Thursday, February 26, 2015

inPDX {Portland Dining Month 2015}

Can you believe it is the last week of February?? This month has absolutely flown by. Maybe it was all of the sunshine or my new favorite blog series - but one of my least favorite months disappeared within the blink of an eye. With March comes Irish Christmas, the Ides and Portland Dining Month! Last year I had the opportunity to check out Songbird and {RIP} Genoa. This year my must try list is a bit long.

Image Courtesy Travel Portland

With more than 100 restaurants participating, you can experience a 3-course meal at nationally recognized restaurants for just $29. 

Unless you have four-stomachs and completely devote your budget and schedule to the cause, you won't be making it to every restaurant.

{Portland Dining Month 2014}

Step 1: Review the list
First, read through the list of participating restaurants and write down all of the options that speak to you. This may be restaurants you love, have always wanted to try or never heard of. Right now I am guessing  your list has 20+ selections

Step 2: Read the menus
Now, look at all of the options and read the menus. Note which dishes really jump out to you. Maybe your all-time favorite spot is offering a really unique pasta dish. Perhaps an option on the short list is serving items straight-off the menu. Maybe all of the options have peanuts in them and you have a deadly peanut allergy.

If needed, compare the Restaurant Month menu with the website menu. This will give you a good idea of their pricing and regular fare.

Your list has probably been cut in half. 

Step 3: Know your priorities
Knowing your priorities will help you figure out which restaurants are a must to fit in during the month of March.

Is a dining experience with unique dishes a priority? Maybe you've always wanted to try a Portland favorite, but it isn't in your neighborhood. Is 'bang for your buck' a must? 

For me, a high-value option with at least two options for each course is a must.

Step 4: Finalize the List

At this point, your list has been narrowed down. I am guessing you have whittled it down to 4-to-5 options. 

Step 5: Make Reservations

For the restaurants that are accepting reservations, I highly recommend you commit and get the dinner on your calendar. I have a feeling this year's Portland Dining Month will be the best yet!

Where do you plan on going this year? Are you a fan of dining months? Have you ever gone to one in another city?

Today Erin and Pech are also sharing their PDM guides!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oregon Explored {Cannon Beach}

While those on the East Coast have been experiencing cold, blustery weather, out here in Oregon the weather has been unseasonably warm. To take advantage of the sunshine and temperatures in the 60s I've been trying to spend as much time as possible outside.

On Saturday we headed to Cannon Beach. I won't lie, the water temps were much warmer than when I visited the coast in August - and not windy at all. Strolling along the water towards Haystack Rock allowed me the opportunity to play with my new Canon and get a lot of pictures.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Recipes {Shishito Peppers + Miso Butter}

You may know that my New Year's Resolution was to try something new every month. While I plan to share more comprehensive recaps each quarter, I have tried to apply the mentality to every day life. When I was at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago I spotted bags of shishito peppers. To be honest, I had only had them once at a restaurant and wasn't overly wild about them. I attribute that more to the preparation than the vegetable. Since the generous bag of long and skinny peppers only cost $1.99 I decided to throw them in the cart and experiment. What was the worst that could happen?

At first, I prepared half of the bag anticipating I would probably need to make something else for lunch. Instead, I absolutely loved them and quickly finished off the bag and experimented with seasonings and ingredients. They can be eaten with chop sticks or picked up by the stem to bite off. Since then, shishito peppers have been a near bi-weekly side dish, or main over rice, for dinner.

This simple dish finds the non-spicy pepper blistered over high heat to develop a crunch crust. Tossed with spicy hot sauce and luscious miso butter, this dish is impressive enough to entertain with or enjoy on the couch for a date with personal time. This recipe also allows for plenty of adjustments and interpretations. The amount of seasonings and oils lie entirely in the hands of the chef. With prep and cook time taking less than 10-minutes just about anyone can handle blistered Shishito Peppers + Miso Butter.