I always love Andina!  They are located in the Pearl on the corner of 13th and Glisan.  Both the bustling bar  and the busy dining sections are a delightful experience.  They often have delightful, live latin guitar music playing during the evening.  The food is a Peruvian style combination of  “la cocina Criolla” and Novo-Andean cooking.

Every meal starts out with a distinctive appetizer trio of salsas with bread.  In order from top to bottom in the following photo:

Jalapeno and mint (spiciest)-I believe it’s referred to as Ají verde

Peanut (medium)-I believe it’s referred to as Ají de mani

Passion fruit (mild)-I believe it’s referred to as Ají de maracuya


I always enjoy sampling their tapas and indulged in 2 of my favorites that evening.

Three types of potato served chilled with ocopa, huancaína and rocoto sauces.

Spanish-style potato frittata with an ají amarillo aioli.

I selected an entree from the traditional dishes portion of the menu.  Unfortunately, the photo is messy as I started to indulge in it before I remembered to take a photo! 😦

An old family recipe—lamb shank slow-cooked in the Northern Peruvian style, in a rich cilantro-black beer sauce, served with a classic guiso de frijoles, garlic rice and salsa criolla.


Every single morsel is absolutely flavorful every single time we’ve been at Andina!  And, while they are always incredibly busy, they provide excellent service as well.  I can’t wait for an occasion to go back!


Hudson’s bar and grill at Heathman Lodge

Hudson's bar and grill

A friend of ours is one of the managers at Hudson’s bar and grill inside the Heathman lodge and we so enjoy the perfectly prepared, plated, and served food as often as we can!  Unfortunately, it’s typically a quick bite or just on special occasions given the delicious steak and seafood options.  Check out the prior post on their deliciousness!

On this occasion, I indulged in their delicious smoked chicken and corn chowder and starter of the La Pierre Robert cheese from France and San Daniele prosciutto from Italy.  The cheese and prosciutto came with a perfect assortment of flatbread, almonds, and fig.

Hudson's bar and grill

Trader Joe’s tikka maasala chicken and rice with pineapple, naan, and cilantro and jicama

I’ve long been a fan of the Trader Joe’s curry simmer sauce that goes so nicely with some sauteed chicken breast and veggies and naan. So, I thought I’d try this pre-made curry sauce that I stumbled upon at Costco.

Maya Kaimal Tikka Masala

As I’ve been venturing toward healthier, more natural, whole food cooking, starting with some shortcuts and adding fresh to it has been a great start. While I have a rice cooker, to save some time, I LOVE Village Harvest’s flash frozen red quinoa and brown rice!

It cooks in minutes in the microwave and with fresh, sauteed chicken and veggies, it was perfect!  Unfortunately, the Whole Foods near me no longer carries it and neither does New Seasons. 😦

While I sauteed the chicken breast tenders, I heated the rice and julienned the jicama. Then, I chopped the fresh pineapple and cilantro. Finally, I added the curry sauce to the chicken to warm it up and pulled out the naan (curry naan from Trader Joe’s :-)). It’s the curry version of this whole wheat naan from Trader Joe’s “Fearless flyer.”

Chicken tikka maasala

It was all quick to plate and enjoy!

Jicama is a my new favorite to go with Mexican food or salads and it was the perfect topper for vitamins and visual appeal to the plate.

Chicken tikka maasala with rice, pineappple, cilantro, jicama, and naan

Dragonwell bistro

My husband uncovered this Dragonwell bistro for us to explore as the family of a colleague of his runs it and he’d eaten lunch with coworkers there and thought I’d like it. It’s located downtown by Portland State University. They weren’t too terribly busy the night that we went and my husband’s colleague happened to be serving.

The ambiance was relaxing with interesting, traditional decor.

I’m not much for soup, but I mistakenly agreed to Egg flower soup while ordering and didn’t want to waste it. I did think it was good. We thought we’d try an assortment that sounded good so we ordered the following. It sure adds up quickly, but it was a nice assortment of fresh with good flavor and we were able to take leftovers home.

Champagne orange chicken with the following description:
Lightly battered white chicken tenderloin sautéed with bell peppers & onion, topped with splash of orange juice, champagne, and mandarin oranges.

House combination lo-mein with the following description:
Lo-mein with beef, chicken & shrimp.

Dried Sautéed String Beans

Steamed white rice

Dragonwell bistro

I was trying to decide what to order to drink that would be traditional and appropriately pair with Chinese food and the server said, “Do you want to be adventurous?” I said “sure” and I was delighted with the lychee martini. It was very similar to this lychee martini recipe from the Food network.



Brussels sprout hash with sweet potato and bacon

I apologize to have been off the grid for so long dealing with life issues. I’m excited to say that I’ve been spending some time really diving into testing out my culinary pursuits with great success! I’ve also been adventuring, but I’ll have to catch up on the reporting of them. 😦

The main driving force for my culinary pursuits has been healthier, more simple eating for my household. It’s not necessarily cheaper, however, in a round about way it is as it’s leading to having more energy and feeling generally better on a daily basis. 🙂

I enjoy the Evernote “Food” app on my iPhone as it allows me to browse a bunch of food blogs very quickly and save those that interest me.  It, along with an interest in the quick and healthy meals from Jamie Oliver, have gotten me started to explore some interesting recipes. I know what I like and so I always have to adjust it just a bit to tailor it to what I want. I might change a veggie, type of nut, fruit, etc. Isn’t that what chefs like to do? 🙂

So, using the Evernote Food app, I stumbled upon the following recipe and food blog. Upon further browsing on the blog, I found quite a few other recipes that sound interesting, however, there’s only so much time, money, and energy and I have others that I need to get to first.

Brussels sprout hash with sweet potato and bacon from Closet Cooking from 11.03

brussels sprout hash

Regarding tweaking recipes, I elected not to indulge in the kimchi option. 🙂 I’m not particularly an egg person so I opted not to put the eggs on top and had them over hard on the side instead. I also added some berries to balance it out with freshness.  Yum!

brussels sprout hash with fruit and egg

Breathtaking beach on the Washington state Olympic peninsula

I apologize to my readers for being away for so long. Supporting my husband through the last year of his dissertation and life events in my family were the priority this last year. However, I set aside all of the interesting events to catch up on now that I’m back on so stay tuned on those! 🙂

These are a couple of photos of the ocean beach on the Olympic peninsula.  They are of 2nd beach near Forks, WA.  Breathtaking!

Olympic peninsula-ocean beach Olympic peninsula-ocean beach

Oregon coast lighthouses-Coquille River Lighthouse and Bullards Beach State Park

My mom is a genealogy buff and has been wanting to visit all of the lighthouses on the Oregon coast, but particularly the Coquille River Lighthouse inside Bullards Beach State park.  Apparently, I have a relative that ran this lighthouse many years ago.  She lives out of the area so I researched it and printed out some maps and guides for the trip.  It’s quite a drive from Portland, OR almost to California with just an overnight stay!

There are lots of websites on the Oregon coast lighthouses and historical books at Powell’s bookstore, however, I found this engaging map on the Oregon state parks website to be helpful:

Below is a portion from the bottom half of the map with some brief information about the lighthouse.

Oregon coast lighthouses map

Walking up to the lighthouse, the sand and beach and seagulls were beautiful enough for a painting.

The view was breathtaking from both inside and outside of the lighthouse!

We took the tour from the main desk up the windy stairs into the lighthouse.  Those were sure interesting to trek up so they only allow a few people at a time.

Lighthouse keeper


Now, on to the other lighthouses on the coast!