Keep Calm and Bake Bread

My amazing husband bought me two more advanced bread making books for Christmas. IMG_5451He gifted me Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish and The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.   I’m not sure his motives were completely pure, as he really like the benefits of having lots of fresh baked bread in the house.  Either way, I am thoroughly enjoying reading through the wisdom of Ken Forkish IMG_5449and Peter Reinhart, trying out some new bread recipes, and learning new tips, tricks, and techniques along the way.

I couldn’t wait to start baking, so the first loaf I tried my hand at (seriously tried my hand at, the breads by Forkish are all mixed purely by hand) was The Saturday White Bread.white bread with poolish  This bread recipe introduced me to using volumetric measurements, all done using a scale I received for Amazon review.  Although this bread turned out great, and made my very pregnant neighbor go “coo coo for cocoa puffs”, I found that I needed to invest in some more tools of the trade to really get the best bread.  This has been especially true since I’ve started doing bread doughs made with pre-ferments.

The next bread I started the same day as The Saturday White bread was Reinhart’s  Pain de Campagne using a pate fermentee overnight refrigerated pre-ferment method .IMG_5332  For these loaves, I documented EVERYTHING, and have to say that I learned a lot, but did not enjoy the process of having to take so many measurements.  I think I disliked the data collection as it reminded me too much of my actually profession in the medical laboratory and was less about being a creative outlet.  These loves were my British mother in laws favorite, but I struggled with shaping the loaves.  In Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, all loaves are shaped into a round boule to be baked in a 4 quart dutch oven, so shaping the loaves for Forkish’s recipes is much simpler.  But practice makes perfect, so I will keep baking and shaping until I get it right…maybe with a little help from one of my best friends who happens to be a pastry chef!IMG_5333

The third loaf I mixed up was once again from Reinhart, a Portuguese Sweet Bread.  It was okay, but not like the crusty and full of flavor rustic breads I had been making and craving. IMG_5414 This was more of a brioche like bun dough, and would taste great made into cinnamon rolls, or similar buns because of the sweet citrus flavors of the dough.  I did get to use my Kitchenaid mixer for this dough though, and that reminded me of when my husband bought it for me 7 years ago for Christmas and how far my bread making skills have improved.

The last 2 loaves I tried my hand at were  Harvest Bread with Poolish and White Bread with Poolish.  For the latter loaves, I had some of my new tools in, and was able to raise these in cane banneton proofing baskets.  Although the loaves I previously proofed in a large metal bowl lined with a flour dusted tea towel didn’t taste differently, it was less of a flour mess, the loaves had a more uniform shape, and the proofing baskets gave the loaves a more professional appearance with the flour rings.  Baking these loaves in the 4 quart dutch oven give them such a nice crispy crust that I was never able to achieve just using my large rectangular pizza stone.



I’m pretty sure my family and friends have been enjoying my Christmas gifts as much as I have.  I’ve baked 10 loaves of bread in the past week, so there have been a lot of bread deliveries. IMG_5452 My mother in law sewed me up some cute fabric bags to deliver the bread so that the hot out of the oven loaves can still let off steam but still be protected for travel.

Currently, I am working on a levain starter…think less “sour” sourdough.  It uses naturally occurring yeast to raise the bread and the  final loaves can be baked without adding any commercial yeast.  IMG_5450Husband’s co-workers have pretty much demanded some fresh baked bread, so I plan to mix up Forkish’s Field Blend #2  to deliver them hot out of the oven along with some good quality butter to schmear (Southwestrn Pennsylvanina for smear or spread) over the cracks and crevices of these naturally risen loaves.

The levain will be ready to bake with in 2 more days…but I doubt I can go that long without baking up another batch of bread because I mussgo bake! I find working with my hands very therapeutic and stress relieving, which I definitely noticed this week when I was baking as the notary was here for us to try for a second time to sign our home loan refinancing documents.  With all that hassle behind me, I will continue to keep calm and bake bread!

