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