Oregon Hikes

Happy 2019!

We rang in 2019 at home with a good night’s sleep and got to sleep in! Logan slept in til like 8am!!! Wow! It was nice. My cold from before Christmas turned into a sinus infection but thankfully over the weekend I got antibiotics and they were finally kicking in. Man, I’ve been injured and sick for basically the month of December. I’ve barely worked out. It sucked!

But New Year’s Day we had breakfast and then braved the cold and went to Tryon Creek State Park for a “hike.”

It was cold indeed–34 degrees! We bundled in layers and hats and mittens. It was cold but honestly it wasn’t that miserable. It felt okay out in the woods. And it seemed like everyone else had the same idea. The parking lots were full and people were parking on the road.

We took the trail in from the road through the parking lot to the activity center and the trails. Since we had Bella with us, we didn’t go inside. We just “hiked” on the trails. Logan did a great job! He usually has about 1-1.5 miles in him tops. Which was fine. We spent about 40 minutes walking in the woods exploring the frosty ferns and fallen trees. He did 1.16 miles total.

His favorite part was standing on the stump. And jumping off, of course. Tryon Creek is a super cool park and if you are in the area you should definitely check it out. There are so many different trails and they all connect, so you can make it as long or as short as you want. It’s very family friendly.

Afterward we headed home. Logan had lunch and then went down for a nap. I went to the gym for a short weight lifting session–the first one I’ve done in about 2.5 weeks. It felt good to try. It felt even better to sit in the sauna for 15 minutes afterwards!!

New Year’s Day dinner was black eyed pea stew!

I adapted this recipe from Budget Bytes:

SLOW SIMMERED BLACK EYE PEAS AND GREENS

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. black eyed peas (dry)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch celery
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 oz. fresh greens*

Instructions

  1. The night before, place the black eyed peas in a large bowl or container and fill with cool water (there should be at least three times as much water as peas). Allow the peas to soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. When you're ready to begin cooking, add the olive oil to a large pot. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the celery. Add the onion, garlic, and celery to the pot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are transparent.
  3. Drain the soaked peas in a colander and rinse them with cool water. Add the rinsed peas to the pot with the vegetables. Also add the oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, some freshly cracked pepper (about 20 cranks of a pepper mill), bay leaf, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Add a lid to the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring the pot to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, and allow it to simmer for 1 hour.
  5. After one hour of simmering, the black eyed peas should be tender. Add the greens to the pot and stir them in until wilted. Smash some of the peas against the side of the pot as you stir to help thicken the liquid.
  6. Turn the heat up to medium to bring the pot back up to a simmer, and allow the peas and greens to simmer for 30 minutes more, without a lid. After simmering for 30 minutes, the greens should be tender and the peas should have broken down further and thickened the liquid even more. Taste the peas and add salt to your liking (I added about 3/4 tsp, but the amount needed will depend on the salt content of your vegetable broth). Serve with crusty bread or over rice.
  7. RECIPE NOTES
  8. *I used bagged pre-chopped mustard greens, but you can use other hearty greens like collard greens or kale. If using greens in a bunch, remove the stems and chop the leaves into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=56132

I say “adapted” because New Year’s Day I opened the pantry and realized I was running low on a lot of staples! I did not have vegetable broth. Instead I used 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups beef broth and 2 cups water. It worked and actually made it very rich and flavorful. I also didn’t have celery–which was no big deal because I mean really…does celery every really add to a recipe??

I used kale instead of collard greens. I used the precut bag of kale, and cut off the stems. I also added diced ham. I prefer to add a meat of some kind to black eye pea stew and the ham was a nice touch.

I added a little bit of shaved parmesan cheese to the top and we had some crusty sourdough bread (store bought, I didn’t have time to make my own–next time!) on the side.

The stew turned out delicious! It was a little bit different than last year’s version! Not sure which one I like better. Happy new year!

