Last Weekend

 

PHEW! What a weekend! It was more of a sprint than a marathon.

Friday
Friday kicked off to a good start with a cookie exchange hosted in my apartment. At the party’s peak we had 23 people milling about our tiny kitchen/living room. The kitchen and living room are essentially the same room, and leaves few other places for the guests to congregate. Throughout the night we consumed 9 bottles of wine and sampled 15 varying cookie types.

cookieexchange

I set up a “blind wine tasting” and near the end of the night revealed to my friends which bottle was “Top Shelf,” “Mid-shelf, and “Two Buck Chuck”  ($39, $27, $4)

Everyone was able to guess #2 as the Trader Joe’s label, we all decided the wine was less complex than the other two wines. Surprisingly, a majority of the group (including myself) preferred the Gen 5 Zinfandel “midshelf” wine.  Second cheapest wine for the win!

Recently, my boyfriend and his roommate showed me the “Second Cheapest Wine” video. The results from the night (which we found hilarious) validates all future decisions to buy wine that is one step up from the bottom.

cookiegirls

We moved the party from my apartment to a few nearby bars, a handful of guys and girls stayed out to close down the bars. It was a late Friday!

SATURDAY
pdxpizza

I caught an afternoon train to Portland to meet-up with one of my longest and best friend’s and our other good friend! After a cup late night tea we walked downstairs for an OUTSTANDING late late dinner at Life of Pie. We split an amazing goat cheese and caramelized onion woodfire pizza, honey lemon vinaigrette kale/arugula salad, and fresh sausage pasta.

As a past kale hater, my opinion has forever changed because of this salad. Sprinkled with salty parm and crushed breadcrumbs, the lemon/honey dressing cuts the usual bitter kale taste. The flavors leave the diner forking another bite whilst still chewing the first. I would have been perfectly content eating only that salad.

The pizza at the Life of Pie is equally as amazing as the kale salad (can you tell I love that salad?) The crust is thin yet still soft and chewy, it is the perfect vehicle for the cheese and toppings. The goat cheese pizza we enjoyed was delicious, I eagerly ate two forgetting that we still had pasta on the way!

The pasta is the favorite dish of my friend. The noodles and sauce are fresh and light with pork sausage bites hidden in the noodles. I found myself digging through the pasta just for bites of the sausage, for me, the sausage bites were the highlight!

Next time you find yourself in Portland, head North, check out this cute establishment!

The Life of Pie is located in north Portland, near the Legacy Emaunual Hospital and Mississippi Ave.

SUNDAY

pdxbrunch

 

The next morning (well, afternoon) we headed out for brunch. It took 3 attempts to find a brunch place with less than a 70 min wait, but that’s what happens when it’s sunny Sunday in the PNW. We settled on Radar on Mississippi Ave.

After much debate we decided to get varying items so we could share 1/3 of our food with each other. After a small snafu (in our favor) we received our steaming plates of food. Herbed french toast with maple syrup, poached eggs (x2), bangers, potato cakes, and beef hash with roasted yukon potatoes. We also acquired a bowl of fresh granola and yogurt on accident when the the waitress mistakenly heard “granola” instead of “poached eggs.”  All was quickly corrected and we kept the granola (compliments of the house).

I’ll just tell you our brunch at Radar was delicious! We would go back for brunch again or try dinner! I’ll try and keep this post from reaching novel status, sorry y’all!

With happy and full bellies we wandered around Mississippi Ave. for a couple hours before I boarded my train. One notable: I found and bought a cute mug and box of White Chocolate Mocha tea from Stash Tea Co. and enjoyed a cup with a splash of milk on my evening train back to Seattle.

And, with that, it’s a wrap!

  • Where have you recently eaten a great brunch?

CHEERS!

 

 

The Soup

More specifically, the soup I ate all week. It was inspired by Mama Pea’s “Peas and Thank You” Spicy African peanut slow cooker soup.

It was inspired, but when it came down to the ingredients I had, and what I would and wouldn’t purchase the outcome is very different.

