Saturday, March 14, 2009

a sunny Friday lunch in Portland....

What a beautiful sunny day it was in Portland yesterday. Just gorgeous like spring. Daffodils are blooming, the scent of Daphne...just wonderful. Alena goes to school five mornings a week. There is an additional playground for "after school" play and we usually hang out there for awhile before going home. Yesterday the girls played for almost an hour. We then had to go to the toy store to get entertainment for the plane ride next week. The toy store is right on Hawthorne in SE PDX on our way down I saw that there is a new restaurant. "The Rice Junkies". Its a small "fast foody" type of restaurant. The doors were open, tables on the sidewalk...oh, yes we also had to go out for lunch!!!

Great little place. They serve bentos, chicken, tofu, veggies, etc. really, really yummy and of course SAFE :))) You can choose between white or brown rice, the veggies are nice and crisp, the chicken has just a touch of terriyaki sauce...very good. The three of us shared a bowl, it was great and everyone loved it. Oh, did I mention there are also chop sticks? This of course increased the dinning experience for Alena :). In addition to bento bowls, Rice Junkies also serve wraps. There are a couple of wraps/bowls that contain cheese/sour cream (I think the "Mexican" wrap), so of course always double check with them when you order.

So, if you have a chance, you are hungry, in SE PDX, give Rice Junkies a try. If you do, please let me know if you like it...

Rice Junkies
3545 SE Hawthorne,
Portland, OR 97214

Pancake Mix - Part II

There is a part II to the pancake mix saga?! Yes :))) - It has become our tradition to have pancakes on Saturday mornings. So this morning I decided to use some of the pancake mix we bought earlier this week. Now, I can give my full rating ;)...

First of all let me say that Alena was so excited about pancakes. In school she also helped to mix it up, so she was thrilled to be working on this again today. She got out the apron for herself and Mia Rose, way too cute :))) In any case, I am writing about rating the pancake mix, right????

I always make German pancakes and they are flat, more crepes like I think is a good description. My dough is usually very light and "runny". This dough was very, very heavy so that was a little strange to me. I used the griddle to bake them (this would never work with the "Germans"), poured nice round little puddles on the griddle. They "puffed" up and I have to say that they turned out to be perfect, typical pancakes you would get served for breakfast here at any restaurant. Really, really if you are looking for a good pancake mix, try the one from Bob's Red Mill. Plus you can order online :)))

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pancake Mix and PJ day at school

Tomorrow Alena's school is having a Pajama Day complete with a pancake breakfast. The teachers asked me today if I could bring a pancake mix which is safe for all kids. Off hand I did not know the answer as I usually make ours from scratch. In any case the girls and I took a little trip to Whole Foods this afternoon to find a pancake mix. Each girl had her own little shopping cart so we did have quite a bit of fun ;) - I originally thought that it would be quite simple to find a dairy free mix, not so! Seems like most of them have whey, buttermilk or some other milk product added.

I still found a few and bought the Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pancake Mix from Bob's Red Mill. Here is the link to the product

The other brand I found without dairy in some of their mixes was Arrowhead Mills. The mixes which looked fine at first glace are the Buckwheat Pancake Mix, Kamut Pancake Mix, Wild Rice Pancake Mix, Oat Bran Pancake Mix, and Gluten Free Pancake Mix here is the link

It looks like you can order from both companies online. - As for the taste, I will have to let you know later on this week if the kids like the pancakes. I am sure that they will be great :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Snacks for the long airplane ride...chocolate :)

We are leaving for Germany today in a week. Wow, this is really coming up super many things I have yet to do, work to be caught up on, yikes. I did however (and I am so proud of myself :) ) start buying snacks for the long trip when I went grocery shopping this week. Pretzels, cookies, soy milk, and CHOCOLATE. Is there anything better than the taste of sweet yummy chocolate on a long, long plane ride? Well, yes maybe a glass of wine, a good book but obviously not for the girlies...I am so excited that I found "Chocolove" Chocolate bars in a small and handy size. I got orange, and raspberry. This chocolate oh so good, don't get me wrong I do like Newman's Own chocolate but "Chocolove" is a notch above it. I love it and so do the girls!!!

Give it a try. Please let me know if you like it. Here is the link to their site and I just saw that the mini bars are new. Note, they also carry milk chocolate bars - the dark chocolate ones are just fantastic :) Enjoy!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ear infections, antibiotics, and pharmacies...

Another weekend another ear infection at least is has been pretty much like that in our house. We went to the pediatrician two days in a row. Friday for Mia b/c she had a fever, complained of tummy ache, and sore throat. Thankfully she does not have strep but a bad cold...Then last night Alena could not sleep b/c of a horrible ear ache. So today I went with Alena to the pediatrician...

