Monday, October 12, 2015

Eating in Portland… my third quarter report on where and what I ate! July, August and September 2015!

We spent a lot of time eating ice cream!… Salt & Straw on Alberta St.

I have enjoyed releasing my dining reports on a quarterly basis this year as it gives me a chance to relive my dining enjoyment as well as it gets my readers out to experience the restaurants, etc. as soon as possible!  We had a pretty warm summer for Portland so we have enjoyed some outside patio time and a little more time at home for meals this third quarter.  But… that doesn't mean I haven't made my rounds big time, it just means I have been more thoughtful about where I choose to dine in hopes of keeping cool and selective.

I hope you enjoy this list and remember, these are my thoughts, my views and I am a vegetarian which never really stops me by any means, it just means I have to sometimes go off of what my "meat eaters" tell me now and then.  They are as picky as I am about good food and also, these places are mostly in Portland unless otherwise noted… so, lets get going:

Homemade biscuits and strawberries at home!
Cathedral Coffee Shop:  We enjoyed lavender toast and jam and of course we had coffee and Steven enjoyed a cinnamon roll.  This is a super cute place in east Portland and totally worth the trek from anywhere in the city!  Not fancy but cute and clean!

Breakside Brewery:  I am almost embarrassed to say that this was my first time here back in July.  I had the pretzels they serve from Fressen and doll up with seeds and salt and oh my gosh!  Great accompaniment to their pilsner in my opinion. All the food was consumed eagerly by all!  Great location on Dekum in NE Portland!

Laurelhurst Cafe:  We've been once before and have been told they have the best breakfast sandwich in town.  So, I don't eat ham or bacon so I'm taking the word of a real meat eater… they say it's pretty darn tasty!  I did like my egg sandwich a lot and it's perfect for a quick meal before a road trip!

Atticus Coffee:  Ok, I know this isn't in Portland but it's not too far away in Spokane!  We had banana bread and coffee on our road trip out to Glacier Nat'l Park in July and wow… what a cute place and a great stop for a quick little breakfast!

Clyde Common:  I was invited by Little Green Pickle to lunch and although I've been before, there's a new chef and the food was amazing!  The popcorn is spicy and delicious, the charcuterie is fresh and there's lots to choose from on the menu even for a vegetarian like me. Cheese's galore with fruit and nuts etc.  Dessert of Poppy Seed Ice Cream Cake and Chocolate mousse was devoured quickly as well.

Kim Jung Grillin:  Ok, so this is prob one of the highlights of my list this quarter.  I told them I was vegetarian so they improvised and I was amazed.  The flavors of my Bibimbox were spicy, filled with flavor and texture and yes, I've been back a few times.  In a food truck located next to Pollo Norte on NE 42nd and so delicious!

Pollo Norte:  Yes, they have lots of chicken but I had beans and rice and those sweet little corn tortillas that are to die for!  Everyone at my table ate everything!  Best chicken around they say and located on NE 42nd Ave.

Dapper & Wise:  On Division St.  Great location and great coffee!

Island Cafe:  Ok, so this isn't an outstanding place to eat in Portland but let me tell you, you won't have a better view!  On a shoot off the Columbia River, we kayaked and ate and drank beer here and it was quite a treat in the sunshine on a warm day… perfect!  Been back a few times this past summer.

Tin Shed:  Always, always a favorite!  Brunch anytime there and I'm happy the entire day! Always a wait on the weekends… a long one but don't go to Fuel thinking it's all the same. Stay put and wait… baby, it's worth it!  BTW… Fuel is not Tin Shed so please don't attempt it unless you are starving.

Palace Cakes:  Been before and I do love cake.  In fact, that's the main reason I attend weddings, funerals, baby showers etc. but I almost never have any when I go because the slices are huge and all I really want is just a bite or two.  So, if you go… share a slice with someone you love!  

Horse Brass Pub:  Went once before and this time was fine too.  Just a little dark and very British and pretty much hits the spot according our English friend.  I had a veggie pasty and a beer.  Could be a bit cleaner… sticky tables don't turn me on but it was ok and fun.

