Friday, July 29, 2016

Beer Friday: Haze by Tree House Brewing Co.

On most Fridays, I'll share a beer I particularly enjoy, and think you might as well. This series will feature beers from all over the U.S. (and when we're lucky, the world). Cheers! 

Haze by Tree House Brewing | A Hoppy Medium

Z and I have some awesome friends.

Last week, we hosted two of those friends here in Portland - they flew in from Boston - and they were gracious enough to bring us a whole slew of goodies.

Goodies like Tree House beer. One of my very favorite breweries from the East Coast. 

While all of Tree House's beers are good, I'm focusing on Haze today because that's what I drank on the beach. And it doesn't get any more "summer" then enjoying a good beer by the sand and I right?

What: Haze by Tree House Brewing Co.

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

ABV: 8.2%

Tasting Notes: If you're not typically a fan of IPAs (or, Imperial IPAs), this beer might just change your mind. While it definitely packs a hop punch, it is in no way those hop/malt bombs we've all been burned by before. Instead, Haze is a refreshing, hoppy, tropical fruit-forward beer that tastes delightful on a hot summer day. (Let's be honest: it tastes delightful on a freezing cold day, too).

Pairing Suggestion: This beer could stand up to salty (and/or stinky) cheeses, like a sharp cheddar or blue cheese. IPAs always go well with spicy food, too - and for dessert? Carrot cake. Trust me.

Where Can I Find It? Tree House Brewing in Monson, MA! (Even though they're moving eventually). It's worth the short drive from Boston, and it's worth waiting in line for. I promise.

Cheers to the weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Easy Summer Slaw {Vegan}

We're lucky that here in Portland, we don't get the humidity we get back home in Boston. 80-90 degrees here has a nice breeze, and when the sun goes down? The temperature is beyond ideal...with few mosquitoes to bother us.

However...our highest temperatures for the day hit right before dinnertime (4-5 p.m.), which causes me to lose all motivation to cook. That's where no-oven-necessary recipes like this one come in handy.

Easy Summer Slaw | A Hoppy Medium

I made this slaw the other night when I had some haddock to cook up (yes, sometimes I eat fish!), but this slaw would also go with...just about anything. Tofu, burgers, sausages, you name it. It's just a versatile, tasty, easy-to-throw-together side dish - no extra heat required. 

Easy Summer Slaw | A Hoppy Medium

Easy Summer Slaw
Yields: 4-6 servings
-1/2 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
-2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
-1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
-1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
-Juice of 1/2 an orange
-Salt and black pepper, to taste

1.) In a large bowl, mix all of ingredients (before salt and pepper) together. Season as necessary with salt and pepper. 
2.) Cover and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving (although overnight provides the best flavor!).

Easy Summer Slaw | A Hoppy Medium

Told you it was easy. ;)

What no-cook dishes are you loving lately?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Sudra | NE Portland

100 percent vegan, Indian-inspired food served in casual digs (order-at-the-counter style) with a giant patio - which is shared with the adjacent two fast-casual restaurants (one's a taco joint, the other a burger place). This, my friends, is The Sudra.

A recent dinner there started with two cocktails: the Beet Generation ($8), made with Volstead vodka, beet and lemon juices, brine, and a pickled bean for garnish; as well as the King Louie ($10), made with Cazadores Blanco, Hot Monkey vodka, Combier Orange, pineapple and lime juices, and a chile salt rim.

Cocktails at The Sudra in Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

The King Louie was wildly refreshing with a healthy kick of spice, while the Beet Generation was definitely earthy (read: beet-y), but still quite delicious.

For an appetizer, the Pakora (price...I don't have #greatblogger) is a must-try. Our medley included crispy-fried broccoli and cauliflower with sauces that I don't actually know the names of, but worked well with the vegetables. (One's a creamy, tangy sauce; the other a thinner, berry-forward sauce). Again, #greatblogger.

Pakora at The Sudra in Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

For my entree, I went with the Kale-Infused Dosa Plate ($10), which consisted of kale-infused dosa, black-eyed pea korma, potato masala, collards, and pickled Anaheim chiles, with cilantro-lemon sauce and roasted red pepper-cashew chutney on the side. 

Kale-Infused Dosa Plate at The Sudra in Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

The collards, black-eyed peas, and potatoes were cooked and seasoned wonderfully, and the accompanying sauce and chutney were borderline addictive. The kale-infused dosa was good and interesting, but the texture of the dosa itself was a bit dry and crumbly. 

