Aaaahh … COFFEE

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

Drawn to the Pearl District in Portland ….first for lunch, now for COFFEE!

We found Stumptown Coffee in a little ‘annex’ next to a delightful old hotel …. a line out the door (always an indication of good things worth waiting for!)

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

As part of the lobby of the Portland’s Ace Hotel this Stark Street location offers a delightful setting to sit back and enjoy Stumptown coffee.

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

 

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

Aaaahh ... COFFEE

One of Portlands many coffee houses, his location is at 1026 SW Stark Street, Portland Or 97205, which is one of Stumptown’s  five locations in Portland.  Stump town Coffee Roasters offers a rich experience, both in its delicious coffee as well as its many locations which include shops in Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles.

Irish for a Day – St Patrick’s Day!

Irish for a Day - St Patricks Day!How Irish are You?

In celebration of St Patrick’s Day,

we can All be Irish for a Day!

Any reason is reason enough for a special celebration and helping the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day is a fun one:  wearing of the green, wishing the ‘luck o’ the Irish’ with shamrocks and gold coins, eating great food and drinking green drinks! It has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and lots of green!

 Who IS Saint Patrick?  and  What is this Day all about?

Irish for a Day - St Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick depicted with shamrock in detail of stained glass window in St. Benin’s Church, Kilbennan, County Galway, Ireland

We can enjoy celebrating St Patrick’s Day just for the fun of it – without knowing what – or who – the celebration is all about but I like to have a little background.

St Patrick is the most commonly recognized patron saint and national apostle of Ireland (c. AD 385-461). He is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland.

Why March 17?  It is the date of Saint Patrick’s death, so the ‘Feast of Saint Patrick’  or the “day of the Festival of Patrick”  is celebrated every year on March 17 to honor him.

Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century.

Great FOOD and Green DRINKS!

The ‘Feast of Saint Patrick’ has it’s share of great food along with the revelry, festivities and a lot of green. 

Irish for a Day - St Patrick's Day!The classic St Patrick’s Day meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage is more American than Irish. It seems Irish Americans in the 19th century created a simple, hearty one-pot dish using spiced salty ‘corned beef’ to flavor plain cabbage as a tasty and cheaper alternative to cured pork and potatoes.

Today, other delicious Irish foods such as as Haddock soup, braised beef, and Shepherd’s pie are found on menus along with Corned Beef and Cabbage.

I am excited to finally find a recipe for making my own ‘corned’ beef. I will have to wait until next year as it takes at least 17 days to ‘cure’ the beef.  I like lots of potatoes and carrots with the cabbage and beef…more veggies, less meat.

Complete the meal with a dark rye bread  (I am not fond of the classic Irish Soda Bread) and a beer – it doesn’t have to be green – any dark stout will do!

Top off your meal with an Irish Whiskey or Baileys and cream.

St Patrick’s Day – What a deliciously fun day to celebrate!Irish for a Day - St Patrick's Day!

May the Irish hills caress you;
may her lakes and rivers bless you;
may the luck of the Irish enfold you;
may the blessings of Saint Patrick, behold you.

Go muirní cnoic na hÉireann thú.
Go mbeannaí a lochanna agus a haibhneacha thú.
Go dtimpeallaí an ádh Eireannach thú.
Go bhféacha tú beannachtaí Lá Fhéile Phádraig.

 

Image credits:

Pierson Library; Wikepedia; Celebrating St Patrick’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

Original ChopShop Co

The Original ChopShop CoOriginal ChopShop Co is a delightful ‘off-campus’ eatery near Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ.   Sandwiched between a couple of other little eateries, the Tempe ChopShop takes residence in a cute little bungalow on University Avenue across from the campus. The Original ChopShop Co 

 

Offering a pleasant and peaceful (almost cozy) atmosphere,  this delightful restaurant feels like an escape, a place to relax and enjoy fresh -and delicious! – food anytime of the day.

