Tuesday, May 31, 2011
We have been dying to get over to the food carts since coming to Portland a few days ago. Ray had a burger at Olympic Hot Dogs a while back but I wasn't hungry and have been regretting it ever since. I am a weird vegetarian. I love the taste of hot dogs but I won't eat a "real" one. So, the next best thing is a veggie hot dog and when I saw they were Full Sail Brats hand dipped in Pronto Pub Batter, well...that just sweetened the desire for one even more.
The result...a little mustard on my hot corn dog today and it was as good as I hoped! Ray ordered a chili cheese dog with all the toppings including onions and if you wanna see a pic of that dog, go to my Flickr photos.
I love taking pictures of good food and I love that we have the opportunity to experience the best place in the country to not only photograph but to taste all that good food.
Here's to hoping that when you visit Portland this summer, you find what you are hankering for on one of our Portland Food Carts!
Monday, May 30, 2011
Looking for a restaurant that was not only kid friendly but one that had several interesting yet somewhat normal items on the menu was a priority for me. Our family visiting Oregon this past week had planned to spend a few days in Portland and my most favorite thing to do each time we stay at our loft in the Pearl is to try a new place to eat whether we are hosting guests or are on our own.
This time Serratto won first place on my list of restaurants to try. "Reservations for ten please on Sunday at 6pm!" Soft lighting, lighter shades of wood and trimmings with simple yet thought provoking colorful art made this restaurant feel good the second I walked in. It also helped because the first thing you see when walking in is the salad prep area with delicious huge salads on a ledge waiting to be served. Add lots of windows with all of the above, candles on the tables and homemade Mac n Cheese and it almost felt like home. Pizza, seafood, pasta and Blueberry Cheesecake for dessert, to name a few items we tried and decided were delicious, made us smile on our walk back home. Rubbing our bellies and keeping Serrattos on our list of restaurants to most definitely return to, we are already planning what to order when we head back to Portland.
One more full day in Portland then heading back to the inn. So, what's on tap for tomorrow? A food cart lunch of course! Got my eye on a Full Sail Veggie Corn Dog and some Garlic Fries.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I don't even know where to begin to try and explain these photos I have added to this blog. All I can say is that we have one weird and freaky family!
A few generations ago is when it all began. I think I get my sense of humor from my dads side of the family. Sarcasm comes pretty darn easy and the wit...well, let's just say I have been told that I could literally take my "one woman show" on the road. Both sides of my family have been known to be a bit humorous and I remember even as a child laughing so hard at something my papa said that it made my sides ache. One time I got a pack of stickers as a gift and one of them said "Vacancy." The directions said to place it on someones head. So...I did! I put it on my papas head and everyone just looked over at him then at me and began laughing so hard it made me laugh too. I was too young to know what "vacancy" meant but I learned very quickly that making people laugh was fun, cathartic and I felt such a rush when I did it that it was something I wanted to do the rest of my life.
Now let me explain these photos and why they are important to me. The photo with our entire family in it...minus Steven (that's another story), is at our oldest daughter's wedding about 1-1/2 years ago. We can't be normal, it's not in our blood. And yes, there are a few serious photos of us smiling and pretending that we weren't wishing we could cross our eyes or stick out our tongues or poke a finger in someone else's ear. It was a very informal affair in a small church and it was actually quite sweet. Funny story here...my dad actually had the pastor convinced that Sandy's dad had just been released from prison just in time to attend his daughter's wedding. Sandy's dad even played in to it from the get go. He even showed the pastor a tattoo he had on his neck that simply proved he was actually in prison at one time. And no...he never really was. My dad proceeded to even convince the pastor further in to believing that Ray was an alcoholic and that we were all hoping he would be sober at the wedding. The funniest part of this whole story...the pastor requested a private meeting with Sandy and her husband just before the wedding and proceeded to pray with them that God would give her strength to deal with these burdens of stress of two fathers with deep seeded issues. One an ex-con and the other an alcoholic. When she and John exited from this private meeting just before it was time to walk down the isle and she was laughing hysterically, we were all dying to know what happened. So it was told. The story of my father once again telling stories with the innocence of a child explaining the reasoning behind the dead frog in his pocket to his mother. Thanks dad for that fit of laughter and such a precious memory.
The next photo is Ray with our other daughter Sherry and our grand daughter Kaelynne. Ray is always the one to make funny faces and tease the kids. Sher is the one to sleep in photos as she works nights quite often so it's not unusual to find this sweet girl curled up in a ball like a little kitten somewhere in the middle of a party. This time she chose her daddy's shoulder to rest on. And then there's Kaelynne. My only grand daughter and the light of this grandma's life. Always a smile, a kiss, a little pink nail polish on my toes when she's around and always an..."I love you Nana Ebbie!" So, a do-over with my grandkids, a little more fun, a lot more funny and way more time to spend watching them grow and learn and become the next generation of family comedians.
