December 31, 2010

Easy Bake cOven - Mint Chocolate Brownies and Hot Chocolate Mix

I can't believe the year is already over. I've enjoyed time home with family and am looking forward to slightly warmer yet rainy weather in San Francisco. It shocks me every time I go to the midwest. I'm not sure how I survived 23 years of my life in such bitter cold. Cold that makes your face hurt. Cold that makes you itchy and dry and thankful for long underwear. I know I'm a wimp, and even more-so after living in a temperate climate for almost five years. I don't deny it one bit, and according to my family it wasn't even that cold. Oh well, one thing I do know is I'll welcome all warm drinks into my hands no matter the temperature.

A few years ago (yes after moving to the temperate climate) I started drinking hot water. I know it sounds weird, but a friend of mine did and it's better than drinking tea all the time. Holding a cup of warm water in your hand is nice. Holding a cup of hot chocolate in your hand is even better. I probably drank way too much hot chocolate as a kid. I was never a fan of those tiny dried marshmallows that came in the packets though. I'd rather not have any marshmallows my hot chocolate even if they are fresh and fluffy. I like hot chocolate so much that I once bought a gigantic oatmeal sized carton of powder to have any time I wanted. This happened sometime during college and I had it for a long time (possibly two years). I was sad to see it go, but I used it all.

This is how the first recipe originated for the cOven this month; wishing I had the recipe to a hot chocolate mix I tried once in college. So I contacted Joanna, said recipe owner, and asked her to share her recipe and the story behind it. You can read about it and the other December recipes on the cOven blog.

I thought making the mix was something I could do with my nephew. I'm not sure how his kitchen skills are developing at the age of three, but why not make a mess and try it out? After all, we were at Grandma's house and I didn't think she would mind having powdered milk everywhere....

We didn't make too much of a mess and it was really fun. It was the second time I got him in the kitchen to "help" while I was visiting. The first time he was interested in the rolls my mom, sister and I were making so I gave him some to play with. Then he asked if I could make him a "Michaelangelo" out of the dough... the ninja turtle that is... so I summoned M to the kitchen. He made a pretty fantastic turtle out of dough and gave me permission to bake him. He ate him for dinner and was incredibly happy to nibble off all his limbs.
Like I said before, I was expecting to have a huge mess on my hands with powdered ingredients going into a large bowl, but we did ok (minus the periodical hand reaching in).

J: It looks like snow
me: yes, it's powdered milk
J: powder milk? I don't think so... WE NEED MORE POWDERRR!
me: ok, what about the chocolate?
J: yes put some in
me: how about more white powder? (it's easier if you layer them in)
J: ok... looks like snow... more snow
me: what color is snow (just checking...)
J: WHITE....
J: I want more chocolate... can I eat some? 

Our conversation went on like this for a while until we had emptied all powdered milk mixes into the bowl. Whisking slow is key. Avoiding hands in the mix is also key. After it was all mixed in I let him taste some and he thought it was pretty good. Maybe someday he will be a lovely little baker like his Aunt!

I ran out of time to put the mix in cute little jars (and Christmas had already passed) but I still might. Unless you intend to feed an army or hoard your chocolate mix all winter like me, you should give some away. It makes plenty!

The other recipe I wanted to try was inspired by Smitten Kitchen. Mint Chocolate Brownies. I stuck closely to the brownie recipe, and deviated from the ganache toppings. Partially because I didn't have enough white chocolate on hand, partially because I didn't want a thick layer of chocolate ganache on the brownies.

They turned out extremely chocolatey and dense. Fantastic if you like fudge-y brownies with a subtle mint flavor. Instead of layering the peppermint in between, I piped it on top and it turned into a lovely plaid pattern with the ganache. I used about one third of the required ganaches from Smitten Kitchen and simplified the peppermint portion. M stated that they should have a hint of peppermint but not be overwhelming. He did a taste test to make sure my proportions were right. I preferred to eat them at room temperature or slightly warm, M preferred them cold. Either way, they may cause sudden peaks in blood sugar levels or cavities. They last just over a week in the fridge and a few more days in an airtight container. Now, if only there were some left to enjoy the hot chocolate with!

