A Lesson From Mom

This Week's Seasonal Salad... So why are you still whining?

I know some of you are upset about soup season being over at the LRBC. Believe me, I know. I hear about. Like multiple times a day. As my mother/wanna-be Mary Engelbreit would say, to those of you who are full of nothing but pouts and whines, "SNAP OUT OF IT!!!" We've moved on to seasonal salads so get over it! Look people, I'm just trying to call out the weather gods and have them turn this thing around in our favor. We don't want soup! We want salads. We want crispy, crunchy, satisfying, thriving off the zest of life, hey- it's sunny and suddenly this-health kick-thing-ain't-all-that-bad SALADS!

So look, the thing is, is that we have a truly delicious seasonal salad this week and a few of you have been so busy consoling yourself about the loss of soup you've missed out. This week's special features a...
Green Bean and Radicchio Salad
with toasted walnuts, goat's cheese, and lemon curls

Don't worry, Soup will return to the cafe some day. Look for it on the specials board. Until then, embrace change. You know what they say, if you love something you've got to learn to let it go. Some day Soup will be back and maybe you'll fall in love again. Or maybe it'll be too late because Salad has already become your new thing. As Mom would say, "if it's meant to be it's meant to be, only time will tell."

Wedding Vendor #2

Caroline Colom Vasquez is the crafty lady behind the adorable Etsy shop, Paloma's Nest. She lovingly creates unique, one-of-a-kind pieces for her customers and notes on her site that "custom requests are always welcome." (Amazingly sweet, no?) Yesterday E and I received a beautiful package in the mail from Caroline. While we are including a few of her art pieces in our wedding, I will share the one with you that literally took my breath away, our ring bowl. To be honest when I was first planning the wedding I thought the idea of a ring pillow was silly and completely unnecessary. Not to the mention the fact that I had a serious doubts that our best friend could actually hold on to our rings without losing them (sorry, Neil). No, we would just keep the rings on our person until the time came in the ceremony to exchange them.

However, after discovering the beauty that is at the root of Caroline's shop, my mind started to re-think the ring pillow. A ring bowl is much different than a ring pillow. Like much better than a ring pillow. Bowls are so utilitarian, so user friendly, and not to mention completely aesthetically pleasing. Who doesn't like a bowl? I mean honestly, what are you going to do with a ring pillow after the ceremony? It will get dirty, collect dust, and probably go out of style before you're even able to reminisce about your wedding day. But as Caroline so fabulously points out under her description of her ring bowls, there are plenty of things to do with a ring bowl after the ceremony. Such as...

1. Later hold other jewelry, momentos or other treasures
2. Be hung on a special place on the wall
3. Be framed in a shadow box
4. Become a ornament for your tree

I'm kind of leaning towards #1 at the moment although the truly sappy side of me secretly wants to decorating our tree with a life time of ornaments purchased at each anniversary, commemorating a life spent together. (I know, I know, I just said it was cheesy. But also kind of like the cutest thing I could ever picture in my head).

So anyways, back to the ring bowl. It only took a few seconds before I knew what I wanted our custom message to be. As each bowl fits into the palm of your hand, I was concerned about the line's length, which stems from an even longer poem, but was assured by Caroline that she could make it work. The line comes from a poem we've asked to be read at our ceremony by our dear and wonderful friend, the insanely talented Alice W. Hacker, who in the last six months has acted as anchor to our ship. (She also happens to be the mastermind behind EchoLocations--check it out! Thank us-- or really her, later.)

There are so many reasons why I love this ring bowl. I love that it will cradle our wedding bands. I love its functional integrity and its simplicity. I find its shape, color, and texture comforting. I love that it holds text that will be read by one of my oldest friends, who knows the story of E and I backwards and forwards and sdrawrof dna sdrawkcab. I love that this bowl was undeniably crafted with two loving hands, and that it has instantly become a treasure in our lives. So for these and many other reasons, I am humbled to be able to include Paloma's Nest in our list of wedding vendors. Thank you Caroline, for giving my words a place to rest. Thank you Goobies, for giving my words a voice. XO


While You Were Sleeping

Warning: Getting up at 5:00am on a Sunday may affect mental alertness and/or coordination. If affected, do not drive a motor vehicle or operate machinery.

