Mar 132014
 

This week has been GORGEOUS. The sun was out and it was in the mid-60′s. This combination created a palpable giddiness in the entire city. It was like everyone was suddenly in a good mood! Me included!

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It was such a nice day and I didn’t need a jacket. In fact, wear jeans was a little toasty–capris would have been nice. I got home from work and played with Bella in the yard and then took her for a quick walk before heading to the Warrior Room. I almost cancelled the class because it was SO NICE. I considered going for a bike ride instead but I went to the class and I’m glad I did. It was a fantastic class!

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It was the 1/2 Tabata, 1/2 Isolation class. We did squats, squat jumps, burpees, up/downs, deadlifts, goblet squats, two armed swing, and running. Even though I ran at the gym the day before (unfortunately it was the treadmill) doing the C25K, I went out for a jog with everyone else because it was just so nice outside.

After that I went home to clean up and Michael got home from work, also in a great mood. We decided to go out to dinner to celebrate some stuff that recently happened (more on that soon). Some of the good stuff I can share is that my promotion is still pending (they move very slowly) but I am still happy I’m being promoted. I just don’t have a date yet. Also, my cousin Anna and I are booking a girl’s weekend trip to Vegas soon! I CAN’T WAIT!

Michael and I went to Pronto Pizza for dinner. We both wanted to check it out after hearing good things about it and Amy from EatingMyWayThruPortland loved it.

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The restaurant is in a little strip mall and has that strip mall feel to it. That wasn’t great but I’m glad we tried it and didn’t let that scare us off. The service was fast and friendly. I started with a beer from a local brewery (it’s been ages since I had a beer). I got the Breakside IPA and loved it. They even carried gluten free beer (which Michael got).

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We split a small salad. As soon as the waitress said “brussels sprout salad” I knew I wanted it. I love Brussels Sprouts! The sprouts were grilled and had a smoky flavor. The warm sprouts topped the cold leafy salad and there were walnuts and small cubes of ham on the salad.

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I’m glad we split the salad for two reasons: 1) the small was actually quite large and 2) it was my favorite part of the meal. The salad was fantastic and complex! The pizza we ordered was the Clackamas. It came with pepperoni, house-made pork sausage, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

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The style was similar to Apizza Scholl’s.  While I liked the pizza, I didn’t love it. The crust was thin and crispy, the flavors were pretty good but the sausage was overpowering. It was really all I tasted.

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I would definitely return to Pronto Pizza and try some of their other pizzas. I especially want to try their white pies. Those sounded so great!

UPDATE: I just had a piece of leftover pizza for lunch and it’s better as a leftover! Very tasty indeed.

I am so ready for summer!!!

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Aug 272013
 

I had the pleasure of a mid-week day off last week when my brother and his wife came to visit. They only come out about once a year from Philly where they live. My sister-in-law is in medical school and they’ll probably be in Philadelphia for a few more years. I miss seeing them more often. It sucks that when they visit we only get a short amount of time together, but I understand. That once a year visit means they run around the whole time trying to see friends and family!

Andy and his wife Lisa (yes her name is Lisa too!) came down to Portland after spending almost a week with my parents in Seattle. The five of us went out to lunch at Cartlandia first. Everyone was starving!

We all ended up going to Good and Evil Wrap Company. My mom and I split the buffalo chicken wrap in a spinach tortilla. Lisa got the avocado tempeh wrap, Andy got the Pepper Jack Steak wrap and Michael go the same in a bowl so he could stay gluten-free. The food cart was a big hit and I was happy to turn more people on to my favorite Portland cart. I know I need to branch out and try other things, but dang that buffalo chicken one is addicting!

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After that my mom left to go do some wedding flower research at local farms (I think my mom and I might do the flowers ourselves) and then the four of us drove out to Kelly Point Park to spend the afternoon. It was a sunny, hot day and spending it near the water sounded perfect.