I am looking forward to days without tons of sweets. I fee like I ate an entire five pound bag of sugar this Christmas. This is supposed to inspire New Year's Resolutions right? I hope so, and I resolve to keep all of you updated on my baking a little more frequently in the new year. 

Recipe Notes
For the Hot Chocolate:
I didn't add the 2 cups of powdered sugar to the hot chocolate mix. After tasting the dry mix, I didn't think it needed to be any sweeter.

For the Brownie Mint Ganache:
Heat 3/4 C heavy cream on medium-high heat until it just comes to a boil. Immediately pour over a heaping half cup of white chocolate and let it stand for one minute without touching. Slowly stir the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Add one teaspoon of peppermint extract (or to taste) and let it cool slightly. I also didn't feel the need to make it green... maybe for St. Patrick's Day.

For the Brownie Chocolate ganache:
Heat 1/3 C cream until it comes to a boil. Pour over 1/2 C chocolate and let stand for one minute. Stir until smooth and pour over cooled brownies. Spread evenly with a spatula. Flash freeze for 10 minutes then add the mint ganache on top. 

December 23, 2010

Happy Merry Holidays

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas! Something about being thankful, spending time with family and Christmas songs make me happy and cheerful. I gain a higher tolerance  for crazy unexplainable traffic (most of the time I suffer from slight road rage) and large throngs of people wandering around Union Square. Puppies and Kittens in the Macy's window display help a lot with this good cheer I'm speaking of. I only wish there wasn't such a rush between Thanksgiving and Christmas. M and I had so much going on I completely neglected my blog. We moved in early November, I studied for and took an exam, and we made it through a few holiday parties before traveling back to the cold midwest. Since it's been so long I have so much to share! (I promise not to cram it all in this post)

I had great intentions of sharing our Thanksgiving meal and first-time-turkey-success with you long before now, but all of those I mentioned before kind of took over. Since my table looks like it could be transported directly from Thanksgiving in to Christmas, I'm going to show you how it turned out. When M and I moved, we doubled our square footage (I'm very thankful for this) and gained a dining room. After a long and patient journey, we bought a new dining table! We happened upon a great sale on the Industrial Table from West Elm, and picked it up this past Saturday. Since we had no table for Thanksgiving, we rented one. Who knew you could rent just one eight foot table for less than $10? Well, it's possible, and you can include linens and dinnerware all for under $40 (see below).
I may have acted like a giddy child when I came home to find our rented table, and I may have postponed brining the turkey until after I set it up, but it was totally worth it! I haven't had a table in almost five years. M and I really enjoy having people over for dinner. It was difficult to crowd around the breakfast bar at the old place (we managed 6 a time or two and M and I had to share the piano bench) so the rented table brought me joy. There is nothing special about a table, but friends around a table sharing food together is definitely special, and the perfect way to spend our first Thanksgiving in the new apartment!
I never hosted Thanksgiving before this year, and never roasted anything larger than a 3-4 lb chicken. I found some great instruction from Bon Appetite and used their recipe for a dry brine. It's strange holding a 15 1/2 lb turkey in your arm washing and patting it dry - almost like it was real baby.... Mr Turkey turned out well and very brown and juicy just like he was supposed to. Our friends contributed to the meal with some great sides. Like I mentioned before, it was a fantastic way to spend our first Thanksgiving in our new home. Whether or not we get to host another Thanksgiving in the near future, we are going to make great use of that table. I'm really excited to have our first dinner guests in the new year. 
Now, we're back in our hometowns' and hanging out with family. Living out old traditions and creating new ones (like the 10 cracker challenge). I've just made two types of creme fraiche with M for our Christmas Eve dinner, and am looking forward to cooking new recipes tomorrow. I hope all of you are enjoying your holiday. What are your traditions? 

For those of your curious about my $40 dining table rental, here are the details. We rented from a catering company (usually for weddings and large parties) and were surprised by how cheap it all was. We had place settings for 8 with table linens and the table. All available for as short of a rental as you like. We had our table for 4 days or so and there is no charge per day. It seems like a great way to accommodate a large group if you don't have the room to store a large table. Here is the company we used if you live in the Bay Area and are curious. 

October 28, 2010

Halloween! It's so close I can taste it....

