Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dining Out: The Horse Radish, Carton, OR

While we were a bit anti-Pinot upon first moving to Oregon, we are still discovering little wine towns that exceed our expectations.  We spent a lovely Sunday afternoon in Carlton, OR in early September.  Great Pinot Noirs as well as varietals from Southern Oregon that were the topic of conversation all day.  The heat was still present, but the first apples were starting to fall from the trees.

After a few wine tastings we wondered into The Horse Radish (mostly because of it's great name).  A cute little wine and cheese bar turned restaurant.  Most of their offerings came locally from Northwest growers and dairy farms.  What a perfect little hide-away of a deli.  The out-door seating sealed the deal.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quinoa Bean and Veg Salad

Since when does healthy taste so good?!  ALL THE TIME!  You just don't know it till you try it.

This salad looked SO GOOD on The Church Cook that I new I would just have to try it.  The colors looked beautiful.  Kay used red quinoa, and i was in a pinch to cook and run so I used the original white kind.

I don't talk about nutrition a ton on here, but every now that then there's a horn to toot.  Quinoa has been known as a superfood (meaning huge bang for your buck: lots of pros, no cons) for centuries.  Originally and still mainly cultivated in the Andes, the Incans depended on quinoa daily calling it "the mother of all grains."  Technically it's not a grain, it's a seed.  It carries great vitamin power too: magnesium, folate, iron, copper, and phosphorus.  It's gluten free, it has a low glycemic index, it's packed with protein and fiber.  People!  Must I go on?  This stuff is a gift from God!  And so versatile too.  So here's my take on The Church Cook's Quinoa and Black Bean Salad.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Marchesi Vineyards and Winery, Hood River, OR

We stumbled on this little gem about a year ago.  Franco, Italian wine maker with an authentic accent, greeted us with a sampling of salami and bread and poured us our first wine.  We were about to enter little Italy at Marchesi Vineyard and Winery.

When asking of his story of wine making, he encouraged us to take a seat as he poured more wine and began to tell of his childhood in Piedmont and his wine-making grandfather Achille.  Hood River was an easy choice for Franco because of the similarities in soil and climate compared to Northern Italy; it's even a similar latitude actually.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Potato Basil Puree

One small problem.  They were too good.  No one warned me "not to cut the recipe in half."  And there I went trying to whip up a lighter dinner, and Chris looked up from licking his plate with the "what? no left overs?" look on his face.

Insert lesson here: there's never any need to cut Ina Garten's recipes in half... it will be eaten, or you will be glad to have lunch for tomorrow.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dining Out: Double Mountain Brewery, Hood River, OR

Double Mountain Brewery and Taproom on Urbanspoon

Sausage Onion and Mushroom Pizza
Restaurants and movies hold similar policies for me.  I rarely watch the same movie twice... unless 1)  friends really want to watch again, or 2) it was just so great, I end up watching it again and again, quoting its lines each time.

There are so many restaurants out there, and I rarely commit to one.  There's always somewhere new to try!  But every now and again, you find one that beckons you back and there's only one reasonable thing to do.  OBEY.

Double Mountain Brewery was one the first recommendations we got when we moved to Portland.  Then we learned it was an hour away.  Why not make a day out of it?  We didn't know any different.