Starting on the 4th of July, Rob and I took an amazing vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We started in Portland, which is a seriously hip city with a phenomenal food scene. I fell in love with its quaint neighborhoods, the abundance of green, fantastic ethnic food and food carts at every turn, the fact that everyone rides bikes everywhere, the ice cream at Salt & Straw, and the coffee and craft beer. Unfortunately, I'll never be cool enough to live there, but that won't stop me from visiting again soon, especially since our dear friends M&C live there and are the best tour guides ever (no exaggeration - I'm nervous for them to visit Denver because I really have to brush up on my Denver knowledge beforehand).
After Portland, we made our way east to Hood River. We visited a dam on the Columbia River where you can see fish swimming upstream to spawn (nerdy, yes, but totally awesome), went on a trail run to a stunning waterfall with a swimming hole, and visited Solera Brewery at the base of Mount Hood that surely must be the brewery with the best view anywhere.
Our next stop was Bend where we tested our mountain biking skills, drank (more) craft beer, and I contemplated what kind of legal career I could have in Central Oregon. We eventually made our way to the coast, which is dotted with dramatic rock formations, tides that let you explore cool sea life, and really cute towns perfect for relaxing and walking the beach. The trip reminded me that the United States is full of incredible things to see and that while I'll always have wanderlust for foreign destinations, there is much to be seen right here in the U.S. of A!
It was at a farmer's market in Astoria where I sampled a truly delicious roll-up sandwich. The recipe is something I would NEVER make if I just read it, but after sampling this at a stand at the market I snapped up the recipe. It's now part of our lunch rotation.
Spicy Peanut, Carrot, Radish, and Snap Pea Wraps
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons Asian chili paste
1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 whole-wheat tortillas
1 cup coarsely shredded carrots
1 cup snap peas, sliced diagonally
1 cup coarsely shredded radishes (approximately 5)
In a small bowl, whisk peanut butter, chili paste, soy sauce, and 2 tbsp. water to blend. Evenly divide mixture between the two tortillas and spread the entire tortilla leaving a border at the edge. Add carrots, snap peas, and radish in a rectangle down the center of the tortilla. Roll-up the tortilla burrito-style and sliced into desired portion sizes.