Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cheese Ball and Culture Contemplations

I always get contemplative in the shower.  This usually means ten extra minutes just thinking, sometimes about my schedule, potential conversations I should have, recipes to try, thoughts on God.  I think of it as Brain Blogging.  If only I could immediately put those thoughts on the page.  Cause as soon as I am out of my self-made steam room, the thoughts vanish… but every now and then there’s ONE that holds on.

I’ve been thinking back to a podcast from years ago on marriage and real life.  The woman spoke of the need that our society has for excitement and newness.  Always looking for the ultimate, or the latest spin on something.  She challenged us to find beauty in the monotony.  To find simple joy and deep pleasure in things we do or make in a typical day: it’s doing it well that counts.  Kind of like a cast iron skillet, used over and over, for the same dish even, but it gets better and better each time. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Freestyle Chili (Good For The Common Cold)

We all knew the common cold was coming with the cold.  It hit Chris last week, and then myself this week.  This has meant, less cooking on my part.  Chris has been my hero with breakfast before work, and a lot of dishes too (what?!)   I’m on day four, you know, the day when you just don’t care how many drugs it takes to clear you out, when all food tastes the same because of your lack of smell, and really you don’t want to make any more decisions than you have to!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010


So many times I have torn out a recipe from a magazine… sometimes ashamedly in secret- like at the gym, or the doctor’s office- something I simply could not live without.  When I’m home, there is the “maybe this week” pile, the “next time we have company” pile, the “when I find extra money to buy these cool ingredients that I’ll only use once” pile… granted, I’m rather organized, but there is still chaos.

Then about every couple weeks (sometimes it’s longer for some of us… no judgment), I go through the piles that have lost their name (see above paragraph).  They get the look over, and few make the cut.  But this one just seemed easy and it was nearing the end of peach season so off I went to the kitchen.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Alyce's Apple Pie with Pat's Crumble Top: MADE WITH OREGON APPLES

This past weekend we bundled up and drove out to “The Fruit Loop” outside of Hood River with new friends.  We’ve found ourselves in Hood River numerous times since moving to Portland- there’s just so much to see and do.  This time our goal was to explore the fruit orchards.  

As the colors have began to change, Chris and I find ourselves reminiscing of Apple Hill off Hwy 50 on the way to Tahoe.  Memories of taking the youth on orchard scavenger hunts, scouting out the best deal for “seconds” for pie baking, tasting fudge, visiting new wineries, admiring the views, and of course sweating- seeing that we usually were up there at the first sight of fall- busting out our new scarfs and boots, but later regretting it because it was still 80 degrees.  Oh Sacramento...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Murphys Bread

Murphys Bread
A Ritter House Hold Favorite
There is a little town called Murphys in Northern California.  It’s north of Sonora, in Calaveras Country (famous for the frog races), off of Hwy 4.  It’s a little “best kept secret” for wine lovers.  Within walking distance, there are a few dozen tasting rooms amidst little antique shops and restaurants.  Surrounding the “downtown,” acres of vineyards, historic homes and rolling hills cover the land.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dining Out: Nostrana on SE Morrison

Nostrana on Urbanspoon

Recommended by several locals, neighborhood papers and magazine clip outs that mom kept sending me.  Nostrana.  When I first saw their website on there was a picture of a giant pig's head- which has somehow changed categories in my head from “ew” to "ah, an appreciation for meat.” 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Waffle Cookies and Scrabble

I've had some ups and down with this whole job search things.  I have been hired by Oregon Health and Science University, but have been waiting a month for them to iron out all the paper work, HR details and back ground checks: Monday holds great anticipation.  So while I’m living on my email, and trying to not distract Chris from studying, I have been doing more cooking.  And surprisingly more baking!  Nothing special, but baking is more scientific than cooking.  It takes more energy, uses more tools, requires more concentration- all things that I typically would not stand for after a long day of work.  Cooking on the other hand lets me explore and be forgivingly creative.