December 18, 2010

Cranberry-Apple Crumble

Traditional-style crumble with a nice tartness from the addition of the fresh cranberries. Enjoy!


December 17, 2010

Kung Pao Shrimp

Recipes from the magazine Food & Wine have been really hit or miss for me. This one was a miss. I added some fish sauce in an attempt to add some flavor; it helped a little, but not enough to make this one again.


December 16, 2010

Slow Cooker Chipotle-Lime Chicken with Jamaican Rice and "Peas"

This recipe is easy to make, but it only has a very mellow chipotle flavor which was disappointing. The rice was tasty, though mild. I would recommend making a half order and use the spices (chipotle and garlic) recommended for the full dish or maybe even double them if you like it really spicy.


December 15, 2010

Honey Cookies (Swedish Leckerli)

This recipe was shared with my by a good friend. They have a nice spiciness with a heavy duty crunch; whole nuts and fruit make for a nice balance in texture and taste. My friend makes the candied orange herself which really puts these cookies over the top, but I just used pre-made candied orange from the grocery store which works just fine. Depending on what type of honey you use (orange blossom, clover, etc.) the cookies will have unique flavor. Enjoy!

Heat ingredients together in a large bowl in the microwave or in a double-boiler, until
everything is warm & the butter melted:
1 & 1/2 cups honey
3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp powdered cardamom (this is the key ingredient)
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 cups whole raw almonds or filberts, or combo
1/2 cup orange peel candy
1 cup yellow raisins

Then stir in the following:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda

Then add 1-2 more cups of flour, until the mixture is thick & sticky like hot asphalt.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and non-stick spray around the edges, dump about 1/2 of the mix onto a cookie sheet, wet your hands with water and pat it out to uniform thickness, about 1/3 inch thick. Approx 10 x 15 inch pan with 1/2 inch sides works best. 1 batch is 2 cookie sheets. A metal pie pans also work if your cookie sheets don't have sides.Bake 350 degrees 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

Cooling & cutting process: Let cool say 5 minutes, then remove the whole sheet from the pan by setting a cookie rack on top and then flipping the whole thing over. Let cool 5-10 minutes more, then flip again onto a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips x 2-3 inches long. 

December 14, 2010

The Wine Shop - Bend, OR

Nice selection of wine by the glass, including ports and saki, with selected wines $5 per glass and seasonal tap beer $4 per glass during happy hour. Well rounded selection of artisan cheeses from around the world to enjoy with your wine. Relaxing atmosphere and friendly staff.        The Wine Shop on Urbanspoon

December 13, 2010

Old Mill Brew Werks

Amazing beer selection on tap, especially for such a small place. Happy hour gives you a dollar off all the beers, which is a great deal as many of the beers they serve you can't get anywhere else in town on tap. We tried Hales Ales Red Menace Big Amber (sweet and smooth), Oakshire Ill-Tempered Gnome, EL Toro Deuce Imperial IPA (nice bitter hop taste), HUB Dark Helmet Schwartz Bier (smooth stout with a light finish), and Double Mountain FaLaLaLaLa (great hop character).

They serve traditional bar food - nachos, burgers, fish & chips, salads, and soups.  I would not recommend the nachos - a lack of toppings and the use of some sort of Velveeta-type white cheese on top, made them not very appealing. However, I am willing to try something else from the menu next time we go back for some great beer.
Old Mill Brew Werks on Urbanspoon

December 12, 2010

Deschutes Brewery

Seasonal Brews Currently on Tap:
Quail Springs IPA - strong bitter hop taste, not enough fruity balance for me
Red Chair NWPA - full bodied with a nice sweetness that is balanced with a hoppy bitterness...yum!
Hop Henge Experimental IPA - another great one here, lighter in color and body than the Red Chair
The Dissident - this one is on the verge of a being a sour beer, which I am not a fan of
The Abyss - excellent, full flavor; the molasses really shines through
Horton's Helles - traditional style German beer; light but still has a good deal of flavor that even a hop-head like me can enjoy.
Deschutes Brewery on Urbanspoon