Swift and Union:  Located in darling Kenton, I love this place.  Been a few times since they opened and I loved the Beet Veggie Burger and cocktails!  We sat outside and enjoyed the summer evening.  Last time we went, we sat inside and I thought the chairs were awfully uncomfortable and so did a few others I noticed around the restaurant.  Nice to say, they must have listened to their customers and got newer and more comfy not so cute chairs but hey… it's nice to be comfy when you're dining out.  Awesome service and friendly staff!

Buoy Beer Co.:  This is located in Astoria and honestly… loved their beer but their food… not so much.  Not a fan of salmon jerky and it actually looked pretty gross to me but I hate fish so there ya go. My meal must have been ok but I don't recall what I had which usually means something.  Friends has smoked oyster deviled eggs and ate all of them.  Ok….

Street 14 Cafe:  My fav coffee place in Astoria.  Pretty cute and great location and nice muffins, breakfast and coffee.  Go check it out asap.  

Bill's Tavern and Brew House:  That's in Cannon Beach and it's our go-to place there.  Food is so-so but the beer is good and there's always a table for us.  Not sure how that works but we have always sat at the same table over the years.  I think I usually get the grilled cheese and fries.  Goes great with a big beer.

Coffee Girl:  Again, in Astoria!  Toast with peanut butter, bananas and honey and then sided with coffee on the Columbia River… yes, it was nice!  Simple breakfast and Ray had a muffin and a coke for godsake!  I'll never get that but hey, he needs his caffeine too I guess.

Taste Tickler:  Near where I work out and I always see it and heard it was so good but I hate it when I work myself in to a tizzy cause I've heard it was so good and only find it mediocre and I get upset but I still eat it.  I ate a foot long that was good enough but not the best sub I'd ever had.  Dang me!

Salt, Fire & Time/Broth Bar:  Another invite by a Portland marketing company so I went over to check it out.  Lucky me, they had mushroom broth whitch was fine but I'm weird about texture and just don't picture myself getting giddy about sipping mushroom broth but again, it was fine.  They do have lots of other things including real broth there if you wanna check it out. Lots of health benefits I hear.  The yogurt there comes in a little container is $11 and I've heard it's the best ever.  Still haven't tried it but I might mosey over and get some soon.

Barista:  My Alberta Street coffee spot on my way to meetings, etc.  They have nice coffee with a few options to choose from and Roman Candle goodies so I get a pop tart every time. Homemade that is and not too sweet and goes great with my house coffee.

Qui Presse:  My little love… where have you been all my life.. yes, I have been once before and I get a coffee or tea and this espresso coffee cake that's simple and not too sweet.  A nice afternoon pick me up.

Ville Velo Bakery:  Nearby and so sweet and teeny and they have scones which I can never eat later.  I have to eat them now, as I'm walking home and in a rush cause they are that good! Near Prescott and NE 15th Ave. by Grain & Gristle, you must go!  Ck their hours and days they are open before going.  I think they are closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday?  Great carrot cake too… oh my gosh!  What day is it…

Muddy Rudder:  Oh, only if I were a local, I'd always be here!  I love this place so much.  So nice and cozy and the stromboli and beer are perfect together.  Eat inside when it's cold and sometimes there's live music and you feel like you are tucked in to an English pub somewhere in Fakenham with your best buds and all is right with the world.

The Peddler and Pen Tavern:  Where Huckleberry's used to be off NW 23rd and the first time I went, I was smitten.  So cute and good and I loved my veggie dog covered in goodness and sided with flat fries like chips almost.  Lending library and games and great cocktails too! Last time I went, not smitten so much.  The fries were fried too much and tasted like old grease and they didn't have a veggie dog any more so that really bummed me out a lot.  The bathroom was really dirty, another pet peeve but the staff was super nice and there was plenty of room to hang out and play games and just be with friends and family.  So, hoping they bring their veggie dog back and hoping it was fluke on bathroom issue… I really want to keep loving this place.  P.S.  Bring a love note and take a love note!

Asparagus from our summer CSA box this year!

