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What is the deal with Amish Friendship Bread

Laurie got the starter for Amish Friendship Bread last week, and I just don't see what the big deal is with this chain letter of the cooking world.

I suppose that it might be interesting for someone that almost never cooks, but as someone that likes to bake, I have to say that I'm not all that impressed.

First off it is a gift that comes with a schedule. You are supposed to tend this starter for 10 days, then cook on that day. And you are supposed to keep the chain going by splitting it up and passing it on. Oh joy.

For want of eggs

Why is it that whenever you are out of something like eggs, everything you think of making includes eggs?

Of course, I could just go out and buy some, but I got a big old blister on my ankle snowshoeing yesterday, and I really didn't want to put shoes on. No breakfast burritos, no brownies, and no dinner rolls.

Despite the pain, I finally gave up and went out and got them. Now after making all the things I wanted to cook, I'm down to only 2 eggs again.

Our favourite Thai restaurant in Beaverton, OR

Review is no longer current. The restaurant changed owners and crew. The sauces are now bland and every dish tastes the same.

***** Old review. *****

Finding really good Thai restaurants in Oregon can be a bit difficult. Quite often you end up going from one extreme (all of the food is basically tasteless with differing degrees of hot) to another (the food tastes good but is so over presented and over priced that you are not really interested in coming back).

Simple and fresh Mexican food in Tigard, OR

La Fuente Mexican restaurant in Tigard, OR (12198 SW Main Street, behind the bead shop near the Tigard post office) is not the prettiest place around, but the food is simple, good, and fresh.

So far I have tried the pollo taco and the carne asada burrito and have been pleasantly suprised. The tomatillo and green pepper salsa is very fruity but a little mild for my taste. The red pepper salsa is quite hot and mixes very well with the green for a good balance of fruit and heat.

Chinese buffet and turkey noodle soup

As Laurie was arriving home last night, one of our neighbors asked if we wanted to go to a Chinese buffet that we had been considering trying, and we decided to give it a go.

In Massachusetts, there were some very nice lunch buffets in restaurants that sold regular sit down dinners. When I moved back to the northwest, I had hoped that there would be some good ones around, but the ones in Lynnwood were very disappointing. Laurie couldn't eat at those, and I didn't really want to.

Friday is pizza day

Back when I was in elementary school, Friday was always Pizza Day at the cafeteria. It wasn't exactly good pizza, but it was a hell of a lot better than what they passed off as a hamburger.

Plan your trip so you can eat lunch or dinner in Ashland, OR

Six months back my wife and I went to a friend's anniversary party in Walnut Creek, CA. We decided that we would follow the coast highway as much as possible for the trip back home to Tigard, OR and since this would probably take four or five days we would just drive down boring I-5 (except for the part through Shasta) and spend couple of hours looking through shops in Ashland and try to find a nice place for dinner. Boy did we hit the jackpot.

Pipon's turned out to be a rare find. (In fact we have been back twice more, making sure to stop in Ashland on a winter trip to and from Las Cruces, NM just so we could eat here.

Tried the new Mongolian Grill

After a good day of snowshoeing on New Year's Eve, we decided to head down to the new Woks On Fire Mongolian Grill here in town. So far we haven't been that impressed with any of the grills in the Olympia/Lacey area, so we end up going up to Federal Way or when we are down in Portland.

Christmas is a comin

Yeah, most of you celebrated Christmas two days ago, but Laurie was out in Pennsylvania with her mom on the 25th, so we are having"our Christmas" on the 28th.

Our camping Thanksgiving dinner turned out so well, we are going to be recreating it at home for our Christmas. Well, since we are home, we will be adding a few extras.

The centerpiece is applewood smoked turkey, with a sage chipotle rub. Always tasty with some nice pan gravy to go over it. slowly smoking the turkey up to 165 degrees makes it incredibly moist without having to do any of those silly tricks that turkey roasters have to contend with.

Cooking in extreme weather

There are some real advantages to being a backpacker when you get hit with extreme weather at home.

We've got a big ol' windstorm coming through, and we've had a couple of blackouts so far. Not a problem for us, We just break out the camping stoves in the garage and cook up a feast.

Nothing fancy tonight, just some burgers and some tuna mac & cheese, but at least we don't have to wait in line at whatever open restaurants we can find.

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