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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Andina - Peruvian Cuisine

Andina Restaurant Portland, OregonAndina is a popular Peruvian restaurant in downtown Portland in the Pearl district. We went their last weekend for date night. The multi-level restaurant was awesome. It had a neat atmosphere. 
While we waited for a table we watched the craziness of the open kitchen cranking out food as fast as they could. We only had to wait 15 minutes for a table on a Saturday night, which for Portland is amazing. 
The meal started off with bread and three dipping sauces a jalapeƱo  sauce, passion fruit sauce, and some sort of peanut sauce. All the sauces were tasty. 

Next, we shared a small salad which was plenty for the two of us. The salad is one of their small plates that can come in small, medium, or large. All their Peruvian tapas can be ordered that way. Although there were lots of tapas on the menu the salad was the  only one we tried.
Andina Restaurant Portland, Oregon

Instead of tapas we ordered from their entrees menu. This one is the lamb entree. It was a huge portion. 
Andina Restaurant Portland, Oregon

I ordered one of the specials flank steak with chimichurri sauce. It was a wonderful meal! I do not know what to call the vegetable rice stack, but it was so good. 
Andina Restaurant Portland, Oregon

We finished the meal off with dessert. We had the flan which was good, but thicker then flan I've had before. Andina had a bunch of unusual sorbets on their menu we had some sort of raspberry hazelnut sorbet. 
Andina Restaurant Portland, Oregon
Andina on Urbanspoon

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Turtle Cookies

Looking for a new cookie recipe? After trying lots of different recipes I am happy to share this Turtle Cookie Recipe, because they were so, so good. Like stupid good. Thank goodness I have kids to help me eat them, otherwise I would have eaten them all!
My daughter is cooking with me all the time which is such a treat. It's so fun when the kids get old enough to help out.

Turtle Cookies

Cookie batter:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
8 T. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg yolk
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla. Reduce mixer to a low speed and add flour mixture until just combined. Cover the dough and refrigerate until firm.

2 egg whites
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Whisk egg whites until frothy.  Place chopped pecans in a separate bowl.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip half the ball in egg whites, and then roll that half in pecans.  Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball. Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12 minutes.

Caramel Filling:
10 caramel candies
2 T. whipping cream
Microwave caramels and cream together in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 minute.  Once cookies are removed from the oven,  re-press the indentations.  Fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon of the caramel mixture. 

Chocolate Drizzle (optional):  
1/4 cup chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
1 Ziploc bag
Place chocolate chips in a small Ziploc bag.  Set the bag in a bowl of warm water to soften.  Gently knead the chocolate with your fingers until melted and smooth, placing back in the warm water for a minute or two as needed.  Snip a very small hole in the corner of the plastic bag.  Drizzle chocolate over the cooled Turtle Cookies.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Departure - at The Nines Hotel in Portland, OR

Departure is a trendy Portland, Oregon restaurant serving Asian fusion cuisine. It is located inside The Nines Hotel, an upscale hotel near Pioneer Square. 

They have a great happy hour and a killer patio with stunning views of downtown Portland. I've been here twice to eat dinner and once late at night, just to hang out and get drinks. At night it is very crowd with lots of people seated and standing. It seemed to be a late night hot spot. For dinner things are much quieter and everyone is seated at a table. There is no one milling about like at night. 

Departure food is incredible, hopefully the picture do the food justice. We ordered small plates to sample a variety of what they have. For the most part it is all small plates or sushi rolls. Departures restaurant

Departures restaurant

Departures restaurant
Departures restaurant

Departures restaurant

This curry noodles was good, but it is bright and it is messy. Next time we would not order it, because if you do get it on your clothes I think it will stain.

Departure on Urbanspoon

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