food

Beachy Birthday

So this is 39!

For my birthday this year we made the trek to Depoe Bay to spend the weekend at an AirBnB house at the beach with friends. I’ve been looking forward to it for months! Saturday I went to the gym and then we packed the car and left after lunch.

The house we rented was SO GREAT!!!! It was called the “OctoMojo House” and it was a block from the beach with amazing views of the giant winter waves. There was a nice deck (which would be great in the summer time) and a hot tub and you could hear the ocean. The house had two bedrooms on the main floor and then a loft bedroom upstairs with even better views.

We unpacked and our friends, Sam and John, hadn’t arrived yet so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a walk on the beach!

You think Logan and Bella were having fun in the sand?!?! It was kinda gray and cold but it was dry so that’s all that mattered! We walked and ran and got super dirty. Then started to walk back to the house.

Our friends arrived and we made dinner. Pork tenderloin they had been marinating all day in lemon, ginger, soy sauce and garlic. It was delicious! We had salad and couscous, too. And fancy Trader Joe’s cheese with crackers while we cooked.

And opened a bottle of wine I’ve been saving for almost a year:

After Logan went to bed, the four of us got to chill out in the hot tub and listen to the ocean and just catch up on life. It was nice! And relaxing. I loved being able to hear the waves. And smelling the ocean air.

Sunday was a lazy day. It was stormy and rainy and the waves were even bigger. Breakfast was delicious omelettes made by Michael and Samantha. I actually got to enjoy my coffee while it was HOT. 😀

Then Logan and I went for a little walk outside in the drizzle.

Sam and I drove up to Lincoln City to Mo’s to pick up takeout lunch. It was nice to get away for a bit and have some time just the two of us. We got an order of Mo’s famous clam chowder and an order of clam strip appetizers.

I’ve wanted to try Mo’s for years but the lines are SO LONG we never go. I’m glad we finally got to try it! It was delicious! Creamy and tasty and hot on a dreary day. After lunch Logan took a nap, I took a short nap and then chilled with some hot tea and a good book. 🙂 Eventually there was a little break in the rain and Logan was still sleeping so Bella and I went for a walk on the beach just the two of us. It was nice!

Sunday night dinner was made by Samantha, with me helping prep the veggies. I brought chicken thighs and she brought the stuff to make an AMAZING curry dish! All fresh ingredients. She even showed me how to use fresh ginger (which has always intimidated me so I never bought it, now I want to try it!).

We opened some wine, turned on some great music and hung out in the kitchen while the boys did their thing in the living room. Then dinner was served. Curry chicken and veggies on top of mashed potatoes! SO good! Topped with fresh cilantro and green onion.

After dinner, Logan ran laps through the house 😉 and then went to bed and we played a few rounds of my new Family Feud board game (super fun!), more hot tubbing and then to bed for the great night of sleep I’ve had in awhile. Breakfast the next morning:

Scrambled eggs with green onions and diced jalapenos, bacon, topped with cheese, a side of toast and fruit salad. Monday the weather was just perfect. There was blue sky and rainbows.

I love the beach. Year round, doesn’t matter the weather. Stormy, sunny, whatever. The beach is in my blood. Someday, I will live at the beach. 🙂

No Reservations

There have been a few celebrity deaths that really touched me. I know a lot of people probably think it’s silly–I mean, we don’t know these people in real life. But celebrities give us something–movies we love, music we never forget, and it’s not easy when your favorites pass on.

The first was Michael Jackson. One of my first childhood memories was of him and his music. I was a fan! I was about 4 or 5 years old and my dad came home from a business trip with a gift: THE Michael Jackson record and my very own Fisher Price record player. I was so ecstatic and I played it until the record warped, I’m sure.

I grew up listening MJ and Prince and Whitney….and when they all passed suddenly it was a huge shock to the system. You think about all the times growing up you listened to their records (or cassette tapes) alone in your bedroom, or at sleepovers with your friends…And then suddenly you’re an adult and you realize they are just human beings who die.

Tom Petty was another one that hit me very, very hard. I’d always loved Tom Petty’s music. It’s the PERFECT summer/road trip music and I can’t tell you how many trips I took with him as the soundtrack. I grew up listening to him and when I was 18 I had the incredible pleasure to see him live at The Gorge.

To this day, it was still one of the very best concerts I’ve ever been to. It’s hard not being sad when I hear the music now. Favorite song? Learning to Fly. Second favorite: Wildflowers. (Gut punch hearing that song now.)

Last year Chris Cornell (I am listening to this song as I write this),committed suicide and I saw the news before most people–I was up at 1am breastfeeding Logan in his dark room, scrolling through Twitter when I saw the news and again, gut punch. Why? Why would someone so talented and so beautiful and successful and just so amazing…end it all?

That brings me to the latest:

10 years ago I met my now husband, Michael, who was a big foodie and a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain and Alton Brown. I was NOT a foodie. I didn’t cook. I didn’t know. He introduced me to Bourdain’s TV show, No Reservations, and it quickly became one of my all time favorites.

In the beginning what struck me about Bourdain was his breathe-taking beautiful prose and narration on his show. He was a poet. I was stunned at how beautiful and descriptive his writing was. So I had to read his books, of course. Kitchen Confidential was a pretty good book–it’s the one everyone is talking about now, but I enjoyed Medium Raw better. Read it!

One of my favorite episodes of his show was the Thailand one. (From Parts Unknown)

Waking up to the horrible news that he died in France, and was found by Eric Ripert (another one of my favorite chefs). Part of me was sad for Eric because he seems like such a sweet and gentle person; then the other part of me was glad it was one of Bourdain’s closest friends who was there. I cannot even imagine the pain the people closest to him are feeling.

I spent Friday in shock, like a lot of people. Michael was devastated. It’s hard to put into words how you feel about someone you’ve never met dying but I think a lot of people felt the loss immediately.

Suicide is such a hard thing, too. You are always left with questions. Why? Why? I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety most of my life and I know what that darkness feels like. It’s easy to get stuck, get settled in, and it’s hard to see a way out.

Bourdain was a very vocal and very loud supporter of the #MeToo movement. He had class and dignity, even when he was ripping someone a new one–which was really entertaining. He was smart and funny and interesting and he showed us all interesting places in the world. Some of my very favorite parts of the show were when he was in a far away country, eating a meal made by someone’s grandma–not the four star restaurant, just someone’s kitchen. He wasn’t stodgy or snobby about food and he came across as down to earth on the show–and that made it accessible to all of the viewers.

So in honor of Anthony Bourdain, our favorite chef and author, who loved tube-shaped meat and got it in almost every city he traveled, ;), we had some tube-shaped meat for dinner Friday night.

Cheers, Anthony, you will be missed by millions.