Photo Friday! {Portland Recap}

I know this should have been posted last week, but I honestly forgot all about it.

Portland-bike_sign

We saw this sign and a lot (but not all of them had that koala sticker on the head). I think they should post these signs in San Francisco, too.

Portland-moonstruck_chocolate_company

One of the first places we went to was Moonstruck Chocolate Company. Their chocolates were good, but some were just too sweet to want more.

Portland-Stumptown_coffee

Speaking of chocolate, we went to Stumptown Coffee, where we tried this hot chocolate, and of course, their coffee. It was as good as the small local (in SF) coffee shops such as Blue Bottle or Four Barrel.

Portland-Roscoes

We also went to Roscoe’s, and tried the stouts they had on tap that week. Mike got the taster pictured, and I got the double chocolate. (Yes, more chocolate. Note: this was not all in one day.)

Portland-Kenny&Zukes It was Purim while we were in Portland, so eating a hamentashen was required. (Though we probably would’ve gotten one anyway.) This was from Kenny and Zuke’s Deli. We also ate their matzo ball soup and latkes; all was good.Portland-songbird_cafeIf you are following my Facebook feed, you might have seen this picture already. It is of the tea I got at breakfast at Songbird Cafe one day. I liked the way the tea bag was floating in the mug; so pretty! Other Portland places of note that we went to: (a list can be found on my Foursquare)

And…that’s all for my Portland recap! It was really a fun trip and I can’t wait to go back!

Photo Friday!

I have finally recovered from our lovely Valentine’s celebration, so I bring you this Photo Friday! post on Sunday. There are some more nature pictures; these are from our Buena Vista park hike last week and there are some photos from our trip up North, to Healdsburg, CA.

P1000385 P1000386 P1000387 P1000388 P1000392 P1000393 P1000398 P1000399 P1000400 P1000401 P1000406 P1000408 P1000410 P1000415 P1000418From top to bottom: various views and flowers and plants seen along the paths of Buena Vista park in San Francisco. That log says, “We were raised to see life as fun…take it if you can.” Can anyone help me identify any of those flowers? I would greatly appreciate your guesses in the comments! Following the park pictures: black cod, crab cake (from Willi’s Seafood, Healdsburg) and a spinning dessert display at the bakery we went to for brunch (I believe it was called Downtown Bakery & Cafe).

We had a fun Valentine’s celebration, and hope you did, too!  We’re going to be in Portland next week (Thursday-Monday) and I will post stuff after then. In the meantime, you can follow me on Facebook to stalk us see where we are/were and pictures. Have a good week!

What I’m Reading Wednesday

This week I do not have much to share because I have been reading articles about things for school research and not reading so many “for fun” things.

But here’s what I have read in my spare time that I enjoyed:

For starters, I think it is important to know where the letters come from.

I mean, how are you supposed to read anything before knowing that? :)

P.S. Did you know that Count from Sesame Street died recently? Ah, AH, ah. (That would be so much better if read out loud in your best Count voice, trust me.)

Now that we’ve moved on past the basics of letters and numbers, let’s get real.

I am sure you have all heard of “pop-up” restaurants like my favorite Rice Paper Scissors. And, you may have read my posts that mention the Underground Market, but have you heard of a pop-up restaurant that is literally underground?

Now that we are all on the same page about these restaurants, what they know about you.

That’s all the reading I’ve been able to do lately. I hope that’s enough to tide you over ’til next week! If not, I am working on editing my photos, and there will definitely be a post on Friday, and hopefully some more over the next few days.

Photo Friday! {Plus Foodie Pen Pal Reveal}

This week is another “just testing my camera” week because I am dopey and forgot to bring it to the restaurant we went to for dinner last night. Also, since I am writing this right before leaving for the airport, I have not edited any of these. This will truly be a test to see the quality of pictures my camera gives me. Forgive me for the blurriness in advance, won’t you? Next week should be chock-full of great (edited) photos from this weekend because I am going away to New York for Labor Day weekend!

Spaghetti and shrimp and peas for dinner this week. Easy and fast dinner I recommend you make for dinner one night.

I’ll give you one guess what I used these ingredients for. Hint: the title of these treats is on the blue box.

Found a leaf in my hot chocolate at Four Barrel this morning. So pretty!

Wait! Did you say hot chocolate? I don’t see that on the menu. That’s what you are thinking, right?  Well, I know about the “secret menu”. They make their hot chocolate with Dandelion Chocolate, who, by the way, have a new bar! Now you know!


Lastly, it is Foodie Pen Pal reveal time! I got all sorts of goodies this time. According to my pen pal this month, Sandra, they are all locally made. In case you can’t tell what it is I got, it is Tim’s Potato Chips, Annie’s Homegrown Macaroni and Cheese, Moonstruck Milk Chocolate, Propeller Chocolate chip Energy bar Mix, and Cary’s English Toffee. All good things.

Hope you have a great Labor Day weekend and extra day off of work!

What I Am Reading Wednesday

Okay, so I’ve been away for a week. BUT, I do have a lot to share with what I’ve been reading and what I hope to share in the next few weeks!

