Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Portland is an awesome place to live. It’s like the land of beer and vino, with a lot of funky, slow driving, alternative lifestyle loving, vulgar doughnut eating, striped sock wearing people thrown in the mix. There are more food and bar establishments here (not to mention strip clubs) than you can ever possibly visit. Most of the big names in music make a pit stop here, and of course if you want to be disappointed you can always catch a Blazers game. I mean, where else can you drink a pint and play Dr. Mario Brothers or BurgerTime?

But all this awesomeness doesn’t come for free. Portland seems to have a knack for attracting tons of mid-20’s/ 30-something’s that all arrive without jobs. This means that those of us already here have an ever growing amount of competition. And while it used to be the cheapest city of the west coast to live, and perhaps still is, it’s quickly growing up. Though it’s not on par with San Francisco yet, it’s trying its damnedest to get there. So while it’s truly a fantastic city with a wonderful climate and superb amenities, the hubs and I have decided to move it on down the line.

So where are we bound? To a city both of use said we’d never move to. Dallas. Texas. The Big D. Did you know it’s been over a 100 degrees there lately? Did you know my husband practically melts in the heat? Yeah, it’s gonna be interesting! My sister pretty much sealed our fate when she moved there in February. Plus the job market is supposedly not quite the ferocious beast it is here, but we’ll be the judge of that I guess.

So having said all that, the posting here will be a bit sparse over the next few weeks as we pack and clean and load and drive and drive and drive and unload and unpack and etc, etc. But I’ll leave you now with a tasty little summer treat, and hopefully there will be some cookies up here before we begin our trek across country.

Almond Amaretto Ice Cream

  • 6oz extra-firm silken tofu
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat is better than light)
  • 3/4 C organic sugar
  • 1 t almond extract
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 5 T Amaretto liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 C sugared or candied almonds, roughly chopped

Puree the tofu in a blender with just enough milk to help it along. Once it’s completely smooth, add the rest of the ingredients, except the nuts, and puree again. Place it in the fridge for a bit to cool back down.

Now regarding those nuts, they’ll get all soggy and mushy if you just place them straight into the ice cream without doing anything to them, and nobody wants soggy nuts do they? The best way to avoid this is to candy them, but that typically involves egg whites and we obviously don’t do that here. You can sugar them however, and that’s super easy to do.

Generally you do not chop nuts before sugaring and toasting but if you chop them after you’ll break the barrier you just created and all will be for not. So, roughly chop the almonds. Bring a solution of equal parts sugar and water to boil (also known as simple syrup). Toss the nuts in the boiling simple syrup and stir them around for about 15 seconds. Now drain them, reserving the simple syrup if you like for another use, and spread them out on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a Silpat. Toast the nuts in a 350 degree oven until they’re no longer sticky. And since you can’t tell if they’re sticky while they’re still hot, pull an almond out of the oven and set it on the counter for a minute and then test. If it’s not sticky and has a good crunch, you’re done!

So when you’re ready, spin your ice cream in your ice cream maker. Add the cooled almonds towards the end of the spinning process, or fold them in after it’s spun. Cover tightly and freeze for several hours to allow it to setup completely.

Well I guess I’ll see you on the other side, but hopefully before. If you live or have lived in Dallas and have some vegan tips for me (i.e. restaurants) please share!


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Don’t forget to go get your sweet tooth fix today! Bakesale for Japan is happening at Barista on NW 13th and Ristretto Roasters on N Williams. Bakers from all over Portland have donated their time, sugar and flour to help raise money, so get over there between 10am and 2pm today!

My cupcakes will be at Barista. The snickerdoodles are quite pretty but the others aren’t nearly as cute as I had hoped, but they still taste fantastic! And they’re VEGAN! (of course, I wouldn’t know what to do with an egg if I had one).


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Next Saturday, April 2nd, at Ristretto Roasters on N Williams and Barista on NW 13th there will be a bake sale to help the people of Japan. It’s not limited to professional bakers so all of you who piddle around with yummy goodies at home (like me) can contribute!! More information can be found at Portland Food and Drink. What will you make???

