Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Random Shot #1

I'm going to start putting some of my favorite pictures - old or new - up on a weekly basis.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe

Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon
Molly and Phil at ALBC
Phil, Eric and I went for a little drive out to Arleta Library Bakery & Cafe this morning. Well, this afternoon I guess. We were still in time for brunch (they are open until 2:30pm on the weekend), and we only had to wait about ten minutes for a table. Time we spent looking over the menu by the front door, and gulping down a cup of french pressed coffee. Arleta Library is very very small (even smaller than Juniors I think), so I bet there's a pretty serious line during the more normal breakfast hours, but I'd still say it's worth a much longer wait. Once we were seated, the specials were presented to us, including the quiche of the day, which was a wild mushroom and local greens mix. I was hell bent on trying as many things as possible, since Saba and Owen recommended it so highly to us. The Sicilian Hash was an instant pick after having watched the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode that featured Arleta Library. Since there were three of us, and we were all pretty hungry, we went with four items, plus a side of bacon. In addition to the bacon and the Hash, we devoured an order of the Pane Dolce, Portland's Best Biscuits-n-Gravy, and The Tuscan. The Tuscan and the Hash each offer a side of either toast or a scone, so we had one of each. The Hash and the biscuits and gravy both came with a side of potatoes, which were large wedges, heavily seasoned and crispy on the outside, with steaming hot, gooey middles. In other words, amazing. We completely annihilated our plates of food (which impressed our server) by eating for a few minutes, then trading plates clockwise until they were gone. After we finished what seemed to be an impossible task a half hour prior, we all realized how "not overly full and sick" we felt, despite the amount of food we had just consumed. I chalked this up to being directly related to the lack of grease in our meal. Whereas most places serving up similar items would be dripping in animal fats, and greasy oils, Arleta Bakery somehow manages to pull off these incredible dishes with minimal greasiness, which left me feeling full, but really refreshed and happy. (I've been known to eat to the point of illness on more than on occasion.)

Although Arleta Library is a 12 minute drive from home (not sure on the bike length), I'm stoked to go back for more, and I can't wait to take more friends there.

ALBC Menu-3ALBC Menu-2ALBC Menu-1

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Lark on Urbanspoon
Lark was not only a pleasure for the palate, but overall, gave me a comfy, warm feeling. The high ceiling, and beautiful wooden interior flowed nicely with the simple menu design, soft lighting, and bright, bustling kitchen that peeked through the end of the hallway. We browsed the menu, stomachs growling after two cocktails around the corner at Tavern Law, and found it hard to choose between rosti potatoes with clabber cream and roasted sunchokes with rosemary, garlic and lavender. Eventually, we settled on the salmon special (it had bacon, there was no contest), roasted sunchokes, sauteed mushrooms, Bluebird Grain Farms farro, chicken liver parfait, and many other things that my memory is not recalling. To be honest, "chicken liver" ANYTHING was not in my vocabulary (or belly) three weeks ago. After a brave taste a few weeks ago at Clyde Common, I was totally sold.

Our fish had crispy skins, with a silky, not at all dry, meaty inside. The farro was chewy, cooked to perfection (don't know if al dente is even a proper term here, but it's how I'd describe it) and tossed with what I believe may have been chard. The only thing I haven't mentioned is the bread. Oh goodness, the bread.... I don't know for sure where it came from, but I'm assuming it was baked in house? Heavy, wheaty, chewy bread to sop up all the delicious sauces at the bottom of our serving plates and bowls. There was no holding back. Perhaps I licked my fingers? But nobody seemed to mind.

Lark is very romantic, and I look forward to going back with Phil for a special occasion. Their dining area also comfortably accommodated the party of 8 or more who sat next to us. It's places like Lark where you want to bring a few friends, so you can order more dishes, and snag more tastes!

More friends.... More tastes!
Lark on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bacon scallion scones

Just a scone weekend I guess.
Applewood smoked bacon
Applewood smoked bacon-2
Colby Bacon Scallion Scones

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lemon ginger scones

I decided I need to work on breakfast this week. My habits have not been healthy as of late. If I have a large batch of quick food in the house, that is relatively easy to snag before I hop on my bike, then maybe I can pump some fuel into me before my morning commute (5 mile ride). Since I've never made scones before, they sounded like a fun challenge, and also a great way to customize my morning snack. Usually, bakery scones are huge and I only eat them if I'm sharing with someone else. I looked for some recipes, and decided to just make them tiny.

