Monthly Archives: June, 2013

Udon Noodle Salad with Hard Cider Sesame Dressing

Udon Noodle Salad with Hard Cider Sesame DressingBig squishy noodles, I was craving big squishy, satisfying noodles and a use for my Hard Cider Sesame Dressing. It was a good choice. I had a hard time deciding on a noodle but udon was the most available fresh noodle at the store. Fresh noodles have a completely different texture than dried noodles when cooked. They turn out much more tender and fat.

I boiled the noodles according to the directions, using the seasoning packet. Noodles have more flavor when cooked in broth. I was hungry so I didn’t let the noodles cool but combined them with the veg immediately. I liked the way it slightly wilted the greens. Cold noodles are good to though. Continue reading →

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Brew BQ – A Pacific Northwest BBQ Joint

BrewBQMeat, I wanted meat…and alcohol. It had been a very long stressful week. Most of my meals had been vegetarian or veg with token pieces of chicken or seafood. Don’t get me wrong, I like going vegetarian but after a while I need meat, particularly when stressed. So when my coworker suggested dinner out on a Friday night I had two requirements:  alcohol and meat; chicken, fish, seafood, or hamburger need not apply, only chunks of meat carved from a large animal.

Luckily my coworker enjoys meat and drink as well. We spent quite a bit of time trying to think of a place that would fit the bill but not let us overspend or over eat. At least Brew BQ is fairly inexpensive.

Brew BQ is a hole in the wall place next to Flattail Brewery. It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. I’m not sure how to describe the decor, but I’ll go with upscale Southern shack or maybe upscale redneck shack. Lampshades and chandeliers are from pint beer glasses (with various logos) and 22 oz. bottles. There’s an image of the “mud flap girl” made of bottle caps on one wall and across from her there is a matching image of a truck driver (complete with belly and cap) in the same pose. Continue reading →

Hard Cider Sesame Dressing

Hard Cider Sesame DressingThis is a tribute to the Portland Cider Summit going on this weekend. Luckily, it turned out tasty!

It’s nice to see that America’s original beverage is coming into its own. I became a fan a few years ago. My friend and I attended The Oregon Garden Brewfest for a couple years, I even volunteered one year (I recommend either going or volunteering, either way you’ll have a good time), sadly I couldn’t make it this year. The funny thing is I usually spent most of my tickets on cider instead of beer. Oregon brewers tend to ignore lagers and are heavy on IPAs and ales. Good ciders are available though and not just apple cider, there’s pear, cherry, and blackberry. So, when Wandering Angus posted on Facebook that the Cider Summit was going on in Portland again I messaged my friend immediately!

Cider has a range of flavors that differs from sweet to richly fermented. Each cider house has several takes on their idea of cider. Each season makes a difference as well, much like wine. The sweetness of the fruit making a big difference to each year’s pressing.

I don’t know why I decided on this combination but it worked. The sesame brings out the taste of fermented apple. It’s pretty pungent on its own but blends beautifully on a salad. I found the ginger paste at an Asian market. It doesn’t give much ginger flavor to the dressing but it definitely adds something. I have not tried fresh ginger, I think it would be a completely different flavor and might overpower the hard cider. If you can’t find ginger paste, I would use powdered ginger. Continue reading →

Double Rainbow Sorbet

Coconut is one of my favorite flavors. Coconut cream pie, coconut latte, coconut Italian soda, I’m a little coco-nuts! Ha ha! So one day at the co-op I wanted some ice cream but not all the fat and dairy. They have all kinds of frozen treats made with coconut but not that many coconut flavors. It may seem a slight distinction but it makes a taste difference. So the Coconut Sorbet from Double Rainbow really stood out to me.

Double Rainbow Coconut Sorbet (2) Continue reading →

Rosemary Balsamic Dressing

Rosemary Balsamic Dressing

There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray you, love, remember. – William Shakespeare

Rosemary has been on my mind lately. Perhaps it’s Memorial Day that brought it up. Rosemary has long been associated with memory and improving memory and it has a wide range of uses, you can find more information here. There is a quite sadness around rosemary for me, she is so often associated with death that it’s hard to remember her role in other more festive occasions (such as weddings).

There is nothing sad about the taste of rosemary though. Its strong resinous flavor will wake you right up. It’s best to make this dressing a few hours or several days before use so that they herbs can infuse the vinegar and oil. The dressing also makes a great marinade and dip for bread. The salmon in the photo was marinated for about an hour before being grilled and it was awesome.

So, make this tasty dressing today to improve your memory and avoid the plague! Continue reading →

Eggs in a…with a Blanket

There are many names for this dish. So far I’ve heard Eggs in a Cradle, Egg in a Hole, Toad in a Hole (I don’t know where that comes from!), Eggs in a Basket, Hens in a Basket, and, “I didn’t know it had a name.” I think my introduction to this dish came from Moonstruck. Rose is in the kitchen making this when Loretta comes home from her first night with Ronny. I came across the recipe again in a kid’s cookbook, Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters
. I couldn’t remember if I had ever had this dish, so of course I had to fix it right away. The idea of the blanket came from this book as well.

This recipe is simple and infinitely changeable. At its very core you need bread, eggs, and butter; from there you can add anything.

Cut a hole in the bread, butter each side and put in a preheated frying pan over medium heat. Break an egg into the hole (I break it into a small bowl and then pour, it’s easier). Flip the bread once the white is set (as you would with a fried egg).

101_4375 Continue reading →