December 11, 2010

Big Island Kona Mix Plate - Bend, OR

Great food at a great price in a great location - The Old Mill. The servings can be pretty large for the mix plates so come hungry or order a mini-plate. The Aki Poke was delicious, perfectly seasoned as to not overwhelm the fresh tuna. We also had the Spicy Pork (yum!), Spicy Chicken (a bit salty), and Spicy Chicken Sandwich (meat was a bit chewy for a sandwich). For sides we recommend the potato mac...a double serving! Not sure what their secret is in the potato mac, we think it might be fresh vanilla bean, but its amazing. I would go back just for that, though the rest of the food is really good so I am sure I wouldn't be able to resist ordering something else. Enjoy!
Big Island Kona Mix Plate on Urbanspoon

Little Pizza Paradise - Bend, OR

Very good "traditional-style" pizza. We just had a pepperoni and sausage, but the amount of toppings was just right. The sauce was light and there was a good amount of cheese, but it was not overly greasy. The crust was thin in the middle and chewy/crispy on the outside. Unfortunately, it is way up on the northeast side of town in a small strip mall with a gas station so parking can be tricky and its not really near anything else so we have to go out of our way to get up there. However, those are the only downfalls for this joint; worth the trip if you are looking for some good "traditional-style" pizza.
Little Pizza Paradise on Urbanspoon

December 10, 2010


Pfeffernüesse - delicious German spice cookie; love the hazelnuts in place of the more traditional walnut or pecan. 

Tony's Hot Toddy

Great hot toddy recipe. We used dark rum instead of brandy which worked nicely. I would recommend letting it simmer for a few minutes after bringing it to a boil. The spices and lemon flavors shine through more fully. Enjoy Apres Ski or anytime! 

Recipe courtesy Tony Neely, Food Network
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 8 min
Serves: 10 servings
·         3 whole cloves
·         cinnamon sticks
·         1 cup brandy
·         3 tablespoons honey
·         2 lemons, wedged
·         8 cups cider
In a large saucepan add all the ingredients. Whisk together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour into glasses and serve.

December 9, 2010

Kettleman Bagels - NW Portland

Great bagels and large variety of speads. Morning buns are delicious when they have then (get there early!).

Kettleman Bagel Company on Urbanspoon

December 8, 2010

Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) - Portland

One of the best breweries and pizza places in Portland (only better pizza is Apizza Scholls). Family friendly environment with great beer always on tap. We had the BBQ Pizza which had the perfect balance of bacon, chicken, and a slightly spicy/tangy BBQ sauce. The crust is perfectly thin and crispy in the center and chewy on the outside.

For beers we had the Abominable, the Porter, English Style IPA, and ESB. The Porter had a strong flavor, almost too coffee ground-ish tasting, the ESB was on cask so it was supper smooth, the Abominable was a great winter IPA (bought some 22oz once I got back to Bend), the English Style IPA was not what I would consider an IPA if I were in a blind taste test, but it had a nice full flavor that didn't overwhelm the palate and packed a nice alcohol wallop.  

We try to go there every time we are in Portland...its worth the stop. To the pizza and beers lovers out there - Enjoy!
Hopworks Urban Brewery on Urbanspoon

December 7, 2010

Flatbread Community Oven - Bend

Great Happy Hour deals - $5 pizzettes, flatbreads, and wines, $3 draft beers.

I actually prefer their flatbread over their pizza, especially the olive oil and Parmesan with three dipping sauces. Crust is always done perfectly, slight crispy, chewy and yeasty, with just the right amount of toppings...not too much and not too little.

Flatbread Community Oven on Urbanspoon

December 6, 2010

Basil Parmesan Biscuits

Nice flavor, even with sweet basil instead of purple basil, and easy to make. Enjoy!

recipe link

December 5, 2010

Tony's Delicatessen - Bend

I had been to Tony's before for their take 'n bake pizza, which is good, but nothing special. I went back today to try one of their Grinders (aka sandwich)...I had really been missing out!

