Portland Day 4 + travel to a beach

Right now Jay is laying on the couch on the bottom level of our tugboat house. Today we enjoyed lots of laughs, good food, a gorgeous day on the beach and I’m enjoyed the sounds of the Columbia River with all of the windows open from the second floor of the tughouse.

We had a late brunch at Tasty n sons that was AMAZING! Tasty potatoes, sweet biscuts, French toast and a biscut bfast sandwich with fried chicken.!

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Cannon beach – about 1.5 hours west of Portland

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We drove through the wilderness – winding roads, about 1,600 ft elevation at the highest point and huge trees. Seriously I cannot believe how many and how enormous the trees are in and around Portland. We spent a good chunk of time taking Polaroids at the beach, watching dogs fetch driftwood in the waves and little kids frolic in the icy cold water. We walked up and down the streets near cannon beach enjoying touristy shops and some ice cream. Our ride back into Portland was not as nice we hit lots of traffic and were whiney that we had missed our designated nap hour!

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We also had a late dinner at Beast which was amazing! They have family style seating and only two seatings per night. I’m to sleepy to explain all of the dishes but just know that Jay and I ranked this meal in the top few of all time.
Celery soup:

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Charcuterie plate:

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Quail:

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Beet salad:

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Cheese plate:

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Rhubarb Rosé soup:

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Borscht

If you haven’t already noticed Jay and live for food. It’s not just that we need it to sustain ourselves, it is on our minds all of the time. Good food dictates our lives, we plan our time around meals when we’re free and I’m constantly thinking about what to make next whether I’m at work or school or out with friends. It is so easy to think up an idea of what to make in my head, but actually doing it is another story!

The problem most of the time is the convenience of healthier-than-going-out-to-eat foods. It is hard to plan weekly meals, pack lunch instead of going to a drive-thru, and to actually have the energy to cook at night. Lucky for me, Jay loves cooking too and we take turns making dinners. If I’m working 8a-5p and Jay is working 2p-10p Jay is usually the one who cooks in the morning. When I’m off work earlier, I cook the meal. We make sure to always have a meal ready, so Jay has something good to take for dinner and he isn’t eating dinner at 10p.m. We’ve done really well cooking team so far. Although we aren’t cooking together as much, this weekend meal was a team effort.

Borscht probably has a different meaning for a lot of people, but this version is what my mom made growing up with a few substitutions (like fresh beets from our Farmer’s Market) and some recommendations from my sister.

Borscht

Makes about 8 servings

6-8 beets (or 1-2 cans of beets)

1 big yellow or white onion

1 small container of button mushroms

1/2 a bag of packaged baby honey gold potatoes (or 2-3 smaller yukon gold potatoes)

2 quarts beef broth

1lb beef sirloin (or 1lb of any beef you like, my mom has tried many kinds of beef from roasts to steaks)

sour cream as a garnish

salt & pepper

Prep

Stem and tail the beets, wrap each individually in foil with a splash of oil. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 40-50 minutes. Let cool slightly, rub off skins, slice into 1/4 inch rounds, set aside.

Chop onions and mushrooms into equal, bite-sized pieces, set aside.

If using baby potatoes, half the larger potatoes and leave the smaller ones whole. If using regular sized potatoes, cut in to bite sized cubes, set aside.

Cut beef into bite-sized cubes, seasoned with salt & pepper and set aside.

Cook

Heat a large pot on medium-high heat, sear beef cubes until browned but not cooked all the way, remove from pot.

Add in onions and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid but are still a little firm.

Put the beef back into the pot with the mushrooms and onions and add both quarts of beef broth and potatoes.

Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add beets and cook to heat through.

Enjoy

Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top, stir it into the soup to get a creamy, and very pink soup. Enjoy!