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal at The Sudra, and we loved the wide-open patio. I'd go back for the cocktails and pakora alone, although I'm eager to try some of their other dishes, too.

Have you ever been to an all-vegan Indian restaurant before?

The Sudra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tasty n Sons | North Portland

I know what you're thinking: You've lived in Portland for over 9 months, and you still haven't been to Tasty n Sons for brunch?

But after last weekend, I can now say I have. And I'm hoping to go back about 800 times.

Here's the thing: If I know that a restaurant typically has a long wait for brunch, I almost always never go (yes, even though I realize a wait means the food's probably pretty damn good). My morning hangriness is not to be trifled with, however, and a long wait usually means disaster for the Laheys. But for some reason, this past weekend, I was willing to take our chances with Tasty n Sons. I figured if the wait was longer than an hour, there's about a gazillion more restaurants we can go to instead if need be.

But luck was on our side last Saturday. The wait was only about 45 minutes (although, it ended up being even shorter), and Tasty n Sons takes your cell phone number so they can call you when your table's ready. No need to stand around and starve. So, while we waited for our table, we walked a few doors down to Tin Bucket for some early afternoon brews...naturally.

Stiegl Radler Grapefruit Naturtrub | A Hoppy Medium

We hadn't even finished our beers before Tasty n Sons called, a welcome surprise for us hungry drinkers. 

We were seated at the counter overlooking the kitchen - a fun and entertaining place to sit! To start our meal off, I ordered a cup of coffee - Tasty n Sons brews Water Avenue, one of my favorite local coffee brands.

Water Avenue Coffee at Tasty n Sons, Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium
How cute is that creamer bottle, by the way?

And, of course, no brunch would be complete without a Bloody - and Tasty n Sons makes several different kinds. I went for the traditional Tasty Mary ($9), pictured, made with vodka, tomato, Worcestershire, horseradish, lemon, Sriracha, celery salt rim, and house pickles. Z opted for the Maiken Tasty ($9), made with Aquavit, tomato, Worcestershire, horseradish, lemon, dill, and house pickles. We loved both of them, but Z's version was delightfully refreshing - a nice, subtle spin on the typical Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary at Tasty n Sons, Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

Tasty n Sons' dishes are meant to be shared - and come out as they're ready - so we ordered a few plates for the table. First up were the Potatoes Bravas ($5 for small; $8 for large, which is what we ordered). The perfectly fried, saucy potatoes were topped with an over easy egg and a silky smooth aioli.

Potatoes Bravas at Tasty n Sons, Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

We also shared the Cast Iron Frittata ($10), made with spicy stewed green beans, dry jack cheese, and micro greens. We loved how thin and delicate the frittata was, while also being incredibly flavorful - between the spices used and the jack cheese, this was one delicious dish. (Side note: both the Potatoes Bravas and this frittata are listed under "Smaller" plates on Tasty n Sons' brunch menu, but they were both the perfect size for two people).

Cast Iron Frittata at Tasty n Sons, Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

Our third and final dish was the star of the show: the Summer Muffin board ($9), which consisted of an obviously homemade English muffin, piled high with heirloom tomato, pickled beet mayonnaise, Beecher's cheddar, summer greens, and a fried egg. (The sandwich didn't come cut in half...we did that, for sharing purposes).

Summer Muffin at Tasty n Sons, Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

Um, this sandwich was epic. Every single component was incredibly fresh and flavorful, and both of us easily could have eaten five more of these if we weren't already so full. 

Tasty n Sons is open daily for brunch from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (They're also open daily for dinner starting at 5 p.m., and have happy hour in the bar from 2:30 - 5 p.m.).

Aaaaand now I want to go back.

Tasty n Sons Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Two Days in Ohio

After all of our July 4th shenanigans, Z and I unfortunately had to make a quick - and unexpected - trip out to Ohio for a funeral. Although we were only in the state for a little over two days, we decided to make the most of our time there, outside of the sad yet touching services.

We flew in and out of Cleveland, although the bulk of our trip was spent in Wooster, Ohio. (We actually stopped here first when we started making our way cross-country!). We revisited JAFB Brewery (this place rocks - the bartender even remembered us from our last visit), and also tried the cheesiest pizza I've ever had in my life at Coccia House - a no-frills spot right in town. This pizza is an odd yet deliciously indulgent obsession of the locals (at least, the locals we know), so we had to try it! (Um, and you can also get the pizza with "extra cheese." As if it doesn't already have enough cheese on it...).

