100 Days, Part V: Days 43 to 53

Hello, hello! I have returned from the International Food Bloggers Conference, where I co-presented on Niche Blogging, attended classes, met food bloggers of nearly every variety, sought out vegan food and most importantly, vegan-friendly SWAG. Hello, OXO avocado thingy! Don’t fret – I have a new avocado waiting at home for its inaugural slicin’ and will be sure to Instagram every single step.

Speaking of insta-sharing, it’s once again time to peer into the culinary lives and stomachs of J. Sconé, J. Legume, and friends. As always, you can follow @jdfunks and #100DaysHomemade on Instragram for more riveting updates of the versatile, seasonal, plant-based dining variety.

Now 65 days and a new camera into this project, I’ve decided to shorten the updates a bit for some more concentration.

First up, my first (and so far, only) contribution from a duo of two guests in one day. Staring with summery cocktail with ginger-infused rum from my Heartichoke cohort.

Day Forty-Three’s Guest Cocktails: lemonade cocktails with ginger-infused rum

And my, what a pleasant day this was. I came home and my girlfriend had prepared a fancy Italian dinner, which included her first-ever risotto and fresh farmers market tomatoes…

Day Forty-Three’s Dinner Contribution: Vegan Caprese by J. Legume

Oh – and there’s more.

Day Forty-Two’s Dinner by J. Legume: Mushroom Risotto with fresh basil

Now, I was so thrilled with the following meal’s outcome — it was the first time ever I have truly seen J. Legume willfully consume and enjoy Indian cuisine. I love to see the evolution of taste bud adventures, or something like that.

Day Forty-Four: Aloo Channa over basmati

Success! I based it on every other Aloo Channa recipe I have ever seen on the internet.

Day Forty-Four: The Isa Does It testing continues with Peanut Butter Granola Bars (sliced like pie, in this case)

Remember that time, in the first photo, that Louvella, er Maeve, made cocktails? Well, it was to facilitate a certain interview on Autostraddle that accompanies these roasted chickpea tacos (that shockingly, include an actual recipe from yours truly). The things you do for your friends, right?

Day Forty-Five: Roasted Chickpea Tacos with vegan queso, local tortillas, mashed avocado & other stuff

The aforementioned BFF and author with the second (and final) round, white chocolate peanut butter white russians

Day Forty-Six: Vegan Ginger Chicken, Black Pepper Beef & Thai Basil Fried Rice

Details.

Day Forty-Seven’s Dinner from Appetite for Reduction: Mac & Trees and 40 Clove Garlic, Chickpea and Purple Beans subbed for Broccoli

Day Forty-Eight: Boysenberry, Cherry & Ginger Cocktails & Mocktails with the Legume sisters before dinner at Portobello

Moving on.

Day Forty-Nine: Syrian Lentil Soup. While I only made one recipe from Bean by Bean during its precious ‘library hold’ time in my life, I happened to make it twice and I have added this book to my legitimate, it-will-happen wish list.

Bean by Bean: For the bean curious and obsessed.

Day Forty-Nine: Picked up Food Fight’s finest

Day Fifty: Grilled Cheeses with local tomatoes, jalapeno & farmers market pickles

It’s the half-way point, so….

Day Fifty: Kaffir Lime infused vodka, Pellegrino bubbly, fresh mint, lemon juice & a touch of agave

Day Fifty is all about the sandwiches: BLTs with local produce and smokey soy curls from Vegan Diner

Day Fifty-One: Italian Herb & IPA baked tofu cutlets with rice, roasted potatoes and a side salad with crumbled strong cheddar Scheese

While it’s got nothing on my still-dreamt-about-Cheezly, rumor has it that Scheese will be ending its Portland distribution soon. I may have purchased the last-ever package of Strong Cheddar yesterday at a certain vegan mini mall.

Day Fifty-Two: Nacho Skillet Salad aka Nacho Salad Skillet! With jalapeno and Scottish ale simmered black beans, lime dressed lettuce and diced tomato, seasoned brown rice, salsa, FYH cheddar, avocado, black olives and black pepper & nooch baked tofu cubes

It’s become increasingly clear to me that the love of nachos, no matter how basic (I mean, crappy) or well-constructed, is never outgrown. 

Day Fifty-Three: Chai-spiced Snickerdoodles, another Isa Does It tester

Shocker, the grand finale to this round up is an Isa Does It dessert tester. 

censored cake

What happens on your neighborhood lounge's back patio stays on your neighborhood lounge's back patio?