The Original ChopShop CoDine al’ fresco at tables under the trees or umbrella’s for shade from the warm desert sun.  The Original ChopShop CoSit by the fireplace among the casual collection of cushioned sofas while sipping one of the healthy pressed juices, popular gourmet coffee or teas, or the refreshing lemonades.  The Original ChopShop CoCheer on a fun game of life-sized chess or stay inside and enjoy the bright cheery dining area.

During the week during the school year, the Original ChopShop Co is a busy place with students taking advantage of the proximity to campus and enjoying the healthy choices and relaxing atmosphere.

We were there for an early lunch on a Saturday (few students). With a promise of spring in the air, the late winter sun was warm enough to enjoy sitting outside. The Original ChopShop Co

We chose to share a veggie sandwich with hummus spread on the house bread (low carb whole wheat) and a small side salad of quinoa and asparagus.  It was a wise decision – the portions are generous! The Original ChopShop Co

 Believing that it IS possible to eat fresh, healthy, delicious – and affordable – food in today’s ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle, the ChopShop has a menu that invites you back for more!  

The Original ChopShop Co Starting with breakfast items (yogurt-granola parfaits, eggs with veggies, meat, hash in bowls, wraps or sandwiches) and going into lunch and light dinner meals with salads (in a bowl or wrapped) and sandwiches (also available wrapped or on low carb whole wheat bread), and protein plates and shakes, the menu fills out with small sides, and an extensive beverage selection. The Original ChopShop Co

According to  Original ChopShop Co, the chef selects “the freshest seasonal ingredients for our innovative chop salads, reinterpreted sandwiches, and grilled protein plates.” and pairs “inventive cuisine with familiar dishes unexpectedly twisted into new combinations. ”

Try it – you’ll like it!! (Our granddaughter craves the PB&J!) And you will definitely want to go back to sample more of the menu! 

Lucky us – Original ChopShop has another location, (Old Town Scottsdale)  and plans for a third in Chandler!

 

 

Image Credits:

Great Food Fun Places

Fireplace – Rachael H

Chess Game: Bruce M

 

 

Tuesday Tidbits: Famous Fiction Writers and their Cocktails

  Literary Drinks:

A Fun Look at 10 Famous Fiction Writers and their Cocktails

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

From theKitchn, here is a brief look at some great American writers and their signature drinks

  “the boozy concoctions they drank and wrote about”

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Literary Drinks: 10 Famous Fiction Writers and Their Cocktails

 

Readers, what’s your cocktail of choice?

 

For Recipes: Click on each author or go to the Kitchn Post 

Read More: For more on great writers and their cocktails, check out Hemingway & Bailey’s Bartending Guide, which NPR profiled in this 2006 Morning Edition broadcast.

 

 

Oscar Night: Fun & Festive Menus & Recipes

It’s Oscar Time!

And Epicurious.com has done it again with cleverly created menus for Oscar Night celebrations featuring recipes inspired by food themes and food ‘moments’ in each of this year’s Best Picture nominees:

13 Sophisticated Ways to Dress up PopcornSpicy clams and “piccata of the gods” for American Hustle

A pizza-night menu is drawn from Theodore and Samantha’s carnival date in Her  

Outer space-themed dishes such as potato ‘meteors’ and star-shaped Linzer cookies to celebrate the celestial setting of Gravity.

Fruitcake and tea for Philomena whose enthusiasm for and love of food is evident through out the movie.

An over-the-top menu that includes sushi, steak, lobster, and Champagne reflect the lifestyle in The Wolf of Wall Street. With so many extravagant dishes, You may want to scale back this extensive menu or risk ‘incuring the wrath of your CFO and father for spending $26,000 on dinner”.

To see all nine movie-themed menus, read more.

 Plan your Oscar night around your favorite movie or the menu you can’t resist. Or pick one or more recipes from each and create your own one-of-a-kind Oscars feast.