INSERT- Sweet Potato and White Bean SOUP!

20140112-112202.jpg

I used:
For about 3-5 servings depending on size.
About four 1.5 cup servings.

3 organic sweet potatoes
1 can white beans
2 Stalks celery
1/3 onion
1 large carrot
Cayenne
Cumin
Garlic Salt
Cinnamon

It probably is more suited to be classified as a chili, it thickens as it sits, but I add more water after to have something my bread can absorb as I inhale.

Steps:
Chop onion and sauté.
Add sweet potatoes that have been chopped to quarters.
Add white beans- reserve part of the liquid to add.
Add approximately 2.5 cups water.
Add diced carrots and celery.
Add all spices to taste.

You can see how precise I was as I prepared this.

It tastes great on its own, BUT– it also tastes really good with mozzarella and avocado added on top.

Happy Sunday!
I’m off to dance class!

Cheers!

Not meant to be

Goooood Morning Bloggers,

 

The past two posts I have written have magically disappeared in the black hole that is cyberspace, I guess it was a sign it was not meant to be posted.  Today, I am killing time as my friend takes a calculus exam. Yesterday, we spent the day roaming around Golden Gate Park and exploring the California Museum of Sciences. The science museum caters to all ages and is not your typical museum that is exciting for kids, but adults are bored. The museum is full of interactive elements, the most exciting exhibit for ourselves was the four story indoor rainforest. The rainforest is contained with in a spherical dome with a temperature of 82-85 degrees and 75% humidity. Believe me when you walk into the dome you feel the change in climate. Shorts and a lightweight shirt are the way to go when visiting. Over 1,600 live animals live in this dome, the most obvious of these creatures are the free flying birds and butterflies. We wandered through Costa Rica, Madagascar, Boreno, and the Amazon. The frogs were my favorite and would have taken pictures of the little guys for hours.

We also wandered over to the Japanese Tea Garden and enjoyed authentic  afternoon tea and cakes.

Tea and Cake at the Japanese Tea Garden at Golden Gate Park

Before we headed to dinner we spent time taking pictures by the fountain outside the museum. The same fountain featured in The Wedding Planner (of course we streamed the film from Netflix that night) and sat  by a statue watching families and tourists walk/run and cycle through the park. Dinner was at a Ramen house that can be easily missed if you blink. The only thing that distinguishes the establishment from other store fronts is a lit lantern by the door; the restaurant has a sign the size of 5×7 index card, but the lantern is the real distinguishing element.

Greeted by the amicable staff  as we entered, took seats at the bar and ordered the one of two options. Pork or Vegetarian Ramen. Famished, we awaited  our bowls of veggie ramen and were not disappointed when it arrived.

Large and in charge. We dove into the bowls.

Ken-Ken Ramen. Bursting with flavor vegetarian ramen; Soft egg and Squash to garnish.

A slightly sweet not too salty bowl of noodles. Seaweed, sprouts and bok choy are also hiding within the broth; a perfect way to cap the day.

Today holds more exciting adventures in the city.

Blogger Love and Mine!

WIAW: Sno-Cones Vs. Homemade Ice Cream

 

It’s WIAW somewhere in the blogosphere!(Thanks Jen!) I have not been taking consistent pictures of my lovely eats because I have not planned on any WIAW posts; but, today I am procrastinating my finance studying and adding a post seemed the perfect “productive” procrastination tool. It has been hot outside finally and because I worked this Wednesday (rare), a smoothie was the fastest breakfast to go that I could eat drink at ease.

Breakfast: My smoothie consisted of blueberries, raspberries, vanilla protein powder, the remnants of my greek yogurt container and ice cubes! Throughout the morning I also snacked on a Peanut buddy bar and a handful of Apple Jacks (the best cereal ever with vanilla coconut milk…try it, you’ll have no regrets.)

A different, yet, equally delicious smoothie.

Fitness: I headed straight to the gym and got my #eatcleansweatdirty on with a 3.2mi hill run and then headed home to refuel with a snack plate.

