Choc Stars

 

wp-1462071762251.jpgI consider it my duty when in France to eat as much wonderful chocolate as possible.  I found these delightful chocolate bars in the little town of Beaumes-de-Venise, France.

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Such treats…great chocolates, fabulous wine and  incredible food!

I left my heart in Beaumes-de-Venise!

Learn more and order these wonderful bars at Choc Stars

Sorry for the glare on the photos…still learning!

Craving another bite of chocolate?  See this post  Chocolate!

 

 

A Perfect Saturday in NW Portland

Yesterday was a perfect Saturday for me.  By 8 A.M., I  was sweating at a spinning class, back home to housework and then quality time with Ginny before taking her to doggy day care. She loves playing with the other dogs and comes home tired, hungry and happy.  I’m such a good dog mother! Continue reading “A Perfect Saturday in NW Portland”

My Terrible Aunt Sally

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Growing up in the South, every summer I attended family reunions on both sides of my family. These were not casual, thrown together events but massive undertakings requiring a state park to accommodate the crowd, the huge quantities of food and all the activities.  I loved them.  Seeing my cousins, being petted by my aunts and uncles, playing games and eating delicious food  was heaven. The women proudly displayed their finest fried chicken, roasts, casseroles and, of course, desserts.  It was our version of the county fair with verbal blue ribbons.

Weeks before, my Mother and her sisters came together in  person to refine the menu and to gossip. Hanging around in the war room, aka Mother’s kitchen, I learned about my terrible Aunt Sally. Continue reading “My Terrible Aunt Sally”

Return to Le Vieux Restaurant

Le Vieux Restaurant1937 NW 23rd Pl, Portland, 503.206.208.2907,www.levieuxpdx.com

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Recently, Portland has lived up to its reputation as a rainy city! Sunday was no exception.  It was the kind of day that makes me want to stay home and read by the fire.  However,  I know that it is better to get out and do things.  Otherwise, the grey sky tends to color my thoughts and feelings. Continue reading “Return to Le Vieux Restaurant”

Lauretta Jean’s

 

Lauretta Jean’s,  3402 SE Division St, Portland, OR    www.laurettajeans.com

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I love visiting  this bakery/cafe on Division Street.  It has a vibe and great food—especially the pies—that make every trip a pleasure.

Here’s a recent article from the Portland Monthly Word of Mouth

“Your guests can eat oatmeal at home. Lauretta Jean’s serves a proper breakfast meal: oven-fresh biscuits, each containing euphoric amounts of butter, served every way imaginable-French toast to vegetarian Benedict, or just cradling fresh pork sausage, an egg and maple butter. Slices of breakfast pie (pictured) are drawn from a serious collection including fresh pumpkin and a hazel-nut crowned honey pie, also available to go.”

For serious breakfast eaters, this is the place to go! Of course, a slice of pie is a good thing anytime!

 

Dining in Lake Oswego

Nicoletta’s Table & Marketplace, 333 N. State St., Lake Oswego.  www.nicolettastable.com

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Nicoletta’s Table is a wonderful, friendly restaurant where  it seems that “everyone knows your name”.  I love the seafood, the salads, the coffee, and the wine selection.  My favorite lunch lately has been a butternut squash salad with grilled chicken and a glass of Bastianich Adriatico Pinot Gris.

I especially love the friendly staff including a warm Gallic greeting from Patrick  (pictured above).   A well-known figure in the Lake Oswego food scene, Patrick has a large following and brings a special “je ne sais quoi” to the restaurant.  Of course, the owner Shari Newman with her love of Italy and warm personality  has created a special neighborhood place that makes everyone feel welcome at the table- in this case, Nicoletta’s Table.  The recent expansion is a testament to how popular Nicoletta’s Table has become!  Call for reservations.  If the restaurant is full,  you can always treat yourself to something from the deli or marketplace.

 

NOLA Doughnuts, 365 N. State St., Lake Oswego.  www.noladoughnuts.com

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The French Quarter in Lake Oswego!  A newcomer to Lake Oswego and making a big splash is NOLA Doughnuts with their light, killer beignets and chicory coffee.  Add the jazz, cheerful, friendly staff and NOLA embodies the spirit of New Orleans.  You just want to stay all day! I was captivated by the ambiance as I enjoyed two beignets with oodles of powdered sugar and a cafe au lait.   The funny thing is that I planned to eat one beignet and take the others home.  Silly me! In addition to their beignets, there are gourmet doughnuts, fritters and bites—all of which are light and so tasty!

 

St. Honore Bakery, Millennium Plaza on 1st Street, Lake Oswego.  www.sainthonorebakery.com

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Sam & her team hard at work at St Honore Bakery

My week would not be complete without a stop at St. Honore’s Bakery on Millennium Plaza for delicious cereal bread, cafe au lait and the occasional croissant.  Sam and her team work hard to deliver incredibly delicious savory and sweet baked goods as well as salads, soups and sandwiches.  When traveling, I order a Jambon Parisien to take on the plane.  I am the envy of the other passengers when I unwrap this crusty baguette with Black Forest ham, Emmental cheese, lettuce and a cornichon. When home, after a long day, I head to St. Honore to relax and recharge.  If the weather is nice, I join the others sitting outside enjoying the sunshine and a view of the lake.  People watching is also fun.  Sunday mornings are especially fun for a visit to St. Honore as the bicycle riders, families with kids and tourists converge for a bit of French heaven!

Chuck’s Place 148 B Ave, Lake Oswego  www.chucksplaceonb.com

imageI had been living in Lake Oswego a few weeks when a worker at my house told me that I had to go to Chuck’s Place.  I was so glad to learn that there was a local coffee shop within walking distance.  Later that day I strolled a few blocks down to Chuck’s Place.  That was when I met Lisa Ryan one of the owners.   Lisa welcomed me warmly to Lake Oswego with a big smile.  She insisted on treating  me to coffee and a huge, delicious chocolate chip cookie.  I still remember how special she made me feel.   Later, meeting her husband Chuck, I realized and appreciated what wonderful caring people they are and what a wonderful spot they have created for coffee and community in Lake Oswego.  Everyone knows Chuck’s Place!  It is a friendly hangout for biking clubs, young mothers with children in tow, business people gathering for meetings and writers balancing  solitude with stimulation to keep the Muse awake.  I have had many business meetings there as well as coffee with friends.  Everyone loves Chuck’s Place.  The atmosphere, great coffee and delicious cookies make this a special place to linger.