Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oatmeal...OH MY!

Okay.  I just posted that I was going to make some of the Whipped Banana Oatmeal from the blog Kath Eats Real Food.  If you visit her blog you will see she does some amazing things with her morning oatmeal.  So I figured anyone that is that dedicated to oatmeal that she has a tribute on her page has to have an amazing recipe.  And I was right.

Seriously!  It is a good thing I do not have a video camera in my kitchen.  I was doing a happy dance in a crazy way!  Wow!  Amazing!  Wow!  Paws was starting to wonder if I was having a seizure I was acting so weird.

I stuck with her recipe but I did not have any chia or flax (I will be getting some today).  I did add a bit of brown sugar, cottage cheese (cause she kept talking about it and I had some) and a spoonful of chunky peanut butter.

I think I will be eating this every morning for the rest of my life.  I cannot wait to try some of the combos she has on her blog!

Walk Sunya Walk!

Yesterday I ate at some of the best places in Portland.  For breakfast/lunch I stopped for B&G (biscuits and gravy) at Pine State Biscuits.   I had the Moneyball which is one of my favorites.  Then later in the day I hooked up with my Welsh friend Gareth to check out Porque No? for some fish tacos and a fab pomegranate margarita.  It was great.  I was happy.  But then crazy man wanted some pie and who am I to turn down pie.  So it was back to NE Alberta for a slice at Random Order Coffeehouse.   Maybe my friend Doug is right and I do need to move to NE Portland.  I am over there all the time.  That area has some seriously good eats.  Ah ha!  That could be a con as well.  How much bigger would my butt be if I lived there.  Though I have to say that pie man made a good point last night.  If I lived over there I could walk to all those places and get in some exercise.  True, but then I would miss St. Johns.  Good thing I don't have to decide right now.

B&G from Pine State Biscuits

Margarita w/ mood lighting!
Ahhhh pie!!!!!

What I did need to decide right now was that I ate too much yesterday and I need to get a move on this morning.  So I bundled up and headed out for a nice 2 mile walk.  Okay so I was walking to one of my favorite local breakfast places but they were closed for the holiday.  Darn!  So I am back to fix some yummy oatmeal that I found on my new favorite blog.  Check this out.  Whipped Banana Oatmeal.  Nothing like something warm in your tummy after a chilly walk.

Have a wonderful Sunya-day!!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

PDX Addictions!

This weekend I have become seriously addicted to 2 new things.

Pies from Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery!!

Pie case at Random Order

And knitting with the nice ladies from Twisted in NE Portland!  Here is a picture of my first project in progress...a checkerboard scarflet!

Had no clue what a scarflet was till now!
I don't think I will be hating winter in Portland after all!!!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't worry be happy!

Every Monday and Friday I go to "physical" therapy.  It is really a kind of therapeutic booster of sorts for my immune system.  Sometimes I get a vitamin IV.  Sometimes I get a massage.  Sometimes we do breathing exercises.  I know, I know sounds all kinda granola, hippy, wellness kind of stuff but it really works for me in helping keep my immune system in check.  I have had problems with my immune system after getting a bad case of mono a few years back that triggered an illness from childhood but that is a whole other story.  So back to this one.  My therapist's name is Nancy.

Nancy is this fun, loving, always happy woman.  I mean always happy.  People tell me I am happy all the time and always smiling but Nancy is way beyond me.  You have to remember that is rains 6 months of the year here in Portland.  Most of the fall and winter it is gray, gloomy, foggy, and rainy with a chill in the air.  So I walk into Nancy's office on Friday for my appointment and she is all happy.  After my session from hell Miss Bubbly is still all smiles.  As I am going to leave I asked her how the hell are you so darn happy all the time.  She said "Who can have a bad day when one of the first things I do is dance with Noah to a happy song?".  I said "What???".  She said her mama would wake them up singing songs and would dance with them in the mornings.  She said she does the same with her son Noah.  They hit play on the iPod and dance first thing everyday.  Her mama told her that who could be sad when your able to get up every morning and dance.  I had heard this once before from the Crazy Sexy Cancer lady Kris Carr.

