I’m Back and I’ve Got Cookies!

It was recently brought to my attention that this blog hasn’t been updated since August. It’s not that I haven’t had much to write about. We’ve had quite an interesting summer, including a few more camping trips since I last checked in.
I have so much to catch up on here, but I haven’t even downloaded the photos from the last few months from my camera yet. I suppose it will be nice to reminisce about the summer as the weather gets colder though.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a recipe that I whipped this week. It’s not really seasonal. It seems I still haven’t been able to shake my key lime obsession that we picked up in Florida last year:

Key Lime and Coconut Shortbread

2/3 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup coconut
1/2 tbsp lime zest
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons key lime juice
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a round cake pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flours, cornstarch and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, add the softened butter and sugars. Beat with a mixer until combined. Stir in the zest.

4. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Add the coconut to the dough.

5. Use your hands to gently press the dough into the pan and cut into triangles, but don’t separate the slices.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

7. Make the glaze by combining the confectioners’ sugar with the lemon juice. Whisk it until it’s smooth, adding more confectioners’ sugar as needed to give it a consistency suitable for drizzling.

8. Cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, drizzle on the glaze and allow the glaze to set before serving.

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Little Camper in the Forest

Once again, I’ve fallen behind with my camping trip recaps. I often try to sit down and write at the end of the day, just before I turn in. Lately though, as soon as I settle down with my laptop, I hit the wall. “I’ll finish this tomorrow,” I say to myself, but the cycle just continues, night after night.

So, this one is going back to Canada Day holiday weekend…

Our second time out in the camper took us to the Allegheny Forest of Pensylvania. We’d been to this region many times before. We usually go farther south in the the forest, but in the interest of not driving quite as far, we tried a new spot.

Traffic was fairly light on the way to the border and we got though customs quickly. However, we ended up in the most miserable traffic in Buffalo, which is rare. We usually have all of our traffic issues on the Canadian side. That led to a very late arrival in Pennsylvania and a fun excersce in backing in the camper in the black of night.

Our park was called Buckaloons and when we woke up on Saturday morning we were quite pleased by our surroundings. It had all of the amenities we look for in a campsite. It was on the Allegheny River with a trail that ran along beside it. The sites were surrounded by trees and spaced so far apart that you had complete privacy in every direction. It was also well maintained, with great facilities.

We knew it was going to be a rainy weekend, but now that we have the camper it was less of a concern for us. Still, after we had coffee and breakfast on Saturday morning were were restless, so we set out for the town nearby that we’d passed though the night before.

We poked around Warren, PA for a little while, as we waited for the rain to clear up. We did some shopping and had lunch and by early afternoon the sun came out. By then, we’d made our way to the Kinzua Dam. As, seen in other vacations, Jeremy and I enjoy a good dam (we haven’t seen the Hoover yet, it was too hot when were in Nevada last August).

The Kinzua Dam was built in the 1960s and was surrounded by some degree of contraversy, as it’s constuction meant displacing several hundred natives, along with a handfull of other small communites. This didn’t go over particularly well with the affected parties, especially the Seneca’s, who’d been given the land in a treaty signed by George Washington.

This region needed flood control though. In 1936 Pittsburgh was underwater for weeks and the threat of another devastating floodwater disaster loomed over the region for years. So, despite the concerns of the residents, the Kennedy administration moved them out and began construction and since It’s completion it’s been estimated that at least a billion dollars in flood damages have been prevented.

Apparently, Kinzua means “Place of Many Fishes.”

The next day, we went to see other engineering marvel – the Kinzua Bridge. For a short time at the turn of the century this had been the tallest railroad bridge in the world. It was originally made from iron in 1882, it was rebuilt using steel in 1900. Steel was great for accomodating heavier railway cars, but it was no match for the tornado that tore though it in 2003.

Prior to it’s collape, the tressel had been in the process of restoration, as it had not actually been in use since 1959.

One end of the bridge is open to the public and features a vertigo inducing partial glass floor near at the lookout point.

Then, we were homeward bound. Although Monday had been a holiday, we came home early to spend some time around the house. Plus, it seemed unpatriotic to spend Canada Day, stateside.

Since then, we’ve been on our third trip, and I look forward to telling you all about it soon.

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Have Camper, Will Travel – Part 2

So, now we’ve come to the actual camping part of or trip.

Later that day, we arrived at the tip of Cape Cod.

I’d been there before, many years ago, and I’d been longing to come back since. The first time had been on a summer holiday with my best friend, back when were were in school . It’d been the sequel to our Graceland road trip. It was the Grease 2 of vacations – it was great, but lacked the magic of the original.

We set up camp at the The Dunes Edge Campground.

One of the great things about this spot was is it’s proximity to Provincetown. It was easily within walking distance to shopping, restaurants and the beach. We could have both a camping experience right along with the Cape Cod tourist experience, without having to drive anywhere.

This location was also a blessing when we arrived and discovered the area doesn’t allow campfires. This had thrown a wrench in our dinner plans. We’d planned on a campfire meal, and while the trailer does have a stove, we don’t like the idea of frying meats or doing anything greasy and splattery in such a confined space.

So, we just walked into town and found a restaurant. Then, the next day, we went back to pick up a portable propane grill so we could cook up the food we’d brought. We’d been planning to get a grill eventually anyway, so we just crossed one more thing off our camping accessory wish list.

Provincetown is a charming resort town at the very end of the cape. It’s best known for being super gay, and I mean that literally, and entirely without mocking.

Same-sex couples out numbered us straight folk at least 3:1, and in keeping with stereotypes, that demographic always seems to attract fantastic fashion and home decor shops, along with great restaurants.

When were weren’t wandering around Provincetown, we hung out on or campsite.

Playing relaxing and playing games.

It’s a shame it’s such a long drive for us, we’d love to spend more time here.

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