I fell in love with the recipe for Orange and Oat scones on 101 Cookbooks, and thought I'd give those a go. I made a ton of changes though, and realized that my scones don't even vaguely resemble her recipe.

First, you cut in the butter. Then you stir everything together, gently working in the buttermilk.

After forming the dough into a round, you slice into wedges and bake till the bottoms are golden brown. Then you nom nom nom nom....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009


Tilth on Urbanspoon
Beginning on Thursday, I've been wined and dined by my loved ones - Bamboo Sushi with dad on Thursday, Tilth with Phil on Saturday, Volunteer Park Cafe with Phil, Katie and Jason on Sunday, and Nostrana with mom on Monday! I don't believe there's anything I love more in life than my family and friends combined with rich, tasty foods and my camera. Since I'm so lucky to have the opportunity to eat at such scrumptious places (when I'm not laboring over my own stove), I figured I should be jotting down my memories for friends, family, and future reference. I'll get to all of them eventually, but today I'm beginning with Tilth.

I'd been on the train for 3.5 hours when Phil picked me up on Friday evening. We hopped online to see who had openings and what sounded good, and quickly agreed on Tilth, as we'd both been itching to get over there.

Located in Wallingford, a lively neighborhood adjacent to the University District in Seattle, Tilth boasts the claim to fame of having been the second restaurant to ever become Oregon Tilth certified. How fitting. The restaurant is in a tastefully renovated craftsman house, with an enclosed sunroom which sort of makes you feel like you're coming home as you step into the entrance. The space is small, and the staff to table ratio seemed unusually high - but in a really good way.

We started our meal off with some pink bubbly and some scrumptious hors d'oeuvres.....


Phil ordered the salmon and I ordered the ricotta dumpling with lardon. Yum YUM. The portions were the perfect size for having started with an appetizer and ending with a cheese plate (and chocolate deserty thing for Phil). We were able to take our time, and savor each dish without getting too full. I can't WAIT to go back.

Tilth on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Phil's in Seattle

As a lot of you already know, Phil moved to Seattle a few weeks ago to work for Urbanspoon. This is quite exciting for all sorts of reasons, but I am selfishly mostly excited about the fact that he's closer in mileage and therefore we get to spend significantly more time together. He moved into a cool rental house with a lot of weird features including 1) a warm water dog bath in the basement; 2) tons of windows in every room and not a single curtain or shade; 3) pine flooring; 4) cork walls in one room; 5) a sink that has a regular faucet, and also a "pot filler" that is extra tall and can run at full water pressure while the other faucet is being used; and 6) fruiting shaggy mane mushrooms in the driveway. In case you couldn't tell, I really like Phil's house. I like Seattle too. I'd never been to Seattle before he moved there, and oddly enough, now Josh and I are both spending a lot of time there together as well. (Phil and Josh and Ava went to see the new Matchstick Productions film, and of course Josh dressed up as Saucerboy.)

Last weekend while walking around in a city park, Phil and I found what says is his most favorite mushroom of all. Seems like the perfect combination of rain and sunshine, and temperature this year. We've been finding a lot of mushrooms every weekend, whether we're trying to or not!

Phil with shaggy parasols
Shaggy parasol

Chanterelles from two weekends ago

Thursday, October 01, 2009

New stuff all over again....

Well well well... It's been a long time again, and boy do I have a lot to report. Not going to go into a lot of detail, because I want to get back to posting some beautiful pictures of edibles. I quit my job at WebMD (finally!) am happily employed as a Research Assistant now at Oregon Health & Science University. Woot. Pretty excited to be back in research, and also doing research that is now more related to what I went to school for.

Last night, Grandma Davis went out in the rain and cold and started picking concord grapes in the driveway before I came over for dinner. By the time I got there, she had gotten about ten pounds already done, if not more. I added a bit more to it, and now I have tons of grapes to do god knows what with.... Between Grandma and mom, and I, we decided I'm going to make grape juice and can it. So that involved me bringing grandmas canner home too. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Tofu Snacks

This is one of my favorite snacks - so much so, that I sometimes just eat a bowl of them with a salad for dinner or lunch. I've tried over a dozen different brands of tofu, and I've tried freezing it vs. not freezing it, and so on...