Lunch: Cucumbers, tortilla chips, Sabra Garden Hummus (the greatest mix to date), carrots, and TJ’s teriyaki tofu filled my plate tupperware container lid. [And camera shy almonds/dried cherries/chocolate chips]

Enjoyed on the lawn in the sunshine.

Dinner: Currently, it’s undecided but yams, tilapia and mango salsa, cauliflower are waiting to be used…or an omelet..similar to this. Anything with avocado is heaven!

Creamy guac spread, yumm
No, this isn’t dinner, but how can anyone dislike Washington with a sunset like this?

Dessert: (It’s necessary) Dreyer’s Mud Pie is lurking in my freezer…Working at the farmer’s market and smelling fresh made waffle cones at the homemade ice cream stand all I’ve thought about is ice cream the past couple of days. I make sno-cones and the competition is tough, I know I would buy the ice cream before sno-cones if I was a visitor.

At my “Polar Ice” booth.

Next week I’m off to San Francisco and am incredibly excited to see friends and my brother! I have never been to the Bay Area and this will be the perfect trip. Already on the itinerary is Golden Gate Bride Walk, Alcatraz, the Japanese Gardens, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

I’ll be back later with my answers to a few July Question Challenge!

Do you have any dining suggestions for eating out in SF?

Challenge Day 2

Peanut Butter and Jenny

If you could give any piece of advice to a newborn child, what would it be?

I would advise this child to always take risks. Taking a risk can be small or large. Are you a student? Raise you hand first and answer a question that you aren’t sure is the correct answer. A first time investor? Buy that stock. It might be the next Google Inc. or Apple. Yes, there will be times that you may lose a lot, but the regret of not knowing what could have been is worse than taking a risk and failing.  Taking a chance and being bold enough to consistently take a chance is a behavior that should be acted on frequently, especially while young, we have less to lose.

IF you know the phrase YOLO, this almost seems an appropriate phrase to use that slang. If you don’t know what YOLO is…let these fratty guys explain to you Drake’s motto “you only live once”

As for the Eat Clean Sweaty Dirty challenge, I’ve been doing great. Today started off with a superb yogurt/oat mess with plump bloobs and a juicy peach, homemade iced mocha on the side to sip while studying. The afternoon consisted of simple snacks in between various appointments and the day ended with a great homemade meal while catching up with a friend. Grilled chicken. sliced potatoes dressed with olive oil, truffle salt and garlic, with salad and broccoli on the side. We ended our evening baking banana/bloob/coconut muffins. A clean day of eats all around!

So, every day…everyday…everyday. Take a risk.

1022 South [Bar Review]

For a recent assignment for my school paper a couple of friends and I headed down to a unique bar to review. Here’s the article I wrote. Enjoy!

As you step in the door of 1022 South you are immediately transported out of Tacoma and into a trendy Manhattan style bar.  The room is illuminated by dim overhead lamps that spill over light from the bar itself. A large chalkboard displays happy hour drinks for the evening in a fine cursive script.

For those of you unfamiliar with this hidden treasure, 1022 South is a bar that belongs in a category all its own.

Dana Zillgit, one of my dining companions, described the bar as a “classy hole in the wall with a hip vibe.”

Drinks are infused with jasmine, ginger soda, lavender, coconut and agave to name a few. The drinks are categorized as Literary, Classics and Apothecary.

The Literary list incorporates Drunken Boat (black strap rum, ginger liqueur, home made ginger beer, flamed angostura bitters) and PDX (genever, grapefruit, honey and sparkling wine).

The Classics section includes 1022 Old Fashioned (bourbon, orange oil, saffron/ cardamom bitters) and if you’re adventurous 1022 Corpse Reviver (gin, lemon, honey, Cocchi Americano, cayenne, absinthe.)

The third category, Apothecary, includes a  Lavender Cocktail (vodka, lavender, lemon, coconut) and a Matcha Cocktail (rum agricole, matcha infused agave, M.P. Roux and egg white), just a few of the inventive drinks on the menu.

