Thursday, July 21, 2011

Alaska Farmer Market's

 One thing I miss about the lower 48 is the fresh fruit! You buy it here from the store and it goes bad in a couple of days. BUT I do love going to the local farmers market and buying fresh produce. Have you been to one of the farmer markets? We have seven of them here in Anchorage. I was going to list all of Alaska markets here but someone beat me to it! Visit here for Alaska Farmers Markets.

 These are snow apple turnips, pretty tasty! I've never heard of them till I visited the South Anchorage Farmers Market. My kids love them! I've heard they go great in salads or to eat them plain, which is how we eat them.

  I got some strawberries and let's just say they didn't last 5 mins in my house. They were so delicious!! Fresh is best! One thing about the markets is you HAVE to get there early if you want to grab the goods. I went around 2 and everything was gone! Strawberries are the only fruit that I have seen so far. Unfortunately up here in Alaska we don't get a wide variety of fruit, which is a TOTAL bummer! We eat fruit like it's going out of style in my household!
 Not only do they have produce but they have cheese!! You can buy it in blocks or in curds, yum! There is also fish, meat, plants, honey, jams, bread, and....

mouth watering pastries!!

 It feels so good to me to buy local. I know where the food is coming from, helping out my community and keeping the money here in Alaska. The prices are great as well, but you can use WIC food stamps. Also eligible seniors qualify as well. Visit here to learn more.

I love going to the market with the kids. They help me pick out veggies and they are more inclined to try things. It's also nice just to go by myself. I like to think of how cool it would be if I had to go to the market daily to get all our meals and how fresh everything will be. Some days I would really like a slower paced life.

 There are always unique things to try and see at the market. Where can you get a salmon burger and reindeer dog? Definitely not in Florida! I love Alaska! People like to bring their dogs or bike to the market. It is such a laid back community. You see people in their Carharts and North Face rain jackets. Comfy and ready for the environment, my kind of style! You can usually tell who the out of town folks are. =)

 Be sure to visit one of your local markets. If you visit the websites below you can find recipes, how to process and store the produce and much more!

Alaska Farmers Market Association (visit here to find our local market)
South Anchorage Farmers Market (recipes, cookbook, schedule)
Pyrahs Pioneer Peak Farm (pick YOUR OWN veggies!)
Glacier Valley Farm CSA (will deliver boxes of local and outside produce to a location for you to pick up)

Alaska Farmland Trust presents  "BYOP" Valley Farm Picnic
 Sunday, July 31st   2PM - 6PM  Dimonridge Farm (aka Heaven's Hayfield)  2445 South Davis Road in Wasilla  Take Parks Hwy, exit @ Hyer Rd toward Fairview Loop. Turn Left onto Hyer Rd. Turn Right onto E. Fireweed and take first left onto Fairview Loop Rd. Take a left on to Davis Rd. Look for the signs on the left.  Have a day of fun with family and friends and get to know the Alaska Farmland Trust!
The Valley Farm Picnic is a “BYOP” (Bring-Your-Own-Picnic) event. You bring a picnic and we’ll supply the blankets and old fashioned farm fun! This FREE event will take place rain or shine with ongoing activities throughout the day. Prizes will be awarded to winners of each event! Don’t forget to bring a dessert to enter in the Dessert Auction at 3:00 pm. See you on the farm!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

mom to mom Diapers (closed)

 I use cloth diapers for several reasons. One of them being to save money. I do have some disposable diapers on hand just in case I didn't do laundry or if other people will be watching my kids. So when Carrs/Safeway contacted me to try out their diapers, I jumped on it!
 I'm usually hesitate about using store brand diapers. They always seem cheaply made and leak through. I used the supreme diapers on both of my girls and I didn't have one leaky diaper! I even used them over night.

This is what the website has to say about the diapers. "The more your love bug is moving around, the more you'll appreciate the improved leakage control and better fit of these diapers. Stretchy waist and side panels add comfort, a hypoallergenic liner with natural botanicals, vitamin E and aloe protect skin."