This is a self portrait I took sometime around 6:00am this past Sunday morning. Though the cafe doesn't open until 8am during the weekends, I like to get there early to make sure that most of our daily prep is finished by opening. The goggles I am so proudly wearing are my latest attempt to protect the eyes while slicing onions. They seem to do the trick, and simultaneously succeed in freaking out passerbys who happen to glance in and see me cooking.


It Goes Something Like This...

Hot peppers and chocolate=good

If you still haven't managed to make it to the cafe, this weekend's specials just might make the trip out worth it to you...

This weekend we've got (drum roll please...):

Cacao del Diablo
We're bringing back our drinking chocolate with a vengeance. I've cooked up a dairy base chock full of Calabria peppers, orange zest, vanilla bean and cinnamon, only to be combined with a pinch of sel gris and some divinely rich chocolate. Steamed by us for you, per order. Hey-yo!

LRBC's Threepeat Challah French Toast
Back by popular demand (okay, so we got like three emails abut it), our challah french toast served with orange-poppy seed butter and a fresh strawberry-rhubarb compote

Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Hawaiian Style
We're paying tribute to my Hawaiian roots with a tender and juicy pulled pork sandwich on buttered, toasted ciabatta with pineapple slaw. Served with mac salad (but of course) and sweet gherkin pickles

And for dessert...

Homemade Toasted Coconut-Chocolate Pudding
We've added our own twist but again, Heidi is really the Goddess who truly deserves credit for this one

And let's not forget, let's NOT forget...

Mini French Puffs
Mocha Bread Pudding
Applewood Smoked Bacon, White Cheddar, and Asparagus Strata
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
Cold Brew Coffee
Bloody Beers
Strawberry-Rhubarb Sorbet
Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
and our soon-to-be-famous (fingers crossed)...
Fire Ants on a Log

(Celery w/ almond butter and cranberries)

But alas, is that the Lucky Old Sun I see shining in our beloved Portland? Why yes, I do believe it is.

Ohhhhh yeah
...Let's do this.


Taking a Night Off

Pizza Porn Volume 1
We swear, every time we try to photograph their pizza the light seems to shine directly on it, as if to suggest that it has been ordained by a higher power

Ali and I have been making great efforts to cook more meals at home. Tonight we fell off the wagon, tempted once again by that seductive Siren, pizza. Thanks to Delane, Gavin, and Co. for letting us take a breather by filling our bellies with such tasty grub.


The Birthday Boy(s)

What can we say, the guy's got great taste

Today was Liam's 4th birthday. I gotta say that for a four year old, the little guy really is quite mature. A longtime customer, Liam was until today a regular "11 am" guy (3 scrambled eggs, 3 strips of bacon, croissant with jam, and a side of fruit). I guess this whole turning four years old thing has really had an effect on the him, 'cause today he shocked both us and his mom when he ordered an egg sandwich for the first time (the Paperboy w/ bacon, egg scrambled, not fried). He meant it too, he really wanted that egg sammie. Even after Ali surprised him by bringing out his favorite ice cream before his meal (Maple & Bacon), Liam promptly but politely reminded her that he had also ordered an egg sandwich. So we gave the guy what he wanted...and he liked it.

Congratulations on turning 4 Liam, and graduating to the egg sandwich. With taste buds like yours, your future will surely be bright.

Oh, and here are a few of those pics I had promised from yesterday:

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffin

Strawberry Sour Cream Muffin

The French Puff

P.S. Yet another reason we love Liam so much, he happens to share a birthday with our own "son," Zeus:

The man, the myth, the legend turns 3

Happy Birthday boys. XO


Better Luck Next Time

This plate yearns to hold something special

I took the camera to the cafe today uncertain what I was going to photograph, but with the utmost confidence that I would be able to get some great shots of at least one of the day's 'specials.' The specials proved to be just that, and all were sold before I was able snap a single photo. So I shot the above plate to signify the hope that we may actually get a photo or two of some food tomorrow. What could have been pictured above:

-French Puffs
Similar to a cinnamon & sugar donut, but are baked, not fried. That means its good for you, right?

-Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Muffin
Cottage and Parmesan cheeses, basil, sundried tomato and chopped almonds help make this muffin a healthy and tasty way to start the day. Oh and did I mention that its gluten free (thanks Heidi)?

-3 Cheese and Bacon Strata
Cheddar, gruyère, parmigiano reggiano, bacon, 'nuff said.

-The Cattle Prod
Roast beef, avocado, jack cheese, lettuce, and spicy mayo, served on ciabatta. Thanks to Logan for coming up with such a creative name for this one.


Has everyone gone mad?

Madeline's Fresh Strawberry Tart

Two of these tarts were baked this past weekend. The first was baked on Friday evening, and sold out by early afternoon the next day. The second was baked Saturday evening, and sat untouched in our deli case through all of Sunday.

Perhaps people were intimidated to be the first to cut into such a beautiful creation. Or perhaps customers simply didn't know what it was. Nonetheless, it will surely make for some mighty fine "leftovers" come Tuesday.


In Case You Missed It...

Yesterday's brunch special:

Ali Does French Toast:
Challah French Toast, served w/ orange poppy seed butter, and strawberry-rhubarb-plum compote

...are you kidding me?


A Day of Firsts

A lot of firsts for the LRBC today. Let's run down the list:

Jean Ann dropped off her FIRST produce delivery today; three pounds of lovely rhubarb which will soon be used in both a Strawberry-Rhubarb sorbet, as well as Saturday's breakfast special, Challah French Toast w/ Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote. Thank goodness for spring harvest and thank goodness for Jean Ann and all of the hard work she has put into her garden. I have a feeling that both of these specials will disappear fast, so if you are planning on coming in to the cafe for a taste, better try and come early.

Rhubarb soaking in preparation for a forthcoming sorbet

My FIRST trip to Courier Coffee Roasters' "office hours." Oh you didn't know CCR holds office hours? Every Friday for the past couple months Joel and company have been holding office hours at the CRR roastery. Given that I am usually at work on Friday it wasn't until today that I had an opportunity to attend. And oh what a treat it was. Anticipating the caffeine overload I knew I would experience while attending, I abstained from drinking any coffee while I was at the cafe this morning and instead indulged in large quantities of tea (probably what I should be doing every morning). My actions were justified by the fact that once I arrived at the roastery I promptly enjoyed a cup of French pressed Kenya Gethumbwini (thanks Matt), and got to pull a couple shots on Joel's La San Marco espresso machine; my FIRST time using a spring piston lever machine. Thanks to Joel and Matt for being such great hosts, and thanks to Ali and the rest of the gang for holding things down at the cafe in my absence.

Joel, the La San Marco, 91% isopropyl alcohol burning in the foreground

As if all of that wasn't enough, I also had an opportunity to taste and watch my FIRST siphon brewed coffee. Again using the Kenya Gethumbwini that was roasted yesterday, the brew lasted about 10 minutes and produced a coffee that was strong, smooth, and sweet, with hints of berry flavors. Hmmm....how do you think a fire marshal might react if the LRBC decided to start brewing all of its coffee using this method?

The siphon brewer in action

Like I mentioned earlier, it really was a day of firsts. In closing I will leave you with a FIRST of your own: a glimpse of the CCR blog, as posted on the roastery's front doors. Enjoy...

Who says blogs have to be electronic?


How the Cafe Got its Groove Back

Ali Does Heidi:
Raw Honey Ice Cream w/ Vanilla Bean
(served in our new espresso cups...ain't they cute?)

A few of you have inquired about whether or not things have returned to normal at the LRBC. Well, the answer to that question is yes and no. A few hours later than scheduled we did have a new compressor installed in our refer this past Tuesday. We were able to return to regular business hours Wednesday, which turned out to be a pretty slow day at the cafe. Today was much busier...like twice as busy as yesterday...literally, and we found ourselves sold out of ciabatta bread at exactly 12:00pm. Once again we are scratching our heads, trying to figure out just what "normal" really is.