I tried "The Adamonator" and my dining companion had the "Mario's Meatball."  My sandwich had a nice variety of Italian deli meats, with cheese, lettuce, and an amazing dressing. The meats were all very fresh, the sub roll they was served on was of the perfect thickness (not too much) and crispiness, and the dressing added a nice sweet oiliness. The meatball sub was served on the same roll with 4 nice sized meatball and a perfectly flavored, slightly chunky marinara sauce.  The sandwiches were served with potato salad, pasta salad, or coleslaw. I had the pasta salad which consisted of bowtie pasta in light and fresh oil based dressing with olives and slivers of zucchini. My companion had the coleslaw which was slightly sweet with a mild spiciness.

I definitely recommend Tony's Deli and have added them to my list of favorites in Bend.
Tony's Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

December 4, 2010

Amalia's - Bend, OR

Many other diners have raved about how good the food was here, but I have to say I was a bit disappointed, especially for the price (most dinners are around $15). The salsas were thin and watery; the chips were over salted. The drink menu was not up to date, which the waitress did not tell us, that is once she came over to the was a slow weeknight so I was surprised to have slow service.  I ordered the seafood enchiladas, which were topped with a delicately flavored creamy corn sauce. The enchiladas were loaded with chunks of seafood, no fillers just meat. They were served with rice and black beans, neither of which had much flavor on their own. In general I enjoyed my meal, but it was nothing special so I will likely not be back again anytime soon. Disappointed :-(

Amalia's on Urbanspoon

Bacon-Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts

I was disappointed with this recipe. Neither the bacon or brown sugar really made a taste appearance. Maybe better if they were roasted instead of steamed.

November 30, 2010

Pizzicato - Bend, OR

Pizzicato has become my go-to pizza place when I don't feel like making it at home. They have a great variety of pizzas, the dough is perfectly crisp and chewy at the same time. Their Mu Shu seasonal pizza has a nice Asian flair with a touch of hoisin sauce and Willamette Valley grown mushrooms. I would also recommend their garlic cheese melted cheese on yeasty pizza dough and for $3.50 you can't go wrong.  For take-out ask that they only have bake it (both pizza and cheesy bread) so that you can finish at home and get that fresh out of the oven taste.

What pizzas have you tried here? Recommendations? Ones to avoid?  Share your thoughts!
Pizzicato on Urbanspoon

November 29, 2010

Bend Burger Company

I have been here multiple times and the food is always good - burgers, Philly sandwiches, piping hot fries with sauce and handmade vanilla shakes. Yum!  The burger patties are quite thin for the price so I usually end up getting a Philly since they are piled with meat. I am really on the fence about this one, good tasting food, but wish they would made the burger patties a bit thicker or reduce the price accordingly. If you try it, please share your thoughts and opinions.
Bend Burger Company on Urbanspoon

November 28, 2010

Letzer's Deli - Bend, OR

Huge sandwiches! Glad I didn't try to eat the entire thing myself...I wouldn't have been able to leave the couch for the rest of the day. Size aside, the sandwich I had was quite tasty - Pastrami, Corned Beef and Swiss. The meat was extremely fresh, tender, and thinly sliced (as it should be). It came on rye bread with a 1000 Island-style dressing. I would recommend asking for the bread to be toasted as by the time I got the sandwich home the bread was a bit soggy. The sandwich came with coleslaw or potato salad and pickles. I had the coleslaw; it was not as sweet as I prefer, but a nice compliment. The pickles were great - one slice dill, one slice fresh, and one wedge of green tomato. I would go back for just the pickles(!), though I am sure I wouldn't be able to resist their fresh pastrami and corned beef. Definitely worth a try, especially for the the east-coasters out here that are missing a taste of home.
Letzer's Deli on Urbanspoon

November 27, 2010

Thai Thai

We were excited to try Thai Thai as we hadn't heard much about it, other than a positive review in The Source Weekly. Though our experience was not bad, I was disappointed in the food. The Mussaman Curry was really mild in curry and coconut flavor and actually needed some salt.  The Drunken Noodles were tasty with a decent amount of veggies and chicken, but it was nothing special; conversely they had too much salt. Not as authentic as I was hoping, nor is it the best place in Bend for Thai food. 