Oscar Night: Fun & Festive Menus

Make more Oscar Night magic at home with:

 

Easy Appetizers

Oscar Night: Fun & Festive Menus

12 Sweet and Savory Puff Pastry Recipes

Theater-Style Snacks                                                                                                    Popcorn with a Twist

Oscar Night: Fun & Festive Menus

Microwave Popcorn Tase Test

 

13 Sophisticated Ways to Dress up Popcorn

13 Sophisticated Ways to Dress up Popcorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adapted from Epicurious.com: Best Oscar Party Recipes

Image Credits: Epicurious.com

 

 

Wine for Your Thanksgiving Feast

 

Thanksgiving Feasts are filled with a variety of tastes, textures and aromas.Thanksgiving Wine  Choose the correct wine to go with this special meal.

Sommelier Stacy Slinkard offers this advice:

Thanksgiving Wines: Sparkling1. Sparkling Wines. From appetizers, to white and dark turkey meat, mashed potatoes, yams, herb-filled stuffing, cranberry relish, pickled this and peppered that, all the way to pumpkin or pecan pie – is there truly a single wine that can take you seamlessly from start to finish?
Enter, sparkling wines – an increasingly popular pairing partner. Sparkling wines bring both elegance and food-pairing versatility to any meal, but with Thanksgiving these wines really shine.

 

2. White Wines.
Thanksgiving Wines: white wineRiesling: A white wine that can be dry or fairly sweet, excellent with any dishes that are spicy, salty or sweet, and is the top pick white wine for pairing with Thanksgiving dinner. Riesling’s innate flavors of apple, apricot, honey and its clarifying acidity give it a significant pairing edge with the likes of sweet potatoes, turkey meat and spice-laden or herb-filled stuffing.

Gewurztraminer: This white wine tends to have the aromatic gusto and spicy palate appeal that give it a solid standing with turkey and gravy, bringing out the best in both.

Pinot Grigio: Capable of handling garlic and onions, herbs and rich, flavorful, high-fat dishes, this white wine is a natural for the demands of Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving wines: red

3. Red Wines.
Pinot Noir: This red wine is a traditional favorite for Thanksgiving. Pinot Noir’s subtle earthy undertones tend to show well with the traditional flavors of turkey and stuffing.

Zinfandel: A fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity from a Pinot Noir, but still maintains a balancing effect on many traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. This would be a great wine pick for those looking for a heartier red wine with the capacity to accommodate spice, bitter, and sweet flavors.

 

Cheers!

Giving Thanks never tasted so good!

 

 

 

Adapted from: “Timeshare travel – Wine for the Thanksgiving Table”  – a RedWeek.com post. “Take a timeshare rental vacation to northern California’s amazing Wine Country”  Napa timeshare rentals start at just $143/night.

Source: Thanksgiving Wines 
Photo Credit (top): thanksgivingwallpaper.blogspot.com
Photo Credit (1): wine.lovetoknow.com
Photo Credit (2): whitewines.net
Photo Credit (3): wine-vignettes.com

Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns – Tuesday Tidbits

Pumpkins aren’t just for jack-o-lanterns. They are a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.

Here are 14 easy ways to start enjoying pumpkin now:

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.44.56 PMRoasted — Cut it into slices, lay in a roasting pan, brush some extra virgin olive oil over it and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to an hour.  Serve warm on its own or on top of a green salad.

Stuffed– Cut small pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds (save them!), brush with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Serve stuffed with quinoa or rice and cooked mixed vegetables. See: Pumpkin Risotto with Spinach

Soup — Bake pumpkin in the same way as indicated under “stuffed” then scoop out the cooked flesh, add two cups to a blender with some vegetable or chicken stock (to desired thinness), a teaspoon of cumin, a teaspoon of unrefined sea salt, a pinch of black pepper, and a teaspoon of honey or other sweetener.  Serve hot.

Pie — Add ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and/or cloves along with your favorite sweetener, pour into a pie crust and bake for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.   See: Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust

Pureed — Place cooked pumpkin (as indicated in “stuffed”) in a blender with a little water, unrefined sea salt, black pepper, a teaspoon of honey or other sweetener, and serve in place of mashed potatoes for a healthier side dish.

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.55.02 PMRoasted Pumpkin Seeds — Remove the fleshy parts from the pumpkin seeds you saved. Toss in a little extra virgin olive and unrefined sea salt. Bake at 300 for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly golden.

