Friday, March 04, 2022

An Askew Review

Jared's day went askew. He has borrowing Alex's truck while in town and the engine seized! That certainly changed the trajectory of the day. He spent hours by the time the truck was towed to our mechanic, the mechanic looked at it, we coordinated what to do and finally, the tow truck picked it up again from the auto shop in Anchorage and brought it out to our home...if anyone knows where Alex can buy a new engine, he's open to suggestions. 

This is a fun diversion as we wait for breakup to take effect. Our last frost is the end of May so it will be a while before I'm planting seeds...but I'm dreaming. I've asked everyone to mark seeds which look fun to try. 

I am contemplating planting a pumpkin patch this year in part of the garden. Parents could bring their little ones to a safe location to pick a pumpkin, we could serve hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies in the yard.  My problem is figuring which pumpkin variety will grow up here and when to plant it to have it in October....because we might have snow by then so maybe I should aim for a fall pumpkin patch in September????? What to do? 

Jamin was out this way showing a house. It's always fun when his little white hybrid shows up in our driveway. Often, he sits out there for 10 -15 min before he comes in - phone calls. We laughed as he kept having to deal with business calls while we visited. He's just back from a conference/vacation in Florida. Jamin has 9 houses sold or pending in 2022 - that's great for 2 months. 

My first walk of 2022! I want to get back into my routine of walking 3 -5 miles a day. I've had trouble fitting it in with my caregiving schedule...and it shows. ::snort:: I like to walk in the mornings, but no one is around to stay with Dad.  Allie was heading out for an afternoon walk and invited me to go with her - perfect. It is about to start getting light earlier and earlier and I will soon go EARLY....because I have to go and be back before Dad wakes up. 

We continue to love our study times together, which spill over to dinner conversations from time to time. This week the girls and I discussed hinderances to being used of God....jealousy, rejection, insecurities, we looked at the life of Saul. 

We pulled lessons from David's life to illustrate how to handle our internal struggles. Hard to believe we've completed week 4 of this study. It's time for me to begin looking for the next one. Locally we are on week 2 so there is a bit of wiggle room. 

This is the perfect night to watch Dispicable Me 2. 

Smokey Salmon Chowder

Our first year in Alaska I asked everyone I knew for salmon recipes. Sandy shared her Salmon chowder recipe (Original recipe). I have made enough changes that it's time to note the new recipe.  I'm often asked to share the recipe and now I won't have to say here it is and I do this and that to it. It's now a smokey Salmon concoction. Canning it was not a success.  Of course, I think this tastes best with wild Alaskan salmon caught at the mouth of the Kenai river...but you can use canned salmon as well. 

Even our fish haters take seconds of this soup. 

Note: This makes a large (6 qt) pot of soup filled to the tippy top.

6 T butter
1 1/2 C chopped onion (Large onion)
8 garlic cloves (less if you don't love garlic)
1 C chopped celery
2 tsp garlic powder
4 C diced potatoes
4 Carrots, diced
4 C chicken broth
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
4 tsp dried dill weed 
2 - 4 pints of canned smoked salmon (or 2 - 4 16 oz cans or, 2lbs salmon filet) *
2 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (in a pinch use any milk; I've used almond milk)
2 -3 C frozen corn 
1 - 2 (8 oz) block cream cheese, do one and see if you want more
2 - 4 caps of liquid smoke (if you aren't using smoked salmon) again start with 2 and adjust


Melt Butter. Sauté onion, celery, garlic and garlic powder until onions are soft. 

Stir in potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, pepper, and dill. 

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.  (If using uncooked salmon filet add at this point and it will be cooked in the allotted time. 

Stir in salmon, evaporated milk, corn, and cream cheese. 

Cook until heated through.

Recipe Notes: 
I provide shredded cheddar cheese at the table as the original recipe called for it. Most don't add it. 

If you don't want it smokey, don't use smoked salmon or add the liquid smoke. It is still very good; we just think this takes it to the next level. LOL 

Sesame Chicken


I always forget and mix the sesame seeds in rather than sprinkling on top

I found this recipe and it's been a hit with the family. The other night I made a single batch of this, and orange chicken and it fed 7 of us well, with enough left over for a couple to have some at lunch the next day. I found this recipe on Dinner at the Zoo.  This ones for you, Beth. 


For the chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • oil for frying

For the sauce

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (I use Monk Fruit or a Stevia/Erythrital blend)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions


  • Place the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine
  • Place the flour and 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Stir to combine.
  • Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then into the flour. Repeat the process with all of the chicken.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pan to 350 degrees F
  • Add 7-8 pieces of chicken to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken
  • Drain the chicken on paper towels
  • While the chicken is cooking, combine the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch in a bowl.
  • Heat the teaspoon of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the honey sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until just thickened.
  • Add the crispy chicken to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, then serve.


The sauce can be made up to two days before you plan to serve it.
This last time I used Tyson Popcorn chicken, baked the chicken and skipped steps 1 - 6.  Because sometimes I need a quicker meal.  I've also done this with un-breaded chicken. I liked it; family likes breaded better. 


Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 1648mg | Potassium: 518mg | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 270IU | Vitamin C: 2.8mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1.9mg