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Huckleberry Pie Ice Cream

My parents have a cabin in the mountains, about 40 minutes from our house. It’s pretty great. In the winter, we almost always have the opportunity for a white Christmas because even if it’s dry down in the valley, there’s almost always snow on the mountain. And in the summer, when it’s 95 degrees in the valley…

  
…it’s cooler on the mountain. 

So we went. Just for a few hours. And lo and behold, the huckleberries were on like mad. Of course we picked some. And I kept thinking, we’d better leave some for everyone else, but we barely made a dent. The bushes were absolutely overflowing.

So I made huckleberry pancakes this morning. 

  
There are huckleberries in there- I promise.

And then I made huckleberry ice cream.

  
Ok, I made vanilla bean ice cream.

  
Like, real vanilla bean ice cream.

  
And then I added huckleberries.

  
And that was good.

  
But I promised you huckleberry pie ice cream.

  
I’ll always choose a graham cracker crust over regular pie crust any day.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t re-freeze the ice cream after the initial freeze. It made the berries too hard and crunchy.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t share. 

Now, what else can I put huckleberries in? Oatmeal? Obviously. Maybe a smoothie? 

Or, I could just make more ice cream…

Texas food

I was talking to a friend the other day, and she mentioned that she can remember specific details about the day she realized she liked food. Meaning, up until that point in her life, food had been a way to survive, but wasn’t necessarily an enjoyable part of her life experience.

I absolutely cannot relate. Maybe because I come from a family of good cooks. Maybe because of the existence of peanut butter. Whatever the case, I’ve always loved food.

Today’s post is a testament to this fact because the only photos I took in Texas were pictures of food. Mine, mostly. If you don’t care about what a vegetarian eats in Texas, peace out. Come back tomorrow.

Otherwise, let the cheese eating begin…

  

Cheesecake Factory salad: Asparagus, Green Beans, Tomato, Cucumber, Roasted Beets, Apple, Edamame, Radicchio, Romaine and White Cheddar All Chopped with Pomegranate Vinaigrette. 

Grade: A

  
Falafel platter from Pasha Mediterranean Grille. 

Grade: A-

  
Veggie fajitas from Rosario’s Mexican restaurant. 

Grade: C+

  
Burgerfi fries with garlic aioli

Grade: A++

  
Salad from an Italian restaurant on the riverwalk. It was a 60 minute wait at Rainforest Cafe and we went next door and got great food with zero wait.

Grade: A-

  
Protein salad from a 100% vegetarian restaurant called Green Vegetarian Cuisine. We visited at least twice because we loved their food so much.

Grade: A+

   
    
    
   
My favorite meal of the entire trip was at a location that I can’t remember the name of and I don’t even have a receipt because my friend Lisa treated. We basically ordered one of every side dish on the menu and shared, tapas style. Dishes included hot goat cheese, stuffed portabellos, grilled eggplant, polenta, roasted asparagus, corn salad and macaroni and cheese.

Grade: A+++

  
A big surprise was how much I enjoyed Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, especially since I only had salad. But their salads were gooood and their bread was better. I ate here twice, once by myself which I’ve never done before. The second time I had this salad:

  
I was grumpy because it seemed small, but it was delish.

Grade: A

 Our final meal out (we thought) was at La Fonda, the oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. A friend and I each ordered a dish and then split. The spinach enchiladas above were our favorite.

Grade: B+

   
 
And then we tried to go home. And even though we arrived 2+ hours ahead of our scheduled departure, we missed our flight after standing in line 4 hours. We were mad. And hungry. And talk of French toast kept us sane. But then when we arrived at IHOP, (we were desperate- don’t judge) the blackberry peach cobbler pancakes were calling my name and I answered and drowned my sorrows in pancakes and eggs.

Grade: A-

  
The final FINAL hurrah was Beecher’s famous macaroni and cheese in the Seattle airport. I’ve been known to eat this for breakfast and it never disappoints.

Grade: A

Of course this isn’t a complete list. Add to this collection a tub of Greek yogurt in my hotel fridge for breakfast, some disappointing General Tso’s tofu from the mall food court and about 1 million cups of coffee.

As always, there’s no place like home.

Thursday Thoughts, XXXII

1. The stripes addiction continues.

  
San Antonio might be humid and also smell faintly of urine, but they’ve got some great shopping. Interestingly enough, I was drawn to all these stripes, but the only thing I purchased from this selection was the lavender sweater. Maybe because my wardrobe is already predominantly stripes and I need to branch out.

2. I’m trying to figure out Twitter.

  
And I’m already stuck. This is what happens when a 35 year old tries to (stay, get, become) cool. Who am I kidding? Middle aged Twitter is the opposite of cool.

3. I’ve found a dessert that I don’t like.

  
Tres leches cake. Have you tried it? The texture weirded me out, but I’m also the girl who won’t eat pumpkin pie because it reminds me of baby food, so this is probably no surprise. I found this delicacy to be chunky and soggy. Sure looks pretty, though!