I packed a ton of water this time, and sunscreen! We were better prepared. We played bocce ball in the big field and it was the first time Andy and Lisa had ever played it! Team Lisa was ahead for most of it but the boys came up from behind and ended up winning.

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After that we moved to the beach and set down a blanket. The boys played another ring toss game I bought and us girls just chilled. I tested the water and it was cool but not freezing. I’m tempted to bring my swimsuit the next time Michael and I go down there!

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Spending the day playing in the sun wore all of us out I think. Dinner was decided and we went to Nuestra Cocina. I am so glad we went there! I’ve been a few times before but I just love their food so much.

I started with a lime drop (which was tart and sweet at the same time, delicious but lacking in alcohol if you ask me!).

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I ordered two appetizers for us all to share. The first was the special and it was a carnitas dish topped with pickled red onions. It was absolutely amazing! The pork had sweet fat on it that was almost candied. It was outstanding. I do not know how they made that meat so tender and sweet and perfect, but I wanted three more servings of it!

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The next appetizer was the Chile Relleno con Picadillo. It was a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with shredded pork, almond slivers and raisins. There was a crema sauce drizzled on top and seasoned with a little cilantro. It was just as delicious as the first dish but I liked the first one better. The second was really sweet.

Andy got the steak and drunken beans dish and he said it was one of the best steaks he’s had in a long time. I’m happy that we were able to satisfy the foodie in the family with an outstanding meal!

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Michael and I split an entree, which was the right decision! Since our first visit to this restaurant a few years ago, Michael has been raving about the half chicken he ate there. So we got it again. It was just as good as his memory told him. It was a grilled half chicken with a “Achiote rub”. I hadn’t heard of that before but man was it good! Slightly blackened, slightly spicy, a little sweet, basically perfect all around. It came with rice and salsa.

The four of us were slightly sunburned, tired and ready to relax. We made one stop at Beer Mongers to get some beer for Andy before heading home. He was like a kid in the candy store! For a moment I thought we’d have to leave him behind. He bought 6 different beers, all things I’d never heard of, and he turned me on to a new one! Well, new to me!

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He said it was one of his favorite beers and apparently it started the whole IPA craze. It’s called Pliny the Elder. I loved this beer! I want to get a few more bottles for home. It was smooth and not quite as hoppy and bitter as a lot of IPAs. There was a hint of something in it…for some reason I thought of peaches. Or a ruby red grapefruit–basically a sweet fruit.

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We were on a mission that night. Not just to catch up and drink beer, but to scare Lisa. Apparently she’d never seen any of the classic horror movies growing up and has never been scared by a movie. We discussed it thoroughly and finally decided she either needed to see The Exorcist or Nightmare on Elm Street. Classics. So Michael made popcorn, we settled in with our beers, turned the lights off and watched The Exorcist! While the movie is still good and holds up, she wasn’t scared. She said it was disturbing, but not scary….the quest continues!

Thursday Michael had to work so it was just the three of us. I took them to Tin Shed for breakfast. It’s a place I’ve wanted to go forever but the long lines discouraged me from trying it. Luckily a Thursday morning was the perfect time to go. We had to wait about 15 minutes for a table and that wasn’t bad.

Andy and I both got the special of the day. It was scrambled eggs with andoiulle sausage, cheese, tomatoes and corn. It came with a biscuit (which we all decided was the best biscuit we’ve ever had) and cheesy grits.

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I am so glad I finally got to try Tin Shed! YUM! One of my favorite breakfast meals in a long time! I want another biscuit!!!!

Sadly, after breakfast I had to drop Andy and Lisa off to where they were meeting her dad. It was time to say goodbye and I went to work. I was bummed out and feeling sad pretty much the rest of the day. It was so nice to see them, but if was not enough time! I wish they’d hurry up and move back to the west coast already. :)

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Sorry for the long post and I know it was heavy on the photos! Thanks for indulging me while I show off my little brother. :)

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