All-Way Burgers:  They are closed now but a few notes if they ever decide to pick up where they left off… most of the time I was there, my burger was awesome.  Yeah… a burger without the burger.  Toast that bun, add all the burger options but leave the burger out and it's pretty darn tasty.  But, please don't ever forget to toast that bun.  That makes a huge difference and once they forgot and I wasn't too happy but life goes on and I went back.  Not sure why they closed cause the place was always packed.  

Lovely's 50-50:  This place will always be on my quarterly lists because I do love it dearly. Hubby and I go and split a pizza, get their homemade ice cream with a beer and a soda and it's like $30 and we're done!  Full and happy and we had ice cream so that really made our day!  We keep going back over and over again.  Get the affogato… it's delicious!

Miss Zumstein's Cakes and Desserts:  Only been once when someone in our party was unhappy with their baked good but other than that… it's our fav go-to bakery not too far from home.  On NE 42nd attached to Old Salt Marketplace Supperhouse, my number one restaurant of the year 2014!!!  This little bakery is sweet and they have everything!

Dar Salam:  Nearby and so good.  Hubby's not a huge fan but I love their vegetarian options. Been to the new location downtown and like their lunch too!  Will keep going for lunch or with out of town visitors that want to try something different.

Bushwacker:  A cider house on Dekum with great tastes and flights to check out.  Good food but dang… I can't recall what I had but it was good.  I think we cleared the whole table on a summery afternoon sipping all the cider they had;)!

Christopher David:  I stopped for tea and a pastry and it was fine.  I used to live across the street and would come over and have tea or coffee every now and then.  Only draw back… dogs!  I do love them but not their excrement.  Sorry, but the Pearl District just wreaks of it and it's gross!  Could smell it coming off the concrete nearby while trying to sip my tea then one cutie just cut lose at the next table and it was swiftly picked up by a good dog owner but that smell while trying to eat or drink just gets me and gags every time.  Probably won't go back again.

Atlas Scoops:  Cute ice cream truck in Sellwood and has a great story and good ice cream. Closed in the winter but go check it out next Spring and Summer.  

Fly Awake Tea Garden:  Behind Whole Foods off NE 15th and Fremont and I've been several times!  Very sweet area in someone's back yard garden and the garage is cute with the guy in there making teas and selling interesting smokes and snacks.  Love taking people here and they do Tarrot Card readings.  Never had mine done but I may someday just for fun!

Victoria Bar:  So, we did this little happy tour one evening and this place was on my list and we both are still talking about the mac n chz.  We need to go back!  They own a vegan restaurant or two as well as other places but this place is special.  Very cute bar, very open and they are super friendly.  Steven had the vegan po'boy and he's a meat eater and he loved it!  And any place that serves me a cocktail called "Captured by Pirates," is special!  FYI… don't photograph anything in the yard next to this place.  Got yelled out by the homeowner but dang… you should see his yard!  Lots of interesting things there.

The Hop & Vine:  On NE Killingsworth and so good!  We sat outside but it seemed the non-smokers had crappy seats and the smokers got all the good seats out there.  So, if they were to give us non-smokers new benches or something to sit on outside, I'd be so freaking happy! The best grilled cheese and tomato basil soup I ever had and that popcorn… everyone loved it!  Cocktails are tasty and this place is busy!  

Joanna and Steven at The Hop & Vine!
Bit House Saloon:  Ok, so you need to go check this place out!  Great cocktails, great pub food, friendly service and so cool, you'll love it!  Lots of seating and I am dying to go back. Wish it was closer to where I live!!  The only thing I didn't like was the ice cream sandwich dessert but I shouldn't have ordered dessert.  I wasn't hungry for it so that's what I get. Everything else was perfect!  If you are a regular and they recognize you, they ring a bell.  I want a bell rung for me when I walk in… someday!

Bird + Bear:  What a cute little place in a nondescript strip mall in SE Portland.  I had the best eggplant parmesan sandwich!  My friend had the Eggplant Parmesan on Creamy Polenta.. I should have gotten that or better yet, I should go get it right now.  A cute place with really nice people working there.  Great bar too!

