Monthly Archives: January 2014

Portland Food Tour 2014

I am a Seattle girl through and through but I must admit I love Portland to itty bitty pieces. There’s a lot to love about Portland but one of the better reasons is the food. I don’t think I can ever spend enough time there to eat at all the worthy restaurants. The last time Janet and I went to Portland we spent time with three absolutely wonderful places. I can’t wait to go back!

Killer Burgers

I have a special place in my heart for cheeseburgers. My food pyramid has cheeseburgers and beers at the top. Killer is a relatively new establishment and Janet talked me into going with her. It wasn’t very hard to do: she asked and I said yes. We went in for dinner on a Thursday night and there weren’t many people in the rather large dining area. We ordered at the counter and went to wait for our double patty burger (which we split, a much better bun to burger ratio).

We waited for approximately 20 minutes. The whole time we’re thinking ‘what a waste of time’ and ‘why are we still here?’ When they brought our burger out we noticed it had bacon on it. Apparently, all their burgers are served with bacon. Things were looking up. It only took one bite before we were both hooked on Killer Burgers. The patties were juicy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. The cheese and bacon were perfectly distributed and enhanced the burger. This burger was so good I will think about it until I go back to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Soon, I hope.

Sugar Mama’s Café

This place looked great from the outside: open and bright and inviting. The name also spoke to me, I love cafes and sugar. We went for breakfast and ordered an egg scramble. It was really good and their coffee was delicious. What really caught my eye was their freshly baked cinnamon roll. It looked so good Janet and I went back the next morning so I could order one.

Our delightful waitress heated up the cinnamon roll and smothered it in butter. I can vividly remember the sensation of the roll melting in my mouth. It was fluffy and sweet but not so sweet it was cloying. The cinnamon roll, along with their wonderful coffee, was all I needed to start my day. I had an omelet too but that’s beside the point.

Grassa

This is another new restaurant Janet saw on one of her walks and we decided to eat dinner there on Friday night. It’s a tiny space but they utilize it well. Two long communal tables are centrally located with tables, a counter, and a couple of booths along the perimeter. The waiters were friendly and helpful especially when their credit card machine wasn’t working properly. Unfortunately, they fixed the problem and we had to pay.

I was a little concerned with the menu. I’m not even close to the definition of an adventurous eater and when I saw the choices I had a mini panic attack. I noticed one of the noodle and fish dishes used squid ink and I asked Janet why anyone would do that to their food. She informed me that the ink didn’t have a flavor – it was just for show. I was a little concerned with black teeth but ordered the dish despite my reservations. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the pasta. It was a little weird, eating black pasta, but the flavor was a perfect symphony of pasta, fish, garlic and salt in my mouth. I think it was even better the next day as leftovers.

jenn

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Dear Jesse: Set Goals In Your Life

I know I mentioned this before, but I want to mention it again: please consider reading Sonia Sotomayor’s autobiography My Beloved World. Here is a woman who lived her life with one goal in mind. She wanted to be a judge. Not only did she become a judge, she became a Supreme Court Justice.

When Sonia (since I read her book I feel very close to her and figure she wouldn’t mind if I called her Sonia) was little, a doctor told her she had diabetes and, at the time, she was told people with Type 1 diabetes didn’t live very long. Instead of giving up on any dreams or hopes she had, Sonia decided, “I better hurry up and get this done, who knows how long I have.”

Quite a few people would listen to their doctors and stop living to their full potential thinking, “why bother? I’ll be dead soon. No point wasting my time studying or learning.” But not Sonia, she buckled down and did everything in her power to attain the goal she had set for herself, a goal which originated by watching the TV show, Perry Mason, no less!

She set very specific goals for herself and, when facing a decision in life, made choices which aimed her in the direction of her choice. Right after Sonia graduated from Yale Law School, she had a choice between a lucrative private sector job where she would have made a ton of money and a job as an assistant district attorney making hardly any money. Which job did she take? Sonia took the lower paying job because it was the easiest way to get a lot of experience in a courtroom; the only real way to become a judge. She realized the money would come later. That’s focusing on your long term goal.

If you don’t set goals for yourself, Jesse, how are you going to know how to live your life? For example: if you decided, right now, to retire from work at 45 and you made that your goal in life it would be helpful to live with that goal in mind before you’re in your 40s, right? You might not spend money frivolously, like a lot of people do, if you knew you wanted to retire early and travel.

You have an advantage at your age: you have your whole life in front of you. You don’t have to decide today what you want to do with the rest of your life. But maybe, in the back of your mind, you should start thinking about what makes you happy and what you see yourself doing when you get a little older.

I’m not trying to pressure you or tell you what to do, I just want you to think about things. It may seem like a long time until you reach adulthood but you’ll get there before you know it and I just want you to be as prepared as you can be for your future. Set goals, get to know yourself a little and think about the future. You could start by reading a wonderful little book I found: it’s called My Beloved World.

Love, Mom

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Filed under Advice to kids, Letters to Jessie

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

Every year I like to create a long list of resolutions so I have a good chance of finishing at least a few. I won’t bore you with all of them; I’m trying to be more concise.

Lose five pounds a quarter for a total of 20 pounds. I’ve done this same resolution for years now but I think I will take it seriously this year. I should weigh -320 pounds, if you add up all the 20 pounds over the years.

Gun safety class. We’ve been watching a lot of zombie and Hunger game movies; it seems like knowing how to handle a gun might be a good skill.

Introduce one new veggie a month. I have a hard time with vegetables. I just don’t like them. We tried to pick veggies which were in season and weren’t a normal part of our diet. January is Kale. Mmmm…I can’t wait.

Destination dinners once a month. Janet had a great idea, one of many I might add, a few months ago where Jesse picked a country and we made their national dish. She picked Morocco and their national dish is a stew called Tagine which we made with chicken. We bought the food together, cooked together and ate this together. It was delicious! Jesse even ate it declaring “these little garbanzo beans are good!”

Learn four songs on the Ukulele. Janet and I took a ukulele class and I just fell in love with the sound. How can you be in a bad mood when someone plays the ukulele? You just can’t. We learned Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in class but I really need to branch out. Right now I’m trying to learn Let Me Call You Sweetheart, and it sounds lovely. Oh btw, Janet: I now know the lyrics and they’re not “Let me call you sweetheart…I forgot your name”!

Learn Geography. I once read an article about a group of nuns in France who never (except for one case) see Alzheimer’s in their ranks. Their secret? They pick a subject they know nothing about and learn all they can about that subject for a year or two. For Janet and me that would be geography. Okay, a lot more topics but we picked geography.

jenn

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