Weekend Finds 10:22:16

It has been a long time since I have rounded up some weekend finds for you. And since I have been longingly staring at recipes on blogs I love, pages I follow on Facebook, and my Instagram feed, I can tell you that I have some things I really want to cook. We’ve been gone for about three weeks now and, after my friends and family, the thing I am missing most is cooking. The good news is, I can text and Skype with my friends and family. I cannot chat with my pots and pans, the smell of onions sautéing in butter, my favorite wooden spoon, or freshly baked pumpkin bread. So instead, I am planning on living vicariously through all of you as you cook your way through fall, my favorite season. Here’s what I would make if I were you.

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Cream and Chanterelles from PDXFoodLove

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Cream and Chanterelles from PDXFoodLove
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Cream and Chanterelles from PDXFoodLove

Three of my favorite things in one dish: crispy chicken skin, cream sauce, and mushrooms. This recipe from fellow Portland blogger Rebekah looks so freaking tasty, and I think it would be perfect for dinner with friends on a chilly fall evening.

Salted Tahini, Pepita, and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies from Chocolate + Marrow

Salted Tahini, Pepita, and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies from Chocolate + Marrow
Salted Tahini, Pepita, and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies from Chocolate + Marrow

Brooke’s writing continues to blow me away, as do her recipes and photos. The accompanying blog post breaks my heart, but these cookies sound like they’d lift my spirits. They look like the perfect treat for the season, nutty through and through with the tahini, pepitas, and peanut butter.

Roasted Vegetables with Miso & Harissa

Roasted Vegetables with Miso & Harissa
Roasted Vegetables with Miso & Harissa

Yes yes, I’ve obviously posted this before. But it is my absolute go-to in the fall. The miso gets perfectly caramelized and the harissa lends the perfect amount of heat. Want to make it into a hearty salad? Make a teeny bit extra of the miso-harissa-olive oil mixture and, once the vegetables are roasting, squeeze a lemon into the remaining mixture. Whisk together, and then add chopped kale leaves and massage them with the dressing. Toss with the roasted vegetables once they’ve cooled for a bit.

Bacon Apple Cheddar Pie from Hummingbird High

Bacon Apple Cheddar Pie from Hummingbird High
Bacon Apple Cheddar Pie from Hummingbird High

Around this time of year, I always start to think about two things: what pies I’ll make for Thanksgiving, and birthday treats for my family. You see, our birthdays all fall in these four months. My older sister’s birthday is tomorrow (happy birthday Emily!) and I think she would really appreciate this funky, unique pie from Michelle over at Hummingbird High. I love the pies that come with fall, but I have found that sometimes you need a twist on the classics, and this sounds like just that.

Spilled Milk Podcast

Spilled Milk with Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton
Spilled Milk with Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton

Not a recipe, no, but a podcast about food. Having hosts Molly and Matthew in my ears has been one of my comforts since leaving home. It helps that they are guaranteed to make me laugh. Be warned, the show is rated R.

It Feels Good to Eat: Thailand #1

Well, we made it to Thailand folks. We arrived a little over a week ago, and are now on the island of Koh Lanta, where we’ll be for another week. Jonah got his scuba certification (yay!) and we spent the last two days on a boat for 9 hours, diving and eating and relaxing.

Ko Haa, Thailand | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
That’s Jonah swimming near our dive spot on Tuesday.

But let’s talk about the food, shall we? We spent our first two days in Bangkok getting over our jet lag and catching up on work after 24 hours “out of the office.” The jet lag hit us both in a way that it never had before – our appetites were all out of whack. We would be hungry, then go find some food, eat a few bites, and then feel ill. And no, it wasn’t the state of the food we were eating. Our bodies were just so confused about the time and the lack of sleep and the heat and humidity, everything was off.

Thai Street Food | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Lots of glazed meat on skewers, plus sticky rice.

By the time we arrived in Koh Lanta on Saturday we were both starting to feel a little normal again, finally. We had a small lunch, but at dinner we went crazy and stuffed ourselves. Was it the smartest thing we’d done? No. But it tasted damn good.

The street food in Bangkok is so great, and while I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I’d like, we did have a couple of great snacks/meals on the streets near our hostel. Barbecued pork skewers with some tasty glaze and sticky rice made a great afternoon snack one day. And of course, we knew we had to find the only Thai dish we could actually order in Thai thanks to Nong’s Khao Man Gai back in Portland! While it was hard to drink the broth because it was so hot out, that meal really hit the spot and made us a little less homesick for a little while.

