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Easy Weeknight Pho

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I keep meaning to post this, but then life gets crazy and…blah blaaah blaaaaah.  

We’re all crazy busy…which is why you need this pho in your life.  It is NOT fancy pho.  I repeat.  This is NOT fancy phoking pho.  This is I-just-worked-all-day-and-I-might-die-if-I-don’t-eat-pho-right-now pho.  It couldn’t be any easier.  Most of the ingredients are easily kept on hand for emergency pho situations: 

RECIPE (serves 2 big eaters)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups hot water
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
4 or 5 whole star anise
Dash cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
Dash cloves (or 5 whole cloves)
6 turkey meatballs (Trader Joe’s frozen – green and white bag)
4 oz flat rice noodles
Fresh basil for garnish
other optional garnishes: cilantro, fresh lime, sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce, and sliced jalapeño

Saute onion in a little grapeseed or olive oil until golden.  Add crushed garlic and cook one minute more.  Add broth, water, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, and cloves, and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste the broth and tinker with it until your pho cravings are satisfied (the recipe is merely a suggestion).  Add turkey meatballs and simmer for another 15 minutes, until heated through.  Follow package directions on your rice noodles, drain, and divide into bowls.  Add meatballs, broth, and whatever garnishes you have on hand.

If you’re not racing to get into your fuzzy pants and watch Game of Thrones, then I suggest THIS RECIPE from the Steamy Kitchen blog.  It is my go-to weekend pho. It’s more labor intensive….but definitely worth the extra effort.   

 

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The Longneck ‘Rita

“An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure….”

The above quote is one of my favorites.  Please keep it in mind while reading this post (bonus points if you know where it came from).  WARNING: if
you ‘re craving a freshly squeezed lime margarita with fancy hot pepper infused tequila, move it right along, because  you’re not going to find that here.  I’ll post the fancy cocktail next month.  Until then, here is the “Whisky Tango” version of the popular drink.  Also known as the “White Trash” or “Beer Margarita”, my friends are big fans of the “Longneck Rita”.

It’s perfect for “emergency” situations.  We had such an emergency on Friday evening, when the outside temperature reached 70 degrees.  SEVENTY. DEGREES. That’s a big deal for us Vitamin D starved Oregonians.


INGREDIENTS:
Tequila (don’t waste the good stuff here), Triple Sec, Beer (technically it should be a bottle of Mexican beer, but we stock the Vitamin R’s around here), and fresh all natural Limeade Concentrate.

RECIPE:
In a pitcher, mix together:
1 can limeade
3/4 can tequila (use the empty limeade can)
1/4 can triple sec
1 bottle of beer

Fill blender 3/4 full of ice.  Pour in enough of the mixture to BARELY cover the ice–but not completely.  Blend longer than you think you should–this thing should resemble a slushy from 7-11.  Classy.

Stay tuned for next month’s posting on the margarita inspired by our trip to The Mission Restaurant and Lounge in Scottsdale.  It’s the best margarita that I’ve ever had.  Ever.


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ROCK THE VOTE: Best Burger in The Gorge

If you are familiar with the Hood River/White Salmon area, this is your big chance to weigh in on an important matter….where to find the best burger in town. It’s tough to narrow down precisely what constitutes “the BEST burger”.  High quality ground steak?  Cheese?  Toasty buns?  Appropriate price point?   And then there’s the whole “slider” genre. Don’t get me started….

When friends come to visit my lovely town, they often ask where to find the best burger.  So, I’m rallying the troops.  If you’ve thrown down a great burger in the Gorge, I’d like your two cents.

Photo Credit: Everybody's Brewing

Personally, my vote goes to the XXX Burger at Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, Washington.  For ten bucks, they serve up a 1/2 pound, naturally raised beef patty, with muenster cheese and all the fixings.  For a buck extra, you can rock PEANUT BUTTER and pickles on that thing.  Really?!  Think that sounds gross?  Try it.  I double-dog-dare-you not to love it.  Oh, and did I mention their sweet potato fries?!   Redonkulous.

Who do you think serves the best burger?  This information could REALLY help somebody out (especially  if “somebody” had a long night at Jack’s and needs a little grease, stat. Hypothetically).  So please, do your part and cast your vote:

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TA-DA!

Welcome to the new blog!  I’ll be posting here from now on, so please update your information or subscribe via email (that’s right, I added the “email” widget….after I figured out what the heck a “widget” was).   I’m really excited about the new layout and hope that you’ll stop by and hang out for a bit!   xo

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