Category Archives: portland

Life in Instagram


1. Lovely paint colors and Halloween fall decor.

2. Yvette’s love mural on her chalkboard door at the Jupiter Hotel.

3. Awesome “Acrylic Petals” mural on Alberta.

4. From where I stand: hike in Macleay Park to Council Crest.

5. Ineedthiswhiskey. Kennedy School rules.

6. DIY Hall & Oates mirror from Scrap for $2!

7. Pendleton Factory drool. Too pricey though.

8. Broder! Chanterelle, trout, greens, egg cream hash. So delish.

9. Cargo. My new favorite store.

10. Toro Bravo! Finally! This truffled arugula flatbread… heaven.

11. Portland Soup Co was closed so we went to the Phat Cart instead for fried chicken avocado lime aioli sandwiches.

12. Mister!


I’ll be back soon!

The Side Yard: Portland, OR


This last Sunday morning I had the great pleasure of being able to photograph and take part in (aka. devour) the beautifully crafted autumnal brunch dishes of Stacey Givens, owner of the Side Yard farm. Stacey began her organic urban farm in 2009, and ever since has been a supplier for local restaurants (Ned Ludd, Veritable Quandary), and regularly holds brunch supper clubs featuring her homegrown seasonal produce. In addition, she provides cooking classes and workshops on occasion. See previous and upcoming events here!

It was a beautiful fall rainy day and we were protected by a white sheet tent in the side yard (yep) of her farm, accompanied by warm and bubbly beverages and lovely company. I met some really wonderful people. I was spoiled with fantastic food. Everything was awesome. A great time was had by all.

The three course meal was absolutely spectacular. I was in foodie photography heaven.Let me lay it out for you.

1. Sweets

Pumpkin hot cakes. Pomegranate. Poached pear. Bacon fat cream cheese. Spice maple syrup.

2. Fall Hash

Hard cider braised pork. Yukons. Celeriac. Collard greens. Horseradish mustard seed creme. Farm fried egg.

3. Farm Benedict

House made crumpet. Charred brussels. Chanterelles. Braised escarole. Hollandaise. Poached farm egg.

*Not to forget the mimosas and the best coffee I’ve ever had by Ristretto Roasters (and I never drink caffeine)!

You guys, it was to die for. I’m telling you. I had such a blast taking these pictures! If you live in PDX, you must go. Please support her awesomeness and all of the awesomeness she does.

Here’s a sneak peak of the upcoming brunch next weekend!

fall crepes.
mike’s figs. chevre. local walnuts & honey

farm hash.
sweet potatoes. braised short ribs. roasted quince. shrooms. sorrel. jus

breaky sando.
buttermilk cheddar biscuit. dad’s fried chicken. farm egg. green tomato jam. spicy greens

 And it looks like I’ll be the “official” farm photographer! Will take pictures for food!

Double Peanut Butter M&M Cookies


My stepmom is coming to visit Portland tomorrow (for the first time!) and I wanted to do or make something a little extra to make her stay even more welcoming and cozy: double peanut butter m&m cookies.

There were always cookies in the cookie jar growing up with her in the house I lived in for 18 years. It was a serious shame and deprivation to our sweet tooth(s) to run out of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip or raisin cookies. There was always a few sticks of butter sitting out on the counter to soften every few weeks. I knew it was that time. Cookie baking time.

The first thing I baked in my new apartment were these chocolate chip cookies aka. the ONLY chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. I’m serious. Nothing beats those guys. And who introduced me to that recipe? My stepmother.

The inspiration for this batch came from picking up a package of autumn colored peanut butter filled m&m’s last week in the Halloween candy section. I just knew cookies were to be had. For the last several days, I toyed around with what flavored dough base I wanted to pair with them. At first I was going to go for chocolate, but I figured a light peanut butter flavor would be best.

So here’s to carrying on a cookie baking tradition into the new(est) Antolini household. Yep, that’s me!

Double Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy organic peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla bourbon extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups peanut butter filled M&Ms
  1. In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed.  Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla. Slowly mix in the baking soda, salt and flour. Do not overmix.  Fold in the M&Ms with a wooden spoon.  Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Drop chilled dough by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Cookies will be soft, slightly browned and may appear undone.  They will firm up as they cool.
  3. Allow to cool completely. Enjoy!

