Jul 262016
 

Remember how I said that Friday nights were always my gym nights? And while it was nice because the gym/pool was empty, it kind of sucked for “fun” on a Friday night. Well this last Friday we had a different kind of Friday night and it was so much fun!

It was kind of a humid, gray summer day but the evening was nice. I got home from work and Michael said we were going out. Logan had been fussy fussy fussy all day long. I figured he wanted to get out of the house. He didn’t tell me where we were going and after feeding the baby we left.

Turned out we were going to explore the food carts on SE Division Street. Division has exploded in the last few years with tons of new restaurants, condos, etc. It’s a completely different neighborhood than when I lived over there. I’ve been wanting to check out some of the new popular restaurants on that street for a long time but I always talked myself out of it for some reason (traffic, parking, crowds, long lines, etc).

There were a ton of food carts in this little area with a bunch of picnic tables and a beer garden. The place was packed! And it was a really popular place for people with kids and babies. I love that this is an option for eating out when you have a young one.

We walked around and checked out the options and I decided to get something from the Korean-Hawaiian food truck, Namu. I ended up getting the Bulgogi Beef plate. It was spicy beef, rice, kimchi, spinach, cucumber and avocado. It was between that and the vegan bowl with toasted tofu–that sounded really good, too. (My original choice was going to be the waffle truck that sold sandwiches made out of waffles–but I reasoned with myself and decided that wasn’t a good idea diet wise. LOL)

My dinner was really tasty and spicy, but I did kind of have food jealousy over Michael’s dinner. 🙂 Michael got pizza from the pizza food card (I don’t remember the name, sorry). They cooked their small pizzas in a wood burning oven.

We found a table with another couple and their toddler and asked if we could share and they said yes. (And then I asked them about their super cool detachable high chair seat thing that just clipped onto the end of the picnic table–brilliant!).

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Logan did great! I think there was so much going on and so much noise that he wasn’t fussy anymore. He just chilled and checked everything out and let mom and dad enjoy their food.

I had a few bites of Michael’s pizza and it was REALLY good. I loved the crust. They nailed it.

We enjoyed a Crux Double IPA beer from the beer cart. PERFECT! It really hit the spot. And it was strong (at least for me). One was enough.

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We finished eating and Logan was getting a little antsy so back in the stroller he went. We decided we wanted dessert and there was a dessert truck but it was vegan and that wasn’t really what I was feeling. So we decided to walk up Division Street and see what other options we had. It was so nice out, too, we didn’t want the evening to end yet.

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I like this neighborhood. It’s hip and popular and there were tons of people and art all over the place. It just has a cool and inviting vibe (like I said, a lot different than 8 years ago when I lived near there). It was fun just being out on a Friday night with all these young, carefree people out on dates. 🙂

We walked up the street and past Pok Pok, where the line was at least 2 hours long, it looked (there is always a long wait there) and then we ended up at Salt and Straw.

It’s a super popular ice cream shop in Portland. I’ve had their ice cream before at events and it was good but I never understood why the lines were always so long. And if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know how much I hate long lines for restaurants. There are just too many good places in Portland to stand in line for over an hour. No thank you!

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But we didn’t have anything else to do, so why not? And the baby was sleeping! The line actually moved fairly quickly and as we waited we tried to figure out what flavor we wanted! And tried not to drool at the aroma of waffle cone as we stood in line…

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We got to the counter and they said we could have tastes. Michael tried the Pear and Blue Cheese and said it was amazing so I tried it and it was just ok. He got a taste that was all pear and I got a taste that was all blue cheese. It wasn’t overpowering but it just wasn’t for me. I tried the Goat Cheese and Marionberry with Habanero and it was FANTASTIC! Loved it! The heat was at the very end and it wasn’t crazy hot, just the right amount. But I thought it might be too much in a full serving.

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My first choice was the Sea Salt with Caramel and the Honey Lavender. Then the girl at the counter talked me into tasting the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache and my mind was blown. SO GOOD! So I got a half scoop of the Sea Salt and Caramel and a half scoop of the Almond Brittle Ganache. PERFECT.

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Michael got the Chocolate Gooey Brownie, I had a bite and it was good but I won at the ice cream selection. 🙂 We walked around and ate our ice cream in the warm summer evening and then Logan started to wake up and it was time to go home.

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Aug 182015
 

What a busy weekend!

Michael’s dad was visiting from Texas and we had my parents come down for a short visit, too. It was nice to have a visit and catch up and they hadn’t seen each other since our wedding last year. Michael, his dad and my dad went golfing Thursday afternoon and then we all went out to dinner at Jake’s Grill. A favorite in Portland, for sure.

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We got a really nice, quiet table in the back underneath a gorgeous antique stained glassed window atrium. I’d never seen it before.

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We shared an order of calamari for the table. It was nice to show my parents one of our favorite restaurants (they had never been there).

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Michael got the steak, my mom got the meatloaf and mashed potatoes and my dad got the beef stroganoff. Michael’s dad got the halibut (his favorite) and I got the Cedar Planked Steelhead with mashed potatoes. I’d been craving mashed potatoes for weeks! This definitely satisfied that craving. The steelhead was so amazing and perfect–the perfect, rich piece of fish, slightly crispy.

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After that lovely, rich dinner my parents split a chocolate cake and Michael and I split the cheesecake with blueberry compote. It’s been so long since I’ve had a fancy dessert–it was so worth the calories!

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What a nice night!

On Friday I had the day off. I went for a swim–first swim in over a week and a half and it felt fantastic being back in the pool (especially with my recent back stuff). The boys were spending the day watching golf (no thanks) and so my mom and worked in the kitchen. Our garden has gone so crazy this summer and our tomatoes were out of control. I was so glad to had my mom’s help with them.

She bought me a tomato press (we’d gone to several stores to find a food mill and this was the closest thing we could find). I am so glad, too! It’s a nifty little device that worked great for the project. In the past it was SO time consuming and exhausting trying sieve the tomato seeds and skins out of the cooked tomatoes and this made the project a million times easier.

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I don’t know how many pounds of tomatoes we picked from the garden but it was an insane amount. The tomato press removed probably 90% of the seeds and all of the skins. Worked great!

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I chopped up a red pepper, green pepper, two onions, a ton of garlic and a shallot. I cooked it all down and then put the sauce in the pot.

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The kitchen smelled fantastic.

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I added some seasonings, salt, sugar and let it simmer for about 2 hours. I added 3 cans of tomato paste to thicken it up and it worked SO much better than last year’s batch of tomato sauce! I got the flavor and texture just right and it was ready. We ended up doing freezer bags instead of canning it (since I don’t have a pressure canner) and it will be a great sauce to have this winter.

After that it was nearing dinner time and Michael made us all ribs. I cooked up corn on the cob and baked beans.

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Michael did the ribs a different way this time. He baked them in the oven at a low temperature for two hours and then cooked them on the grill for 30-45 minutes until they were ready. They turned out great! It was another nice night visiting but I was really tired after all the work I’d done.

I have to share this one other thing. My mom brought down a giant scrapbook from my great grandfather. He used to keep journals and cut out newspaper clippings. There were some amazing newspaper articles in his scrapbook. The Kennedy assassination, the Civil Rights movement…just amazing to see.

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I spent a good hour reading through the book. There is so much to read!