Small plates ($5), salads ($8), paninis ($8) and sandwiches ($8) are also offered.

 

My dining companions and I opted for a traditional martini, lavender cocktail, White Vulture and Liza Island, the latter two being specials for the evening and offered for a reasonable five dollars.

Although the drinks are largely in the $10 price range, you get what you pay for, and that, my friends, is quality.

My white wine infused with lemongrass and ginger beer was one of the best drinks I have had at a bar. It was bubbly, it was sweet, and it was smooth—need I say more?

The other special of the night was just as spectacular. The Liza Island is concocted with Vodka, liqueur 43, orange and ginger beer. Dana’s drink was just as smooth, faintly sweet and bubbly, a cousin to my own drink.

Our table ordered two entrees to munch on while we chatted, a small plate Winter Caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, beets, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic reduction) and the roasted red pepper panini (blue rose chevre, roasted red pepper, red onion relish, balsamic reduction, fresh thyme).

The food was just as good, and while not as spectacular as their drinks, still appeasing to the appetite.


This chic bar is small with a single row of tables against one wall that is in addition to the bar seating. The arrangement of  tables provides an intimate atmosphere for a couple on a date or a hot spot for gossiping. Stop in for a quick drink and snacks with your friends next time you plan on going out with friends for a unique Tacoma experience.

1022 South is located on J st.  Open 4-11pm Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday-Thursday, 4-12am  Friday,Saturday,Sunday 4-2am and Happy Hour is everyday 4-8 pm.

Fall Break Fun- Part 2 in Seattle

Part Two of Fall Break Fun- Annnnd, it’s WIAW

 

 

We arrived in Seattle at the early hour of 12:30 PM. We wandered slightly lost looking for the Ride-the- Duck and then bought our tickets for the 1:00 duck tour. Punny jokes, corny and fun music, sing-a-longs, and massive amounts of cheering sum up our ride. Besides the excitement of driving into the water and still floating the most exciting site was easily seeing the real Sleepless in Seattle houseboat. I have seen this movie over a hundred times, Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks were my absolute favorite growing up; You’ve Got Mail also holds a special spot in my heart. We snapped numerous pictures and bought our souvenir photo afterwards; Padre, sorry about the flash on your face.

Yes, I took a photo of the photo...
The houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle!

This Seattle tour lasts approximately 90 minutes, 30 of which you are navigating the water, it is well worth a try! For nourishment after the tour we nabbed a deck seat overlooking Pike’s Street Market for Shrimp and Avocado Salad and a Corn Pie. While we ate suddenly shouting from the street caught our attention and we noticed hundreds of protestors marching through Pike’s Place Market. “We are the 99%” was bellowed by the peaceful protestors. They marched by for a solid 15 minutes, young adults, children, parents, and older adults filled the street. As a good tourist we took photos and absorbed the feeling of watching history in the works. After the mob passed we bought a pumpkin pie cake and a couple donut holes for my friend and I to share for our rode trip to the cabin the next day. (Note: I ate all of them! Her loss…)

The Corn Pie with cheese on top and fresh corn in the mix!

The shrimp salad at Pike's. Avocado,Tomato,Olives and Cucumber to dress it up.

The 99% protestors.

We drove home and rested up before our final dinner out that evening. We decided on The Hub and sat in the bar (now that I’m 21 we can avoid the 40 minute waits for the dining room) and ordered a hummus plate appetizer, drinks, and entrees. The atmosphere in the The Hub is fantastic, great music, decor, and a couple plasmas played the Duck game for the happily buzzed crowd.My parents ordered a couple glasses of wine and I tried a Carmel Appletini. The drink was extremely sweet and it was reminiscent of a caramel apple, but also had a distinct brown sugar taste. I love sugar, but it was too sweet for me.

Caramel Appeltini
Huuuge Hummus plate we shared, I still have leftovers!