-Mussog Momma

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Amazon TOS change and California Basics Home Brewing 16 oz Glass Bottles

In light of the new Amazon Terms of service agreement, it seems like my time of reviewing may have ended. I’m really hoping to keep helping sellers out and getting some awesome products to beta test by posting some of my favorite products on my blog. IMG_4613One of these products is California Basics Home Brewing 16 oz Glass Bottles with Caps that fit in   perfectly with my reduce, reuse, recycle lifestyle that includes all things from cloth diapers, cloth napkins, mama cloth, and even these cool glass bottles. We are able to get away from plastics and the worry of BPAs with these clear glass bottles. Here’s what I had to say about these bottles that I have had the pleasure of using the last 2 months…

I bought these to make up bottles of lemonade to take to the summer picnics we go to. I have a killer strawberry lemonade recipe that everyone loves, so I am always asked to make it for get togethers. I had just been making a pitcher, but that was not easy to transport. IMG_3965 (1)Once I saw these reusable clear glass bottles, I knew they would be perfect for taking strawberry lemonade along to the picnics. The clear glass allows everyone to see all the muddled strawberries and bits of fresh lemon floating in the lemonade so they know it is the real deal. The plastic and rubber stopper fits on nicely, but the metal fasteners were a little loose and would come unattached from the bottle and fly across the room like a champagne cork even when just popping open an empty glass bottle. The metal that holds on the stopper on was easily bend a little to make it have a tighter fit onto the bottleIMG_4614. Overall, I love that these bottles are reusable and are decorative as well as functional! I received this product at a reduced cost. All opinions are my own and I in no way guarantee a positive review.

If you are interested in transitioning to blog or social share reviewing, we can learn together. I am thankful for the last 11 months that I have been an Amazon reviewer and went from a 6 million ranking down to the top 5 thousand reviewers. This tells me that my opinions and reviews of the products are actually useful, so i’m going to continue as long as I can!

-Mussgo Momma (self proclaimed reviewing Queen)

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Weekly meal Plan 9/23-9/29/2016…more farm share goodies!

I’ve really loved using the weekly CSA farm share from Lazy Creek Farm as the basis of my weekly menu.  It is forcing me to incorporate more veggies into our diet and eat healthier meals. IMG_4025 HIMG_4024ere you can see what I got in the delivery box, plus I had bought some romaine lettuce and avocados at Costco and had a spaghetti squash and some other bits of veggies left over that must go.  I wasn’t sure what the long green crooked neck squash was called, but I received an e-mail from from the CSA saying that it was Tromboncino, or little trumpet.  All the seeds are in the bulbous end and the flesh is yellow and much denser than zucchini.  I also found it to be a little sweeter than zucchini.  Its awesome to experience new foods and continue to encourage adventurous eating habits for the whole family.  Anyway, here is what I planned for this weeks menu based on the produce that is in season and should be cheaper for you at the local grocery store too.




  • Mussgo, freezer meal, or meal not prepped from last week





  • Chipotle lime shredded pork tacos
  • Mexican rice-I cooked up too much rice on Monday, so I re-purposed it for tonight by adding in a can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos and the grilled Tromboncino squash.  you could easily substitute zucchini.
  • Corn, avocado, and tomato salad with lime vinaigrette-yes a repeat, but the avocados must go!



  • Mussgo (or in our case KFC from the drive thru as Baby and I had to take Husband 2 hours away to the airport after getting the 2 older kids on the school bus and getting back in time to get them, then run Fancy to dance lessons…it was a long and exhausting day!)

Starting with next weeks meal plan, I am doing a “Fall back on the Pantry” challenge to use up the accumulate mussgo items from my freezer and pantry.  It’s also a great way to catch up or pay ahead on any bills or save for the upcoming holidays.  I’m not sure how far into October the CSA will continue, but besides what we already have, picking up WIC milk for Baby, and the weekly produce box, I am not going to buy any other groceries.  My goal is ZERO spent at the store from September 21-October 19…but I have set $20 max aside in an envelope for my grocery budget just in case.

Mussgo Momma

PS > > >Make sure you are following my Facebook page because I have a giveaway coming up on Friday!  I have to check the collaboration rules, but a comment on Friday’s blog post could give you an extra entry!




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My first adventure in canning!

So sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but life happens.  We have successfully moved into a brand new built 4 bedroom house and the kids have gone back to school, and boy am I glad that all that is done with!  Moving ourselves was a lot of hard work, but we had some great friends who really helped us out.  Now that our days are falling back into a routine, I should be posting more regularly.  This summer definitely IMG_4031felt like a whirlwind to me, but the one constant was my CSA delivery and a hungry family to feed.

I’ve still been getting weekly CSA deliveries of farm fresh organic produce from Lazy Creek Farm and doing my weekly meal planning around them, but the wonderful farmers surprised me with some extra beets and cucumbers from there bountiful garden as a thank you for my blog posts that have generated some extra business.  With about 10 pounds of cucumbers and a bunch of beets on hand, I figured it was time to delve into canning.

Luckily, I have made a pretty close friend here in Astoria who is also a chef and has experience canning, so we jumped in and made some pickled beets, bread and butter pickles, and some pickled grapes while we were at it.   IMG_4038Things were going pretty well with 2 of us working at it, and we were taking the obstacles as they came…like running out of mustard seed and substituting whole grain mustard to make another batch of pickle brine.  Cooking by taste instead of just following a recipe definitely comes in handy and is a philosophy shared by Chef L and I.IMG_4037

So the kids were playing, and we were processing the pickled produce as well as you can with 6 littles running around.  My first adventure in canning was more fun than work, and we ended up with quite the haul to put in the pantry.
I did miss the end of the process of water bath canning the beets to get the lids to seal as Baby hurt her eye and I was on the phone with the pediatrician.  So, I left Chef L to finish up canning and with 5 kids in my house to take Baby to the ER…see I told you she was a good friend!  IMG_4041Luckily, Baby’s eye was not permanently damaged, but she had managed to get a corneal abrasion while playing.  The next day she was back to her normal self, except for putting up a fight when it was time for antibiotic eye drops.

At the end of the day, we ended up with 7 pints of bread and butter pickle chips, 7 jars of pickle spears, 4 pints of pickled beets, 7 pints of pickled grapes, and 1 jar or refrigerator pickled onions from them leftover bits from canning pickles.  The pickles are delicious, I’ve been eating them straight out of the jar.  IMG_4054I had never even heard of pickled grapes until Chef L said about making them, but they were the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and spicy with a vinegary kick to make an awesome chicken salad sandwich ( my lunch today actually).  Although, I would have to say that the leftover  (i.e. Mussgo) pickled onion bits on top of a grilled hot dog are by far my favorite thing we made, but that’s this Mussgo Momma’s style!

I can’t wait to can again!  I received a huge bag of carrots from the CSA this week in addition to my regular delivery, and Chef L and I are hoping to get together next week to try out a jam recipe using the carrots.

-Mussgo Momma


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I’m BAAAACK! Weekly Meal Plan 8/12-8/18, 2016

After what felt like a whirlwind tour of the Laurel Highlands and Shenandoah Valley  ( which was actually a 3 week visit to see family), we have made it back safe and mostly sound to Oregon.  IMG_3582Seeing family and old friends was AWESOME, as was taking the kids to my childhood romping grounds!  Hopefully, it won’t be another 4 years until we get back to visit again.

Now that I’m back home and the reality that I don’t have my Grandma to do a lot of the everyday domestic stuff, I need to get my butt in gear to get the house in shape for moving in 2 weeks. We are only moving 2 houses over, upgrading from a 3 bedroom to a house with 4 bedrooms and a little extra square footage.  However, it is still a big undertaking to pack and move all of our things by ourselves AND get the current unit cleaned to military standards.  I’ve slowly been working on cleaning blinds (Most Horrible Job EVER!), cleaning windows, and all drawers and cabinets. IMG_3600 I can’t get behind the cleaning, but I am excited to be cooking with what is in my pantry and freezers, as well the fresh produce we get delivered weekly from our Lazy Creek Farm CSA share.  So it is only fitting that my first post back is about food, thus this weeks meal plan was born.



  • Mussgo, freezer meal, or meal not prepped from last week



  • Salad IMG_3732greens topped with roasted beets, goat cheese, and caramelized pecans
  • Grilled sirloin steak topped with garlic butter  ( Yes, I know I typically do a Meatless Monday, but I’m hoping an iron infusion will help with the jet lag…however this salad is hearty enough to be eaten as an entree salad with a nice piece of bread with butter.)