Holidays are fun to make treats for, especially Halloween! There are parties to attend and parties to throw and parties to organize for your children (or yourselves if you live in sf where everyone seems to be crazed by Halloween well over the age most people dress in costume). If you are going to a party or just want to make something really cute, I have some ideas for you. Some are links, some are my own recipes, but all are good and fun. 

1. Vampire Bites
My sister was feeling extra crafty the other day and decided to make these Apple andPeanut Butter Sandwiches for my nephews's Halloween party at their day care. A little less sugary than all the cupcakes, cookies, and candy kids consume and easy to make. They were so cute I was inspired to share some of my favorite Halloween treat ideas with you. Most of them are links to other blogs so I hope you enjoy and feel inspired too! 

What you need:
Red Apples (the darker the skin the better) or you could go super stylish and have different shades of vampire lipstick...
Peanut Butter
Marshmallows (small and large)
Slice apples into thin wedges cutting out the core, spread some peanut butter on the insides of two slices. line the curved side with some small marshmallows for teeth. Cut the large mallow (you can use scissors) into pointy teeth and add two of these for fangs. Voila. Simple and fantastic. Just look how much my cute little nephew likes them!

2. Boo-tiful Ghost Cake
How can you resist these cute little marshmallow ghosts? Annie of Annie's Eat's has been on a rampage of all things cute and halloween the past few posts. Please check out her blog - you might be blown away by all of these cute treats. 

3. Witches Fingers Cookies
I first had these cookie in college when a friend's mom made them for a halloween party for some church folks. Other great memories from this night were M dressed as a pink flamingo lawn ornament... and a fantastic bird bath and garden gnome were also present. 

4. Caramel Apples
These are one of my favorite things... if you look closely you will see me staring longingly into the display case at these beauties. We didn't buy one though (sad face) we bought a giant sugary disc some may know as an elephant ear? Anyways, I love caramel apples. We used to get them at a local apple orchard when we were younger. At some point we got lazy (or my parents decided they were too expensive) and just bought caramel dip from the grocery store - dangerous - but I'm returning to one of my all time favorites for number 4. 

Food Network Recipe - caramel from scratch
All Recipes - caramel pieces recipe
Be creative with your toppings!

5. No-Bake Spiderweb Cheesecake
Martha's army is at it again. Spiderweb treats are very cute and creepy. Even better if you can find gummy spiders to decorate with. This cheesecake seems easy enough since you don't have to bake it. No-Bake cheesecake is definitely a time saver when you are planning a party! 

6. Devil's Food Cake with Flame Tuiles
Maybe for a more sophisticated crowd. This cake just looks sexy. Fit for a vampire (but not the Twilight kind - they are too nice for this cake). 
Another Martha. She is just too good at holiday baking. 

7. Spooky Drinks
This cocktail reminds me of a Moscow Mule (slowly making a come back  in SF) but with Rum instead. You could pretty much top any cocktail with black decorating sugar and spiders but I'll share the recipe anyways. 

8. Pumpkin Cookies
Yep, I just posted about these the other day! (self promotion) They were one of three recipes for the Easy Bake cOven's October recipe list. 

9. Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

To make Ice Cream Sandwiches, thaw your favorite pumpkin ice cream at room temperature until easy to scoop. Using a spoon or small ice cream scoop, add some ice cream to the flat side of one cookie and flatten it slightly. Place another cookie on top and smooth sides. Keep in freezer until ready to eat. It might be good to under-bake your cookies slightly so they don’t get hard in the freezer. 

10. Mini Mummy Dogs (Halloweenies)

I made these with my sister for Halloween last year. She is just so crafty right? I think she has a picture somewhere on her camera but I don't have it (ahem....) Ours were cuter, because we used little smokies. Use hot dogs if you like, and wrap with crescent roll dough cut into thin strips. The thinner the better. 
Here is the link in case you forget (little smokies + crescent roll dough) hehe

What is your favorite Halloween Treat? 

October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Puffs

In honor of October and all things pumpkin, I made some pumpkin cookies. I like to call them puffs because they are cake-like and airy. It's been while since I've made these, and any cookie for that matter. Life is getting busier and I don't know how.  

