Winter Squash Oatmeal, Yes Please

Spotted at Syrup and Honey.

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Truck Farm

Truck Farm. Showing everyone that gardening is possible in the mostĀ spontaneousĀ of places! Spotted at Re-Nest. A traveling garden, a documentary and a roving CSA delivery service. So clever!!

Tuesday Night

Last night was a parade of new happy hour locations.

First Stop: Serrato. A neighborhood restaurant and bar with a distinctly upper crust feel to it. The Happy Hour has been on our to-do list for awhile because of all the hullabaloo we’ve heard about it. The decor was slightly confused (butterflies painted on the bathroom walls?) and the service left a bit to be desired, but I accept that as a happy hour related normality. Andy had the burger, I had pizza and calamari and our friend Jessica had lamb meatballs and a Caesar salad. The food was good but not breathtaking. However, the red wine on special was very tasty. Recommendable happy hour, especially since there’s no drink minimum. But buy a drink. Try the red.

Second Stop: Saint Cupcake. This Portland establishment provides cupcake-goers with a decent selection of fresh cupcakes in all sorts of flavors and colors. I shared a lemon berry cupcake and a chocolate coffee with Andy. As a non-enthusiast of frosting, I really dug the lemon berry for its light cap of berry icing while Andy devoured the chocolate cupcake that was overpowered by at least 2″ of coffee frosting. Overpowered in a great way. Even I ate some of that frosting. The mini sizes make trying a few flavors hard to resist.

Third Stop: Vault. After trying a being decidedly disappointed by the overly sugary drinks at Bartini in our neighborhood, I was very happy to discover Vault. Our friend Jessica is a big fan of their cocktails and for good reason. Their drink happy hour list is extensive. I started with the French 75, a mix of champagne, gin and lime. Damn. So good. I moved onto a Geisha made with ginger vodka, sake and lime. It was life changing. Then our waitress brought a special Habanero martini. I took one sip of that and just about died it was so spicy. My mouth burned for a solid 10 minutes. Then I took another sip, forgetting myself, and promptly tried to wash it down with my other cocktail. Hilarity ensued. I’ll just say that you should probably order a stiff glass of water if you choose the Habanero. I am very interested in going back to Vault just to keep trying all their happy hour drinks which range from $4-$5. Killer deal and great bartenders.

Fourth Stop: Food Front. Yesterday was the very first delivery of my CSA box so I dragged myself away from the barrage of delicious drinks at Vault and walked over to Food Front Grocery Cooperative to pick up my box. It was pretty big but I waited to open it until I got home. Suffice to say I was a little disappointed. Perhaps it was the fault of the buzz in my head from rich food and alcohol, but the lettuces all looked wilty, the baguette was a little damp from the veggies and the box was really only half-full. There was a bag full of crimini mushrooms that look yummy and a little box of adorable strawberries. I’ll take another look tonight after work. As Andy said, a lot of the reason we are doing this is to support local organic farmers, so I need to put it in perspective. The weather probably isn’t helping this year’s harvest either. I’ll sample some goodies tonight and then pass judgement.

Fifth Stop: Couch. Pajamas and the end of season one of Big Love. Not loving the show, but still very entertained.

Community Supported Agriculture

I had a great score at the farmer’s market on Saturday that turned into dill potato salad and shallot/Parmesan green beans last night. I rarely have time to make interesting side dishes when making dinner so I enjoyed the challenge of making sides. Then we spent the rest of our evening drinking and eating at North 45, a pub around the corner from our apartment, to celebrate the return of our friend Ben from the same Spain program we participated in. As I was gearing up to make the food last night, I was flipping through a local food mag “Mix” and found an advertisement for Hood River Organic’s CSA summer program. After a fair amount of thought to the cost and benefit, I’ve decided to dive right in with a half-share (one box of fruits and veggies every other week) for the summer. We’ll see how it goes. I’m looking forward to the challenge of finding ways for cooking new veggies.