  • MussgoIMG_3743
    • We had open face chicken sandwiches using up the leftover chicken and gravy from Sunday on leftover hamburger buns from Friday.  Serve it with any veggies you have in the fridge that must go or your favorite frozen variety.

This week’s recipes use up most of the zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, and beets I received in this weeks CSA basket.  The leek was a left over from last week that really must go, so I made sure to use it early in the week.  I can’t wait to see what kind of goodies I will get delivered this week!

-Mussgo Momma


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Adventures of cooking with my CSA share!

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a weekly menu that last 2 weeks.  Well, that’s because I don’t even know what I’m cooking until that morning or even an hour before dinner.   I have been busy getting ready to go back to visit my grandparents (kids’ great grandparents) on the East Coast as well as packing and cleaning in preparation to move 2 days after we get back from Pennsylvania.  On top of that, I haven’t known what ingredients IMG_2881I’m going to be given to cook with.  Our CSA (community supported agriculture) farm share has started, so we are getting a delivery of fresh organic produce and eggs every Wednesday afternoon.  We first heard about the CSA through Fancy’s Kindergarten teacher, who runs Lazy Creek Farm with her husband, and a supposed troll name Stinky Toadwart.  We have also been getting a large infusion of food from the Coast Guard families who must go on to their new duty stations, so I have had a very small shopping list the past few weeks and have been cooking all from my pantry, mussgo from departing friends,  and fresh CSA produce.

This week we got a dozen farm fresh organic free range eggs that made an AWESOME breakfast of Eggs Benedict.  Husband makes the best breakfast on weekends, and these eggs just elevated the dish to a whole new level.  Look at that color from the rich yolks!IMG_2923IMG_2925

The farm share this week included 3 large turnips, 2 leeks, a large bag of mixed lettuces, and the dozen of eggs for $15.   I ended up using 2 of the turnips and one of the leeks to make a turnip, leek, and bacon bake for dinner to go along with a salad made using the greens. The turnip bake had an earthy flavor that I loved, but my kids were expecting potatoes, so they were a little iffy about eating it.IMG_2920  But alas, they will try anything with bacon!  The salad was an amazing light and fresh accompaniment with the crisp fresh lettuce topped with some dried cranberries and a mango ginger Stilton cheese.  I served this up with some lemon and olive oil halibut gifted to us from friends being transferred to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Besides the CSA share, I was given literally a wheelbarrow full of food and some frozen rock fish to use.   I love getting ingredients I wouldn’t necessarily buy and turning them into something delicious.  IMG_2887The rock fish was turned into a delicious beer battered crispy fried fillet for dinner.  I also received a few cans of marinated quartered artichoke hearts in the wheelbarrow full of food.  I used one of the cans that night in a cold tortellini salad with some red peppers, bottled Italian dressing, and a few fresh mushrooms I chopped up and marinated in the drained off brine from the artichokes.  The tortellini salad and battered rock fish were huge hits in my house and just goes to show how delicious mussgo dishes can be!

During our visit back East, I’m not sure how much I will post.  I’m sure we will be doing lots of exciting things that I’ll want to share, but I want to make the most of my time with my kids and family, so the blog might be inundated with posts of our adventures once we get back and all moved into our new house in August.  But until then, I have one more week of CSA food that I’ll want to share with you!IMG_2890

Fair Winds and Following Seas to all our friends who must go (after one last goodbye picture though)!

-Mussgo Momma

Posted in Coast Guard Life, Cooking and Baking | 2 Comments

My secrets to Amazon product pitching!

Some of you are going to look at this title and think, what the heck!?!, while others are going to be reading ahead to see what I have to say and skipping the explanation for the newbies altogether.  So, for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about but want to get free products from Amazon, check out these 2 posts>>>Amazon Reviewing Intro and How to Review Part 2 to get up to speed on these awesome deals.