It rained all weekend which made me sleepy and forced me to stay inside. I dislike wet jeans (they just don't dry fast enough). I spent most of the day Sunday in the kitchen making cakes for my office birthday celebrations this week and had almost a whole can of left over pumpkin. Since this recipe was one of three this month for The Easy Bake cOven I decided to go ahead and make cookies.  

I like when it's cold outside and I can heat the apartment fairly well with just the oven (oven on for 2 1/2 to 3 hours). It makes me feel less bad about cooking for long periods of time, and less necessary to turn on the inefficient baseboard heaters. Thankfully I get to say So Long to this apartment soon because M and I are moving! We will still be in the city, but were moving to a 2 bedroom with a LOT more living space. I can't wait. I am really excited about the dishwasher as well (and free laundry!) Once we are settled I'll take you on a tour. 

I made these cookies not just for our enjoyment, but as a bribe. I'm asking the guys in the mail room at M's office to save boxes for us. Here is how this conversation went with M the other day.... Me: Can you ask the guys in the mail room to save us boxes to move with?
M: It would be better if you asked.
Me: Why?
M: Because you are cuter
Me: Thanks, but I'll just make them cookies (big grin)

So, gigantic office with tons of shipments each day, I'm taking your boxes... and all you get are cookies. Not a bad swap I'd say. Unless you hate pumpkin which I'm hoping they won't. 
I plan on making more pumpkin treats this month/November but I have no idea when I will be able to post them. If you have some recipes you think I should try please send them! 

Pumpkin Cookies aka Pumpkin Puffs
2 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C butter softened
1 1/2 C sugar
1 C canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Frosting Optional (I don't think they need frosting)
2 C confectioners sugar
3 T milk
1 T melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Mix together the dry ingredients including spices. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in egg and mix until incorporated. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool and drizzle frosting over the top if using. 

Cookies are cake-like in texture and get better with age. I think they are best the next day. Store up to one week in an airtight container. The cookies will be puffy - hence the name "puffs" and should not spread out on the pan. If you want them to be less puffy, press the dropped dough down with wet fingers before baking. 

October 10, 2010

Friendship Bread Part 2

Last post, I told you about making friendship bread starter and revealed some silly things about my tween years. Now, I've made the bread and frozen the starter for victims who have yet to appear. I'm not surprised. Only M's Aunt was excited about the Chain Bread (Yeah Aunt J!) but some of you just don't know what surprise awaits you. I've decided to pursue the sneak attack method... I surprise you with starter and you feel obligated to make it. ha! 

I made the bread on a warm sunny day after a short hike near Emerald Bay in Tahoe. It's our yearly pilgrimage to nature and escape from the city. It's never been anything but relaxing and fantastic. I spent more time in the kitchen than normal (bread + dinner) but what else is there to do but sit around and read, or play cards, or ping pong in the yard? star gazing. Thankfully it was not so cold at night as it has been in the past. M took some amazing night photos off the pier.  

I didn't plan the starter very well since I had to bring all of my ingredients on the trip, but I was making myself impatient waiting. Like I mentioned before, I made this once in college, and remember my mom making it when I was young. I imagine PTA moms were the culprits. (My mom was PTA president so she is considered "culprit" too.) Since I don't remember actually making it, I chose a recipe at random from the sea of recipes on the internet. The recipe listed below I found while going through some things in the attic at my mom's house. This was the recipe we used as kids and it is printed on pink cardstock. I think it is better than most of the recipes on the internet - though very similar. In order to save some trees, I'm not going to send printed instructions with the starter (if you are a sneak attack victim). 

I only made one loaf. I had a lot of starter and ended up dividing it into 5 segments. I didn't realize it was ok to have more than the one cup you give everyone else. I also didn't have pudding mix. I think I'm going to try it again with one of the starter bags in my freezer. I thought the bread was pretty tasty. It was a bit dry since I cooked it too long. Purposefully though - it didn't look done on top so I sacrificed the bottom. It's easy to cut the bottom off a loaf of bread. I think the sweetness of the bread surprised M. Sourdough starter makes you think you will eat a loaf of sandwich bread. I'd like to try making yeasted waffles or pancakes with the starter. It may not work at all or be totally disgusting but fun to try. If you follow the instructions, it shouldn't be difficult at all to make two slightly tangy and sweet loaves. Let me know if you'd like to try. If you want to begin the starter on your own, follow the steps below. 

