Recently I did some experimental cooking – wheat-free stuffed jalapenos! I sliced each pepper in half, stuffed them with a mixture of herbed chevre and shredded sheep cheese, and rolled them in a mixture of Fiber One (I know, I know… there’s a little wheat in there… just pretend you didn’t know that) and Corn Flakes.
They were a little sweeter than normal fried jalapenos and not as spicy as I would have liked them to be, but I’ll definitely make them again.
Got this email from a co-worker this morning and it’s got me all worked up…
My blog is on Technorati?!
Our house looks like a catalog in a good way?!
Dave makes his own bacon?!
From: Dave Selden
To: Sarah Jones
Subject: Cruising Technorati
… And I found your personal blog. Your house looks like a catalog, in a good way. Also, I wanted to point out that your love of bacon will be increased 10-fold if you try making it yourself. My instructions: http://www.bsbrewing.com/blog/?p=261
I’ve already sent the email to Zach in the hope that he will acquire a smoker this afternoon and get started on our new homemade bacon supply, but I think it’s more likely that I will try to commission Dave to make us some at a reasonable mark-up.
The weather in Portland (and from what I hear in Seattle as well) has been crazy since Friday. We’ve had rotating bouts of snow, hail, heavy rain, and sunshine. Between the hail storms this weekend Zach and I found a great wine bar in Beaumont, went to Ikea to make some returns, bought some more plants and worked in the yard, had a delicious dinner at Portland City Grill, and did some other stuff not worth mentioning here.
Wine Bar in Beaumont – Friday night we decided to have a little date night away from the kids (read: dogs) so we went for Italian at Amalfi’s and then decided to try out one of the wine bars in Beaumont. Vicinato was delicious and had such a great atmosphere. The walls are covered with paintings by a local artist (who happened to be there Friday night) and they had a live music duo playing the saxaphone and guitar. I had some delicious champagne and Zach tried a recommended Zin. Yum!
Ikea – We have made about a million trips to Ikea in the last month and Saturday’s excursion was solely to make some returns. We really wanted to get some window treatments up in the guest room before Daveen’s visit this weekend and bought some green linen curtains that we thought were going to work, but the color just wasn’t quite right. Sorry Daveen… bring your sleeping mask!
Planting – Ever since planting our first pot of flowers out front I’ve been wanting to add another and we did that on Sunday. We went to a different nursery than the first time so our pot is a little different and the plants are different, but I like the variety.
Pete hung out with me while I worked. Gibson did too, but he wouldn’t let me take his picture.
Dinner – Finally, last night we had dinner with some of Zach’s colleagues at the Portland City Grill. I broke some of the food rules and had a delicious steak with crab and bearnaise sauce. In honor of the occasion I bought myself a new sweater last week and I think I’ve discovered a new favorite clothing line – Edun. It’s by Bono’s wife and uses sustainable fabrics and business practices… now if only I could afford to do my part for the global community by buying one of everything.
Food carts seem to be a big thing in Portland. They’re all over downtown, taking up full parking lots and drawing huge crowds during lunch hour. Going to the food carts makes me feel brave and adventurous and also like I’m melding right in with the Portland populous. How you can feel those two very different things all from eating food prepared by strangers in very small trailers, I don’t know, but it happens.
Jen and I have started eating at the carts a couple of times a week lately. There are a ton of things to choose from – Russian, Thai, Mexican, Greek, Vegetarian, etc. We have found two carts that usually get our business – one of them serves a pretty good taco salad and the other has delicious cashew chicken (for me) and pineapple curry (for Jen). One of the glorious things about the carts is that everything under the sun costs $5.00 even. Amazing.
Today I decided to take some photos of the carts for you all to see. They didn’t come out quite like I had envisioned. The first one is supposed to show the long row of cart after cart. The second is the two carts we go to almost every time… Thai on the left, Mexican on the right.
I’ve been tasked with bringing a dessert to my grandmother’s Easter lunch on Sunday. I’m pretty sure when I offered to bring something and she suggested dessert she didn’t realize how many food restrictions I have. Finding a recipe for a wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free dessert is going to be tricky (although, I’ve been researching egg replacements and am very excited about some of the prospects). In my search, I asked Jen for ideas and she suggested fruit salad. I hate when I ask people for help and then I come up with a million excuses for why their idea(s) won’t work for me. In this case I had one very good reason – I believe fruit salad, technically, contains something like yogurt, which I can’t have because it doesn’t meet the dairy-free criteria – and one not-so-good reason – I don’t like fruit salad.
Why, you may be asking yourself, would someone who proclaims to like fruit not like a whole salad made up of nothing but fruit. The answer, I will explain, is simple. I do not like when my fruit touches each other. There is, invariably, at least one fruit whose flavor overpowers the other fruits and then you are left with a bowl of colorful items all of which taste vaguely like orange, but not quite. It’s just not right.
For details on my other food criteria, see my earlier post: I’m Neurotic.
So, I’ve gotten into a new morning food routine – spelt cinnamon and raisin toast eaten in the car on the way to work, and then cereal around 10:00 or 10:30. There are three things I love about this new plan, not necessarily in this order: 1) the cinnamon and raisin bread is amazingly delicious, 2) when lunch rolls around I’m ready for a little something, but I’m not famished and don’t over-eat, and 3) I can’t eat any of the “good for you” whole grain cereals like Cheerios or Wheaties so I’ve been picking out all the kid-oriented sugary cereals I can get my hands on. This week… Frosted Flakes. Last week… Trix. Yum!
As a kid we only got sugary cereals once a month at the most – whenever my mom did the family’s big shopping trip. Now, there’s no one standing over my shoulder at the grocery store (or at the Rite Aid near my office) telling me to pick something healthy. And, the beauty of this is that even if they were standing there I would have the perfect come back… with these new food restrictions, it’s far better for me to have some fruity sugary thing with games on the box than to have the wheat.
And, as a side note for anyone following my food trials, the original sweetened rice milk is excellent.
[Edit: Might be over the Frosted Flakes already. Had a craving for something savory this afternoon and, being out of wheat-free crackers, reached for the box of Flakes. Did not stop when my belly told me to and am not feeling so hot now. Back to Trix next week, I guess!]
Someone in my office sent out this link today showing a new and exciting use for bacon.
I give you… the Bacon Cup!
Now, anyone who knows me probably has heard how much I love bacon. Just about any food, in my opinion, can be greatly improved with the addition of a strip of bacon (btw – I also feel this way about avocado, but to a slightly lesser degree). This clever person has just made my day by showing me that I can now not only eat my bacon, but use it as serving ware for my next soirée!
ps – Bacon fits brilliantly into my new diet restrictions. Yippee!