I’ve been quite lucky in pitching to Amazon sellers through e-mail.  I have pitched about 10 sellers and have been chosen to be a ongoing reviewer for  3 of them and have gotten one product from a few others.  From privately pitching the sellers directly and forgoing the Facebook groups, I am not competing with all the other reviewers who are opting in on the same products.  So far through pitching emails, I have received 15 items from those 3 main sellers with a total retail value of over $800.   So, what did I pay? Well, besides the time in writing reviews and filming videos, I only spent $2.11!  Talk about a return on investment!  So how do I do it?  Well here are my 5 main tips…

  1. Pursue sellers who would be interested!  

A good indication if a seller may be interested is to see if they pay for sponsored ads on Amazon.  These are the sellers who are investing money to get their product out there on Amazon and are desperate for their product to be viewed.  See the red red arrows there, they are pointing to sponsored items, so the sellers in the red boxes would be great candidates to contact.




Contacting a seller through Amazon is a sure fire way to be tagged as having a relationship with a seller.  Do a little leg work and Google the seller to find their contact information. Send them an e-mail through your private e-mail account directly to their contact e-mail.


3.  Share information about yourself and why the products would be a good fit for you.  It’s like writing a resume, take time to learn a little about the company or product you are pitching for.  Just a word of advise, if the company is foreign, keep the text simple as English might  be a second language.  Add links in for the products to make it easy from the company to know what you are asking for.  Here is a sample e-mail I have sent to pitch for a hammock…

I am a seasoned and top rated Amazon reviewer providing well written, photo, and video reviews in exchange for free or deeply discounted products.  I have noticed that your Amazon listings are lacking video reviews, and would be happy to provide them for some of your products.  I will gladly review any of your products, but I am particularly interested in reviewing these products…

Amazon link to product #1

Amazon link to product #2

We lead a very active outdoor lifestyle and have a back deck overlooking the Pacific Coast that would provide a great video review for you product.  You can read more about me on my blog and see some of the amazing Amazon reviews I do at the following links.

Amazon profile link here



Your name here


4.  Be upfront about what kinds or reviews you will provide and what price point you are willing to pay!  Most sellers will prefer video reviews, so if you can provide those, offer them upfront.  I’ve had a seller reply to me offering a 20% off code before I specified that I wanted the product free or deeply discounted.  If a seller comes back offering a product at a price higher than you want to pay, don’t hesitate to e-mail them back saying that your reviews are highly sought after, so you would like the product for free or at a 99% discount.  I have successfully gotten a free promo code from one that was originally offered as slightly discounted.  Sell yourself!


5.  Be proactive!  

  • Take any product offered, even if it isn’t the one you wanted…get the status of a reliable reviewer established!
  • Follow up with one additional e-mail if you do not get a response.
  • E-mail order numbers with a quick thank you once the product is ordered.
  • Get your promised review in within a week of receiving.  E-mail the permalink in once the pictures and video are live.  A quick turn around time is essential to getting more products.
  • Pitch for another product from the same seller when turning in you quality review.  I’ve never been turned down for another product when submitting it with a permalink!


Once relationships with sellers are established, they may ask you to keep reviewing their products.  I have received 9 items from the same seller, and get a list of items I can choose from instead of just getting what they need reviews for most.  Make sure you are reviewing other products, including full price purchases, in between reviewing items from the same seller.  I will only write one review per seller every 5 days, and so far I have not been pegged for having a “relationship with seller” by Amazon.

Sometimes, the sellers will even ask if you have any friends who would like to review their products.  I have one of those sellers now, so shoot me your e-mail through the Mussgo Momma Facebook page if you would like this seller’s contact info.  Oh, and I would be quite grateful if you would return the favor once you get your pitched products coming in!


Happy Reviewing!

-Mussgo Momma



Posted in Amazon Reviewer | 2 Comments

Weekly Meal Plan June 17-23, and sourdough overload!

This week my sourdough starter has really taken off (out of control one might say), so I’ve been baking a lot.  I’m glad my homemade starterIMG_2714 turned out to be so healthy and is giving great rise and flavor to my homemade baked goods.  I don’t like to throw anything out, so I’ve been baking with the discard portion of the sourdough starter as well as with the fed starter.  This week I’ve used they fruity fermented starter to bake homemade roasted garlic sourdough bread, kaiser rolls, and had a failed attempt to make pita bread…I tuned the oven to give the dough a jump start in a warm oven, but I forgot to turn it off, so I ended up with dried out bread dough that had sat in an oven turned on to warm for nearly an hour. IMG_2716 I only realized it was in the rising bowl in the oven when I was starting to smell the wonderful aromas of baked bread.  Although it smelled delicious, it was very dense and definitely not anything I would be able to make pitas with.  Those homemade pitas will be made another day as I have no shortage of sourdough starter or schedule I need to follow for the summer.

