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Posts from the ‘Extras’ Category

Bunny Eggs Because It Is Not The Easter Chicken

I don’t usually post on Sundays but I couldn’t resist. This morning my 10 and 13-year-old were discussing the reason behind the Easter Bunny and his connection to hiding eggs. Our conversation wandered up and down hills and back again with my youngest declaring that it should have been the Easter Chicken!

Easter Bunny

But she might be partial to chickens ūüôā

Halloween 2011

Happy Easter to you!

Head Shot Rachelle

Rachelle @ Caramelize Life

“Making Life A Little Sweeter Through Food, Travel and Community”

A Spring Morning Routine

Spring is here and my late morning routine begins again!

Favortie Morning Routine rachellekweymullerphotography.com

Carrot + Apple + Ginger

This week we’ve been busy behind the scenes planting, cooking, tasting, planning and working on the site. We are looking forward to sharing with you soon!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend…

Head Shot Rachelle

  Rachelle @ Caramelize Life

“Making life a little sweeter through food, travel and community”

 

The Little Things In Life Are The Best

planet earth

What do these things have in common?

bubbles

Many thoughts come to mind…

Old Friend

A Dear Old Friend…

Mud Season tennis

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and maybe you’ll go on a walk with a dear old friend.

Rachelle@ Caramelize Life

“making life a little sweeter through, food, travel and community”

Bruschetta In Eleven Minutes Tops!

Bruschetta landscape

A favorite in our home because we love Italian food anything, it’s healthy and a snap to make.

Bruschetta in the making

When my daughter was four she came in from munching sweet cherry tomatoes and basil in the garden and exclaimed ” We have a grocery store in our backyard!”¬† Then she asked…”can we grow a mozzarella plant?” She asked the proper question; can we? If only that were possible. “I wish we could.” was my answer. However, these questions did open the door to researching how mozzarella is made, and where it comes from. I’ve not yet ventured to make it myself, but I hear Mozzarella is pretty easy to produce, so I’ll have to try it and get back to you about that.

Until then, here’s our favorite bruschetta recipe:

Bruschetta

1 Local baguette sliced (I love the Mazama Store’s because it has a wee bit of salt on top)
2-3 Red, preferably heirloom, garden tomatoes (however with snow still on the ground, organic vine-ripened tomatoes have the most flavor)
15 Basil leaves or as many as you have slices of bread
Fresh mozzarella (you can find the pre-sliced kind at some stores) to top the slices of bread
salt for sprinkling
Olive oil (Italian) to drizzle
Balsamic Vinegar (aged has a sweeter flavor, but any will do) to drizzle

Bruschetta olive oil drip drop bottle

Action:

1. Toast the slices of bread, or if you have time put them over the grill or gas burner, to toast
2. Add sliced mozzarella
3. Add Basil face up to catch some of the oil and balsamic drizzle
4. Add sliced tomatoes to each
5. Sprinkle with salt
6. Drizzle with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Bruschetta Ready To Eat!

Buon Appetito!

* Thank you to Diane, Geof, Linda, Marc, Hannah and Eva for patiently waiting to devour these tasty bites while E.A did his photo dance to capture the bruschetta when freshest.

Head Shot RachelleRachelle @ Caramelize Life

“making life a little sweeter, through food, travel and community”

History Question… Do You Know What This Structure Is?

We have a mystery, well not really because we know what this structure was used for, but we are wondering how many of you know its history?
Something fun to ponder over the weekend…

Photo Friday 3/8/13 History Question

leave a comment if you would like a hint…

Have a wonderful weekend!

Head Shot Rachelle  Rachelle Weymuller @ Caramelize Life

“Making life sweeter through food, travel and community”

It’s A Comfort-Food-Farro Kind Of Day

Spring is here, no wait… it’s not, oh here it comes… Nope. Now it’s snowing. Don’t get me wrong:

I LOVE SNOW.

But I can see grass now. It’s over, I can’t go back, I’ve gone and done it. The potting shed is clean and the seeds are calling my name.

RKW_4449 Seeds
Ok, so it’s mud season; the fifth season (right after Winter; just before Spring)¬† Mud season is when we are thankful for all wheel drive and a high clearance vehicle, when I get to be a little crazy at the wheel, just to get up the mile long road we call a “driveway.” Mud season is when the dogs’ paws are caked with the newly emerged earth and their fur becomes the transporter for all that was outside to now reside inside. My neighbor tells me “You’re out numbered” (kids, dogs, cats, bird, bunny, chickens… oh and our exchange student’s fish-Fishy (guess who’s fish it will be in July?)) she advises to “Just let go.”

I think it will be my new mantra.

