Jun 262017
 

Michael and I lucked out and got TWO date nights this weekend!! The first was Friday night. Daycare had a “parents night out” and they were open until 10pm. We took advantage of that and got dressed up (sort of) and went to Chart House for dinner.

A coworker has been talking about how this is their date night spot because happy hour lasts until 7pm. So we decided to take advantage of that. We got there and it was valet parking only (free) and the bar is downstairs of the restaurant. It’s perched on a hill in SW Portland with amazing views!

The picture above was the view from our table, right by the window. It was a nice view of the river and downtown Portland. We could also see Mount St. Helens and Mt. Hood in the distance.

We got drinks–I got a white wine and Michael got a beer.

We got the calamari with kim chee (and it had deep fried veggies in there, too). It was really good and flavorful! And who doesn’t like deep fried veggies?

We shared the mahi mahi fish tacos. They were pretty good but needed some spice or something. They were a little on the bland side.

We shared the lettuce wraps. It was chicken with cucumber and carrots and a soy sauce glaze. I thought they were pretty good. Very messy to eat!

Lastly, we got the prime rib sliders (they had cheese and caramelized onions in it). Michael wasn’t a fan of the sliders but I thought they were really good! I loved the caramelized onion flavors and gooey cheese (and let’s be honest, the bread!!!)

We split a piece of cheesecake for dessert. It had caramel, crushed macadamia nuts and a little bit of Heath Bar crumbles. It was REALLY good but very, very decadent. Thank goodness we split it!

It was a really nice experience. We hadn’t really been on a real date night and been to a nice restaurant since February when we went out to sushi. 😀 It was definitely time for us! And it was perfect timing because this week was our 9 year anniversary. Hard to believe 9 years ago we had our first official date. <3

Then Saturday it was time for date night #2: my cousin’s wedding. My parents drove down from Seattle and got to spend some time with Logan and then we left Logan with Michael’s mom and drove to Ridgefield for the wedding.

It was at Bethany Vineyards. I’ve never been there before but it was a really beautiful wedding venue! It was off the freeway in Washington near Vancouver, amongst countryside and farms and lots of trees. I guess there was a brewpub nearby, too.

Her flowers were gorgeous!

The wedding was outside. It was a sunny, bright day, but unfortunately it was also 100 degrees (not exaggerating!). Here are a few photos of the venue:

It was too bad they didn’t have some kind of tents set up for the tables because we were in direct sunshine, no shade, and it was very very very hot! Thankfully they had tons of ice water.

The ceremony was kind of off to the side near the vineyards and there was a bit of shade over there, so that was nice.

And we got to spend some time with another cousin and her husband, whom we don’t get to see very often but it was a really fun night hanging out and catching up.

Since it was at the vineyard, they had plenty of the wine for drinks or tastes. I tried the Pinot and it was really good so I ended up buying a bottle. 🙂 My other cousin and her husband and I snuck into the tasting room for about 15 minutes after the ceremony because it was air conditioned and SO NICE in there (LOL) so we did a small taste and their Cuvee was excellent!

almost bought that bottle, too, but decided to be an adult and just buy one.

The signature drink for the wedding was a white wine spritzer, which I had never had before but it was quite lovely! It was the Bethany Vineyard Riesling with tonic water and fruit. In 100 degree weather it was very easy to drink those!

Very refreshing! I drank a ton of water and tried to stay hydrated as much as possible.

My cousin looked gorgeous in her dress and guess what? Her aunt HANDMADE the entire thing for her! It was absolutely stunning! And what a cool heirloom to pass down to your daughter or granddaughter someday. The ceremony was lovely and the food was really excellent! It was heavy Hors d’oeuvres –fruit and veggies, pasta salad, green salad, meatballs and these really yummy cold sandwiches. It was actually the perfect food for a hot, outdoor wedding.

There were these little chicken salad sandwiches on croissant rolls that were to die for! So good! Then it was the speeches and cake cutting and they had cute cupcakes, too:

I had one of the cupcakes. They were really good. By then I was pretty stuffed. So the homemade macarons that my cousin made as favors came home for later…

I’d like to say it was starting to cool off by then, but it was still nearly 100 degrees when we left at 6:30. We had to get home for Logan. It was a really nice wedding and it was nice that it was an afternoon wedding. I remember when Michael and I were planning our wedding we considered a Sunday brunch wedding (we loved the idea!), a vineyard wedding, or an afternoon wedding. I’m very happy with what we did but it’s still fun to experience other weddings and think about what it would have been like if we’d done that.

