Genie’s Cafe

Weekend of Celebrating

The celebrating started Friday when I picked Logan up from daycare. He made me a Mother’s Day present at daycare! Footprint butterfly and a handprint on the bottom. 🙂

On Saturday we went to a friend’s house for a little surprise birthday dinner for another friend. My friend Star and her boyfriend Larry made a feast! They made marinated chicken and veggie kebobs and grilled them up. There was also rice (I skipped that to save my carbs for dessert!). I made a spinach, kale and chard salad topped with carrots, strawberries and feta cheese.

Yummy dinner!

Star made our friend Samantha a gorgeous Polish cake.

How beautiful is that cake? So pretty. It was really delicious, sort of like shortbread with custard and whipped cream. Logan ate some rice, chicken and strawberries and he LOVED the whipped cream. 😉

Here is the recipe:

Kremowka Papieska "Papal Cream Cake

Category: baby, BBQ, birthday, breakfast, Breakfast, Brunch, calories, carbs, cheat day, Chicken, Comfort Food, Cooking, Cravings, Dessert, Dinner, Dinner Party, Eating out, Eating the Moment, Family, fitness, food, food mistakes, Food update, Friends, Holidays, light carb, limiting calories, low carb, Memories, Michael, Portland, Portland Restaurants, recipes, Restaurants, Review, swimming, Weekend Update, weight loss



  • 8 ounces butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • A pinch of salt
  • Custard cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks


  1. Grease well 2 8- or 9-inch baking pans / tins: coat with bread crumbs and set aside.
  2. Cake mixture:
  3. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender.
  4. Beat the egg yolks into the water: mix into the flour. Mix well.
  5. Divide in halves and spread/press each half to completely cover the bottom of one of the baking pans.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes in a medium-low oven (325F / 160C): remove and let cool. Remove from pans when cooled.
  7. Cream:
  8. Scald the milk and vanilla. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, salt, and egg yolks. Stir until very well blended (ideally, whisk to make sure there are no lumps). Add milk gradually. Cook over low flame, stirring constantly, being careful to scrape bottom of pan.
  9. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 3 minutes, still stirring constantly. When finished cooking, remove from heat and pour cream into a bowl; allow to cool, stirring occasionally until cold.
  10. When the custard cream is cold:
  11. Whether you're using puff pastry or cake, spread the custard cream thickly over the bottom layer. (If the custard is at all runny, put one baked layer back into a baking pan of the appropriate size and then do the spreading.) Then top with the second baked layer.
  12. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Cut and serve (possibly with thick whipped cream on top, if you like). A note about cutting: This is where calling this dessert a "cake" comes slightly into question, as it doesn't handle like a cake at all: the thick pastry cream center makes that impossible. The kremówka will always squish down somewhat when you slice it. However, it tastes so good that no one's going to care...

The cake wasn’t overly sweet. It looks like it would be really sweet and rich but it was light and summery.

It was such a nice night! We had a great time and it was so lovely spending some time with friends.

On Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day by going out to breakfast. (But first Logan woke me up in the cutest way…I was still asleep and then all of a sudden Michael said “Wake up mommy! Happy Mother’s Day!” and I open my eyes and see a big goofy grin on Logan’s face and then he giggled and laughed and crawled all over me. It was probably the best moment of the day!)

We went to Genie’s Cafe. We got there early enough that we got a table immediately! That is unheard of in Portland!

I got a complimentary Mimosa for Mother’s Day and a delicious mug of coffee (much needed). It was a busy morning but we got our food pretty quickly. I’ve been craving French Toast for about a month and kept putting it off. I decided to save it for my cheat meal for Mother’s Day.

The French Toast was perfect and delicious and really satisfied my craving. The one downside to cutting out carbs is that when you finally do eat a bunch of them, they sit like a rock and make me really sleepy. I just don’t like the way I feel after eating heavy carbs now. 🙁

Michael got the caprese hash and said it was really good:

Logan had a bunch of my French Toast and he loved it. 🙂 First time having it and first time having maple syrup. He’s a fan. Logan got me a gift (a new heart rate monitor–will review it soon!) and a card, which was very sweet.

