Monday, March 29, 2010

I moved!!!!

Yeah - I moved to Seattle, but my blog moved too! Follow me at Cheers!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dad and Jill got married!

Yesterday, dad and Jill were married on the banks of the Willamette River at the close of a 70 degree spring day in Portland. It was beautiful. From the weather, to the raspberry cocktails, to the friends and family, the event was simply beautiful. It was wonderful to see my brothers, Jill's children, our grandmothers, and my aunts.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jobless in Seattle

Being jobless, I thought I would come to Seattle and get a little bored or restless looking for work and moving in to our new place. But as a friend at OHSU told me before I left, "it's a beautiful time to be moving to Seattle!" All the cherry blossoms are out in full popcorn puffs, and just as Lynn advised me to do, I've been going on walks around town. Tuesday, I went to meet Phil at his work so we could run errands when he was done for the day. It's about five miles from our house to his work. I am trying to familiarize myself with the bicycle friendly streets and intersections, so that walk helped a lot.

Our place is still not quite "settled in" but we're slowly getting everything in it's place. Cooking helps. Soup helps. Eating helps everything. The market had chicken back marked way down so I bought a few pounds and made 6 quarts of stock yesterday. I read and re-read all the literature on stocks we had in the house. The Joy of Cooking suggests blending the vegetables before cooking to extract more flavor. I put them in the Cuisinart and the results were quite satisfying. This morning I scooped all the fat off of the chilled broth. Don't worry - I didn't throw it away. I tried a matzo ball recipe from Bon Appetit that called for schmaltz. The results were quite impressive. Phil and I had three matzo balls each, situated in my homemade broth, and accompanied by a large arugula salad and mashed celeriac and russet potatoes. I'm going to go roll myself over the couch now and watch a movie...

soup and celeriac potatoes

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The cookbooks have a place

... So we can call it home now.


Kitty in the new house

Thursday, March 18, 2010

In Seattle now

A long time since posting... Phil and I are in our new place in Seattle now. I haven't been taking pictures, or documenting much, but when we get more settled, I will post pictures! So far, we're enjoying living together, and watching Kitty run up and down the stairs. We can chop vegetables side-by-side at our giant counter, and I am in love with the gas range. Right now I'm unpacking boxes, applying to jobs, and learning to navigate Seattle traffic on bike. It's a beautiful time to be in the city - all the cherry blossoms are blooming! We've joined the local co-op that's just a short walk from the house. I'd say, overall we are well on our way to becoming full fledged Seattlites. You better come visit us!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lazy morning.

There's nothing like a biscuit sandwich for breakfast... Or three. I made a quick batch of biscuits this morning to put egg and veggie sausage on, but they didn't rise! Old baking powder (likely cause), or really old buttermilk (bought it back in mid December) were the obvious culprits. Or I just kneaded too much. Whatever it was, doesn't really matter - they tasted yummy!
Egg, veggie sausage, and cheese on a biscuit

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recipe: The Rest

As previously mentioned, I'm moving to Seattle. Part of getting ready involves eating as much of the food I've hoarded in my cabinets as possible. Rachel and I tend to get carried away with food (bet you didn't know that, did you?), so this has been a fun task for us the past several weeks. In one night, we ate homemade asian steambuns filled with left over spicy lentils from a freezer jar; thai lemongrass and chicken soup; and the aforementioned spicy lentils over brown rice, smothered in mozzarella cheese. Well, tonight I wanted lentil soup, and it ended up being a recipe utilizing a lot of "the rest" of stuff in our kitchen.

Ingredient list:
  • The rest of the lentils in the house - red and french green
  • The rest of the hot yellow curry powder
  • The rest of a baggie of dehydrated onion flakes
  • The rest of a Pacific tetrapak of chicken broth
  • The rest of an open can of Trader Joe's light coconut milk
  • The rest of my broccoli from last week
  • The rest of my bunch of carrots from last week
  • The rest of some celery from god only knows when
  • Some ginger, Bragg's, and cumin
and of course... spooned this over the rest of the white jasmine rice in the house (only about a half cup dry left, sorry Rachel).

Pretty tasty! Lentils look pretty disgusting on camera though...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Random Shot #7

Better late than never... I chose this shot from last fall because I can't wait till spring and summer finally arrive, bringing with them lots of yummy fresh food!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Roller Derby

For my birthday (yes, back in November), Carol and Barry took Phil and me to roller derby this past weekend! It was really exciting, and I'm totally hooked now. There's something beautiful about watching adult women skate really fast and sort of beat each other up for fun. I told Phil I'd be quite happy getting season tickets once I move up to Seattle.
RCR 2.20.2010-8

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Loving my Kitchenaid

I may not be interested in eating cookies, but I sure as hell love to make pretty food.
Chocolate Cookies - Adapted from Panthera's recipe on

Choclate Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick oats
1 cup dried currants
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons organic agave
1/3 cup organic, unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In large mixing bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.