It is very important to follow these rules with the starter:
Never use metal utensils or bowls. Always use wood, plastic or glass. Keep the starter on your countertop - never refrigerate. If you receive the starter in a plastic bag, transfer it to a glass bowl loosely covered with plastic wrap so that the bag doesn't pop. 

Amish Friendship Bread Starter
In a 2 quart glass bowl, dissolve 1/4 C warm water (110-115˚) with one package yeast
Add 1 cup flour, 1 C sugar, and 1 C milk. Stir vigorously to break up the lumps. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and follow the instructions for days 1-10 below. 

Amish Friendship Bread
Day 1 receive the starter
Day 2 Stir 
Day 3 Stir
Day 4 Stir
Day 5 Add one cup each Flour, Sugar, Milk
Day 6 Stir
Day 7 Stir
Day 8 Stir
Day 9 Stir
Day 10 Add one cup each Flour, Sugar, Milk. Stir well. Divide the starter into three separate containers with one cup each and reserve the rest for yourself. 

To make the bread on Day 10:
To the reserved started add:
1 C vegetable oil
1/2 C milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

In another bowl, combine:
2 C flour
1 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C chopped nuts (optional)
1 large box instant vanilla pudding

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease two loaf pans. 
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir well. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 1 hour. If bread doesn't spring back when lightly touched, reduce heat to 325˚F and continue baking 10-15 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. 
You can also use different kinds of pudding, raisins or dried fruit, or peeled and chopped apples. 

September 16, 2010

Chain Bread?

When I was a teen a group of my friends had a Notebook. I'm not sure why I am sharing this bit of information, but it seemed appropriate to link this idea to the title "chain letters". So the Notebook. It was a just a composition notebook (or series of notebooks) that we wrote notes in and passed around to our group of friends. I think there were close to 7 of us. Much better disguised as your english note pad rather than paper notes you folded into cute little origami shapes before passing. Oh, not that I passed notes during class or anything like that.... I found one recently while going through some items my mom wanted us to clear out of storage. Oh the topics we discussed. Not worth mentioning here, but they were completely relevant at the age of 13. 

Something I really hated about receiving chain letters was a last little line that appeared, demanding if you if you didn't copy the full page note, spin in circles with a feather on your head, and send it to 20 other friends, you were going to have bad luck for seven years. Or worse, bad luck with boys for Seven Years! Oh the mind of a thirteen year old. I'm sure there is no note passing today. These little teens are texting maniacs. Chain texts would be horrid but easier to send - all of those letter combinations make no sense to me. LOL!

I'm not really here to tell you about chain letters, but a similar phenomenon that happens with bread, Amish Friendship Bread to be exact (which has nothing to do with the Amish by the way). Friendship bread is kind of like a chain letter for baking. You begin with a portion of Starter that you either make yourself or someone has so graciously handed to you. Then you let it sit around for a while and stir, add some ingredients, stir, wait, and at the end your have quadrupled your starter. Finally, you give some starter to people you know and the whole cycle starts over again. Unless you STOP the cycle by tossing the extra starter in the freezer. I guarantee that you will not receive bad luck for freezing the starter.

I don't remember why I recently wanted the starter. The last time I participated in the Friendship Bread Chain, I was in college. I remember it being pretty fun, and a test of patience. And at the end, it produced a wonderfully cinnamon-y loaf. Or two I can't remember.... so, I've done it. I've made the starter and am going to send some to a lucky few. I'm going to log the starter's process in case you want to start the chain someday. And, if I'm lucky, some of you will actually make it the bread, and I will share the successes.

August 31, 2010

Inspiration from the Humble City of Portland

M and I recently visited Portland over a long weekend for a wedding. I wanted to share some great places we visited while we were there. We are food people and were really excited about the food scene in the city. From kitschy cafes to Voodoo Donuts, Portland has quite the variety of restaurants to fit your occasion or mood. We had a long list of restaurants to choose from, and we made it to quite a few. All were lovely experiences, and we definitely need to go back for some of the rest. 