Thai Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

November 26, 2010


Follow the link to a great recipe for snickerdoodles, one of my favorites. I find too many people call cinnamon-sugar cookies snickerdoodles, but these are the real deal. The recipe has been updated to use butter instead of the traditional shortening, though it leaves out the cream of tartar. I made the mistake of adding 2 tsp cream of tartar, which was way too much for this recipe. Maybe try 1/2-1 tsp or just leave it out all together.


November 24, 2010

Wasabi Flank Steak

Disappointing - there was hardly any heat or flavor to the meat. Maybe not dissolving the wasabi powder in so much water would help concentrate the flavor. I did not try the potatoes.

If you try it or have any tips for improvement please let me know.

November 23, 2010

Pancetta and Swiss Chard with Polenta

Great quick and light meal for a weeknight. Use soy bacon or similar for a delicious vegetarian option.

November 22, 2010

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Appropriate for the fall season, this recipe by Rachel Ray is a real winner. I used cooked fresh pumpkin that I had frozen for use throughout the year.

Tips: I halved the recipe and further halved the amount of sausage called for. Makes it healthier and more budget friendly. You can also use whole wheat pasta and add some frozen spinach to further up the nutrient content.

November 21, 2010

Cocoa Brownies

These brownies (recipe by Alton Brown) though they had a nice chocolaty flavor, were "cakey" in texture. They also came out a bit dry. Not sure if its the altitude we are currently living at...any suggestions??

November 20, 2010

East African Braised Chicken

Great tasting, flavorful and easy chicken recipe. I served it over rice and also tried roasted potatoes; both worked nicely.


November 19, 2010

Pendleton and La Grande, Oregon

10 Depot in La Grande - I had been here before, but it has been a while. This time I ordered the Thai Salad with Chicken and peanut sauce dressing. I am sad to say that I was disappointed. There was nothing really Thai about the salad and the dressing was really lacking in flavor. The salad consisted of lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and onion with a grilled chicken breast on top. If I had just ordered a garden salad it would have been perfect. I will likely go back as there are few decent restaurants in La Grande, but I will be sure to orer something different.

Prodigal Son in Pendleton -  This is the newest brewery to come to Eastern Oregon. I was really bummed that they were out of their IPA as I was really looking forward to trying it, however I ended up with a really good rye beer instead. It was mildly hoppy, with a nice smooth taste of rye. One of the best rye beers I have tried (other than that by Terrepin Beer Co. in Athens, GA). I also tried their porter, which was fairly light and subtle in flavor.

The food selection is mostly typical bar food, with a few unique items, such as the Onion Tart that I ordered. It was definitely homemade, with a rich and creamy taste; served with a large salad of mixed greens. My companion also ordered a plate of onion rings, of which I partook in. Wow, I am not much for deep fried food, but the batter was perfectly seasoned and coated thick slices of fresh sweet onion. The batter was a bit thick for me, but the flavor was so good I was easily able to look past that. The biggest gripe I would have is that they served them with ketchup!  It just didn't do the rings justice.

Prodigal Son Brewery & Pub on Urbanspoon

Brother Jon's for Breakfast

Coinciding with football season, Brother Jon's is now offering breakfast on the weekends. I went there last weekend and had their biscuits and gravy with two eggs and fruit. While the biscuits were not the best I have had in town (I hate day old biscuits), they were still in my top 5 so far in Bend. The gravy was the traditional white gravy with sausage AND bacon; can't go wrong there. They had a nice range of menu offerings, but it is fairly limited. Brother Jon's Public House on Urbanspoon

November 7, 2010

Vegetable Strata

Adapted from a Real Simple recipe. Easy and healthy.

