Portland Eats - Sweedeedee

I love anytime I can get to Portland. It feels like an older cooler sister to Seattle. This weekend we were headed to Bend again to see my mom and I love this trip partly because we get to go through Portland both ways!

We needed a lunch spot on the way and ran through our list of regular spots undecided.

Mr. Ramon then commented that maybe we should try the place next to the record store on Albina. I felt this night just be a ploy to get into the record shop - Mr. Ramon is an avid collector.

I looked up this little spot called Sweedeedee and found out it had rave reviews. A small breakfast/lunch spot with amazing baked goods. I was in!

What a cute place. You order at the counter and then find a seat. I noticed all of their coffee mugs were mismatched finds from someplace like Goodwill. They have a tiny kitchen in the back where the magic happens. It all felt so homey in the nicest way. 

When faced with this type of baked goods arsenal I have a hard time choosing and then limiting myself. I want to taste everything! It was lunch time and quite busy. We were lucky enough to be able to find an outdoor seat in the shade so I could let the crazy dogs hang out with us.

We ordered some sandwiches and a piece of the most amazing bread I have ever had. Honey Bourbon Bread. Light and moist with the subtle honey and bourbon flavor throughout. Delightful! 

It was tough also to choose sandwiches - Mr. Ramon chose the brisket on brioche toast and I love a ham sandwich so that was the easiest choice for me. My sandwich had the most incredible ham on a pretzel roll. Both of our sandwiches came with delicious house made pickles. 

It was a really nice little lunch and left me wanting to come back for breakfast sometime. Mr. Ramon went next door to peruse the record selections and I picked up one of the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had and a piece of zucchini marmalade bread for the road. If you have some time in Portland this is a spot I can highly recommend! 


5202 North Albina Avenue.
Hours :: Monday through Saturday 8am to 4pm
Sundays 8am to 2pm

phone :: 503.946.8087
email ::


Spicy Pickled Corn

It has been really warm here in Seattle - in a good way. This summer and the amount of heat has been helpful for our garden. We have been experiencing amazing crops of lettuce, cucumbers, squash, onions, peppers, beans and peas. We have had so much fresh produce we have had to give some away. If we have a great summer like this next year I may even start a little farm stand!

One thing for sure is that these amazing flavors of summer just don't last long enough. So while we find 100 ways to eat squash I also look for ways to preserve the flavors of summer. I love quick pickles and find that almost every summer vegetable can be turned into one of these tasty delights. This time I want to make Spicy Pickled Corn. 

Corn like so many summer vegetables is gone quickly. But when it is here it is should be taken advantage of. I like to roast it on the grill or peel it off the cobs and turn it into salads and soups. Today I picked some jalapeno from Mr. Ramons pepper plants and thought the corn and these spicy peppers would be a good match.

Spicy Pickled Corn

You need 1 clean quart size jar with lid - I use either a Mason or a Weck jar. 

Corn Mixture

2 cups fresh from the cob corn kernels - about 2 ears of corn

2 small jalapeno seeded and sliced very thin

1 large shallot peeled and sliced very thin

2 small dried peppers of your choice

1/4c fresh squeezed lime juice

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl then spoon into jar. 


1/2 cup white vinegar

3/4 cup filtered water

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

Boil these ingredients and pour over corn mixture in jar.

Gently stir and seal jar.

Let cool then keep in refrigerator for about 1 month - if it lasts this long!

I love this spooned over greens or with grilled steak. It is crunchy and tart and delicious. Enjoy!


Pancakes for one

Breakfast is my favorite meal. Growing up my dad often made us breakfast for dinner. Omelettes, waffles, eggs and pancakes were the stars of these meals.

As a lover of bread and all things baked and sweet, waffles and pancakes were my favorite.

To this day I have the hardest time choosing sweet or savory for brunch. Logically I know I should have protein and veges but my tummy wants pillowy pancakes drenched in syrup!

Sometimes in the mornings when I should be making oatmeal I get crazy and make this tiny batch of pancakes just for me. I think you should make them too.

Pancakes For One

Makes 6 small or 3 "normal" pancakes

1/2 c all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tap baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

In a small bowl whisk the dry ingredients together. In a separate small bowl whisk the wet ingredients together.

Pour the wet ingredients over the wet and stir gently to combine. Do not over mix.

Heat a small skillet on medium and use a small amount of butter or cooking spray in the pan.

When the pan is hot drop equal amounts of batter into pan for 3 small pancakes. Cook until golden brown and batter begins to bubble. Flip over and cook other side until golden.

Repeat process for remaining batter. Top with favorites - butter, syrup, jam.




Tomato Supports

Mr. Ramon asked me the other day what would be the one vegetable I would choose if I could only choose one for the rest of my life. I said tomato. Oh how I love a proper tomato out of the garden - warm from the sun. I have offered to show Mr. Ramon the delights of a tomato sandwich. Just soft white bread, real mayo and warm thick tomato slices with a little salt and pepper. I am just about drooling thinking of it. For right now I will have to buy my tomatoes at the farmers market. Ours are just starting to produce and I am eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Last year we did not have the best supports, using traditional tomato cages that ended up being to small for our plants. We had limbs that were not well supported - it was a sad disaster.