Handsome Pizza/Seastar Bakery:  Two of my most fav things food wise in the world in one special place on Killingsworth not too far from where I live!  Good or bad thing.. I don't care, it's just super cute and delicious, all of it!  Next to Podnah's fyi…

The Knock Back:  Quickly becoming an Alberta Street neighborhood favorite.  Go, get a cocktail and a tempeh slider why dontcha!  Hubby likes the dirty popcorn a lot!

Cheese and Crack: Oh my gosh… these guys and this summer!  I had a vanilla soft serve with a lemonade slushy together in one amazing cup!  It came with a spoon and a straw and it was so good and refreshing!

Tasty and Alder:  My first time was just a few weeks ago and it was ok.  I liked my cocktail and my little chocolate doughnut with cream.  They really don't have a vegetarian option at all but I can pick through a ploughman's platter and do just fine!  Great location downtown and they are open for lunch!  Been to Toro Bravo and Tasty and Son's and really loved those two locations!

Old Salt Marketplace and Supperhouse:  I have to admit that I have not had  a meal at the supperhouse in some time but they do have this great thing where you go in and you can take home a dinner.  Ten bucks gets you a dinner to take away and last time I went, I brought hubby home some steak, potatoes and corn on the cob I believe.  I love that this is nearby on NE 42nd Ave.

Knuckle Sandwich:  I've been a few times and I really love this place.  The burgers are to die for and they are messy and gooey and so freaking good!  I love their fries too!  Almost a garage like atmosphere with a clean bathroom where I have to scrub up and down once I'm done devouring my burger.  Super friendly staff and this is one of my favorite places in Portland to get a veggie burger.  It's not really a veggie burger, it's a cheese burger without the burger.  They pile in loads of veggies and that melty cheese and it's really a big hot mess but really really good! 

Tidbit Food Farm and Garden:  A favorite but this time at this pod, I enjoyed a waffle sandwich and a pumpkin spiced cider from Seattle.  Such a great combo with an egg and veggie sausage and cheese tucked inside two nice crispy mapley waffles.  Perfect for breakfast or lunch or whenever.  If you haven't been to Tidbit, you need to go soon and go hungry!

Bollywood Theater:  Been before but had lunch there a week or so ago and man, I love the flavors!  Spicy and flavorful and perfect for a vegetarian!  I've only been to the Alberta St. location.

American Dream Pizza:  So, my most fav pizza place where I used to live was American Dream but that was in Corvallis.  This is from what I've been told, the parent company or parent pizza joint to that one.  Any who… still delicious and I'm so glad I found the Portland version!

Upper Left Roasters:  Over by one of my favorite neighborhoods, Ladds Addition, this coffee house has lunch too!  A great open faced toasted cheese with avocado etc. and it was great with a coffee.  Can't wait to go back on a cold day and enjoy the people watching from the vast windows!

Nineteen 27 S'mores:  Great little cart near NW 23rd with toasted marshmallows no less!  I had a pumpkin s'more and wow… a nice crispy graham with that pumpkin marshmallow and caramel.. so good!  Hubby had one with chocolate something in it but I was too enthralled to care about his and the sticky was all over my face and in my hair but it's ok, it was a homemade s'more!

Fillmore Coffee:  In a weird location but I get it when places are branching out and plugging in to these little strange Portland pockets.  The coffee was nice and I took home a dark chocolate peanut butter cookie for hubby and I had a vanilla biscotti that I saved for my morning coffee the next day.  Cute place and they serve pizza and bagels too. 

So… a few notes:  Some regular places we enjoy and not mentioned above are Autentica for brunch and dinner, Gigi's in Hillsdale for breakfast, Baker and Spice for anything baked, Radio Room for monthly meetings, Tea Bar for my London Fog, Salt & Straw for ice cream of course, Opa always for calazones when we're dying for one.  There's more, lots more but I can't keep track.  My goal for the next quarter… check out as many food carts, food trucks and pods in Portland as I can!