 The diapers have this cool guard that seems to keep the poop in instead of leaking through. I'm all for poop not leaking through to the clothes! It's the worst when you are trying to get out the door and there is a blow out! I really like that the size of the diaper is printed on the front of the diaper. I hate having to try to guess what size leftover diapers I had from the last kid. The design is cute to, no characters, just numbers and ABC's.

 So next time you are out of diapers at 2am, don't be afraid to pick up these mom to mom diapers from Carrs.

Carrs not only gave me free diapers to try but 2 $25 gift certificates! I'm keeping one for myself and giving one away!

Would you like a $25 gift card to Carrs? You need to live in Alaska, leave a comment with what diapers you use, and an email address to contact you with. Ill pick a winner Thursday night!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Taco Soup and Flowers

Nice heading huh? I can't think of anything other then what this post is about. Maybe lack of sleep is really getting to me.

I got this yummy recipe from a lady years ago. I would credit it to her, but I don't know who she is or where she got it from.

Taco Soup

1 lb cooked shredded chicken OR hamburger meat
1 chopped onion
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can white corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 diced tomato
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can chicken or beef broth (use the broth with whichever meat you are using)
1 pkt taco seasoning (1/4c)
1 pkt Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (1/4c)

I rinse the beans and then throw everything into a crock pot. I keep it on low for an hour or 2. You can also just put everything in a big pot and boil. Instead of using canned corn I use frozen though.

My kids LOVE this, even my 10 month old! We also add cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips, yummy!! This is quick to throw everything together for a laid back meal.

 Are you growing a garden? We are growing a couple of things. Veggies and flowers! This is a photo of our peony, isn't it gorgeous! It just gets better daily! We have little broccoli florets growing. It's so cool to see something that we are growing our self!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

In My Backyard

Isn't this photo amazing! It had nothing to do with my mad photography skills. The Chugach Range is beautiful, and its in my backyard. 

 One of the great things about living in Alaska is having breathtaking views in your "backyard". I can drive twenty minutes and hike up a mountain, not too many people can say that! Also in the summer time, you can hike almost all hours of the night and not need a headlamp. Our moms group has been taking some hikes in the evening after we all put our kiddos to bed. It's so nice to be able to have adult conversation and not chase kids. There are several times where it's so quiet, probably cause we are all trying to catch our breath! The flowers were blooming and it was so green!

  We were looking out over Anchorage and trying to place streets. Anchorage is so spread out! No wonder it takes me forever to get to the East side from the South side!

  We hiked Flattop on Summer Solstice.....and so did everyone else! Flattop seems to be one of the most hiked mountains here in Anchorage. You can meet people from all over the world there.

 This was my first hike since having my youngest. I'm really out of shape so I was enjoying sitting down and didn't want to get up for a photo opt. 

  It only takes me 15 mins to get to Flattop's parking lot from my house. Took us a little longer getting to the top! But we made it!! On Summer Solstice, a lot of residents like to camp out and party at the top. We saw some interesting people carrying guitars, wearing a kilt, carrying a stroller, carrying a beer.. wait I think that last part is normal, so my husband says. Water is not the thirst quencher it used to be.

  Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year with 19 hours and 21 mins of sunlight! This picture was taken after 10pm! It was an amazing day for a hike!
  With trails being so close to us, its great to take the family for a hike. Kaden was having fun, promise. The lady who took this photo was hiking in with a friend to camp out for the night. Two older ladies just enjoying the day. I bet their kids were grown and NOW they can finally do stuff they enjoy without getting interrupted.

  Brooke did great! It's crazy cause this time last year she wasn't walking and we were not sure when she would start. Now she is running and jumping everywhere!

 Our moms group are planning more hikes. Do you have a favorite here in Anchorage? What has been your favorite hike in Alaska?

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th Fun

 What a beautiful day it turned out to be here in Anchorage! It started raining a little but it held off! Did you and your family enjoy the day? We did! We went to see the parade downtown!
 A parade isn't Alaskan without Star the Reindeer! You gotta read how Star first came to Anchorage! 