 

Anniversary Part 2

After our hike, we were tired and sweaty and little muddy, and the original plan was to head back to the house to clean up but we decided to stop at David Hill Winery, first, because it was so close to the hike we just did. It didn’t make sense to make that drive again. So we stopped and shared a nice wine tasting.

The grounds were really pretty. We got there a little after noon and it wasn’t very crowded yet so we got to enjoy our tasting outside in the garden.

I really liked a lot of their wines. For some reason I had thought that it was a winery I didn’t like, but I was wrong! Excellent whites and very good reds.

What I like most about wine tasting is being able to taste a lot of different wines without an investment. There have been many times where I bought a bottle on a whim and it was gross (to me). Many times I can just tell Michael I don’t like it and he’ll drink what I don’t like, but I hate spending money on something that I might pour down the drain–I’ve done that about three times before. So when you go tasting, you can figure out pretty quickly if it’s good, if you like it, if it’s a bottle you want to buy. Pro tip: split one tasting with whomever you are with so you don’t get wasted. 😉

It was getting a bit late in the day and we really needed lunch. So we stopped in Forest Grove for a lunch at Kama’Aina and ended up having some of the best Hawaiian food we’ve had outside of Hawaii.

We got a few appetizers to share.  The spam masubi was OUTSTANDING! So were the wings. The mac salad was good. I was not impressed with the poke (too much mayo and onion flavor) but all the other stuff was so delicious. We will definitely go back there again. Food was so good and cheap, too.

Finally, back at the house to shower and change. Then we headed out to a few wineries. The first one was Ardiri Wines. I had been looking forward to it after reading reviews and from a few recommendations from friends but I was not impressed. We split a tasting and neither of us really liked what we had. It was all very unmemorable. So we left pretty quickly.

The next place we went to was Montinore Estates and we both REALLY liked it. The place was cool and the staff was great. It also turned out that an old coworker of Michael’s worked there! So that was nice.

We ended up becoming members. 🙂 The wines were that good. I really loved the sparkling white they gave us to start:

And there was the original estate on the grounds, too:

How amazing was that house? After that we went back to the house to figure out where we wanted to go for dinner. We went for a walk around the property of the Airbnb and they had all these cute little meditation spots with benches and chairs you could relax on in the woods. It was very peaceful.

Dinner was in Forest Grove again. This time at Bites, kind of funky Asian fusion place. It was a cool place and we got tapas to share. We got the crab cake bites and pork gyoza.:

I liked the crab cakes a lot. The Pork gyoza had excellent flavor but I wanted them a little crunchier. We got the Korean short rib tacos (they were spicy but a little on the dry side).

And the mozzarella egg rolls with a Thai marinara sauce. Sounds weird, I know, but it was actually really good.

Then we shared a molten lava cake for dessert.

And home to the hot tub again!

On Sunday we got to sleep in a little bit again, showered, packed and then checked out. For breakfast we went to the Babica Hen in Newberg. I got the Eggs Benedict which was an English Muffin topped with bacon, tomato chutney, the poached eggs and a hollandaise tarragon sauce. It was pretty good but a little on the sweet side, probably from the tomatoes.

Michael got the breakfast burrito and said it was really good. After breakfast we went for a hike at the nearby Harvey Creek Trail. It was short but there were some parts that were pretty steep so we got an okay workout in. It was a really nice day, too, so it was nice to just walk in the woods.

It’s not too long, so not the usual hike we do, but it was nice.

The trailhead was at the old Pioneer Cemetery. It was interesting to see the old pioneer graves.

After the hike we stopped at Dobbes Family Estates and I did a quick tasting. I liked their wines (and bought a few bottles) and the tasting room was really cool. They had a very nice outdoor patio. It was lovely just sitting in the sun.

After that we headed back home to relieve my parents. Logan was so cute! He woke up from his nap when we got home and he was GLUED to me for a long time. I think he missed us! We missed him for sure but it was also a really nice weekend to chill and not have any responsibilities. And sleeping in was fantastic. 😉