Idaho

It’s no secret we have sort of fallen in love with Idaho. It just seems to move at a slower pace, there is so much open space, tons of agricultural land (which makes everything look so green…my fave color), beautiful sights, and some of my favorite family is there!

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Sawtooth Botanical Garden

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Stunning hikes with amazing views!

While we enjoyed our week in Ketchum/Sun Valley I can’t say we’ll visit there again. There is not much to do, and the businesses treat hours of operation more as a suggestion than actual hours they are open. Plus, it is so expensive. I mean we are used to destination prices, but Ketchum/Sun Valley was out of control and not worth the $ spent.

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That aside we loved the views we found, the dirt roads that lead to wide open spaces and cool scenery, and about an hour up or down the highway from Ketchum lead to great adventure.

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To the top!

 

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When you find an empty stage you must put on a show!

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A super fun part of the trip was a visit to Redfish Lake Corrals for a family horse ride. Sky was in horse heaven! Her horses name was Sky, and she was able to ride a full-size horse all by herself. The guide was awesome and gave her pointers along the way, as her horse had to be kept in control. She did awesome!

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So glad we got to end our ID adventure in Melba. There is nothing like a small town showing up for 4th of July and enjoying time with family!

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We love you Idaho, we can’t wait to explore some more and visit family! Until next time!

Burnt Bacon!

I don’t know if there is anything more frustrating for an avid home chef than burning things that are so basic! Bacon…give me a break!

Ok, well I am giving myself a break because there is a good reason I keep burning the bacon…I have a new stove! As exciting as that is there is a learning curve!

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We went with all GE appliances in Slate, which is a matte stainless steel finish. Shows less fingerprints that way!

It cooks hot and heats up fast! On my old stove 6 on the burner dial was perfection, on this stove 6 = burnt to a crisp within seconds. I’m finding that a 2 or 3 is better. Don’t even get me stared on baking…it’s a convection oven…so everything would have to be converted time wise to convection. Thankfully the convection part can be turned on or off and I have yet to jump into convection cooking. For now I’ll stick to the regular oven settings.

It’s not just a new stove either…we were able to do new appliances in the whole kitchen! I still can’t get over how lovely the new refrigerator is. I just want to stand there with the doors open gazing inside. My favorite part is what I’m calling the wine shelf. It slides back to make room for the tall bottles!

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I love all the features this thing has! Wine glass holder bracket, the top shelf drops down lower in case there are tall glasses on the top row, the bottle jets are great for smoothie glasses that don’t get rinsed, and the bottom shelf the rows adjust to fit bigger or smaller plates and dishes.

Our timing was perfect, because the night before the deliver the dishwasher died during the last cycle of dishes. All the internal workings had fallen apart and were all over the bottom of the washer. It was time.

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A little tip if you are in the market for appliances. We shopped at Lowes, spent a good hour there looking at all the options, and pricing things out. Ask the salesperson to print out the spec sheets on what you want, then go home and do some research. I looked at reviews and prices on several sites online.

Then since we prefer to shop local, I took the spec sheets to Lakewood Appliance and asked if they would price match. They did more than match, they came back lower on everything except the refrigerator, which I’m not surprised because it’s a counter depth refrigerator and that depth is about $1,000 more then standard ones. If you have a small mom & pop shop don’t be afraid to shop the big box stores and then go to the smaller shop and see what they can do. Lakewood Appliance doesn’t have room on the floor to carry models of everything they have access to. So shopping Lowes and seeing everything in person first was super helpful.

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The new kitchen, with the new flooring. You will notice the old microwave is still there. We have the new, matching microwave, but we also have 13 year old, particle board cabinets that are starting to fall apart. Particularly the boards above the microwave. While new cabinets are on the To Do list, they are also a lot of $$, and we are not sure that’s what we want or can do right now. We are a little worried if we pull the old microwave all the shelving surrounding it will fall apart, so for now we are leaving it as is until we get a quote on new cabinets and know what we are dealing with $ wise. 

Now that almost all the new appliances are installed I just have to figure out how to make the most of all the new bells and whistles. The stove man, that is my priority. I don’t feel like I can even host dinner at my house for friends because things are burning. I’ll get it down though!

If you are local to Tacoma/Lakewood I can’t recommend Lakewood Appliance enough. They have been awesome with every purchase we’ve made. They know a lot about all the different brands and options and sell what they know works, not what has the highest price tag. 

 

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for my little garden.

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Fresh Sage I cut for dinner the other night.

I love being able to cut fresh herbs, and ingredients for recipes right from my garden.

Even though gardening can be maddening, my garden is a bit sad this year…things are not growing like I’d like and there is a never ending battle with ants/bugs, but I still love it. The pruning, watering, harvesting, and taking notes…..while it is work, it’s relaxing.

