Oregon Highlights & Catching Up!

Main, Visit

Helllllllooo!!

Ah, summer, I love you so. We’re just catching our breath after being gone for a whole month! We were in Oregon, then Washington, then I flew (by myself with all three children!) from Seattle to New Orleans to see alllllllll the family. There are a lot of you! I’ve accepted that there are just not enough hours in the day for me to do all the things I want to do (like post to this blog). But I did want to share a few photos and published work, because I saw so many familiar faces this summer who said they love seeing our family adventures. These are for you! We shall start with some Oregon highlights…

For the curious…

We stayed with some dear friends who live in the beautiful Sellwood neighborhood which was walking distance to so many shops, restaurants, city views, and the kids favorite-playgrounds. In fact-for anyone ever traveling without kids, they have a lovely little vacation rental behind their house and are super hosts/people all around.

We ate SO much good food. But the favorites were dinner at swanky, farm-to-table Coquine which will go down as one of the best meals of my life ( if you know me, that says a lot), vibrant, fresh (so colorful!) Indian food at Bollywood Theater and so many cherries and other munchies like tempeh, cheese and lambsticks (#wheninportland) at the Portland Farmers Market

We explored the Columbia River Gorge area and the city of Hood River

We shopped at the world’s largest independent bookstore Powell’s. I literally could have spent days here!

We joked about what was the most Portland thing saw. The contenders are:

  • a succulent garden atop a car
  • artichokes growing in peoples front yard
  • personal compost containers for all
  • not being able to pump your own gas because there are people who are given jobs to do just that!

Truly though the best part of this trip was seeing our girls and our friend’s daughter Olivia play so well for hours and hours together. They would have been happy to stay inside orchestrating tea parties or dance recitals. Each day we had to peel them out of the house so we could explore!

An additional update– I’ve been writing/working up a storm which means pictures of my kids and our adventures are circulating all over the internet. Specifically, I’ve signed on to be a contributor at one of the best modern parenting blogs out there-Babyccino Kids. You can read my recent posts here or my first one, a city guide of Raleigh here. Other local work, I’m pretty proud of that you all might enjoy learning about is the story of this artist, this non-profit that specially resonated with me, this island or this group of amazing women working to help young girls learn that confidence comes from within.

More to come & keep in touch!


-Addie

Thanksgiving at Milburnie

Main, North Carolina, People, Raleigh

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Happy holidays everyone! Can you believe it’s already December? We are currently in rural Georgia for a slow-paced, relaxing week with family. I wanted to share a few photos I took of our Thanksgiving at Milburnie Fishing Club in Raleigh. To be honest, I mostly wanted an excuse to share a few pictures I took of Grace that I just couldn’t resist! Milburnie Fishing Club is an old social club in Raleigh that has been around for more than 100 years. While the rest of Raleigh is changing ever so rapidly, driving out to the fishing club, you realize that are actually some parts of this city that are untouched and have kept their old-fashioned charm. It’s on a beautiful piece of property with walking trails, fishing piers, and an old cafeteria style dining hall. Raleigh’s local lifestyle magazine, Walter, wrote a great article on the fishing club if you are interested in learning more. You can read it here.

Every year Ann and John, some of the first friends we made in Raleigh, invite a large group of folks that are staying put for Thanksgiving out to Milburnie for oysters, beer and the other typical Thanksgiving fare. We spent the entire afternoon outside walking around the property, meeting new friends, hitting golf balls in the lake and eating lots of slimy, salty oysters topped with all sorts of delicious things. Here are a few photos. Enjoy! -Addie

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Fig & Bacon Three Cheese Macaroni

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This is quite possibly the most caloric thing I’ve ever eaten or cooked. It very well may be the richest mac and cheese out there. I won’t apologize! I see nothing wrong in indulging every once and a while. Creamy, savory, tangy and sweet, this mac and cheese combines some of my favorite ingredients in one single bite. Figs, goat cheese and bacon are a match made in heaven.  I’m relishing every fig until the leaves start turning yellow, indicating to me the summer is over and I have to wait an entire year until I can enjoy their floral, sweet decadence again. We recently gathered at Guermillo and Liz’s for grilling, fig picking and wine drinking. It was at least the third time we trekked over there to pick figs, but this time I wanted to stay, eat, drink and converse like old times (i.e before baby). We had a huge feast of goat cheese and herb turkey burgers, grilled eggplant from their garden, this mac and cheese and a divine fig tart for dessert that our friend Sandy made. It is funny that goat cheese and figs were the stars of most of the dishes, yet each one had its own unique flavor to offer. It was a totally seasonal and home-grown meal with Guermillo’s famous wine to wash it all down. Lucky us, we got to go home with the majority of the leftovers. Scroll down for the mac and cheese recipe. If you’re doing any socializing for Labor Day weekend, give this a try. It feeds a ton and who would deny a homemade macaroni and cheese?

fig mac and cheese

Fig and Three Cheese Macaroni 

Serves: 8-10+

Ingredients:

*Measurements are approximate. Use your judgement!