Business has been extremely inconsistent these past few weeks and it has proven difficult to anticipate just how much product we are going to go through on a given day. While we prefer to be busy enough that we are running out of certain items, it is never good to be completely out of anything before the lunch rush. Still, it makes us happy to have the cafe open again, and we are trying to embrace the notion told to us by many of our customers, that running out of product is "a good problem to have." Yeah, just tell that to the couple who are visiting our cafe for the very first time and both want egg sandwiches that are normally served on ciabatta.

In more exciting news, tomorrow will be the first day that we receive a produce delivery from Jean Ann. We first received an email from Jean Ann a few weeks back, and had the great pleasure of being able to meet with her in person late last week. Minutes after sitting down and learning about her newest endeavor, we were both feeling lucky to be able to work with a very talented gardener turned farmer who will be supplying the cafe with a great deal of produce in the coming months. Expect to read a lot of posts about Jean Ann. We can't even begin to express how excited we are to be able to work directly with one of our produce suppliers, and literally watch the food that we will be cooking with as it grows from seed to harvest. Back when we were Green & Green Salad Company, one of the greatest benefits to our business was that we were able to sell our food at the same place we bought it: the farmers market. Now that most our days find us working hard at the cafe, we anticipate that we won't be able to casually roam the market like we used to. Being able to work with someone like Jean Ann will once again afford us an opportunity to cook with the freshest specialty produce. If you would like to learn more about what she is doing be sure to check out her amazing blog.

So to summarize, yes, we are open again. And I guess things are back to "normal" if one considers that there really is no such thing as normal in this industry. Most importantly however is the fact that we're back, and how happy we are to be so. Thanks for hanging with us, we love you for that.


What's for Dinner...

Sesame-Coated Tofu
served over a bed of spicy broccoli and kale, then topped with peanut sauce


Treating Myself

I have always been a firm believer in the idea that when things get tough and when times are hard, treating yourself to something nice can be a big help. As anyone who knows me can attest to, I am also a huge fan of presents. So in response to our past few days, I decided the best thing to do was to do something for myself.

Consequently, I bought myself a present. And what a beautiful one it was. Rollingstone Brandywine Chevre, goat cheese handcrafted in Parma, Idaho that's aged in a mixture of brandy and hard cider then wrapped in a grapeleaf tied with raffia.
I don't know which part I loved better. Picking out my present, unwrapping it, or putting it to use.


Refer Madness, a LIVE Update

We are currently experiencing technical difficulties

We were certainly hoping that by this time we would have a lot more figured out in regard to our refrigeration tribulations. We were hoping to get good news from both our insurance agency as well as our refrigeration repairman. We were hoping to be blogging about more exciting happenings than broken down equipment, such as our recent meeting with a very cool lady who happens to have a very cool blog. But it seems as though all of that stuff will have to wait. For now. But rest assured folks, we have not lost hope.

Our day off:

Ali and I went to the cafe early this morning and cleared the cafe floors of anything and everything so that our friend Elmer could give said floors a much needed waxing. Elmer arrived at the cafe around 8:15 am, and we returned home to do some light yoga; an attempt to simultaneously relax our bodies and clear our minds of any stress caused by recent unforeseen events. After we finished stretching Ali made a large pitcher of fresh plum, strawberry, and rice milk smoothie (very tasty). I proceeded to call Joel, our refrigerator repairman, who is scheduled to come to the cafe tomorrow morning in order to assess what options we might have in terms of fixing the refer. After scheduling an appointment with Joel, I put a call into our insurance broker to see whether or not it is going to be worthwhile for us to place a claim with our insurance agency. It turns out that we have a "72 hour deductible" for revenue lost as a result of failed equipment. Feeling eager to reopen our doors tomorrow it seems as though we are simply going to have to take this one on the chin, though we still might be able to file a claim if the refrigerator's compressor does in fact turn out to be broken. Time/Joel can only tell.

