PEEK INSIDE THE READY MADE BOX

After a long busy day, I love opening the frig and seeing a meal prepped or prepared for me. The fact that someone has taken quality local food one step further to make my life easier nearly brings me to tears somedays.

So this week is no exception, I LOVE MY READY MADE BOX!!  Peek inside and see what my family will be enjoying this week...  

MEAL 1:

Carrot + Corriander Soup with Cilantro Puree, Flatbreads with Caramelized Onions + Blue Cheese and a Light Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette (Cilantro Puree + Dressing not in photo, oops!)

 

MEAL 2:

 

Roasted Sockeye Salmon with Roasted Potatoes, Baby Arugula and a Dijon Vinaigrette.

 

MEAL 3:

 Sesame-Ginger Beef Stirfry with Asparagus, Scallions + Rice

 

HAVE YOU TRIED OUT OUR READY MADE BOX YET? DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND ORDER ONE THIS WEEK! OUR READY MADE BOX FOR MAY 7TH INCLUDES::
 

Pork Souvlaki Kabobs
yogurt feta dip, herbed couscous, grilled asparagus

MELT Mac + Cheese
 classic mac with 3 cheeses

Chile Rubbed Steak
cilantro potato salad, roasted carrots

 

ROAD TRIP | METHOW VALLEY

We set off from Bellingham in search of snow. Six hours later, after a quick leg-stretching and sausage-eating stop in Leavenworth, we arrived in the snowy wonderland of Winthrop.

Al fresco German style sausages and beer at Munchen Haus in Leavenworth. The perfect midway point between Bellingham and the Methow. 

 

This was our third family trip to the Methow Valley and our second during the winter months. We became instantly smitten with the area after our first visit last year and loved how somewhere so close to home could be so different and feel so far away. In the summer it is hot and dry and sunny and in the winter it is snowy and bright and cold. Any time of year, the Methow Valley is a tranquil, secluded destination filled with natural beauty - perfect for a quick, rejuvenating weekend trip.

                                  

During our first two visits we stayed at hotels. This time we chose to rent a cozy little cabin with a kitchen to prepare our own meals and spare ourselves the expense and hassle of eating out for every meal. It’s a lifesaver to have the ‘dine-in’ option when travelling with kiddos – especially those who spent all day frolicking in the snow and are suddenly on the verge of meltdown and need food IMMEDIATELY.

 

During our first two visits we stayed at hotels. This time we chose to rent a cozy little cabin with a kitchen to prepare our own meals and spare ourselves the expense and hassle of eating out for every meal. It’s a lifesaver to have the ‘dine-in’ option when travelling with kiddos – especially those who spent all day frolicking in the snow and are suddenly on the verge of meltdown and need food IMMEDIATELY.

 

 

No spatula in our "fully equipped" kitchen! Cheese grater to the rescue.

 

With a kitchen, albeit a small one, at our disposal, we were able to enjoy some of the local products we picked up around town. A stop at the Crown S Ranch Farm Store yielded us bacon and eggs for a hearty breakfast one morning paired with Breadfarm Bread and V Smiley Preserves we brought from home.

 

 

To take full advantage of all the snow right outside our door, we made snow ice cream one day! After picking up the necessary ingredients at Glover St Market, my little assistant harvested some fresh snow and we mixed everything together. This was super easy and pretty delicious. Etta thought it was ‘so awesome’ that we could turn snow into ice cream just by stirring in two ingredients.

 

                 

                               

SNOW ICE CREAM

8 cups fresh snow

1 can organic sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

Mix everything together and serve!

 

WHERE TO GO + WHAT TO EAT

For a pit stop pull off Highway 2 at Leavenworth for a grilled sausage in Munchen Haus’s outdoor Beer Garden. On the way out of town stop off at Anjou Bakery for a Caffe Vita Americano or Latte and a pastry.

IN TWISP
Pick up local and organic groceries at Glover Street Market. Don’t miss the wine cellar!

Get a Cinnamon Twisp pastry or breakfast sandwich at Cinnamon Twisp Bakery.

WINTHROP
Pop into the Crown S  Ranch Farm Store for local, pasture raised and grass fed meats, farm fresh eggs, handmade tamales and loads of other products.