Khao Mon Gai in Bangkok, Thailand | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Our beloved Khao Man Gai.

On Koh Lanta, we have a few little favorite spots so far that we visit regularly: there is a stand on the corner by our hotel that has various breakfast selections, packaged up in little bags. My favorite is the sticky rice with some pork in a bright orange sauce, but other highlights have included some gelatinous substance in a banana leaf, stuffed with shredded coconut in a sticky sauce.

Dinner on Koh Lanta, Thailand | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Watching the women cook at the little restaurant around the corner from our hotel on Koh Lanta.

On the other side of the street that leads up to our hotel, there is a restaurant where these two women cook out in the front, and they are so lovely. We ate our first dinner there and had some delicious massuman curry – it was rich and spicy, not too thick, and nestled amongst the chicken and potatoes there were these blistered peanuts – as well as some of the best pad see ew I have ever tasted. The noodles were so fresh and almost fudgy. We have also since enjoyed their barbecued chicken that they cook on a grill out front and stir fried morning glory. Plus the other night I was craving mango sticky rice, so we stopped in and got some to go and it was SO GOOD. We are eating more rice than I’ve ever eaten in my life, but with all the saucy curries and spicy dishes, it comes in handy.

Sunset on Koh Lanta, Thailand | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Watching the sunset from our balcony on Koh Lanta.

We are looking forward to exploring the island of Koh Lanta more now that we have some free days. We rented a moped, so we’d like to drive around the island, hitting up the north end where there’s a little more of a town, and also going over to the old town on the east side of the island.

And Now for Something Completely Different

If we’re being honest, I am a homebody. I like having a home base, a place I can return to that is comfortable, a little oasis, a space that is mine. I like to know where my belongings are, to sleep in my own bed, to light candles in the evenings, to cook dinner. When I don’t have that I feel… off. I feel like my footing is uncertain and that, even if I know where I’m sleeping that night and even if I have  a room that is “mine,” it’s might not last.

Seattle Skyline | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Jonah and I moved out of our house a month ago, and we are now floating around until we leave for Thailand in two weeks. What does floating around mean? It means we are “living” in our dear friends’ guest room, stowing boxes in their crawl space. In the past month we have been to NYC, Chicago, Seattle, and McCall, ID. I have had a total of 9 nights in my own bed, and for someone who is a homebody, that’s a challenge.

New York City Skyline | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

I suppose I’m writing this partially to begin the transition of this blog. Over the next seven months or so, I’m not quite sure what this space will become. As I live abroad, I know I’ll want to write. But I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to, or about what. I assume I’ll want to tell you about the food I’m eating, the adventures I’m going on. But it also may become more of a journal than it has been in the past, since I know that this trip is going to challenge me in a lot of ways and I’ll need an outlet for that. I hope that’s ok with you.

Chicago Skyline | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

So, the itinerary as it currently stands:

On October 4th we fly from Seattle to Bangkok, where we’ll spend three days getting our feet under us again before heading to Ko Lanta, an island off the southwest coast of Thailand. We’ll spend about ten days there before heading north to Chiang Mai where we’ll meet friends, rent an apartment, and live our lives for another two months. In mid-December we fly to Germany, where we’ll spend a few days with friends before heading to Stuttgart to be with Jonah’s extended family for Christmas, and then around New Year’s we’ll head to Portugal. The plan is for Portugal to be our home base for about four months, but we’ll travel from there, hopefully to visit friends in London, the Netherlands, and Morocco. I’m also crossing my fingers for a stop in Iceland on our way back to the U.S.

McCall View | Travel | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

It sounds like a lot – a lot of places, a lot of time. But truthfully, I know it will fly by. Or at least that’s what everyone is telling me. Let the countdown to departure begin: 2 weeks.

Weekend Finds 6:30:16 Summer Eats

Y’all! It’s been a minute since I’ve written! But don’t you fret, I’ve still been cooking up a storm and eating all the good food. I promise. But there’s a lot of other stuff that’s been going on too!

Cannon Beach | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Walking down the beach with Jonah and my sisters
  1. I’m moving! Where? Good question. In October, Jonah and I will be taking advantage of our ability to work remotely. First we’re heading to Thailand for a couple of months, then we’ll be in Germany for Christmas with Jonah’s extended family, and then we’ll be in Portugal, where we’ll hopefully stay for about 4 or 5 months, and traveling from there to visit friends in London, the Netherlands, and Morocco. Exciting? Of course! Terrifying? You bet!
  2. It’s summer, and summer in the PNW means spending all the time outside and on the beautiful Oregon coast. Last weekend was spent at our friend’s beloved beach house, and the week before that was spent at Cannon Beach at a mini family reunion. Which brings me to…
  3. We’re engaged! While we were in Cannon Beach Jonah popped the big ol’ question and I said yes (duh). If you have any wedding planning tips or tricks (especially for weddings that take place in Chicago) I’d love to hear them!

