meat

Gorgeous Gorge

I was soooo looking forward to my long weekend over the 4th of July! It’s no secret that I’ve been feeling a bit burned out at work and needing a break. This was just what I needed. Saturday morning we drove out to Hood River. We rented a little cabin on the Washington side this time, and it was so cute! We were 10 minutes from Hood River, so it was a great location.

I went to the gym early, we packed the car and then hit the road. We arrived in Stevenson, Washington, at lunch time. Perfect timing!

We went to Walking Man Brewery. It’s funny–I think our second anniversary when we were dating we stayed at these super cute log cabins in Stevenson a block from Walking Man and it was kind of a funny memory because we were literally right next to the train tracks and the train went by HOURLY. No exaggeration. So when we went to Walking Man for lunch we went by the cabins and had to laugh about that disastrous weekend. 🙂

Anyways, we got to Walking Man just as they opened and the outdoor patio was open and empty so we got a table in the corner where Bella could hang out (and she miraculously did great!) and we set up Logan in his high chair and we enjoyed a beer and some pizza for lunch! It was kind of the perfect day.

Logan LOVED pizza (and pepperoni) but was not a fan of olives (still). The pizza was great. It was small enough for the three of us to share and it was smokey and good.

After lunch we walked a block to the waterfront park and walked around for awhile. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. The kind of day you just want to hang out in the park for hours in.

After awhile we drove out to Syncline Winery . We had an hour or two to kill before we could check into our cabin. Two separate people had recommended this winery to us recently so we checked it out.

It was SUCH a cool place! There were wine tasting stations outside, there was cornhole set up, adirondeck chairs placed around the grounds, there were private tables in the shade and a bunch of hammocks and gardens. It was such a fun, relaxing vibe. We LOVED it. It was right near our place, too.

We played some cornhole, Logan played too :), I did a little wine tasting and we played in the hammocks (if you follow me on instagram, I posted some videos).

We ended up becoming members! It was such a cool place that we wanted to go back and we really enjoyed all the wines.

After that we checked in at our little cabin. It was in Underwood, Washington, 5 minutes from the bridge to Oregon and Hood River. It was kind of the perfect location! It was a little A-Frame loft above a garage in the woods.

There was a nice kitchen, bathroom, living room and upstairs in the A-frame loft was the bedroom. It was nice because the owners had a pack n’ play set up for us and a high chair. It was a great place!

The best part? The deck outside. The deck overlooked the trees and yard where there was a hammock and a family of deer that meandered through (and apparently wild turkeys??).

We had a few hours to kill before dinner so we went over to Hood River to pick up our half case of wine from Cathedral Ridge (we had a membership that we’ve since cancelled, we just want some variety!) and let Logan run around the yard for a bit.

Then we drove to Big Man’s Rotisserie in White Salmon. It was a BBQ joint that Michael found online and we made a note of wanting to go there. We got the chicken and pulled pork combo to go and went back to the cabin for dinner on the deck.

O.M.G if you are in the area, you MUST go to Big Man’s Rotisserie. That pulled pork was absolutely amazing! We even discussed wanting to go back and getting more before going back to Portland! It was smokey and delicious and reminded us both of Franklin’s BBQ in Austin.

Eating dinner and drinking wine outside in the shade on the deck was pretty freaking awesome!

It was great just hanging outside on the deck while Logan slept! 🙂

Two Low Carb Dinners

I wanted to share two recipes with you that we tried last week. Here is the first:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
From: http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/balsamic-braised-beef-short-ribs-paleo/
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole dried dates
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoon of course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together course sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Pat dry bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  4. Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, whole dried dates, and smashed garlic cloves.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender.

It doesn’t look pretty but it tasted really good! I made some sesame cucumber salads to go with it and the tartness of the salad was the perfect combo with the ribs.

We each had one (they were pretty big beef ribs) and then a few nights later had the leftovers and we both agreed that they were even better reheated as leftovers.

Michael made this dinner, even though crock-pot cooking isn’t something he likes to do, and it was really good! We both want to make it again in the future.

The second “recipe” wasn’t really a recipe but it was “lowish” carb and on the diet plan. I picked up the carrot “noodles” from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and we finally tried it.

Here are the stats on the carrot noodles:

8grams of carbs in a serving of carrot noodles. I also bought a jar of low carb spaghetti sauce. I hadn’t tried this brand before and another reader recommended a low carb marinara but it was really expensive when I finally found it! This particular bottle was half the price of the other one so I grabbed a jar to test it out.

A serving of this marinara was 5 grams of carbs. I also loved that it didn’t have a ton of sugar in it like a lot of red sauces have. We had some Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs on top with some fresh parmesan and opened a not-so-low-carb bottle of wine to go with dinner:

So how was the dinner? Really good! We both liked it a lot.

The carrots weren’t overpowering in flavor. They were slightly al dente, but I’m so used to eating spaghetti squash instead of real pasta noodles that it didn’t feel weird to me. The sauce? Fantastic! We both LOVED it! It was super spicy. We’d definitely make this dinner again.

I did comment that it needed some garlic bread. 😉