We are expecting all of our children and grandchildren this week. In fact, Justin was just picked up at PDX by Ray and they are on their way to the inn right now. Sandy and her family will arrive either Sunday or Monday and Sher will be here on Tuesday. The inn will be closed to "non-family" guests so we can rock this place with laughter, hilarity, stories, games and cuddling.
Here's to family...can't live without em and we surely can't hide them in the basement...well, not for very long anyways.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
A few weeks ago, we decided that we would like to try Comcast out. We have their internet at our loft in Portland and really like it. So, four boxes were connected to our t.v.'s throughout the inn, the internet hooked up great and we were ready to go.
The phone call to get things rolling actually began in Portland. I didn't know the customer service person I was speaking to was based there but when I mentioned we already had internet in Portland and now we wanted to try it in Albany, he said, "hey...I'm in Portland!" So, that's how it got going. The conversation went from setting up installation dates to food in about 5 seconds. That's how it is with us...you know...people that can always turn a conversation to food no matter how it started. Thus began my quest to try out the restaurants my Comcast customer service guy suggested.
I finally made it to the first restaurant on on my list. My friend Ann and I headed to Portland today for her birthday and I told her I wanted to check out this restaurant our Comcast guy told us about. We headed for the NE district and found Tin Shed. Not much to look at from the outside or the inside for that matter. In fact, it kind of just looks like a tin shed.
The menu was amazing. Finding things like Berry Garcia, Brie A Naughty Girl and Mac of the Day made choosing the perfect evening meal interesting. They even had a small menu for the canines of which I did not see this evening but evidently they are very welcome there.
I chose the Berry Garcia and it was basically a quesadilla filled with black beans, jalapenos, cheese, roasted peppers and cilantro with a thin layer of berry jam spread inside and creme fraiche on the outside. Oh my gosh...so delicious! Ann had the the Mac of the Day made with Cavatapi pasta, in three cheese sauce, baked with crispy bread topping with a little dill and just a few slices of dill pickle. I stole a bite of hers and again...amazing! Forgot to mention that my diet Roy Rogers and Ann's Orange Dreamsicle cocktail was quite tasty too!
For my next visit...I'll bring Ray. He's got to try this place. My choice will probably be the Rosemary's Gravy Baby or maybe the Phyllis Diller or better yet...Sin or the Spike Lee or maybe even Benny Hill or even more better yet...the Tummy Warmer!
So, thanks Comcast guy and I am so looking forward to tasting the other places you recommended too!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Making crepes is probably my most favorite thing to do in the kitchen. It's amazing that a little thin batter could turn in to something so soft, so luscious and so delicious. These crepes absolutely melt in your mouth and meld with the flavors of whatever they are filled with. My cinnamon crepes are filled with just a touch of Nutella, fresh berries and then wrapped like a sweet bundle and topped with homemade whip creme. And...if I'm feeling even more artsy, I sprinkle just a tad of powdered sugar or a little shaved chocolate on top for fun.
This Saturday is my first ever "cooking demo" at our local Albany Farmer's Market. I am so excited and nervous but I have made these crepes so many times I should be a pro by now. I never had an audience so...wish me luck.
Enjoy this recipe and enjoy the moment when your crepe falls out of the pan and is perfect and soft and so melt in your mouth delicious!
CINNAMON CREPES: by Debbie Lusk, The Pfeiffer Cottage Inn
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. half and half
1/4 c. whole milk
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt
two large eggs
Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through eggs) in a food processor or blender and process till smooth. Pour batter into a bowl, cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
Heat an 8 inch crepe pan or medium non stick skillet over med-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray, remove pan from heat. Pour about 1/4 c. batter into pan, quickly tilt pan in all directions so batter covers pan with a thin film. Cook 1 minute or until surface of crepe begins to look dry.
Carefully lift edge of crepe with a rubber spatula to test for doneness. Turn crepe over when it can be shaken loose from pan and the underside is lightly browned. Cook crepe 20 seconds on the other side.
Place crepe on a towel and cool. Repeat the procedure until all the batter is used and stack the crepes between single layers of wax paper or paper towels to prevent them from sticking.
I can usually get about a dozen crepes out of this recipe. Roll the left over crepes up and place in wax paper separately then in plastic baggie. They freeze great!
Now it's up to you as to what you want to fill them with. It can be just about anything! I love filling these crepes with warm berries and bananas after spreading a little Nutella on them. So delicious but be creative...you can fill them any way you wish!
Hope to see some of you at market this Saturday. I'll be the one with crepe batter in my hair and Nutella on my face!
info: Albany Farmer's Market is located near the Linn County Courthouse at Broadalbin and 5th Ave. in downtown Albany. Hours are 9am-1pm!