Summer Splash

What a summer it has been! Between building passive houses, hula, my keiki having her first “summer school break”, and everything that falls in between, we’ve had a lot of fun. Earlier this summer we did a family beginners white water rafting trip with my keiki and her cousin. The girls LOVED it! They immediately wanted to go again. This past weekend we went again. The water was much lower making for a more technical trip. My keiki came out of the raft dry but still proclaiming her love for rafting!

We have gone as a family (adults only) on the intermediate and advanced trips in the past and they are always fun. My in-laws have been booking through Raft Masters out of Idaho Springs. Our first trip was three years ago in Canon City doing the Royal Gorge trip and since we have done Clear Creek in Idaho Springs. The guides are always fun, but I’ve really appreciated how great they are with the little ones. It’s exciting to get my cupkeiki out doing new adventures-and while she doesn’t paddle the boat she’s still getting a good challenge!

I’m looking forward to next summers water adventures, especially as my niece and cupkeiki start to participate in the activities with everyone!

Savory Baked Sweet Potato

Baked sweet potato, roasted tomato, chorizo, avocado, pumpkin seeds, chevre cheese and fresh basil.

When it’s hot, it’s hard to decide what to make. Something light, cold, sweet…that doesn’t always work so well for dinner. Well, at least not the sweet part. This satisfied my desire for something light-small portion, cold and sweet however mostly just come from the cheese. The rest of dinner was perfectly savory and filling.

The sweet potatoes were smaller in size. Washed first, cut in half, coated in olive oil and salt and baked at 400F for about 40min. The last 20min I added the tomatoes to tue sheet pan of potatoes, which here quartered first. The chorizo was sautéed with 3 cloves of garlic and half an onion.

It was certainly a dinner I’m looking forward to making again!

Homemade Chili Oil

Another day, another diy. I have been curious what it takes to make chili oil, especially good chili oil. Something that always seems like a mystery, to me. 


3/4 C. Canola Oil

3 Star Anise

1 small stick cinnamon

7 Tepin chilis, dried

1/4 Cup Crushed Red Chili Flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced well


Bring to a simmer the cinnamon, star  anise, Tepin chile’s and oil over medium high heat in a heavy duty sauce pan. When oil begins to bubble, tune down heat to medium low and cook for 20 min. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly-5 to 10 min. *always be sure to watch your oil while it’s cooking to avoid burning spices or your house down*

After the oil has cooled, add chili flakes and garlic to a heat proof jar or bowl. Slowly pour and stir oil over pepper flakes-use a strainer to catch the spices from the pan so that they can be discarded. Go slow so that the chili flakes and garlic don’t burn. *it will bubble as you pour the oil over the flakes and garlic, so pour safely* Allow oil to cool completely and then store in the fridge in an air tight container (glass). 

*more chili flakes can be added to intensify the flavor. Also different types of chili’s can lend different flavors so it’s worth playing around with!

*use clean utensils to retrieve oil if using a jar to reduce the risk of contamination and spoilage.