So, what I’ve been reading:

I think this is great and that supermarkets should be allowed to do this in the U.S., too. I don’t know why farmers would want to hide what they are doing, if they are doing nothing wrong. :)

Speaking of doing nothing wrong, these Americans have been helping out their community.

And, if you are as much of a fan of This American Life & Ira Glass as I am, you would enjoy reading this.

I felt like this article was written just for me; it was just the advice I was looking for. And on a related note: this advice.

Since this is a food blog, I guess, really, I should be posting about food articles I’ve enjoyed recently. Like this one, about what the world eats.

Or, how about this one? For all of you pie-lovers out there. By the way, just a little survey: cake or pie? (Answer in the comments!)

For a more savory treat, (though you could make pie crust with lard) an article about lard making a comeback.

And, since it was recently what would have been Julia Child‘s 100th birthday, let’s all learn to eat the way that she did!

Lastly, great tips on getting your mojo back in the kitchen.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading. As I’ve said before, I have been working on some recipes I’d like to share soon, including some good ol’ American corn. I’ve also been making some things with coffee, and have another foodie pen pal box to pick up from the post office! Of course, I have some test photos I took with my new camera that I’ll share on Friday! Lots of posts coming soon(ish)!

 

Photo Friday!

After watching the play/musical Sweeny Todd, we decided to make meat pie for dinner! This one included ground lamb, carrots, mushrooms, and fresh corn and a homemade crust. It was good that night, and even better for lunch the next day.

We tasted some Sake at Corkage (in San Francisco). We also ate their fried chicken, duck pate (not shown), oysters, and other yummy stuff. We bought a bottle of our favorite that night, and now we just need a recipe (or two) to eat with it. Anyone have any ideas?

This biscotti recipe was found on David Lebovitz‘s blog recently. I like the texture the cornmeal adds to the biscotti. (More on that later! I know I’ve been saying that a lot, but I really mean sooner rather than later this time!)

And that wraps up another Photo Friday! series. I bought a new camera so I am really looking forward to showing the results in next week’s post!

Touring Around {Chocolate and Ice Cream}

I have been lucky enough to have time to do some touring around. For the first time in my life, I have seen the process of cocoa bean to chocolate bar, via the Dandelion Chocolate factory. I also spent a day touring the city with some friends tasting ice cream from 6 major ice cream shops in the city, trying to decide which has the best.

(photo courtesy of Mike)

First up was the tour of the Dandelion Chocolate factory. They showed us the process from bean to bar and everything in-between.

Next up was the ice cream tour. I organized an ice cream walking tour throughout San Francisco. It took us from Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, to Humphrey Slocombe, to Mitchell’s, to Xanath, to Bi-rite, and finally to Smitten. It was a great way to see the city and to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon!

We started the tour in Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. We were feeling ambitious about the ice cream tasting, so we ordered three flavors, which of course, led to ordering three flavors everywhere else, and tasted some other flavors along the way as well. This sounds like a lot of ice cream, but shared between four people and with all of the walking, by the end of the day, it was really an okay amount.

At Humphrey Slocombe, we tried the Seceret Breakfast, which is a bourbon ice cream with corn flakes, the Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee, and the Tahitian Vanilla.

We tried Mitchell’s Strawberry and Cream, Mexican Chocolate, and Kahlua and Cream. My favorite here was the chocolate, which had just a hint of cinnamon.

Xanath was next, and since they are saffron and vanilla importers, we had to try both the Mexican and Madagascar vanilla and the saffron ice cream. We tried their coffee here, just to be able to compare to the others.

We tried Bi-Rite’s Balsamic Strawberry, Brown Sugar, and Toasted Coconut. All rich and creamy; my favorite here was the Balsamic Strawberry. I was surprised, because I normally do not like balsamic anything, but this just had a hint of it, and really just added acidity to the flavor.

Lastly, was Smitten. Smitten is known for making their ice cream with liquid nitrogen. This leads to a smoother, more dense ice cream with lots of flavor. This also means you can watch them make the ice cream and see fog swirling around. Everyone’s favorite here was the TCHO Chocolate.

The votes are in! My favorite place was Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous, because they had great ice cream and homemade treats such as marshmallows and cookies and brittle that looked delicious, too. The runner up for me would be Bi-Rite, because they have good ice cream, a good variety of flavors, and their ice cream is smooth and creamy and really flavorful. Mike also chose Mr. & Mrs. Miscellaneous and Bi-Rite as the places that stood out to him, but would definitely go back to any of them. Rob chose the chocolate ice cream at Smitten as the best, and said, “Coffee ice cream never seemed appealing enough to get but I liked the ones we tasted.” Michele said that she also liked the chocolate from Smitten, and the Brown Sugar from Bi-Rite. She also said that she likes going to Bi-Rite on a sunny day to sit in [Dolores] park, and Mitchell’s is good for an evening outing (with people from out of town), and definitely has added Mr. and Mrs. to the list as well. Thanks again, to Michele, Rob, and Mike for coming out and spending the day tasting ice cream!