Sunday, November 23, 2014
It's kind of cool that I can walk outside my door and find some crinkled Autumn leaves in my garden, some dried up herbs and a few pumpkins still hanging around. I love using what I have or what I can find to decorate my holiday table. This week, we will celebrate a simple Thanksgiving with a brunch and some relaxing before heading downtown sometime during the evening for a walk and the hope of happening upon a simple romantic dinner for two!
Since most of our family is spread all over the country, it is sure to be a simple holiday however, that doesn't mean it can't be festive. I love some of the ideas found in this link to Houzz, "8 Creative Accents to Set Your Holiday Table Apart." I'll take some of those ideas and throw in a few of my own and there will be chicken apple and spice sausage and onion filled omelets, banana chocolate chip muffins, juice and coffee to fill us up. I have to admit, I am really okay about not preparing a huge Thanksgiving meal this year. A simply set table with things I've found in my garden and a simple meal shared with just some of the people I love will make this year simply special.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and whatever you have planned this year, I hope it's special and relaxing for you!
Saturday, November 22, 2014
|St. Jack and Oysters on Division Street near Cibo!|
It was a cool night so we bundled in our heavy coats, donned our scarves and mittens and woolen caps then headed out. Wine glass in hand, we were in the mood and prepared to taste all the wine and delicious bites on the NOUVEAU DIVISION CRAWL last Thursday evening!
Being a creator of a food and wine event similar to this one, I think I have a pretty good idea of what folks want in a tour. They not only want that delicious wine and yummy food, they want the whole package. They want to hear that their wine was literally bottled that day and the labels were slapped on just hours or minutes before the event was set to start. They want to meet the chefs, the bakers, the pizza makers and the owners of the restaurants that are on this list of stops along the route. They want the back stories, the history, they want to know what's new and when it's over, and at the end, they want to feel satisfied and leave happily knowing they got it all. That's exactly how my evening went last Thursday!
I learned more than I thought I knew about the seasons "first wine," and I met chefs and ate their food and got to know the places I have frequented a bit more as well as trying a few new places along the way. I learned that I really liked the "new" wine and also recognized that since moving to Oregon almost seven years ago that my palate has matured when it comes to wine. It's an amazing thing to grow up in Oregon if only in taste and sense.
I hope you can book this tour for the 2015 season. Watch for it and put it on your calendar. Not only do you get all the tastes of Division Street, you also get to help our local public schools since all the proceeds of this tour go to them.
Below you'll find the list of the places I trekked to and enjoyed on Division Street and the Nouveau Division Crawl. Go in for a bite and if they have it, some wine perhaps. See you at the next Beaujolais Nouveau season on Division Street.
|Literally bottled and labeled the day of!|
|Chef Dominique at St. Honoré!|
List of places you need to go NOW:
Cibo - for the delicious pizza!
Southeast Wine Collective - for all the wine!!!!
Lauretta Jean's - well duh… what do I say??? Go for everything… these brownies, the pie, brunch, etc.
St. Honoré - for the cider, the wine, the pastries, the macarons and to say hello to Chef Dominique!
Salt & Straw - for all the Thanksgiving Ice Cream flavors that you cannot go without this season!
Block + Tackle - for a cocktail, a nice little salmon bite and for a romantic evening for two!
Son of a Biscuit - for all the fried chicken, the sweet potato fries topped with cranberry relish and the scents of home cooking food… lots of it!
New Seasons - for all of your holiday grocery shopping! They have everything you'll need… everything!
|Lauretta Jean's salted caramel brownies and Beaujolais Nouveau!|
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
|The Bobby Boucher!|
Camera in hand and in need of a nice cocktail, my Bobby Boucher hit the spot! Just a quick note on the service at the Sunshine Tavern… I called ahead to see if they take reservations. They don't but they were quick to say that I could call when I was on my way and put my name on the list. I did and we got seated right away… no wait at all.
Very casual with delicious scents a simple bar with wait staff that again, blew my mind with their exceptional service! We each ordered our dinner which included a chicken burger, beef burger, a steak, this chicken and waffle and I got the Delicata Squash pizza… AMAZING… ALL OF IT!
For me, dining is an experience my entire body and soul reacts to. From the moment I walk in to a restaurant, then being seated, the service and of course the food taste and appearance… it all has to feel right for me to truly enjoy it. So, Sunshine Tavern hit this in me in every aspect. I will keep this on my "def go back to" list and tell everyone I know about Sunshine Tavern!
Nice on you Division Street and Sunshine Tavern… congrats for wining my heart and soul;)!