4 cups macaroni

1/2 lb bacon (I used turkey for this dish), cut into lardons with some of the fat reserved to cook the shallot in

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 shallot, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 and 1/2 cup whole milk

1 egg, whisked

1 block cheddar cheese (the sharpest you can find), shredded

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

1 cup goat cheese

Black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

A few drizzlings of balsamic vinegar (optional)

15-20 figs, sliced

Handful of basil, thinly sliced

Method:

  • Fry bacon on medium-high heat in a medium sized skillet until slightly crisp, remove and set aside.
  • Turn the heat down to medium, add a bit of olive oil to the pan and cook the shallot until caramelized. Combine with bacon and set aside.
  • Under cook the macaroni until tender but still a bit firm as it will cook more in the oven.
  • Now make the sauce. Melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in flour until incorporated and lightly golden. Slowly pour in milk and turn the heat up a bit.
  • In a small bowl combine the whisked egg with a spoonful of the hot sauce to temper the egg. Whisk quickly to combine and then slowly drizzle it into the sauce.
  • Fold in the cheddar cheese and stir to incorporate until cheddar is melted. Next add the goat cheese (reserve a small amount for garnish), mascarpone and a generous amount of black pepper and nutmeg.
  • Combine the cheese sauce with the macaroni, then fold in the bacon, shallots, balsamic and almost all the basil and figs, reserving some to lay out on the top as garnish.
  • Pour into a casserole dish and decorate the top with basil and figs for the prettiest mac and cheese you will ever eat!
  • Bake on 300 for 20-30 minutes until it’s firmed up a bit. If the sauce dries out add a few splashes of whole milk after removing the hot mac and cheese from the oven. Your kitchen will smell divine and neighbors may be knocking on your door. Enjoy!

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P.S This one will be one in less than two months and I just can’t handle her hilariousness and sense of adventure lately. Why does it have to go by so quickly? This was taken earlier this summer at Liz and Guermillo’s at our first fig harvest of the season. Chris was doing all the work and we were doing all the eating/watching. Hope everyone had a great summer!

-Addie

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Archive: Liz & Guermillo

Garden, People

This is Guermillo (pronounced Ge-er-mo, real name: Bill), his lovely wife Liz & some tall, dark, handsome man who crashed my dinner date with this fabulous couple. Joking! Surely you know that man is my husband. Saturday we went over to their home & had a lovely evening. I made Shrimp Pie which is a great meal for a small crowd & easily portable. They have the most impressive garden. It’s really more like a farm, filled with fig, peach, apple & pear trees, blueberries, raspberries, grape-vines of multiple varieties & veggies galore. Do you see why we were automatically drawn to these folks? Not to mention they are so kind & have a great sense of humor. I am excited to share more pictures of their garden come Summer & Spring when everything is in full force. However, even now when things are dormant & certain veggies are only just starting to germinate, to me their yard is still filled with so much life. A few asparagus making a debut, blooms on the peach tree preparing to make fruit, grape vines “bleeding” from pruning  & a rosemary bush large & fragrant like you wouldn’t believe. Liz also has some beautiful tulips growing in the front yard.Guermillos 064

peach blossom

We refer to Liz & Guermillo  as  our adopted North Carolina parents. They let us “grocery shop” in their garden, supplying our kitchen with delicious fresh produce. This summer, because of them, we ate zucchini blossoms for the first time & still have pesto & tomato sauce in the freezer thanks to their green thumbs.  Guermillo & Liz have  provided us with such great insight on marriage, family & religious faith. It is becoming a tradition that ever so often we catch up at their home for garden tours, wine & general life talk. The conversations have no boundaries. With the homemade wine flowing & a beautiful garden setting I guess we loosen up!

Chris and Guermillo

That’s right-they make their own wine. Not just any wine either. Their wine is from the grapes, peaches, pears, apples & figs that they grow themselves. Talk about home-grown & local. I was so pleasantly surprised when I first tried a sip of Guermillo’s “Good Figging Wine” (he has some clever titles). Expecting overly sweet syrup-like wine like most NC wines I have had,  I was wrong. Every wine that he has made has been “pearfect.” Even the “sweet wine” is just more fragrant with a natural hint of the certain fruit but not over powering where you don’t know if you are drinking wine or juice. He makes both white & red, sweet & dry. It really is the best! And he is so knowledgeable about the process-start to finish. From growing the grapes to bottling.  Did you know in parts of Bordeaux or the wine region of France it is illegal to harvest grapes too early? Even on your own property? Apparently it is easy to mistakenly think a grape is ripe, it looks, smells & tastes ripe, but likely isn’t for another month or so. Letting it sit on the vine until peak at it’s full potential will make for much better tasting wine. Guermillo uses the best practices when making his. He has books filled with notes on tannin, fermenting, dates &  procedures.  Next time we head over there I am bringing my wine journal I received as a gift a few years ago to take some real notes. Chris and I think he should retire already and open a winery. People would be lining up!

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