Friday Faves

I spent an amazing three days in Hood River, Oregon last weekend celebrating the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends.  After a late night on Friday and a very late night on Saturday, however, it’s pretty much taken me the entire week to recover.  At “29 again” (and again) I just don’t bounce back quite like I used to – gone are the days of back to back late nights on the weekend, followed by functioning like a normal/productive human being Monday through Friday.  Does this mean I’m officially old?   Totally worth every exhausted minute, though.  A few highlights from my loooooooooong week:

spawater

“Spa water” – cucumber + lime + mint. I love keeping a pitcher in the fridge so that I’m more motivated to hydrate.

My aunt Molly and I share a love of granola (remember this?) – when I stopped by her house on my way out of Portland last weekend she sent me home with a yummy bottle of pinot gris and this bag of deliciousness – it’s made with coconut oil and coconut sugar and has been my after-dinner treat every night this week.  Healthy granola and pinot gris, best goody bag I could ever ask for.

Wine in a can, and with a bendy straw – what could be cuter?

Delicious Sunday night dinner at Cuoco – handmade parmigiano cappelletti with morel mushrooms, arugula, and peas; vanilla panna cotta with strawberries and Dahlia Bakery cookies + cappuccino.  It’s totally healthy as long as you’re sharing, right?

A few of my favorite details from Molly and Patrick’s wedding: hand-chalked welcome sign, gorgeous floral centerpieces, blueberry mojitos with striped straws being passed around during cocktail hour, and of course the spectacular Mt. Hood backdrop. It was such a fun weekend celebrating with old friends and new, and the perfect kick off to Wedding Season 2013. Congrats Molls and Pat!

 

Beach Weekend

One dreary weekend a little over a month ago, before I fell off the blogging wagon, I jetted off to the Oregon Coast for a spur of the moment getaway with two girlfriends. We had all had long weeks, the Seattle forecast looked pretty gross, and my family’s cabin in Seaside wasn’t being used – so it seemed like the perfect excuse to hop in the car and get out of town for a couple days. We pretty much ate and drank our way up and down Highway 101, and hardly changed out of our sweats the whole time – so pretty much the best kind of weekend there is.

Dinner at the Fort George Brewery in Astoria on our way into town on Friday night

Dinner at the Fort George Brewery in Astoria on our way into town on Friday night

Nothing cozier than a real-wood fire when it's stormy at the beach

Nothing cozier than a real-wood fire when it’s stormy at the beach

Coffee and breakfast treats each morning in Gearhart

Coffee and breakfast treats each morning in Gearhart

Clockwise from left: cinnamon roll - ham and cheese croissant - almond croissant

Clockwise from left: cinnamon roll – ham and cheese croissant – almond croissant

Marionberry scone - my very favorite bakery treat of all time

Marionberry scone – my very favorite bakery treat of all time

Gearhart is a couple miles north of our house in Seaside, and home to one of the best restaurants/bakeries I’ve ever been to. No matter how good I’ve been doing at eating healthy/low sugar/etc, I can never resist their marionberry scones. I had spinach smoothies for breakfast all week in order to prepare myself for this, and it was worth every bite. It’s been my goal to try to recreate them, although even if I had the recipe I’m sure they wouldn’t be as good. Regardless, I dug up the nerve to ask for the recipe this trip, but alas the owners weren’t there and the girl behind the counter wasn’t going to give it to me without their permission. So in the meantime, I think I found something close (recipe below).

Can't wait to wear these to some Husky games this fall!

Can’t wait to wear these to some Husky games this fall!

Our plans for a long beach run were derailed due to the rain, so after breakfast we decided to head into Cannon Beach and do a little shopping. But first we stopped at the Nike outlet in Seaside, where we all scored some new shoes, matching golf shirts for a tournament we plan to “play” in (or at least win “Best Dressed” in) this summer, and of course numerous other things we didn’t really need.

Gorgeous displays at Sesame and Lillies in Cannon Beach

Gorgeous displays at Sesame and Lillies in Cannon Beach

Once in Cannon Beach, we went to the brewery for lunch (more beer! more pub food!), and then wandered around my favorite home goods store, Sesame and Lillies, for what felt like hours. I really need a mansion right on the ocean so that I can furnish the entire thing from this store. After a couple hours of fantasizing about our future homes, we were ready for wine tasting, and then home.

Pinot Flight at Yummy Wine Bar

Pinot Flight at Yummy Wine Bar

Gorgeous cheese plate to go with our wine

Gorgeous cheese plate to go with our wine

The saddest part of a beach weekend is Sunday morning, when you have to pack up and go home. After a quick run to Gearhart for coffee and more scones, we took one last beach walk and then packed up the car. While it’s always hard to leave, I feel so lucky to have a cozy escape just a (relatively) short drive away, and dear friends that love it as much as I do.

A few more for the road

A few more for the road

Sunday morning beach walk

Sunday morning beach walk

Stop at Clark's on the 101 on our drive home on Sunday - the fresh banana milkshake on the left is mine

Stop at Clark’s on the 101 on our drive home on Sunday – the fresh banana milkshake on the left is mine

Marionberry Scones (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen)

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) frozen marionberries (or fresh if you can find them, although I tried it with both and like the way the frozen turned out better)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (I used demerara sugar for sprinkling)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt

First recipe I tried and it's almost perfect

First recipe I tried and it’s almost perfect

Grated butter - weird/awesome

Grated butter – weird/awesome

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees (I burned my first batch so turned the oven down to 400 for the second batch and had better results). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Freeze and then grate 8 tablespoons (one stick) of the butter on the large holes of a box grater. Keep frozen until needed. Place the berries in the freezer until needed. Whisk the milk and sour cream together in a medium bowl and refrigerate until needed.

3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, lemon zest, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the frozen, grated butter and toss with your fingers until thoroughly coated. Fold in the chilled milk mixture with a rubber spatula until just coated (do not overmix).

4. Turn out the dough and any floury bits onto a well-floured counter. Lightly flour your hands and the dough and knead the dough gently 6 to 8 times until it just holds together in a ragged ball, adding additional flour as needed to prevent sticking.

5. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch square. Fold the top, bottom, and then sides of the dough over the center to form a 4-inch square. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured plate and chill in the freezer for five minutes (do not overchill).

6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and roll again into a 12-inch square. Sprinkle the berries evenly over the dough and press them lightly into the dough. Loosen the dough from the counter with a bench scraper (or a thin metal spatula), roll it into a tight log, and pinch the seam closed. Lay the dough seam side down and press into a 12 x 14-inch rectangle. using a floured chef’s knife, slice the dough crosswise into four equal rectangles, then slice each rectangle on the diagonal into two triangles. (In an effort to replicate the Pacific Way version, I skipped this step and simply rolled out the dough after step 5, used a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds, and then pressed frozen berries into the individual biscuits).

7. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Melt the remaining two tablespoons butter, then brush the butter over the scones (you could also use cream, or an egg wash) and sprinkle with sugar (regular or demerara). Bake until the scone tops are lightly golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least ten minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

To Make Ahead: the cut, unbaked scones can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours; bake as directed. They can also be frozen for up to one month; cover and freeze the scones until frozen solid, about 6 hours, and then transfer to a large zip-lock bag. Bake the frozen scones (do not thaw), reducing the oven temperature to 375 degrees and increasing the baking time to 25-30 minutes.

Just for fun, a pic from three weeks later - 80 degrees in early May!

Just for fun, a pic from three weeks later – 80 degrees in early May!