This year we decided to put in 6 tomato plants in one bed. We knew we needed strong supports and I was really eyeing the colored tomato cages at the local nursery. But my budget was pretty non existent. We thought about wire fencing, regular silver cages and PVC. We eventually found a system we thought met our needs .

I call this system "string support. It is inexpensive and has worked for us this year. Basically you create alternating string supports on each side of your tomato stalks as they grow - keeping them standing upward. 

You need:

  • 2 8ft -10ft thick bamboo poles per row of tomatoes
  • 1 roll of hemp or other thick natural twine 
  • scissors 
  • rubber mallet or hammer 

Begin by planting your tomato plants in rows the suggested space apart. We planted 3 in each row and 2 rows. We have a fence at one end so only needed 1 bamboo pole per row. 

At the end of the rows of tomatoes pound in one bamboo pole deep enough that it can take the tension of the string and the weight of the tomato plants as they grow. 

Next stretch out your twine a bit. We want to support the lower part of the plant to start. Tie to one of the bamboo poles close to the bottom of the plants - where it will support the first set of branches. Take the twine and pull it tight to the bamboo pole at the other end. Wrap it around the pole and pull it tight then tie it. 

You second row of twine should be just a few inches higher on the other side of the plant. When out plants were this high we added about 4 strings - 2 on each side alternating sides to create a tension support. 

About each week as plants grow - continue to run tight alternation strings to support the plants. You will have to move the growing branches up and through the web of twine here and there. 

We now have tomoato plants over 5 feet tall and they are all very well supported with this system.

I would love to hear if you try this method and how it works for you . 


Visiting Bend Oregon

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is fleeting and I feel like I am chasing it down for these few months to fill up on memories, sun and restoration. Back when I was a kid, Bend was a smaller town and a simpler time. On summer days we took off on our bikes all day only returning when my mom rang the dinner bell hanging in front of our house. 

I moved to sunny southern California at 14. I was devastated to leave my friends and my life. But now with a lot of distance on that particular moment I am so glad it happened. I was able to gain so much from living in a bigger city but growing up in that small town gave me a perspective most of my city friends just don't have. I love being in a city now, but deep inside I dream of a rural life and a small heard of milk goats. 

When summer finally arrives I yearn to find this same summertime feeling I had as a kid. I stayed away from Bend for a long time. But ever since my mom moved back I have been trekking there for some summer weekends to really let go. 

Mr. Ramon and I packed up the pups and headed off. I love this road trip. My little car is built for empty stretches of road and windy mountain passes. Mr. Ramon manages the play list and keeps my brain sharp with crossword puzzles. We always make a stop in Portland and this time it was for a delicious breakfast at Gravy. The name says it all. Scrambles, biscuits and gravy and french toast you dream of. I made Mr. Ramon get up early this day - so he needed his coffee. 

Time at my moms is like being at the best bed and breakfast. She always has our room ready and food ready to go. We like to plan to do a few things and then take some time to play it by ear. One of the things I must do when I visit Bend is hit up Sparrow Bakery. I have mentioned them before - I can't say enough about how great they are. This local spot bakes croissants that changed my world. Flaky and perfect in every way. All made by hand. They are experts when it comes to bread and produce in a new larger space so they can meet the demand for their rustic delights. I love the lemon tart - so delicious and beautiful. This is a must go if you are ever in Bend. 

My mom was excited to show me her new stove - she just switched to gas and an amazing new range. Her oven had not had a lot of use, so of course I am happy to help out! I was in the mood for a good chocolate chip cookie - something we never have at home. I bake a lot but it is usually going to clients. And having cookies around the house on a regular basis is a bad idea for me - no self control over here. 

But vacation is the perfect time to bake cookies to actually eat. I really like the chips from Ghirardelli and think that the recipe on the back of the package makes a great cookie. Chewy in the middle and set around the edges. I choose the bittersweet chocolate chips - I feel like they offset the sweetness a bit. Her oven was magical. Perfect cookies. Makes a girl using a cheap rental oven a tad jealous. 

We love to get out in nature and took all four dogs to Wikiup Lake. It was a gorgeous day with clear blue skys. We packed a small lunch and headed up. The dogs had a blast in the lake fetching balls and rolling in stinky sand. It felt so nice to get out and away from it all. 

The weekend was filled with great food, gardening, sleeping in, watching deer and catching up with mom. It always ends too soon. We spent one last moment together eating a big breakfast before we hit the road. Mr. Ramon gave my mom some last minute gadget tips. 

The drive home could feel like forever but with Portland in the middle on the way back we have something to look forward to. This time it was Salt and Straw - one of the best ice cream places around. It was a weekday afternoon and so many people were in line it left us wondering if people actually work in Portland. We made it to the counter and indulged! 

Such a good little get away. Now back to real life :)

Note: If you were checking out Mr. Ramons fancy nail art - he had his nails done by our friend Breanne who is on a nail road trip art project. You can see more about this awesome endeavor here - Nails Across America