Mostly I love how much better food taste when I know it’s fresh ingredients that I grew myself.  And, I love that Sky will spend time working in the garden with me. Well, she mostly eats the strawberries till she’s full, but she does like harvesting the salad stuff and prepping it for dinner. I’m also thankful that Mark builds what I need for the garden and comes up with great ideas to make it better and easier for me!

 

From The Kitchen – Some Fave New Recipes!

I have been trying out a ton of new recipes lately and have found a few really good keepers!

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The bacon makes this so good!

Last night we had a Hawaiian Pork Bowl recipe from Food & Wine Magazine. It was so good. Really quick and easy, as long as you remember to marinade it ahead of time.

It was sort of the perfect dinner for last night because I was able to get the marinade going, and everything else pre-chopped and prepped so we could do a family bike ride before dinner. Once we got home Mark tossed the meat on the grill and we were eating within 20 minutes. Quick and easy tip…cooked, frozen rice. Pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes and you have rice ready to go. Because it’s so quick and easy I can do Jasmine which Mark likes, and brown which I like, and neither one is a large serving, so we are not wasting any.

Here are a few other recipes worth trying:

Peaches’ Jerk Chicken  with a side of Jamaican Rice and Peas

Grilled Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Gremolata  we did not like the gremolata….ok if I’m being honest it tasted so bad to me that I didn’t even let Mark try it. It went right in the trash, but the pork was so good without it that I don’t think you even need it.

Guy Fieri’s Grilled Tequila-Garlic-Lime Flank Steak So yummy!

I have a whole folder full of new recipes to work through…I’ll share more soon! Happy Cooking!

 

 

 

 

Craters Of The Moon National Preserve

We were in Sun Valley ID a few weeks ago for our family vacation, and were pleasantly surprised to find that a day trip to Craters of the Moon National Preserve was totally doable. Honestly this was probably the least researched vacation we’ve taken and we were excited to find this adventure once we were there. This is why we always stock up on free flyers and local magazines when we travel…it’s how we find most of the “cool” stuff to do in or near town.

Lava fields forever.

So we plugged Craters of the Moon into the GPS and took off with a picnic lunch and plenty of snacks on hand. Thank goodness because the theme of the trip was the GPS being on adventure mode. I swear it took us the long way around, and hit as many back-roads and dirt roads as possible. Adventure!!! We tend to find the coolest things when we are on dirt roads, so we didn’t mind. Just bring TP and food for the day! 🙂

Our dirt road to nowhere. There were stretches of grass and then long stretches of lava fields. This is where we stopped for out picnic lunch.
So pretty!

Initially the GPS took us to Craters of the Moon, but it was the dirt road in the middle of nowhere part of the park. We drove for several miles through lava fields and grazing grounds before coming across a local rancher who told us we needed to head back to the hwy to get to the visitor center and the lava caves. It was hard to turn around though because the country was so pretty, and we were the only people out and about. So much space all to ourselves!

You can see the storm off in the distance. It’s so hard to know out there how close or far that is, and how that translates into when the rain hits. We never did get rained on though.

Once we found the visitor center, and got cleared to enter the lava tube caves we had so much fun exploring. That day there were thunder storms all around, and you could see the rain on the distant horizon, we felt like we were trying to stay ahead of the storm the entire time.

First cave we went in. So dark and silent. It was a little creepy.

It really is like being on the moon. The landscape is so baron and not like anything else here on earth. I can see why NASA has used this spot to test moon equipment. Sky was convinced we were going to the real moon, and was a bit disappointed to find out we were staying firmly on earth. But, once we hit the caves that all changed. She loved it!

She found her own little spot.

It was pretty cold in the caves, some still had a lot of ice, and the lava rock is no joke. Very rough on bare legs. Sky and I both ended up scratched up…I highly recommend long pants for caving!

I was a little freaked out by how close we were to drop offs into caves etc. My heart was beating a little fast on some of the walks through the lava fields.
Team Yeatman!

We had a really good time, learned a lot, and totally recommend a visit if you are ever in the area!

We hiked to the top of one of the cones and the wind was no joke, I mean hard to walk, pushing you around type of windy.
Have some wind!
Lava rock!

 

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for Team Yeatman vacation time. We tend to do a lot of trips and long weekends with friends and family, which we love. But, I’m always thankful when the three of us go on vacation and enjoy ourselves, and enjoy each other. (Not that I’m thankful we don’t have our friends/family with us, just thankful that if they can’t be with us we are ok just being the three of us…although all we heard from Sky all week was how much fun she was going to have with her cousins during the second part of our trip…which I’m fine with because they are pretty awesome, and she only sees them every few years).

I want us to be each others best company, and even though I know we need breaks from each other, it feels good to spend a solid week just the three of us, and enjoy it! 

I’ll share more vacation stuff once all the photos are edited etc…Mark has a ton of great photos that I want to share as well!