Ground Pumpkin Seeds — Add ground pumpkin seeds to smoothies or on top your hot or cold cereal.

Raw Pumpkin Seed Snacks — Snack on pumpkin seeds (the green seeds, not the whole seed removed from the pumpkin) on their own or with a pinch of unrefined sea salt.

Bread — Add a cup of grated raw pumpkin to your favorite bread recipe to add moisture, flavor, and nutrients.

Cake — Add a cup of grated raw pumpkin and ground cinnamon and nutmeg to your favorite cake as an easy way to spice up a plain cake recipe.

Pasta Filling — Add pureed pumpkin along with your favorite seasonings such as sage and sea salt as a filling for lasagna or ravioli.

Chai Tea or Pumpkin Lattes — Add a tablespoon of cooked and pureed pumpkin to your chai tea or latte for a delicious autumn twist on your favorite beverage. (Click here for a Pumpkin Latte recipe)Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.57.14 PM

 

Adapted from  Care 2 Healthy Living

Photo Credits:

Stuffed Pumpkin image: care2 healthy living

Roasted pumpkin seeds image: miriam_kato via flickr

Pumpkin latte image: ousam via Flickr

 

Coffee Art? This is Coffee Sculpture!

Wow! Now THIS Coffee Latte Art is the most amazing I have seen yet! I wish I’d had the fun of seeing it in person, but then…I wouldn’t ever be able to actually drink it (and disturb this adorable seen? No!!) But I am excited to share it here!

Latte Art is truly a unique talent…. amazing AND Fun!  I personally believe it changes the flavor of the drink but if that isn’t really true, I know it changes my enjoyment of it! And I am so fascinated, I have to take a picture of each one I have.

But this …. Wow – THIS is the most amazing I have seen yet:Coffee Latte Art Sculpture

 

Tuesday Tidbit: Captivating Coffee – A Few More Facts

 

  • Captivating Coffee FactsBrazil is the world’s biggest producer of coffee by a wide margin, followed by Vietnam and Colombia.    In fact, in 2011 Brazil produced nearly twice as much as Vietnam and Colombia combined and a third of all of the coffee produced in the entire world. This statistic has remained fairly constant for the last 150 years!
  • There are two main types of coffee “beans” – Arabica and Robusta.    Robusta plants are grown at low elevation and produce less flavorful coffee beans. However, Arabica plants are grown at high altitudes and produce the best tasting and highest quality coffee beans.
  • Despite what most people think, an espresso has 1/3 the caffeine of a cup of coffee due to serving sizes.    Consider throwing a double- or triple-shot into your favorite beverage, because just one might not cut it for the more hardcore caffeine addicts. Or you could make a Red Eye- a shot of espresso inside a cup of coffee, or as we like to call it, beanception.

And yet…

  • The drink “Americano” comes from when American GIs in WWII would order their espresso with water because it was too strong .   Sort of funny when you think about how tough soldiers are supposed to be: Asking for your hosts to water down their coffee because it’s too strong for you definitely isn’t the most rugged of requests.

 

These Awesome Facts about coffee are brought to you by Coffee Cup News, Coffee Fact Sheet, Coffee Time, Spot On Lists, DailyPix, and TinyBytes.

Coffee & Wine?

For coffee addicts and wine connoiseurs –  a cozy ‘chic’ environment offering rich coffees, elegant wines, refreshing teas, and fresh seasonal fare.

Talebu Coffee and Wine CafeCoffee and Wine

Talebu Coffee and Wine Cafe, is “not an ordinary coffe shop but an experinece with panache”. With gracious inside seating, including small vignettes for ‘cozy’ conversations, tables for computer work, and an area for entertainers (open to local artists, musicians, and live acts), and outside seating for enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather.

Talebu Coffee and Wine Cafe

Talebu Coffee and Wine Cafe

Talebu Coffee and Wine Cafe

Talebu Coffee and Wine Cafe

Talebu Coffee and Wine Cafe

Talebu Coffee and Wine Cafe