Coccia House, Wooster, Ohio | A Hoppy Medium

(Side note: After getting your fill of beer and extra cheesy pizza in Wooster, be sure to stay at the Market Street Inn. Everything about it is delightful!).

From Wooster, we also made the 45-minute drive (ish) to Akron to visit Hoppin' Frog Brewery, a spot that's been on Z's bucket list for quite some time now.

Hoppin' Frog Brewery in Akron, Ohio | A Hoppy Medium

Hoppin' Frog had a ton of tap room-only beers on tap (I love that!), so we both ended up getting a sampler tray of four 5-ounce pours. Hoppin' Frog also has tap room-only "Infusions," typically blending two of their current draft beers - such as the Peanut Butter & Jelly I ordered after my sampler. So. Good.

On our second day in Ohio, we both worked at our B&B before making the trip to Cleveland a little early for our evening flight. (Which was delayed about 600 times. But that's besides the point).

For lunch, we sat outside at Great Lakes Brewing, which had an awesome patio.

Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio | A Hoppy Medium

The beers were fine here, although the tap list was not as impressive as we had hoped. Nonetheless, the food was worth the visit alone - especially the Housemade Tater Tots, which are filled with cheese. (We obviously needed more cheese...).

Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio | A Hoppy Medium

For my entree, I went with the Salmon Salad, made with Homestead Springs salmon, mixed peppers, red onion, tomato, and feta, and served with a simple dressing of oil and vinegar on the side. It was fantastic, and a nice balance from those giant, cheese-filled tater tots.

Great Lakes Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio | A Hoppy Medium

After Great Lakes, we made a quick pit stop at Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon. We love visiting their Portland location, so it was fun checking out their Cleveland spot! (Side note: There's a second Fat Head's location in/around Cleveland, but we opted for this one as it was closest to the airport).

Fat Head's Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio | A Hoppy Medium

Fat Head's Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio | A Hoppy Medium

Despite our quick trip, we were able to fit a lot in! I just don't know if I can eat cheese again anytime soon....

The Tasting Room at Hoppin' Frog Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Great Lakes Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 15, 2016

Beer Friday: Hallelujah Hopricot by Reverend Nat's Hard Cider

On most Fridays, I'll share a beer I particularly enjoy, and think you might as well. This series will feature beers from all over the U.S. (and when we're lucky, the world). Cheers! 

Reverend Nat's Hard Cider, Portland, OR | A Hoppy Medium

We're switching gears this week from cider! And we're talking about one of the best cideries here in good ol' PDX (in my humble opinion).

I've only been to Rev Nat's a handful of times - although I've enjoyed their bottled ciders several times as well - and every time I visit, they always have a wide, unique variety of ciders available. Not usually being a cider person myself (they tend to be too sweet and artifical-tasting for me), I love how Rev Nat's ciders are always crisp, not too sweet, and super spot-on in terms of flavor.

Last weekend, we visited their taproom again and I ordered this year-round gem that's even more ideal for summertime imbibing. (Note: Many of Rev Nat's taproom ciders rotate regularly, but this one is always available).

What: Hallelujah Hopricot by Rev Nat's

Style: Hard Cider

ABV: 6.7

Tasting Notes: Cascade and Amarillo hops give this cider the dry, hoppy qualities it needs to help balance out the sweetness of the apricot juice and heirloom apples. I loved how crisp, refreshing, and not artificially sweet this cider is, while still letting the apricot notes be the star of the show. I can see why it's one of Rev Nat's best-sellers!

Pairing Suggestion: A huge bonus is that Rev Nat's has Sizzle Pie available at their taproom! But, if you're not hanging out there and just want a bottle to share at home (yes, Hallelujah Hopricot is also available in bottles) I recommend pairing this with a cheese plate. The subtle spice from the hops and sweetness from the fruit would make any cheese pairing that much more epic. 

Where Can I Find It? At Rev Nat's - on tap, in bottles, and/or growlers to-go! Their taproom is located at 1813 NE 2nd Avenue in Portland. However, you can also find bottles at a slew of local gourmet or specialty foods markets in Oregon, Washington, and Southern California. (You may also have luck if you live in Idaho, Hawaii, British Columbia, or Tokyo, Japan. True story). I'd just recommend calling your local shops to see if they carry Rev Nat's ciders.

