Oregon Distillers Guild Presents the 4th Annual TOAST {DISCOUNT CODE}

join me!

join me!

JOIN ME!  As you know I had 3 of the fabulous distillers on my show this weekend – we talked about RUM and TOAST!  Interesting combo?  Well – this is the Distillers Tasting event…not a breakfast treat.

Ted Pappas, the Oregon Distillers Guild President, announced that TOAST, will take place April 11th and 12th at The World Trade Center, in Portland, Oregon. Tickets can be pre-purchased for $20 online at www.oregondistillerytrail.com/TOAST2014 or purchased at the door either day of the event for $25.


seriosuly – $10 off!!!!

The 4th Annual Toast event is an opportunity to taste from a wide variety of over 120 spirits from across the Northwest, the Country and the Globe. Whether your spirit preference is Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Brandy, Liqueurs – or even unique spirits like Absinthe and Aquavit – the estimated 30 distillers and producers at TOAST will have it covered. TOAST allows small distillers and producers to showcase their handcrafted spirits, while providing an opportunity for the public to experience the diversity and quality of craft spirits from Oregon and beyond.

Ted Pappas explains how this year’s event will be bigger, “This year we will have multiple events throughout the greater Portland area highlighting local distillers along with some of our outstanding restaurants leading up to the event.  It’s the first step to transforming our event from a few days to a week of activities.”

Continuing this year will be the Food Cart Court, where several of Portland’s favorite food carts will be cooking up their respective specialties for purchase. Rain or shine, covered seating will make this a convenient and enjoyable post-work destination on Friday evening, or dinner on Saturday.

Sponsored by The Oregon Distillers Guild, TOAST takes place this year on Friday, April 11th and Saturday, April 12th on the sky bridge level of the World Trade Center in Portland. Hours are: April 11th, 5pm to 10pm and Saturday, April 12th, 4pm to 10pm. Admission at the door is $25 each day, and $20 tickets can be pre-purchased online at www.oregondistillerytrail.com/TOAST2014.

The location of the event is Two World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon Street, in downtown Portland. Tickets include single day admission, interaction with over 30 spirit producers, taste spirits from around the world, and a tasting glass, while they last. Bottles will be available for purchase to take home, and parking is $5/day at the convenient underground parking lot at the World Trade Center.

About the Oregon Distillers Guild

Oregon is at the forefront of the nation’s craft spirit movement, boasting a membership of over 28 spirits producers. Founded in 2007, the Oregon Distillers Guild (ODG) is the nation’s first distillers guild. The ODG is a non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting Oregon spirits industry locally and nationally. Proceeds from TOAST support the Oregon Distillers Guild. Please follow the ODG online atwww.oregondistillerytrail.com.

Simple Kitchen AUDIO BAR Debut podcast! Aria Gin, Big Bottom Whiskey, Bull Run!

The SK Audio Bar is open for business. Ryan and Erik from Aria Gin step in to mix the drinks, and help you get your home bar up and running. Patrick from Bull Run Spirits gives us a bit of history on rum. Ted from Big Bottom talks a bit more about the magic of aged rum. The mixing of the daiquiris commences. Finally, the details on TOAST!


Further explorations, breakfast, coffee and lunch like a hipster!

Okay, okay, I get it.  We are not hip young things.  We are parents of suburban children.  We have loads of useless responsibilities, mortgages, car payments, and we do NOT go see cool bands on a regular basis.  We are living our version of “the dream” and I know it may be a little on the “hostess twinkle” side of things, but it suits us fine.  We are a cliché.  We know it, and it is okay to laugh at us.  Hell WE laugh at us.

Now, this being said….I certainly like to hang where the cool hang.  I do want to check out people who are living casual (meaning fun)and even edgy lifestyles.   Children with gum in their hair?  Leave it!  Let’s go get breakfast!  Boys in pink pants and long curly hair at age 4?  Who cares…. they are “expressing themselves”.  Bring it on.  I love to see and experience everyone, and learn a little something in the exchange.  NOTE:  peanut butter gets gum out of hair. SECODARY NOTE:  Don’t give people a dirty look when you have let your sons hair grow to his shoulders and put him in pink pants when I say “she’s so sweet!  How old is she?”. Okay?  I am not a jerk, HE WAS CUTE!

