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Portland, Oregon food blog with many years worth of recipes, restaurant features, and food photos.

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Three Days in Montana: Roadtripping, Eating, and Drinking in Big Sky Country

Three Days in Montana

I think if I had to live somewhere other than Oregon, I could maybe live in Montana. Maybe. And while I would miss the ocean and the desert of my adopted home state, I would cherish the big blue skies and the quirky mountain towns of the Treasure State.

During a roadtrip to our eventual destination of Fargo, North Dakota we spent a few days in Big Sky Country—it’s an incredibly long state to drive through. Missoula in the western region is almost 350 miles from Billings in the east and once you hit Billings, you still have another 247 miles until you finally come to the North Dakota border.

Watch out for rattlesnakes

If you do find yourself roadtripping along interstates 90 and 94, there are a number of Montana communities that are definitely worth your time, here are a few of them.

Three Forks, Montana

This small town between Butte and Bozeman offers a few things—the historic Sacajawea Hotel, where you’ll be offered a glass of bubbly when you check in. There’s a summer farmers market in Three Forks and a quaint main street for strolling after a bison burger (complete with fire roasted . . . → Read More: Three Days in Montana: Roadtripping, Eating, and Drinking in Big Sky Country

Introducing the new cat…Gamera!

Gamera the Tortie Cat

So, this blog has always been occasionally, cat-like, but we’ve recently had a five month break from the pitter-patter of little feline feet after Chelsea and Spencer left us.

Last Sunday, we were out looking for a new TV and I dragged jwa into first a Petco and then the Petsmart to meet a couple of Cat Adoption Team kitties I had been stalking on online. We met Brina, Sophie, and Phillip — all were very sweet. But, then we met Pinterest and it was all over!

Pinterest has now been renamed Gamera! And she has her own theme song.

When she’s not busy fighting monsters in Japan, being featured on MST3K, or being a friend to all children, she is lounging around the house looking pretty damn cute!

Gamera is a four-year old, medium hair tortoiseshell and also polydactyl ( she has six toes on each front paw).

Gamera the Tortie Cat

Gamera the <span style= . . . → Read More: Introducing the new cat…Gamera!

Seattle!

Seattle
Latte at Cafe Campagne

We recently went to Seattle for a long weekend and to see the Picasso Exhibit at the Art Museum. We were also going to try and hit the Battlestar Galactica exhibit at the SciFi Museum but we didn’t make it this trip. Perhaps that’s an excuse to go back before it ends in March?

Anyway, we did go to:

Cafe Campagne
1600 Post Alley at Pine
Seattle, WA 98101

We ate breakfast here on a Sunday morning. Luckily, it was kind of early (10:00 am), so the wait was only about 30 minutes, which gave us some time to walk around the market a bit. The latte here was wonderful and so was my omelette and rosemary raisin brioche toast.

Hotel Max
620 Stewart Street
Seattle, WA 98101

Right downtown and we got a great rate and 1/2 priced parking ($15/day). The hallways are all gray and the doors have blown-up black and white photographs of musicians/album covers/stuff like that on them. The rooms were a little small, but honestly a little bigger than our bedroom at home (we have an old house) so it really didn’t bother me at all!

Pike Place Market
1501 Pike Pl.
Seattle, WA 98101

Fun to walk around…crowded on . . . → Read More: Seattle!

Two Completely Unrelated Sauce-Type Things

enchilada sauce

Here are two accompaniments that I made recently (for different meals), that I really liked but they seemed really short for single posts. So, I bundled them up in one super-unrelated post!

The enchilada sauce I made for, uh, tostadas, which you can see in the title image. Does this make it tostada sauce? Anyway, it was very good. I thought it was a little spicy/harsh after the initial 15 minutes simmering time, so I added a pinch of sugar. I think that helped round it out. I also made the sauce about 5 hours before I needed it, which I think made the sauce perfect by the time I was ready to use it. I recommend doing that, or even making it overnight. It’s really great after the flavors have a chance to meld and stuff.

#1 Easy Enchilada Sauce
Adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse
3 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 tbsp AP flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups chicken stock or broth
10 ounces tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar

enchilada sauce

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. . . . → Read More: Two Completely Unrelated Sauce-Type Things

Why I Cook

title

Yesterday, Michael Ruhlman posed a question on Twitter as to why food bloggers cook. It’s short and bullet-pointed, but this is why I cook.

It’s fun and relaxing (especially if you have a glass or two of wine while cooking).
Otherwise, my husband would eat dry ramen noodles & take-out burritos. (Probably not all the time, but sometimes, yes.)
I love eating.
It’s a creative outlet.
It seems familiar and comforting — I have fond memories of my mother and I watching Julia Child on TV every Saturday afternoon.
It’s healthier. I know what I am eating and how much fat/salt is in there. And, if there is a lot of fat in there, I put it there on purpose. Ha!
The successes are really great feeling. When I baked my first loaf of French bread, (last month!!) even if it wasn’t perfect, it was still recognizable as bread. And it tasted like bread. That was so awesome.

Bonus Question Why I blog about it:

It’s nice being part of an online community of people who are passionate about food and love cooking too. I also just really, really like taking pictures . . . → Read More: Why I Cook