Long story short she has an ear infection and we got a new prescription for an antibiotic. The pediatrician on call gave us the option between liquid and chewables. She wrote up the prescription for both options depending upon which type would be safe. Today I decided to try yet another pharmacy. Paulsen's Pharmacy on NE Sandy. Its a small pharmacy, they even have a soda fountain and the best part is that they also compound if need by. Oh, and did I mention that they also deliver. Unheard of, isn't it? Anyways, they were so super nice and made sure that the drugs are safe for Alena. I anticipated that the chewables were not safe, and I turned out to be right. The liquid works great for us too so...And yes, I am trying to make a point here. I think that it is just so important to find the right pharmacy, but also know that I need to make sure every single time we bring in a prescription to tell them to make sure that its OK for the girls. At Paulson's they actually told me to please remind them every time we come in even so they put it in her file...

I hope that this is it with illnesses as we are leaving for Europe in a couple of weeks and it would be really hard on everyone to travel being sick.

Here is the info about the pharmacy. It is also listed on the left hand panel on the blog under "pharmacies" Paulson's Pharmacy, 4246 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213-1479
Phone: (503) 287-1163

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chicken and Wild Mushroom Ragout

I have not posted recipes in a while. We had this dish this week and its easy to make plus very good. Also makes fantastic leftovers :). Please let me know if you like it when I share recipes and if its helpful. Yes? Will you please let me know :)

This recipe I adopted from the Oregonian sometimes last year. FYI - the original recipe calls for butter and sour cream. I do not sub the butter here b/c I don't think it needs it, but the sour cream is changed to Toffuti sour cream. - This goes well with egg noodles, but polenta would also be nice with it :)

This recipe is for 4 (very, very, very) generous servings. I used less chicken. Here is what you need

8 chicken thighs (I use boneless skinless)
6 large shallots
(3 TB unsalted butter - I leave it out all together)
3 TB olive oil
1/2 lb. mixed mushrooms (don't use button or white mushrooms, cremini, oyster, and/or shitake
work well)
1 750 ml bottle of dry white wine (I use a Sauvingon Blanc Charles Shaw from Trader Joe's)
1/4 Cup of Tofutti sour cream
3 Tbl chopped italian parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. Pat chicken dry. Salt & pepper all sides of the chicken pieces
3. Peel onions and halve them lengthwise
4. Heat the oil (and 2 Tb of butter) in a large, heavy, oven-proof pot with lid over medium heat
5. Add chicken thugs and brown on both sides (about 6-8 minutes)
6. Remove chicken and set aside
7. Add shallots to pan and cook them. Stir often until they are soft & translucent
8. Remove shallots w/slotted spoon and set aside
9. Add remaining oil (and butter) and when hot add mushrooms
10. Cook mushrooms until browned about 6-8 minutes
11. Return chicken and shallots to pan
12. Pour wine into pan and bring it to simmer
13. Cover pot and place it in the oven for about 1-1/2 hours. Chicken will be tender and almost
fall apart
14. Add Tofutti before serving and sprinkle with parsley
15. Serve over egg noodles or polenta

Kidz Dream Soy&Juice Beverage

Alena really loves Chocolate Soy Milk for her school lunch, but I think she also sometimes gets tired of it. Last week I bought "Kidz Dream Smoothie Berry Blast" and both kids like it a lot. It comes in "Orange Cream" and "Berry Blast". Our New Seasons only carries the berry flavor and it really is good. Its a a soy milk & juice mixture (really just like a milk shake) and it contains a good amount of calcium as well as Vitamin D.

If you have not yet tried it you may want to give it a chance. Here is a link to the web-site Please let me know if you like it. I really love hearing from others :).

Happy Friday everyone...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What I order when we go out for dinner...

This post goes right along with the entry I wrote a couple of weeks ago about "What's in our fridge"

It used to be that whenever we went out to eat that I would only order what Alena was able to eat. I was worried and also felt bad if I had to tell her that she could not taste my food. All that changed after we met the great family in South Tirol in 2007. We asked what they ordered when they go out and it what clear that everybody ordered what (s)he likes. the time that seemed wild to me. The next day I ordered something with cheese on it and you know what? It was no problem with either girl. Well, Mia Rose was still very young at the time but Alena had no issue. We explained that it has "Kuhsmilch" and she did not even question it. From that point on forward we always order what we want. The girls of course also get what they want, of course its a lot more limited but still. One thing so neither Ron nor I will do is order dessert if there is nothing the girls can have. That I think, would just be mean...

The point I am trying to make with this post is that it is of course a learning curve, and a comfort level that we have gained in the past five years. It's all good :)


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