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.
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.
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:
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.