Poblano Cream Sauce

When Luke and I were in Mexico we went to the most delicious & romantic little Italian restaurant (in Mexico, yes, you read that right). It was the last night of our honeymoon & we wanted a dinner to remember… we sure got it, too! Our little table was situated right by these tall windows with flowy drapes. We had a slight breeze & a view of the moon! Romantic, I told ya!

Luke ordered the special that evening; a wild mushroom ravioli with a poblano cream sauce. Kinda like Italy meets Mexico. I tried a bite & wow, it was to die for. When we got home I was determined to re-create this meal…

Poblano Cream Sauce
Serves: approx 4
1 poblano pepper
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/3 c heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste

Roast the poblano over a gas burner or under the broiler, until charred all over. Place in a plastic bag; steam 5 minutes. Remove the skin, seeds & ribs. Chop coarsely.
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat; add onion & garlic; cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add chile & cream.
Puree in blender. Add water if the sauce is too thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

In PDX: Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen

This place. Is amazing. I might even go as far to say that it’s some of the best Vietnamese food I’ve ever tasted. And I’ve tasted a lot… The coconut curry? The best! My only regret is that I ordered a 2 instead a 3 on the spice level (that goes up to 4). What can I say, I love a little kick. Anyways, if you live in Portland, please try it out – you won’t be disappointed. Just be prepared to wait in a bit of a line, it’s worth every bite though.

^ Dinner is always better with your favorite friends ^

Dinner @ Grain & Gristle

A few Saturday nights ago we tried a new-to-us restaurant. We sat on the couch for about an hour clicking through list after list of Portland restaurants and just couldn’t settle on anything. We wanted somewhere different, somewhere we’ve never been before. So we chose Grain & Gristle.
We were seated outside and we had a fantastic server. She explained the menu, gave us recommendations and always had a smile on her face. And after we finished our meals, we were very glad we chose this place – because it was plate-licking delicious. Seriously. I should also add that we had a total of four beers, two appetizers and two entrees – the total came to just barely over $50. Pretty good if you ask us!

^ Messy hair, don’t care ^

We might have eloped before Mexico…

It’s true. We didn’t want to deal with the crazy logistics of legally getting married in Mexico (having to arrive days ahead of schedule, hire a doctor come to your room to perform blood work and what not…) If you know Luke and I, you’d know that we’re not big on tradition, it wasn’t important for us to legally get married on the actual day of our wedding.
To properly tell the story…
Let’s rewind to about a month & a half before the wedding…
We were trying to schedule our “legal” wedding at the Courthouse.
I was getting all sorts of frustrated & upset over the times they have to offer.
It was either 1:30pm on a Tuesday for $100 OR 5:00pm on a Friday for $200.
In our eyes, we just couldn’t justify spending that much money,
when we were already going to have a wedding in Mexico.
I called my dad, explained the situation and how upset I was.
We talked through a few options
and together we came up with the best option that I could have ever imagined…

My dad became ordained and married us in our backyard.

In the month and a half leading up to this day, my dad couldn’t have been more excited.
He received the “welcome package” when he became ordained.
(you know the certificate, business cards, bumper stickers…)
He would insist on being called Reverend Mark Carman.
He would call me to chat about details of the speech he was preparing…
Every time we talked about it, I could tell that he had a smile on his face,
just like I did on the other end of the line.
June 8th ended up being one of the sweetest moments with my family.
Having my dad sign our marriage license…
Skype’ing in Luke’s parents from Indiana…
Having our closest family members with us…
It was such an amazing and unforgettable day.
Now Luke and I have TWO wedding anniversaries.
You know what that means… He has to buy me double the presents now!

On Flim

When I was in college, I took a photography class and used a Canon AE-1. It was my first camera love. After that I was sold on Canons. In this class I had the opportunity to take my own pictures, develop my own film, enlarge my negatives, expose on photo paper & develop my own prints. It was a process that I fell in love with. It was hands down my most favorite class during my college career. Because of that class, I’ve always wanted to construct my own darkroom at home. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to do so! I’m sad to report that I don’t have that camera anymore and really hope to get my hands on another AE-1 sometime down the road.

Not that long ago my mom came across a Pentax K1000 at a garage sale & bought it for me. It sat on my shelf for a few months until one day I picked it up and decided to test it out. I had a few rolls of 35mm film laying around the house, so I loaded a roll & set to out master this camera. I quickly discovered that the internal light meter doesn’t function correctly, so I had to rely on instincts to make adjustments – which is fine because I shoot in manual on my DSLR, so I’m used to that part. When I finished shooting my test roll I went to rewind the film – but that function doesn’t appear to work on the camera either, oops! I had to go into a completely dark room, unload the film & hand roll it back into the spool. By this point I’m losing all hope that this test roll is even going to turn out – I didn’t even know if the camera even worked!

After waiting almost a week for my film to be developed (because no one in town does this anymore!) I got my prints back – and boy was I surprised. Every single photo turned out! I’m in love! My only regret is that I took so many boring pictures (my food, my beer, Luke reading the newspaper, the neighbors house and salsa at a restaurant, the dog…). Had I known the pictures were actually going to turn out – I would’ve chosen some better subjects!

I’m super excited that the camera works and I’ve even shot one more roll of film – it just needs to be dropped off and developed now. I can’t wait to use this camera more frequently. I still love my DSLR and use it quite a bit – but there really isn’t anything else like an old fashioned film camera.

When things don’t go as planned on your wedding day…

At the end of the day our wedding was perfect. For us. There were a handful of hiccups along the way though…

Leading up to our big day I scoured pinterest & all the wedding blogs, looking for inspiration. Happily pinning my little heart out; I found bits of pieces here & there that I wanted to incorporate into the wedding. For example, I made these cute little bunting flags that I wanted placed over the napkins at each guests place setting. But when we arrived at dinner, they were nowhere to be found. It turned out that it was too windy & they would’ve all blown away. I had a guestbook with blanks pages, my instax mini, patterned washi tape & colorful pens for everyone to take cheesy pictures, decorate a page & leave a note for us. But… our guestbook table wasn’t set up when all of our guests starting arriving. Since it wasn’t out in time (it eventually arrived late) no one knew it was there. We also had a “Bride” & “Groom” sign that I wanted placed on our chairs but I didn’t see them at our table either & later found them at the guestbook table in a box! (insert a mild panic attack right here)

All of these little details that had a place & a time just didn’t work out how I had envisioned them. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed out.

Luckily I had some of the most amazing bridesmaids you could ever ask for! Gina, Kaitlin, Abby & Heather picked up the bride & grooms signs & started going around to all of the guests & snapping their pictures with the instax mini! They even had everyone hold up the bride & groom signs in their photos. This was seriously one of the coolest moments of the day! These ladies were are out of this world amazing! They made sure that everything got done. They were one step ahead of everything. They seriously put me at so much ease. Just seeing Gina run around with the camera getting everyone to make a silly face & take a fun picture – wow it was awesome. Now I have the world’s best guestbook – thanks to those awesome bridesmaids of mine. (Some of the bunting flags that were supposed to go on everyons napkins ended up decorating some of the pages in the guestbook, too!)

moral of the story… if things don’t go completely how you envisioned them, it’s okay. Maybe it will turn out even better than you expected. That definitely happened in my case 🙂