30 June 2009

Going out to eat & watching Food, Inc., do not mix well

Last week my friend Stacey, Babbling Brook, and I made a date to go see the film Food, Inc. at Cinema 21. While we were at it, why not grab some dinner? Since both of our significant others are opposed to Indian food, we settled on Swagat quite easily.

I ordered the lamb vindaloo thali dinner. The lamb was very tender, naan and curry were tasty as usual, and the various bean dishes came out nicely. It's not the prettiest food in the world, but definitely good. We both finished up with the rice pudding for dessert, which was a little sweet for me, but just the right ending after the spice of the vindaloo.

After running back to our cars to drop off the many leftovers, we headed over to Cinema 21 to see Food, Inc. I hadn't planned on catching this film, but Stacey recommended it as I've read one of Michael Pollan's books, In Defense of Food, and have become very interested in/concerned with where my food is coming from.

While watching the film, I had this whole big post formulating in my head, ranting about how undereducated people are about food and wanting to start a revolution with my little blog...and then I came back down to earth. Honestly, I care and I want other people to care, but it just can't be done that way. I would recommend first to see Food, Inc., start questioning, and then get informed. It's a great starting point, but by no means the gospel by which we should all live. It's so important to think about this issue, though. Food is an essential to every living thing on this planet and affects so many different aspects of our lives--don't you think we should know what it's about?

12 June 2009

Oregonian's Best of 2009

View the list

I'm a bit surprised by the list, honestly. Navarre was voted the top restaurant this year, and while I don't disagree, I'm am surprised that it wasn't one of the usual "sweethearts" of critics' lists. I'm talking about the list that usually includes Le Pigeon, Toro Bravo, and so on.

I haven't been to the majority of the restaurants list, but am steadily working my way down it. My favorites on the list include: Bluehour (clearly), Driftwood Room (if solely for my own personal sentiment), Fire on the Mountain, Higgins, Navarre, Pambiche, RingSide, Saucebox, Screen Door, The Country Cat, and Toro Bravo. I've also tasted some samples from Ten-01 (and met the owner) and really liked it. I have yet to dine there, though.

One major disagreement...
Por Que No: I don't get it. I really don't. I swear I'm the only person in this world who cannot stand this place. I get the whole theory behind it, using sustainable and organic ingredients, which I love. But here's the thing...you still have to cook it well. I won't go off too much (because I could), but the one time I ventured there, I had the special, which was the pozole, and it was awful. Overly salty and more like a stew. Maybe it's because I know what real pozole should taste like. Anyway, then there was the tacos Shawn got. They were ok, but for $7, they should have at least had two corn tortillas, rather than the one that ripped. So I disagree not only flavor, but also the usual "cheap eats" tag it gets. I'd rather forgo the sustainability and get a burrito at King Burrito for $3.95. I know, it seems to go against everything I believe in. I like to keep people on their toes.

09 June 2009

Eating like a bird

I found this cute blog by a woman up in Washington. It's called Eating Bird Food. It seems contradictory to my type of cooking, but in a lot of ways, I totally agree with her views on food. I just haven't been disciplined enough to make that much of a change in my eating habits! Anyway, check out this recent post and you might win some superfruit spreads.

08 June 2009

While the trainer's away, the campers will play

My personal trainer was in Texas teaching other people how to torture train people, so I did not work out on Saturday like I normally would. Apparently this proved to be a bad thing; or good, depends on how you look at it.

Friday night I went to see Metric. I ate at Pause. Cuban sandwich...soooo good.

Saturday, we had a little goodbye BBQ for our dear friend Chris who was visiting, but had to go away for a few more months. Sad. But at least the food was delicious. We started at 2. I brought my macaroni salad (every time I say I'm bringing it, I feel a bit like a mom from the 50s). Chris bought pretty much every animal there is to grill. Rib eye roast. Lemon-rosemary chicken skewers. Pork burgers with tomatillos and avocado. Elk ribs (delicious but chewy; I may start an elk-only diet since you'd give up chewing well before you'd eat too much). So much meat. Oh, and asparagus and these amazing tomatoes Stacey makes topped with bleu cheese and bread crumbs, then grilled until crispy (sorry the picture is a little blurry). I tried to graze throughout the day, rather than filling up fast. I thought that might help reduce the chances of eating too much. I was wrong, because then Amanda and Aric showed up and brought artichoke dip and desserts. Oy. So, many meats and side dishes later, I was beyond full. The one thing I can say is that at least I didn't drink too much. Just a glass of white sangria (care of Michael), a phenomenal glass of pinot (care of Aric), and a couple beers. Not bad for a 10-hour stretch.

The next day, I planned on grilling a hunk of London Broil, which had been marinating in a mixture of olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and red onion overnight. It was a little overcast, but never rained, so we were good to grill.

I took advantage of the cooler weather to get some baking in while I could. I made a batch of peanut butter brownies, as well as another loaf of multigrain bread. I went for a run during the bread's second rising (still makes me think of church), and when I came back, it was a little larger than I expected. My last loaf turned out well, but was a little dense, so I was actually glad I let it rise so much longer.
The top heavy bread

And back to the grilling. To go along side our meat, I made some soft asiago polenta and we coated asparagus in olive oil and drizzled it with lemon juice after it came off the grill. Top the polenta off with a hunk of asiago and pour a glass of wine--a perfect Sunday night dinner!
Shawn enjoys a brownie with our movie