So I gave it a try.  For the last three days I have gotten up and danced.  Saturday was Katy Perry's California Girls.  Sunday was The Beatles' Penny Lane.  Monday was Jack Johnson's Banana Pancakes.  Guess what!  It works!  And it is even more fun if you get other people involved.  I was staying at some friend's house on Sunday morning and I got the group to do it with me.  It was super fun.  By the time the song was over we were all laughing and then we did another one.

So if you have had one of those crap crazy kind of days or weeks.  Start waking up with a happy dance.  It will cure what ails ya!!

Note: I will not be posting a picture of me dancing in my PJs with my hair on top of my head and my glasses on with a crazy silly smile on my face so just insert image here.

Happy Rainy Monday to ya!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Chi-town Wedding

Well I am a little slow at getting items posted to my blog.  I had a feeling this would happen.  I promise to try and get better.  Really I promise.  So time to get on with the show.

I wanted to share with everyone my recent trip to Chicago the first part of October.  Chi-town in the fall is amazing and going there for a wedding is just an added bonus.  My BFF Gail's nephew Matthew was getting married to a lovely girl named Cori.  An added plus it was also Gail's birthday.  So time to load onto another plane and head back to the midwest. 

Gail and I have been friends for over twenty years and her family after all this time feels like my second family.  I actually have more Facebook friends that are members of Gail's family than I do my own.  Well the wedding was amazing, seeing everyone and visiting was great but as always when you go to Chicago...the food was beyond!

Another great thing about this trip was getting to visit with my common law BIL's sister Kathy.  Gail, Kathy and I had a nice dinner and chat-a-thon.  I hope to be able to see her again soon.

Well now on to the best part of the trip...the pictures.

My room at the Herrington Inn in Geneva, IL.  It was amazing!  

The Inn had a turn down service.  Okay people, I LOVE a turn down service.  Chocolates on the pillow.  Usually there are robes and slippers.  I love it!  But at the Herrington Inn they offer a different turn down service.

Milk and cookies!  Hell to the Ya!!
I was in love.  Cookies and milk with my robe and slippers with the fireplace lit.  Oh did I forget to say there was a fireplace in the room...oh yeah!

The inn sits right on the river and here is the view right outside my room.

The happy couple - Mr. & Mrs. Wandolowski
My amazingly super sweet lovely girlie friend Aubrey!  Love me some Aubs!
Aubrey is Gail's niece Stephanie's daughter.  Aubs helped me celebrate my birthday in Atlanta.  Aubs is amazing.  She is such a great kid.  We loved that her drink at the reception was turning her tongue red.   Have I told y'all how great Aubrey is!  We spent a good portion of the reception trying to get her to dance.  It was not a success.  But beware...I will be trying again when one of the other nieces or nephews get married.  Oh the other fun thing was we were watching Mary's soccer team play against the University of Texas on Gail's BIL's phone.  It was wrong on so many levels but we had a great time anyway.

A Chicago dog!
I could not leave town without having a hotdog from Portillo's.  They are the bomb!!  The other great meal that we had was when we went to visit some of Gail's friends.  I have never had a bad meal in Chicago.

But no matter where I go or how long I am gone, it is always great to come home to this...

My babies!
Happy Fall Everyone!!


P.S.  I know there were requests to see the dress I wore to the wedding but as I was downloading pictures I realized that they were all on Gail's camera.  I will get some and post later.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

St. Louis Baby!!

A few weeks back I made the trip to St. Louis.  I love STL!  I worked there at Anheuser-Busch and made some wonderful life long friends.

So as I was deciding where I was going to spend my vacation this year I knew that St. Louis would have to be one of those places for two reason...

Cute baby!!
Frozen Custard!

Yes, you are seeing correctly.  I went to St. Louis for hugs from one of the sweetest babies in the world and to get my favorite frozen custard concrete the Cardinal Sin from Ted Drewses.

Oh yeah, there was the other stuff like spending some time with my great friend Tracy.  Going to dinner with LC (I don't care what your new vampire name is you will be LC to me...hahaha).  Visiting with my work friends from A-B (Angela, Dave and Kevin), it was great to see y'all.

