Cranberry, Apricot and Nut Oat Granola Bars

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For those longer hikes and backpacking trips, it’s important to have protein and energy-packed snacks at your chewing disposal. But let’s face it, healthy snacks can be expensive, plus there’s all that extra packaging, and who knows what really goes in them if you didn’t make it yourself, right?

I faced a similar dilemma while prepping for my annual Ladies’ Backpacking Weekend, and decided to take matters into my own hands. Instead of loading up on Kind bars and Soy Joys (though I do love them), I tried my own homemade granola bars and a sweet treat. Thanks to Minimalist Baker for this awesome 5 ingredient recipe, which both accommodates great taste and easy creation. Continue reading

The Unparalleled Cascade Views from Tom Dick and Harry

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If you’re searching for an iconic view of Oregon’s tallest mountain, Tom Dick and Harry must be added to your “must hike” list. A mere hour from downtown Portland, the Mirror Lake trailhead will take you from trafficked Highway 26 to an impressive overlook granting views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and even Mr. Rainier on very clear days.

I have twice hiked the Mirror Lake trail during the winter months when the lake is coated in beautiful white, but this was my first excursion in the summer time and first ever to the upper division of Tom Dick and Harry. Surprisingly, when you’re not trudging through snow, this hike goes quickly to the lake, but is absolutely worth the added jaunt to the top.

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Cherry, Peach and Raspberry Chia Seed Crisp

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Holy moly! I’ve only recently heard about chia seeds and their alleged health properties, but I am now a full on believer! Packed with protein and aiding hydration, these little guys are a wonderful addition to your diet, particularly in the hot summer months when it’s hot and you need all the water retention you can get.

While at the local farmers market, Whole Foods was set up promoting healthy eating and this amazing raw cherry chia seed crisp recipe. It was so delicious I ended up coming back for seconds, and because they were strategically placed right next door to a farmer selling Rainier cherries, you better believe a pound of those things came home with me. I promise that this recipe is not a labor of love, even though it does involve a food processor. You’ll have it whipped together and served to delighted friends in T-20 min or so. Continue reading

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

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Nom. Just nom. Yet another win from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice! This light chicken dinner is seasonal win for the upcoming summer evenings, plus it’s easy to put together and leaves satisfied customers all around. The artichoke marinade can be prepared ahead of time, so it’s perfect if you’ve had a long day and want a simple (and delicious) meal ready within 30 min.

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Scallion Crepes and Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms

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Whoever said you can’t have breakfast for dinner has obviously never had savory crepes. At a recent Hipcooks Dim Sum and Then Some class, I learned the power that is scallion crepes, and after making a gluten-free batter batch, I have some pre-made and ready to go for some joyful consumption. I’ll admit this recipe isn’t completely gluten free due to including hoisin sauce, but man it’s tasty! Continue reading

Boise’s hidden outdoor treasure: Bob’s Trail

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Boise’s outdoor scene might be best known for its prolific mountain biking trails scattered across the city’s many hillsides, but the hiking trails are equally spectacular. During a recent visit to Boise, a friend introduced me to a trailhead tucked into a neighborhood close to the Crane Creek Country Club. I believe the area is one of those “you don’t know about it unless someone tells you about it” kind of places. Bob’s Trail is short (just over 3 miles), but the scenery is both calming and much less populated than trails in the vicinity. Continue reading

Mango Salsa Salad with Farro

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Oh, hello summer. So nice to see you again! When the weather turns hot, I can’t be bothered with cooking hot things (well, to excess). I was first introduced to this mango salsa recipe sans farro years ago as a topping for grilled salmon (absolutely delicious), and since then have enjoyed it over chicken, shoveling it in my face with chips, and now as a light salad. This is a perfect picnic or potluck contribution and will keep for a few days. You can easily make this dish gluten-free by dropping the farro. I haven’t tried it with quinoa, but I imagine it would be equally delicious.

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