Portland

I have lived my entire life on the West Coast (34 years) and until now had not traveled to the PNW….crazy right?  My girlfriends and I decided to start a yearly girls trip and Portland was the city we chose to kick it off.  We absolutely fell in love with it!  The food, the weather, the beer, the people, the scenery, the prices (we are used to bay area prices!)!  We were there for 4 days and that was enough time to explore the city and even take a short drive outside the city to see Multnomah Falls.  We stayed at an airbnb in SE Portland, super cute area!  We did not need a car, though we did use Uber several times and another app called GetAround to rent a car to take to the falls.  I did not take public transportation at all but I heard it’s a great way to get around Portland.  If you do decide to rent or bring a car parking was not a problem in our area.  Here is a copy of our Portland Itinerary:

Friday

-Check in to airbnb

-We’ll be hungry so lets eat.  Cheaper suggestions via Jenn’s g doc are La Bonita, *Lardo, Luc Lac, Bollywood theater, Tachos at Florida Room

-Late lunch/early dinner at Fathead Brewery

brew cycle tour at 6!  Check out breweries or cycle brew tour https://www.brewgrouppdx.com This was a fun way to start off trip

Breweries and tap rooms in our neighborhood in order of proximity:

-Hedge House http://www.lompocbrewing.com/hedge-house/

-Imperial Bottle shop and tap room http://imperialbottleshop.com

McMenamins Baghdad Theater http://www.mcmenamins.com (this place looks cool!)

Bridgeport on Hawthorn http://www.bridgeportbrew.com/home

Apex 12th and division http://www.apexbar.com

-Hopworks http://hopworksbeer.com

Basecamp

-Nightcap Pix Patisserie amazing carmel latte!

p/u donuts at Voodoo for bfast tomorrow 1501 N.E. Davis St (NOT the downtown original one, line way too long)

Saturday

-Farmers Market http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org (Cafe Au Play is closest to our place)

-Breakfast at Jam on Hawthorne

-Powell books, walk around downtown

– Slam to breweries

– common brewing – basecamp – ex novo

– Snacks at 28th and SE Division Food Carts HIGHLY recommend a bowl at Happa Ramen and waffle from Smaaken Waffle cart (be still my Dutch heart!)

-Hit up more breweries, Imperial within walking and more

– 10pm dinner at Ava Gene’s

Multnomah Whiskey Library http://www.mwlpdx.com (looks like reservation or “hall pass” as they call it would be smart)

Sunday

Multomah Falls Day

(Maybe early bfast at Screen Door – line can be long)

-Pick up GetAround car

-Find a Stumptown?

-Drive to Falls

-HIKE to the top

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-Look for a stop along the way or maybe pack snacks from Farmers market trip to bring with us

-Home, chill, Shower

LARDO for dinner (dirty fries, just do it)

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-In the patio area of Lardo there is a food cart called Hunny Milk.  Go there and get an ice cream, amazing.  Pictured here is their “French Kiss” which is creme brulee ice cream with sugar chards and lavendar macaroons.

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-more cocktails

-Show at Mississippi Lounge

Monday

Pine State Biscuits for breakfast before heading to airport

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-depart 2:20

The itinerary was not followed exact but the restaurants and places in bold are places we did go and loved.  Portland proved to be a wonderful place for a weekend get away.  I love you Portland and I will be back!

 

Happy New Year!

Happy 2015!  Wow, it has been WAY too long since I’ve blogged.  Since July I have made all kinds of delicious foods that I’ve failed to post, probably because I was too interested in consuming the foods soon after cooking or baking….so as many people after the holidays, I need to lose some LBs.  Now, just because I’m “watching it” does not mean I will sacrifice my taste buds, no no no.  Any fad “diet” (ie paleo, gluten free, juice cleanses, etc) are against my religion (my religion is love and happiness).  For me, it’s everything in moderation and I really need to emphasize on the moderation!  You will be seeing less baking posts because that has been my problem area.  Any who, here’s a recap of all my food happenings July – December!

So what have I been up to since July…..well, to start we had our annual McVicker camping trip in July.  This year we decided on Fort Bragg and it was so beautiful and amazing!  I highly recommend camping at Mackerrichter State Park!  An added plus, someone caught some fresh fish and decided to leave it hanging on our campsite…score!  We grilled those suckers up and dug in!  I also made my Campfire Nasi Goreng on this trip.

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Son Devours Fish

Soon after the camping trip my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Sonoma.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  On our way up we stopped in Petaluma for the Lagunitas Brew tour….wow was it worth it.  I mean how could it not be…its delicious Lagunitas beer and it was free!  We stayed at the Old Crocker Inn in Cloverdale, hit up some wineries off Dry Creek Road, and stopped at our favorite little restaurant in Geyeserville called Diavola Salumeria.

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Once we got back from Sonoma the kids started school so that consumed much of my time which is part of the reason I haven’t posted in a while.

