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A Weekend in Astoria Featuring Tasty Food, Oregon State Parks, and the Voodoo Room

Astoria, Oregon

Continuing my whole summer of laziness theme, here are some photos from our trip at the end of last month to Astoria, Oregon. We stayed at the Commodore Hotel, ate and drank at Buoy Beer and the Blue Scorcher Bakery, went to Fort Stevens State Park, and spent a couple of nights at the Voodoo Room.

An excellent weekend trip, even if the weather didn’t cooperate until the day we left.

Commodore Hotel
Rooms with private and shared bathrooms. We had a deluxe cabin (private bathroom). Pros: Great location, cozy lobby downstairs. Modern, Scandinavian aesthetic. Cons: lacking in amenities for the price — at least for the “deluxe” rooms (no in-room coffeemaker or refrigerator, no towel hooks in the bathroom).
258 14th Street
Astoria, OR 97103

Buoy Beer
No. 1 Eighth (8th) Street
Astoria, OR 97103
Awesome beer and food. Great waterfront location!

Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe
1493 Duane Street
Astoria, Oregon 97103
This is always a good breakfast or lunch choice.

Fort Stevens State Park
West of Astoria, off Highway 101. Both Pacific Ocean and Columbia River beaches.

The Voodoo Room
This is always a good drinking choice. Sometimes there is live music — we saw Daric Moore the first night and the Slow Poisoner the second night.

The . . . → Read More: A Weekend in Astoria Featuring Tasty Food, Oregon State Parks, and the Voodoo Room

June is California Avocado Month!

June is California Avocado Month!

Last Thursday evening, I was invited to a California Avocado Dinner hosted by the California Avocado Commission at Mother’s Bistro & Bar (212 SW Stark Street, Portland, Oregon 97204). Relatively-speaking, I am a bit of a new fan of avocados, having really just started liking them about 10 years ago.

Gateway avocado delivery system: guacamole, of course. But jwa is an avid lover of avocados from way back, so I brought him to the dinner with me!

After some avocado daiquiris, socializing, and delicious hors d’oeuvres, Chef Lisa Schroeder gave a demo for an Avocado, Pink Grapefruit, and Dungeness Crab Salad (See recipe below). We also got an amazing swag bag filled with all sorts of goodies to take home, including avocados and a signed copy of the Mother’s Best cookbook at the end of the evening! Such a great time.

Thank you again California Avocado Commission and Mother’s Bistro & Bar!

California Avocado Dinner, June 19, 2014

Lucy Brennan’s Avocado Daiquiri

Avocado, Pink Grapefruit, a Dungeness Crab Cocktail

Guacamole-filled Cherry Tomatoes

Butter Lettuce, Avocado, & Green Onion Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Chicken Breast with Sauteed Onions, and Peppers, Topped with Avocado, and Salsa, served with Macaroni . . . → Read More: June is California Avocado Month!

Late Spring Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Crust

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Getting out of my changing-of-the-seasons slump with a strawberry rhubarb pie! So, delicious. The brown sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon all get together here (with the fresh fruit) to work a kind of pie magic. Every year, this is one of my most favorite pies to make! And not just because I like the challenge of a lattice crust (just kidding, it’s really easy)!

So yeah, take advantage of the remaining rhubarb season and make this pie now. Or, you could even decrease the sugar** just a little bit and try this with strawberries and peaches. Or strawberries and apricots. Or strawberries and strawberries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Crust
Adapted from a recipe in Bon App├ętit magazine; 8 servings
1 recipe of your favorite pie dough (double crust), two discs chilled – mine is Dorie Greenspan’s Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough*
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) brown . . . → Read More: Late Spring Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Crust

Restaurants for Raphael House: Roost

Restaurants for Raphael House: Roost pdx

Roost
1403 SE Belmont, Portland, OR 97214
971-544-7136

I’m a little embarrassed that it took me this long to get this post up. Late spring/early summer is usually a weird time for me and cooking — it’s not a total onslaught of summer fruits and vegetables yet and it’s not chilly roasting weather. So, I usually take a mini hiatus. Which is what happened here.

But earlier in the month, we ate out on the designated Restaurant for Raphael House fundraising event night (May 7). There were a number of restaurants participating, including a few we had never tried before. Like Roost!

We’ve driven by this restaurant many times, but just never managed to remember about it when we were trying to think of a neighborhood place. That is going to change. I really enjoyed the meal here, plus I am a sucker for a grilled romaine salad.

I’m pretty sure they rotate their menu frequently, but the fried green tomatoes seem to be a constant. You should get some of those.

Fried green tomatoes, grilled romaine salad, hangar steak, duck legs, coconut-dusted ice cream — the best and most delicious way to raise money for a . . . → Read More: Restaurants for Raphael House: Roost

FFwD: Green-as-Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Originally, this French Fridays with Dorie recipe called for veal. I haven’t really eaten veal since becoming an un-vegetarian (uh, 1994 1995?) and I didn’t really see the need to use it here. Not when there’s…PORK! So, yeah, I subbed the veal for pork shoulder. And I also made mine more broth-y by using a little bit less meat and adding some wine to de-glaze the pan.

There are a number of steps to this and it’s kind of a big production, so it’s probably best for a weekend project. It’s very light and spring-ish for a stew. And as another surprise, jwa really liked this, which was surprising, since he’s not really a fan of the stew.

So, the next somewhat chilly weekend day before summer really kicks in, you may want to consider this one!

Here’s a link to all the French Friday with Dorie posts so you can see how nice this also works with the veal!

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

Green as Spring Pork Stew

. . . → Read More: FFwD: Green-as-Spring Pork Stew