Add the flour, baking soda and salt; stir in to the creamed mixture until just incorporated. Mix in the quick oats, currants, chocolate chips, agave and cocoa powder until homogenous.

Drop giant spoonfuls (mine were at least 4 tablespoons each) onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 22-25 minutes in a preheated oven on the middle rack*. Let cool on sheets for five minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

* I baked two sheets at a time, which required almost 30 minutes time, and I staggered the sheets - one closer to the back, one closer to the door.

Choclate Cookies

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's official


Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Remember when you were little and when you came down with a nasty cold or the flu, your mom would make you anything you wanted, just as long as you'd eat? Well, my tastebuds are all out of whack, and my throat is swollen and painful, and I'm home from work this morning, so when I finally got out of bed, I made the first thing that came to mind. A plate of veggie sausage, with an egg fried to coagulated death, on top of a whole wheat pancake (made with soymilk that Becca and I made from scratch). Yeah. Really. I ate that. Now I'm kind of full.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled pork is delicious. There's no mistaking that. For about the same price you'd pay for a good pulled pork sandwich ($7), I bought a 3.6 lbs boston pork butt yesterday. When I got home, I put a ton of spices in a bowl with brown sugar and some salt and dry rubbed the beast. Then, I put it in a plastic bag and let it rest overnight in the fridge. This morning, I pulled it back out of the bag, shoved it in the crock pot, set to low, and let it simmer for 9.5 hours. After that, I pulled all the pork apart on a baking sheet with two forks, and set aside. I simmered some apple cider vinegar, ketchup, worcestershire, brown sugar and a ton more spices until it tasted yummy, then mixed in all the shredded pork and tossed it in the oven set at 350 F. At that point, I started mixing yeast and flour together for some homemade buns...

Homemade Pulled Pork

The rub came from a recipe on Beantown Baker, and I made some hamburger buns from One Frugal Foodie. What you have to understand is, I spent at least a week in advance obsessively looking at recipes for crockpot pulled pork, and decided on my attack, only to find this exquisite website just as I was pulling the buns out of the oven. Oh well, mine tastes ammmmmmazingly good, and now I have another new recipe to look forward to.

Hamburger Buns

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Random Shot #4


African Quinoa Soup

At my request, Saba brought me some of the soup she made for dinner last night. It was so delicious and hearty, I really wanted to have some for lunch at work tomorrow. So I waited until about 8:30 and decided to make that happen... And now I'm eating second dinner, as usual.
Adapted from the post Jake put up last summer... I'm not really sure why my soup is much thinner than Jake's, maybe he lied about the amount of quinoa and peanut butter? At any rate, it doesn't matter, Rachel and I just confirmed it still tastes amazing. And it will obviously be thicker tomorrow after the quinoa sits and soaks up the liquids.
african quinoa soup-2

2 tbls butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium sized beet, diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced
6 cloves of garlic (normal people probably use 2-3), minced
3 small carrots, tops removed, diced
1 cup of red chard (approximately two large leafs), stems removed and diced and set aside, greens sliced
1 ts oregano
1/2 ts cumin powder
1/2 ts red chili flakes
1/4 ts cayenne
6 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup red quinoa
3/4 cup peanut butter

Heat a heavy-bottomed pot on medium, and add butter. After the butter has melted and just started to froth, add onions, beet and potato. Saute until the onions become translucent and the roots begin to soften (10-12 minutes). Add the garlic, carrot, and chard stems and saute another 2 minutes. I always add my garlic later than the onion so it doesn't burn and stick to the pan. Add the chard and stir just a couple times, until incorporated, then add the broth and all the spices. Raise heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Add quinoa, then lower heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the peanut butter and mash around with a wooden spoon to dissolve. Serve immediately! Leftovers will only

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Long weekend

Had a great weekend in Seattle with many many friends. Becca and I drove up on Friday afternoon and had with a couple of her college friends and Phil at La Isla. I ordered rare steak on a salad, but didn't eat much since I was still nursing a food poisoning tummy from the day before. The bites I did have were delicious, and everyone seemed really happy with their meals.