A chance to see my sister Trish and the dude I still don't know what to call after 10 years.  I now just call Ray my brother-in-law.  My sister's boyfriend after 10 years just sounds lame.  Especially on my later trip to Chicago when I am introducing Ray's sister to all my Chi-town peeps it is a lot easier to say this is Kathy, my BIL's sister.  See simple and sweet.  Ray hurry up and marry my sister so you can make my life easier cause you know it is all about me!  Here is the last side note on Ray...Nanny loves her some Ray.  My grandmother has 9 grandchildren and a passel of great-grandchildren (to many to count this early in the morning) and out of all of us, we all truly believe that Ray is her favorite.  I am not kidding!  I think it is because he makes her laugh and pays for dinner.

On Saturday night we all got together at Schlafly's Bottleworks for some beer and food.  I am from Portland now so you had to know we would end up in a pub with micro brews at some point.  If you have not tried their beer give it a spin.  I would recommend the Oktoberfest and No. 15 (their anniversary beer).  Strangely enough they were not part of the flight selection but they were great.

Trish's introduction to a beer flight!

Pub food...yum!!
After that some of us went out for ice cream.  Serendipity is one of my favorite local IC shops in town.  They were added to the list when on St. Patrick's Day one year they had a flavor called Irish Car Bomb.  An Irish Car Bomb is a drink made with Guinness stout, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Jameson Irish whiskey.  They made each one into an ice cream flavor then swirled them together.  I died!!!  I still dream of this ice cream.  We heard on our visit that they might not be making it any more but I will forever love a place that incorporates these three blissful concoctions into an ice cream! 

Well on to Sunday.  Sometimes the worlds align and you are able to do even more on a trip then you hoped.  That happened for this trip.  My BFF Gail's niece Mary plays soccer for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Since Gail and I have been friends FOREVER...I have seen Mary play soccer all of her life.  So when I was at my desk getting ready to book my trip to STL and saw that Mary was playing a game against the University of Missouri the same weekend, I knew we had to make the 2 hour drive to Columbia for the game.  It was fun and it was Tracy's first soccer game!  Sweet!

Little action on the pitch!

Mary and Me (see I have my Life is Good soccer shirt on)!!
After the match Tracy and I decided we needed some food.  So she said how but some BBQ.  Oh yeah!  Love the Q!  Any time, any place.  So Tracy and I stopped at Buckingham's BBQ in Columbia, MO (do you get it bucking ham...hahaha).  Tracy got me all excited about their smoked sweet potato. 

Oh people, I have never met a sweet potato or pumpkin I did not like.  I guess this could be why fall is one of my favorite seasons.  Oh pumpkin shakes are back at Burgerville and pumpkin lattes at Peet's Coffee.  Oh sorry I got sidetracked. 

But then we got there and found out they only served them after 5:00.  Darn it all to hell!  Looks like I will be going back to Columbia.

Love the bucking pig!
One last thing I wanted to share and something I have to say is still haunting my dreams is this sweet and blissful treat that Trish and Ray found over in The Hill.  If you are not familiar with St. Louis this is a section of town that has all of the best of everything Italian.  At Vitale's Bakery they have a ricotta puff.  It is crazy good!  It is like a doughnut stuffed with the cream and chips used in a cannoli.  I am so glad I did not know about these when I lived there.  There is no telling what size my butt would be now.  I have to say after taking I bite I don't think I have ever loved my sister and Ray more.  This is probably the best thing they have given me since introducing me to the apricot cheese flakey from the Lucky Platter in Evanston, IL.  See for your self!

Happy happy joy joy!!!

Well that was STL in a nutshell.  There were bits in between like the fun times making baby Kelly laugh, the chat time with Tracy and trying not to sweat to death at the Kirkwood Greentree Festival.  All of these things made my trip super fun and makes me want to go back real soon.

Thanks again to Tracy, Brian, Kelly and Mr. Tracker for hosting my visit and letting me stay at the Klinkner Inn.

Next stop Chicago!!

Enjoy the fall!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vegas Baby!!!

September has been a month of travel with still more to come next weekend.  As much as I love Portland, sometimes you need to get away from home.

So even though I already had two trips planned when Mama called and said her and my aunt Syble were going to Vegas and did I want to go over Labor Day weekend I said "Hell Yeah!".  So in my true form of what happens in Vegas ends up on Facebook or my blog, here are some highlights.

