01. 4. 2015

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Sadie has volleyball practice at Marshall School and it’s good to be back in Duluth again (talk to me in March, the thrill most likely will have worn off). We kept our first sailboat, Isle of Skye, in Harbor Cove Marina for a couple of years and I have so many memories of the boys and our Newfie, Guinness, in Canal Park and Park Point.

It was a family excursion today and since Will is back from his semester at Conserve, we decided to fit in a quick photo safari between Menard’s, Mount Royal and T.J. Maxx. We dropped Sadie off at practice, Ted and Charlie at the antique store in Canal Park and headed over the aerial lift bridge for our first photo safari of 2015.

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Will and I have an understanding about our safaris— there needs to be either an element of life-threatening danger or we need to get lost. Since Park Point is a one-way in/one-way out kind of place, thank God the wind chill was well into sub-zero territory. And man, was it windy on the beach—the waves were rolling.

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There were pieces of ice shattered along the beach, lit up by the late afternoon sun (which provided absolutely no warmth to my quickly freezing fingers). The incredible clarity of Lake Superior water is amazing.

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It was so good to be back on the beach, camera in hand, with Will. We started our photo safaris two years ago and we’ve gathered some incredible memories (and photos) along the way. I got a taste of what’s ahead when he was gone at Conserve for four months and the 25 minutes we spent together discussing apertures, not slipping on the ice and laughing as I laid in the sand trying to get the shot was a little sweeter this time around.

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We closed our safari with a final adventure down Moccasin Mike Road to catch the sunset and a Laker anchored off the Superior entrance. This time around, Ted, Sadie and Charlie joined us for our foray into the sub-zero temperatures. Needless to say, they haven’t been schooled in the art of guerrilla picture-taking in less than ideal circumstances and we were all back in the warm car after about 5 minutes. We really are going to have to toughen up if we’re going to make it though the winter….it’s only January 4th!

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Sadie’s playing volleyball in Duluth, Meghan joined the swim team in Bayfield and Charlie’s developed a very busy social calendar in Washburn. Given the potential for a massive scheduling fiasco, quick and easy dinners are the name of the game. The criteria is simple: it needs to be relatively decent tasting and can’t require much beyond a sheet tray and a pre-heated oven. This chicken fits the bill perfectly— marinate the chicken overnight, add a rice cooker full of jasmine rice into the equation and I am a picture of efficiency….kind of. There are still the issues of clean underwear, extra toilet paper and the 42 different kinds of mustard in the fridge but at least I can get dinner on the table before 8 pm, sometimes.

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Chicken Thighs with an Asian Flair
(adapted from Bon Appetit)

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped and de-seeded
1 3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup palm sugar (you can substitute light brown sugar)
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
6 sprigs of thyme, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped

Combine garlic, jalapeño, ginger, olive oil, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, chili-garlic and thyme. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken and marinade to a non-reactive bowl or resealable plastic bag, turn to coat and marinate for 12 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Roast for about 30 minute or until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees. Serve immediately.


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