The rest of the day was more similar to a 'normal' day off. Elmer finished waxing the floors around 10:30 am, and after moving everything back inside the cafe we returned home for a little mid-day rest. This afternoon we ventured into the city and met our good friend Tim at Coffeehouse Northwest, where between the three of us we proceeded to consume an espresso, four macchiatos, and their sinfully delicious hot chocolate. It was really special having an opportunity to catch up with our friend who we have not seen in too long, and as always, such a treat being able to enjoy the wonderful beverages procured by the shop's rock star baristas.

After our outing we did a little grocery shopping for tomorrow's special menu. As of now our plan is keep the cafe closed during the early morning hours, but offer free coffee outside beginning at 7:00am. We hope to be able to reopen the cafe around 11:00am, however given that we are still going to be without our prep fridge we will be serving a limited menu which will consist entirely of special panini sammies which do not appear on our regular menu. For now, this is the best we can offer.

Stay tuned to the blog for news of any new developments. We will do our best to keep y'all updated, though we are hoping that this drama will soon have a happy ending, as we are very eager to return to business as usual. Thanks to everyone who has offered their kindness and support. It really means a lot.


What's this day of rest $h*t?

Those kind souls who tried to come eat at the cafe this morning were greeted with free coffee and pastries. It was the best we could offer on such short notice.

So what if our refrigerator/sandwich prep station broke down at some point last night?
So what if we had to close the cafe on a Sunday (a day in which we typically do about 25% of our weekly sales)?
So what if we lost hundreds of dollars in prepared food product?
So what if we are likely going to have to fork up a couple thousand more in repairs or a replacement unit?
So what is we have lost hours of labor spent preparing food that we will have to remake?
We don't f$cking care! It don't matter to the LRBC!

Oh, how we wish it were true that we didn't care, but in fact we do. We care a whole bunch. More than you will ever know. We are simply trying to maintain our sanity throughout this little misadventure by forcing ourselves to laugh through odd-ball references to our favorite movie.

Here's how it all went down:

I got to the cafe at 6:15 am this morning, a little bit later than I usually arrive on the weekends, but today there simply wasn't too much food to prep prior to opening. By not too much, I mean that all there was to be done was to make pancake batter, pasilla aioli, caramelize onions, and make a vegan Caesar salad dressing. No problem right?

My first 30 minutes at the cafe went off without a hitch and I was feeling very on top of everything that needed to be done. That was until about 6:45 am when I went to put some blueberries in our sandwich prep fridge. As soon as I opened the door to the fridge I felt a blast of very hot air hit the tips of my fingers and travel up my arm. I frantically proceeded to open the top lid of the unit only to discover that the vast majority of our prepared food had literally been cooking in our refrigerator for who knows how long. The refrigerator's thermometer which usually fluctuates between 34F and 36F now read 99F. After my initial reaction, my brain did a cartwheel inside my skull trying to answer the many questions that began to race through my head:

Why is there hot air coming out of our fridge?
What extra product do we have in our other fridge?
Can we prepare food without a functioning prep station?
Should I call off our employees who might be getting ready to bike to work?
Would our customers be happy with PB & J as their only food option?
Can pharmacies sell me Xanax even though I have never had a prescription?

Within a few minutes it became clear that there was no way we could operate the cafe on a Sunday without a functioning prep fridge. I called Ali who was at home waiting for our towels to finish drying, told her the news, and asked her to come meet me at the cafe so that we could figure out what to do next. I then called Alice, AnnMarie, and Dekin and told them not to bother coming in. After Ali showed up we decided that it was in our best interest to try and do everything we could to fix our fridge problem as soon as possible. A difficult task to accomplish on a Sunday, but perhaps a blessing that our one day off happens to fall on a Monday.

So we cleaned out the slow cooker, er...I mean fridge, trying not to vomit throughout the process. We then decided the best thing we could do was to put out free coffee and pastries for those loyal customers who we knew would be disappointed to find the cafe closed on a Sunday morning. We tried calling our insurance company, but we will have to wait until 8am E.S.T. Monday to see if they will be able to offer us peace of mind. We tried calling Joel, our refrigerator repairman, but was only able to reach his voicemail. After looking at the surplus of strawberries we had acquired for today's plate garnishes and yogurt bowls, Ali decided to make some strawberry ice cream batter.