For dinner I ordered the grilled portabello mushroom sandwich with goat cheese herb aioli and asparagus with a side of broccoli. It was served on their own exquisite house baked french bread, They offer an extensive selection of pizzas and my mom ordered a small rustic with artichoke hearts, olive, roasted garlic, and mozzarella. My dad ordered the smoked salmon plate drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. I happily stole pieces of his smoked salmon and a bite of my mom’s pizza, but my stomach was still grumbling after dinner and dessert was a must. (Taking full advantage of the parents visit, remember?)

My partially nibbled on Portabello Goat Cheese Sandwich
I can only imagine the size of a full one! I took the leftovers with me to share with the girls at the Cabin.

I’m sure your jaw just dropped, this is the half order Brownie Sundae, it must be a third of a brownie pan… I can only imagine the size of the full order. It is probably larger than my head.

I headed home with three to-go (Sorry, missing the pictures of Salmon and the Pizza) boxes that will provide snackage for my friend’s and I at the cabin tomorrow.

Stay tuned for Part Three- The Cabin!

Fall Break Fun- Parent Edition

Why, hello there, long time no post!

It really has been ages since I’ve had any remote time to put something together for this, even though I have desperately wanted to post something! First projects and papers were assigned, and then midterms sneakily crept up on me, but now it is FALL BREAK! The last two days I have been essentially free from all homework obligations, PRAISE THE LORD! Okay, that’s a lie, I had one group project meeting, but other than that my parents have visited and we became as touristy as possible.

Living in the library...

You may say the most touristy thing to do in Seattle is Pike’s Place Market, sorry, but you my dear are mistaken. You seemed to have forgotten about Ride The Duck! You betchya, we rode the duck! Of course the night before we rode the duck we ate and celebrated the one month anniversary of my 21st birthday! (Yes, I am milking this birthday for as much as it’s worth.) We also killed two birds with one stone because I am a writer for the school paper, (Arts and Entertainment!) I seek out happy hours and restaurants to write reviews, with parents in town I had ample opportunities to experiment with new restaurants. We hit up Shenanigans for happy hour half price drinks and entrees.

Mojito!

We started with a Seafood Dip that came with crostini for dipping and it was absolutely delicious. The portion was very generous at the happy hour half price and my father and I went to town on that dip leaving only one or two bites left. It is a good thing my mom is not fond of seafood, she would have needed a stick to beat us away from that dip.

Huge! No?

Our first round of drinks arrived simultaneously with the appetizer, a mojito, lemon drop, and glass of red wine. The mojito and lemon drop were both tasty, but being happy hour the alcohol content was noticeably less than normal (being a small person this meant I could finish my drink and have another if wanted and still be levelheaded). Despite the alcohol content discrepancy we were satisfied and a 100 calorie Long Island Ice Tea was ordered that my mom and I both tasted. It didn’t taste like a normal Long Island Ice Tea, the use of crystal light and a diet soda were prominent flavors in the drink and we left it mostly full.

Welcome to The Bar.
Happy Hour!

We followed up our appetizer with the early bird dinner option (it was past 6 at this point, but apparently being seated early still allowed us this option). My mom ordered the Chicken Fettucini Alfredo with a small salad ($13.95) and my Dad ordered the Grilled Salmon and a small salad ($13.95) off the early bird menu. I was craving pot stickers and ordered the special Duck Pot Stickers with three dipping sauces and nibbled off their plates.

Padre's Salmon
The Duck stuffed potstickers
Chicken Alfredo with bell peppers and carmelied onions. Mmmm

As a surprise my Dad brought from home a bottle of wine as old as me! We toasted and enjoyed our entrees. The portions were very generous and well executed for the price. Just as we were finishing up dinner the waitress surprised us with a HUGE Mocha Ice cream Cake in honor of my birthday. Oh.My.Goodness. I know that you are salivating looking at this picture and if you didn’t notice the hot fudge on the side before, now you are definitely drooling over this cake.

21 year old wine and chica!
Best. Birthday Cake Ever!