1 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 zucchini sliced into half-moons
1 portabello mushroom cap, sliced
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cup egg substitute (or 6 whole eggs)
2 cups milk
1/2 lb bread, such as French or sourdough, cut into 1 inch pieces (~6 cups)
1/2 lb grated cheese such as cheddar
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8-inch square baking dish. Heat 1 TBS oil in a large skilled. Add onion and cook until tender (3-4 min). Add zucchini, mushroom, and spinach; cook until tender. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add the bread cheese and vegetable mixture and toss. Stir in fresh or dried herbs to taste, if desired (I suggest parsley, thyme, oregano). Pour into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and set, 50-60 minutes.

Chicken Tagine with Rasins and Pistachios

Very good and easy weeknight meal. I used lemon zest instead of the preserved lemons since I couldn't find them as the grocery store.

November 5, 2010

Fresh Indulgence

Small bakery/eatery on SE 3rd in Bend. A place I drove many time without even realizing it was there. I stopped in the other day to get a bit of lunch to-go. Its quite small inside with only one table to dine-in at with office type storage along the wall (a bit strange, but not uninviting either). I ordered their Pesto Chicken sandwich on sourdough which was a decent value at $7 but it doesn't come with any sides. The pesto was made with hazelnuts and had a unique and nutty flavor. The bread was only mildly sour...I like the tangy San Fran style stuff...but it went well with the other ingredients. The sandwich also had a few pieces of fresh spinach and provolone cheese on it. Though it was good it was nothing special, in other words, it was something I could easily make at home. I might go back to try some of their bakery treats, but I am not running back for their sandwiches.  

October 31, 2010

Bend Ale Trail

Bend has an extraordinary abundance of craft beer with 7 world-class craft breweries all within walking distance of one another and, rumor has it, two more on the way.  By visiting all 7 breweries and getting your Bend Ale Trail Passport stamped (available from Visit Bend) you are rewarded with lots of great beer and a silipint. Say what?  Yes, I said silipint. It is a pint "glass" made of silicone with the Ale Trail logo it. So forget packing plastic cups on your next outdoor adventure, bring your silipint!

We just completed the Ale Trail and it was a great experience. I highly recommend it for locals and visitors alike. 

Seasonal Treats in Bend

Deschutes Brewery - Recently went in to try a few of a seasonal beers. The Pompion (pumpkin) beer was on nitro, which really mellows out a beer usually more so than I prefer, so it was super mild and lacking in any true pumpkin or spice flavor. If you are looking for a super mellow beer with a nice amber color then I would recommend this, but don't get it if you are looking for any pumpkin flavor.

I also tried the Hop Trip Strong that was yummy! Great hop balance, though fuller than the regular Hop Trip and with a sweetness that was reminiscent of a barleywine.

Nancy P's Bakery -  pumpkin cream cheese scones - need I say more?!

Deschutes Brewery on Urbanspoon

October 24, 2010

Kasier Brod - German Fruit and Spice Cookies

Traditional German cookie recipe from my grandfather. He traditionally made these around Christmas along with springerlie cookies. Super easy to make and great with a cup of tea.

1/2 lb sugar
1/2 lb chopped walnuts or almonds (or mixture)
1/2 lb chopped candied fruit (mixed, orange peel, or citron)
1 tsp each - cinnamon, allspice, cloves
2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 lb flour

Mix sugar through baking powder together in a large bowl. Add the flour, sifting it in till the mixture is stiff enough to roll out on a floured surface. Roll to 1/4 inch thick and cut into prefered size squares/rectangles. Brush with egg whites and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees (325 at altitude).

Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash

Slow Cookers (crock pots) are great for busy weekday evenings. I recently found a recipe for one of my favorite family recipes, adapted for a slow cooker - Chicken Paprikash.  I adjusted the recipe a little to make it similar to what I was used to growing up - no carrots or mushrooms, fresh garlic and bone-in chicken thighs and breasts (no skin). I would also recommend reducing the chicken broth my 1/2 cup for a thicker, more rich paprika flavor. It is best served over egg noodles, but also good over mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

October 16, 2010

The Best Ever - Pumpkin Bread

The is the best pumpkin bread recipe I have come across. Moist, with great spice and lots of raisins and nuts for added texture. I used whole wheat pastry flour which makes it even more delicate and adds more nutrition. For high altitudes, cook at 325 degrees. Enjoy!

