All posts by jtrissel@icloud.com

I am a wanderer, wife and mom. I live in the woods in Alaska surrounded by more wildlife than people. I have celiac disease and a son with food allergies, and decided to share our triumphs in eating on the road with you.

Homer, The Cosmic Fishing Hamlet by the Sea

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Homer Alaska is a special place unto itself. It breathes and thrives on it’s own energy generated by the locals, tourists and transients alike.  Here you will smell the ocean mixed with fish combined with the most amazing food aromas you have ever smelled all at once! Here the moods of the ocean and the weather dictate the way you will live your life that day.

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Either view is breathtaking of course! Homer overlooks Kachemak Bay, and some of the most beautiful views on the planet! They change hourly sometimes just to keep it new. Homer is typically cooler and wetter being a maritime community in Alaska. If you choose to visit make sure you come prepared for everything between 80 degrees f and 40 degrees f though, you never quite know what the day will bring.

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Homer’s beaches are all beautiful beyond belief. In the early spring through early summer you can view hundreds of species of shorebirds as well as the year round bounty of sea otters, bald eagles and seals. If you are lucky enough to get out on the water then the chances of seeing one of a few different whale species are good as well.

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Speaking of being on the water, Homer is known as the Halibut fishing capital of the world! At any time during our long Alaskan days you can see folks cleaning their catch at the harbor front fish cleaning stations. You can also fish for salmon and rockfish in the icy waters of Kachemak Bay. There is nothing quite like grilling up some fresh fish tacos on the beach after a long day fishing.

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It’s tough to mention fishing out of Homer without mentioning some of Homer’s very own celebrities. The Hillstrand family have lived there for a long time and you can see the Time Bandit in the harbor during their few downtimes during the year. You may also catch sight of some of the other boats from the Deadliest Catch.  Homer is also home to the reality show Alaska the Last Frontier which follows a family living out east end road living the homesteader lifestyle. I have heard from a friend of mine in Homer that the Kilchers are pretty sweet people.

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Speaking of celebrity, if you find yourself on Homer Spit, stop into the Salty Dawg Saloon. This old lighthouse has been standing guard on the Spit serving decades of salty dawgs coming in off the tumultuous Pacific ocean.  Their adjoining gift shop, The Salty Girls, is where you can buy the iconic Salty Dawg hoodie that nearly every Alaskan owns.  The Blue Urchin and the Alaska Starfish Company are two of my other favorite shops on the Spit. All of them are worth stepping into though.

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Homer is one of those once in a lifetime, magical little towns that you should visit at least once in your life. There is so much to do, see, and eat that you could be busy there all summer long.

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As someone with Celiac with a very food allergic son we don’t get to eat out much. I will recommend the gluten free pizza at the Little Mermaid on the boardwalk by the harbor though, it’s excellent and I have eaten it a few times without issue.

I am also going to recommend three other places on the word of others and knowing the chef personally at two of them. First, Two Sister’s bakery is a must stop, I have never eaten their food, but it is a unanimous resounding yes from anyone who has eaten there. The other two are Fat Olive’s and Maura’s cafe. Again I have never had the pleasure of eating at either, but their chef is a picking buddy of mine and he’s amazing with food. You can see some of his creations on Instagram @big_alaskan_foodie. He is a whiz with local and wild harvest ingredients. So while I haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying either establishment, I will recommend them with flying colors, because I have been privileged enough to been fed by Jimbo.

Happy travels!! Maybe you will see me in Homer.

Alaskan Summer Days, Happy Independence Day!!

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Alaskan summers are magical things. They are fleeting, and yet they will imprint you with the most lasting memories of your lifetime. Whether you are a local or a visitor, you will experience things here that can only exist here in this wonderful season of madness! Alaska summers are also manic. They will love you until you have nothing left and leave you to sleep it off until the following spring.  For those lucky enough to get to understand this, cheers! For those who are curious, let me share it with you here as best as I can.