Are you a cider fan? What's one of your favorites?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

4th of July Weekend in Government Camp, Oregon

When your husband's birthday is July 4th, you celebrate all weekend long.

This year, Z, myself, and a group of our friends rented a house in Government Camp, Oregon. We were late to the game in renting - so the Coast, etc. was booked solid - but Government Camp ended up being the perfect summer getaway.

Kicking things off Saturday morning, Z and I enjoyed perfectly spicy Bloody Marys at Ratskeller - a no-frills spot right in town with a giant patio, complete with corn hole, picnic tables, and a fire pit.

Ratskeller in Government Camp, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

From there, we spent the day relaxing and greeting friends before we went to Mt. Hood Skibowl, a short walk from where we were staying. A ski resort during the winter, the park transforms into a summer playground during the warmer months - complete with Alpine Slides, which you take the ski lifts to get up to (sooo fun!), mini golf, tubing (on the grass), and more.

Before hitting the Alpine Slides, however, we indulged on the patio with beers and nachos. (Vegetarians: make sure to ask for the nachos without the meat chili - the menu doesn't mention it).

Nachos at Mt. Hood Skibowl, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

Mt. Hood Skibowl, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium
Taking the ski lift up!

On Sunday, we decided to be a little more low-key and our entire group setup camp at one of the picnic areas at Trillium Lake. We spent most of the day playing corn hole, card games, floating in the water, and exploring. Talk about an absolutely gorgeous area!

Trillium Lake, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

Trillium Lake, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

On Monday, before heading back to Portland, we popped into Hood River for the afternoon. After beers at Pfriem, we walked a block or two to have lunch at Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar. After a short wait (they text you when your table's ready so you don't have to wait around), we somehow got lucky enough to score a table on their patio, despite our large group!

The pizza at Solstice was phenomenal. I enjoyed a small 10-inch pie of Cremini ($13), topped with Hood River Organic cremini mushrooms, goat cheese, shredded mozzarella, lemon zest, truffle oil, and herbs. It was delicious, but I loved Z's pie even more: he ordered the Country Girl Cherry ($14 for a 10-inch), topped with fresh cherries, Field Roast sausage (although the original pie comes with house-made chorizo), goat cheese, shredded mozzarella, and marinara sauce. The combination of the sweet, plump cherries with the salty sausage and cheese was incredible

I washed down my pizza with a great summer cocktail, too - the Sweet Suzanne Basil Gimlet ($9), made with your choice of vodka or gin (I chose gin), basil simple syrup, and organic lime juice. It was refreshing, and perfectly strong.

Cocktail at Solstice in Hood River, Oregon | A Hoppy Medium

We then sat by the river, ate Z's "homemade" (thanks, Betty Crocker) angel food birthday cake - complete with whipped cream and fresh berries - and then made the trip back to Portland. We went out to dinner in town, then enjoyed the fireworks on the waterfront.

Fireworks at Portland, Oregon's waterfront | A Hoppy Medium

It was an epic weekend spent with great friends in some wonderful towns here in Oregon. And all for such a great celebration!

How did you spend the July 4th weekend?

The Ratskeller Alpine Bar and Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Farro

Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Farro | A Hoppy Medium

Vibrant bell peppers stuffed with black beans, farro, a slew of spices, and fresh cilantro? Yes, please.

Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Farro | A Hoppy Medium

These cute little peppers pack a protein punch, while also offering you quite the onslaught of nutrients. And if you're vegan, simply nix the cheese and yogurt. Easy - and still super delicious! 

Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans and Farro | A Hoppy Medium

Let's dig in!

Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans & Farro
Yields: 4 servings
-4 bell peppers
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 small yellow onion, diced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
-Chile powder
-Pinch of cayenne (optional)
-Salt and black pepper, to taste
-1/2 cup salsa (I used a spicy tomato salsa)
-1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
-1 cup cooked farro
-1 cup shredded cheddar
Garnish: a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and extra chopped cilantro

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) Remove tops from peppers and scrape out membranes and seeds. Set aside.
3.) Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for 1 additional minute, or until fragrant.
4.) Stir in black beans, jalapeno, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Add salsa and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and cooked farro.
5.) Evenly fill the four prepared peppers with the farro and black bean mixture, and set inside an 8x8 baking dish. Top each pepper with 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until peppers have softened and cheese is melted. Serve with dollops of Greek yogurt and extra cilantro.

Versatile, healthy, and filling. Dinner doesn't get much better than that!

What have you been cooking up lately?