Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rodin's "The Kiss"

Today is our 8th Anniversary.
I left work early to get ready for my night out with Chris. Came home and Chris had reservations for an eclectic restaurant in the SE side near Sellwood, featuring nothing but freshly made Pacific NW organic foods as Gabriel and John (Chef/Owners) would put it: Passion & Soul. Here is a sampling of their menu:

RISOTTO FRITTERS Parmesan and aged cheddar risotto, breaded and deep-fried, served with roasted red pepper dipping sauce

GRILLED LAMB SIRLOIN~rubbed with herbs and hazelnuts, plated on a bed of roasted shallots and pears, sauced in pear coulis

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKE Decadent cocoa sour cream cake made with hazelnut flour and a hint of Frangelico, served warm with vanilla ice cream, topped with housemade caramelized local hazelnuts

If you think this sounds good, check out their Bistro restaurant on my list of links to the upper left of my blog entry.

1st Year Anniversary: Celebrated in a little seaside town: Melbourne beach/Florida with a Spa Package for deux

2nd Year: Went back to the Sundy House & Gardens where we married on October 30, 1999

3rd Year: Celebrated in Miami Beach at a wonderful Seafood restaurant named Joe's Stone Crabs

4th Year: Took a trip to Boston, what a fun trip that was

5th- 7th Year: Who knows! My mind is in a fog. In any case, it's good to at least remember your first years of marriage!

8th Year: A nice quiet dinner at Caprial & John's Bistro Restaurant

To my friends/family on the Eve of my Anniversary

Sunday, October 28, 2007

2 car house hold!

We finally broke down and decided to purchase another car. Since leaving Florida a year and a half ago, we managed to handle our transportation matters by just having one car. So after a much great deal of thought, we decided to get Chris's dream car for his birthday- A beautiful Subaru Forester. Or is it my dream car? Will I still be taking the bus to work? Absolutely without a doubt! With the price of fuel jumping up to over $3 a gallon which is insane, public transportation is still the way to go. So you ask why did we bother getting a second car and going through the trouble of making another car payment and dealing with another monthly insurance payment? So we can have a car for the mountains, for winter ski/snowboard trips perhaps, cross country driving, camping in the summer with friends, and best of all....taking Bear and Lucky to the park on the weekends.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What's for dinner tonight

Tonight's Dinner: Chicken Pho- Traditional Vietnamese noodle soup from Hanoi.
Accoutrements: Bean Sprouts, fresh sprigs of mint, limes, cilantro, thinly sliced white onions, boiled carrots and daikon, a dash of fish sauce, and hoisin sauce (plum sauce)

Will post picture of finished product. If anyone wants a recipe or for me to cook for them, let me know!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Had a glorious day in McMinville with some close friends. The weather cleared up beautifully by the time 3 pm rolled around. With the change in leaves, McMinville had so many colorful trees bursting with bright reds, orange, and yellow. Here is a sample of what we saw down on main street.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Independent flix, books, and of course good food!

Saw a great independent movie last night- "stolen life" all in chinese sub-titles. You can rent it from Netflix. The ending had a sad and fateful twist. Independent movies in all types of sub-titles are the latest craze with Chris and I. Even asian authors like Kazuo Ishiguro and Haruki Murakami completely fascinate me. Their writings and stories often remind me of the surreal artist: Salvador Dali. The book "Wind up Bird Chronicles" will definitely plunge you into a sub-terranean world of mystery, eroticism, and insanity in a pleasureable way, very much like viewing a Dali painting. So as a dedication to asian sub-title movies, and reading japanese novels, Chris and I had a wonderful dinner of steamed pork and tree-ear mushroom shumais tonight. Here is the recipe:

1/2 lb ground pork
2 dried chinese (tree-ear) mushrooms, soaked, then trimmed & chopped fine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh green ginger
2 green onions chopped fine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons potato starch
dash of salt, or to taste
24 gyoza wrappers
Combine all ingredients except for the wrapper, mixing well. Place about a tablespoon of filling on each wrapper, and gather up the sides to form ripples, leaving the center open. Wack the bottom of the dumpling on the counter so that it will stand up.
When all the shu mais are filled, steam in a bamboo steamer for about 5-6 minutes, until cooked. Served with light soy-sauce mixed with chinese chili paste and sprinkle of sugar or sweet rice wine vinegar in the sauce.
Recipe is taken from Aboutfood.com

Monday, October 08, 2007


Of all the places I still want to see, I find myself going back to Kansas where i spent many child-hood summers. So what is Kansas City most famous for?

-The birth place of Hallmark cards

-Amelia Earheart- First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean- born in Kansas

-Former Senator Bob Dole

-The Mid-way & Wheat State

-Kansas has the largest population of wild grouse in North America.
The grouse is commonly called the prairie chicken.

-The world famous fast-food chain of Pizza Hut restaurants opened its first store in Wichita.

-Kansas inventors include Almon Stowger of El Dorado who invented the dial telephone in
1889; William Purvis and Charles Wilson of Goodland who invented the helicopter in 1909; and
Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville who invented the first frozen carbonated drink machine in 1961.

-Chicago got the nickname, but the actual windiest city in the United States is Dodge City,
Kansas, which has an average wind speed of 13.9 mph

-The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum starts and ends with a cyclone and is about a
girl from Kansas named Dorothy Gale.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wedding Bells!

