Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chilean Grapes

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Why I haven’t followed more grocery stores’ twitter feeds until recently is crazy to me. If you ever are in need of dinner inspiration, go straight to your favorite grocery establishment’s social media feeds, not the least of which being Whole Foods, New Seasons, Trader Joe’s and Fred Meyer. This brussels sprouts recipe came from Freddy’s, and I’ve recreated this side dish on multiple occasions. Grapes are usually available, but for the more seasonal foods focused people out there, replace the fresh grapes with raisins or even dried cranberries. Want a meat-friendly alternative? Fry up some bacon – a beautifully salty pairing with the sweet grapes and goat cheese. Continue reading

Persimmon, Pomegranate, Celery Salad

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The winter season often leaves me in a rut for colorful, light food, so when I come across something that’s both in season and not heavy on the root vegetables, I’m quite excited to try it.

New Seasons Market is a Portland grocery store that not only has a ton of wonderfully organically and locally grown produce, but they always have super delicious samples to pass out (I promise that’s not the only reason I shop there). Recently I can across this persimmon, pomegranate and celery salad, which completely won me over. Between the sweetness of the persimmons, pomegranate tang and celery crunch, this salad is beautiful as a side dish or a meat dressing. I paired it with a peach bourbon glazed salmon (which basically is 4 tbsp of Aunt Becky’s Peach Bourbon jam on 2 lbs of salmon steak, baked at 350 for 25-35 min) and quinoa, of which there were absolutely no leftovers to speak of. Continue reading

Creamy Tortellini Soup

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Fall doth arrive, and with it my incredible urge to cook up a storm. While I’ve been remiss in posting frequently the past few months, I promise it’s been for good reason: I’ve been working and cooking hard! As the weather turns to cool, my attention turns from salads to heartwarming soups. This recipe has been on my Pinterest board for many months, and now finally has a chance to shine. Continue reading

Beef Stroganoff

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Stroganoff has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember, and once I went off to college, I had to learn quickly how to make the dish for myself. Yes, many converts were made, and to this day it’s a go-to meal when I could use a pick-me-up or just want something warm, creamy and delicious for dinner. This is a great base recipe, so there’s room to grow and experiment (try adding some curry powder or BBQ seasonings). Continue reading

Pork Meatball Banh Mi

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In Portland, Asian-fusion is its own food group, and while Pok Pok and Koi Fusion are among the city’s highest acclaimed Asian restaurants, Lardo is quickly rising through the ranks. The best Lardo menu item I’ve had thus far is their Pork Meatball Banh Mi, with its sweet, spicy, and pop of freshness flavor, this is a meal I can get behind any time of year. In an effort to limit how many times a week I want to eat out, I made my own Lardo-inspired banh mi, and while it’s not perfect, it’s pretty darn close! Continue reading

Winter has come for the Waterfalls

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I have wanted for years to see frozen waterfalls, and Portland’s early winter finally afforded me the opportunity to see some beauties. The Columbia River Gorge has over 100 waterfalls, and many of them freeze over during the cold snaps. This excursion takes us to the E Columbia River Historic Highway to view Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls, Multnomah Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.

Distance and Difficulty: Total of 3 miles across all the waterfalls, with the longest stretch being 1 mile round trip. Easy.

Elevation Gain: up to 350 feet gain

Directions: From I-84E, take exit 28 at Bridal Veil and turn right onto the Historic Highway. Drive for about 4 miles until you see the Bridal Veil parking lot. After you’ve enjoyed the Falls, head back east on the Historic Highway and stop at the various waterfalls (you’ll see them all the way down). Choose the falls I’ve noted, or go even further down toward Ainsworth to Elowah and McCord Falls, Latourell Falls, or Lancaster Falls.

Tip: I strongly recommend cramp-ons for this kind of a trek. The snow is very packed, so snowshoes aren’t necessary, but regular hiking shoes don’t offer the right amount of traction. I immediately picked up a pair from REI after NOT having cramp-ons and am very excited to test them out.

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An easy, rewarding hike to Elowah Falls

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There’s something special about the first hike of Fall. The air is cooler, filled with the smell of retired leaves and dampness, and the multi-color visual display is heart-warming. I celebrated the new season with a simple hike to the Gorge’s Elowah Falls. This destination is a gem – far from the Multnomah Falls crowds, and simple for the whole family, no matter what age.

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Sriracha Avocado Coleslaw: A New Fan Favorite

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As far as I’m concerned, there are two camps when it comes to coleslaw preferences: mayo-based and vinegar-based. Both have their virtues and vices, though one seems to be missing something from the other. I’m a mayo fan. Always have been, plan to always be, but I find I miss out on the bite of the vinegar sauces, but when I have them, I miss out on the creamy. :-/ What’s a girl to do? How about creamy and bite in one? Thus, the Sriracha Avocado Coleslaw was born. Continue reading

Roasted Corn and Avocado Caprese Salad

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Oh, yeah, summer won’t be over that easily! This salad is very simple to put together and a perfect side dish (or even a full fledged meal).

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1-2 corn husks or 1 can of corn (on the cob is WAY better!)
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • Seasoning – I keep this open-ended, because it can be good with so many different flavorings. I chose a BBQ rub, comprised of chili powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, brown sugar, cayenne and Italian seasonings
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • tomatoes, diced (I prefer cherry tomatoes, but that’s just my bag)
  • Kale leaves
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional meats: salami, cubed chicken, salmon

Directions

Grill up the corn adding butter and seasonings toward the end of its roasting (after about 10 minutes). If it’s not grilling season, it’s just as easy to do this on a stove top, it just tastes better when it’s off the cob. Mix in with avocado, tomatoes, and any other toppings you’d like. I found that the butter coated the whole dish nicely and didn’t require any additional dressing, though I would recommend a squeeze of fresh lime over the whole thing. Enjoy!