Intro

Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // NotWithoutSalt.com

It’s no surprise if you’ve been here long that right alongside that slice of cake or plate of cookies I’m huge fan of salads. But in order for a salad to be a meal I want there to be a bit of heft. Something tucked in between the greens that leaves me satisfied rather than eagerly pining for that bag of chips in the cupboard the moment I’ve set down my salad fork. Sometimes it’s lentils, rice or beans that provide a bit of chew and bulk to offset the frilly greens but in the case of this recipe we rely on a crisp toast with a bubbling pool of brûléed goat cheese. 

This salad comes straight from the streets of Lyon where I started the meal disappointed with the lack of crispy frites and walked away with a new found love of salad with cheese toasts. My recipe for a Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toast can be found on the Electrolux blog; Live. Love. Lux.

Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toast // NotWithoutSalt.com

Before you go I thought it’d be fun to share a few photos that Gabe took from our weekend trip to Portland and perhaps, I mean since you’re here anyway, I could ask for a bit of advice?

We had a lovely time in Portland. For short bursts I find their mini kite flying, unicycle riding and handle bar mustache donning folks endearing. Their food scene is enviable and while it is a bustling city it has a small town aesthetic and layout that is charming and quite easy to navigate whether on foot or hopping on the buss (Seattle, take note).

We interspersed the trip with a couple of sit down restaurants, many donut stops, and even an arcade. So, you know, something for everyone. But the kids wanted nothing to do with mom savoring a 2014 Pinot Noir from the Willamette valley.

“Mom, just chug it.” Number two protested.

“Why would I chug this? Do you know all the work that went into this glass of wine?” I replied. What followed was a five minute discourse on the process of wine making which, in my mind, was suppose to leave him with an appreciation for craftsmanship, hard work, farming, and to get him off my back so I could enjoy mah wine.

To this he replied, “because we have ice cream to eat.” What he was referring to was my promise of a visit to Salt and Straw after dinner. At least our waitress, who overheard our conversation, thought it hilarious.

20160306_Travel_Portland_0043 20160306_Travel_Portland_0054 20160306_Travel_Portland_0007 Travel Portland // NotWithoutSalt.com 20160Travel Portland // NotWithoutSalt.com306_Travel_Portland_0056 Travel Portland // NotWithoutSalt.com

Despite the whining and the dinner being far more hurried than had it just been Gabe and I, I still love our attempts at taking them out to restaurants that I enjoy. Again, they are off set with visits to parks and other more kid-centric activities but my hope is that one of these days they’ll appreciate our attempts. If anything we provided a bit of entertainment for the couple sitting next to us. The sweet silver-haired woman came up to us just as we were leaving to tell us how much she enjoyed sitting next to us. Despite the outbreak from our 5 year old who was brought to frantic tears when her mother (hello!) burst out laughing at a picture she drew of me which was simply an outstretched hand clutching a glass of wine. I told that sweet woman who admired our crazy how much I enjoyed sitting next to her and her husband watching them polish off that bottle at their own pace.

We’re planning a big trip with the kids this summer and if you’re reading this and have done a good bit of travel with young children I would love to hear some advice. Creative ways you’ve managed their grumbling, balanced out activities and adjusted your own expectations on the trip. Currently we’re planning on hitting London, France and Italy. More details to follow as we map out our crazy adventure. But if you have some family friendly stops along the way please feel free to mention. It should be noted that we are currently in a massive all-family Harry Potter phase so particular stops in London with Hogwart’s in mind would blow their minds. Who am I kidding? My mind would be blown too.

In case you are wondering where we caused scenes in Portland here are a few of our favorite spots:

Ex Novo Brewing Co. – Drink for a good cause and order bacon for the table!

Blue Star Donuts – Get the Créme Brulée Donut, please and thank you. 

Ground Kontrol Arcade – Go here and earn the title of best mom (and wife) ever – until they start complaining that these games are boring because they can just play them on the phone and they don’t hand out tickets to trade in for candy. I can’t win.

Ava Gene’s – Love this spot and they were so kind to us even with three kids in tow. Also, Salt and Straw is right down the street which makes for the perfect bribe set-up

 

Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toasts

Find the recipe for this salad over at the Electrolux blog; Live. Love. Lux.