As they say, when life gives you lemons--er, I mean strawberries, make strawberry ice cream

We offered up pastries and cups of coffee until they were gone, and decided to call it a day. I honestly wasn't too devastated about the whole thing at first, but found it difficult to repeat the entire story to each person who tried to come in to eat.

So now we are going to try to make the most of the day and try to resolve our issue tomorrow. As we wrote on the note pinned on the front door of the cafe, 'We are more upset by this unforeseen occurrence than anyone.' Still, we do apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused by closing the cafe. Regardless of what we are able to accomplish tomorrow, we will reopen Tuesday. Even if all we can serve is coffee, ice cream, and PB & J. Last but not least, to quote the end part of the note posted on the cafe door, "Please stick with us, as it's times like this that we need you more than ever!"

BTW: in addition to the fresh strawberry ice cream, we churned a fresh dulce de leche this morning.


New to the Menu: Bloody Beers

Bloody Beer with a chili-salt lined rim
Garden Garnishes: Gherkins, Celery, and Pepperoncinis

It's not yet quite 7am and I've already got alcohol on the brain. But this morning I was greeted by a wonderful thing: the morning light. Yes, for the first time in a long time, the morning was actually bright from the moment I opened my eyes. Forecasters are still calling for a day in the mid-70's. Hell-freakin'-yeah! If this weather sticks around, we might just have to pull a kiddie pool out in front of the LRBC. Well...,maybe not. But I can tell you this: there will be plenty of bloody beers a'flowin' this weekend. Not your thing? No need to fret-we still got mimosas made with fresh, organic, Columbia Gorge OJ.


For Clarification's Sake

What is baklava ice cream?

Many have asked and now I will tell:
Toasted Walnut & Cinnamon Ice Cream
layered with homemade baklava, then topped with raw honey and crushed pistachios

There. Satisfied?


Doc Holliday Day

LRBC lunch special, 4/10/08

Today's sandwich special, a new one at the LRBC...melted brie, prosciutto, and Oregon huckleberry jam on grilled Fleur de Lis multi-grain. The best part of it all was that I didn't even have to be there to make it. My hat goes off to the LRBC kitchen and FOH crew who work so hard and allow us the opportunity to catch up on much needed rest. And to top it all off they even manage to have some fun along the way and come up with ingenious names for our special menu items. I laughed this afternoon when I discovered their latest creation. I laughed even harder after confirming that yes indeed, it was in fact a reference to Tombstone.

Keep up the great work y'all.

Artwork by A.M. O'Malley


What a difference a year makes

Kenya Kaganda, Courier Coffee Roasters:
What fueled me during our trip to the beach

Ali and I rarely take time to stop think about what our lives were like one year ago, but when we do we are often surprised at just how much has occurred over the past twelve months. Crazy to think that this time last year we were still fresh from our travels through Guatemala, and beginning to delve into our grueling search for a retail location.

Also important to note is that we started the blog just over one year ago during a trip we made to the Oregon Coast. How fitting it was for us to be able to return to the coast a couple weeks back and take time to reflect on the many things which have inspired us throughout our journey. Coffee has been one thing which has continuously kept me excited. While at the beach I sipped Joel's Kenya Kaganda and tried to recall just what coffee I might have been drinking at the same time last year. I couldn't remember, so I checked the blog...and laughed. Sure enough, I had written it down. Inspired by a photo from a post I wrote last year, I staged the above photograph.

Happy 1st Birthday Little Red Bike Cafe Blog!


...hurrah, hurrah...

The ants go marching one by one..

Lately, you might have noticed the new addition to the deli case. Pretty classic, eh? AnnMarie has been working her hiney off trying to keep the supply full but I gotta tell you it ain't so easy. Who knew you all had such a devout craving/affection for Ants on a Log? Since their arrival, the amount of cooing going on has been pretty charming. We're absolutely thrilled you dig. XO


A Night of TCB

(What Would Willie Do?)