Stop number one:  Arleta Library.  I found this place by Googling breakfast restaurants and I had never heard of it and it looked fun!  Well – I stuck the dismount on this one – it was phenomenal!  Located across the street from Mt Scott Community Center is  in a row of small businesses and in a very old building.  I think there MAY have been 7 tables total.  I am not sure if they are in fact a bakery as the name states but they did have what looked like a very good coffee cake.  I did not order it but it looked GORGY.  We selected some standards.  The biscuits and gravy ( yum) and the breakfast sandwich (also YUM but ala carte so not enough food for Coach). They also French press all of their coffee, which is Stumptown and WONDERFUL.  Verdict:  We will return.

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 I will skip the HARROWING drive to Woodburn Outlet Mall as well as the shopping we did not do because it was pouring rain and I was so white knuckled by the time we got there all I wanted to do was look at miserable families looking for discounts in the sideways pouring rain (poorly done Woodburn…. you DO KNOW IT RAINS 300 DAYS A YEAR RIGHT? Figure it out.  I want to be comfortable…. If I am comfy, maybe I will stay and not say to my husband “get me out of this hellhole before I start buying things from The Parfumeria!!”) So, like I said….I will skip it.

Time for lunch.  Coach says “What is our next burger place”? YAY I think!  I was just at Pete’s Coffee ( the one in Happy Valley that I LOVE) and I was told to check out Foster Burger.  I pulled it up on the iPhone map-app and we still got lost.  For the love of GAWD, this was the easiest place to find.  Drove by twice.  But we got there, and parked, right in front.  Which was lovely since there was a small Typhoon occurring.

WHOA.  A trip back in time.  Show posters, dating back to the time of Satyricon (yep, I was one of those girls…. Doc martens, tight white t-shirt, and cut-offs….. jamming to the Sweaty Nipples).  It was a little dark, and a lot of hip.  Lots of cool kids eating burgers AND they have Lamb, Turkey and regular burgers.  A French Fry option with truffle and squid ink!  We had classic Foster Burgers – him with Cheddar and mine was oozing with Brie!  A couple cokes and a large Fry!  It was fantastic!  A little too much food for me, but plenty for Coach.  I ended up having fruit for dinner that evening….

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After this, we paid our bill  (reasonable!) and swam to our car.  We let the nanny go home early and tried to burn calories but chasing the twins around the house.  We watched some basketball, got cozy watching the storm, and went to bed early.

I have to say it was a good day…… to quote a damn good rap song.

Rainy Thursdays, burgers, coffee and a Malbec or 7…

The thing about spring break in the PNW is that it rains.  It “rains like a muth”.  It pours down, sideways.  When this is the case, there is nothing more for you to do besides eat your guts out, drink gallons of great coffee…and drink.  Do not forget to drink.  When I say drink I am NOT talking about staying hydrated with 120 ounces of water (who does that??)  I am talking about wine friends.  Grape juice.

Montana was not invited on our escapades today.  I tasked her with watching the forest get hydrated:

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First we hit up a great burger shop.  This its how I keep the hubby intrigued….I keep burgers dangling like carrots.  Anyways, we went to Little Big Burger on Division!  They have a great menu of only 5 items.  I had a blue cheese burger and truffle fries.  Verdict?  WE SHALL RETURN!  Hubby should have ordered 2 burgers, but one was more than enough for me.  Oh…and Truffle Fries.  Shall I repeat?  TRUFFLE FRIES. photo - Copy (4)

Next we went to Stumptown Coffee.  I have been enjoying their smooth coffees for years, but ever since Coach’s buddy took an important role in the company he has shown an interest in  trying them out!  We went to the 45th and Division location and ordered an Almond Milk Latte and a Mocha.  We sat down, looking CLEARLY suburban, and sipped away.  We can pretend to be hipsters, right?  Note to self:  Next time hide the pimp-wagon (horribly overpriced SUV) a block away.  UGH.  Anyways, coffee was fabulous and we stayed until we were about to jump out of our skin due to hyper-caffeination.  Overall – AWESOME.  I like how old the place is.  Makes me nostalgic for the good old “coffee people” days.  You know, Guatemalan sweaters, birks….ahhhh the 90s.  FACT:  Did you know they have shops in Seattle, New York and LA-LA land?  Well, take that for a KNOWLEDGE BOMB. *drops the mic* photo - Copy (3)