30 Responses to “Caramelized Pear Salad with Goat Cheese Toast”

  1. Kristin

    When we traveled with our kids, we made sure always to go at their pace, and stop to play in every fountain and listen to every musician we saw. Oh, and stop and sit down for a treat mid afternoon. They had a strange love for public transportation, so trains and buses and subways were always a hit. They were a bit older than your children when we went to London and France, but they loved the Tower of London and just walking the streets. If you go to the British Museum, try to research a day that’s not supposed to be too busy, go early, and cross your fingers that it’s not a school holiday. If you can get to Guedelon, http://www.guedelon.fr/, adults and kids all loved it. They are building a castle using medieval building techniques. Have fun!

    Reply
  2. Hatti

    While in London try and visit the Harry Potter studios out in Watford (short train ride from central London). It is incredible and most of the staff were extras or worked on the film – so you get loads of insider info! Full disclosure – I went with 4 other adults and we were the most excited people there!

    Reply
  3. Cynthia

    SO glad your family enjoyed Portland! I love visiting our daughter, Brooke, there….The food scene is amazing! And suggestions for traveling with kids? A deck of cards always came in handy with our little family. Enjoy your travels, no matter what. It broadens their horizons, and is a wonderful adventure for all!

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thanks for that lovely bit of encouragement. I’ll admit, there have been times when I think we are crazy and we should call off the trip but I really want them to get a confidence in traveling and a love for it because really, I think it’s the best possible education.

      Reply
  4. Kavita Goyal

    Travelling with family is always amazing and in addition to that delicious food makes it an unforgettable memory. The pictures in the post are so lively and the recipe is very good.

    Reply
  5. Meghan

    If you’re Harry Potter fans, I’d second the recommendation for the studio tour for sure! You should also go to the Kings Cross railway station to pose with the trolley at Platform 9 3/4! (There’s also a shop near that with things I’m sure your kids would enjoy.) http://www.the-magician.co.uk/ seems to have a lot of details on organising a Harry Potter tour around London yourself, rather than paying loads for an organised one. I’m an American living up in Scotland, so if you need any advice for more northern British travels, please just ask!

    Reply
  6. Hannah Jade

    1) This dish is so, so beautiful.

    2) Absolutely go to the HP studios! Super cool to be in the hall and you pick up so many bits of trivia.

    Reply
  7. Jenn @ Foodess

    We are currently traveling San Francisco with a 2.5-year-old and a 6-month-old, and I am dying to explore the restaurant scene but I think our table neighbours would be less endeared to us. The little one screeches at the top of his lungs nonstop and the big one shouts “I HAVE TO POOP” pretty much every. single. time. we go out to eat. I’m so happy to hear that eventually it can be done. 🙂 Your salad sounds lovely.

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      We are juuuuuust eeking into that phase and it’s glorious. Hang in there. It’s still tough and exhausting but the benefit of showing your children the world is *I think* totally worth it.

      Reply
  8. Elissa Watts

    What I have learned since traveling with our kids, both on transatlantic flights from the UK to Vancouver and on continental flights from Scotland to Barcelona, Italy, and France:
    Less is more. Less of everything you can possibly think of.
    Find the parks/beach immediately.
    Pack a lot of snacks.
    Eat as much gelato as possible.
    Buy books to help the kids learn about your destination in advance. (“This Is London” by Miroslav Sasek!!!!)
    Bring a lot of booze back to your room for after-hours merriment.
    Talk about expectations as a family before beginning each day’s activities.
    More gelato. More adult beverages.

    If you need tips on flights specifically, I have an exhaustive list that I crowdsourced from the international community here. I can send it upon request. Glad you had fun in PDX!! Aimee said it was a blast. Xx

    Reply
  9. Joy

    don’t forget about jetlag… kids really don’t adjust to time change quickly. try the ‘beach’ part (if there is one)first. ps. they also don’t care much for sightseeing. (i moved 22 times as a diplomat’s wife. spent a lot of time finding hotels with swimming pools)

