Portland and Easy Tomato Crostinis

A and I just returned from our trip to Portland. After getting invited to a wedding on Hood River earlier this year we figured we’d head out west early and see what Portland was all about. We ate and walked our way through the town, reveling in the lack of humidity and glorious weather that is the Portland summer. Our big take aways? Portland has lots of food trucks, breweries, espresso bars, and strip clubs (not so sure what’s up with that last one but hey, to each his own!).

Chowing down at a food truck - A found his favorite hot sauce here.

Powell's Books might have been my favorite place.


A little afternoon wine and poetry never hurt anyone.

Sushi lunch was delightful.

This city sure knows how to do it’s food and drink. Dinners out at Blue Hour and Le Pigeon were standouts. A talked about the burrito (our first meal) and hot sauce from Titos (above) the whole trip. I savored a sandwich and chilled beet soup from Addy’s for lunch while A devoured some chicken rice from a nearby truck, which lived up to the same dish we loved while in Singapore.

Of course after all of this indulgence, we needed a break. These crostinis were a perfect impromptu lunch that didn’t bust our guts.


Posted in Appetizer, Cheese, Restaurants, Snack, Travel, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Plum Crumble

Well the summer olympics are finally here! Is anyone else as pumped about them as I am? I know my family is. Perhaps my London connection isn’t as stoked as the city is likely overrun with people who have no idea where they are going.

The thing about the summer olympics, however, is that you have to be inside to watch them though it might be quite nice outside. DC decided to end it’s horrendous heat wave right at the opening ceremonies…hooray? So each evening I have an inner conflict, watch the recorded programming or sit and read on the balcony. So far it’s been a half and half compromise.

One bonus, though, is the abundance of fresh produce that can be turned into delicious meals and desserts for viewing events. Try this crumble with any stone fruit. I am keeping my eyes peeled for more peaches to try here.


Posted in Dessert, Fruit | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Tomato Jam

I’ve left you all alone for almost the entire month of July and now tomato season is upon us! It feels like I’ve been seeing tomatoes everywhere. Not that I’m complaining. I love the abundance of red, greens, yellows, and oranges. There is, however, that pang in my stomach reminding me that come fall and winter, these colors will be no more. If only there were a way to bottle them…

Oh there is. So the question is, have you done it? Canning that is. Have you thought about it at least? Were your first thoughts: Pectin? Sterilize? Ugh! If so, wipe that slate clean and start here. I was with you last year, thinking that it would be amazing to make jams from all my favorite fruits but dreading failure. What if jar didn’t seal. What if the sterilization didn’t work. What if the jam just totally sucks? Do I find out now or in 3 months when I open it with great expectations?

Believe me when I tell you that I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. The brains behind Sassy Radish set me straight with her own post uncomplicating jam. It was one of those “duh!” moments. People have been making jams for a long time, this can’t be rocket science, especially since I’m not trying to feed a small army or stock pile for the end of days. I just want tomatoes out of season. I have to advise reading Olga’s post and then diving into whatever jam you choose. You will thank yourself months later.

Posted in Fruit, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Lavender Scones

My baby sister is pregnant! The second grand child and her first child is on the way! M got married just last year and wasted no time starting the family she and her husband always wanted. I was M’s maid of honor, which I was only too happy to be. As a gift to me, M gave me saffron (a most excellent choice) and lavender. The lavender was somewhat comical since she purchased it by weight and decided that 1 pound would be perfect. If you’ve never seen 1 pound of lavender, imagine the pillow you sleep on full of lavender buds rather than down feathers. It’s a lot of lavender! We had a great time laughing about it the night before her wedding.

Since then, I’ve found great uses for the stuff. For one, it is excellent just sitting by the bedside or out on the table for aroma. Delicious. I’ve also given a few bags away (still with plenty of my own).










My first baking adventure with the aromatic was scones. These are perfect for breakfast or dessert. They’re only slightly sweet and the lemon mixed with lavender offers a refreshing midsummer day treat, especially with a cup of tea (iced or hot). So while I await my second niece, I will continue to search for more lavender recipes (like lavender chocolate cupcakes, or lavender lemonade!).


Posted in Breakfast, Dessert | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Baked Quinoa Patties

Sorry for the radio silence folks. We’ve been hosting our butts off. We’ve had friends for weekends, afternoon get togethers, dinners, and a few spontaneous sleepovers. This of course means we’ve been eating in and out of the house a lot, but not taking time to plop in front of the computer.

One thing I can say is that the weather has been beautiful here. We’ve had a lot of meals out on the balcony, soaking up the warm weather (and people watching). With warm weather comes lighter fare, which these quinoa patties are perfect for. They provide a filling and nutritious meal without busting the belly. The recipe also makes a lot which is perfect if you’re having guests over. We put the patties tortillas but I think pitas would be better and have written it this way.


Posted in Cheese, Entree, Grains and Rice, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A Very Green Salad

The warm weather is here and we can now enjoy meals out on the balcony. I came home from the market one day with these ingredients in hand without realizing they were all green. The feel of the salad was much more summer green than bright colorful spring.

It is perfect to throw together as a last minute side, or to make big for a full meal. Grab a glass of white and sit outside as the light fades to enjoy these flavors.



Posted in Entree, Salad, Side, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment