The Days of Summer

I can’t believe I am finally sitting down to write a blog post after such a long break! Time passes quickly in my world and my schedule has been filled with plenty of activity. While I am incredibly excited for the fall season, the weather in Portland still boasts plenty of sunshine and high temperatures so Tim and I are taking full advantage during the dwindling days if summer. Here is a peek at the highlights:We visited our friends in Seattle a few weeks ago and enjoyed brunch at Cafe Flora. I had a plate with potatoes, toast & jam, tofu scramble, and homemade soy sausage. It was delicious, especially the scramble. Tim had a tofu sandwich that came with salad. He didn’t care for it, but it sure looked pretty:After we left Seattle, we wandered around Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It’s so much fun to explore places like this because if you are patient and quiet, all sorts of creatures make their presence known with a chorus of sounds. We even saw jellyfish floating in the southern end of the Puget Sound! Overall, it’s a very peaceful place to visit.When we returned from Seattle, we decided it was time to take a backpacking trip. It had been awhile and we knew September meant less crowds and less bugs. We opted for a two night loop hike in the Deschutes National Forest. We crossed paths with very few people and had our campsites all to ourselves. Plus, both campsites were next to chilly mountain lakes which we happily dove into after hiking all day in the sunshine.Campsite on night number two looked toward this view:
And then, before we knew it, my parents were in town for a visit. My mom had never been to the Pacific Northwest before so she really enjoyed all the scenery and places we took her.

We took my mom to see Mt. Hood! It was a gorgeous day despite the haze from nearby wildfires. We also took her and my dad to Portobello for dinner. I opted for the portobello burger, garlicky fries, and a homemade peach and rosemary soda. Don’t you just love how my meal was served? Everything was amazing, especially the fries. Oh my goodness, those fries were the best!We took my parents to the coast too. It was windy and a good 30 degress cooler than the city but still worth the trip. They both dipped their feet in the icy Pacific Ocean. I knew better.After my parents left, I accepted a job offer with one of the coolest vegan companies in Portland. I am now happily employed after many months of miscellaneous freelance stints here and there. It’s a quick bike ride from home and I am sandwiched between Food Fight Grocery and Sweetpea Bakery. This has already proven dangerous because yesterday I snuck over to Food Fight for chocolate caramel cups, ginger iced tea, and a curried tofu sandwich. It’s perfect because I work part-time and can still enjoy outdoor adventure activities while the weather permits. Come visit me if you are ever in Portland!!

This past Friday Tim and I went hiking on the southern slopes of Mt. Saint Helens. A good portion of the trail involved boulder hopping, but snacking on an abundance of wild huckleberries and views such as the one below made up for it, just a bit.And finally, this weekend is Portland’s 2012 VegFest! I will be selling/sampling treats from Nicobella OrganicsĀ (chocolate truffles!). Stop by and say hello and I might let you have a sample!

Enjoy the week ahead!

Burger Mania

Goodness, it certainly has been a long time since my last post. I have two good reasons for my absence from the blog world: (1) I got a new job – more on that in a moment, and (2) I spent the last two weeks dog-sitting for my dear friend Kittee. Since Tim and I don’t have companion animals of our own, it was fun to spend time with Vee:

Vee loves pumpkin, smoked tofu, sweet potato, and treats. He also loves long walks and company. He grew so fond of Tim that near the end of our time together he completely ignored me! It should be noted that most dogs want to attack Tim (once when we were backpacking a dog met us on the trail and shredded Tim’s shorts). Vee is the only exception – so far…

You’re probably wondering why this post is entitled “Burger Mania” when I am rambling on about dogs, right? Well, when Tim and I were at Kittee’s we ate some pretty delicious food. Kittee left us some homemade vegan burger patties in her freezer and we enjoyed them for lunch on our first day:

Kittee’s Amazing Vegan Burger

I already knew Kittee was a spectacular cook/baker so it was no surprise when I declared this “the best burger ever”. Seriously. We topped our patties with mayo, pickles, ketchup, mustard, spinach, and Follow Your Heart cheddar. Amazing. This photo was selected for and appeared on the Flickr blog on March 3, 2011! Vegan burgers for the win!!

Needless to say, Tim and I were sad when Kittee’s burgers met their final day of consumption. We flipped through cookbooks at home and decided to make our own burgers to keep our tummies happy:

Beet Burger

The recipe for these hearty, healthy, delicious burgers is in Color Me Vegan by Coleen Patrick-Goudreau. They are incredibly quick and simple to prepare. I added a few tablespoons of almond butter to the mix and they turned out perfectly. The recipes makes enough burgers for leftovers and they freeze well. Once again, vegan burgers for the win!

And finally, I got a new job! I was actually hired back in February but haven’t had much time to mention the news sooner. I am working for an amazing vegan woman (!!!) as a personal assistant and organizer. The job is part-time and I can ride my bike to her place. The hours are flexible and I enjoy what I am doing. I am really happy that my patience in the pursuit of career satisfaction paid off. It’s about time. Plus, I can cross my goal of “Find a Job” off my list for 2011. Check!

Life is coming together nicely. Hooray!