I have this cute friend. Her name is Regina. Even her name is cute.
We're having a slumber party this weekend. Pillow fights and everything.
We also made muffins together. Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins. And we even came up with our own recipe because all the other ones we found either sucked, or included some outrageously expensive or hard to find ingredients.
We used honey in them, cause that stuff is good for you.
Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 325.
Line 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl mix the oil, milk, vanilla, honey and eggs.
My sister came over for dinner the other night. I got to cook for her. I got to show her some of my skillz.
First I showed her how fast I can pop open a bottle of wine. Its really impressive.
Then I made her some food. I took a recipe from the book that we gave each other for our birthdays, Cooking with the Wines of Oregon. The recipe: Aramenta Hazelnut-Crusted Halibut with Beurre Rouge. I know, FANCY!
Hazelnuts are great. Very Oregon and very very delicious.
The wine gets cooked down to a syrup, then cream and butter is added. Wine+butter+cream=AMAZING. You didn't need me to tell you that. You already knew.
I didn't use halibut though. I used Sea Bass. It was on sale. And its a fantastic fatty fish with a lot of flavor.
If I wasn't a Portlander before, its a sure thing now. The deal has been sealed. Its official. I'm making beer.
This is the second batch that I've helped Cory make. And it's quite a rewarding process, much like baking: the process, the smells, the sweet reward at the end of it all.
This batch we made an IRA, which stands for Imerial Red Ale, a combination between a Red Ale and an Imperial Pale Ale.
First we make a little tea with the grains. While wearing Chacos. Cause we're hippies like that.
The grains go out, the malt goes in. And then so does the hops. Beautiful, bright, fragrant hops. Three separate batches of them.
Then, when our mixture has brewed up real nice, we take it down into the man cave. Thats where it chills out for a bit. Till about 80 degrees or so.
It gets added to the carboy, along with some water. Then some big strong man picks it up and shakes it. Its totally sexy.
The yeast is added. And now its time to wait and let them feast and do their yeasty thing. And what a beautiful thing it is: this brew is forecasted to be a kick-in-your-pants 7%. I'm sure lots of other things will be looking beautiful after a few glasses of this stuff. Beer Goggle Ale? Yeehaw!
Its been about three months now since I gave up my [mom's] car and made the switch to car-free.
I had no idea just what a positive change it would be.
First, there's the obvious health benefits. I hardly even break a sweat on the hilly climb up Glisan Street from work to home. My legs are more toned. I sleep well at night because I'm always getting enough exercise.
And then, the part that surprised me: feeling like a part of a community. Take, for example, my commute to work in downtown from SE Portland. As I get closer to the Hawthorne Bridge, a large group of fellow bike commuters begins to form. Suddenly there's a whole pack of us, turning together, hauling our butts up the on-ramp, avoiding cars:
It feels amazing to be a part of this group; getting from one place to another in a healthy and fun manner without a giant steel cage separating us from each other and our surroundings.
It also helped prepare me for last weekend when I rode my very first century, the Portland Century.
The ride included Portland's finest bike paths, some great hills, several rest stops with all the peanut butter and jelly you can eat and one with pizza(!), and some great scenery in between it all.
With much thanks to four very strong and kind men, I finished! At the finish line: a cute boy, salmon dinner, and beer garden! Could they even call it a Portland Century without a beer garden?
What a long and wonderful weekend! Posts to come about festivities once my legs feel a bit less like jello.
In the meantime, check out this article on NPR. Food cart fine dining? We knew that. Here in Portland, we've known that for a long time. Duh. But pretty interesting to see that chefs are choosing to go the food cart route straight out of culinary school.
I have this beautiful friend named Michaelene. She loves to cook and drink and host wonderful parties. And she's really quite amazing at all those things so it always comes together quite nicely. She's had Chicken and Waffle, Cinco de Mayo, Bastille Day parties... all wonderful.
But the party she held on Wednesday takes the cake. This little lady is Lebanese, and she held a St. Mary's Party. So much Lebanese goodness! Needless to say, by the time I left her place I had garlic coming out my ears.
She made hummus and lebneh, a strained yogurt cheese that is to die for.
She made dolmas. Is your mouth watering yet?
And feta cheese, with herbs, onions, tomatoes...
And for dessert she served a fried bread. She used chunks of stale baguette, fried them in butter and topped them with syrup. It was wonderful.
I made cookies. For a boy. Actually, I'll take any excuse to bake, so if you're a girl or a boy, in dire need of cookies, just let me know. I'll hook you up.
This boy was supposed to go on a backpacking trip. So I made Oatmeal Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies. But the trip got canceled. So more time with the boy for me. :)
I'm totally hooked on that vanilla bean syrup I used in that ice cream last week. I think from now on I'll be using that exclusively, unless I'm going for a more subtle vanilla flavor.
Pecans are great in cookies. Mostly because I'm not allergic to them like I am walnuts.
It is extremely important when you are baking cookies for someone else that you try them. Instead of actually waiting for the cookies to finish baking, I decided to have some of the dough with that homemade vanilla ice cream. Delicious!
Oh yeah, they should be sampled after they're done baking, too. Just to be safe.
I've been assisting some of my coworkers with their resumes. Some of them are lacking sufficient computer programs, computers, proper grammar, etc. So they've commissioned me and my marvelous resume writing and designing skills.
This is one I've just finished today. I created two versions: the pretty one (the one you'll see here), and the practical one, that can be easily edited and printed on a home printer.
I chose the all-caps, tall font in reds because I wanted it to look strong and bold. The sans-serif font in the body is easy to read and compliments the font used for the name.
Yesterday I posted about packing lists. Last night I dreamt about traveling (and my fears about doing it alone, again). And today I found this website with photos from a cross country trip. They're so beautiful. I especially love the ones from Sasquatch at the Gorge.
I stumbled upon a great time and stress saving tool today: customized packing lists! Just input the type of trip you are going on, temperature, and other pertinent information, and it generates a customized packing list.
I should plan a trip so that I can use this nifty tool. Or crack open a Corona. Sure, its 3:00 on a Monday, but its my day off. :)