Monday, November 17, 2014
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
There's no doubt there is no place better on earth than being in a city that celebrates the holidays in a huge way. Sometimes though, once the big hullabaloo is over and that gigantic tree is lit, you may find yourself wanting to sneak off to some of the sweeter and smaller pockets of Portland. This place feels like home and has been mine since April this year. The Alberta Arts area of NE Portland is welcoming you to the neighborhood beginning November 30th where you will find us warm, inviting, exciting and filled with the holiday spirit!
I hope to see you in downtown Portland on November 28th when the "big tree" is lit and then again on Alberta Street on December 6th at 4:30pm at the courtyard on 18th when we light our neighborhood tree! Find all the info you need to complete your holiday planning and calendar filling below!
GET LIT beginning November 30th on Alberta Street and follow the rest of us as we enjoy bringing in the season in our NE Portland neighborhood!
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
Sunday, November 9, 2014
I've told you all about the Vintage Roost before. This place is my most favorite shop in all of Oregon. Open just a few times throughout the year, I love the feeling of this place and the things I find at the Roost! I hope you get to visit this season and see why I love it so much.
This little red cabin filled with handmade, homemade and vintage luxuries are only one reason to hit the road this season and head to Albany, Oregon! Whether you are traveling from the north or south, there are places and things to see along the way when making this place your destination. Some of my old stand by's:
Driving from Portland and heading to Albany… take 99W and hit Sleigh Bells and Red Hills Market!! Shopping and munching along the way is the best way to do it. Looking for lunch that's to die for?… The Blue Goat in Amity is a great place to get a bowl of soup and some of their famous dessert. If you are dying for some of that great monk fruitcake, be sure to call ahead but a quick side trip to the Trappist Abbey gift shop is a great way to see where this deliciously famous fruitcake is made!
Driving through Corvallis, don't forget to grab a seasonal latte at Coffee Culture before making a pit stop at Garlands Nursery off Hwy 20 in to Albany. Garlands is filled with plants, Christmas trees, flowers and a ton of stuff to decorate with for the holidays. It's easy from here to head toward Albany and take N. Scenic Drive and find The Vintage Roost!
If you are coming up from the south, it's ok… you can still drive in through Corvallis and enjoy that latte and head over to the Roost! Be sure to make a stop in Eugene though. You'll have to check out Sweet Life for a pastry and perhaps lunch at The Barn Light!
Be sure to take your time on the road to The Vintage Roost no matter where you are beginning from. There's so much to see this time of year! Some smatterings of Autumn will still be around so don't miss that. Make a day or a weekend out of it why don't ya. Albany has some great hotels and if you are lucky, you can hit the Holiday Home Tour, make a visit to the Carousel Museum or even attend The Christmas Storybook Land. Also… please find all of downtown Albany in all it's holiday glory as the sidewalk trees are lit and the snowflakes are hung and dot the street lamps as the city envelopes you in to that cosy holiday spirit.
Smiles, warmth, happy shopping and happy holidays in Albany, Oregon!
Find lodging at Comfort Suites or Holiday Inn Express!
Get dinner at Sybaris or Sweet Red downtown!
There's more shopping at the Albany Antique Mall and Emma Downtown!
Take a drive through Linn County's Covered Bridges!
Take a self-guided walking tour through Albany's Historic Monteith District at dusk and see the lights and homes sparkle!
Thursday, November 6, 2014
The Macaron, not to be confused with the Macaroon is made of sugars, egg whites and almond powders and are filled with buttercream, ganache or jam. Yesterday evening, I attended an event at Nuvrei in Portland's Pearl District that involved champagne, warm croissants filled with chocolate, bites of fresh salted bagel sandwiches and these gorgeous little cookies!
Fluffy, filled with air so sweet, these Macarons not only melt in your mouth, they are filled with such a meld of flavors that you are certain you have just tasted a handful of many different things at one time. Only slightly sweet, nutty and mildly fruity, these Macarons were fresh and plentiful! Portland's quest for taming the wild wild west when it comes to food and hoping to refine us just a tad with the help of Nuvrei, introduces these little French cookies and makes us fall in love with all that is truly refined! I did behave at this event last evening however, I spied a nice corner and was tempted steal away and grab a plate for myself. That would not have been nice but at times expected of me as I do love cookies and it was amazing how many of these Macarons I was able to fit into my hot hands;)!!
You will find Nuvrei on NW 10th Ave. in Portland's Pearl District. With their new Mac Bar downstairs, you can pick and choose which flavors you'd like to take home or enjoy with a cup of coffee upstairs! Go to Nuvrei for these little darlings but you will also see that you may not be able to go far without a white take away box filled with other pastries too or even some lunch!
MAC BAR is open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Wednesday - Sunday. They are located at 404 N.W. 10th Ave.
note: Thank you to Broussard Communications for the invite and although I was invited to this event at no cost to myself, my thoughts are my own.