Saturday, November 9, 2013

Christmas Cilantro Coleslaw

I know coleslaw is typically warm weather food, but we've got plenty of cabbage a-flowing in Anchorage now that the Saturday Market has expanded to the indoor winter market.

This recipe was inspired by my sister-in-laws homemade cilantro dressing she made this summer. It was months ago, but I haven't been able to get the creamy goodness out of my head. I made my own version with greek yogurt and incorporated into a slaw. The red peppers and the chopped fennel gives it a nice "Christmas-y" color. Make this with a simple grilled cheese and you've got yourself a cozy little weekend feast.

Christmas Cilantro Coleslaw 

one small head green cabbage
one bulb fennel
one red pepper
handful of snap peas
a bundle of cilantro on the smaller side diced, 3/4 set aside
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
juice of a lemon
2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper to taste


finely slice cabbage, fennel bulb, red pepper and snap peas, then dump into a large bowl. in a smaller bowl combine 3/4 cup cilantro, greek yogurt, lemon, garlic, cayenne, salt & pepper. Whisk it up well. Pour your dressing over the veggie mix and toss until evenly coated. Top with the remaining cilantro. Dice up the fennel "hairs" on the stalk and sprinkle over your coleslaw.



Monday, November 4, 2013

These are a few of my favorite teas

Let's have a tea party. There's something therapeutic about boiling water in your tea kettle,  and pouring the boiling water over your favorite tea bag. Then the anticipation that builds while you wait for your tea to steep. I like to hoover over my mug and give myself a little mini tea facial. I drink about 2-3 cups of tea a day. Here's my list of what's been in my rotation lately, and why:

  1. Yogi Green Tea Pure Green I try to drink green tea at least once a day. This is my good go-to house green tea. Plain old, organic, green tea. There's a lot of green tea blend options out there, but I prefer to do my own blending. For example- a green tea bag and a peppermint tea bag. Or green tea and a lemon wedge with a dollop of honey. 

  1. Tazo Chai Full Leaf Tea This tea comes in a fancy tin box, and the tea leaves are in a silk bag. I've only seen these sold at Starbucks. This tea makes for a yummy afternoon pick-me-up. I blend with a couple tablespoons of milk, a pop of honey and a shake of cinnamon. The concentrate in a box stuff tastes good, but again- I'd rather create my own blend to ensure the quality of ingredients. 

  1. Yogi DeTox I started buying this tea for obvious reasons- to detox. But I come back for the flavor. It's a soft peppery tea with sweet undertones. The first ingredient is sarsaparilla root  which is used to fight kidney disease and digestive disorders. 

  1. Traditional Medicinals Organic Roasted Dandelion Root- The only ingredient in this tea is organic dandelion root, roasted. I added this tea to my rotation after my little bro Jimmy mentioned he makes his own tea out of dandelions. My dog pees on all of the dandelions in my back yard, so I will stick with the stuff from the store. The flavor sticks to your teeth- somewhat bitter and kind of a licorice-y. Dandelion is a fantastic detoxer and aids in your body's digestive system.

  1. Guayaki Yerba Mate This tea is packed full of antioxidants, and hales from sustainable rainforest's in South America. I first bought Yerba Mate to see what all the hype was about. It's a trendy tea right now, and it runs at about $7 a box. I figured $7 tea must be good. The flavor is pleasant- warm, cinnamon-y and vanilla undertones. Kind of reminds me of a more subtle chai. Yerba Mate is naturally caffeinated. I typically drink this in the early afternoon- when I normally have a craving for a second cup of joe. 

  1. Yogi Bedtime Is a happy way to end my day. Tea is a great addition to your bedtime ritual. Turn off the electronics and steep some tea. Savor the quietness of the night. I like this one because there's not too much chamomile. It's a nice blend with spearmint, lavender, cinnamon bark, St. John's Wort and more. 



Monday, October 28, 2013

The Scare-o-meter

When it comes to Halloween decor, there are different levels of fright. A one being a blowup Tiger holding a pumpkin. A ten being a demon baby with an axe coming out of it's head. 

The neighbors really get into the spirit with the decor, but in the 1-4 range of fright. 

I suppose that makes sense, considering the average trick-or-treater visiting Dandelion Wine is under the age of six, and dressed in some sort of Disney get-up.

After taking inventory of the loot we scored at the pop-up Halloween store, Justin and I realized we needed to adjust our decor to try to maintain good re pore with the neighbors. 

Loot was divided, and anything over the scare factor of 5 was donated to Brehan & Brian's Halloween party that happened on Saturday. Which by the way, was epic. Here's how this weekend's party ranked on the scare-o-meter:

Skull-Clown entry way, Scare-o-meter score: 6
Creepy clown, scare-o-meter score: 9
Unicorn playing with a giraffe and a blue princess, scare-o-meter score: 0
Unicorn & Raven Princess, combined scare-o-meter score: 2

Unicorn & Creepy Clown, combined scare-o-meter score: 6

No party is complete without good finger food. Warning: there are lots of cutesy Halloween dishes lurking out there on the Internet. They involve food coloring, marshmallows, tootsie rolls & pretzels morphed to look like pumpkins, finger nails, spiders, etc. Resist the urge to slave in the kitchen for hours, creating something that looks kinda cool, but no one actually wants to eat. My holiday advice to you: don't ever sacrifice taste for presentation.