    Reply
  10. Grace

    That salad looks and sounds AH-mazing! And the pic of grumpy little I is priceless. 🙂
    I am so excited for you guys and your travel adventures! I agree 100% with everything Elissa said. Really, everything she said is so right on. And I would add to it:
    Turning routine travel moments into a challenge for the kids engages them and gives them a sense of purpose. For example, asking them to navigate you from the ticketing counter to your gate by following the signs without mom and dad’s help (if you have the time) – so fun! Also, getting them a colorful, illustrated map with landmarks from the tourism office when you arrive, having them pick out a couple sites that look interesting to them and helping the group navigate to those sites. And later tracing your path from the day on their map.
    If you can find cheap digital cameras for each kid that’s an awesome way to keep them creatively engaged. You can do photo scavenger hunts for each day. Or they can even use your phones to take the pictures on their list.
    Learning about destinations beforehand and talking through expectations like Elissa said – so good.
    And for me, the biggest thing is checking my own expectations that travel with kids will not be like my travels in college, but is still full of incredible, rich, priceless moments. And kids open doors to talk with locals and other travelers like nothing else.

    Reply
  11. Taste of France

    That leopard and the little furry one in the other photo make me think of “Where the Wild Things Are.”
    I highly recommend renting an apartment or villa so you can put the kids to sleep nice and early and have a place to have a glass (bottle?) of wine without being in the same room. Hotels are rough unless you’re rich enough for a suite. I am not someone who will put my kid to bed in a hotel room and then go down to the lobby to have a drink. Yet, I really don’t want to have to sleep for 12 hours. Hence, an apartment!
    I live in France and have a kid, so here’s my non-Paris low-down: there are carousels in every town; they are pretty cool. My town, Carcassonne, is an incredible medieval fortress that looks like a Disney set. In July there’s a cultural festival with various concerts, ballet, theater, etc. And in August there’s all kinds of medieval stuff. I prepared a post (look for it soon) about the medieval “rodeos” that take place between the fortified walls. You also can ride bikes or take a boat ride on the Canal du Midi, visit several different, totally cool caves (the Grottes du Limousis and the Gouffre de Cabrespine–also very agreeable breaks from the summer heat). The beach is only half an hour away–and unless you’re a beach nut, it’s SO much nicer to stay in Carcassonne than at the beach (we go to the beach at 4 p.m. to avoid the sun and crowds, splash a little, have dinner, then head back). There are TONS of cool things for kids to do here. I accompanied my kid’s class to the Visigoth cemetery–WAY COOL. There usually are “Ferme en Ferme”–Farm to Farm–tours where you can see and taste artisanal products and pet animals. There’s Space City in Toulouse, about an hour away…..
    Re London: not my fave. Crowds, lines. Tough for kids. Ours was about 8 when we went, but still, after standing in line for the British Museum all goodwill was gone (and this is a kid who LOVES museums, but we usually go in Brussels–no lines!).
    Re Paris: avoid the most popular parts of the Louvre (mummies, for example) because it will be a miasma of sweating humanity and no matter how much your kid is into the topic it will be a disaster that is difficult to escape from. There is an area in the museum’s underground shopping gallery (btw, enter the museum here rather than via the Renzo Piano pyramid because the line is shorter. I am going to regret divulging this) where you can see the archaeological traces of all the Louvre’s ancient foundations. This is an excellent place for kids to run and scream and blow off steam, especially if it’s raining and they can’t go outside. You will bother a maximum of three other people. Place des Vosges has a nice playground with very chic kids and parents.
    I went to Italy with my entire family, 13 people, ages 2-76. It was, um, interesting. They liked the “bending” tower of Pisa and the Coliseum. They loved the food, the beach near Pisa. We stayed in a villa near Florence and had a pool, and that was probably the best part.