Between 2 Slices, with a cold brew and dessert

Its been a real journey this week. We've had a lot of Flavor Adventures.

Tuck Mo - located on Hwy 20 E in Bend. Good selection of traditional style sandwiches, think italian, pastrami, and club. I had the hot Italian, as in temperature not spicy, on ciabatta. Bread was a good mix of chewy and crunchy, as ciabatta should be. It came with a mix of italian meats, cheese, tomato, and roasted tomatoe mayo. The sandwich, though tasty, was nothing special. I would go there again, but I wasn't running back the next day if you know what I mean. TuckMo Subs and Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

Tart Bistro - located in downtown Bend; features French globally inspired food with a seasonal menu. Great lunch special as was written about in Cascade A&E, Sept 2010. Pick 2 for $6 - for half a sandwich, salad, fries, and soup. I had the Prosciutto, Pear & Brie Panini with fries and lemon-thyme aioli. The sandwich was very fresh and the meats tasted to be of good quailty and nicely balanced with the tangy brie. However, the pear was so overpowered by the other flaovrs it was lost in the sandwich. The fries on the other hand tasted great on there own, as they were very lightly seasoned with smoked salt, but were also delicious in the aioli. Defintely worth going back, especially with the reasonably price lunch offerings.  Tart Bistro on Urbanspoon

McMennimans, Old St. Francis - located in downtown Bend. Well rounded seasonal beer offerings. We especially liked the fruity, bitter Secret IPA and sweet Coffee Porter (tasted like sweet coffee without the acid or bitterness). We have always been disappointed with McMennimans food in their other locations and were hoping this location would change our minds. Though it didn't. We only had the hummus appetizer, but the hummus was lacking in flavor, almost watered down, and the pita bread was only toasted on one side with the other being a bit gooey/mushy. So we won't be going back for the food again, but the beer is worth another stop (especially during happy hour with $3.25 pints). McMenamins Old St Francis School on Urbanspoon

Cuppa Yo - located in NW Bend on Newport Ave. We had been here before...its has been hit or miss depending on the flavor of yogurt. Some are nice and creamy with full flavor, such as the peanut butter, while others like the chocolate have a texture more like ice milk and only a mild chocolate flavor. I am a big pumpkin fan so I had to try their new yogurt offering. It is quite hard to describe, almost too much pumpkin flavor for me and I even mixed it with a bit of vanilla! Cuppa Yo on Urbanspoon

October 10, 2010

Deschutes Brewery 10.09.10

Stopped by Deschutes Brewery in Bend yesterday. We tried the OR 151, Yamma-Lama, and Alma NWPA.

OR 151 was effevecent, slight sweet and fruity, yet had a hint of background tang like a sour. Its worth trying, but not one to have very often.

Yama-Lama is a version of Hop Trip, but with sweet potatoes added. Its mild, with a slightly earthy taste. Hoppy bitterness and fruitiness are subdued, but present.

Alma NWPA was a nice amber color with balanced bitter hopiness and a slight floral nose. For us hop fans out there its an easy drinking beer that doesn't overwhelm the taste buds.

October 8, 2010

Its better the next day

Not often are leftovers better the next day, especially those from a restaurant, but I have found the execption.  I went to Brother Jon's on Galveston in Bend and had their BBQ Tri-Tip sandwich. The sandwich was piled high with meat and cheese and served on a slightly sweet bun with a light BBQ sauce. It came with some of the best red potato salad I have had in a long time...maybe it was just the bacon!

I had the leftover half of the sandwich tonight for dinner, talk about delicious. It was even better today, reheated in the oven, it crisped up the bun and cheese.

Definitely worth stopping in to Brother Jon's to give this one a try. Just remember don't eat it all in one sitting...its better the next day.

Brother Jon's Public House on Urbanspoon