March 27, 2011

Raw Almond Butter

I've been a fan of almond butter ever since Matt swiped it on my toast one morning for breakfast. The nutty flavor is so rich and gives a new dimension to "toast and peanut butter" which had been a breakfast staple of mine for years.

Recently, I have become a big fan and religious follower of the blog "Oh She Glows." Angela has a love for nut butters. It was her blog where I found the inspiration to make my own almond butter rather than purchasing almond butter in the store. Although Angela has moved on from using just almonds, I decided to go basic the first time making my own.

Prep was easy.

All I needed was almonds and a food processor. 

After you pour the almonds in the food processor, turn the food processor on and process, process, process. Pretty quickly the almonds will look like this...

Scrape the sides down and keep processing.

Soon the almonds will become chunky.

After about 10 minutes of stirring and scraping, the almonds will become smooth and you will have a delicious, home-made almond butter.

Not much clean-up involved!

I put the final product in a glass jar... 

but not before adding to my breakfast on this Sunday morning. 

I made rolled oats and added a sliced banana, greek yogurt and my newly made almond butter. With a cup of coffee, it tasted delicious!

Raw almond butter

2 1/4 c. almonds

Stir in food processor, scraping sides continuously, until smooth and creamy (about 10 minutes).

March 19, 2011

Snow biking

A couple weeks ago, I rented a snow bike from Arctic Cycles. The bike was a 9:ZERO:7, which are designed by Chain Reaction Cycles in Anchorage and manufactured by Merlin Metal Works in Portland, Oregon. A 9:ZERO:7 snow bike has an aluminum frame with a wheel built around a 100mm wide rim and Surly Endomorph tire (four inch wheels). They are awesome!

What was initially rented for a day of snow biking with Matt around Anchorage for the "Winter City 50K Populaire" turned into a day of biking on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and in Far North Bicentennial Park. We made this decision last minute (not to do the Populaire) due to the fact that it was four degrees outside. We still wanted to go for a ride though, but we just went by our own time.

We first ventured to Port Woronzof where we parked the truck and unloaded the bikes. The wind was brutal so we quickly hopped on our bikes and headed north on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail for Kincaid Park, which was about eight miles away. Once we reached the chalet (after pedaling up a crazy hill) Matt and I grabbed a quick snack and then turned around heading back for the truck. 

We decided to grab a bite to eat and then headed for Far North Bicentennial Park, which is on the east side of Anchorage.

Often times avoided in the summer due to bears, navigating the trails of Bicentennial Park was a blast. 

There was a dog sled race going on so we took the yield signs seriously. The signs did make us chuckle a bit... where else in the world would you come across a sign like this??

After a couple hours of riding around the park, we were exhausted. We loaded the bikes in the truck and headed back to Arctic Cycles to return the rented bike. 

March 06, 2011

Dillingham, Alaska

Dillingham, Alaska...

My second time in Dillingham went great. This time I traveled with my ANTHC coworker, Ali, as well as two colleagues, Jessi and Larry, from the State of Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

Myself, Larry, and Jessi in front of Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation's Kanakanak hospital.

According to the BBAHC website, BBAHC was formed in 1973 and began managing and operating Kanakanak Hospital and the Bristol Bay Service Unit for the Indian Health Service (IHS) in 1980. BBAHC was the first tribal organization in the United States to manage a hospital for IHS.

We drove down the road 25 miles from Dillingham to Aleknagik. Part of the city of Aleknagik (referred to as the north shore) is across Aleknagik Lake as shown in the picture above. Aleknagik is the only village in the Bristol Bay region with road access to Dillingham; however, the north shore of the lake (shown above) is not accessible by road.
Larry and Ali looking out at Lake Aleknagik from the south shore of Aleknagik.

The skiff (a small, flat bottom boat used for recreation and fishing) Jessi and I are sitting in is one type of transportation used to cross Lake Aleknakig.

Other types of transportation are snowmachines and ATVs.

Aleknagik is near this location where Senator Ted Stevens' plane crashed in August, 2010.