Feb 232015

I’ve often wondered what my last meal on earth would be. When posed with this question people usually want comfort food: pizza, burgers, lasagna, ice cream and pie. I always thought pizza and ice cream would be my choice. After my meal at Imperial, I vote for Doug’s Fried Chicken!

Doug Adams came up 3rd place in the most recent Top Chef season. He’s from Texas but moved to Portland and has been bouncing around at various impressive Portland restaurants before become Sous Chef at Imperial under Vitaly Paley. This season of Top Chef was pretty good and from the start I was hoping Gregory would win. He’s another Portland chef at Departure (a great place!).


In the end it came down to Gregory, Mai and Doug. I was bummed when Melissa left. I felt like she was better than Mai, who ended up winning. I thought Melissa’s dishes looked the best and she had a nice personality–Mai not so much. I was SO BUMMER when Gregory didn’t win. Loved him.

Anyways, it was Michael’s dad’s last night in Portland before flying home to Texas and Michael got us reservations at Imperial. It was crazy–a Tuesday night and the place was packed! I guess the popularity of Top Chef has caused a boom in business. :)



Michael has been raving about Imperial for ages now and this was the first time I’ve been. Now I’m kicking myself for not going before all the Top Chef groupies. :) What a cool place! It’s in the Hotel Lucia and the decor is modern and chic, the whole vibe is really cool.


I wasn’t sure what to order. Everything sounded so intriguing! Even the Crispy Fried Pigtail….! I had my eye on the sausage du jour until I found out it was Blood Sausage (no thanks). In the end all three of us ordered the Doug’s Fried Chicken. We shared an order of the fries (I ate more than I planned on but not so many that I regretted it).


Michael’s dad said they were the best fries he’s ever had. I thought they were pretty darn close (nothing compares to duck fat fries). I got a glass of a Pinot Gris that was way too sour for my liking (it was like eating a lemon) and ended up getting a lovely glass of Cab Franc (which I rarely drink but LOVED so will have to look for it elsewhere).



This was kind of my last meal. After a weekend of indulging when Michael’s dad was visiting, it was the last decadent meal before I was getting back on track!

Michael ordered a salad and I had a few bites. It was the “Winter Citrus Salad”. It was salad greens, pistachios, grilled onions, tomatoes, grapefruit slices and an Oregon black truffle vinaigrette with the black truffle shavings on top. Holy COW. BEST SALAD EVER. I’ve never had a salad this good. I had two bites and wished I’d ordered my own. It was incredible. Absolutely, hands-down, incredible. And it was just a salad!

The waiter brought out the housemade hot sauce that was in an old-fashioned eye-dropper bottle and honey. Apparently they have beehives on the roof and make their own honey! So Portland. It was amazing, though.


The place was so packed and service was slow, but that was expected. I figured it was the new-found celebrity. The waiter was great though and checked in frequently. The fried chicken came out on cast iron skillets atop tree stump trays. :) Again, totally Portland. But the presentation was incredible.


Two large pieces of fried chicken with a watermelon salad on the side. Sounds simple but it was so fantastic. The watermelon was perfect, which was weird because it’s off season. The watermelon chunks had pickled onions, fennel and a tart vinaigrette on it. It went perfectly with the chicken.


The watermelon was so juicy. How was the chicken? It was pretty darn good. Most importantly: Michael’s dad said it was the best meal he’d ever had and wants to come back to Imperial every time he visits. :) I loved the chicken. The hot sauce could have been a little spicier for my tastes, but other than that everything was great. I loved drizzling honey on top of the fried chicken. I’d never thought of that before. So smart!


Somehow we got talked into dessert. I have no idea how because we were all stuffed and certainly didn’t need anymore food. It was the last dessert and we snagged it. It had been popular that night! We got the “Texas Sheetcake”.


It was warm, gooey chocolate cake topped with honey ice cream (which I thought was pecan at first) hazelnuts and toasted marshmallow. IT WAS AMAZING. OMG. Thankfully we split it because it was so rich but seriously, I could have eaten that whole thing on my own. Wow. No words. So good.

