Brewfest

Ah. Those people.

You know the ones. Face hurting, belly splitting, eye brow raising people. Singing on the train, interpretive dancing and the endless sarcasm people. The calm, confident people.

These are the ones for me.

Throwing caution to the wind and skirting responsibility I spent a good chunk of time being awesome with three incredible human beings.

Nothing short of refreshing to be in a fantastic city, doing fantastic things. Are there anymore synonyms for great? I will use all of them to describe my time in Portland.

 

As previously mentioned, I love this city. I love it even more when I am shown around by dudes that a) know the city well after living here for years and years b) are some of the most hilarious people I know c) can make any activity a shit show of sass.

I am a big fan of sass.

Dreams came true in Portland. I got to see Beasts of the Southern Wild (magical), got to drink a plethora of beer at brew fest, got to see what kind of bluegrass spectacular Portland had to offer (nothing spectacular about it, but unlimited fodder for joke after joke after joke) and got to lay in the grass and figure out what is so special about quiet afternoons in the park.

Like I said, these are my kinds of people.

I also ate out a lot. Thai and mexican and brunch galore. The one nice thing about returning home was getting back to the kitchen. Whipping up this lil’ treat was a perfect way to get my stomach back into balance, and sigh my way back into my routine of work, sleep, work: repeat.

Portland, I miss you already.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Kale Pesto

adapted from Love and Lemons

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups ground raw cauliflower flourettes (about 1 small head)
3/4 cup almond flour (I used regular flour because I didn’t have almond flour and didn’t want to go to the store)
3 eggs (or you could try flax eggs if vegan)
pinches of salt
a few grinds of pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

whatever pizza toppings you like, I followed Love and Lemon’s suggestion and did the kale pesto (kale, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper and lemon– chose how much of each and blend in a food processor. BAM), roasted tomatoes, sautéed broccoli and toasted pine nuts. So bomb.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Chop cauliflower and pulse flourettes in a food processor. Be careful not to puree it or grind it until it’s mushy. You’re going for a “riced” fluffy consistency. It should not be sticking together at this point.

Whisk 3 eggs and mix all of the rest of the crust ingredients together and form into a ball. We kind of just slopped it out onto the baking sheet and pressed it around until it was flat-ish… This doesn’t look like dough, feel like dough, or taste like pizza dough. It is delicious. Shoot for “dough” that is 1/4″ thick.

We popped that bad boy in the oven for 25 minutes, removed it from the oven and then put all the toppings on. We put it BACK into the oven for another 5 minutes, and let everything get warm. After removing from the oven, we drizzled on some balsamic vinegar and I topped mine with more nutritional yeast (it is like gold to me).

Mama ate hers while drinking a delicious Amber ale, which I had to mournfully turn down as my nose is getting stuffy (you know, just an early August cold… what?!) and I drank a BIT too much this weekend. Oops.

Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Portland.

Sometimes all you need is to get away. Memorial Day is the perfect excuse to take a mini vacation.

After singing karaoke with my roomies in the kitchen—we do a MEAN rendition of You and I and Spanish Pipedream—I made the ludicrous decision to drive to Portland at 7:30 at night on a Sunday. Which means I got into Portland at 10:30. Which also means I was there for less than 24 hours.

Sounds ridiculous, eh? Especially because gas is $4.45 a gallon. Straight up silly. I justified this decision with my need for a change and the fact that I biked to work everyday this month. I have saved so much gas this month that a spontaneous trip to Portland was in order.

It was magical. I celebrated my one year anniversary friendship with Ted and Ric—two dudes that I find refreshing. I am coming to the conclusion that men aren’t cool until they are over 30. This doesn’t hold true to ALL men, but this is a trend I am noticing. So hanging out with those two old dudes (hehe) was wonderful. They mixed up fancy cocktails, talked chickens with me and showed me all around their city.

Another conclusion I have reached: I LOVE Portland. This isn’t too surprising as it has a lot of things that I love. It is like if Seattle and Bellingham met, fell in love and had a ridiculously cute child. Portland is the love child of the West Coast.

I drank Aviators, met up with an old friend who hasn’t changed one iota (in the best way possible), squealed over the myriad of incredible boutiques and ate vegan food until my face hurt from smiling about all the options (if you ever go, hit up the Bye and Bye’s happy hour. Everything is vegan, everything is delicious).

Oh yeah, I also had the best cup of coffee ever. This is saying a lot as I have been a barista for 9 years and am a self-proclaimed snob when it comes to coffee. The guy actually had to take a break before he started on the strenuous work that my double short soy latte required.

That is some serious coffee business.

My trip to Portland confirmed a few things. 1) Portlandia is pretty spot-on, which I love. 2) Portland is a vegan mecca. 3) My future husband may be in Portland. I saw a table of three bearded men with forearm tattoos and flannel. One of them had a great dane slung across his lap. I wanted to congratulate them on their beauty.

Swoon.

Portland, you have my heart.

The Aviator (aka the drunk that made my heart happy and my mind fuzzy)

  • 2 oz gin
  • ¼ oz maraschino liquor
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of crème de Violette (which Ric actually had. I was impressed)
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker (another thing Ric had. See? Awesome.) add ice. Shake that puppy up. Pour into some sort of fancy glass (through a strainer if you are feeling particular). Drink too many of them and then flirt shamelessly with whoever will have you. Or something adventurous like that.