Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Recipes and Packing

Thank you to everyone for the kind comments and well wishes for our hometown. The worst of the storm has passed, and now the clean-up must begin. From what we've been able to hear, our families and friends are all ok, and no major property damage reported at this time. Pictures of the flooding and damage can be seen posted at The East Hampton Star. It could have been so much worse, but I've read that the storm, even though it had picked up strength as it approached, it also picked up speed, and as a result passed over the island faster than expected. We wish everyone back there our best, and hope for a speedy recovery, especially power!

I'm back to packing orders in Amazon. I work in the department called Crisplant, which is named for the company that designed the system.
This is a stock photo from Amazon showing the chutes that orders come in on. I work a rolling packing cart that moves along the row of chutes. As items are dropped into the chutes (double row, the chute above is an order and the chute below is a different order) the computer keeps track of them and when the order is completed the light at the end of the chute flashes on signifying to me that the order is ready to be packed. I verify that the order is correct, pack it into the correct size box, slap on the SP00 label (the white barcode label on the side of the box) and place it on the conveyor which takes the package on to the shipping department. It's not hard at all, just repetitive and hard on your feet!

Al has also started this week. He finished Safety School yesterday, and then had a meeting with his managers  at AmCare. He starts tonight, but doesn't get the "luxury" of starting half shifts for two weeks, he goes right to 10 hour shifts. I still have two more half nights, then start full shifts on Sunday night.

Gail from Gypsy Turtles requested the recipe for the Crockpot Lemon Poppyseed Cake, so here it is.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Bread
Makes: 12 to 16 servings
Prep 15 mins
Slow Cook 1 hr 30 mins to 2 hrs  (high)
Cool 10 mins

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Coat a 4- to 5-quart oval slow cooker or a 4-quart round slow cooker with cooking spray. In a large bowl stir together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together sugar, eggs, oil, yogurt, milk, lemon peel, lemon juice, and vanilla until sugar dissolves. Add sugar mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until combined (mixture should still be slightly lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on high-heat setting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until top appears set. Turn off slow cooker. Carefully remove lid so condensation from lid does not drip onto bread. Cover opening of slow cooker completely with paper towels; place lid on top. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of slow cooker; remove bread from cooker. Cool completely on a wire rack.
nutrition facts (Lemon-Poppy Seed Bread)

I did cut this recipe in half as there is only two of us and my slow cooker is a small 3 quart one. It came out great, although I shortened the cooking time to 1 hour 45 minutes.

We also tried a new meatball recipe last night that we really enjoyed, and thought I would pass along. If you like Asian style food you should enjoy these. I would recommend cutting back a little on the ginger unless you REALLY like ginger...it's very strong!

Teriyaki Meatballs

For the Meatballs:

1 lb ground pork
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
1 egg
1/2 cup Panko (or plain) breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 green onions, chopped finely
1/8 teaspoon or 15 cracks of black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, grated

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. 

Add the pork, ginger, egg, bread crumbs, soy sauce, green onions, black pepper and garlic into a large bowl.  Using your hands smash until completely combined. 

Form into small balls and add to a large oven proof skillet on medium high heat.  Brown a few of the side of the meatball.  After you have done this, cover with an oven proof lid and place in the oven.  Cook for 20 minutes. 

For the Sauce:

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cold water
2 tablespoons corn starch

Star by adding the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, sesame seed oil, vinegar and ginger into a medium sauce pan on medium heat.  Bring to a simmer. 

In a small cup, add the cold water and corn starch.  Stir until combined to create a slurry. 

Slowly pour the slurry into the sauce whisking as you go.  This will thicken the sauce as it heats so go slowly.  If you want a thicker sauce add more slurry.  If you get too thick of a sauce add more water. 

To serve, remove the meatballs from the oven and carefully pour the sauce over the meatballs.  Toss in the sauce.  Serve the meatballs over rice, garnish with sesame seeds and additional green onions. 


Recipe slightly modified from: Budget Bytes  

Hope everyone enjoys the recipes! See you soon!


  1. And in your spare time you should write a cookbook! :-)))

    So glad to hear that everything is pretty OK in your hometown.

  2. Glad that things are ok in your hometown. Lots of devastation. That poppyseed bread crockpot recipe sounds great! Gotta try it..

  3. I'll have to try the meatballs.

    Steve and I had lunch with Sandi and Joe. We sure enjoyed meeting them. They answered lots of questions.

    Crisplant is not hard other than the fact my feet are killing me! We bought $50 inserts that I hope will help. It's hard to keep your numbers up when you feet are yelling at you! Do you have special shoes or inserts?

  4. Thanks for the recipes Karen! The meatballs sound really good too.
    Glad everyone back home is OK.

  5. These meatballs look great. I bought some of the ingredients I needed to make them. Thanks for sharing.