I hope you enjoy this list and I am happy to check out a place for you if you're coming for a visit soon.  I can review and let you know what I think.  I will have to say that I have deleted my Yelp account recently as I have decided to not let others dictate my views on "new to me" places but here I am asking you to trust me.  But, those of you that know me know that I am super picky.  No sticky tables, no super loud annoying music, clean bathrooms are a must and the most delicious food is of course, a no brainer but the place and the people are the most important to me.  It must feel good to me to be there and then when the food is excellent and the cocktails are lovely… it all falls in to place so perfectly.  Then I know, it's all good!  Cheers and enjoy your food treks wherever you live!

The Victoria Bar on Albina!

Mac n Chz at the Victoria Bar on Albina!

Cherries from Oregon!

Homemade Chocolate Cake, caramel, the neighbors berries and ice cream!
Find my earlier quarterly lists here: 

or on Instagram:
An attempt to escape the heat… Astoria!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Walking a Portland Neighborhood in Autumn!.. from Concordia to Irvington via Alameda!

I didn't sleep well last night which not a new thing for me but seems to occur most often when I've had a coffee too late in the afternoon.  Hubby is up this morning and out the door headed to the gym and I'm still laying there… you go ahead… I'll meet you at the gym after my walk today, later.  Finally awake and into to my morning cup of coffee which doesn't seem to bother me that time of day and soon, I am out the door.

When I'm in the car on other days and gawking out the windows, I think to myself wow… I need to walk down this street.  Trying recall which street I was on has been interesting but seriously I am pretty sure any street would do for seeking out all the Fall colors on foot at least in and around my neighborhood.  I trekked down NE 29th today and took a street that led to NE 26th for a bit and switching back and forth, up and down streets somehow I eventually made it to NE 16th about an hour and a half later.

I am a historic home freak and also a freak about Autumn!  Always have been so when these two of my favorite things are combined, I get pretty excited.  Today was cloudy and cool and this time year is so conducive to photographing all of the color that I was glad I slept in a bit and walked to enjoy all of it with bright eyes and rest.

I can't tell you which roads I took in all however, I went pretty far as I kept trekking from street to street zig zagging toward color and the historic homes I really love.  From where I live, the Concordia District, just a few blocks away to Alameda and then down to the Irvington area, is only about a half a mile.  I get down to Fremont via NE 24th usually in just a matter of minutes.  Garden Fever is on the corner of NE 24th and Fremont next to Lucca.  I try not to go in since I'm walking usually and cannot picture myself dragging home yet another tree for our garden however, there's a clean loo in there so it's a perfect spot to regroup for the rest of the walk toward Broadway.

If you make it to Broadway, there's Costello's Travel Cafe if you need a coffee or tea.  They've got breakfast and lunch as well however, it's nothing fancy but the atmosphere is pretty nice with travel photos decorating the walls and the staff is pretty nice too!  I haven't taken a lunch or snack with me but you could!  There's picnic type benches at Whole Foods on NE 15th and Fremont just in case you wanna sit and relax before heading out again.  As always… I suggest you take plenty of water, wear super comfy shoes and take your time!  These treks for me are my time to re-group, take lots of photos, enjoy the stroll and up and down hill treks along with lots to see while getting out and exercising at the same time!  Each and every time I'm out, I meet someone from the neighborhood for example today, a homeowner stopped me to show me what she had up in her tree.  There was a grey owl up there just staring at us and I have to say, that was the highlight of my day.  It's amazing what experiences you can have on foot compared to being in your car driving around.

Take your time and enjoy any time you can be out there on foot exploring Portland neighborhoods!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Autumn in Oregon… 2015! Finding those beautiful Fall colors!

Along the Willamette River near Oakridge.

Every year about this time I kind of get a bit obsessed.  I love Autumn and all the colors, scents, feel of the air and the road trips that come my way.  This year I got started earlier than usual and headed south a few days ago.  My road trip began with me leaving Portland and heading south toward Albany.  I took a slow drive through the Willamette Valley on the east side of I 5 and enjoyed picking up a few more pumpkins at a fruit and veggie stand.  I drove through the Oregon Garden area not having enough day light to truly enjoy it on foot.  I made it to Albany about 6pm and met a friend for dinner and we talked about our trip toward Oakridge and our drive the next day on the Aufderheide Scenic Byway.