May 152017
 

The celebrating started Friday when I picked Logan up from daycare. He made me a Mother’s Day present at daycare! Footprint butterfly and a handprint on the bottom. 🙂

On Saturday we went to a friend’s house for a little surprise birthday dinner for another friend. My friend Star and her boyfriend Larry made a feast! They made marinated chicken and veggie kebobs and grilled them up. There was also rice (I skipped that to save my carbs for dessert!). I made a spinach, kale and chard salad topped with carrots, strawberries and feta cheese.

Yummy dinner!

Star made our friend Samantha a gorgeous Polish cake.

How beautiful is that cake? So pretty. It was really delicious, sort of like shortbread with custard and whipped cream. Logan ate some rice, chicken and strawberries and he LOVED the whipped cream. 😉

Here is the recipe:

Kremowka Papieska "Papal Cream Cake

From: http://www.europeancuisines.com/Poland-Polish-Kremowka-papieska-Papal-cream-cake-recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • A pinch of salt
  • Custard cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks

Instructions

  1. Grease well 2 8- or 9-inch baking pans / tins: coat with bread crumbs and set aside.
  2. Cake mixture:
  3. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender.
  4. Beat the egg yolks into the water: mix into the flour. Mix well.
  5. Divide in halves and spread/press each half to completely cover the bottom of one of the baking pans.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes in a medium-low oven (325F / 160C): remove and let cool. Remove from pans when cooled.
  7. Cream:
  8. Scald the milk and vanilla. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, salt, and egg yolks. Stir until very well blended (ideally, whisk to make sure there are no lumps). Add milk gradually. Cook over low flame, stirring constantly, being careful to scrape bottom of pan.
  9. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes, still stirring constantly. When finished cooking, remove from heat and pour cream into a bowl; allow to cool, stirring occasionally until cold.
  10. When the custard cream is cold:
  11. Whether you're using puff pastry or cake, spread the custard cream thickly over the bottom layer. (If the custard is at all runny, put one baked layer back into a baking pan of the appropriate size and then do the spreading.) Then top with the second baked layer.
  12. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut and serve (possibly with thick whipped cream on top, if you like). A note about cutting: This is where calling this dessert a "cake" comes slightly into question, as it doesn't handle like a cake at all: the thick pastry cream center makes that impossible. The kremówka will always squish down somewhat when you slice it. However, it tastes so good that no one's going to care...
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=52143

The cake wasn’t overly sweet. It looks like it would be really sweet and rich but it was light and summery.

It was such a nice night! We had a great time and it was so lovely spending some time with friends.

On Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day by going out to breakfast. (But first Logan woke me up in the cutest way…I was still asleep and then all of a sudden Michael said “Wake up mommy! Happy Mother’s Day!” and I open my eyes and see a big goofy grin on Logan’s face and then he giggled and laughed and crawled all over me. It was probably the best moment of the day!)

We went to Genie’s Cafe. We got there early enough that we got a table immediately! That is unheard of in Portland!

I got a complimentary Mimosa for Mother’s Day and a delicious mug of coffee (much needed). It was a busy morning but we got our food pretty quickly. I’ve been craving French Toast for about a month and kept putting it off. I decided to save it for my cheat meal for Mother’s Day.

The French Toast was perfect and delicious and really satisfied my craving. The one downside to cutting out carbs is that when you finally do eat a bunch of them, they sit like a rock and make me really sleepy. I just don’t like the way I feel after eating heavy carbs now. 🙁

Michael got the caprese hash and said it was really good:

Logan had a bunch of my French Toast and he loved it. 🙂 First time having it and first time having maple syrup. He’s a fan. Logan got me a gift (a new heart rate monitor–will review it soon!) and a card, which was very sweet.

After breakfast, Logan took a nap and I went swimming. It felt wonderful. Then we all ran some errands and went for a walk in between the rain showers. For dinner Michael picked up Pad Thai to continue my carb cheat day. It really hit the spot. Pad Thai is something else I’ve been craving for a long time!

It was a really lovely Mother’s Day and I was glad I got to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people!

As for the diet: I am going to reign it in today and tomorrow and try and really cut the carbs and weigh in Wednesday. Although I’m not looking forward to it!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!