7.27.2010

Surroundings

I feel really lucky that we live in a place where one moment I can be at home in the middle of a busy city, enjoying the light of the evening sun...









and an hour and a half later, have a tent pitched and a campfire burning along a beautiful river in a secluded campground. This weekend we spent the night on the Clackamas River. And we dipped in the hot springs that bubble up along its banks. Summer of camping is on.

7.22.2010

Bacon Leftovers, Yes... Pizza Leftovers, No

I'll eat my words about not keeping bacon around the house. Barry requested it for our camping trip last weekend, and I happily obliged, so we had the good part of a package left in the fridge when I got home from work today. That bacon was on my mind when I picked up goat cheese with honey at the grocery store yesterday. Combined with freshly ground black pepper, caramelized red onions, and wilted spinach, they made the most delicious pizza topping that I've been able to come up with.


In case you'd like a step-by-step: I made my usual go-to pizza dough recipe from Bitmann's How to Cook Everything, reserved half the recipe for a pizza the following night, and put the other half, pizza pie-shaped, in a 475 degree oven. While it was baking, I browned three strips of bacon, chopped into one inch pieces. When the bacon was close to crisp, I added half of a red onion, sliced, to the bacon drippings and sauteed until soft. I turned off the stove top, added a few handfuls of fresh spinach, and let it wilt. After ten minutes, I took the mostly-done dough out of the oven and spread a few ounces of goat cheese (with honey!) on the hot pie, cracked pepper over the cheese, and spread the bacon/onion/spinach goodness on top. Four more minutes in the oven, and one of the best dinners we've had in a while was ready. And we still have half a package of bacon to go.

7.20.2010

We Went Back

Hoodview campground and the trails around Timothy Lake are as wonderful as we remembered. I declared this the summer of camping, and while some unforeseen events have limited our ability to camp as frequently as we'd like, we're taking the declaration seriously.





When Barry and I were kids, both of our families happened to spend summer vacations in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We didn't know each other way back then, but I have a feeling our little paths must have crossed in North Carolina, especially since we each have fond memories of the same beach restaurant that both of our families frequented. It turns out that both of our families had the same little ritual at the end of our vacations, too - saying goodbye to the ocean before driving back home. Always big on tradition, Barry and I walked from our campsite to the water's edge to say goodbye to Timothy Lake this morning before jumping in the car to get back to Portland in time for work today. It was so early and the air was so thick with mist that at first we couldn't see where the lake ended and the surrounding mountains and then sky began.

7.14.2010

Strolling On Belmont


We came across gorgeous flowers growing wild in a lot on Monday. The variety of flowers in Portland, the colors, the shapes... they will never cease to amaze me.

7.13.2010

How Do You Type an Umlaut?



Barry's working six days a week, so we're trying to make our Mondays off together extra special. Lunch at Gruner was the perfect way to start our day yesterday. We'll be back there soon - I was torn between six things on the menu.

7.07.2010

Finally





A healthy dose of blue skies and heat visited Portland yesterday and is here to stay for a while. And I couldn't be happier. I figured a sulu-design shop update with some of my current favorite designs was in order. I'm off to squeeze in some sun before work. Have a great day.

7.06.2010

Short Walk, Long Shadows






I'm embarrassed to admit the extent to which I've allowed the weather to control my mood recently. The extended gray, rainy spring we'd had in Portland really had me unreasonably crabby for a while, although there were a handful of elated days sprinkled in when the sun made an appearance. But the sun came out last night and should be here to stay this week. I hope it'll help me fall into a summer rhythm.

7.02.2010

The Recipes Made Me Do It

Two recipes kind of fell into my lap this week, and I didn't have the energy to put up a fight. First, a basic guide to savory bread pudding was aired on The Splendid Table (a radio program that often makes my skin crawl, I'll admit, but it's on Portland's public radio station when I'm driving home from work on Saturdays, so...). The timing of the airing of the show was perfect. I hadn't thought about what I'd make for dinner that evening, and I had several heels of loaves of bread in the freezer. Version one, made that night with odds and ends we had on hand, was delicious. Version two, including the peas we picked at Kruger's Farm last weekend and a bacon bonus (see the recipe that follows), will be tonight's dinner.


Recipe two came to me while I was at the gym earlier this week, getting my soundless cable fix while on the treadmill. The Neelys made a grilled peach salad with balsamic bacon vinaigrette that gives me the shakes just thinking about it. I broke down and bought bacon - we usually don't keep dark master foods like bacon around the house. But I got it and I'm psyched to use it in not one but two dishes this weekend.


I hope those of you in the U.S. have a wonderful Fourth of July. I'd love to hear about your holiday menus... or your dark master foods. Whatever.

7.01.2010

Antsy





Last night at 10:00, I took all the books off our largest bookshelf in order to move it and piled them all over our living room-ish area. I didn't put the books away before I went to bed - this may be a first in my crazy little organized world. And the shelf isn't in it's new spot just yet. I can't figure out where it should go. You know me - when there's furniture moving going on, it means something is up. I don't know what it is, but man am I antsy. I put some of that antsy energy into the sulu-design shop, too. Several pairs of earrings are now on sale, and the designs above are available - click on images to take you to listings.