I believe this is my fourth year exploring the Aufderheide and each year it gets better.  I went the opposite direction I usually go but could still keep my bearings and I knew where I was and what to expect for the most part.  We spent some time near Oakdridge before beginning at what I call the end of the by-way.  We took a short detour up to Salt Creek Falls which is absolutely gorgeous by the way.  Getting out of the car, I breathed a deep breath of pine and fresh air only present this time of year.  We took the paved and easily accessible path toward the top of the fall and walk around to see it in its entirety.  It was flowing pretty well and glistening as you can see from my photo here and we were able to take plenty of time and pictures while trekking around.

The paths are accessible by wheelchair and stroller and were pretty level until a certain point where there were stairs which were a short distance before leveling out again.  I suggest you take a picnic lunch as there are picnic tables nearby that are again, easily accessible.  There are restrooms nearby as well.  You will need to bring your wilderness pass or purchase a temporary one for $5.00 to park while visiting this area.

Salt Creek Falls, Oregon.

Out on to the Aufderheide now, we drove through it in about three hours.  There weren't many people on the road except for a few bicyclists and some highway maintenance workers so it was easy to get my friend to pull over and let me stand in the middle of the road for a few photos.  Please, if you do this… be careful and I don't recommend it but it's a pretty gorgeous photo that I call Tunnel of Light. Someone asked me what made it so light and I told them yellow Autumn leaves and sunshine.  I think it's more beautiful in person of course.

There are many tunnels made of trees filled with color so please take your time, ignore your camera for a time and take in all the signs of Autumn on this by-way.  There are plenty of places to park, pull over, picnic and hike around along the route so you can truly enjoy it.  If this is your first time, please stop at the ranger station on the hwy or the little market just past the turn-off for the CD that will guide you and tell you all about this area.

In the past, we have taken a picnic basket and enjoyed tea at the horse camp along the route.  Lots of photo ops and memories shared with friends but this time out, we just gabbed and took a few photos and talked mostly about a little bit of everything.  I think that's what these day trips are good for.  Looking at the beautiful scenery, spending time with friends and exploring Autumn together.

On the Aufderheide… A Tunnel of Light!

Once we ended our drive, it was time to head back to Albany.  We stopped in Coburg and had pizza for dinner and drove around and enjoyed the little town.  If you haven't been to Coburg that's another place to explore if you're a house freak like me!  I love historic homes and Fall decorated stoops and friendly people.  You'll find all of that in Coburg just outside of Eugene.

Near Salt Creek Falls!

It was time to head back to Portland today and I knew beforehand which road I'd take.  I try to stay off I 5 as much as possible so I went north out of Albany and hit Buena Vista for my annual Autumn "red" foliage fix.  This year I was in for a treat as there was a pumpkin patch nearby and the contrasting colors were amazing today.  Pulling in to the city from the south, I did notice in just the few days I had been gone, there were more trees with more colors everywhere!  If you are worried about missing it, don't.  The colors will hang around for a while and even though it seems a little early for the changing season, there's always more places to explore in Oregon to find Autumn for several weeks.

NOTES for your road trip to find Autumn Colors:

Be sure to take plenty of water, snacks and comfy shoes and a jacket while driving and exploring the Aufderheide.  This is a by-way with no place to purchase gas or other conveniences.

Pick up that CD so you can learn about your drive along the route.

Be sure to read the following for more info and experiences -

On Buena Vista Rd. between Independence and Albany, OR!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Slower Living in Oregon!… taking it easy, enjoying life and sharing it with others!

I saw this article on and thought I'd like to share it.  It says a lot of what I try to get through to people when discussing multi tasking.  When my kiddos were young, it was what we were supposed to do!  How clean can my house be, how nice should my yard look, keeping it all together while raising three kids, helping a husband advance in his career while I was going to college and thinking all the while that if I couldn't keep up with all of it, I'm a failure.  Little did I know that with age comes a plethora of wisdom and I'm happy to say, I finally get it!