Grab breakfast and good coffee at Rocking Horse Bakery.

Fill your growler or grab lunch or dinner at Old Schoolhouse Brewery.

Sample some wines at the Lost River Winery Tasting Room.

For a fancier dinner, reserve a table at Arrow Leaf Bistro.

MAZAMA
Browse The Mazama Store for local goods, handmade sandwiches, great bread, beer and wine and lots of local flavor. 

A COOKING 1ST - DINNER FROM THE CROCKPOT

 

I have a confession. I have never cooked in a crockpot before. Well, I've never cooked in the "throw a bunch of ingredients in before going to work and have dinner ready when you get home" sense. 

It's very intriguing though and the prospect of coming home to a fully cooked dinner is extremely enticing.

Maybe there is a line of AF+K Crockpot Ready Freezer Meals in the future! We'll have to start doing some experimenting.....

 

A DAY OF 30 DAY CHALLENGE EATING

The challenge to eliminate sugar, dairy, grains, soy and alcohol from your diet for 30 days is made simple thanks to our Locavore Box style, all-inclusive 30Day Challenge Box. The detailed Meal Plan, complete with recipes for a full week's worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners, means you won't be spending countless hours scouring the internet for 'compliant' recipes, wind up eating the same thing day after day or be tempted to just give up and get takeout. 

With all of the pantry items already included in the box you won't be searching grocery store shelves for specialty products or have to buy large quantities of expensive ingredients just for a few teaspoons worth. The pre-made sauces, dressings and spice blends cut down on cooking time and help you get meals on the table faster.

If the idea of 30 days of clean eating sounds intriguing, the AF+K 30Day Challenge Box will be a huge asset and help you stay on track by eliminating so much of the research, shopping, planning and preparation. 

Give it a try!

Wondering exactly what this 30 Day Challenge is all about? Curious about what you'll be eating if you sign up for a box? Here's a little glimpse into a typical day of 30 Day Challenge Eating.

 

BREAKFAST:: Fried Egg with Crispy Sweet Potato Homefries over Baby Spinach

 

LUNCH:: Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps with Marinated Carrots + Cilantro

 

DINNER:: Thai Red Curry with Shrimp + Winter Squash over Cauliflower 'Rice'

HANDMADE GIFTS FROM THE KITCHEN | SALAMOIA

The Season of Giving is upon us! I love arriving home on dark December nights to find little surprises on our doorstep from friends and neighbors - be it a plate of homemade cookies, a tin of candy or a festively decorated bottle of wine. The thoughtful gesture always fills my family with the holiday spirit and reminds me what an amazing community we live in.

Each year I like to come up with a unique handmade gift that I can package up and send my little elf to deliver around the neighborhood. In years past I've made sweet treats like granola, Italian torroncini candy, and homemade peppermint marshmallows with cocoa mix.

This year I was determined to find something savory to make, figuring that everyone is overloaded with sweets. I decided on small jars of Salamoia made using herbs from my garden and sea salt.

Salamoia is a salty blend perfumed with rosemary, sage and garlic that I became obsessed with while living in Italy years ago. I shipped jars upon jars of the salt home and it quickly became a family favorite. It is an excellent seasoning for any kind of meat, makes mashed or roasted potatoes fantastic and is even delicious on popcorn. After years of having my brother ship me jars of imported Salamoia from Brooklyn, I finally found a recipe this summer to make the blend from scratch.

It is incredibly simple and fairly inexpensive to make, especially if you have rosemary and sage growing in your garden. Make a few batches to give or just to keep on hand. 

[Salamoia can be found in our Culinary Gift Box!]

SALAMOIA BOLOGNESE
[makes about 1 cup, recipe can easily be doubled or tripled]

1 cup sea salt
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp sage leaves
4 tbsp rosemary leaves

Pulse garlic with 1 tbsp salt in a food processor to finely chop. Add the herbs and pulse until the herbs are very finely chopped.

 Add the herbs and pulse until very finely chopped. Pulse the salt into the herbs and garlic.

 Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and let it sit out for a day or two until dried. Spoon into clean jars, add a label or gift tag then play Santa and deliver to friends and neighbors.

Salamoia will keep for weeks, if not months, in a jar on the counter.