Sunday, April 23, 2017

Roadtrip Day 12 - Alberta, Roses and Downtown Portland

Photographer Sarah Bello

Portland Oregon Day 3 - Alberta, Roses and Downtown
Road trip Day 12

There are a few places I visit each time in Portland. Back to Eden Bakery on Alberta, the Alberta area, the rose test garden, and downtown.
Back to Eden is a plant based gluten free bakery, which it proclaims in an unusually large sign above the register on the menu.
This, however, doesn’t keep every customer from saying, “Is this gluten free?
Followed by…”Well, what about this one? Is this gluten free?”
The whole bakery is gluten free and plant based.
“Oh wonderful, Is there anything that’s dairy free?”
"How about this one, is this vegan?"

Photographer Sarah Bello

When I walk in, I release a long grateful sigh just as my heart begins to race.
The upcoming decision will probably be the hardest one I make all day. It will be tedious, a pros and cons list will be made, there will be a narrowing down of possibilities and finally, I will choose 2 or 3 items, change my mind at least twice then just roll the dice. I settle on an apple fritter and a lavender lemon cookie.

Photographer Sarah Bello
Apple Fritter

They offer to heat the fritter and I devour it sitting in the window-hugging booth of their shop. I try to take my time and enjoy the atmosphere but the taste on my tongue is pulling the pastry into my mouth in large sections. Ladylike nibbles are for people who don't enjoy food. I manage to hold back half of the cookie for later, folding it into a little paper bag. Before we leave a couple of punk rock inspired girls walk in…”Do you have anything that’s gluten free and vegan?” And it begins again…
Back to Eden


Photographer Sarah Bello

We walk around Alberta for awhile soaking in the rare sunrays and captivating colors of the autumn leaves. Plus I wanted a coffee. I chose Barista just down the street and I order their autumn special. Both the male and female baristas are stunningly beautiful. Almost too beautiful… You look around the room where everyone else seems normal looking…even a little on the awkward side and wonder why no one else is staring at these creatures, obviously from another planet. When my order is ready its hard for me to even make eye contact and some weird giggle emerges from my lips.
Barista

Photographer Sarah Bello

I sit at my table in view of the super humans. My sister is outside with Patrick. There is a little boy who has fallen in love with him and they are loving on each other enjoying the sunlit patio.

Photographer Sarah Bello

The vibe here is cooler than me as I study the room. The autumn in my mouth concoction is warming my insides and revving up my mind. People all around me have become one with their laptops. I imagine they are all writing their first novel. Except for that one guy…he is totally playing video games.


We walk down Alberta and Emily checks out the free box. Free boxes are all over Portland, usually, just a box by the sidewalk…some are elaborate with roofs. People take stuff and leave stuff. It’s an amazing little community reuse thing that’s caught on and I've never seen it anywhere else. She finds a wool coat, hat and scarf that will be very useful when we get to Colorado. Since my sister lives a minimalist lifestyle, she doesn’t keep her winter items, too much to carry around on her Scooter. She only keeps what she can carry. Once the season is over, she gives the items away. We google the coat while we’re driving and its still available online and over $200. She has already thought of who she will gift it to when she gets home from our trip.

Photographer Sarah Bello
Elaborate Free Box

Photographer Sarah Bello
That's a Big Beaver
We drive to the Rose Garden and I realize that while I remember the area, I’ve never actually driven here. In the past, we walked or took public transit. The sun emerges again as we arrive and I’m soon kissed with the heavenly smell of roses.

Photographer Sarah Bello

Our conversations with ourselves and others visiting can be narrowed to this phrase,
“Did you smell this one? Smell this one!”
One man approaches us urging us to smell the one around the corner that smells like juicy fruit.
We do and it does.

Photographer Sarah Bello

I’m infatuated with my macro lens.  I could photograph the garden all day. Please enjoy this small sampling that I managed to narrow it down to of nature’s masterpiece of brilliant color combinations.