After breakfast, Logan took a nap and I went swimming. It felt wonderful. Then we all ran some errands and went for a walk in between the rain showers. For dinner Michael picked up Pad Thai to continue my carb cheat day. It really hit the spot. Pad Thai is something else I’ve been craving for a long time!

It was a really lovely Mother’s Day and I was glad I got to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people!

As for the diet: I am going to reign it in today and tomorrow and try and really cut the carbs and weigh in Wednesday. Although I’m not looking forward to it!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

Girls Gone Wild

It was such a gorgeous day out! Sunny, a crisp, cool breeze that kept the chill in the air, but sun that made most Portlanders drunk with the desire to wear shorts. Yep, in the Pacific Northwest when there’s a tad burst of sunshine and warmer temperatures smack-dab in the middle of “I Am So Depressed By This Rain” Winter, we go nuts. We have BBQS! (We went to one Thursday.) We sit outside at restaurants even though the wind is icy cold! We wear shorts and sandals! Oh yeah!

Since it had been so nice for several days, I was just as drunk on the sunshine. I picked up my oldest and dearest friend Rachel–we’ve been friends since I was 15–at the train station downtown. She’d packed a backpack and came down from Seattle for a Girl’s Weekend.

She hadn’t had lunch on the train, so the first stop was to somewhere we could share a snack and catch up. We went to Papa Haydn’s and sat outside on their patio. The sunny day was gorgeous, but a tad chilly so we were bundled up. 🙂

We split a happy hour order of the Swiss fondue. It came with slices of Granny Smith Apples and crusty French bread. It was a cute presentation. The snack hit the spot. I enjoyed a tall glass of iced tea and Rachel had a glass of their happy hour red. We spent a few hours just chilling and catching up on things. It was so much FUN not to have a schedule or a plan or somewhere I had to be ASAP. I don’t clear my schedule nearly enough.

I brought Rachel back to the house and we played games for the rest of the night. We had the house to ourselves to enjoy some wine, gab as much as we wanted and laugh as loud as we could. I made us dinner–Garlic and Soy Chicken with steamed veggies.

Even though the title is “Girls Gone Wild,” we were fairly tame this time around. I had a few glasses of wine and called that good. Getting up early the next day with a hangover just didn’t appeal to me. I LOVED the games “In a Pickle” that Rachel brought down. It’s a good 2-person game. We also played Sequence (my game). I hadn’t played it before this weekend and it was another great game.

The next morning, I skipped the gym and the three of us went out to breakfast together. The plan was to go to Broder, but we got there and the line was out the door and halfway down the block. Off to plan B – Genie’s Cafe. Genie’s Cafe is a great place for breakfast and if you haven’t been recently, give it another try. They’ve expanded and there’s tons of tables now. There was only a 5 minute wait for us to get seated, which was perfect.

I happily drank my coffee and ate my Southwestern Scramble with Potatoes Obrien. I ate about half of the breakfast and took the rest home for later.  (No idea if it will survive a reheat, but only one way to find out.)

After breakfast, we ditched Michael (sorry babes) and went off on our Girl’s Weekend Extravaganza. It was a rainy day and we only had a few more hours to spend before I had to drop Rachel off at the train station, so we went over to SE Hawthorne to shop.

We hit a bunch of vintage stores and had a great time exploring the awesome junk treasures. There was a great second hand store that had some furniture that I was dying to buy–totally retro and tacky a’la Mad Men–and another place that had some fun little jewelry finds!

Here are just a few photos of our shopping day:

After shopping, no we didn’t buy any of those TOTALLY BITCHIN’ SHOES, we stopped at Chez Joly for a quick lunch before Rachel’s train ride back to Seattle. We decided to split the turkey sandwich, which was the perfect portion after the big breakfast. The sandwich was on crunchy French bread from the Pearl Bakery, with cranberries and goat cheese on the turkey.

I ate half the sandwich and the carrot salad. We spent about an hour chatting and then it was time to drop her off. 🙁 Boo. I wished the weekend wouldn’t end. But it was a nice visit, a nice time laughing and having fun and a nice change to spend money on frivolous things without breaking the bank. Like these finds:

After I dropped Rachel off, I headed to the gym. It’s amazing how quiet and empty the gym is at 4:00pm on a weekend!

QUESTION: When was the last weekend you spent with a good friend? What did you do?