white clouds, and that distinct smell of autumn....I feel like I'm being swallowed. I feel so, so small. And it isn't a bad feeling at all!!!

We had to collect our eggs before we left!
We have to pull back the kayak to get to them every day.

Practicing a little casting.  

This guy is ready.

My woodsmen.

Moose track

Someday he'll look at these pictures and dream of how it used to be. <3

He lives such a hard life.

I wanted so badly to let him crawl all over the lawn in front of the depot but there was geese poop EVERYWHERE!!! :((


This might look like something you'd see in a cow pasture....this is where you can find the moose here!

In front of the depot.

Sign of other human life. We aren't the only ones here!

Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Lemon Ricotta Muffins
These are one of the best muffins I've ever tasted. If only you could smell my house right now...it's a sweet lemon almond scent. I found them one day while pinning a thousand muffin recipes from foodgawker onto pinterest. They are super moist and of course they're awesome cut in half with a little (or a lot) butter on them (in my opinion...everything is better with butter on it)....but they really don't NEED the butter. Hope you enjoy!
Lemon Ricotta Muffins:

Preheat oven to 350F/175C and line or grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, preferably with an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy:
     1 c sugar with the zest of 3 lemons rubbed in
     1/2 c (113g) butter, room temp

Butter, lemon, and sugar.......three beautiful things!
Beat in:
     1 c ricotta cheese

Tide Mill ricotta....a little bit of home here with me in Clayton Lake!

Add, mixing well:
     1 large egg
     the juice of one of the zested lemons
     1/2 tsp almond extract

In a separate bowl, whisk together:
      2 c flour 
     1/2 tsp baking powder 
     1/2 tsp baking soda 
     1/2 tsp salt

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, just until combined, and divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Sprinkle with chopped or slivered almonds and a bit of sugar, and bake until pale golden, about 20 minutes.




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chocolatey Chocolate Goodness

When Evan has a request for me...whether it's something he wants to cook or something that he wants me to do around the house...he ends the request with things like,

I know you've never done it before and it probably would take a lot of time.
You probably can't do it.
It's probably too hard.

I am a very competitive person. Even though I know what he's trying to do, and we joke about it....it still drives me crazy and makes me feel an extreme urge to meet the challenge! Today the request was for double chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Wish granted, Warden Ackley!

Start using an ice cream scoop like this for your cookies, muffins, etc. It will make your life so much easier. You can find different sizes for bigger or smaller cookies.


My little helper.

It turned him into a monster.

A cookie monster, that is.


Green Goddess

If I get excited about something whether it's a song, a food, or a cosmetic....I completely fall in love with it. I was looking through my Joy of Cooking cookbook (so basic but such an essential cookbook to own) trying to find a recipe for a vinaigrette. This recipe is based on the basic vinaigrette with lots of additions. I had green onions that I needed to use up and a little bit of avocado that Andrew didn't eat for his lunch. It's basically an everything but the kitchen sink recipe....but oh. so. YUMMY!!!!!! These are these ingredients....literally throw them all into a blender and puree and you're done. I would recommend letting it meld a little in the fridge before serving.

Green Goddess Dressing
1 clove garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup champagne wine vinegar
6 green onions (use green and white parts)
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 tablespoons avocado (more or less depending on how creamy you want it)
1 tablespoon sugar (more or less if you like...play around with it!)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
I absolutely feel the need to have cheese on every salad I make. This one is an exception....there is no cheese needed!!! I used a spring mix and topped it with fresh strawberries, pineapple, purple onion, cucumber, and glazed walnuts. The walnuts really pair nicely with the dressing. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to Warden Life

Last night marked a first for our little warden family. I finished cooking dinner...one of Evan's favorites, chicken chimichangas and Mexican green rice. Evan had made his plate of food and was just sitting down when the dog started barking and a pair of headlights shined in our driveway. He went to answer the door and came back a few minutes later, grabbed his gear, and ran out the door. Our first dinner interrupted. Having talked to many warden wives, I'm aware that this is the norm...just part of the lifestyle! I'm sure it will get annoying after a while, but there was so much adrenaline that surged through the room...it was quite exciting!
The boys felt the energy change and it took me a few minutes to get them to settle. We sat down to finish our dinner and another vehicle pulled in the driveway. I went to answer the door with a half naked baby on one hip and a naked little boy holding my leg. A little different site for the hunters to see in the North Woods!!! :)