I get why I wanted all of these things and why some of them had to be that way but, to do it all over again… yes, there would be some things to change.  But, the main thing I can take away with me and tell you is that life is short as they say and time can whiz by so freaking fast, we all need to slow down.  Multi tasking is not all it's cracked up to be.  But, as I have learned, spending time with family and friends and taking care of myself is what it's all about.  

Hoping you get a little something from this article and bake that cake from scratch, read that book while sipping good tea, take the kiddos for a walk or just simply indulge in a long hot bath today.  Enjoy the moments, take deep breaths and enjoy the read!

your friend,


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Why I love Autumn in Oregon and Pumpkin Pie!

It's time for a recipe and yes, it's a simple Pumpkin Pie recipe and I'm almost thinking you all have done this before but I really love this version.  Here it is and enjoy!


For crust…

1-1/4 cup flour
1/4 teas. salt
1/2 cup chilled and diced butter
1/4 cup iced water and maybe a little more

I always use my Cuisinart for pie crust.  It never fails me and making crust is easy and fast using this method.  Put flour and salt inside and pulse for a few seconds.  Add the chilled and diced butter and hit pulse a few times till the crumbles look like smallish peas.  Add the 1/2 iced water and perhaps a wee bit more if needed until the dough almost comes away from the sides.  Scoop out into a baggie and smooth out and shape in to an oval.  Chill for a few hours or overnight.

Roll out when ready and put in to pie plate and flute the edges however you do it.  It's ready for the filling!

For pie…

1-15oz can organic pumpkin pureƩ
1-14oz can organic sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 teas. cinnamon
1/2 teas. ginger
1/2 teas. nutmeg
1/2 teas. salt

Put all of the pie filling ingredients in to a bowl and whisk till mixed well and pour in to the un-cooked pie shell.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then decrease oven to 350 degrees for 30-40 more minutes.  Let cool.  I like to bake the day before I want to eat the pie, let it cool and wrap up and store in fridge before serving with whipped cream.

Autumn is my most favorite time of year.  I love the colors, the way the air smells in the morning and the walks I take in my neighborhood here in Portland.  It's special here all year long but this time of year brings an endearing feel and makes me feel like home, like I'm home here in the Pacific Northwest.  Looking forward to my orange and brown woolen blankets covering me on cold nights, my brown low boots sitting waiting for an excursion and my red plaid scarf wrapped around my neck… we are all ready for this season!  Hiking nearby trails, city trekking downtown, mountain sight seeing, river excursions and a few road trips are all on the agenda… follow me why don't ya!

Happy Autumn Friends!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Bit House Saloon… you really should check it out but let me tell you a few things first!

Another spot to mark off my bookmark list but I think I'll just keep it there for a while longer that way I can be reminded to go back as often as possible!  I truly don't know a ton of history here but I do know that Bit House Saloon hasn't been open that long… maybe a month or so?!  Anyhow, they've really got it all together which I absolutely love about a new place in a beautiful historic Portland building.  This tells me they have done their homework, know what people like, know what people want and need and then deliver all of that in a perfect delicious little package.  From the cocktail list to the short but detailed and interesting food menu, from the decor to the attitude… it's truly quite an amazing spot.

Back Room Patio Feel with naturally lit ceiling!

Snuggled in on a short block on Grand on Portland's east side, you'll find yourself entering a bygone era as they say however, it's fresh feel, comfy chairs, open and private spaces and the super friendly vibe, you will feel comfortable right away!  Tap Cocktails, local beer and wine as well a few far away favorites and that short list of food I mentioned earlier on a menu mostly filled with libation suggestions, can be perused quickly as evidenced by my quick cocktail and food order.  I decided on the Blueberry Bramble and the Caramelized Cauliflower and Lentil Burger with fries.  A great combo!

Bit House opens at 3pm and I believe their Happy Hour begins at that time and goes till 6pm or so. My only desire is that it were on Alberta St. so I could walk home after a cocktail.  It's all good though cause this place made my short list of places I will go back to over and over again as I dream one day of hearing that bell clang when I walk in cause they'll know me!