I have a sneaking suspicion that Jeff and Maeve, the dear friends and culinary artists behind what’s coming below, knew this cake would be censored in order to ease up on decorating costs.

Inside the box lies my custom-designed, 28th birthday cake, emblazoned with a hilarious and offensive in-joke, and the most thrilling trio of maple, pretzel & peanut butter that has ever existed (to me, anyway). I doubt it could ever happen again, unless Evan was involved.

It was amazing, and I was joking earlier about the decor, because I thought it was all fantastic! I hadn’t seen a cake this exciting since my sophomore year of college and the Alec Baldwin-penis cake from Sweet-N-Nasty bakery. A positive, maturing night to remember, nearly a decade before.

The big semi-reveal:

Maple. Pretzel. Peanut Butter. Any guesses?

Friends. Portland. Vegetable Gifts. Vegan Cake. Love ‘em.

p.s. Naturally, I went to Portobello for dinner on my birthday and swooned over pan-fried gnocchi with summer squash. It’s a Portland vegan tradition.

Continued Examination of Portland Soy Lattes

Starting with a Stumptown…
Stumptown: Ash

So, I’m on day 3 of a brief coffee detox.  I had a major caffeine/sugar crash after attending a killer vegan candy party, and then recording and experiencing the  Stumptown Vegans local chocolate review, all within a 24 hour period.  I let Sahagun’s revolutionary Stumptown coffee bar live inside my brain.  Oh wow, ow.  I’m aiming to stay coffee-free until my annual East Coast snow pilgrimage/vacation next week, cup of oolong in hand.

Naturally, it’s time to torment myself with the continuation of my Examination of Portland Soy Lattes.

Portland is a city renowned for its stellar, ever- independent coffee scene.  It’s an amusing, eye-opening place where Stumptown Coffee and its appreciated and nestled, alternatives, rule. These examinations are simple photo essays of where I’ve sipped on soy lattes in the past few months. Recent adventures not pictured: Coffee House NW (for a macchiato – oh, my) and Sweetpea Baking Co.

Countless recommendations later (mainly Maeve), I finally made it to one of Portland’s newest microroasters, Heart!

Heart Coffee

I enjoy when I can say things like “This latte is like a cloud!” and “soy  latte dream!”, and this was an appropriate experience.

Soy Latte from Heart

Heart Coffee

Floyd’s, Old Town (Stumptown) There was something positively rigorous about this latte.
Floyd's Old Town

Barista

I have to say life has been really good lately – because I’ve been to Barista twice within a few weeks.  The highest quality coffee shop in Portland, offering beans from a small variety of rotating, independent roasters.

Barista

Another Soy Latte from Barista

barista
Soy Latte from Spella Cafe


Spella Cafe on 5th

The owners of the beloved Spella cart downtown opened a lovely small shop on SW 5th. My secret day job relocated this fall, and this shop has replaced Coffee Plant as my walking-distance-indulgence. I am full of gratitude when I visit!

Spella Cafe on 5th

The next two lattes have been featured as “awesomes” before, but what the hell. They’re awesome for awesome reasons, obvs.

The Perfect Holiday Latte from Artemis Cafe

Artemis Cafe

Soy Latte from Coffeehouse Five I’ve been on more than one #4 heading north and contemplated running late and catching the next bus, just to stop  here on Killingsworth.

coffeehouse-five

Acme Coffee Company (Ristretto Roasters)

acme coffee.

My first latte from this newer SE coffeeshop.  It really underwhelmed me, but I’ll give them another try -especially because I liked the hard workin’, creative, and homey atmosphere in this coffeeshop house.

Stumptown: Ash

Stumptown: Ash

I’ll use the word “ethereal”.  Just try and stop me.

Next up – I don’t remember where this is from!  Egads.

Unidentified Soy Latte

October 2009 052

Have you seen me?

Do you believe this shit? Believe I had a gift card. Believe there’s no need to ever order vanilla.  Or from here, in the Pacific Northwest, at least.  Hopefully ever, unless you’re in need of caffeine at an airport ?

Do you believe this shit?

Please note I did not finish this and I am still apologizing to my soul.

Any recommendations for the next round, or Boston or NYC coffee?  I’m always looking to try new spots.  Though in NYC, I will gladly let Drowning in a Demitasse lead the way…