Edamame hummus

2014-08-26 17.43.38

I can’t recall whose recipe I started out with for this Edamame hummus, but it might have been Cookie and Kate.

It sure goes nicely spread on multigrain bread and with Jacobsen black lava salt sprinkled on top.

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Vegetable chips and roasted hazelnuts

I set out to make Kale chips that my colleague mentioned she makes (but she didn’t give me the recipe :-(), but then I got looking at veggie chips so I decided to make them first and then venture toward the Kale chips. I had a recipe from Every Day with Rachel Ray on her Baked veggie chips and also did some research on the web and stumbled upon the following food blogs.

Oh My Veggies

Chowhound

They all influenced what I created, but, in the end, I was most influenced by the Oh My Veggies food blog listed above with the following adjustments to the ingredients.

2 large carrots

1-1/2 tsp. olive oil

¼ and 1/8 tsp. kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

I followed the baking instructions except that I found I needed to leave them in for closer to 15 minutes.

I intended to follow the ingredients below, however, I remembered how much I like the TERRA brand Thai basil curry vegetable chips from Whole Foods and Fred Meyer which are a blend of beets, sweet potatoes, etc.  So, I ended up trying 2 different batches. One of them was with the carrots coated with olive oil and curry powder. The other was with sweet potatoes coated with olive oil and salt.

I discovered that the “Y” peeler doesn’t peel evenly and consistently or I, as a the peeler, am not so skilled with it. So, I plan to use a mandolin slicer next time as the Rachel Ray recipe above indicates. It would allow for larger chips and they’d likely be a nice thin, even slice.

In the future, I plan to try the Glamour Carrot curry kale chips recipe.

I also made Missy Maki’s roasted nuts influenced by her radio show and food blog. They were simple to make as the recipe suggests and can be individually bagged for ease of taking to work. I LOVE roasted hazelnuts!!!!!

Vinotopia restaurant and wine bar (Cinetopia theater)

cinetopia

The Cinetopia theaters are known for their “Living room theaters” and serving food and drinks while watching your desired movie.  One of the Cinetopias includes a wine bar inside the restaurant for tasting wines.  Vinotopia

It’s fun to purchase the pre-paid card and select precisely which wines and how much to taste.  The wines range from local pinot noir to malbec from Argentina to wines from Italy and Spain to port from Portugal.

vinotopia

The Columbian 1.27.15 blog post describes how the wine bar operates.

 

Falafel balls with homemade salsa

I’ve been playing around with Jamie Oliver recipes and sampling various Portland restaurants for a while now so this recipe is trying my hand at being influenced by these simple ingredients to make what I enjoy.

See prior blog post on Falafel wraps with grilled vegetables and salsa.

While it was a pretty simple dish, the most interesting thing was getting started making my own salsa using my food processor!  I’m going to continue to experiment with different ingredients for the combination that I most prefer.  It’s certainly fresher with more flavor than the store bought kind!

 

Bar Lolo

I returned to Bar Lolo to check out their Spanish tapas after enjoying them last year.  See the 1.27.13 post.  I started with a glass of the Gran familia rioja which is 90% tempranillo and 10% graciano.  The meat and cheese plate was a nice place to start.

meat and cheese plate

I then moved on to their Potato chips with sea salt and fried herbs.  Each of the small plates that followed had delicious flavor.  I particularly enjoyed the sherry syrup.

Chickpea stew with spinach, saffron, and sweet paprika.

Serrano ham and manchego cheese croquettes with smoked paprika aioli.

Grilled chicken skewers with moorish spices and sherry syrup.

I tried to learn about the various sherries in order to select one that I’d enjoy.  My husband and I traveled to southern Spain a few years ago, however, we didn’t make it to Jerez de la Frontera which is essentially the sherry capital of the world.

What I learned is that the fino or manzanilla sherry are aged the least, the amontillado is a mid level aged sherry, and the oloroso sherry is aged the most.  So, I tried the amontillado.  I enjoyed it, however, I think I need more experience with sherry to really decide.  This Wine Folly post on Sherry: the dry wine that everyone should love is informative.