In November we did manage to get in a pretty kick ass rijastaffel (Dutch Indonesian feast).  We BBQ’d satay, made nasi goreng, kroepoek, cucumber salad….it was amazing!  And of course the people and the company are the most important ingredient 🙂  All the love we put into the food (especially the satay pricking which I did not do but did delegate the task and micromanage lol), the conversations…I just love my family!

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In the beginning of December my Godmother, Mom, and God sisters had a holiday bake day and it was deliciously sinful.  Shots of fernet, too much sugar and carbs, old school Christmas records, it was so fantastic!  This was the first year we did this and I hope we can make it a tradition!

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For Christmas Matt and I hosted our 3rd annual Pho Christmas and I can’t even believe I took NO pictures of the amazingly delicious Pho!  Darn!  However I did snap a pic of my festive white holiday cake topped with candied cranberries and edged with fresh rosemary.

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And finally we have New Years.  We had my cousin and her husband over.  I made classic cheese fondue from a cook book my husbands late grandmother gave me (she used to make fondue every Christmas Eve).  We also had plenty of fernet and champagne!

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Happy 2015!!!

Oma’s Macaroni and Cheese

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Tonight for dinner I made my Oma’s mac and cheese recipe.  Normally when I make mac n’ cheese I start with a rue for the cheese sauce but Oma’s technique is easier and tastes great!  I used a combo of gouda and asiago cheeses but you can get creative and use your own combinations 🙂  Now, I can’t say this is exactly how my Oma makes it, I always have to cook with her to get it right but I went off the directions she texted me.  There are no measurements and very vague directions, but good cooks never measure and good cooks also know how to interpret vague directions 😉

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Ingredients:

1 package macaroni noodles

1 package asiago cheese

1 package gouda cheese

panchetta, cooked

1 cup milk

4 tbsp unsalted butter

3 eggs whisked

1 cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper

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Directions:

-Liberally salt a pot of water and boil.  Once boiling add macaroni and cook according to package directions.  Set cooked pasta aside.

-Add butter to a large pot and melt over medium low heat.

-Once butter is melted add milk and heat until simmering (not boiling)

-Add shredded cheese to milk one handful at a time while whisking it in.

-Once cheese is all melted and incorporated add macaroni and stir together.

-Add eggs and stir.  At this point lower the heat to low.

-Lastly, add pancetta.

Top macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Erwtensoep

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In our family, there is nothing better on a rainy day than a nice, big pot of home made erwtensoep. Commonly referred to as “hot dog soup” by the kids (that’s what Bella calls it and what I called it as a child), it has been a favorite of the Modderman/Maagdenberg family for decades (My maternal side of the family)! I decided to make it last night because I figured for the next few months it’s going to be hotter than Satan’s mouth so this was my last chance for a while!  When my husband got home from work he walked in the house and exclaimed, “It smells amazing, you can smell it all the way outside!”….ya, it’s a family favorite and you will understand once you make it.  Another great thing about this recipe, it’s super in-expensive and it will yield tons of leftovers.  It tastes even better the next day.  Here is our version…

Ingredients:
6 stalks celery, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 smoked ham hocks or 1 large one
generous amount of sea salt
1 bag split peas
handful chopped parsley
pinch nutmeg
pork kielbasa, sliced
black pepper

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Directions:

Drizzle olive oil in large pot over medium flame. Add onion, celery, and leeks and saute for about 3 minutes. Add about 12 cups of water to the pot and a generous handful of sea salt or kosher salt.  Add ham hocks to the water and simmer about 2 hours.

Add the bag of split peas to the water and simmer another hour, stirring occasionally.  Take out the pork shank, shred the meat off and add to the soup. Once it has become a soup like consistency add the chopped parsley, a pinch of nutmeg, and black pepper to your liking.

Finally, slice the kielbasa and add to soup only moments before you are going to eat it.

You can serve this over rice if you like, but it is fantastic all on it’s own! Smakelijk eten!

 

Dutch Mocha Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

4 eggs, room temp

4 egg yolks, room temp

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mocha buttercream frosting ingredients (its ALL about the frosting in these cupcakes):

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

1/2 cup powder sugar

1 tablespoon coffee syrup (mix 1 cup strong coffee with 2 heaping tbsp organic cane sugar, simmer until it reduces to 2 tbsp and has a syrup consistency)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the cupcakes:

Whip together eggs, yolks, sugar, and vanilla on high speed for about 10 minutes.  Mixture should triple in size and be a light yellow color.  Sift flour.  Fold sifted flour into the batter.  Line a cupcake pan with cupcake tins and pour batter about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

Directions for the frosting:

Whip together butter, powdered sugar, coffee syrup and vanilla extract on high for about 5 minutes.  Slow down mixer speed and add heavy cream.  Continue whipping a few minutes, adding more coffee and/or powder sugar to your liking.

Once cupcakes have cooled, frost the cupcakes.  If you like, you can top them with chocolate muisjes (which is what I did, yum!)  Enjoy with a strong cup of coffee and good company!

**This recipe was adapted from http://www.thedutchtable.com