RKWeymuller Mud Season

This morning I practiced that mantra and put on slippers (dirt goes unnoticed better that way) and made emmer pancakes; a little comfort food for a cold damp day. I was surprised by the fact that breakfast, from egg-crackin’ to clean-up, took little more than 20 minutes. The aroma wafting from the griddle pulled my little sleepy heads out from under their covers and had them at the kitchen bar in no time. I had that Proud Mama moment of knowing that I’m providing a healthy, beginning of the day meal (that they will actually eat) for my active kids. Hopefully they’ll be satisfied until lunch.

Oh! Lunch! I plan the day from one meal to the next. Last night I tried something new; the farro boldly went where only basmati rice had been before…the rice maker. Yup, hoping it would transform our long stove top cooking times to that of a care free slow cooker experience. I am happy to report:¬† <<genius!>>¬† It worked! And today I have fresh farro for lunch, via my rice maker.¬† (Enter celebratory music and little happy dance that you really don’t want in your head).

RKW_4493 Farro, Goat Cheese, Kate and tomat salad

Spinach and Blue Bird Grain Farro Salad:
serves 2 for lunch

1 cup farro
3 cups washed baby organic spinach
A handful of sweet cheery tomatoes halved
1/4 cup goat cheese(Sunny Pine Farm)
dash of lemon pepper
pinch of salt

Stove top method:  Add the Farro to a medium pot with 3 cups or so of water and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down heat to simmer for 45-50 minutes.When farro grains are plump, soft and still chewy remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
Or
Rice Maker method: I use a 1 cup grain to 1 cup liquid and set it to gaba (longer time but great for more nutrients) brown rice mode. But follow your rice makers directions for brown rice.

~Saute baby spinach with a little water and a dash of lemon pepper and a pinch of salt, until it wilts then remove from heat
~fill warmed bowl with farro
~crumble goat cheese onto the farro
~top with wilted baby spinach and halved tomatoes

Enjoy!

Head Shot Rachelle  Rachelle Weymuller @ Caramelize Life
“Making Life Sweeter Through Food, Travel and Community”

Methow River Steelhead

It’s true, today March 1st is the opening day for anglers on the Methow River.

Weymuller Photography-fishing

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Head Shot Rachelle Rachelle @ Caramelize Life

“making life sweeter through food, travel and community”

 

Fondue and Football

What do you think of when you hear the word fondue? Snow topped Swiss Mountains, cows with clanging bells that we only hear at ski races and steam filled wooden clad restaurants where the air is permeated with the smell of melted cheese?

 matter bean WP24341_1383352991137_8372409_nMatterhorn WP Zermatt fondue bean 24341_1383354591177_1134405_n

We’ve experienced these warm cozy venues under the Matterhorn‘s shadow and enjoyed true Swiss hospitality high in the mountains with good friends. However, what comes to mind over all, is a crazy combination of Swiss hospitality and an American pastime.

My husband grew up with a New Years Day tradition of fondue and football. So when there are back to back bowl games playing on New Years Day, his family and friends gather and instead of chips and dip they dipped their cubed  bread into the Swiss cheese and yelled at the t.v.

IMG_1220

Wanting to continue that family tradition we now host a Methow style fondue and football New Year’s Day party. Opening our doors to friends and family we mix up batches of creamy fondue, and have the games on the tube.

Image 7ffondue & football 2013 WP Image 22 Image 5 fondue & football 2013 WP

Personalizing the party we’ve added options for those who think it barbaric to sit and holler at the little people on the screen or just can’t sit still. These folks can stand outside in the below freezing weather and warm their tushies by the outdoor fire and enjoy their brew of choice. Adults get beer, children hot chocolate, we even tried serving fondue outside with an electric pot but I think the jury is still out on that. If you are curious we found the metal pot allows the cheese to separate easier than the ceramic pots but then again it could have been the sub zero temps!

sledding fun

sledding fun

fondue to go

fondue to go

finding the hot spot

finding the hot spot

A party like this only works if everyone pitches in. We ask that our guests bring a hunk of Swiss cheese for melting and something to dip. Then everyone jumps in and helps during the party. Besides the football, sledding and skiing there are always other games to play, easy party ones such as find your boots and kids mittens, those who’ve attended before have learned to bring their most unique outerwear for easy finding.

Image 6 mud room fondue & football 2013 WP

Recipe for Fondue and Football [serves 2 or keep making it and it will serve 150 hungry folks].
A community of friends willing to bring bread, cheese and celebrate football and snow.

All that you need:

2 1/2 cups shredded cheese ( Swiss: Emmenthaler, Gruyere, Jarlsberg)
1 1/2 Tbs flour
1 clove garlic
1 cup dry white wine
salt, pepper and nutmeg
1Tbs Kierschwasser
day old baguette style bread cubed (for dipping)
veggies broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, etc (steamed for dipping)
fondue fuel for your pot, extra fondue forks

Action:

Dredge cheese with flour
rub garlic on the inside of the pot place over stove
add and heat wine until small bubbles form
reduce heat slightly and add cheese slowly in small amounts while stirring
warm the Kierschwasser and add it to the pot
if needed thin with warm wine
sprinkle salt and pepper nutmeg on top to taste

Extras:

Make ahead: I prepare for this party well in advance, stocking up on Swiss cheese when it’s on sale or buying it in bulk. I shred the cheese ahead of time and pop it in the freezer for later use.