 I brought my go-to dessert: Nutella Cookie Cups. I found this recipe on Daisy Chubb's Tea & Treats, and modified by following the Original Toll House Cookie Recipe

Nuetella Cookie Cups
photo courtesy of

Grease a cupcake pan with butter. Follow the Toll House Cookie recipe, but instead of adding semi-sweet chips at the end,  scoop about a tablespoon of dough into the  cupcake pan. Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, press down the center with a melon-baller, then fill your indent with a scoop of Nutella. 

You can whip up a dozen of these babies in 20 minutes. Make this your go-to for all your holiday parties this year.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mount Gordon Lyon

I joined the club. The "Alaskan Wild Women Hiking and Backpacking Group" to be exact. There are countless trails to explore in the Chugach- many right under your nose that you didn't know where there. I'm excited to have trail guides, and explore some new routes.

My first trip was this week. To Mount Gordon Lyon- a peak with a stunning 360 view of Anchorage & Eagle River. Who knew such spectacular views where just a few miles in from the Arctic Valley main parking lot?
Me at "the Summit" at Mount Gordon Lyon

Alaskan Wild Women taking in the view

Facing Eagle River

The Alaskan Mountain Range- I believe the furthest to the right is Mt. McKinley

Arctic Valley Ski Lift

Thank you Caitlin for sharing these pics. I'm going to shoot to meet up with this group at least once a month, which switches to skiing & snow shoeing in the winter.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Tunage Time

What's playing:

My pandora station of choice lately is Rolling Stones Radio.  I love music in my home. Music, lighting and scent together seem to transfer the house from that empty "is anyone here?" vibe,  to a relaxing hangout atmosphere. 

Justin and I both had a few DIY projects going on this weekend, and we glided through our to-do lists with Tom Petty and Jimi Hendrix by our side. 

I have music on itunes, and even some classic mix CDs from back in the day, but I mostly listen to Pandora. I've upped my streaming plan with AT&T so I don't go over (Between Pandora and Netflix streaming adds up pretty quickly), and finally coughed up the $4 a month for commercial free listening.  

You can follow my Pandora profile here: 



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Brussels Are the New Kale, and how to organize your entire life in seven days

I am a list-maker. When I'm checking things off, everything in my little world runs like a well-oiled machine. But sometimes I revert away from the list, into what Justin calls "the funk." A lack of planning leads me astray to time-suckers such as Buzzfeed, Real Housewives of New Jersey Blogs and Teen Mom 3 (is it true that rodeo girl is pregnant agian?!).

I have decided this week I will burst out of the funk in full force, with the help of my Google Calendar. This week is planned to a tee, so if you need me, just ask, and I'll add you to my calendar view.
Lisa's world for the week of 10-13 to 10-18

Menu planning is a big one for me. If I don't plan what I'm making, I end up ordering pizza, and my weekly farmer's market finds spoil in the fridge.  Trashing produce that seven days ago was a glorious find from the South Anchorage Farmers Market feels like a crime to me. Like the Rempel Farms family will chase me down in their jean skirts, and lock me up in a prison where you are forced to eat bleached white bread and drink orange juice from concentrate- or even worse- grape soda. 

Speaking of prison, Brehan and Justin have got me hooked on Orange is the New Black. It's basically what would happen if one of us went to jail. Lead character Piper is a 30-something-year-old who has to serve 15 months in the slammer because ten years ago she transported drug money.  A lot of jokes stem from her "white girl problems" in the slammer. Including her typical Whole Foods grocery hull, now replaced with prison food. Makes me appreciate my freedom, and easy access to kambucha, fancy dark chocolate, and locally grown beets at the South Side Farmers Market.

This week marked the last outdoor market. The last harvest yielded lots of squash, pumpkins & brussels sprouts. 

Have you ever seen brussels sprouts straight from the farm? They grow out of this huge burley veggie stick and you need to "shuck" off the sprouts. 

The best part about the shucking is the loose leaves that fall from the brussels, which make the best chips you have ever tasted.

Take a break from kale, or save it for your smoothy.

Savor these little crunchies on a lazy Sunday while you binge watch orange is the new black. 

 Here's how to prepare:

Brussels Are the New Kale Chips

-The first couple leaves off each brussels sprout
-salt & pepper
-lemon wedge

Preheat oven to 415. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Take the leaves and toss with EVOO and s&p. Spread evenly across lined baking sheet, and bake for 6-8 minutes. Spritz with juice of a lemon wedge and serve up!



Saturday, October 5, 2013

Warm Weekday Breakfast Cereal

We've had one of the loveliest falls in Anchorage since I moved here four years ago. The days are sunny and pleasant.  The cool, dark nights combined with flannel sheets make for long, sound, nights of sleep. My body is loving all this rest. It's interesting how your body falls in line with the season. Good sleep was hard to come by when it was in the 80s and sunny till midnight this summer.

The welcomed mild temperatures also turns the mood in my kitchen to warm, slow & low cooking. I picked up a bag of cream of barley breakfast cereal from Alaska Flour Company at the South Anchorage Farmers Market this weekend. I've had this for breakfast every morning this week and I'm not tired of it. It takes about 3 minutes total to make, but tastes like it came from a bubbling crock pot. Here's my take on this yummy, satisfying weekday breakfast:

Warm Weekday Cream 'O Barley Cereal

1/4 cup of cream of barley cereal
3/4 cup water
2 tbls unsweetened almond milk
1 tbls ground flaxseed
1 tbls agave nectar
1 tbls cinnamon
1/2 banana

Combine cereal and water in your serving bowl, and pop in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds (caution: keep an eye on it! It builds up like lava in a volcano, and if you turn your back for a second, it may explode all over your microwave).

Top your cereal with remaining ingredients and enjoy. So, easy, you'll have time to eat breakfast AND do your hair before work.