P.S. Here’s a little list of (food) places I have jotted down I’d like to take her:

Portland Soup Co. for yummy artisanal sandwiches and soups

-Toro Bravo, because I have heard such great things and have yet to go there!

-Broder (because…duh)

-The Doug Fir for drinks, snooze at the Jupiter one night

Noble Rot, because the view is supposed to be amazing, and their dinner menu doesn’t look too shabby either

-Shut Up & Eat for lunch, because I’ve heard great things and have yet to try it (4.5 stars on Yelp, whaaaat?!)

La Provence for breakfast/lunch, if not, just to drool over their pastries and macarons

Verde Cocina for dinner, because I’m madly in love with their fresh pile of veggies I’ve had for their breakfasts and lunches at the farmers market and at their cafe

Bakery Bar, for the best scones in the world

Crema, my favorite go-to

Stumptown for lattes (her favorite)

-Voodoo (yes, it has to be done)

Bollywood Theater, because it’s one of the best

-Pix, even though their customer service can suck it

-Possible dinner places: Ned Ludd, Woodsman Tavern, or the 2nd Story… still haven’t been to any of those!

Besides food, other places to go:

-NW 21st & 23rd Ave.

-The Pearl + Powell’s

-Sellwood for antiques


-A movie at one of the wallet-friendly beer theaters

-Hike in Forest Park

-Laurelhurst Park

-Alberta + Mississippi

I’ll be back in a few days with a photo recap!

Mom’s Visit to Portland Recap!


Two weeks ago, my mom flew in to visit me in Portland for the first time. We ate at my favorite places and drank tons of beer. I showed her around to most of my favorite spots, although we didn’t get to all of them! There are so many great things to do in Portland that it’s always hard to narrow down exactly what to do and what to prioritize. I wanted to show her the best of what Portland has to offer, so needless to say, the 4 days she was here were jam packed, but we sure did well regardless!

Right after picking her up from the airport (which I am so lucky to live so close to! It’s only about a 15-20 minute drive from me), I took her to Pambiche for lunch. This is one of my go-to places, especially for their happy hour. I live about two blocks away from this place. Their fried plantains are to die for!

Then I gave her the tour of my apartment, and she met kitty! They had quite the love affair… and he got a new wig while she was here too. I took her up to NW 23rd Ave., Bailey’s Taproom, Voodoo, and Deschuttes for dinner! What a day!

We went to Tasty ‘n Sons the next morning for breakfast (see upper left) and had a delicious feast of sauteed spinach, candied yams, the best buttermilk biscuits I’ve ever had in my life, and some baked beans. That afternoon I had an interview so we parted ways for a few hours and she hung out with kitty. It was nice having a kitty babysitter for a few hours. 😉 She also found one bottle (the last one!) of  the hard-to-find Pliny The Elder at a great bar named Apex. We drank tons of beer there the last night she was here!

That evening we all met up at the Backstage Bar at the Bagdad (after she tried a new Zumba class!) and watched the the first Presidential Debate and played bingo. We were close!

I took her to Broder the next morning for breakfast, and she was in love. After seeing the aeblskivers come out, she was salivating. We didn’t order them, but what we did order was just as satisfying!

Then we took a drive up 84E toward the Columbia Gorge and went on a spectacular 5 mile hike in Multnomah Falls.

The last night (a Friday), we went out to Apex and drink tons of beer (they have 40 beers on tap at all times!) and played pinball, then had plans of going to an Indian dinner but it was way too busy so we went to a lounge instead and had ice cream at What’s The Scoop as a nightcap!

Despite our mini hangovers, I recruited everyone to get up early enough to get in line for brunch at the Screen Door. We got there a half hour prior to it opening, and waited another 20 minutes or so just to get in the door. Yep, it’s a nutty, nutty weekend brunch world here in Portland.

Chicken ‘n sweet potato waffles were to be had.

And my favorite picture of all…

Such a great grand fanale! We had such a fun time together, but I can’t believe how time flew by so fast! It always does. I’m looking forward to the next visit!

Reflections on Kitty Mothering & Life


The leaves in the trees right outside my apartment windows are finally beginning to change color, and this is reason nine-hundred and seventy-five that I am so grateful to live where I live, in this wonderful apartment, on the third floor. I love this place so much. I am so attached to this place that I even had a nightmare that I moved somewhere else in the city a few nights ago. It really shook me up.