I've found this comes out the most favorable in terms of texture, and flavor absorbtion using Wildwood, extra firm, no water packed tofu. They carry it at Fred Meyer and New Seasons regularly now. Put the tofu in the freezer till frozen all the way through, then thaw it back out in the fridge over a couple of days, or on the counter if using immediately.

After freezing and thawing, firm tofu takes on a spongier texture that lets you squeeze all the water out, then it reabsorbs juices much better, and bakes into a more firm final texture. After freezing and thawing, follow the below recipe to make these nummy snacks.

tofu snacks

Baked Tofu Snacks
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, water pressed out, frozen and thawed.
  • 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos to taste (about 1 tbls)
  • 2 tbls nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tbls garlic powder
Preheat oven to 400F. Dice the tofu into large, 1/2" squares and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss well until tofu is evenly coated. Add more Bragg's to taste. Spread cubes onto an ungreased cookie sheet and place on medium rack for 10 minutes. Flip cubes, and bake for additional 12-15 minutes until tofu is golden and crisp on the outside. Middle should be spongy, but not crispy. Dip in something spicy, goddess dressing, or enjoy plain! Can be refrigerated up to 3-5 days to nom later.

Random Food Pic

Breakfast Bagel. Yum.

Phil actually put this together. We went over to his mom's garden and took the tomato, bought the sheep cheese from New Seasons, I grew the basil, and it's a Kettleman's bagel. The colors looked really great in the natural light and he said, "I can't believe you're not shooting this..." to which I responded, "DON'T EAT IT!" and went to grab my camera.

Breakfast bagel

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bee Allergy

Photos clockwise from top, left: Josh at Ozone, honey bee outside my house, my hand about halfway to the full size (~24 hours after sting), a cartoon of an epi-pen from

Last weekend Josh was passing through Oregon, heading up to Washington for his next NOLS course. We went to Ozone on Saturday, and while we were approaching the climbing area, a bee just decided to sting me. Maybe someone pissed it off, coming down the trail in front of us, but one second Josh and I were chatting, and another second, I was jumping up and down, swearing. The honey bee "left it's butt in me" as I've been telling folks, and it was a good thing Josh was there, because he directed me to "scrape" the butt out to avoid getting more of the poison in my hand. I was stung twice at Ozone when I went climbing with Ian and Graham earlier this summer. Maybe that was enough bee juice for my body this year. By the time Josh and I got home, my hand started getting big.

I took two rounds of Benadryl, made a pen mark when the swelling hit my wrist, called my insurance companies free nurse line when the swelling was a third of the way up my arm in the morning, went to see a doctor at the advice of the nurse line, took 60mg of prednisone and waited six hours, then called the nurseline again when I couldn't feel my hand anymore, and then headed for the ER when the nurse told me he wouldn't have waited that long if it were him, and I was starting to lose circulation in my hand, which was obvious from the cold fingers, and white hand. After several hours in the ER, and some humming and hawing over my ridiculously small veins that are almost impossible to get blood out of, let alone stick an IV into for such a small problem, the folks turned my arm into a real topographic map (watching for more swelling), and I waited. Then I got a cool lesson in histamine and the allergic response in the body, reminding me of those funny H2-receptors, blah blah blah - at that point I was really zoned out on Benadryl, but still really enjoying the geeky talk about why I would be taking Pepsid (an antacid) to help lessen the reaction.

Now I have to carry an epi-pen. That's the funny thing about the allergic response to an antigen like bee stings - the reaction can get worse after every exposure. This time it was my hand, and most of my arm all the way up to my elbow that swelled into a painful, red balloon. And next time, I'll have this handy dandy epi-pen around in case I get stung on my neck. Ew.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soup in the middle of summer

I'm pretty sure the last time I made French Onion Soup from scratch was in 2006 (post) when Phil lived in Mountain View. I think it's typically made with yellow onions, but last night when I was wandering around Fred Meyer at 10pm, I saw Walla Walla's on sale for $.49/lb and decided I wanted French Onion soup today. Two Walla Walla's amount to almost three pounds of onion. I scaled it down to two pounds, and followed this recipe from Three hours later, Rachel and I had dinner. My mouth was watering too much to get the proper foodie shots, and I was already nibbling the edges of the melted Gruyere, so this is all I got.