Brickman and Fancy are home from school for the summer now, so I am finding myself in the kitchen more.  Not only because I have 2 extra to feed breakfast and lunch, but I find the kitchen to be my refuge from bickering and whining kids!  Usually, I end up with helpers in the kitchen too, which stops the bickering for the most part, as one will have a chance to play on the computer as the other one is my helper and taste tester.  It’s been a IMG_2677chilly start to the summer as per usual in the Pacific Northwest.  We say our summer doesn’t start until the 4th of July instead of Memorial Day…and for the past 4 years I’ve lived here it has held true.  I’m taking full advantage of the cooler temps, overcast days, or just plain nasty weather…see all that marble sized hail?  It came down for quite a while on Tuesday, which was Field day at the kids’ school of course!  At least we had a nice day for the last day of school and our Welcome to Summer block party!  I’m glad we have such a great neighborhood of Coastie families who get together and do fun things for the kids and each other!welcome to summer


  • Spaghetti with meat sauce
  • Garden Salad
  • Homemade roasted garlic sourdough


  • Mussgo, freezer meal, or meal not cooked last week





  • Panko lemon herb crusted tilapia-I  just
    added some lemon zest, parsley, salt, andIMG_2631
    pepper to some panko and dipped one side of the tilapia in it before putting it on aparchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until fish if flaky but still moist.
  • Lemon ricotta squash galette
  • Spring greens with cucumbers and dried cranberries


  • Mussgo
    • Buffalo chicken quinoa salad-use leftover chicken from Sunday and quinoa from Monday.  I use a bag of broccoli slaw instead of all the veggies listed in the recipe for a quick fix dinner.
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Weekly Meal Plan June 10- June 16, 2016 and biking to the beach

This past Saturday was a HOT one here is Astoria.  We had to get out of our house because we don’t have air conditioning and the temperature inside was pushing 80 as the temps outside were climbing to nearly 90!IMG_2558  Temps this high make for a nice beach day, especially with the cool onshore winds.  We decided to load up the bikes and try out the Discovery Trail in Washington and bike along the beach before stopping to play in the sand.  Parking at Beard’s Hollow was easy to find, even for being a free state park day, and much easier to come by than actually driving up to Long Beach.  We ended up riding about 7 1/2 miles on Saturday round trip on a nice paved trail along the beach.  The ocean breezes kept us cool while peddling, and a little chillier than Fancy and Baby liked while on the beach.  longbeachWe had a fun filled day and escaped the heat.  I packed us up a picnic made out of mussgo from the fridge to eat on the beach.  The chicken pesto sandwiches were made with fresh basil from the living basil plant that I bought in the grocery store score post that is still producing lots of basil leaves.  I guess I’ll have to start cooking more at dinner now that school is about to let out for summer so we have enough mussgo to give us all lunch. Here is what’s cooking this week at my house…


  • Homemade maragarita and 3 meat pizza
  • Garden salad
  • Fresh watermelon


  • Mussgo, freezer meal, or meal not prepped from last week…we had a picnic  on the beach and frozen custard for dessert


MondayIMG_2586 (1)

  • Tofu, pepper, and pineapple stir fry with tangy sweet and sour sauce (cook 1 inch diced tofu in oil unil golden brown.  Addin in peppers and pineapple and cook until heated trhough.  Top with sweet and sour sauce)
  • Veggie fried rice
  • Fresh chilled watermelon


  • Ground beef tacos with all the fixin’s
  • Guacamole salad
  • Charred corn on the cob with Tapatio butter (soak corn in husks in water, transfer to hot grill, cook on medium high until husks are black and corn kernels are charred)


  • Salmon burgers ( store bought or used canned salmon to make your own)
  • Oven fries
  • Baked beans (I made homemade, but you can used your favorite canned product)


  • Mussgo
    • Make Mexican pizza from Tuesday’s leftovers
    • Use leftover crumbled salmon burgers and leftover green beans for a mussgo take on nicoise salad

One last tidbit…the only good burn this this week was the grilled corn.  Make sure you apply more sunblock to your shoulders and arms when switching from a short sleeve tee to a tank top, especially if you burn easily like me!