 

That is Part 1 of 3 of my Fall Break!

 

Happy Monday!

 

Mooching- College Style

Now, I’m not sure if this has been mentioned previously, but I am without a meal plan this year, a rarity on our campus. At this point in time I also have to wait until Saturday to make time for grocery shopping. We have little variety in our fridge, one can only consume so many greek yogurt/ Bees Knees quesadillas.(These things are not pretty and I am saving your eyes from a picture.)

These are pictures from today and a mish-mash throughout the week.

What’s a student to do??!!

Mooch off of the department BBQs, of course!

Econ BBQ. Is this legit or what?

All of the departments on campus hold a BBQ during a two week time frame, anyone in the department or those interested in the major are welcome to attend. Anyone looking for free food is also welcomed wholeheartedly by the professors. Yesterday, I attended my communication studies BBQ. I had a delicious veggie burger, soda, and cookie! I also attended a lecture in the library and managed to knab a cookie from the refreshment table before other students devoured the goodies. Two points! I only bought/made one meal yesterday. #WIN

Essay fuel. Blueberry fritter and Mango iced tea.

Today, the economics department hosted their BBQ and volleyball match. I tagged along with my friend and loaded up my plate once more with a veggie burger and the fixings. We then watched as the students took on the econ professors, it was more than slightly entertaining. Who knew that the old(er) men were so athletically gifted at volleyball?! Despite their talents, the students still won 2 of the 3 games.

Dining hall panini! Provolone, pesto, chicken, on ciabata bread. Nom.

As I head home to change and hit the gym for a short run I passed by an event drawing to a close, it focused on food of different religions. #Suchluck! I got the last couple bites of a meatless bulgar meatball (Happy tastebuds! I wish I knew what it was made of…) and then finally proceeded to make it home.

My post dinner-dinner. Plus a piece of carrot cake, courtesy de padres, a chocolate square and some Fiber One.

The soup is from V8, it’s the Butternut Squash variety. Oh.My.God. Why did I wait 3 weeks to open this?? This is my new favorite soup, it’s full of the fall spirit! If only it came in quantities larger than two servings per box…#foodielove

Tomorrow I work 8-11:30, it won’t be as exciting as last week, they ordered in lunch in honor of my Birthday! This was the spread!

Office Love.
Spring roll, Garlic Veggies and Chicken, Crab wonton, and peanut sauce. Rice on the side.

My Feel Good Friday:

I’m finally back in the groove of school. I more or less have a routine and that is highly important to my functioning. The following picture is from drinks out last weekend with a friend. She is hardcore and ordered a whiskey drink and I asked for something sweet. He presented us with these! The shots followed later and were a present in honor of my recent birthday. Best shots ever, probably because I could taste pineapple. Mmm…

My fruit roll-up and friend's drink, the name escapes me. With courtesy shots from the bartender, in honor of my birthday. I believe they are called Sexy Alligator.

Happy Friday! Enjoy your week and keep holding on to summer! I’m sure we have a few more days left of sunshine. The weather here has been strangely humid…

WIAW- Wordless Ed.

School is as busy as ever, I know that most of you are in the same boat. I am attempting to update at least twice a week, but you’ve seen how that’s been going.

Here is a mix of pictures from Ke$ha, my 21st Birthday, and some eats!

Double caffeine! Green tea, Latte, and my friend's lab goggles. It was a study day!
Pasta, pureed cauliflower, spinach and cayenne pepper!
Studying in S-bucks for one long afternoon. Caramel Macchiato for the win!
Pre-Ke$ha's entrance!
Balloons falling mid-show. Uh-mazing!
More of the group. We were all glittery!
Birthday Quesadilla! Caramelized onions, mushrooms, and mexi cheese blend!
Birthday love!
Very first drink!
Most of the birthday group!
Birthday twins! We share the same b-day! Malibu and Pineapple juice for me!

Have a Happy Hump Day!

And remember, somewhere in the world, it’s already Happy Hour!