After much ado, we're officially TCB'in in our house, or, "Takin' Care of Business." Tonight, Evan and I had a sort of breakdown--er-- I mean breakthrough/revelation:

Ever since the cafe opened we've been playing an annoying, never-ending, all-too-consuming game of catch-up...And frankly, it's getting a little old.

The signs are all there: Our home is a complete disaster; our dog misses us; and no matter how hard we try we can't seem to remember where we put x,y, or z.

And so "it" hit us. We gotta start takin' care of $h*t and we gotta start doing it A-S-A-P. It's like the old saying goes, something's gotta give (not to be confused with the Hollywood ahem "Blockbuster," ahem).

Henceforth, our Night of TCB was born; e.g. Right now Evan sitting on the floor of the dining room surrounded by brown paper grocery bags. Each one is labeled; e.g. "LRBC Receipts," "Credit Card Receipts," "Paychex/Payroll Info," "Grocery Receipts," and "Merchant Processing." I'm washing laundry, stamping wedding stuff, and compiling tax information.

Tonight we rely on Willie's "Always on My Mind" (on vinyl) and Dove Vivi's Corn Pizza (we whole-heartedly heart smoked mozz) to get us through. And I hereby do swear that tonight our dog will be going to bed with his teeth brushed.

Coffee Crush

This ain't your Star*ucks macchiato
(four days out of roast, poured by Adam)

Prior to departing for the beach two weeks ago, Ali and I had the great pleasure of being able to stop in at Coffeehouse Northwest and sample the hairbender. These guys have consistently been "rockin' it" since the day they opened their doors. Everything they do is carried out with the utmost attention to detail, like for example using single origin Venezuelan chocolate in all of their mochas and hot chocolates. When I meet people at our shop who are interested in coffee I always encourage them to stop in at Coffeehouse NW if they get they chance. Now I am encouraging all of you blog readers to do the same.

Coffeehouse Northwest

1951 W. Burnside St.
Portland OR 97209
(503) 248-2133



My brother in law, who happens to be a professional photographer, just sent us this picture. It is a picture of my mother celebrating Christmas as a child with my grandfather in Hawaii. Isn't it great? I just can't get enough of it; partially because I can perfectly see my sister's face in my mother's, and partially because it's a reminder of how dear these people are to me.

For reasons undisclosed, my mother saved my sanity earlier this week. And it goes without saying that this weekend's menu would not be possible without her tender, lovin' care. In tribute and in constant gratitude to her existence, some highlights from this weekend's brunch menu...

The Honeymoon
Scrambled Eggs with Ricotta, Proscuitto, and Fig Jam on toasted cibatta
Topped with basil chiffonade

Pain Au Poire Bread Pudding
Chocolate-Pear Croissant Bread Pudding

Asparagus-Pancetta Bread Pudding

Ice Cream

Toasted Walnut-Cinnamon Ice Cream with chucks of homemade baklava, topped with pistachio
Dulce de Leche
Made with real La Salamandra Dulce de Leche
Mexican Coffee
Rich Coffee Ice Cream with hints of chocolate, orange, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper
Bittersweet Mint Chip
Fresh Mint Ice Cream with flecks of bittersweet chocolate
Sparkling Apple-Ginger Cider Sorbet
For Alice, my sometimes-vegan-ginger lovin'-Goobies

From the bottom of my heart, thanks, Mom. You really do make the world go round.


Some People...

...Like to go outside and play when the sun comes out. I like to stay inside and geek out with my ice cream maker in order to make ice cream for those types of people. Before we left for the beach last week we emptied the freezer of any ice cream remnants. I have to admit that it's been a little tough trying to return to making new batters for the week. But on days like today, where the sun is shining and people have a little more hop in their step, it's easy to tempt the Sugar Rush Gods. After work, in order to get back into my groove, I took my inspiration from three women.

She inspired this:
Baklava Ice Cream

She inspired this:
Sparkling Apple-Ginger Cider Sorbet

And She inspired this:

Mexican Coffee Ice Cream

These babies and more (Dulce de Leche and Bittersweet Mint Chip) should all be ready for consumption by the time Saturday rolls around. Come on over this weekend (rain or shine) to reward my geekiness and praise the weekend!!!