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I will try my best to post as much as possible, and I have a few adventures to catch you up on. It is now July though, and July means fish! I am filling up the smoker tomorrow and we will be filling the freezers all month. I knew I had to post this on this gift of a dreary day before an exciting weekend.

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So enjoy the campfire smoke and fish scales! Alaskan summer is in full swing! Go out and play, find a trail, walk a beach! Do something to bring you closer to nature and don’t forget to brink snacks and water so there is no disappointment at the end of a long wonderful day. Even the best days can be tainted by hunger.

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So with all of the Alaska love I have to offer, Have a happy fun and safe Independence weekend!

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Hawaii, as promised!

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Aloha!! Last spring we spent two wonderful weeks in Hawaii enjoying friends, sunshine and the best nature Hawaii has to offer. Here are a few of the chameleons my boys found at our friend George’s house. They did so much searching that George said they showed him more of them than he has seen in the 20 years he has lived there.

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Another huge highlight for me was the flowers! Things were still gray and dreary when we left Alaska, so they were a welcome sight.

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Here I am sitting on Mark Twain’s bench at Pu’uohonua O Honaunau, or Place of Refuge.

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This is the biggest fiddlehead I have ever seen in my life! It was bigger than mine and my husband’s heads combined.

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What did I say? Here are more flowers! This is the Ohi’a tree which bears the Lehua blossom. Hawaiian legend is that Pele and Ohi’a were both in love with Lehua. Lehua loved Ohi’a though which made Pele very jealous. She was pretty temperamental being the goddess of fire. So she decided to let them have their way and turned them into a tree, Ohi’a, and a flower, Lehua. So now they can be together but only when the tree is in bloom. it is a sacred tree to the Hawaiian people.

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This is at Akaka falls state park. The tall waterfall is Akaka falls itself.

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What is Hawaii without a little beach time?

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Halemaumau crater in Volcanoes National park as seen from the Jagger museum.

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A beautiful sunset for a beautiful trip.  We didn’t go out to eat so I have no reviews to make. We simply did what we do at home and wandered to our hearts content. we sustained ourselves with fruit, meats, cheeses and mac nuts. We cooked simple meals at the home of our friends or the condo that we rented. that also serves the side purpose of making the trip cheaper and healthier!  Wander away friends!

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Welcome summer!

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Summer is in full busy swing in Alaska! The midnight sun is shining and the fish are running! It has been an exciting summer so far in our home.

I would like to challenge our very few readers to share your own summer adventures with us! I know we aren’t the only wanderers out there! Share your stories and photos with us!

I can also now be found on Facebook! Follow my adventures more readily there. Enjoy the summer and stay fueled!

 

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The Big Island of Hawaii

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Hawaii is an exceptionaly beautiful place!We recently returned from a much needed two weeks in Paradise. My husband and I got married there over 11 years ago, barefoot, on a beautiful walk in beach. We also have some lovely friends there that we got to spend good quality time with. It is good for the soul to be in paradise around people who love and care for you. Here are a few flowers from my friend’s house!

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We didn’t spend much time on the town or at most of the normal tourist places, instead we wandered freely visiting and beach hopping. I do recommend the green sand beach at South Point. We went with our friend, but you can also make the hike in or hire one of several people at the trailhead to take you in. I am by no means against a good hike, but this one is very dusty. The beach is beautiful though and well worth the adventure, no matter how you get there.

We did not go out to eat once.  Instead we chose to survive on easy made meals at our friends’ home and the condo we rented. We had fish tacos several times. It was one of the main gluten free offerings at the restaurants anyway. We also had a few halibut fillets that we brought to share.  It was a surefire way to stay safe and save money. We carried lunchmeat and cheese with us, fruit and other things too, everywhere we went.  Water is essential, in copious amounts. Larabars and Barney butters were also great hiking fuel!