That evening I was invited to a Malbec tasting at Whole Foods.  I got to select the store I wanted to go to so I selected Hollywood!  I have had several interviews with Whole Foods employees, butchers, foragers, and marketing team members so I feel like an honorary employee.  I like what they do over there.  ANYHOOOO….Malbec!  I got a surprise education, a tasting of SEVEN Malbecs from around the world (did you know that despite being known as a S American wine it originated in France?  Malbec is also a single grape wine, not a blend.  Very easy to drink and SURPRISINGLY inexpensive.  Ranging in price from $9.99 to $17.99 per 750mL bottle at Whole Foods.  I am sure you can find more and less expensive ones….but that is what I tasted.  My overall take away was that Malbec is a very accessible wine.  A great decision for groups, especially if you do not know everyones taste.  You cannot go wrong with the price, flavor, and the fun labeling will only enhance your tablescape!

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 Okay loves… I must get back to my events at hand.  Another day of trying new things and developing opinions. It is a rainy-wainy day so that means I will very likely eat my body weight in food.  Do I care?  Not in the least.  I am very excited.  First stop:  Arleta Library Bakery Café….. after that….. well, you will soon find out!

St. Honore……and quiet time.

I am training for the Hood to Coast relay.  Now…dont get all “that Missy is crazy”.  I have run 5 half marathons in the last 5 years.  Fitness and I have an agreement:  I will go slow and steady and it will assist in my pants not being too tight.  I think we, as women, are SO hard on ourselves after we have children.  Every last one of us thinks “I will be the exception.  I will be better than I was BEFORE I got pregnant”  well, haha.  Oh, and HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

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The spring break the husband (AKA Coach Maki) and I have been getting caught up on sitting in the same room with one another and talking about something other than our children.  It is not easy, and quite frankly…we talk about the kids.  Most parents will understand this….but I WILL say that we have been not talking at all.  Just sipping great coffee, eating good food, and pondering.  Pondering nothing.  I suggest more people do this.

Yesterday we finally made it to St. Honore Boulangerie.


They opened a third location on 33rd and Division.  I was lucky enough to spend some time with Dominique Geulin, the owner/proprieter.   He is also a Master Baker, and grew up on the Normandy town of Etreat.  He grew up living over a bakery.  Seriously….you cannot make this stuff up.  I adore him.  He is perfection and he says my name like this:  Meee-Seee.  Just so you know, I prefer my name spoken with a French accent.  Dominique,  when 27, entered France’s most prestigious competition “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” to honor the country’s best artisan craftspeople and promote France’s long tradition of knowledge and artistry. After constructing a bread sculpture of the Eiffel Tower and executing a strenuous baking test for two days, Dominique received the award of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in the boulangerie category from late French President François Mitterand in 1990.  This is amazing and he has the French flag on the collar of his chef coat to show this honor (look for him when you go to St Honore!).  There are 3 locations:  Original location on NW 23rd, in Lake Oswego, lakeside, and now on  SE 33rd and Division!

The new location is amazing – hand painted and fired tiles (touch them!  Seriously – take in the craftsmanship!) beautiful lighting, outdoor seating with fun strands of lighting and wisterias growing up the sides to ensure that you have a Frenchy-French experience!  Ohh-la-la!

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There is also a “stadium style” wood fire oven that you can watch the bread being formed and cooked!  I will bring the kid-lets to enjoy this when they start to resemble people, not floor gnomes.  As you can see, there are savory and sweet treats.  The coffee is great ( I had 3 cups!) Caffe Umbria brand, and you can also buy bread!  I suggest you grab a baguette on your way out if for no other reason to have it sticking out of your bag like a busy Parisian.  I simply love this image….running around in your 5 inch heels….with a crunchy baguette popping out of your shopping bag. Voila!  Viva la France!

The have great entrees and have Vin de Pays ( house wine) or French Cidre ( apple cider) and a great happy hour!  I had a gorgeous quiche with a simple salad, Coach had a savory Croissant:

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I hope you get a chance to grab your laptop, newspaper, or just people watch while enjoying a delicious Petit Dejeuner and French Cidre (they do a cider flight!)  Here is a link to the Division & 33rd Happy Hour Menu

Remember to slow down, enjoy life like a Frenchman:  Savor food, and life slowly and with purpose!