How cool is this! A Wagon car!!!! The Red Wagon Society at the Children's Hospital at Providence sponsors the car. Kaden loved waving his flag at all the cars.

I had to take pictures of the kiddos in their red, white and blue. Yup, representin' the Braves! =)

I have to say, I really miss seeing fireworks in the lower 48 for the 4th of July. Those outside of Anchorage are lucky enough to shoot of fireworks legally. But I guess it helps lessen the disappointment due to it being so bright here.
I took this picture of the Chugach Mountains at 10pm. See the rainbow? So it would be hard to see fireworks anyways. But that didn't stop residents! I heard them everywhere.

When did the fireweed pop up? I took this photo at 10pm as well. The flowers are already half way up!! I'm trying not to think of it reaching the top!

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend with family and friends. I started doing a lot of brainstorming and there are going to be some changes to the blog. I want to post more about Alaska in general. There are so many COOL things about this state! Got certain categories that would interest you to see on here??

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July in Alaska!

What is everyone doing for the 4th of July?? I think we are going to head downtown Anchorage and watch the parade and enjoy the activities! This will be our first time with the kiddos, I think it will be a blast! Hoping to see NO CLOWNS!! I do not like clowns. Anyways, here is a list of the 4th of July festivities that are going around the state of Alaska. If you know of any that are not on here, please post in the comments and I will add them!

Anchorage/Eagle River

July 4th Celebration- Delany Park Strip 8a-6p Celebrate America’s birthday on July 4th in true Alaska style. This old-fashioned, patriotic celebration is complete with family-oriented events such as the pancake breakfast, downtown parade, picnic, activities, and fireworks finale.

Alaska Baseball League Doubleheader and Fireworks- Catch Alaska Baseball League action between Anchorage's two teams, the Bucs and the Glacier Pilots, in an Independence Day doubleheader followed by the traditional fireworks show.

Great Alaskan Salmon Bake & Fly By- 1-5p AK Aviation Museum Enjoy a buffet of salmon, burgers, hotdogs, salads and more celebrating the 4th of July from 1-5 p.m. at the Alaska Aviation Museum on Lake Hood, the world's busiest seaplane base! Auction, live music, fly bys from a variety of aircraft, and meet our special guest Egil Ellis, dog race winner from the Fur Rondy! $30 for adults, $15 for kids. Call 907-248-5325 for more info. This fundraiser helps the museum continue its mission of preserving Alaska aviation's history.

Eagle River Independence Day Celebrations A community-wide Independence Day celebration and first official "July 4th" firework celebration. July 3: Celebration at Lions Park begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends with fireworks at midnight. Enjoy community entertainment, sky divers, games and concessions. July 4: Chugiak Parade begins at 2 p.m. at Latimer Fire Station on Old Glenn Highway.

4th of July Celebration- Lots of activities at Pioneer Park!

July 4th Summer Festival- Parade at 11a, cream the mayor and more at the North Pole!

"Our Town USA"- Parade starts at 6p and other events will be going on throughout the weekend!

There are parades going on in Seldovia (907-234-7612)  and Anchor Point (907-235-2600) as well. Call the number to get more info.

 Juneau 4th of July Parade- Starts at 11a

"Take Your Hat Off" Parade and Festivities- 10a-4p in Kenai

Mat Su

Wasilla Independence Day Parade- 11a on Main Street

McCarthy’s annual Fourth of July celebration- includes a parade and a full day of family fun for all. Music, games all day for kids of all ages. Classic 4th Of July BBQ

Parade and Festivities- Enjoy the parade, food, fireworks and more while in Seward!

Mount Marathon Race- A well-known mountain running event held annually in the seaside village of Seward since 1915, said to originate from a bet among friends that Mt. Marathon could not be tackled in less than an hour. The foot race is a climb and descent on Mt. Marathon - a mile and a half up and a mile and a half down, complete with cliffs, scree fields, waterfalls, and a spectacular view. This annual event draws runners from around the world.

Hope you and your family have a great 4th of July weekend wherever you are in Alaska!! Be safe!!