On Saturday, Phil and I met up with my Portland friends, Shane and Kevin, and ate at Table 219. My tummy was more on the mend, so I helped myself to a chicken sausage scramble, and my favorite kind of potatoes.
chicken sausage scramble

After a painful evening of pulling on some plastic, Phil and I got Thai takeout and watched a movie. It was a fairly early night for us, and we got up early the next day to hit Steven's Pass with Ava. The snow was heavy, and the vertigo was pretty bad, but we had a blast. That was only the second time I've skied in two years, and it felt really good to gets some turns in. We even managed to take the chair to the very top and enjoy a very steep mogul field. We skied till all of us had weak, cramping legs, then had beer and burgers from the lodge.

Once we got back to Seattle, we reconvened with Becca and headed out to Txori Bar. We got a bunch of weird little bites (and they really are bites), including squid in its own ink and spanish chorizo with shaved chocolate. We also had some not-so-weird stuff like, cauliflower and rabbit. The pictures tend to speak for themselves. (Below, Becca is appreciating every last bit of the rabbit bones.)

After a shameless stop at the drive-in to pick up some burgers and fries, we all settled in at Phil's house to watch Mean Girls - which I'd never seen. Big fan now. It was a really nice long weekend. I'm very relaxed now!
Watching Mean Girls

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Potatoes n' Cheese

Potatoes n' cheese

More often than not, I start chopping up produce and putting it in a pan or pot before I've decided what the end product is going to be. I love making breakfast restaurant-style potatoes (with crispy browned outsides, with gooey middles), so that's what I started with tonight. I stared at the taters, frothing up and sizzling, and contemplated where to go next.

"Potatoes and eggs, with some pancakes? Maybe potatoes and black beans in a burrito? Potatoes with... Cheese curds! Which means I should make gravy - POUTINE!"

I hovered over the stove, muttering, but Rachel (my roommate) is pretty used to this by now. A place in Durango, Colorado popped into my head at that moment, and I furiously began chopping onions. I love onions, and they are a good source of vitamin C to boot, so I tend to use at least a half a cup of onion in anything I cook. The restaurant I'm speaking of is Serious Texas Barbecue. They make "Cheezy potatoes" that are out of this world. It's been years since I had them, but I remember it was potatoes, onion, and a ton of melted cheese. I, of course, slathered the whole lot with their Jack Daniels BBQ sauce, and I wish I had some of that right about now.

So I skipped the poutine for tonight, and I made a stab at Cheezy potatoes. I had some curds from the Tillamook Cheese Factory in the fridge, and when you pan fry those, they get even "squeeky"-er. Which is amazing-er. I pan fried the taters in 2 tbls olive oil, and 2 tbls butter, then added a cup of sliced onions, 1 tbls fresh thyme from my Aerogarden, 2 ts rubbed sage, and 1 ts of oregano. I think I actually went overboard with the spices. I also added 2 cloves of garlic, which I like to microplane into the pan, rather than chop. Microplaning gives you a garlic paste, rather than little bits that will brown and burn in the hot oil. Finished off with half an avocado, some Tillamook sour cream, and a lot of sriracha. Pretty damn good dinner. For 9pm on a weeknight...

Random Shot #3

Agh! I have to make sure I post in between these random shots... That was sort of the point. To get me posting more.

Forest foraging pays off

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Parmesan Popovers

Kitty was almost as excited as I was to see these beauties come out of the oven.

First popovers.
Final product.

I've been looking over popover recipes since the October 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine came out. They did a fun looking fall spread at a mountain cabin setting with a bunch of really thin, beautiful models who you know can't be eating tins and tins of popovers... Anyway. Everything they made for that meal made my mouth water, especially the Provolone Popovers. I have never eaten popovers before, let alone made them, but I was curious. We never have milk in our house, so it hasn't been a recipe I could just last minute whip up. Since the holidays, I think Rachel and I have both had to buy a lot of milk for various recipes, so there's an abundance of dairy in our fridge now.

This morning, I woke up and started googling "popover recipes" on my iPhone, then remembered the October Gourmet out in my living room. When I found the recipe again, it definitely seemed like the simplest of all the ones I'd been scouting. I also wasn't planning on letting my batter rest for the 60+ minutes recommended. I didn't have provolone, but I did have the all important catalyst, parmesan, and some sharp white cheddar which I decided could pretend to be provolone. They turned out beautiful, delicious, and didn't even stick to the pan! Jake and Phil were leaving to go boating at 9:30, and I managed to toss a couple steaming hot morsels at them as they walked out. This was a super simple recipe that I will make again and again! Rachel brought home the beautiful muffin tin from her grandmother's after Christmas. It's the perfect size for a 25 minute bake. The recipe below yielded two exact batches in her 8 small muffin tin.

Full recipe found here, on