First let me say you can take the redneck out of the South but you cannot take the redneck out of the girl.  So the very first thing that my fam wants to show me when I get to Vegas is a handy little emergency "romance" kit that the hotel offers in our room at the Mandalay Bay.  I have to say we laughed a lot about "The Love Box" (you can guess what is in the box and you would be right, that is if you mind goes to the gutter like mine).  We laughed even harder when Mama called me to say when she checked out there were two charges on her receipt for "The Love Box".  I was like what...who knew there was a sensor and when we kept moving the box around and laughing like teenagers about what was in the box...they thought we were using it!  Mama told them hell no!  I just shared a room with my daughter and sister and we don't roll that way!

The famous Love Box and a little liquid courage if needed!
Later that evening we would start the beginning of what would be my food coma.  It started at Border Grill.  Yes, Top Chef Master Susan Feniger is in control of the yummies here and it was beyond amazing.  I could go on for days about the Kobe Beef Tacos but the Green Corn Tamales were beyond!!  I mean I could go back there and just have those...for days, weeks, years...I think I am booking my trip back right now.  I wish I had taken some pictures but I did not want to make this a food blog but now I wish that I could see them again.  Oh how I miss them so! 

The home of my beloved friends the Green Corn Tamales!
We were everywhere, thru the tunnels, in and out of cabs, walking in the 109 degree heat and laughing all the way.  It is so fun hanging with Mama and Syble.  There is never a dull moment.  So when Syble started telling us about a show she wanted to see called Le Reve and that you could sit in this VIP section (included behind the scenes action, champagne and chocolates)...we were in!  This show was amazing!  Loved it!  Great find Sybie!!

Party girls in the house of Le Reve
On Sunday we made our way to the new City Center because we had never been...never been, oh no that is not allowed.  We stopped in at Todd English's new take on pub fair called you guessed it P.U.B.  I love Todd English.  I have been to some of his places in Florida and I just love his take on food.  Plus I was going to have to go to any place that had Young's Double Chocolate Stout on draft!  What on draft!  I am so there!  Of course the food was great...continuing on in my food coma!

Then we were heading over to Caesar's Palace because I wanted to go to Serendipity.  But the wait was to long and it was to hot to hit the out door window.  I was kinda sad (there may have even been pouting involved) cause I wanted one of those damn frozen hot chocolates.  But I should have realized that good things come to those that can control their tantrums.  We found Max Brenner or should I say Syble found it.  As we were walking thru Caesar's Sybie says to me "Hey Sunya do you know this place".  I was like no what do they have...Chocolate pizza...get the hell out of Vegas!  How did I not know about this place.  I did not get this ass from eating whoppers and Big Macs.  Oh no honey, I got it from eating good food and sweets are my favorite!  There was an entire dessert menu (it was a book) that was chocolate!  We tried a sampler and then we died.  Amen.  And then we came back to life because the chocolate was that good.  A must stop now on any future Vegas trip.

I think I want to live here forever.  Can I set up a cot in the back.
The last day we headed over to the MGM Grand.  And I have to say to one of my favorite things we did.  We were walking the 800 miles to the back of the hotel to see what the CSI: Experience was all about since we all loved this show.  Turned out not to be our cup of tea.  But while I was waiting for the others this guys approached me and asked would I like a pass to be part of a group that watched a new TV show and gave my opinion at a place called Universal City.  What!  Really!  Are you kidding!!  When I was a kid I had a dream to be a Nielsen family.  Those families got to rate TV shows.  I love TV!  I wanted that job!  So I talked the ladies into doing this with me.  Yeah!  So we sit down and get our instructions.  They give us a device to use to rate the show as it is happening (I am getting giddy).  It is a rating from 0 to 100.  So the show starts and it looks like it is going to be a crime drama.  Okay...I like those, rating kinda high.  Then there is some camera work that I am not so fond of...drop my is that quick flipping/flashing stuff...hate it.  Then it pops to a scene with...Tom Selleck...rating goes him!  I look over at Mama and Syble and they are on a 100 as well.  Then we realize it is his new show for the fall.  Yeah!!  Sweet!!!  It was a great way to spend the hour.  I still want to be a Nielsen family!

So after that our Vegas trip ended.  The food coma lingered.  And I settled in for a good nap on the plane home.  Another successful vacation!  Another great trip with my favorite travel buddies! 

I know how you feel buddy
Take care!  Another travel post soon...St. Louis!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Can you catch crazy?!?!