I remember waiting nearly two weeks for all of my belongings to arrive, anxiety-ridden that my things had been lost forever. It was definitely a good lesson in attachment and patience, that’s for sure. Organically, everything came together in its natural place. I was lucky enough to score the couch of my dreams for a great deal (olive green with dark wooden legs, super comfy enough you almost want to sleep on it more than your own bed), kitchen table and chairs, side and coffee tables, and finally get another bookcase to get all of those millions of books off the floor (thanks Target clearance rack!). But, the most important piece of the puzzle of all? This little guy.

He is the one that has made my apartment into a home. He is who I come home to every time I leave. He is who I wake up every morning to freshen up his bowls full of food and water first thing, before anything else. He is who reaches his paws out to me, wanting to climb and be on my shoulders as much as humanly possible, never wanting to leave unless I set him down, sucking out all of the love he can possibly contain. He makes everything okay. He watches me do everything. He sits in every room I’m sitting in. He’ll sit at the opposite end of the dining table as I’m eating lunch and watch me, or hop onto the window sill. His favorite form of entertainment is pawing around a wadded up piece of receipt paper on the hardwood floors. Every morning, he’ll sit on my towel and warm it up for me, waiting until I get out of the shower. He’ll patiently let me trim his claws. He’ll give me daily morning (and sometimes night) head biscuits massages. YES. I feel, by far, the luckiest kitty momma ever.

I’ve always grown up with cats. There was always a cat in my stepmom/dad’s house, no matter what, it seemed. It all began when I was first introduced to my stepmom’s longhaired Siamese, Matisse, at the wee age of 4 or so. Matisse ran away, I believe, and several months later we adopted a brother and sister, Ely and Daisy. Ely was my stepmom’s, Daisy was mine. I can’t remember the exact details, but Daisy also ran away. Ely stayed the longest, and we then introduced a little orange scruffy kitten by the name of Chicken to Ely. Ely was the sweetest, most loyal, lackadaisical cat we had up until then. Then somewhere in there, after we lost Chicken (another runaway, although we suspected there was a kitty kidnapper in the hood), we got Giovanni, the Italian lover boy. He would lick your neck and make biscuits everywhere. (In many ways, Capistrano reminds me of a mix of Giovanni and Ely in one.) Can’t remember what happened to Giovanni, but when I was about 9 or so, I wanted to get another kitten and found Lillia at the pound, the other love of my life who’s still going at the lovely cat age of 14 (maybe even 15). Lilly was super skinny, had ear mites, and other pressing health issues that quickly went away, but the black polka dot on her light pink nose is what stole my heart away first thing. She’s been my family’s love bug ever since.

It’s funny, looking at pictures of her, even though it has only been 3 months since I left home, I hardly recognize her. I’m so used to having a little mini guy running around that I forget what it’s like to be around a fully mature adult cat. Throughout my preparations to leave my family’s nest, I had always imagined what life would be like without her. Will I not be there when she eventually passes? What time will be the last time that I get to kiss her little furry head? And that’s always a scary thought. It’s almost like she has already been dead to me, but maybe that’s just how it feels in order to cope in life without her.

Sometimes in order to cope with things you’ve lost in life, you replace them with something seemingly sufficient enough to fill that space. Sometimes that thing will evoke similar feelings and emotions that the previous possession was able to, and sometimes it’s different all around  (not necessarily better or worse though by any means). And sometimes you just have to move on. And in the words of Head & The Heart, “all things must end, darling”.

On a bit of a lighter note! Besides how stoked I am on the leaves steadily changing colors, I’m also pretty stoked on my new haircut. Nothing really new, I suppose, but there is always something to be said for how you feel after a cut, whether it’s drastically short and a completely new style, or just a trim. I’ve decided I’d finally like to start growing my hair out for once (never thought I’d say that! I’ve always been such a no-fuss short hair styled gal), mostly because I miss braiding! And not only that, there are so many inspiring up-do’s that I’ve stumbled upon via Pinterest. I am so grateful to have found a wonderful stylist who is less than one mile walking distance away from my apartment, thanks to the wonderful powers of friend networking! She always seems to know exactly what I’m asking for, truly listens, and has a vision in her mind that seamlessly matches mine. Thanks again, Robin!