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello


Photographer Sarah Bello

Wandergirl

Photographer Sarah Bello

Wandergirl

Photographer Sarah Bello

Wandergirl

Photographer Sarah Bello


Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Wandergirl

Photographer Sarah Bello

We leave the gardens when my meter runs out and I’m craving Indian food. Normally we go to Bollywood Theater but Em suggests a food truck downtown that she declares as the best. We find parking after I almost run into not one, but two trains/buses downtown from driving down the wrong way. Again, I’ve never driven downtown Portland and apparently, I am not a natural. My out of town plates hopefully only caused a brief frustration and a halt to planning my murder.

Portland

The Real Taste of India food truck was audible yums. It was so good that when we walked to the river to sit and eat, people approached us to ask where we got it. I offered to share and while surprised they politely declined. Really there was enough for a family of 4! We took the leftovers home and I ate it for second dinner and shared with our sweet hosts.

Photographer Sarah Bello

Since it was approaching rush hour, we decided to walk around downtown for a little while. I wanted to take more pictures before dark. I needed to memorize the light bouncing throughout the city as the sun set.

Photographer Sarah Bello
Portland does not add fluoride to their drinking water! =) 

Photographer Sarah Bello
You're going to share that, right?
Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello

Photographer Sarah Bello




Monday, April 3, 2017

Cranberry Sauce Beyond Thanksgiving

I make fresh cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite items on the table next to the mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole. I continue to make it as long as I can find them in the stores and I put it on everything.

Low on cash, I'd been creatively coming up with meals with what was left in the freezer and cub boards. Items that had been overlooked so long they were nearing or past their prime.
While cleaning out anything frost bitten in the freezer,  I found a bag of cranberries from last Thanksgiving. Woohoo!
After weeding out the raisin impersonating cranberries, there was still enough for sauce. yay!
I normally just tweak the recipe on the bag. I use half the sugar than it calls for (1/2 cup), I like it tarter and I use raw sugar.
I don't use orange juice, just water. They don't need any more sugar and I'm not a fan of orange flavored cranberries. I then add a lot of cinnamon. Cinnamon, besides making it better, can also lower your blood sugar and is a anti-inflammatory. Cranberries are also anti-inflammatory and are packed with antioxidants. Does it cancel out the sugar...probably not, but at least it is partially healthy. Haha

For breakfast:
Oatmeal with turmeric, cinnamon & nutmeg and topped with Cranberry Sauce
I just sprinkle the spices in the water before I cook the oatmeal. Hmmm, maybe 1/4 tsp of each.
I use Bob Redmill gluten free oats.

Gluten Free Breakfast


For dinner:
Quinoa made with coconut milk and turmeric and topped with Cranberry Sauce.
Instead of cooking the quinoa in water, I use coconut milk and sprinkled turmeric (1/4 tsp) and black pepper in the coconut milk before I cook it. I use Trader Joe's organic tricolor quinoa.


Gluten Free meals

Next meal...add half a avocado, because avocado makes everything better.

Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Cranberries: Superfood
Packed with Antioxidants, Only blueberries have more. 
Anti-inflammatory 
Good source of Vitamin C

Rolled Oats: 
Antioxidants
Carbohydrate with a low fat, high fiber content

Quinoa : Superfood
Contains all nine of the essential amino acids making it a complete protein source
Twice the protein content of rice or barley
Calcium, B Vitamins, Iron and Fiber
Prebiotic
Gluten Free and the least allergies of all the grains

Turmeric & Black Pepper:
Black Pepper enhances the bioavailability and level of absorption of Turmeric Benefits
Antioxidant
Anti-Inflammatory
Antiseptic
Antifungal
Antibacterial

Cinnamon:
Antifungal
Antibactieria
Antivirus
Can reduce blood pressure
Can reduce insulin resistance

Avocado:
20 Vitamins and Minerals
Monounsaturated fatty acids