Unfortunately, this restaurant closed as of May of 2014.

Spanish quesadilla with chorizo, membrillo (quince paste), and manchego cheese and Rainforest crisps

I’m not particularly a fan of the about.com website and there are typos on this Gourmet Spanish Quesadillas recipe, however, it was easy and delicious!

I found some 12 month aged manchego cheese at Whole Foods.

Manchego cheese

The membrillo (quince paste) is available at many local stores including Fred Meyer.

Membrillo (quince paste)

I couldn’t find the chorizo that I was looking for at Fred Meyer so the closest I could find was Linguica sausage from Portuguese.

Linguica

When I was in Spain, both chorizo and salchichon were sausages found on delicious bocadillos, however, in the U.S. when I ask about chorizo at any grocery store, I get directed to ground sausage from Mexico that is not at all the same thing!  See this blog post on What’s the difference between Mexican and Spanish chorizo? Also, discover more information on the differences between chorizo and salchichon.

To finish out the plate of Spanish quesadillas, I added almonds (a Spanish staple) and some rice.  Marcona almonds are even more delicious than almonds that we typically find in the U.S.!

Spanish quesadilla

I love manchego cheese from Spain and now had more membrillo (quince paste) than I needed for these quesadillas so the next few days they made an excellent breakfast on top of my favorite Rainforest crisps from Vancouver, B.C., Canada! All of the crisps are good, but my favorite are the fig and olive in the purple box. Whole foods and Fred Meyer tend to carry them in their specialty cheese sections.  They are a delicious, healthy, and well balanced breakfast that is easy to do and sticks to my ribs! 🙂

Rainforest crisps

Bollywood theater restaurant

My husband came home one Friday night saying that we needed to eat at Bollywood theater that night.  I’m always up for a food adventure-especially when multiple coworkers rave about it and he got to see the delicious takeout from lunch!

The restaurant is a funky warehouse style building with high ceilings and lots of tables.

It was reasonably priced and allowed for a delightful mix and match of a variety of dishes and flavors.

We ordered the following:

Dahi Papri Chaat: Housemade crackers topped with chickpeas, potatoes, yogurt, cilantro and tamarind chutney.

Samosa Cholle: Two savory pastries filled with spiced potatoes, onions, ginger and peas. Topped with chickpea chole and green chutney.

Chicken Curry: aromatic and creamy curry. Served with saffron rice.

Dal: lentils simmered with spices.

curry
Trio of Chutneys: with pappadum.
chutney and pappadums

It’s like the tapas of Indian street food!

I tend to like curries, but I was surprised that the simplicity and flavor of the chaat and the samosa were my favorites.  At the same time, each plate provided a nice mix of acidity and creaminess and heat and coolness.  It was delightful tasting the trio of chutneys with the pappadums.

Spicy chicken tinga quesadilla

California pizza kitchen makes a spicy chicken tinga quesadilla appetizer that they call a “small plate” that is nicely crisp with a simplicity of flavor that I wanted to try to make myself.  Click to view the description from the menu on their website:

Lime chicken, Monterey jack, carmelized onions, roasted peppers, black beans and cilantro, baked in our hearth oven. Served with housemade Ranchito sauce.

I didn’t have a recipe, but somewhere on the web I found these ingredients and recipe and I can’t find it again, however, it was my rough process.

2 breasts of shredded chicken cooked with tomatoes, chilis, and spices.

¼ c. mayo

1-1/2 Tbsp. hot sauce-chipotle

½ c. ranch dressing

Heat oil and carmelize onions and peppers.

Add black beans.

Grill and shred chicken and 2 c. fresh diced tomatoes and 1 c. chicken broth and 2 chipotle chilis, chopped.

Heat tortilla and flip-about 1 minute.

Add 1/3 c. monterey jack cheese and 1/3 c. chicken tinga mixture and ranchito sauce-about 2 minutes.

Fold and remove and quarter.

Top with cilantro and squeeze lime.

Add rice on the side.

I didn’t add rice to the side, however, I love every opportunity to include jicama!

quesadilla

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

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.