April 2010

The wine event we are heading to tonight has a Willamette Valley theme and I wanted a heartier dish to share that would focus on spring ingredients. I stumbled upon this Roasted Leek and Potato Salad and thought it could be a winner:




  • 4  medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, halved lengthwise
  • 1  pound  fingerling or baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4  cup  plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 1  tablespoon  plus 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped drained capers
  • 2  cups  mixed baby greens
  • 4  hard-cooked eggs, quartered or thickly sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 425°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the leeks and potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the leeks and potatoes on the baking sheet, cut side down, and roast them on the bottom rack of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the leeks are lightly browned and tender. Transfer the leeks to a work surface and cut them crosswise into 2-inch lengths. Continue to roast the potatoes for about 10 minutes longer, or until they are browned and tender.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil with the red wine vinegar, mustard and capers and season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, toss the greens with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and arrange on 4 plates. Put the leeks and potatoes in the bowl and toss with all but 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Arrange the leeks and potatoes on the greens. Garnish the salads with the eggs, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top and serve.




Leeks have a suggested pairing of Pinot Noir so I choose a Strangeland 2007 Oregon Pinot Noir that is from the hills northwest of Salem, Oregon. They are small producer that focuses on delivering the highest quality. The bottle describes that flavor as: “Staring with violet florals and candied fruits on the nose, this well structured, complex vintage is traceable to its fine pedigree of 6 vineyards of unique terroir.” So what does that mean? You will smell more floral than you will taste it and pinot noir has a very strong fruity flavor. It is a good wine for groups and you can find some solid pinot noir under $20.






Our second appetizer is smoked salmon with cream cheese and cucumbers on a wasa crackers. I picked smoked salmon because it pairs well with white wines, specifically Pinot Gris. Too bad I can’t eat this appetizer since I am allergic to cream cheese! But I know the 30+ plus others that will be there should enjoy it :) Taking one for the team on this recipe 😉






The Pinot Gris (which is the same grape as Italian Pinot Grigio and one of the few white wines that I actually like) is from Ponzi Vineyards which is in Beaverton, Oregon. This is a 2009 and from a sustainable vineyard! One thing that I like about Pinot Gris is that it is aged in stainless steel instead of oak. For some reason oaky-ness is not a taste that my palette likes, no matter how hard I try.  Pinot Gris typically has a light floral taste with notes of lemon and citrus. It is a great summer wine.






Off to enjoy some wine and good food!


Thinking About Costa Rica

April 30, 2010

We had quite the thunderstorm last night! Lots of lightning and thunder, I love sleeping during a storm. Something about it is so relaxing. We are supposed to get more rain and storms today and it is definitely humid out.  This week has felt very odd- with Mike being home all week and not working from home. We are getting ready together in the morning, thank goodness for 2 sinks in the master bath. It would be tricky if we only had one right now. Getting up at the same time and then leaving at the same time also has Clifford a little confused.  This morning he really wanted to come with me, he gave me those eyes that said “Don’t leave me Mom!” When we leave he runs to the front day and watches the cars pull out of the driveway. I did give him a few extra treats and pets this morning so his day doesn’t feel so long.

While he was inhaling his treats I grabbed items for a quick breakfast, a handful of Kashi Cinnamon  Harvest and a Passion Fruit Macadamia Kind Plus Bar, this may be my favorite flavor!

It reminds me of a lot of the food I had in Costa Rica when I was there for Grad School. We went to a plantation where they grew pineapple and passion fruit. Pineapples actually seem pretty cheap when you realize that amount of labor and time that goes into each one!

We also toured a macadamia factory, now I know why they are so expensive, almost everything is done by hand. From the picking to the sorting to the packaging. The $8 dollars a jar seems reasonable!


Off to dream about being on vacation…

Fun Question for Friday: Where is your next trip? We have some Chicago trips planned, a few trips to my hometown over the summer and Spain/Portugal planned for next Thanksgiving.


Sopa De Tortilla

April 29, 2010

We were looking for something quick and easy again for the evening, this week has been crazy with a first day at a new job, dinner with girlfriends, a flat tire, a haircut and about 40 hours of work already. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday! Tomorrow evening we have a Willamette Valley Wine Event and I needed to stop and get wine and prep an appetizer for the event. I am making a Roasted Leek and Potato Salad and did all the chopping, roasting and dressing making. I sliced the fingerling potatoes and leeks-





Prepped the salad, and made a container of dressing so that we can grab and go tomorrow evening.






While the leeks and potatoes were roasting I dug through the pantry and found a Bear Creek Tortilla Soup mix that would be ready in 15 minutes. Winner! A good tortilla soup is one of my favorite meals and this was ok, not great. But definitely edible for a weeknight meal. I think I preferred the Minestrone Mix over the Tortilla Soup.





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Oats To Go

April 29, 2010

After a crazy busy evening last night that didn’t wind down until about 10 I had a hard time getting out of bed at 5:30. But we did, and it is nice to have someone there to push me to get up rather than look at me like Clifford does with those eyes that say don’t get up mom stay in the nice warm bed. 30 minutes on the elliptical reading the current issue of Experience Life and then a back/abs workout.

Lat Pulldown 3×10

Barbell Deadlift 3×10

Seated Row 3×10

Roman Chair with Weight 3×10

Bicycle Crunh (3@30 seconds)

Plank with Knee Touch (3@30 seconds)

Boat Pose with Crunch

After all my oatmeal explosions at work I decided to give it one more shot, I grabbed a bigger tupperware container and had a 1/2 cup of oats with a 1/2 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of almond milk and a pinch of salt.  I microwaved for 3 minutes stopping about every 15 seconds after the first minute to stir so they would not explode! Toppings were a handful of trail mix, chia and flax seeds, a packet of sunflower seed butter and a few tablespoons of Uncle Sam Cereal. This might be one of the best combo’s I have had. Delicious :) Although I did get a few- “Ewww, what is that” comments from coworkers.

We have a very important client meeting here today so we are all running around like crazy with last minute printing and organizing. What is new, it always seems to come down to the last minute!


Spicy Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

April 28, 2010

I needed a super quick dinner for this evening since I was meeting with a landscape designer at 5 (he ended up cancelling at the last minute, grr!), and Mike was getting a ride home from a friend and he needed to get his tire fixed before 8 and I had a haircut at 7:45. […]

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Flat Tire

April 28, 2010

Our morning got off to a rocky start, Mike was getting ready to leave and noticed that his back tired was flat. He didn’t have time to put the spare on and take it to get fixed this morning so we car pooled and will need to figure out how he will get his tired […]

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Magazine Stealers

April 27, 2010

Mike and I got to workout together this morning! For years he has done the hotel gym during the week but now that he works in town we get to workout together during the week. Since he now works about 6  blocks from me we can leave the house at the same time to workout […]

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A Dinner Together

April 26, 2010

Monday is over. Thank goodness. It seemed to take forever and it was one of those days that my to-do list was about 3 pages long. I got about a quarter of it done so I have all the fun and joy to look forward to tomorrow 😉   Since it was Mike’s first day […]

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Lunch with the Girls

April 26, 2010

Saturday afternoon  I met up with 2 of my favorite blog friends (Erika and Kate) for a little lunch and catch up. Erika picked Q Cucumbers because of it’s enormous salad bar and tons of vegetarian friendly options. It had been at least 5 years since I had been to Q Cucumbers and I took […]

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Looking Back

April 26, 2010

I wrote a post on December 31st, 2009 with a list of things I wanted to accomplish in 2010 and this morning another one gets to be crossed off! Here is that list from December 31st: Some of the things that we are planning on happening in 2010- 1) I will start a new job […]

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