French Onion Soup (1 of 8)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Food Pics - mmmm

Scallions at the Portland Farmers Market - Wednesday.


Josh at Mai Thai

Josh with a Chang

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Well, there's not really anything to update on. Since my last post...
  • Things have been CRAZY hectic with work. I've been working out of the Portland office the past couple weeks, instead of working from my bedroom. I do love the bike commute in to Northwest (lets me have 60 minutes of riding per shift), but working from home with Kitty is nice too.
  • I put clipless pedals on my bike. Woohoo!
  • I made the fourth batch of pesto this summer. All from my little planter box of five basil plants. (Another harvest will be coming this week)
  • Phil and I went to his ten year high school reunion. Yup. He's old. Keith and Ashley were there, and it was great to meet new people and see old faces.
  • I ate Korean food for the first time! At Phil's reunion I met Kate. She was also adopted from Korea, and we've hung out a couple times since the reunion. The first time was so she and her boyfriend, Ky, could teach me about Korean food. Yum!!!
Ky and Kate

  • Last week, I got to babysit Caitlyn for a day. ALWAYS a blast to spend time with the munchkin.
  • On Friday, I went to Seattle for the first time. Phil and I attended a party for Urbanspoon.
  • On Sunday, Dad and Jill and I rode in the Providence Bridge Pedal. This was the driving motivation behind me getting the new pedals, and boy was I glad to have them! I'm still super tired.
Panda shot during Providence Bridge Pedal
  • And, last but not least.... I bought a MacBook Pro! I'll go ahead and give another "woohoo" to that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Food food foods

It's been really hot this week, and I've been staying up really late, enjoying the cool air while possible. Staying up late means more time with the camera, my computer, and of course, this all happens in the kitchen. This is the product of the past couple days...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Carol's Birthday Weekend

Carol's Birthday-7-18-09-21

Carol's birthday was on July 14, and her family visited for the weekend so Phil and Sophia also came to town. It was the first time I'd met Budge, Mary, Sally and Bob, and I had a great time hanging out with them and eating food. On Friday, before Phil had gotten here, I joined them at Pok Pok for the best dinner I've had in Portland since moving here last summer. On Saturday, Carol made a couple platters of the feast above - one with salmon and one with halibut. Phil and I managed to slip in some rock climbing up at French's Dome before dinner, and on Sunday he went and kayaked the Wind River. All in all, an extremely fun filled weekend with good food, great company, and wonderful Oregon weather.

Mt. Hood from the road to French's Dome, E Lolo Pass.
Mt Hood from E Lolo Pass Rd

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Raspberry Lemon Pudding Cakes

Josh, Rachel and I went to Grandma's house the other day, and while we were having lunch, I found this recipe in one of her magazines. I thought it would be a nice, afternoon desert, and she had all the ingredients, so I whipped them up.

Raspberry Lemon Pudding Cakes

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The North American Organic Beer Festival

Last weekend, Phil was in town, and we made it over to Overlook Park for the North American Organic Beer Festival with my friends Saba, Owen and Kira. While there were a lot of beers (FULL beer list here), and we tried as many as we could, there were a couple that really stood out. The Widmer, Teaser XPA was innnnnnncredibly refreshing and crisp, and had a ton of floral aromas that I normally don't like, but fell in love with. So that was the light - the dark one that I really loved was from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. Their People's Porter was delicious, though I don't remember why. I just kept a notepad of all the beers I tried, and rated them on a scale of 1-10, and I gave that particular porter an 8, so I must have really enjoyed it.

