Apr 152015
 

I wanted to share a meal I had recently with you all. If you live in the Portland area and are looking for a delicious, affordable meal, check out Nudi in Woodstock.

Nudi is a place I’ve wanted to try for awhile but things just got in the way of those plans. Recently I was meeting a friend for a pedicure at a fantastic place in Woodstock, Pure Nail Bar, and we decided to meet up for lunch first. I had assumed that Nudi was a noodle/ramen/Pho type of place but it was a lot different than I expected.

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First, the inside of the restaurant is super classy looking and decorated nicely. The outside of the restaurant looked kind of dumpy and run down but once you are inside it’s very nice. Don’t let the exterior scare you off. Second, the menu is large and diverse. If you aren’t feeling noodles, there’s tons of other options including lots of vegetarian and vegan options. There were also many gluten free options.

I got their iced tea to drink and it was the best iced tea I’d ever had. I have no idea what kind it was; the flavor was subtle and not too sweet and it had a slice of orange in it.

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My friend Star met me for lunch and we decided to order a few appetizers and share them for lunch. The first was the Asado Bun. I imagined it being a small bun, like a bao bun but it turned out to be huge! It was fried bread with sweet pork belly, lettuce, red onions, jalapenos and herbs. Star and I split it. The pork was melt in your mouth soft and super sweet.

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So flavorful! Next up Crab Rangoon. It had Dungeness crab meat stuffed in wontons with cream cheese and a sweet & spicy dipping sauce. These were to die for. I rarely eat fried foods so this was a real treat. I’d say this was the favorite dish for both of us.

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Next was the fried tofu with crushed peanuts and a similar dipping sauce. I was not a fan of this one as much. It was okay but nothing special and the tofu didn’t taste like much. I think it might have been better with a peanut dipping sauce, maybe…

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We decided to splurge and share a dessert. We ordered the Pumpkin Flan. It was gluten free and it came out looking like a work of art. It was steamed pumpkin with coconut milk flan and coconut sauce. It was the texture of flan/custard and it wasn’t sweet. There was a hint of sweetness from the coconut and pumpkin but it was barely there. It was a very unique flavor and it felt like a healthy treat as opposed to a huge calorie bomb like chocolate.

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It came in the pumpkin skin and you just scraped it out of there. We shared the dessert and it was the perfect amount for the two of us to have a treat.

All in all the restaurant was a joy. I enjoyed the food and want to go back and try their ramen and noodle dishes. I think this would be a great restaurant for a date night, too! Dark interior, classy decorations and excellent music. :)

A few weeks later I met my friend Robyn here for a lunch date! Once again, got the amazing iced tea and we both ordered a soup. I got the Tom Yum Ramen. It came with ramen noodles, beef, veggies and an egg. I’d been craving Ramen (like real Ramen, not the 59 cent package!) and this hit the spot.

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I’m a huge fan of Tom Yum soup, so this was good. The only downside was that the ramen noodles were really soft. I would have liked them a little more well-done I think. Other than that, it was tasty and a nice lunch date with my friend.

 

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Apr 132015
 

Remember how I surprised Michael last week with his birthday party? Well last Thursday night HE surprised ME.

I walked into the kitchen after work to discover that unbeknownst to me, the kitchen countertops had been INSTALLED!

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WHAT?!?

We’d been working on picking the counter tops and the guy came out to make the template for it a few weeks ago. Apparently, Michael’s plan was to surprise me with it being installed last Friday (the day before his party) but the material had been damaged and they had rescheduled. He hadn’t told me any of this!

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There have been many, many stages for our kitchen remodel. The first stage was the beginning–the ugly, 1970’s decor and dark cabinets with powder blue counter tops. Michael and I were starting to date when the kitchen remodel began. I remember many, many weekends spent at his house demolishing the old kitchen together. It was back-breaking labor but very fulfilling! Demolition was a blast. And there were many Saturday nights where we realized it was almost midnight and we still hadn’t eaten dinner yet because we were so busy with the remodel.

After demolition–complete with removing the floors down to the sub-flooring, then painting, there was redoing the kitchen pantry, and there was also the assembly if the IKEA cabinets. Here is a photo of mid-gutting:

If you look carefully you can see the old cabinets (next to the fridge). And after painting:

A few years ago we installed the upper cabinets as well as the stove vent and the microwave. Then one summer we laid the tile in the humongous kitchen and dining room. Then we hit a wall. We lost steam for a lot of reasons. We got busy with other stuff, training for the Portland Century, traveling, and Michael’s back issues have kept us from finishing. There was also another barrier: there were some DIY mistakes that had to be fixed before we finished the floors.

With Michael losing his job a few years ago, he had time to finish some of the house projects. We hired a professional to fix the tile mistakes and finish the rest of the project: the grout, sealing the tiles…everything! Then…all the construction stopped for like 2 years. Part of that was planning a wedding, going on a honeymoon, etc. We just didn’t have it in us to do house projects amidst wedding planning.

But the last few months we’ve gotten back at it and now we have a kitchen that is 95% DONE!

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What’s next? The backsplash, which we’ll be doing ourselves and then we need to paint and install the baseboards and the trim around the pantry. At some point we’re going to replace all the windows in the house but that’s in the future.

I couldn’t believe that I walked into this surprise. It was amazing. I was so happy to see it done and it feels great to have one thing crossed off the list! It looks amazing and I’m just in shock. And it’s funny that he did this secretly.

Mid-day our dog walker had texted me a picture of Bella:

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I should have known right then and there that something wasn’t right because usually when the dog walker is over playing with Bella she sends me goofy pictures that look like this:

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Apparently Michael had cancelled Amy, took that first picture of Bella and sent it to Amy who texted it to me so that I wouldn’t be suspicious! I seriously had no idea that Michael was home all day preparing this surprise for me!

When I got home the kitchen sink hadn’t been hooked up yet so we had to go out to dinner. We went to Cha Cha Cha for Mexican food:

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I ate half of it and saved the rest for lunch the next day. When we got back to the house Michael worked on installing the kitchen sink and I had to meet up my friends (previously planned) for Book Club. Even though I kinda wanted to just stay home and admire the kitchen counters. :D

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The book club met at Wine:30 and I had a glass of Pinot Gris, we chatted (sometimes about the book LOL) and then shared some chocolate covered blueberries:

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I’ll post more about the book we read soon. Anyways, I got home and the kitchen counters were still there! I hadn’t dreamed it. I can’t wait to finish up the rest of the kitchen projects and be COMPLETELY DONE!! Woohoo!!!

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