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Welcome to Portland

It was easy to find the trendy restaurants while in Portland, thanks to their website

My reviews of my Portland Oregon experience are on TripAdvisor here: Voodoo Doughnut, Hopworks Urban Brewery and BEST WESTERN Inn At The Meadows.

I especially liked the 24hr gourmet doughnut shop, Voodoo Doughnut

Lemon ‘Kesey’ psychedelic, old fashioned chocolate, Oreo Vanilla and maple bacon from Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland, Oregon.

Where does Tuna come from?

[Source: Pew Environment Group]

The Maple-Bacon Cupcake

Photo: Molly Rundberg


Makes 24 cupcakes


For cupcakes:

1/2 pound thick cut bacon (about 8 to 10 strips)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. maple extract (found in the spice aisle)
Maple syrup, to garnish

For cinnamon buttercream:

16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar (a little less than 1 pound)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk
1 to 2 Tbsp. cinnamon

Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Preheat oven to 375°. Lay bacon on a sheet pan and bake for 8 to15 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Set aside 2 pieces of the bacon for topping, and dice the rest.

Lower heat to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs to butter mixture 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Slowly add the dry ingredients and milk in 2 alternating batches, mixing well between additions. Then add vanilla and maple extracts and reserved diced bacon, and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Scoop batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make cinnamon buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly sprinkle in the cinnamon, adding more to taste.

When cupcakes are completely cool, frost with the buttercream. Chop the reserved slices of bacon into 24 pieces and garnish each cupcake with a piece. Drizzle maple syrup over the top and serve. If not eating immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Recipe is from Oprah- find it here

Make Sustainable Seafood Easy

Consider the affect your food has on our oceans: choose hook and line caught fish (trolling) over trawling (destructive nets dragged along the bottom).

This video highlights some common places to buy seafood and what types you should look out for.

For your convenience try the mobile apps developed by Monterey Bay Aquarium


and the Vancouver Aquarium.

Monterey bay also provides location specific seafood guides here.

You can also check out Canada’s seafood guide.

Now there’s little excuse for you not to help our oceans by eating sustainably.

Berry delicious salad


Assorted berries

Baby arugula and spring mix,

Add some goat cheese

Top with some dressing

Or  just mix 1 part balsamic vinegar and 2 parts olive oil for a homemade dressing

Granny Tcherkezoff’s Shortbread

I decided to make my Granny’s short bread recipe and it turned out quite well despite a couple of mess-ups on my part

Ingredients: 1/2lb (1 1/8c.) Berry Sugar, 2lb (4 1/4 c.) Flour, 1lb Butter, Pinch of Salt

Makes >48 small cookies


Cream butter, add sugar.

Add 3/4 flour, add rest of flour on a pastry board I missed this step, didn’t pay attention. Despite the fact that I messed it up they turned out yummy, the pastry board would make it flakier in texture.

Take a plastic freezer bag or Ziploc,put your ball of dough inside, leaving the bag open roll the dough flat, pushing into edges of the bag, the dough doesn’t stick to the roller or your cutting/bread board, no extra flour needed!

This was genius it worked so well I am going to use it for my sugar cookies from now on. Choosing a bag type: Ziplocs are good if you want to keep the dough for an extended period of time refrigerated (2 days max) or in the freezer (months). Since  freezer bags are cheaper (I think?) and I was not storing my dough, the zipper was not necessary.

Once flattened it will look like this:

Avoid cracked edges by folding lumps back in and re-rolling. 

Put the flattened dough in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Remove from fridge and place on bread board, cut 2 edges of the bag then peel back the top layer of plastic and start punching out shapes with the cookie cutter of your choice. The shapes will peal easily off the plastic underneath and keeping the dough chilled helps them keep their shape.

Place shapes onto baking sheet and bake for 10-20 minutes at 300-320*F. I have estimated the temperature/time here because every oven heats differently. Watch your first batch closely to gauge your oven temp and timing. They should come out when the tops and edges are still pale and white and the very bottoms are slightly golden. (photo of overdone cookies)

Let cool, then place in a cookie tin or Tupperware.

The nice thing about this recipe is that these cookies age really well according to my mom, perfect for holiday baking that you can enjoy when you don’t have time to bake.

To age them I popped them in an old cookie tin with wax paper on the bottom to catch the crumbs.

Enjoy your holiday baking!

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