Organic Beer Festival

Friday, June 26, 2009


I wasn't really going to share this creepy catness with everyone, but Phil saw it and said, "That belongs on the internet!" So here it is. Heheheh.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread

For a long time, I didn't think about Jake's No Knead Bread post. But then Rachel moved in. She brought her cast iron dutch oven, and overnight, there was suddenly this incredible, hard crust, chewy inside, big holed boule in our kitchen. Surely it was store bought? No! This is the infamous no knead bread! Holy cow! For years, I have tried wetter breads in a refrigerated rise overnight, putting a cup of water in the oven, tossing water on the element in the oven (shhh, don't tell the land lords), baking on a stone, baking in a loaf pan, and then finally that bread machine incident when I gave up on doing all the labor. Searching for the perfect homemade crust is not easy when you're accustomed to the product of large, professional ovens, and years of professional baking experience. But now you can have it all. Cheaply, and simply!

This article in the NY Times mentions a bit about the molecular theory behind this bread, which you can explore more in depth if you happen to own a copy of On Food and Cooking (thank you PK!). Watch a video of Jim Lahey (the recipe creator) making this bread with a total of FIVE MINUTES of labor. Now go make some!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mom's Birthday

If you know me, you know I loooooove surprises. Surprising other people, that is. For mom's birthday, we had Josh AND Wes in town, and a homecooked spread out at Pat's with Grandma, Doug, Janet, Kenzie, and Max to join us. The sun even came out, the mosquitos left us alone, and it was a beautiful day. Recipes, and more food shots to come...

Me, Mom, Wes, Josh

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Black Bean and Tofu Burgers

This one, I actually can't replicate. Two days ago I soaked some black beans.  Last night I boiled those beans with some vegetarian boulion, onion. garlic, four chiptoles in adobo sauce (way too many, I was coughing from the spicy), and made soup. Tonight I was looking around, and decided burgers sounded good. I drained the soup juice, pulsed the beans in the food processor, and added shredded carrot, 1/4 sweet onion, 3 cloves garlic, annnnnnnd... I'm losing track. I used some nasty old bread, and toasted it into bread crumbs - again pulsed in the processor. Crumbled some tofu that was left over from Monday by - you guessed it - pulsing in the food processor. Tossed in a dash of soy sauce, a spoonful of nutritional yeast, and mashed it all good with a wooden spoon. Mashy mashy mashy. Then I weighed out 5 oz balls (because this process has been so precise, why not bring the food scale into it?!), and smooshed them into patties. Baked on a greased cookie sheet for thirty minutes, flipping halfway through. I can't tell you how they are yet, because they are in the oven. I'm guessing they will be amazing though - doesn't it sound good!? Sure smells good.... 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Asparagus season

It's asparagus season.... And it's oh so good. Phil and I grabbed this from a streetside stand as we were leaving the farmer's market empty handed. That's right, we failed to buy anything at the farmer's market then stopped at a permanent, year round produce stand not even 100 feet away because we were drawn to these giant asparagus. Tonight I heated up a pan with two tablespoons of olive oil, tossed these puppies in the oil with about a half cup of sweet onion, four cloves of garlic (yes, FOUR), and added some Mexican Chorizo Field Grain Sausages. I think the stand said they were from Hermiston. I have to hurry up and eat the rest of this batch so I can go buy more! 

Sunday, April 19, 2009


This morning I was out for a walk and developed a large lump in my throat when I started thinking about Corvallis.  Don't get me wrong, I love Portland - but I was thinking about all the pretty and enjoyable things about Corvallis too, and thought I'd write a post about my memories. 

Sunday morning

The best parts about Corvallis were:
Alex, who was killed on Harrison about a year ago...
My homemade, raised bed, and all the veggies I grew....
The waterfront Farmers Market...
Joel and Liz...
And last, but not at all least, working at the Plant Clinic for the last year and a half of living there.

Basically every post I write these days is regarding the reasons I am happy in Portland. The two places aren't better or worse in my mind, just different, and both beautiful in the spring!

Sunday flower walk winner

my morning 4/18/09

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bakery Bar - yummmmm

Woke up this morning and had a lazy walk around my neighborhood taking pictures of beautiful things. I wound up at Bakery Bar for coffee and one of my favorite scones - cheddar scallion (sans the bacon today).  The place was packed, as usual, so I asked to share a table with a guy and his son outside. After chatting for a while, he identified himself as the owner. Him and his wife opened the NE Glisan location this November, and you might have remembered how excited I was... They now have an expanded breakfast menu, and I can't wait to try a brekkie sandwich with egg and bacon.
 Bakery Bar NE on Urbanspoon

Bakery Bar