Aside from a dreaded root canal on Saturday which surprisingly went pretty smoothly, I got the news from my parents that David (my bro) is engaged. Who knew that he was even dating anyone. My parents didn't even know he was seeing someone seriously and has never met this young lady. I'm shocked, but very pleased for my brother. I wish him a happy future with his new bride to be whom I was told dated for all of one year and is getting married in 1 month and a half! Wonder what the rush is? Both mom and i are still scratching our heads, I never thought David would ever settle down, but for my folks to receive the news only 2 weeks ago, and the rush to the alter, makes me wonder.....Either way, I'm very happy. Here is a toast for the upcoming nuptials!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mom & Dad, check out more pics from Mexico City!

Ooodles of Noodles

I have a date tonight! Meeting up with a very special guy and having dinner with him tonight downtown. Thinking of just going to Pastini for some simple pasta and kanoodling over a bottle of wine. Since I work in a subterraneon office environment, I do not know how the weather will be once I surface for some fresh air. Hopefully the rain will come some other time so I can take a nice stroll over.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Chris on a 3 week hiatus while I stayed back to earn the bacon! More pictures tomorrow

I was told that food in Mexico is delicious, fresh, spicy, and quite inexpensive. Stop by a local street stand, or a restaurant in the city and the locals will be glad to serve up these delicious delights.
Here is a recipe for Carnitas, one of my favorite things to eat:
As a famous Mexican dish, this simple dish consists of braised pork and can be eaten by itself (and tortillas, a chili sauce) or as the filling in tamales, tacos and burritos (yuk). The pork is first simmered for a long time to make it really soft and then braised in the oven to make it crispy. Since the recipe is very simple and does not involve any chili sauces everyone likes carnitas. You can add the heat on your own as you eat it.
2 (16 ounce) cans chicken broth 1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder 1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro) 1 tablespoon cumin (comino) Corn tortillas 2 bay leaves 1 onion, quartered Chili sauce, such as Pico de gallo, chipotle or whatever you like
Pre-cooking: Cut the pork meat in chunks and discard big pieces of fat, leave some fat as it adds to the flavor. Chop the cilantro if you need to.
Cooking: Set tall frying pan over mid-high heat. Add the pork, cilantro, cumin, onion and broth. If necessary, add water so that the meat is covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3-4 hours or until the meat is very soft and pulls apart easily. Remove the meat and place it in a roasting pan, discarding the onion and broth, break apart the meat in smaller chunks. Bake for about 20 minutes at 450 degrees F, until the meat is brown and crispy.
Heat the tortillas and enjoy, you can serve it with your favorite chili sauce, chopped onions and cilantro.
A pressure cooker really helps here. If you like making dishes like this one often you should consider the pressure cooker. It will cut cooking time to a half hour.
Heating tortillas on a microwave: To heat tortillas you can wrap them in a kitchen towel and put them inside a container. Microwave 15 seconds per tortilla

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Rain drops are falling

With the weather getting cooler, and the rain coming down almost everyday this week, I reach out to my trusty old umbrella. I'm running through our torn up down town to reach my bus stop. (Tri-Met Light Rail is expanding their lines to run North/South here in Portland) For once bus #44 is on time. The windows are all fogged up even the driver can't see out his windshield. Maneuvering through detours and the mad rush of people trying to get home all at the same time can be a little frustrating. Luckily, today's bus driver didn't get all herky jerky on his brakes,and we weren't all packed like sardines as we were yesterday. Got back to the Village and enjoyed the fresh air and smell of wet grass and dirt as I make my way across the bridge, down the side steps and onto the street of where my house is awaiting me. The dogs are happy to see me, c. is not home yet as I set about putting French onion soup in the oven. A simple bowl of hot steaming soup with some nan-indian bread to go along will make the perfect dinner for tonight. Recipe for French Onion Soup:

2 large vidalia or sweet onions- sliced (Julienned style), sauteed with cold pressed virgin olive oil over high heat until semi-cooked state, throw in some Sherry (to taste), 2 cans of chicken broth/ fresh or canned, let the whole soup cook and simmer, (you want to gradually cook off the alcohol content of the Sherry), add fresh or dried Thyme (I just pick a fresh stalk from my garden), lot's of pepper to taste. Simmer until onions are quite well done. Feel free to add some mushrooms (just a different twist). Divide the soup into large cups or bowls, take some old crusty bread, preferrably french bread toasted or croutons, place them on top of soup and put a few slices of swiss, not provolone cheese! on top. Stick soup bowls into 400 degree pre-heated oven and let the cheese melt. For a burnt cheese effect, turn your broiler on and let the swiss cheese bubble, and voila, soup is served!! Take your nan-bread (toasted would be better) and dip wedges into soup and enjoy. You can find nan-bread in any ethnic/asian supermarket or Trader Joes if you live in the West Coast! My trader joes link is on the top of my blog site! Simple gourmet food to end a perfect rainy day in Portland.

Monday, October 01, 2007


The best time of the year! Time to take out those sweaters and shake out the dust. Perfect rainy weather to enjoy a nice steaming cup of hot apple cider with a slice of buttered pumpkin bread, a toast for a good round of cheer for the coming cooler weather ahead.