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  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Favorite foods: Pesto, pasta, tiramisu, large chocolate cakes, pesto, hummus, cheese, bread, pesto... and did I mention pesto?
  • Last bite on earth: Oh, there is absolutely no way it would be one bite. I think it would be a long, drawn-out affair involving lots of carbohydrates, wine and vegetables. Pesto pasta would definitely be on the menu, as would potatoes in various forms.

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What Are the Absolute Must-Visits in Portland, Oregon?

Cool Moon ice cream across the street from Jamison Square.
E-San Thai downtown
Voodoo Doughnuts is almost cliche now, but definitely needs to be on the list
Same goes for Stumptown Coffee
FlavourSpot walk-up waffle hut
If you venture out to the 'burbs, DeCarli in Beaverton is great
Toro Bravo's tapas are incredible
Saint Cupcake
Pine State Biscuits

What are you craving?

A slice of chocolate as big as my head, with creamy chocolate buttercream icing. Topped with vanilla bean ice cream with salted caramel sauce, please.

Tasting Tour: Portland, Oregon: 5 of the Most Interesting Street Vendors

Another jealous homesick Portlander here! Man, I really miss it.

Baked portobello mushroom ideas

I just recently made stuffed portobellos for dinner, and they were great. I filled them with a mixture of cooked brown rice, ricotta cheese, cooked broccoli and dried basil, then covered the top with mozzarella cheese. I simply baked until the mushroom was tender and the cheese was bubbly. It was really good.

Your childhood favorites: Are they still guilty pleasures?

I was an extremely picky eater as a child, and predictably only liked the junk. But I was the youngest and my mom didn't really care at that point.
*I liked Ramen noodles only without the broth, covered in salt and margarine. I ate a package of Ramen a few years ago out of desperation. It was awful.
*My staple was peanut butter and jelly. I still love it. Had it for breakfast on an English muffin this morning, in fact.
*I loved all the sugary cereals but never had them--we were a Wheaties/Chex house. Now I will not buy them because of their (lack of) nutritional value and high sugar content--even Raisin Bran, which I still love, is extremely high in sugar.
*Only with my grandfather, which was about twice a year, I would eat peanut butter and butter sandwiches. Spread a very thick layer of butter on squishy white bread, then spread peanut butter over it. You could taste the layer of butter under the PB. I think I'd be afraid to try it now.

Is pizza REALLY bad for you

One thing I really like on pizza is turkey pepperoni. It pretty much tastes exactly like the original except it has about a million fewer calories. I think 19 slices is the serving size, which is 70 calories. Much better!

Baking with Whole Wheat Flour

I use only whole wheat flour. Sometimes I have noticed things are a bit more tough and denser than normal, like my pizza crusts. But mostly things turn out fine.

What do you put in your oatmeal?

Sweet: My favorite is banana cooked in with the oatmeal, then add a spoonful each of jam and peanut butter. It's PBJ oatmeal.
Savory: Top oatmeal with salsa, hot sauce, egg over-medium and season salt. Sometimes avocado too.

How much salt is too much salt?

I actually started storing my salt that way after seeing it on FN. I keep it right next to my bottle of olive oil and garlic holder thingy in a sugar dish that matches my plates.

What to do with nonfat yogurt

I have found it works great in baking. I use it as a sub for oil a lot. It's good in cakes and quick breads, like banana bread.

What is your "give up" meal?

Grilled cheese or quesadillas, depending upon if we still have bread left. Sauteed frozen vegetables with garlic, S&P.

Disgusting Wedding Cake and Cupcakes

I may be lambasted for saying this, but we used Costco cake for our wedding and just had a seriously small cake for pics and for us. I actually really like Costco cake. Does anyone else?

Ketchup on Hash Browns: Way or No Way?

Another yes. I douse mine in ketchup and I usually run out about halfway through. So bring on more ketchup! And some hot sauce, too, please.

You live where?

Another Oregonian here--P-Town represents!

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Blues

Fry or "fake fry" (prepare in the same way to fry, then oven bake) and serve with waffles and maple syrup!

Going to Milan, Genoa and Cinque Terre

We stayed in Vernazza in the CT. We ate at the restaurant perched inside the lighthouse/castle thing at the very end of town, right on the water--I think it's called Belforte. Food was good, wine was better, view was best. The next night we had a fabulous dinner at a restaurant along the main drag. It think it was called Trattoria da Sandro. The trofie (a local potato/pasta dish thing) with pesto was awesome. We had dessert at Trattoria Gianni Franzi. The tiramisu... words can't even describe how transcendent it was paired with the local dessert wine called sciacchetrà. Holy lord it was good! We also had breakfast coffee, drinking chocolate and pastries at Il Pirata at the top of town. Molto buono!
Ok, I'm jealous. Can I come too?

Quinoa - Now That I Bought It.....

Use it any place you would eat rice!
*Mix it with spices and beans and put it in tacos.
*Along the same lines, mix with fajita veggies for a side dish with anything Mexican.
*Go Asian with soy sauce, ginger, etc., then use as a base for stir fry
*Mix with butter, brown sugar, raisins, milk for a sortof rice pudding. Leave out the milk (or add less) for a tasty breakfast in lieu of oatmeal
*Add pepperoncini, kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomatoes, onions for a Greek salad
*Use in place of bulgur for tabbouli
*Cover with roasted vegetables or cooked meat
*Mash beans, add breadcrumbs and egg, then add quinoa and desired seasonings for veggie patties

For all of these, just don't forget to rinse the quinoa. Unless you buy pre-rinsed, it contains a coating (called saponin, I believe) that imparts a bitter, soapy taste unless you rinse it off.

St. Patty's Day Eats: What are you making?

I'm making corned beef in my Crockpot, cabbage and potatoes (but not in the Crockpot. I don't do beef and I want my own un-adulterated vegetables). I'm also making real Irish soda bread, which does not contain raisins, seeds, nuts, candies, sprinkles, zest or any other accoutrements. (See this website for more info:
For dessert: Irish cream creme brulee. And, of course, gotta have some Guinness.
Can't wait! Slainte!

Copious Cabbage

I really like it sauteed in a pan with onions and S&P until both are slightly caramelized, then adding feta or bleu cheese and dried cranberries.

Fasting....But Can't Turn Away

Fasting for a week is not healthy. People claim to do it for "detox" or "cleansing" purposes. The body was designed to cleanse itself WITH food in it--that's what your liver is for (among other organs). Not eating for days at a time just messes things up, including your metabolism, which is really hard to get back on track.

What food(s) did you love as a kid and now can't stand?

I used to eat peanut butter on hotdogs. I still love peanut butter, but no longer eat hotdogs, and the thought of the two together is pretty ick-inducing.

Did Ina mispronounce something.....

If a dish has a name that happens to be in a language that's not your native tongue, that doesn't mean the name changes because you can't say it. It also doesn't make you elitist if you pronounce it right. It drives me NUTS when people say "broo-shet-a" because the letters sound that way in English. In Italian, they don't! It's "broo-sket-a."
Would you request a "kay-suh-dil-la" simply because you don't speak Spanish? You can pronounce something correctly in its originating language without being a native speaker. Have a little respect for the dish.


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