I highly recommend Bit House Saloon for any reason or for no reason at all except that I told you to go!    Hope to see you there soon!

Blueberry Bramble made with Gin, Lemon and Blueberries!

Main dining room!

Dessert of homemade Ice Cream Sandwich!

Biscuit Recipe… for the weekend! A fail proof buttermilk biscuit recipe perfect for a small batch!

I was perusing many sites and my bookshelf row of cookbooks for my buttermilk biscuit recipe one day and decided upon the Smitten Kitchen's version of a small batch recipe!  I loved how she changed it up and moved things around to make it perfect for her family.  I do that all the time however, rarely do it when I'm baking. So, I had to try it and now this recipe is forever bookmarked and when I say it's fail proof, I mean it.  So easy and the only think I have changed up… I tend to love my Cuisinart Food Processor for pie dough, biscuits and other things that tend to need cold butter made in to coarse meal so instead of mixing the dough by hand, I love using my processor method. 

Perfect size recipe for about 6 larger biscuits and I have a small household so I was able to store four biscuits after baking them in my freezer and have them for other meals but my most favorite way to enjoy them… warm with butter and jam.  Great with coffee for a nice little breakfast.  

If you are looking for a BISCUIT AND GRAVY version, just make your sausage gravy cooking one pound of good sausage in a cast iron pan.  Once cooked completely, add two tablespoons of flour some salt and pepper and cook for a minute or two.  Add about one cup of milk and stir till thickened adding more milk as needed.  I do this with a vegetarian twist using sweet onions, garlic and chopped mushrooms with the same amounts of flour and milk.  It's an easy recipe I learned from my mom about the time I was opening my bed and breakfast here in Oregon. Everyone will love it!

Enjoy the recipe and your biscuits and perhaps the gravy too!  Let me know how you like the recipe by leaving a comment here at the bottom!


These can be adapted in a lot of ways. You can use (unleavened) cake flour for a more delicate biscuit, add herbs or a little grated cheese for a different flavor profile, and the sugar can be dialed up or down (the original calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons, but I use as little as 2 teaspoons when I want a savory biscuit). You can make your own buttermilk (like so) or whisk together yogurt or sour cream and milk for a similar effect. They can be dropped from a spoon or cut into shapes.

The original recipe has a larger yield (12 standard), but for our weekend needs, but I’ve taken to scaling it to 3/4 of its original volume (shown below), which will yield 6 very large breakfast biscuits (think: egg sandwich, and then invite me over, please) or 9 standard ones, the kind you’d serve alongside other things (although they will totally, unapologetically hog the spotlight).

2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 tablespoons (10 to 20 grams) sugar (to taste, see note above)
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons (125 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk

Heat oven to 400 °F and cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large, wide bowl. Using fingertips or a pastry blender, work butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, Add buttermilk and stir until large, craggy clumps form. Reach hands into bowl and knead mixture briefly until it just holds together.

To form biscuit rounds: Transfer dough to floured counter and pat out until 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick (err on the thin side if uncertain, as the tall ones will literally rise and then tip over, like mine did the day I photographed these). Using a round cutter (2 inches for regular sized biscuits, 3 inches for the monstrous ones shown above), press straight down — twisting produces less layered sides — and transfer rounds to prepared sheet, spacing two inches apart.

To make drop biscuits: Drop 1/4-cup spoonfuls onto baking sheet, spacing two inches apart.

Both methods:Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve warm, with butter/jam/eggs/bacon/sausage and gravy or any combination thereof. Happy weekend!

Do ahead: Biscuits are best freshly baked. When I want to plan ahead, I make the biscuit dough and form the individual biscuits, then freeze them until needed. They can be baked directly from the freezer, will just need a couple more minutes baking time.

(Using your food processor… add all the dry ingredients and process for a few seconds.  Add your chilled chunky butter and process till it's coarse meal and then add the buttermilk and process again for just a few seconds till dough comes from the sides easily. Knead once or twice and then follow, To Form Biscuit Rounds, etc.)

NOTE:  thank you Smitten Kitchen for this biscuit recipe!