Sadly, we did not spot Doug in the kitchen. Maybe someday. Everything tasted amazing and the service was fantastic. It was a good night all around. Yes I overdid it. I knew I was as I was partaking. This was most definitely my last meal. :) Now it’s back to eating like normal–but man oh man, what memorable food!

Dec 232014

I decided to take a few weeks off from the Warrior Room. Partly due to running out of classes in my pack that I bought and not wanting to purchase another pack right now. Partly due to my body needing a break. I was going really strong and things were great but I was starting to get some nagging aches and pains in various places and just needed to take a step back. I intend to go back in January sometime when my gym becomes so crowded that I can’t stand it!

So right now I’m focusing on yoga, swimming and a little weight lifting mixed in on my own. I created my own workouts based on some of the Warrior Room classes. I want to keep my base going while I take this break from the classes. Here is the first workout I did this weekend:

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When I created the workout I thought “Hmmm that might be too easy.” Yeah…..it looked so easy on paper but it sure wasn’t! It was intense. I was sweating buckets and I ended up modifying some of it because I was just fatigued. Also, the ab workout was crazy hard. I was SO SORE the next day that when I went to yoga and got into the “cat/cow” pose I flinched. My abs hurt too much for cow pose! Anyways, it was a good learning experience and there were a few things in the workout that I want to modify. I’ve created 5 different workouts with various moves in them and will take that into account next time and maybe cross a few moves off the list. We’ll see. Here are the calories for the workout:

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I wanted to share an art project I did over the weekend. I’ve saved all these great Christmas cards we’ve gotten over the years and wanted to do something with them other than just putting them in the Christmas decorations box. I stopped at Joann Fabrics and got some small pieces of plain wood and some make-your-own ornaments. I cut out the Christmas cards and glued them to the wood, painted the ornament. Here is one side:

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And this is the other side:

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Some of the cards I used had been homemade by some artistic friends. I wanted to find a way to display them. Here is one of my favorites, now on the tree:

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After that I had an afternoon date with Bella’s boyfriend! Our dog walker’s dog got sick recently and stopped eating, was having a hard time breathing and they took him to the hospital. He had to have a pretty invasive surgery and it turned out that he had gotten a piece of grass in his lung and it got infected. They had to remove a piece of his lung and lymph node and he’s on all kinds of antibiotics and pain pills.


He was finally able to come home over the weekend but can’t be left alone at all. Amy had some clients she had to go see so I volunteered to babysit my favorite dog (other than Bella of course)! He is SUCH a sweetheart. Just one big cuddle bug. I took a book over and we cuddled on the couch cushions on the floor (he’s not supposed to climb up on things while his incision heals). We cuddled, he napped, he tolerated me putting Bella’s santa hat on him, I scratched his head for three hours. :) It was a good afternoon.

Amy got home and Raja was happy to see his mama! Then it was time for me to meet up with my book club friends. We met at Wine:30 for wine, dinner and a chat about the book we chose. I wasn’t a fan of the book (and actually couldn’t finish it) so I was glad when the conversation strayed from the book…

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I got the panini sandwich with tomato, mozzarella and pesto. It was really tasty. I would have preferred a salad instead of the chips but it was all okay. I had a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc wine that was really delicious and crisp with green apple flavors.

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I’ve wanted to check this place out for awhile now. I’ve read good things about it and I loved the idea of a wine bar. The place was very modern and chic but a little cold. There was tile on the walls and cement floors, so it just felt cold and stark. Despite that, there was a fireplace and cute decorations.

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The back room had big couches and the table was a ouija board! I was so cool. I want that table. We had a great time chatting about everything, eventually talking about other books and planning our next book. We read “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Sadly, this is the third book of Neil Gaiman’s I’ve read. I loved one of them but the other two? Couldn’t finish. I know that he’s at a god-like status with a lot of readers but…he’s just not for me. I’ve tried. I can’t get into his books. But at least I had a great time with friends!