Now, you will have to forgive me! It is a glorious day outside and I have a garden to plant. I was hoping to add a few more images, but I seem to be having issues with them at the moment. I will work on those issues and provide a post full of Hawaii images! You can also follow me on twitter or instagram @thewanderingceliac. The season is picking up fast and early this year! Look for new Alaska posts to be up soon!

 

 

Alaska Airlines gluten free!

 

I recently returned from two weeks in Kona! There will be more to follow on that soon. I wanted to drop a quick post about Alaska Airlines newest gluten-free option. They now have a Mediterranean Tapas snack box available that is entirely gluten-free!

All of the typical pre travel food planning occurred as usual, I had everything I needed in my backpack. Then I had to change seats due to a screaming child and an interesting parental decision on her mother’s part. It happened suddenly while we were taking off so I had no choice but to leave my pack in the overhead bin. It was also a red-eye flight so rather than disturb people I decided to buy a tapas box. I wish I had taken pictures!

It contained Late July pita chips, the best hummus I’ve ever had, dried apricots, marinated olives and a square of chocolate. After going hungry for two days last October when we flew to Phoenix, I was wonderfully surprised to find such a pleasurable option available on this flight! Thank You Alaska Airlines, please keep it up!

Super Bowl Sunday!

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I know we have a week before the Super Bowl, but my husband is an avid Broncos fan and I have some things to do, haha! I thought I would share our little menu for the day.

Moose Chile Verde:

Two small moose roasts, browned and seasoned placed into the crockpot on high, add in some of last years garden onions, add lots of garlic, salt, pepper and other seasonings of choice, pour in two jars of homemade green chile verde sauce, add one small jar of homemade bone broth or veggie broth (I’m not sure which I have left in the small jars ) simmer until cooked through and shreddable

Pile of warmed and slightly browned corn tortillas

Bacon and Cream Cheese Stuffed Baby Sweet Peppers

Remove the tops of the peppers, slice in half lengthways, place a spoonful of filling on each pepper half and place in a 400f degree oven for ten minutes or until bubbly, filling is cream cheese with crispy bacon stirred in.

Woodchuck Amber Cider, gluten-free of course, for the adults and some warm homemade spiced crabapple cider for the boys.

I have to credit the idea of the moose verde to a fellow Alaskan on the net, whom will remain unnamed, but I would like to extend my thanks anyway!

 

Busy, Busy Beaver

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Yesterday was a gorgeous day! We decided to take a little journey. When we arrived, we discovered a beaver or multiple beavers have been incredibly busy this winter so far! Here is what we found.

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We looked around for a little while for the culprit. All we found was more busy beaver work and a quick smell of him.

There’s always something new to find on a beautiful sunny day at the lake! You just have to get up and go! I hope everybody has an incredible day!

A Sneak Peek!

Kenai mountains
Kenai mountains

Join me on my adventures this year! Here’s a sneak peek of some of the places we will go!

In the woods
In the woods

We will be hiking,  fishing, beach combing and so much more!

Homer Harbor

Let me guide you around the state of Alaska, gluten-free!!

Mt. Redoubt Vocano in the sunset
Mt. Redoubt Volcano in the sunset

Please feel free to suggest any adventures that you might like to experience, from the comfort of your own home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Now for the Wandering

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I would like to invite you on my journey! If you can’t leave home, and would like to trample through the woods, hike through the tundra, and glide across the ocean then come with me!

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We all know it’s tough to feed our celiac and food allergic selves outside of our homes. Most, if not all of us, have been glutened at one point or another. Many have also had to comfort an ill child on the road. All of the factors above contribute to just wanting to stay in our safe bubbles at times. We deserve better! Our kids deserve to explore the world as freely as any other healthy child!

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Some days I can’t leave my couch or make it far from my bathroom thanks to a tiny little protein called gluten. However, when life is good, life is really good! Join me while I continue my wanderings, gluten-free!

Seward Highway