Food! Glorious Food!

I have decided that I have been cooking enough lately to start sharing with everyone all of the yummy things that I have been making. The funny thing is—I have been making a lot of vegetable inspired dishes for my meals but I have had numerous requests for dessert items from others. All in all I have had a little bit of something floating through my house for the last month. I have it broken down by entree’s this week and I think next week I will share some of the desserts.

Remember to get out there, try something new and eat something great!

  1. Clean Eating Magazine: Tuna Nicoise Casserole I thought this was possibly one of the best things ever and I love this different take on a traditional Nicoise salad. I made no changes to their recipe. 
  2. Clean Eating Magazine: Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps I really love lettuce wraps when done right. They are super filling but light at the same time. Translation: you won’t need to take a nap after eating them! I did make a couple of changes; the first being that I switched out the beef for turkey (I don’t eat beef) and the second, I added fresh mango slices. 
  3. Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich: There really isn’t much to this sandwich. It is your basic grilled cheese but . . . I like to grill asparagus with a little salt and pepper. I then make sure I have some great crusty to bread to slice up. For the cheese, I have to use Tillamook Garlic White Cheddar (really you need to use it). IMG_7677To assemble:
    1. I spray the outside of the bread with olive oil
    2. One slice down in pan and then top with a slice of cheese
    3. Add 4-5 grilled asparagus spears then another slice of cheese
    4. Top with bread and spray with olive oil.
    5. Cook low and slow so you get a nice crust on the bread and melted cheese dripping over the asparagus.

Yeah, it is pretty much heaven.

  1. Power Breakfast: I really like to use things up in my kitchen so I am the queen of throwing things together and calling it a meal. My go to breakfast lately has been the following:
    1. Leftover quinoa from the dinner the night before
    2. Tossed with either sautéed spinach and garlic, broccoli, or asparagus and matchstick carrots
    3. Top with an over-easy egg and call it good. Really, call it good.
  2.  Basic Pizza: You know those Friday nights when really all you want for dinner is pizza but you are sick and tired of the choice and the price of eating out. Guess what?! Pizza is SUPER cheap to make and easy as well. To make my pizza I start out with my basic dough recipe (found on this site), I top it with pesto, throw vegetables on it that are in my fridge and give it a dusting of cheese. Voila! Dinner in 20 minutes and it usually only costs me about $6 not to mention I have pizza for a week to eat since there is only one of me.
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Here Is To The Great Outdoors

It has been amazing here in Portland this week! Lots of sunshine and warmth to go around!! It really just makes you want to be outside soaking in all the vitamin C that you can. It also makes me want to wear my cooler summer outfits, BBQ, sip lemonade while the sun goes down and listen to great music. Here are a few suggestions for music to get you in an outdoor frame of mind.

  1. Raging Fire by Phillip Phillips
  2. Lookin’ Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  3. Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay
  4. I Get Around by The Beach Boys
  5. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles

What I Did New in PDX This Week

I had half of my family in town this past week and it was WONDERFUL!! I am so blessed to live close enough that I can visit family members and they can visit me. But this time around I didn’t just want to do the same old “haunts”. I wanted to give everyone a reason to keep coming back and seeing me. So below are 5 new things we did in Portland while they were here and it was WONDERFUL!!

Get out there and re-explore your neighborhood. I can guarantee you haven’t seen or done everything your “neck-of-the-woods” has to offer.

  1. Witches Castle or MacLeay Trail: We actually never made it to the “castle” since the area was closed off for re-vegetation but we did get a hike in (pulling a wagon–I don’t suggest it), found salamanders, and carried on a conversation with an owl and vulture at the Audubon Society. 
  2. Portland Aerial Tram: This was kind of funny since my brother, sister and one niece are a little afraid of heights. Once they got past the initial swinging; I think everyone had a very enjoyable time. Too bad it was hazy and we couldn’t see Mt. Hood and Mount St. Helen’s. 
  3. Vista House: I actually stayed home sick in bed this day but my sister and her roommate had a wonderful time up at the Vista House and got to see the beautiful layout of the Columbia River and the mountains. 
  4. Twilight Film Sites: I sent my sister and her roommate on a Twilight film tour day while I was at the office. While I am not a huge fan of touring film sites; this is actually a good way to get out and see more areas than you would otherwise go. 
  5. McMenamins Kennedy School Soaking Pool: Once again, this was on the day that I stayed home sick in bed. My sister and her roommate had a wonderful time but because it was a great day outside the pool was a little crowded. Off-season is always the best time to travel. 

All of this was wonderful to see and explore but what made it the best was having family here to share it with. So I am sharing with all of you, some of the people I love best.

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Eating Should be Enjoyable

You know what . . . you should really enjoy what you eat. I think if we enjoyed what ate all of the time we would have a better relationship with food and by default a better understanding of food as well. I am sad to say that there has been things that I have eaten that were less than sub-par. I am slowly learning that if it isn’t enjoyable; I walk away. It saves a lot of calories to walk away from the less than stellar items. That is a bonus in my book.

But I am not actually here today to talk about your relationship with food or calorie consumption—I am here to tell you about the best things that I have eaten lately. Some I made at home and some I bought out but all of them had me savoring each bite and looking forward to the next “good” meal.

So here is your assignment for the rest of the month—Enjoy the Food You are Eating!!

  1. Chicken Pad Thai from Cooking Classy (Side Note: Tastes great even as left-overs 4-5 days later)
  2. Simple Lemony Chicken & Spring Veggie Soup from The Cozy Apron (Side Note: I added fresh asparagus as well)
  3. Homemade Hot Pockets from Happy Money Saver (Side Note: I inserted mine with pesto and fresh veggies. Nothing else and they were fantastic!) 
  4. Otis Cafe in Otis, OR: This place is VERY small and you probably will have to wait but you should and without a doubt, try their German Potatoes. HEAVENLY!!
  5. Pacific Way Cafe in Gearhart, OR: I love that this place is not in one of the main coastal tourist towns. In fact you could completely miss it but I wouldn’t recommend it. They have wonderful calm chowder (seasoned the way I like) and a WONDERFUL Dungeness crab open-faced sandwich.