Email pdxbakesale@gmail.com to sign up! And if you can’t bake you can always buy!

Here’s the direct website for Bakesale for Japan.

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Last Saturday we went to Widmer’s Oktoberfest here in Portland.  My only qualm with the event was that they were only serving Widmer beer, but that’s to be expected I guess.  Not that I don’t like their beer, I do, I just like a little variety.  And maybe an actual German beer since it’s, um, Oktoberfest.

It was a lot of fun nevertheless.  We got there a little after 4pm, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea as I was, well, a bit sloshed by the time we went home.  But it’s Oktoberfest so what the hell.  We heard an awesome band while we were there.  Sassparilla played an energetic, entertaining and foot stomping good set of music.  Even the beer and the lemon decided to dance.

We bought one of Sassparilla’s CDs and, while we like it, we think they’re better live.  Hopefully they do a live album in the near future (hint, hint).

A couple hours after we got there some of our friends finally showed up.  You’d think we’d learn to come to these a little later so we won’t have had too many beers by the time the rest of the gang shows up, but we don’t!  =)

All in all it was a lot of fun and we’ll probably be back next year.  If you missed Widmer’s Oktoberfest don’t fret!  There are several more Oktoberfests in the Pacific NW.  I started googling them this morning and there seemed to be no end to the amount of them so I’ll just list a few for you.

So happy beer drinking and schnitzel eating!!

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So I’ve been a little lazy about blogging lately.  I have a cupcake recipe I’ve been meaning to post for awhile but, alas, I’m still feeling lazy (so maybe tomorrow or sometime next week).

Though I’ve been totally neglecting my blog, I have been busy doing other things, like wedding planning.  The preparations are coming along nicely and right now almost all the big things are taken care of.  We even found a photographer that isn’t causing us to crack open our piggy bank.

A good friend of mine recommended Ruthie Briggs, a new and blossoming photographer in Vancouver, WA.  Of course you don’t want to take a chance on wedding photos because, lets face it, after all the cake tastings, dress trying on, venue shopping, catering planning and invite sending, the photos are the one thing that will be seen long after everything else is said and done.  This is exactly why wedding photographers get away with charging thousands of dollars.  But we aren’t paying thousands of dollars, and we don’t feel we’re taking any chance at all by going with a photographer that’s semi-new to the business.  In fact, we did our engagement photo session with Ruthie yesterday and couldn’t be more pleased with the results.  You can check our photos out here, as well as peruse the rest of her work.  While you’re there, feel free to leave a comment on our posting and help us get a free 11 X 14 photo (yep a free print on top of her spectacular rates).

If you live in the Portland/ Vancouver area and need a photographer, you can reach Ruthie at beautifulrainydays@yahoo.com or (360) 903-4508.

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One in eight women are or will become diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.  Being that there are a lot of women running around out there, myself included, it’s likely that we all know somebody that has/ had/ or will have breast cancer.  The Portland Race for the Cure event is happening this Sunday, September 20th, down at the Waterfront Park.  If you’re able to walk or run, click here to register.  If you are not able to attend for whatever reason you can still donate and help save a life.  You can even donate on my behalf if you would like by clicking here!! =)

9/22/09 Update: To you who sponsored me, thank you very much for your care and support.  The run went well.  I finished the 5k in just under 26 minutes, which averages out to be about 8.36 minutes per mile.  I run a lot these days but I spend a lot of time at crosswalks and what not, waiting.  Running the straight 3.1 miles without any pauses made me realize I have A LOT of work to do before entering a marathon!  Not to mention 8.36 is a wee bit faster than my typical 10 minute mile.  Time to hit the road!

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This is one of my favorite things in Portland.  =)

It’s been replanted and the flowers were quite cheerful this morning as I ran by them.

You can see the outline of the peace sign on google maps, but go down to the Esplanade and take a gander at the groovy flowers.  They are at the corner of NE Interstate and NE Oregon.

I found an older picture of it online:

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