-Mussgo Momma


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Horrible terrible no good very bad days and the silver lining

Let me start by apologizing that about all the dead air on the blog this past week.  It’s been a rough one…one full of trips to the ER and tearful goodbyes to good friends.

The weather here is getting nice, the North Oregon coast is getting out of the grips of the rainy season and moving into the gorgeous summer.  Of course that means more time playing IMG_2938outside for my kiddos.  While my kids and their friends were in the fenced back yard playing in the hammock, Brickman fell out and came in crying that he hit his head.  Heads bleed A LOT!  After husband and I looked at it, it was decided that a trip to the ER was needed, and it was…Brickman ended up with 2 staples in the back of his head.  We were quick to make the decision to take him into the the ER and had the car out of the driveway before our the kids’ friends the Wisconsins’ went to get their dad who is in the medical field.  He was on his way over to check it out as the var pulled away.  It was nice to have that resource nearby, as I have used him more than once to tell my kids they were fine and not sick enough to stay home from school.  But alas, their time with us is up and they must go to the next duty station in Wisconsin.

The departure of the Wisconsins’ hit us pretty hard.  WE have always been the family leaving and embarking on a new adventure with the Coast Guard, but not this time.  This
time, we were the family that was left behind.  It’s hard to believe that it’s taken nearly 14 years for us to experience this. IMG_2449 What hit me hardest wasn’t that we were losing friends, but of how hard it was on my kids to be losing their best friends.  Both Brickman’s and Fancy’s best friends are in the Wisconsins’ family, so there were some tearful goodbyes all around.  At least we got to spend some quality time with them in the week before their move and help them out at the same time.  I cooked dinner for them most nights and then some of the kids came over for sleepovers after all their HHG ( household goods) we being packed for their new duty station.  After a week of 13 people crammed around our table and all the chaos that goes with it, these past few days our house has seemed so empty.  (The picture is of Fancy with one Wisconsin and another one of her best friends that also just left for San Diego. )

Part of cooking for 13 is making copious amounts of food( which I love), and lots of dishes( that I hate).  In the process of clearing up the mess, Baby ran into the kitchen and had a run in with a knife.  IMG_2443Her upper lip and nose were cut open and bleeding profusely…off to the ER for the second time in 5 days for stitches for one of my kids.  Baby ended up being a stellar patient and was even laughing as her “kitty whiskers”, as I called the stitches, we being put in.  The medicine they gave her helped for sure, but they said she was so laid back and such a good patient that a newer doctor practiced on her before the seasoned doctor finished up to make sure she has minimal scarring.

The kids both go their sutures out on the same day and things were going back to normal.  The weather turned hot today, so we decided to make a homemade slip n’ slide early…it was originally going to be put up for the neighborhood end of school block party.  The kids had fun after lamenting that they missed the Wisconsins’, but some fun races down the slide with Mom and a IMG_2568BBQ dinner outside turned those frowns upside down…for a while.  Brickman must be accident prone, as he bit into his lip pretty deep…yep insides of lips bleed a lot too!!!  I know that lips heal fast and we don’t need to worry about scaring on the insides of the mouth, so we didn’t run off to the ER.  We are keeping a watchful eye on his lip for now and he hasn’t complained too much and has been eating and drinking normally.

So the silver lining…because of a shortage of smaller houses, we were offered the chance to move into the 4 bedroom house the Wisconsins’ lived in!  We will be gaining more room inside and out and be giving our kids another connection to the memories they made with there friends.  Plus, there is an AWESOME view of the water from the back deck! Thankfully, all the kids are healing up well too.

Well, I must go make a list of what I need to start packing up and organizing for our upcoming move to 2 houses down.  We just did this less than a year ago, so we must be crazy…but at least we are going through the purging process again.  If I haven’t used it in the last year, it must go!

-Mussgo Momma

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