Winter in Oregon

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We've seen a lot of snow this winter, which has been fun, especially all the no-work snow days. But we are told this is not common for this part of Oregon, so we've been savoring each one. 

Since my posting is really off, and apparently seasonal, here's a quick snapshot of our winter, in photos. 
Above, Viggo builds a snowman. He calls all snowmen Frosty. And below he's taking in the view at White Rose Winery.
We've been eating a lot of comfort food. This means big bowls of soup, roast chicken and pot pies made with leftover chicken.
After the holidays, we took a trip to Corvallis and the coast. We stayed at an old granary on the river, visited the aquarium, and spent a night right on the beach.

We learned Viggo loves crab, along with salmon caviar. We bought him a small jar as a Christmas present. 
  We've also been going on local adventures around Cannon Beach and our many nearby parks.
And entertaining friends, like these out of towners, who spent the weekend with us freezing. Sigh, Southern Californians.


Fall in Oregon

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It's been a long time since my last post. I had somehow convinced myself that I would keep up the blog during the move, documenting away. Ha! So, here we are, over a month in Oregon. Hillsboro to be exactly. About 20 miles west of Portland, close to farms and wineries, far from pretty much everyone we know.
Above Viggo doing jumpies before the movers came. And below he's already made himself comfortable on our new bed.
So moving with a two-year old is fun. Just kidding. It's a nightmare. And so is driving for three days. And so is unpacking. And unpacking. And unpacking. But, we are almost, kind of, done. And I can usually find things I need with about 70% confidence. And although I want to never move again, I so badly want to be in my own place and not a rental, where I can do anything, like NOT HAVE CARPET IN THE DINING ROOM. Sigh.

And now that I've gotten all the whining out of the way regarding moving, let's talk about fall. It's my favorite season. And I'm so glad we made it here in time for us to experience the season. Along with a little storm. It's been glorious to see color, wear sweaters, listen to rain tapping softly on the windows.
We stopped in Bend on the way up. And is was great. 
Trick or treating as a little owl.

We are also getting back to meal planning and cooking. Although now, most of that is being done by the husband. Why? Because he's living the dream. MY HOUSEWIFE dream. Although I'm not sure if "living" is the right word. He has dark circles under his eyes, is spending a lot of time at the supermarket and park, and is asleep by 8:30 pm. Taking care of a toddler was never part of my stay-at-home fantasy. So, at this point, I'm not too sad to be escaping to work everyday.

Cooking away in his little kitchen. 

We figured the first year here would be hard, but I didn't realize I would start missing our friends so soon. But, I am. And it's hard. And I'm counting down the days until people visit us and we get to take them to wineries and drive over bridges and get wet in the rain together.
What wine tasting with this crazy looks like this! Also, Viggo got a haircut. 

That's it for now. Hopefully, the husband will find the time and energy to write soon. Considering he's just at home all day, getting abused by Demando Viggo.


BLT: The Sandwich of Summer

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One of my brother's just moved for a job. The middle one. And although we too are planning on moving, his departure has gotten me down more than I had imagined. Maybe it's because he's the most involved of the uncles and I love watching him interact with Viggo, or maybe its because he's become a hilarious and consistent fixture in our friend group, but either way, I already miss him randomly dropping by after his "floating in the dark tub" sessions.

But, this post is not about brothers. It's about bacon sandwiches, which we happened to eat last time my brothers were over for brunch. BLTs are great anytime, but they are especially good with ripe summer tomatoes. 
I cook my bacon in the oven, since that requires less hands-on time on my part. And when building my sandwich I like lots of lettuce, and mix my mustard with my mayo, slathering both sides of the bread. If you happen to have avocado around, that's always a nice addition as well.

 Here's the bro and Viggo, being pals. 


Baby Octopus and Growing Babies

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Many years ago, our friend hosted a party. It was memorable for several reasons: 1) She never hosts anything 2) It was for her 33rd birthday, which seems like a century ago and 3) There was this special octopus. 

I've been thinking about this grilled baby octopus for the last six years. When I saw that Super King was selling frozen packs of already cleaned baby octopus, I went for it.

Because this party happened sooooo long ago, my friend couldn't find the recipe she used, so I found my own. It was Greek-inspired and easy. And it didn't require any boiling, just marinate and go straight to the grill. So, we invited ourselves over to said friend's house and brought along the octopus. It took a lot longer to grill up, but it was fresh and delicious. We spent the afternoon watching our babies (she now has two!) and drank wine leisurely in their backyard (as leisurely as is possible with three kids around). 

It was nice watching the kids gobble up baby octopus and play together. Her daughter patiently helped Viggo buckle his seat belt on her bike and they were being all cute and very grown up, which made me feel sad yet content at the same time. And I guess I realized that's pretty much how the last few months can be summed up for me. It's been fun to watch Viggo grow, with everyday there's something new and funny to witness, but it also breaks my heart a little to see my baby disappear. Oh man, was he a great baby!

A few weeks went by and we saw more octopus at Super King and decided it was time for round two. I was determined to find the original party recipe and casually brought up my search to another friend who attended the evening. And lo and behold, she had it! Being smart enough to get the recipe the day after the party, it was saved in her Gmail, just waiting for someone to use it. This time we invited friends to our house, and sat out in our backyard (which has gotten very little attention this summer), drinking champagne cocktails and rosé, watching Viggo trying to get into all kinds of trouble.

This recipe was much different. It required boiling the octopus for 45 minutes in wine and broth and then marinating in balsamic vinegar overnight. This version was sweeter tasting, and only spent a few minutes on the grill. 
Version one.
Version two, simmering away.
Eleni enjoying the octopus. We're lucky we don't have picky eaters. At least not yet!
The kid is obsessed with bubbles. And we're kind of over it. But he does look adorable parading around the block with his bubble mower.
Viggo recently learned how to smile when asked. It is not a pretty sight! He strains his face and does a funny squint. We can't get enough of his fake, ugly grin. 
My baby looking like a boy. 

I'm going to share both versions here, for whichever suits your mood.

Version one (I added fresh oregano and savory to my recipe, along with preserved lemons).


Maui in April

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So I realize this post is a little late, but as I stress out about moving to a different state where I have no job, or a place to live, it's nice to think back to our week in Maui. Although traveling with a kid (and your parents) is also stressful, in a different way. The husband and I reminisced about our trips to the islands on our own, and how magical and carefree things used to be. 

Despite having three (extra) people in tow (along with ALL THEIR STUFF), we managed to drive the Road to Hana, sort of chill on the beach, see many a waterfall and even sneak off to a nude beach. 

Viggo didn't really get the whole sand thing, and was teething for a good part of the trip, but he ate a a ton of gold fishes and bananas. He also decided he would walk the absolute bare minimum, insisting to be carried 85% of the time. And I destroyed my phone at the Seven Sacred Pools. This all sounds like fun, right? It was. A new reality of fun, where you always carry a diaper bag and lots of snacks.

Below are a few photos from the trip, enjoy!
All the trouble makers.
The Seven Sacred Pools. I don't think I've ever seen my dad happier, swimming around 
and grinning like a kid. 
Goldie locks
We almost ditched him here. But then he decided to be cute and charming again.
Viggo ate a LOT of tiny bananas on this trip. 
My little beach babe and sand hater.  We'll see you again Hawaii, in like five years!