Ok, back to the good stuff. I’ve been doing my fair share of eating out these days too. Summers are perfect for happy hours outside, and putting on that cute new sundress to hit up that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. All the incredible flavors and ingredients of summer are out in full force. Here’s what I’ve been eating lately:


P.D.T cocktail at Renata | Summer Eats |Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
My P.D.T cocktail at Renata

Jonah took me here to celebrate our engagement, and while I only took a picture of my cocktail (it was a phones-free-dinner after that), the meal was fantastic. The highlights were my cocktail (the P.D.T aka Peas Don’t Tell) and the albacore tuna conserva served with tomatoes and peaches.

Hat Yai

Braised Beef Cheek in Curry with Roti at Hat Yai | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Braised Beef Cheek in Curry with Roti at Hat Yai

You guys, Hat Yai is seriously at the top of my list as far as new openings in Portland go. They serve southern Thai food, and it is perfectly executed and complex and satisfying and just SO DAMN GOOD. Go eat here immediately and get the fried chicken, roti, and curry. You will not be sorry.


Blogger happy hour at Lincoln | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Blogger happy hour at Lincoln

Chef Jenn Louis hosted a very fun blogger happy hour for at her N Williams restaurant Lincoln, and it did not disappoint. How can you go wrong with a bunch of food-loving ladies, cocktails, and delicious food with influences from cuisines around the world? Highlights included asparagus hummus with labneh and flatbread, grilled dates with marcona almonds and lime, and the fried chicken with white barbecue sauce. This happy hour is fantastic, so make sure you check it out!

Le Pantry

Deviled Eggs with Trout at Le Pantry | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Deviled Eggs with Trout at Le Pantry

Perhaps the fanciest food cart around, Le Pantry is relatively new to Pod 28 (on SE 28th and Ankeny). The menu is very sweet, and I can’t wait to go back to try more of their dishes. We enjoyed the deviled eggs with trout, and the salad with fried calamari was filled with bright flavors like nectarines, corn, and some crispy potatoes.


Happy Hour at Lechon | Summer Eats | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Happy Hour at Lechon

Jonah and I stopped into Lechon for happy hour before heading to the Waterfront Blues Fest to see Chubby Carrier. I had been hearing great things from both my roommate and blogger friends, plus it’s just across the street from the waterfront, so it worked out perfectly. The prices were great (as were the cocktails) and we seriously enjoyed a small salad, the ceviche, and clams with chorizo.

Where have you been eating lately? Any place I have to check out before hitting the road in October? Let me know! I hope you’re enjoying these beautiful PNW summer days!

24 Hour Pickled Green Beans

Some time ago, maybe last fall, my older sister introduced me to Mama Lil’s pickled green beans. I have a love for good pickles, especially ones that are still crispy and super tart, and these green beans were just that. They don’t carry them at my grocery store, so when Jonah and I spotted them at Boda’s Kitchen in Hood River, we bought a jar, and finished them within the week.

24 Hour Pickled Green Beans | Serious Crust

These green beans are one of those things that you eat and figure, “Ok, I can make these.” So the research began, and after a couple of batches I can confidently say that these are really REALLY good. Everyone I’ve fed them to has found themselves reach back into the jar for more. They are crunchy, tangy, and perfectly spicy. And they take about 20 minutes to make. Who doesn’t have 20 minutes?

24 Hour Pickled Green Beans

3-4 tsp red chili flakes
6-8 large cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
1.5 lbs green beans, trimmed and rinsed
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
3 Tbsp salt

In the bottom of each of 3 or 4 16-oz wide mouth jars, sprinkle a teaspoon of chili flakes and 2 quartered cloves of garlic. On top of the chili flakes and garlic, pack as many green beans as you can fit vertically.

In a large saucepan combine the white vinegar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and pour over the green beans. You want to completely cover the beans, so you’ll need to fill the jars right to the edge.

Put the lids loosely on the jars and leave them on the counter to cool down. Once the jars are cool enough to handle, screw the lids on all the way and put them in the fridge to store overnight. They’re ready to eat in 24 hours and will keep for a month in the fridge!