Jam-Filled Sprinkle Cookies

These cookies are from Molly Yeh’s Home is Where the Eggs Are and when I saw the picture they immediately reminded me of the cookies that used to be served during coffee hour after church when I was a child. I don’t recall that those cookies were jam-filled but I do remember the sprinkles. I haven’t seen such cookies in years.

So, thanks to a three-day weekend, I made them. And let me tell you, these cookies are delicious! Plus they used up nearly all of the sprinkles that had been sitting around for years in my cooking tub.

Were they also a pain to make? Indeed. I prefer cookie recipes that I can either cut into bars, drop from a scoop, or slice from a log. This involved chilling dough and then rolling pieces into a ball, flattening, adding jam, carefully sealing, rolling into a ball again, rolling in sprinkles, carefully flattening with a glass, and then chilling again before baking.

So these won’t be an everyday cookie. But I did get a good tip to freeze the unbaked cookies and bake a few at a time. I’ve been freezing unbaked cookies, but I like the intentionality of freezing raw dough and then baking. Also, as the recipe notes, these do taste even better the next day.

Matt and I Make A Lot of Cookies

Plus some fudge.

Working my way through the America’s Test Kitchen Best Ever Christmas Cookies, we have Maple-Pecan Swirls, Lemon Snowflakes, and Vanilla Icebox Cookies. These were shipped off to far-flung locales, and given as presents.

I enjoy a good vanilla icebox cookie. I liked the subtle flavor of the maple-pecan swirls and the lemon bite of the snowflakes.

The fudge was a bit crumbly, but still good.

Soft Serve Attempt No. 1

I wanted dipped soft serve, so we drove across the bridge to the Dairy Queen in Vancouver. The North Portland Dairy Queen that was closest to us closed, so Washington is our closest option.

While waiting in line, I enjoyed watching the owner of this truck make his own parking spot. The DQ has parking lots on both sides of its building, but that wasn’t quite enough for this fellow.

Alas, they were out of dip, so we both got Blizzards. We will have to return another day.

My First Time at Gracie’s Apizza

I heard about this place while editing a blog post for my job. At Gracie’s Apizza, Craig Melillo makes 70 pies per night and when they are gone, he’s done. There are no more pies to be had.

This has always struck me as a very sane business model. Figure out what makes you enough money and just do that. Then stop.

I got the ricotta pie. Ricotta, provolone, mozz, young onions, heavy on the black pepper. Plus I opted into the greens. It was a little too heavy on the black pepper for me, but I’m willing to overlook that because the crust was so very good.

Sadly, one of the 70 pizzas fell on the ground as Craig was delivering mine. Poor pizza.

It took a bit to figure out the trick to actually getting to eat one of the pizzas. If you order on Wednesday, that’s when the orders open for the entire week. Choose your date and time, but be sure to show up because if you don’t show, you don’t get your money back.

In the category of what I did while waiting for my pizza, I read my newest letter from Sara, and texted her the good news that while the letter was marked postage due, no one made me pay any extra postage.

Sara pointed out that she weighed the letter and put on an extra stamp. There did seem to be enough postage. Perhaps they stamped it in errors and that’s why I didn’t have to pay.

Caricoa Bowls and Waihua Shave Ice

Unfortunately we had to cancel In-Portland Vacation Restaurant Experience No. 2. I was very ill for about three hours on Sunday afternoon, and so we were not able to attend our tasting meal. I think the illness was probably food poisoning, but from food I made, not food the Firehouse Restaurant made. Matt ate the exact same thing as me at the Firehouse Restaurant and he was fine.

We also missed out on the Everett House, so no soaking for us during this vacation. But now we are back on track.

Matt wanted to introduce me to Carioca Bowls and so we got some before our movie. It was my first açaí bowl. My experience wasn’t great as I requested no bananas on the Ultra bowl I ordered. The clerk confirmed no bananas, then went in the back and made my bowl with bananas. When I reminded her no banana, she offered to remake the bowl. I suggested she just take off the bananas and she did, but there was also banana in the Ipa blend that was part of that bowl. She told me about it, and offered to remake the bowl, but we were headed off to pick up shave ice and I felt we didn’t have time. Also that maybe she should have thought of that and mentioned it when I ordered. I ate around the glop with the banana in it and Matt finished off my bowl.

His order was a very big bowl and he quite enjoyed it.

Having experienced shave ice in Hawaii, we opted to make Waihua Shave Ice part of our day. We ordered online ahead of time and stopped by to pick up our shave ice.

While waiting, we discovered that I’m just the right height to wait in this particular spot.

I got the Almond Joy and it was delicious! Matt got Da Mango One and liked it. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to each much due to eating 1.5 açaí bowls.

From there we headed to the Laurelhurst to see Vengance, which was the kind of film that we had things to discuss on the way home and the next day.

In-Portland Vacation Meal No. 1: Firehouse Restaurant

Because we had a big and very fancy vacation in March, we opted to stay in Portland for our August vacation and go out to eat at the restaurants we’ve been wanting to try. First up: The Firehouse Restaurant.

I’d heard good things, but even with that background info, the quality of the vegetable sides blew me away. We ordered roasted carrots, fried cauliflower, and a beet salad and all were some of the best sides I’d eaten in a very long time. We ate them right up, as you can see by the empty dishes. The mushroom pizza was also delicious.

It was also a very hot day, but sitting on the patio, we had a very nice breeze.

Thanks, Fireside, for getting our vacation off to a great start.