We started our trip bright and early on a 7am flight, where our attendants happily offered complimentary glasses of wine or beer. It being only 7am, M and I passed, but there were definitely a few takers on the flight. Running on 4 hours of sleep we needed coffee, not alcohol. As soon as we we settled in the hotel, we ventured with M's parents to Park Kitchen in the Pearl District. The restaurant's idea of lunch is "a really good short story" observing the time constraints of their lunchtime working customers (I'd like to try their "novel" dinner sometime too). Their menu allows choices of individual items or a lunch combo with a starter, main and a dessert. I can't remember exactly but I think the latter choice was called something like a Power Lunch. I ordered a Roasted Beet Sandwich with home made potato chips and it was fantastic. It inspired my Meatless Monday meal (see recipe below). There were so many delicious items, including the bread which they get from a local bakery, Ken's Artisan Bakery. Oh, the bread was divine! I completely fell in love with the rustic country bread they delivered during our lunch. I just don't understand how people on the low carb diet plans can give up bread.

Ken's Artisan Country Bread, Photo by M

Park Kitchen Leek Soup, Photo by M
Park Kitchen home made hot dog, Photo by M
Park Kitchen beet sandwich and house potato chips, Photo by M

We visited the Japanese Garden and spent some time on the grounds of Reed College for the wedding ceremony. Both beautiful places. We hiked around two waterfalls and drove a loop around Mt Hood. That is one big mountain! Portland is definitely green and lush. My inlaws fell in love immediately. The weather was in the 90's which M and I are not used to, but relished in for the time we had. Oh, how I miss summer nights. Maybe we'll have some summer in September and October (which is usually the case). 

Voodoo Donut: Original Voodoo Doll, Photo by M

Voodoo Donut: Chocolate Frosting, Rice Cereal, Peanut Butter Drizzle, Photo by M

Columbia River Scenic Overlook, Photo by M

Latourell Falls Hike, Photo by M

Latourell Falls, Photo by M

We stopped for coffee at Barista, also in the Pearl District, in a renovated warehouse space with a little loading dock charm. The loading dock is now a quaint little space with tables and chairs for sipping coffee. And not just any coffee. These are not your fast food coffee baristas like Starbucks, and I do appreciate a fantastic latte. I'm willing to wait five minutes for my latte when they look like the image below. Beautiful. I want to learn how to do this. I might use our espresso machine more often. Barista serves Ritual coffee as one of their espresso choices, and Ritual Roasters is one of the best coffee shops in San Francisco. I need pretty cups and saucers like these! 

Pretty! Barista Cappucino
Doesn't M make a lovely cappuccino face?

Mt Hood, Photo by M

We had a nice time in this small town. Yes, it is small. It feels small. but it's clean and happy. I didn't take any more pictures of our food, but I hope this inspired you to try something new. If you aren't able to travel this fall, find a local restaurant in your home town to support. They do exist! Check out our list below for some of the places we couldn't fit in, and some of the places we fell in love with above. Don't forget to eat your beets in sandwich form next Meatless Monday

Beet Sandwich
2 large beets

To roast your beets, preheat your oven to 425˚F. Wash your beets and cut off the stem and tail (the tail always reminds me of a little rat.. just what you want to think about when cooking!). You can remove the skins before or after they are roasted - just a matter of preference since they will still stain your fingers pink no matter the order. Center the beets on a large sheet of aluminum foil and coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the sides of foil together to create a sealed pocket. Roast for one hour. Remove and let cool. Peel the skins off if you haven't already and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. 

For the Sandwich (serves 2 with some Beets left over)
4 pieces good quality bread
goat cheese

To assemble the sandwiches, toast the bread. On one piece of bread spread some goat cheese, on the other piece of bread spread a thin layer of tahini. Lay 4-6 beet slices on the bread and top with lettuce. Simple, delicious and vegetarian. 

Here is the list of restaurants and places to visit M and I made, with great suggestions from friends and co-workers. If you are ever in the Portland area, please check out the great local restaurants below! 

We used a variety of guides including GQ City Guides: Portland, CitySearch Portland, and UrbanSpoon: Portland 

places to eat:

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