My mom is coming up to visit for a few days next week. I am so thrilled! This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing her (3 months! yeah I’m working on it!), and will be her first time visiting Portland. Is it weird that now I have totally become one of those people that gets all excited about cleaning their place before someone comes to visit? I totally get it now! I mean, I’m always good about cleaning my apartment, but I’m especially excited to show it off, I suppose, and I want it to shine. Anyway, I have a little list going of places I have to take her. Bakery Bar is #1, of course, since it’s the closest and favoritest bakery near my apartment, and their scones are to die for. Voodoo. Screen Door brunch.Bailey’s Taproom. Tasty ‘n Sons. Walks down to the Willamette. Powell’s. Laurelhurst Park. Hawthorne. Multnomah Falls. Pix. Ice cream. Food Carts. Luce. McMenamin’s. Pumpkin beer tasting. Yeah! I’m stoked. But mostly excited for her to meet my kitty and boyfriend.

It’s funny, after I just wrote that sentence, it’s amazing to think I have this entirely new life up here, my own little nest, two boys that are very important in my life, and no one in my family has any idea of what it’s like. It’s a little bizarre when I start thinking about it, especially how my entire life up until now it seems my family has a visual and practical idea of nearly everything going on in my life. It’s different, that’s for sure.

Woodsman Tavern Market

In other news, Food + Wine magazine contacted me via Flickr a few days ago asking if they could use one of my photos for an upcoming article! I took some photos at the Tin Shed Garden Cafe several years ago on my first visit to Portland, and they wanted to use them because they’re featuring restaurants that are “dog friendly”, and not only did I take a picture of the exterior, but a dog sitting out on the patio also! How cool is that.

Also, I started a new challenge for myself: learning how to draw in 30 days. I checked this book out from the library and so far I’m on lesson 6! So far I’ve learned how to shade spheres, draw hollow cubes, and stack tables. It’s a great little motivating straight-forward book for anyone that wants to learn how to draw, especially in a non-classroom setting. I’d highly recommend it! This was me at day 3!

In the meantime, I’m going to go ahead and enjoy this, chasing the sweet things in life.

Foodlandia: Roadrunner Cafe


Photo by Food Mountain

It’s the weekend. You wake up, not sure what you’re in the mood to eat, so you decide it’s best to just eat out. That’s typically the steps it takes us to decide to go out to brunch. But here in Portland, it isn’t always that simple. Finding  a decently delicious brunch spot on the weekends here with a conservative wait time that everyone and their sister doesn’t know about is like trying to find a piece of gold in sand. The number one factor that makes me decide where to go? The estimated waitlist, and my level of patience for the day (or rather, my stomach’s patience). Portlandia has even featured a sketch about waiting in line for brunch. It’s just one of those “Portland things”. It’s expected. This is a foodie town, and the foodies know where the good food is.

Portlandia has even featured a sketch on the phenomenon. Before I moved here, when I’d come up to visit the town for the week every now and then, I’d always make a point to go to notable places (aka. places with long wait times) and sacrifice in order to try something new and exciting. I don’t regret it, but most of the wait times were between 1 to 2 hours. Right after I moved here, I had been having dreams about The Screen Door’s weekend-only brunch (and the place is only a mile away from my apartment thankgod!), and the second we drove up we saw a line about 50 people deep. And it wasn’t even open yet. Maybe you get the picture, yeah?

It’s a hard life we live. We get hooked to all of these delicious restaurants and there’s only so much goodness to go around. It’s a food fight. Literally. I suppose you take the good with the bad though, don’t you? I’ve learned to live. I’ll be alright.

So what do you do when you’re craving a roasted root vegetable hash with parsnip puree, chard, and over-easy egg dish? Or chicken and sweet potato waffles? You make a list. You start a journal. You write down all of the places you’d like to try sometime, particularly those “less popular” ones that no one (yet) knows about. Food carts in hidden neighborhoods, new signs for places you’ve seen driving down the street, typical bars that you wouldn’t expect to be serving brunch on the weekends. So that when you’re stumped and brain dead with low blood sugar in the morning and all you want is a damn good brunch rightthisverysecondthankyouverymuch, you have a handy dandy go-to reference at your fingertips.