What to do with left over cubed fondue bread? How about bite sized French toast? Or Croutons for soup and salad toppings?
Or if you find yourself with an over abundance of shredded cheese, it’s perfect for that quick quiche recipe to speed up a week night dinner.

En Guete!

34921_1516141470766_1451349916_1355781_1679178_n_21  Rachelle@ Caramelize Life

Caramelize Life Cooking Class @ Sun Mountain Lodge

It was a perfect time of year and a wonderful opportunity to work with a fantastic group of women in a garden to table cooking class.

Caramelize Life was kindly invited by Methow Arts Alliance and  Sun Mountain Lodge  to bring local produce and share simple recipes that could be made quickly at home with a lovely group of women visiting the Methow Valley.

It happened to be perfect timing for the class as the garden was in full production and ingredients were as fresh as could be.  On stage were succulent Heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, a selection of creamy chèvre from Sunny Pine Farm and locally sourced salmon. 

We all had a splendid time whipping up seasonal fair and an even better time sampling from our work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ~cheers Rachelle@caramelizelife

Best Place to Live in the Wild West

I feel a little like that proud Mother who can only see the positive in my own child despite the realities that we are all human. Truth be told, this is how I am feeling about my community right now. This last week has been eventful.

My family and I were just returning from a vacation we enjoyed with friends at lake Tahoe and witnessed other close friends tie the knot atop of Squaw Valley. Both places were incredibly gorgeous and filled with laughter and good friends but our trip was cut short on our return to Seattle when I happened to scroll through some Facebook postings and saw that a neighbor had just exclaimed”Somewhat disconcerting when the Smokejumpers are jumping above your house and three fire trucks are sitting on the road.”¬† What? Did I read that correctly? Turns out that 4 smokejumpers landed on our hill to fight a blaze that had been ignited by a lighting strike. Have any of you felt that sinking feeling when something happens and you are too far away to do anything about it…personally?

We cut our visit with Grammie short and hustled (read: 4 hours) home over the North Cascade Scenic (not today) Highway to take care of our home and animals. All along the way our friends were keeping us updated, <I love the internet> on the positive aspects to the event “they didn’t send a whole smokejumper crew just 4 guys so that is a good sign” said Sarah Berns.¬† Our neighbor, Hannah Dewey, gave us the hourly play by play complete with photos texted to us of the blaze that her smokejumper husband, Patrick, was fighting behind our home. They dug fire lines along with ground and air support teams to make sure the already brittle and dry sage and bunch grasses didn’t ignite with a gust of 90 degree August air.

We had luck on our side, the winds died down and an early response from a seasoned fire crew saved our bacon. All is well and we quickly returned to our bucolic country lifestyle.

So grateful we are to the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for their fellow men, women and children. You all make a difference in our lives and we are thankful, thankful for the nation wide community of firefighters who travel all fire season, thankful to our community for keeping us updated and thankful for our community beyond who checked in.

That country lifestyle is just part of why we live here, but I am sure we all have a part of that wherever we live. It’s the individual who chooses to make a difference.

Have you ever left a community event feeling inspired, maybe with that Ah ha! moment of satisfaction “this is why we live here”? Each year I search out Sunset Magazine’s annual “best towns to live in” issue, curious to see who out there is raving about their slice of paradise.

Community makes a place and each of us has the ability to enrich ours, and in so doing, make life just a bit sweeter.

The other¬† night I had one of those Ah ha! moments at Spring Creek Ranch‘s first Celestial Cinema evening of the summer. The stars aligned and I felt like I had just walked into that idyllic country life set only seen in Hollywood.

83 degrees, a slight breeze, familiar faces, local eateries selling their goods, children playing on the lush green lawn. Listening to friends connecting and catching up by sharing summer vacation stories. Ahh… this is why we live here.

It is the people that make the place.

So fittingly, let’s collectively create a Recipe for Community. Like the story of stone soup, tell me the qualities you feel make a place special to you. Just add your ingredients in the comments and I’ll update the recipe.

Here are a few thoughts to start…

A group of dedicated people
Energy
Action
Curiosity
A desire to connect
Caring
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related Posts:

Rocking Horse Bakery

How about a shout out for the 70 firefighters working the fire in the mtns above Falls Creek!
Organized by the North Cascades Smokejumpers, The Rocking Horse Bakery is proud to have been able to provide an air drop of muffins, scones and other tasty treats for the crew’s breakfast this am!

Seattle Times
A sign of community and neighbors making a difference

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