    Reply
  12. Taste of France

    That leopard and the little furry one in the other photo make me think of “Where the Wild Things Are.”
    I highly recommend renting an apartment or villa so you can put the kids to sleep nice and early and have a place to have a glass (bottle?) of wine without being in the same room. Hotels are rough unless you’re rich enough for a suite. I am not someone who will put my kid to bed in a hotel room and then go down to the lobby to have a drink. Yet, I really don’t want to have to sleep for 12 hours. Hence, an apartment!
    I live in France and have a kid, so here’s my non-Paris low-down: there are carousels in every town; they are pretty cool. My town, Carcassonne, is an incredible medieval fortress that looks like a Disney set. In July there’s a cultural festival with various concerts, ballet, theater, etc. And in August there’s all kinds of medieval stuff. I prepared a post (look for it soon) about the medieval “rodeos” that take place between the fortified walls. You also can ride bikes or take a boat ride on the Canal du Midi, visit several different, totally cool caves (the Grottes du Limousis and the Gouffre de Cabrespine–also very agreeable breaks from the summer heat). The beach is only half an hour away–and unless you’re a beach nut, it’s SO much nicer to stay in Carcassonne than at the beach (we go to the beach at 4 p.m. to avoid the sun and crowds, splash a little, have dinner, then head back). There are TONS of cool things for kids to do here. I accompanied my kid’s class to the Visigoth cemetery–WAY COOL. There usually are “Ferme en Ferme”–Farm to Farm–tours where you can see and taste artisanal products and pet animals. There’s Space City in Toulouse, about an hour away…..
    Re London: not my fave. Crowds, lines. Tough for kids. Ours was about 8 when we went, but still, after standing in line for the British Museum all goodwill was gone (and this is a kid who LOVES museums, but we usually go in Brussels–no lines!).
    Re Paris: avoid the most popular parts of the Louvre (mummies, for example) because it will be a miasma of sweating humanity and no matter how much your kid is into the topic it will be a disaster that is difficult to escape from. There is an area in the museum’s underground shopping gallery (btw, enter the museum here rather than via the Renzo Piano pyramid because the line is shorter. I am going to regret divulging this) where you can see the archaeological traces of all the Louvre’s ancient foundations. This is an excellent place for kids to run and scream and blow off steam, especially if it’s raining and they can’t go outside. You will bother a maximum of three other people. Place des Vosges has a nice playground with very chic kids and parents.
    I went to Italy with my entire family, 13 people, ages 2-76. It was, um, interesting. They liked the “bending” tower of Pisa and the Coliseum. They loved the food, the beach near Pisa. We stayed in a villa near Florence and had a pool, and that was probably the best part.
    francetaste.wordpress.com

    Reply
  13. Amy

    I don’t have any tips for you myself, but check the blog Aspiring Kennedy. She’s got 2 littles, lives in London and travels all over Europe, especially Paris, with her family. She’ll have great tips.

    Reply
  14. Laurel

    I find that interspersing ‘regular’ days in between ‘touristy’ days helps a lot when traveling with littles. If you throw in a day here and there where you just spend time at the park and wandering around aimlessly, instead of with an agenda of sites to see, it breaks things up nicely for everyone.

    We haven’t done a transatlantic flight with ours just yet, so best of luck to you! It is something we’re hoping to do in the near future, though, so please share your experience here!

    Reply
  15. Ginger M.

    Oh that leopard-coated face! I’ve seen that face a thousand times. I’m not going to give you travel ‘go here…don’t go there’ advice, the previous posters have that covered. I want to help you drink that wine at your own pace. I will give you the sad news that my family of four have travelled extensively with our two girls, now 19 and 13. It’s the 13 year old who for the first seven or so years of her life thought sitting down at a restaurant and having to WAIT??? for our food was the worst idea ever!! So for those many years my husband would take her outside, yes even in winter, and let her run, climb, hopscotch whatever, until the food came. Listen to this part though- occasionally we would get her to sit down with us by employing one of the following methods: a game of find the penny, nickel, whatever, where we would have both girls take turns closing their eyes and we would hide said coin somewhere on the table, say under a napkin, ketchup bottle, salt shaker. You’d be surprised how this never got old, we would repeat it again and again. Other ‘games’ included 20 questions of which animal am I? Highly successful, endless possibilities. Last but not least were multiple games of Hang Man, Dots and drawing contests. You may have noticed that all of the above ‘distractions’ involve using what you have in your purse. You could also bring little pots of play-doh, cards etc. We also used to fill a mini lunch box with crayons, index cards and stickers, anything that would occupy them. Having said all that my husband is watching me type this, asked what I was doing and said you’re crazy to travel to Europe with young kids…lol. Back to that wine. At the end of the day you just have to realize that you will have successes and you will have failures. If you know that going in, then you’ll be fine. I also don’t think it’s a bad idea to tell the little dictators (mine certainly were) that they’re lucky to be on such a wonderful trip, it isn’t all about them and Mommy and Daddy would like to finish their dinner in their own good time and if you don’t behave ‘NO ICE CREAM!!’ ‘Nuff said!!

    Reply
  16. KD

    The livelovelux site seems to have removed your recipe; i’ve used it before and love it. Please post it!

    Reply

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