Dinner Party

Eugene Part 1

We got to get away from Portland for a little bit!

Last weekend we went down to Eugene to explore. We’ve only been once, basically just for lunch, on our way to Crater Lake 3 years ago. It seemed like a cute town so when we wanted to take a mini break somewhere, I looked into Eugene. I found a super cute Airbnb in the Whiteaker neighborhood–walking distance to Ninkasi Brewery, Hop Valley and a bunch of really good restaurants.

I posted some videos on my Instagram of the Airbnb house we got. It was so cute! It was an old-craftsman style similar to the old Portland houses. Super charming little details. The owner decorated it with lots of interesting pieces and antiques. And quirky things. 🙂

The kid’s room was super cute and had murals painted on the walls. There was a twin bed and a twin bed with a trundle pull-out. So lots of kids could stay!

The master had a LUXURIOUS king sized bed that felt like sleeping on a cloud. It was SO nice.

The kitchen was nice for being small and old. It had a lot of charm and the owners stocked it well with everything you’d need.  You never know with a place what you are going to get. They also had chocolate and a bottle of wine as a gift!

 

We checked into the house and unpacked the car. The one downside was that the house didn’t allow dogs so we had to leave Bella with her foster mom, Jen, for the weekend. It was kind of a bummer but I know she was SUPER excited to have her own “Vacation.”

Then Michael went out to get our growlers filled.

After that we went to The Wheel Apizza Club for dinner. My cousin Di met us there, and it was nice to see her and catch up.

The pizza place was really cute. Michael got us whatever their house IPA was and it was pretty good. We ordered a pepperoni pizza and a cheese pizza. Logan ate like 3 pieces of the cheese!

After dinner we went back to the house and got the stroller that came with the house (they also had a highchair, toys, and a pack n’ play–so lots of kid stuff!) and then walked around the neighborhood and explored.

It was such a cute area. Lots of cute old houses. Lots of art everywhere!

Lots of hippies. I used to be kind of a hippie back in the day so it’s not like I’m against it, but it was a tad startling to see SO MANY hippies in such a small place. LOL! Lots of tie dye, lots of dreadlocks, unfortunately also a lot of homeless. But maybe that’s just the area we were staying in? I don’t know Eugene well enough to know.

Friday night was a pretty early night for us. It had been a reeeeealllly long day and we were all beat.

Smokin’ Weekend

Over the weekend we got to try out our new Traeger smoker!

Saturday

We had another couple over for dinner to have ribs. Michael started the ribs at about noon and then we ate at 7-ish.

Michael has been really good at BBQing ribs, it’s one of his specialties, but smoking them for several hours first made them out of this world!

He used a combination of a BBQ seasoning rub and a recipe that the Traeger book recommended (honey, mustard, brown sugar) and then for the last hour of the cooking he added the BBQ sauce.

The ribs were absolutely perfect! The meat fell off the bone. The flavors were so rich and smokey. It was like nothing we’d ever had before. Smoking the ribs was sooo good.

Michael said next time he does ribs he’d do the timing a little different. I think he was saying it was a 3-2-1 process where you smoke them for 3 hours then cook them in foil for 2 hours then the last hour is cooking uncovered on the grill and using BBQ sauce. He said he wanted to play with the time a little bit next time.

Our friends brought a delicious Asian-inspired cucumber salad. The cucumbers were from her garden. The salad was really tasty and went so well with the ribs.

Sunday

Michael bought a giant hunk of brisket at Costco and started the Traeger at 7am. He followed the recipe in the Traeger book for the first time. A few years ago I bought him Franklin’s BBQ book so I think he’ll use that in the future, too.

This was definitely an all day process and he said he should have started it a bit earlier in the morning.

I picked the first batch of jalapenos from the garden and Michael pickled a bunch and then saved a few and made poppers as an appetizer. SO TASTY!

Michael’s mom and stepdad, sister and friend Jeremy came over to be guinea pigs for the first ever brisket.

Once the brisket was done, we wrapped it in foil to rest for almost an hour.

More wine:

And the unveiling!

Michael’s mom made potato salad from scratch and Michael’s sister made a delicious salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. It was all really tasty and went perfectly with the meat.

For a first attempt, the brisket was really, really good. There were a few tough pieces but for the most part it was great! The flavor was outstanding. We are all super excited to try again!