Raclette on the Deck

After a busy work day, we managed to put together a yummy raclette dinner – asparagus, mushrooms, steamed potatoes, prosciutto, cornichon, and – the star of the show! – raclette cheese!  Never disappoints..  We set up out on the deck using an assortment of moderately stable TV trays and other tables and stools, clearly highlighting our need for a decent table and chair set!  Even a folding table from Costco would have been a vast improvement!

Beautiful spring night in Portland as we reminisced about our first raclette dinner @ January 2010 in Annecy, France..  http://www.lefreti.com/

Raclette Annecy France La Freti

Memorial Day 2016

Started our day off well with a delicious breakfast at Fat Albert’s.  Had not previously tried the vege eggs benedict – though technically there’s some debate about this as Paul seems to think he has tried it before, though can’t pinpoint when that was – but will certainly be looking for it on the special’s board going forward!  Yum yum!  http://www.yelp.com/biz/fat-alberts-breakfast-cafe-portland

The rest of the day was spent in project mode – me painting the front door and Paul working on the trellis for the roses..  In between, there were numerous trips to the hardware stores – both True Value (3) and Home Depot (1).

Our plans for raclette were deferred to Tuesday and we went with the easier, less labor intensive, choice of gnocchi, salad, and crusty baguette..

Toast is the most!

Kicked off our Saturday back in Woodstock at a new brunch spot, Toast (http://www.toastpdx.com/).  Happy to report that it was delicious!!  Instant new fav – Paul got the Bad Ass Sandwich and I went for the pork belly in The Belly is Cast.  Soooo good and so many menu items yet to try!

From there we walked back into town and browsed around New Season’s and Ace Hardware’s surprisingly extensive garden center.  Put a pin in several items to come back for later and walked back towards Sellwood, dipping in to wander the lovely Reed College campus.  We took a stroll thru the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (http://crystalspringsgarden.org/), seeing the potential, if not the actual flowers in bloom.  Note to selves – get here during peak!  The lake and garden and springs were all very lovely and peaceful.

After getting home we drove back to Woodstock where we picked up a box of miscellaneous herbs for the front bed and the fixings for our hike snacks – ham and brie wraps with dijon, arugula, and cornichon; apples and cherries.   Came home and started our various projects – Paul’s building trellis’s for the roses on the side of the house, I painted the white trim around the front door where the security gate had left holes and discoloration and then planted the herb garden.  I don’t know if it’s the sun, the dirt, or what, but everything is growing a blooming!  Fingers crossed for an awesome harvest!!

Dinner was a simple Papa Murphy’s pepperoni and green olive pizza and we prepped our hike snacks while it cooked.

Dinner in Woodstock, eventually..

Work, awesome coffee at Either/Or (https://www.facebook.com/EitherOrCafe), more work, Asparagus Potato quiche for lunch, more work, walk over to the farmers market (pencil thin asparagus – yum! – and duck eggs for Brandi), more work..  You get the picture..

Decided to get out of the house for dinner – what to do??  Pok Pok? Food Trucks? Or…  Woodstock Wine & Deli!  Take the 19, walk in the door and…  Wah-wahhh..  They’re closing in 30 min for a private event.  We stayed long enough to peruse the wine inventory and found it acceptable – no worries, we’ll be back!  So we go wandering down Woodstock in search of our next victim – Nudi?  been there.  Dick’s Primal?  been there.  Other restaurants – look good, but nothing compelling..  Walk, walk, walk on down to the end of town and then see a review of Bridge City Pizza – bingo!  And then no-bingo – while there were stools and a small counter, this is clearly delivery.  And we’re walking..  Next stop:  Mezza.  Not what we set out for – a deli sandwich! – and not what we expected, but we said yes and it was quite delicious!  At first I was put off by the sweet/honey on the salad, but was ultimately won over.  I had the duck confit and Paul went with the lamb.  Good portions, not too overwhelming..  Tried a little French Malbec – fairly good at a reasonable price of $27.  http://mezzapdx.com/

Wandered back through Woodstock assuming we’d catch the 19 to go home, but got distracted by Cloud City ice cream..  http://www.cloudcityicecream.com/  A little much on top of a rich dinner, but what the heck!   The ice cream was as good as we’d heard with interesting flavors – minus the lines of Salt and Straw + the option of a sugar cone..

Thanks to slower bus service given the time of day, we ended up walking the 2 miles home..  Not entirely a bad thing!


Roasted Carrots and planning for Provence

Had a new dish with dinner tonight – Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots.  Went perfectly with a simple salad of lettuce and tomato tossed with balsamic vinegar eye and mashed potatoes with chunky mushroom gravy.  Will definitely do that again!  http://diethood.com/garlic-butter-roasted-carrots/

Looking forward to the day when most, if not all, of those components come from our own garden!!

Started planning my birthday trip to Provence in earnest.  Looks like a week+ with time in probably 2 locations – Aix and possibly Menerbes.  Look forward to the food, wine, weather, relaxation, and charm!

Meetup @ Oregon Cullinary Institute

We went to a meetup at the culinary school last night with Meet-up.   It was overall a fun evening.  A 4 course dinner for $18 can’t be beat either!  I can’t say I was particularly interested in knowing anyone at our table any better, but there was plenty of conversation to make the evening interesting.

It was fun knowing everyone cooking and serving were students.  In some cases it was pretty obvious, in other cases I thought I was in a fine dinning establishment.  (my lamb loin was perfectly cooked.)

For $18, I think we will go again, though, my vote is we skip the Meetup group next time.

Fun day in Portland with the St Louis klan

Mike, Donna, Laurn and Erin came to visit on the tail end of their Alaska vacation.  We took the bus to the Saturday Market (Susan bought a necklace & we bought a small pottery plate).   it just happened that it was also the 25th anniversary of the Portland Japanese memorial park.  George Takie spoke about his memories living during the interment camps of ww2.  After that, we headed back home to view photos from the Alaska Trip.  of course a trip would not be complete without a trip to the waffle window, so we capped the evening with tasty treats!  overall, a fun relaxing day.