I haven’t yet spent much time on SE Division since I’ve moved here, but when I have driven down the street, this particular place continually caught my eye and I knew I had to try it. Roadrunner.

And there was no wait. By the interior and exterior design alone, I fell in love with it. There were horseshoes nailed onto one of the beams when we first walked in, and vintage photographs and paintings decorating the mustard yellow walls. It was adorable. Even the napkins were made out of a nice, soft linen. The menus were splattered with coffee and grease stains, but that gave it all the more character. Upon first glance of the menu, the most exotic looking dish I could find was the caramelized carrot, okra, broccoli and havarti cheese scramble. I debated upon trying the biscuits and gravy or the pulled pork breakfast burrito but found out that the burrito was pretty spicy, which I leave up to the boyfriend to handle (I can’t do it at all). The waitstaff was very friendly and on top of everything, the decaf was delicious and not too bitter, we had nibbles of mini biscuits and raspberry jam to curb out hunger even though the food came quickly, the atmosphere was lovely, but the food was a bit more underwhelming. You could find pretty much anything on the menu for less than $10, but nothing really seemed to do the trick. I ordered the scramble, and added a biscuit (which ended up being heart shaped! cutest thing ever! I appreciate those kinds of details) for 50 cents more. And at least I got to try okra for the first time! I liked it!

Road Runner Café

3570 SE Division St.

Portland, OR 97202

(503) 232-3004
Hours: Wed-Sun 8 am – 2 pm

Lovely Things, Lately


Can you believe today is the last day of summer? I’m a little bit in disbelief. But I am oh so happy it is feeling like fall out there! The last 2 days have finally gotten down into the low 60s and it has been grey and overcast out. THIS is the kind of Portland weather I have been waiting for! I feel like a new woman. It was 90 plus degrees last weekend, and every window in my apartment was open. For the first time in 3 months since I’ve been living here, I was so cold I finally had to shut my windows yesterday. It has been so nice and cozy in my apartment with a pumpkin candle burning, snuggling with the kitty, roasting delicious winter squash in the oven, looking up lots of yummy fall recipes to make… I love the feel of fall in the air.

In other news, and it’s a bit of late news to my blog (better late than never, right?), but I am now officially a licensed dental hygienist in the state of Oregon! I finally got the news last Friday. That little piece of paper… the things I did to get that. It’s wild when I begin to think about it. All of the hurdles jumped over, road blocks, the moments (many, many moments) when I questioned my success and my abilities… it all turned out. I’m still in shock. So. Much. Stress. Like I’ve said many times, and will continue to say the rest of my life, that was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. But it’ll pay off. Right? Kylie RDH here I come!

That night we celebrated with dinner from Bollywood and drinks at the Bye & Bye.

Getting ready for job hunting.

Lovely dahlias from last Saturday’s farmers market at PSU. I’m so sad the season is almost over!

Capi saying good morning to all of the other window kitties.

I recently discovered my new favorite loose tea ever. Whole Foods carries Ayurvedic tea blends specified to balance each dosha and I recently picked up a few ounces of “Pitta”. Sure enough, there are the cooling herbs in there like mint and dried whole roses, and I’m not sure what else, but it’s amazingly delicious! I’m addicted!

Also, I finally found Shock Top’s seasonal pumpkin wheat ale! STOKED! I think I still prefer TJ’s seasonal one a bit better but it’s still nice, crisp and light. Speaking of which, where is that stuff? It should be out any day now…

I’ve been (finally) crafting together my collection of magazine recipes into a binder! I’m organizing them by magazine, ie. Martha, Bon Appetit, Sunset, Rachael Ray. Turns out I have more Rachael Ray then anything else! Weird.

We went here last weekend. I tried the “Yolko Ono”, a breakfast sandwich with pesto, parmesan, a home made sausage patty with an egg. And after we ate, I couldn’t get the Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” out of my head for the rest of the day.

New yellow tights make me so happy!

This designer. They opened a retail space for him in Portland recently and it’s absolutely gorgeous!

This came in the mail yesterday! There’s a whole section on peanut butter AND pumpkin recipes. My life is complete.

I hope you all have a wonderful last weekend of summer ahead! We’re heading out to the pumpkin patches and corn maize that’s supposedly shaped into the Portlandia logo! Portland, you’re so crazy I love you.