Well I don't rightly know if you can catch crazy or if just comes naturally from your own kin but either way it is spreadin' like a house on fire at our place.  Everyone that knows me knows that my crazy I come by the ole fashion is in my genes.  Case in point see Exhibit A.

My wonderful family (aunt, cousin, mother...names withheld to protect the innocent)
But I am starting to think that crazy is spreading in my house.  I think I might have given it to my cats.  See Exhibit B.  

 Bea sleeping in the dirty clothes hamper
My cat Bea has some crazy obsession with sleeping in the dirty clothes hamper that is in my master closet.  The weird thing is that this hamper has three sections.  She only sleeps in the section that has towels in it.  If there are no towels...she does not sleep in the hamper.  What!  Why?!?  I have watched her jump on top, look inside, not see what she likes and walk away.  Freak!  Maybe a little CRAZY! 

My other cat Paws, he has got a little crazy going on himself.  Paws has a talking problem.  He does not just sit and meow.  Noooo...he has to walk around the condo meowing at the top of his lungs.  I have no clue who the heck he is calling.  Bea and I are sitting right here on the couch.  He sees us yet walks on by meowing.  What!  Why?!?  Oh and he has a sink issue.  He is freak crazy for drinking out of the bathroom sink.  I know that is not that uncommon.  Oh wait...Paws will go in there and meow until you come turn on the water.  Dude is in there 3 or 4 times a day.  See Exhibit C.

Ahhh, water
Did I make the crazy worse by coming to Portland.  There are bumper stickers all over town that says "Keep Portland Weird".  Is it...could it fault?!? 

Wait! I have an idea!  Wait for it!  I have an out.  It is not my fault.  I have not given my cats the crazy.  Paws is Bea's son.  He inherited it from her.  It is Bea's fault.  Crazy mama, crazy son.  Yep, that is what I am going runs it the family!!!  Sorry Paws, you were destined to be a little loopy! 

So spread some crazy today!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Finding balance in a Hoecake

Back in July I went to Atlanta for my birthday.  Why you might ask do I go to Hot-lanta in July...well it was to go back to the scene of the crime.  It was time to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the 21st Birthday.  So my BFF Gail (doesn't everyone have one or is it just me and Oprah) came up from Florida and I flew in from Portland.  It was a blast.  But I have to say that one of the best things from that visit was going to eat at Papa Jack's in Flowery Branch for breakfast.  Oh good lord that food was insane.  It was so good we ate there twice. 

Well when we walked in I was beside myself when I saw on the menu that they had Hoecakes.  Honey you do not get Hoecakes in Portland.  I could not remember the last time that I had them.  My mama used to make them when we were kids.  Gail being from Chicago and still learning the meaning of southern cookin' from her man's family was like "What in the heck is a Hoecake?!?".  I said, "It is a pancake made with corn meal instead of flour".   I had a feeling that the hoecake was going to be an issue for her like grits.  So I ordered them along with a crap load of other stuff.  Hey...back off it was my birthday and I was eatin' what I wanted by cracky!  They were good but it was just not the same as what Mama made.  What was it that made Mama's so good?

So flash to this morning when I am trying to figure out what to have for breakfast.  And there on my shelf smilin' at me was a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.  I think that is what Mama used...little corn meal mix with a little sweet...yeah that might have been the ticket.  Yes, I am aware that Jiffy is not organic, it is not local and yes most every recipe on that box calls for shortening but I don't care.  If you are a southern lady that cooks at some point you have had a box of Jiffy on the shelf.  But the new Portland side says can't you just use organic corn meal and the southern gal in me says hell no!

So I balance my egg, organic/local milk, organic maple syrup, organic vanilla with a little bit of Crisco and a box of Jiffy.  It is my yin and yang.  We all have to find that balance somewhere!

Live life!  Be well!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Honey you have to start somewhere

Well y'all I have finally taken the plunge...I am starting a blog.  I know that I talk all the time and really do I have more to say but I have just become a lover of the blog and darn it I want one.  So here I will share my story of how a crazy southern gal ended up living in Portland, Oregon and become one of those "granola eaten, tree huggin', Birkenstock wearing" kind of people.  But ya have to know like with everything else that I do there will be just a little bit of a southern accent to it.  I hope you enjoy reading about my wonderful life and all the adventures that I have.  So sit back and strap yourself in because you might need some 200 mile-an-hour duct tape to hold you in for this ride!