I heard the best joke the other day

What does a nosy pepper do?

Get’s jalapeño business.

If you aren’t on the floor right now… hahaha, it just doesn’t get old. I’ve been cooking with lots of peppers lately and every time I pull one out of the fridge I think about this joke and can’t stop laughing. You’re welcome.

Our supper club met this week to carve pumpkins and eat up on all things fall. We had pumpkin and squash spiced soup, butternut squash, roasted turkey and cranberries, apple cider, and I made the most delicious salad: mustard greens, roasted squash and hazelnuts in a hazelnut vinaigrette. Recipe can be found here. You’re welcome, again.

Two of our crew couldn’t make it (we missed you Ashley and Sally!!) so the guys came along to help with the carving– sans JG, he had to work late. See mine and Caitlin’s pumpkin above in the bottom right corner! Our group has been on hiatus this summer due to busy schedules. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to get seven women all free on the same night. Many, many emails and google calendar requests later we made it happen. It was good to be back with all of them, kind of like something had been missing the past few months.

 This picture was taken at our very 1st supper club. It’s not all of us but it was such a memorable night – Blue Plate Special, all southern dishes handed down through our families. It lasted for hours and set friendships in place I will forever be thankful for.

Happy 1 year anniversary to my sweet Portland supper club. I have loved eating your delicious food and laughing over glasses of wine with you once a month all year long! Cheers, ladies.


updates galore

Fall has officially arrived in the Pacific Northwest and it is lovely!

I know it’s been a while. Not to worry, I have plenty of updates for you…

Two weekends ago we went camping with two other couples in John’s residency program. We drove up into Washington near St. Helens and camped at Merrill Lake. We found it by chance and luckily it was completely unoccupied. We woke up the next morning and hiked through the Ape Caves -underground lava tunnels- other than the random bat sighting, it was one of the coolest things I have ever done.

We actually made it out of the house this week and went to see Xavier Rudd at the Wonder Ballroom. How in the world that man can play the drums AND didgeridoos simultaneously is beyond me. Before we left, I cracked open a new mexican cookbook and made chipotle chicken salad tacos that were pretty amazing. I wish I had taken a picture, the colors were so vivid! I will next time, scouts honor.

The week simply flew by. I managed to squeeze in some good runs on the trails before the rain set in on Friday night. Our sweet friend Emily was in Seattle for a conference and came to Portland for a quick visit. We ate a great dinner at Produce Row then made it to the legendary Huber’s for spanish coffees. I had a shipment to pick up at Willakenzie so we ventured into wine country on Saturday. I am so happy I got to see her, even if it was brief!

John was on call all day on Sunday so I decided to dig a hole and throw myself in it. I mean try a recipe from Ad Hoc. GULP. I stalled. First I walked down to the Hillsdale Farmer’s Market and bought myself some flowers…

Then I cleaned up the house, THEN I cracked open the book. I wasn’t sure which route to take but I had a lot of chicken left over from last week so I took the plunge and decided to go with chicken noodle soup with dumplings. Yes, I made dumplings and yes, they were actually amazing. I even made a roux to thicken up the soup! I am learning so much!

Things are really starting to get busy around here. I signed up for yet another volunteer committee, this time doing PR for a wine and food pairing event in Hillsdale; supper club picks back up this month; marathon training officially begins in 12 days; and I have a “here come the holidays” list a mile long. I love the hustle and bustle of a new season.

Buried under flour in the kitchen and covered in mud from the trails,

clearing out the cobwebs

Sorry for the silence, it’s been a quiet week for me. Last weekend John and I drove back to Hood River for the hops festival. We weren’t planning on staying but the offer from a very persistant Katy and Brent couldn’t be turned down. They just returned from their honeymoon and we had a lot to catch up on. We sat on their patio by a fire pit and drank great wine. If it was daytime our view would have been overlooking the Gorge with Mt. Adams in the distance and the city of Hood River below. It was tough to leave on Sunday.

Good fun with OHSU residents.

Katy, me, and Michelle not running for a change.

Fast forward to today. This week has been interesting, to say the least. I have been doing a lot of yoga and running and a lot of thinking. Sometimes you just need to clear out the cobwebs. I bailed on my Tuesday night run group to run trails by myself. I woke up early Wednesday and my legs were just like my brain, itching to move, so I greeted the morning with a few more miles. Wednesday afternoon I went back to the trails because I just couldn’t think of any other place I wanted to be.

I hadn’t run trails much until I moved to Portland. There is something a little more freeing about running through the woods on a rocky path. You have to pay attention, your mind can’t wander or your face will wander straight into a tree or the ground. And it’s quiet. You can’t hear the cars or conversations of the city. Just your steps and deep breathing.

Part of the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park

Running solo this week I paid more attention to my body. My legs have built back up the muscle I lost and in a way have elongated. I can feel an adjustment in my stride– a little shorter and my body more upright. I feel stronger overall, not just in my running but in life. I needed this week, a sucker punch to the gut and some healing time on the trails to get back on track.

On a lighter note we have another fun weekend planned! Best of luck to my friends running the Portland Marathon, see y’all at the finish line…