Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Birthday Celebration

This last week I had planned to make Crab Puffs from a couple of recipes that I found online. I'd been jonesing for them lately but didn't want to go to a restaurant and order them when I could just make them at home! Right? Wrong. It was a big fat flop! However, this weekend was my birthday and as such I have a positive experience to share.

My wonderful parents took me out to lunch for my birthday! I chose a dinerant (that's what they call themselves - diner + restaurant) called The Original. (I love diners and diner food - perhaps a little too much. They are so comforting and I love the vintage aesthetic.)* We'd never been before and it was quite lovely. The place is an upscale diner in a mod 50's/60's feel. The whole place was quite chic.

The Original - Portland, OR

It's kind of blurry, but I was trying to snap while walking to the table. I love the wall detail!

Brunch Menu - Soo many yummy choices!
I decided to try something new and ordered the Elvis Sighting. Which was french toast with bacon, banana mousse & peanut butter sauce (I'm a sucker for Peanut butter!). It was sooo delicious! I took out the bacon and had that on the side because I don't like to mix the two. I don't dip my bacon in my syrup either.

French toast AND Peanut butter sauce!
My mom ordered biscuits & gravy and my dad and sister both ordered the steak & eggs. All of the food looked so scrumptious. I tasted the hash browns and the steak from my sister and I gotta say, it was almost as good as mine.
I also requested that we try something else new to us all - Poutine. I'd heard of it and all it's glory, but I'd never partaken. That has changed and I am so glad! (I know it's a weird appetizer for brunch, but we're a weird family! ^_^.)

Fries with gravy and cheese curds. SDG (So Darn Good)
My parents presented me with my other gift......Julie & Julia. I enjoy this movie immensely and was so happy to get it! After brunch we did some thrift store shopping and headed home! It was a fantastic birthday! I look forward to growing another year wiser (hee hee) and to achieving the goals that I set to accomplish before my next birthday!

**I apparently love parenthesis as well....(who knew?)

My little sister and I

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spice 101

 I recently found this great spice shop in town, Pat's Pantry and met the owners. Let me just say that they are so wonderful! They are soo nice and knowledgeable and they encouraged all of my questions. I’d never been in a spice shop before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s a bright shop with a lot of the spices in clear jars on shelves so that you can see and smell. There are little cards with the name of the spice and information about it. I was able to buy as much or as little as I wanted, which was amazing since I just wanted a little to use for one recipe. And she had some great advice about trying different spices.

Pat weighing and measuring out my spices

I then went to a spice class held there at the shop. It was so neat! There were about 7 people there in a half circle of chairs; I was the youngest and newest (to cooking). There were a couple of vegetarian/vegans looking to spice up their dishes and a couple of people like me just looking for more information about spices. Pat was so open and friendly and she made sure to ask if there was anything specific we’d like her to cover so that she could try to make sure to hit those topics as well. I’m new to this so I was just there to soak up whatever information I could! She started out with some basics and answered any questions we had along the way. I cannot say how impressed I was with the class as a whole. Everyone was super friendly and I ended up talking to Tom for twenty minutes about social media.
I don’t know if I’ve expressed how much I enjoyed the class and the shop in general. I recommend that if anyone is in Astoria they should stop by and I know they are going to add an option to buy online as well!! 
Summer Spice blend we made in class

Different size scoops for le spices!