4. My kiddos loved hanging out with their new baby cousin.

   
 
Yet, ask either of them if they’d rather have a new baby or a cat, and they’ll immediately start picking out kitty names. 

5. Someone get this girl a haircut.

  
Or, a brush will do as well…

Well, hello there

Much has happened since I last wrote. Don’t take it personally. It’s not because I stopped loving you. It’s just because of…

Life.

But if you’ve been curious, here’s my life in the past 14 days:

  
J Man has a loose tooth. This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to him. Also, he frequently uses the word “outraged” to describe everything from daddy saying “no smoothie today” to Miss Rae cutting in front of him on the slide.

  
Miss Rae informed me tonight that she does NOT want her hair cut by a boy because “boys make me crazy! I just go wild around boys!”

Pray for me. And Matty B.

  
Speaking of my handsome husband, he completely disregarded my thoughtful comments regarding his facial hair and grew a bushy beard.

And then I came home after a 14 day business trip and he cut it off. Good man.

  
Finally, these are some mesmerizing circles as seen from 30,000 feet on American Airlines. I’ve been in Texas for a long time and the adventures were many, but there’s no place like home.

I hope to say “hello” a little more frequently. 

A. I’m home and that makes life easier.

B. For two weeks I’ve been subsisting on restaurant fare and I’m itching to get into the kitchen.

  
Because this is a deep fried avocado and that seems healthy compared to many of my recent meals.

Five on Friday, San Antonio

I’m knee (waist, shoulder) deep in my summer of travel. And I have one statement about Texas.

Texas loves Texas.

And I mean that in the nicest way possible, but I’ve never before been to a state that tacks their state name onto every product and every experience. You’ve got Texas Ford and Texas waffles and Texas Six Flags and speaking of flags, Texas looooves their flag. It’s everywhere. I can’t even describe the Washington state flag in any detail. I’m a bad citizen.

So I’m in Texas and I said that was all I was going to say, but you know that’s a lie.

1. We’ve been eating lots of enchiladas.

  
And being vegetarian means lots of cheese. I’d had enough and finally ordered a salad.

  
More cheese. Shredded and cubed. Oh boy.

2. It took me coming to San Antonio to get my name right at Starbucks. Not Polly. Not Molly.  
And they spelled it right! Fluke.

3.  My little munchkins are at home, picking blueberries. 

   
Why can’t I be in two places at once?

4. In other news, after 48 hours in TX, I’ve just now figured out public transportation. And in conclusion, I can either be sweaty and punctual, or cool and late. This is Matty B’s worst conundrum.

5. My hotel is confused about my identity. I was sent a very kind note…

  
Addressed to my husband. 

At least Starbucks knows my name…

WIAW: the day I didn’t cook

For someone who has (what used to be) a food blog, I sure don’t cook very often. I mean, I eat. You betcha I eat. I just don’t really cook anymore. Maybe it’s lack of creativity. Maybe it’s the fact that these days I’m usually busy monitoring epic bubble baths…

 
Or maybe it’s just that there’s lots of good food around me that doesn’t require my assistance.

Breakfast:

 
I had an early meeting and it was catered which was fabulous because a) my sweet mama was the caterer and b) since I didn’t have to worry about breakfast, I was actually on time. 

Mushroom and veggie sausage quiche, cinnamon roll (amazing, Unk C) and fruit.

And my own coffee because I’m addicted.

Lunch:

  

Baby beet salad with goat cheese and pepitas alongside awesome conversation from my cohorts at the other colleges in Walla Walla. Ooh, also a dirty chai tea which was lovely.

Dinner:

  

I guess I technically cooked this meal, but baking premade veggie corn dogs and boiling corn hardly seems like cooking. This meal did, however, give Matty B the opportunity to make a joke about double corn dogs which made me think he was very witty and also took the attention off the fact that 

I DON’T COOK ANYMORE.

I might need an intervention. Or maybe just a bubble bath.

Cherries 2015

You know you’ve been blogging for a long time when a quick search of your archives turns up two previous seasons of cherry picking.

Cherry Picking
Cherry Pickers
And today, we add year three to the list with:

Cherries 2015

Yes, I know. I’m very creative with my titles.

It’s kind of amazing, the difference a few years makes.

  
2013

  
2015

Wow.

Cherries 2015 was slightly different than Cherries 2013.

1. In 2013,  Miss Rae was eating whole cherries, pit and all. Not this big girl. Now she doesn’t eat cherries at all. Today.

   
 

2. In 2015, J Man climbs ladders. I still hold onto his belt loops, but he’s much more independent than four year old J Man.

   

3. And as for Matty B? Not much has changed.  He still likes picking cherries, but he still won’t eat them.

   
 

Now, what to do with 3 pounds of cherries and 3 family members who snub them?

  
Cherry Pie Bars?
Fresh Cherry Tart?
Fresh Cherry and Pecan Quinoa?
Cherry Brown Butter Bars?
I want to make them all. Something tells me that if I don’t get around to one of these recipes this year, there will be plenty of opportunities with Cherries 2016.

I’ll bet you’re giddy with anticipation.

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