Theme eating week 1: Alaskan!

Dressing the part while eating "Alaskan"

Dressing the part while eating “Alaskan”

On New Year’s Day I posted our resolutions (fun fact: I posted these from the Pike’s Lodge in Fairbanks) and this week’s theme has been “Alaskan.” We didn’t know really what that would entail, since most of our meals have been part of a packaged deal. Read all about our Alaskan adventure here.

We arrived the afternoon of the first and figured not that many places would be open. I had done my research (I’m a hyper-diligent menu checker) and found that the restaurant that shares a parking lot with our lodge would be open AND had some great looking foods! Unfortunately, their online menu wasn’t current and I had to switch up my order when we arrived.

Brandon and I wanted to try something Alaskan, so we started out with some Alaskan crab stuffed mushrooms. They were pretty good, topped with Parmesan in a white wine and lemon cream sauce. We both went with burgers for the main course – don’t worry, they weren’t moose or muskox or anything exotic, although that would have been fun. (Fun side note: while you can hunt moose in Alaska, you can’t sell it commercially.)

Pancakes with reindeer sausage

Pancakes with reindeer sausage

We also had some tasty fare at the Bettles Lodge, the all-inclusive “resort” we stayed in. This included dinners of pork tenderloin with veggies and rice, teriyaki salmon with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, and pot roast, risotto and corn. For lunches: tuna sandwiches with homemade tomato soup and chicken noodle soup. And for breakfasts: a bacon and cheddar frittata, pancakes and REINDEER sausage and eggs, hash browns and bacon. It turns out that reindeer sausage tastes a lot like kielbasa, and it was delicious!

Our favorite pizza combo, with reindeer sausage

Our favorite pizza combo, with reindeer sausage

We’re back in Fairbanks now and for dinner last night we ordered some pizza for our last Alaskan meal. What’d we get? The usual… with more reindeer sausage! This time the reindeer tasted more like summer sausage and less like kielbasa. I think I’ve had my full of reindeer for awhile.

We also found that Alaskans aren’t so into their wine. Thankfully, there was still access to wine when you’re out in the bush. So far, we’ve opted for bottles of Malbec. We also did a little Alaskan Brewing beer sampler at the hotel bar with the Alaskan White wheat ale and the Freeride APA, both beers I haven’t seen in Seattle.

Starting today, we’ll be cutting out the meat and going vegetarian for the week.

2014 resolutions

2014 alreadyHere we are already: 2014. Man, that went fast. It seems like just yesterday that I was furiously pinning ideas for my “2013 Pinterest Lifestyle” resolution. Officially, that didn’t last long, but unofficially, I’m still on Pinterest all the time looking for craft ideas, recipes and workouts, I’ve just done a bad job at pinning them to my 2013 Pinterest Lifestyle board.

After much internal debate and out loud conversations with Brandon, I’ve landed on a few resolutions that I think are pretty attainable and maintainable:

Eat the rainbow. You all know that I’m a Brussels sprouts fanatic and I’ve also become pretty obsessed with kale. While “green” is good for your diet, I’m hoping to expand our color and recipe palates and start incorporating more colorful veggies into our diets. Which segues nicely to…

Theme eating. Back in 2012 we chose an ingredient of the week  to plan our meals around. It was a lot of fun and we were able to discover some really fun and delicious ingredients and recipes. (This opened our eyes to kale and inspired my love affair.) We’ve been in a bit of a meal-planning rut lately so we decided to incorporate theme eating, expanding on the ingredient of the week to include ingredients, colors and cultures of food. We’ll plan as we go, so if you’re coming over for dinner, make sure it’s a good “theme.” I’ll also be taking ideas, so be sure to send them my way or post them in comments section.

Live in the present. Enough about food. This year flew by – I felt like it was just the summer and now the days are already getting longer again. We spent a lot of weekends working on the yard and the house last year and this year I hope to really enjoy the finished product. Finishing the pizza oven is on the top of our to-do list and once it’s done, I plan to spend all sunny (ok, not rainy) afternoons and evenings on the patio, enjoying the lights, fire pit and company. I’m always going to be planning the next big holiday party and pinning ideas months in advance, but I will actively spend the next year enjoying the present.

Learn how to knit. I’ve got two friends who are going to teach me and I’m really looking forward to it! I’m going to start small (scarves) and work into hats. If all goes well, get ready for some knitted presents next Christmas!

Of course there are always the typical lose weight, eat healthier, save money and get more sleep resolutions, which are on the list, but you know, they always are.

Do any of these resolutions look familiar? Are you going to steal any of our resolutions for yourself?

Cheers to 2014! And happy Wine Wednesday!