Good To Go Makes Gourmet Dehydrated Meals

by Carlye Cunniff
( August 7th, 2015 )

Good To Go Gourmet Dehydrated Meals

As much as my man and I go camping, we are actually pretty bad at it. We both love to camp, and hike, and kayak – and the thrill of sleeping outside frequently beckons us. The problem for us is usually poor planning. We’re fairly spontaneous campers, and often throw everything in the car and get out of town for the weekend. This method, though very exciting, often leads to forgetting important items, arriving to over-full campsites after dark, or speed-hiking our way up a mountain. I’d like to say we’ll change out ways, but, let’s be honest, I’m not going to get organized anytime soon.

On a recent camping adventure, we had our usual mishaps. Late arrival, lack of preparation, flat tire, etc. Fortunately for me (and my stomach) we brought dehydrated meals from Good To-Go. All we needed to do to enjoy an outdoors meals was boil water.

Good To-Go makes gourmet dehydrated meals. The company was founded by Jennifer Scism, an accomplished, good-food-focused chef, promises to fill it’s backcountry food pouches with ingredients we can recognize, pronounce and feel good about eating. Supportive as I am about eating food I recognize, I’m, first and foremost, concerned about the flavor. Nothing kills the campfire-induced mood better than eating partially cooked, cardboard flavored spaghetti and meatballs from a bag.

I was pleasantly surprised by Good To-Go. We had both the Thai Curry and Mushroom Risotto – both tasted like something I might make at home. There were no funny flavors or unidentified objects. We did struggle a bit with texture – a few pieces of rice weren’t fully cooked, and the curry was a bit watery, but this didn’t impact the flavor in any major way. I’m happy to report that I actually enjoyed eating this meal, I looked forward to it, and I would look forward to eating it again. If you’re a dehydrated food eater, you recognize that this is a big compliment. I’d even consider bringing a Good To-Go meal to work on a day that I don’t have time to make lunch. Yes, you read that right, I did just say I would willingly eat this dehydrated food outside of the forest.

Good To Go currently makes four meals dehydrated meals, Mushroom Risotto, Thai Curry, Three Bean Chili and Marinara with Penne. Each pouch is meant to serve one camper, and provides that camper with ample nutrition and energy for active outdoor pursuits. Good To Go is proudly made in Maine. You can purchase Good To Go online, or at several retailers on the East Coast.

Thank you to Good To-Go for providing these tasty treats for me to sample. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Salmon with Sweet Corn

by Carlye Cunniff
( August 4th, 2015 )

Roasted rosemary and garlic salmon with sweet corn

Nothing says summer in Seattle like salmon. Put it on the grill, or the campfire, or the stovetop…you get the idea. There are a million ways to prepare salmon, but, especially if you’re working with a fresh filet, less is more. This rosemary and garlic roasted salmon with sweet corn is full of flavor, full of healthy benefits and pretty much fool proof. It’s also totally customizable – the corn and tomatoes are an especially delicious combo, but any quick roasting veggie will fit the bill.

The hardest part of this dish is getting the pin bones out of the salmon filet. Pin bones are the soft bones that run right down the center of the filet. You’ll be able to feel them poking you if you run your finger down the cut of fish. Some fish mongers will remove them for you, and some won’t.  The pin bones are relatively soft, so they won’t hurt you if you serve them in the salmon, but it’s considered a bit unsavory.

The best (and most professional way) to remove pin bones is with fish pliers, but I don’t have those. I normally use my tiny (well-cleaned) jewelry pliers, but I forgot those too. I’m happy to report that I (very carefully) used a pair of giant, (sanitized) garage dwelling pliers, to the surprise and delight of my dinner guest. Because they were so large and clunky, I laid the filet on top of an overturned bowl, to make the pin bones stick out more. Pull ‘with the grain’ and the pin bone slips right out.

Ingredients:

Fresh salmon filet – mine was about a pound for two people.

1 ear of fresh corn, kernels cut from cob

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

1/2 lb green beans, trimmed

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 lemon. (1/2 of this lemon should be juiced, the other half cut into thin rings)

salt and pepper to taste

Rosemary garlic salmon

Directions

Preheat oven to 425

On a baking sheet, combine corn, tomatoes and green beans with olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper – spread in a single layer

Place the salmon, skin side down in the center

Add rosemary, lemon juice, and extra salt and pepper for the salmon

Bake for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Rosemary and garlic roasted salmon with sweet corn

What’s your favorite way to enjoy fresh salmon? Let us know in the comments below!

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Summer Cider Day – Northwest Cider Tasting in Port Townsend

by Carlye Cunniff
( August 2nd, 2015 )

Summer Cider Day

If you’re looking for yet another reason to make Washington your favorite state, consider this: Washington is the second largest producer of wine in the nation, we also have the second highest number of craft breweries – only California has more of either. As if this weren’t enough to convince you to put your thirsty roots down here, (or at least visit) Washington is the proud home to more than 30 cideries, more than any other state in US.

The large amount of fermented-apple-goodness coming out of Washington makes sense – according to the Northwest Cider Association, “Washington is the largest apple producing state in the country and harvests over 100 million boxes of apples each year from 175,000 acres of orchards around the state.” Though the popularity of cider is a relatively new trend across the US, cider is a beverage with historical clout. John Adams reportedly drank a tankard of the stuff every morning. Europeans have practiced the cider-making art for (practically) ever, but Washington’s cider profile is set to be a little different. To find out exactly what ‘different’ means, I’ll be joining other cider enthusiasts this weekend, at Summer Cider Day.

Admittedly, cider is not currently my drink of choice – I’m usually distracted by trying new beer flavors, or feeling fancy over a glass of wine. Summer Cider Day, taking place this weekend in Port Townsend, may just change my tune. This weekend marks the 5th annual Summer Cider Day – featuring the best in Northwest cider, and tickets are still available.

Summer Cider Day is organized by The Northwest Cider Association (NWCA), an organization that represents over 70 cider makers from throughout the Northwest. They seek to “bring cideries and cider lovers together to learn, experience and the enjoy the Northwest cider culture.” Summer Cider Day in Port Townsend does just that – visitors can sip and sample over 60 ciders from multiple Northwest cideries. This family-friendly event also features blue-grass music from the Whisky Minstrels, and gluten-free food from Sirens Pub. All this celebration is happening on Saturday, August 8 from 12 p.m. to 5 pm at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington.

Summer Cider Day

The event is expected to draw a crowd – it is “one of the largest cider tasting events in Washington state and has helped establish the Northwest as a nationally recognized cider region,” says Sherrye Wyatt, executive director of the Northwest Cider Association. Though Washington cideries will certainly have their moment at the festival (from places like Port Townsend, Vashon Island, Spokane, Seattle, Wenatchee, Olympia and Tieton) featured ciders will also come from Oregon and Montana.

I’ll be making a weekend out of it by joining cider makers and other cider-fans at Alpenfire Organic Hard Cider’s Cider Breakfast in the Orchard on Sunday, August 9, at 10 a.m. Tickets to the cider breakfast are still available; Alpenfire’s owners, Steve and Nancy Bishop, will serve a breakfast in the orchard, modeled after those traditionally served in European cider country.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and include admission for one, 10 tasting tickets, and a keepsake Northwest Cider Association glass. Additional taste tickets, fare from Sirens Pub, and bottles of most of the featured ciders will be available for purchase. The Northwest Maritime Center is located at 431 Water Street in Port Townsend. Event tickets and event details are available at www.nwcider.com.

For more information about the Northwest Cider Association, visit www.nwcider.com, or follow the growing organization on Facebook and Twitter (@nwcider).

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