hey guys! we're a few days away from the start of spring and who else can't wait? wait a second, i can answer that, it looks like mother nature sure can... it's looking to another week of rain for us portland folks ;( oh well. to combat some winter blues i've blended up some colorful ombré smoothies using my favorite cold pressed strawberry apple genesis organic juice

besides looking forward to daylight savings, what are you doing to chase these winter blues?




first layer: blend the strawberry apple Genesis Organic Juice, 1 acai packet, ice, and 2oz coconut milk until smooth. pour out 1/3 of your cups space and freeze for 10-15 minutes. *freezing between the layers will help to keep the layers separated while we build them, otherwise you'll wind up with the layers bleeding (yep, i totally forgot to freeze, thus my layers bled). reserve remaining smoothie -we will start diluting this base.

second layer: to the remaining base add 2 oz of coconut milk, and 1/2 c. yogurt (or in my case 4 cubes). blend until smooth and lump free. pour out enough smoothie to build an additional layer on top of the beginning layer, sticking with 1/3 of the cups space. freeze and do not rinse out your blender.

third layer: to achieve a lighter color i recommend pouring off a little of the remaining base (about 1/3 of a cup), and to that base add 4 tbsp. full-fat coconut milk. blend until smooth and pour on top of the the previously frozen base. ta-da! add toppings and enjoy immediately!

i hope yours turns out better looking than mine, because Y O U will remember to freeze between the layers!

2/3 c. strawberry apple genesis organic juice

1 pkg. acai

1c. ice

4 oz coconut milk, divided

1/2 c. yogurt**

4 tbsp. full fat coconut milk

assorted toppings:

strawberries, kiwi, chia seed pudding

**for making smoothies i like to freeze extra yogurt in ice cube trays, by doing so i don't have to worry about expired yogurt and it works great in smoothies. 


thank you GENESIS ORGANIC JUICE for sponsoring this post!



Pine Street Market

126 SW 2nd Ave

Portland, OR 97204

SE Ankeny St.

609 SE Ankeny, suite A

Portland, OR 97214

dine-in & take-away options available.

who doesn't like a warm bowl of ramen? tell me. i have yet to meet person that cannot find comfort in a warm bowl of salty broth filled with slurpy noodles and perhaps my favorite part, the beautiful and ever creamy 6 minute egg.

a few weeks ago i was invited to try out MARUKIN RAMEN'S newly launched menu items including their newest secret ramen -a super limited and hard to make ebi ramen-, and some wonderful additions to their to-go items.

those additions inlude their donburi (rice bowls), nukazuke (japanese pickled vegetables),  salmon nakazuke (japanese style marinated salmon and pickled vegetables), and nakazuke (japanese pickled vegetables). take a look below to see most of the wonderful things i was able to try (and i say most because i wasn't able to take photos of everything, my mouth was too busy doing research).


daikon salad / nukazuke / salmon nukazuke / + / chicken karaage

the daikon salad is a refreshing mixture of shredded daikon, carrots, and green onion with an ume plum vinaigrette/ nukazuke is a mixture of pickled japanese vegetables/ salmon nanbanzuke is a japanese style marinated salmon/ chicken karaage is a moist japanese style fried chicken served with a japanese style tartar sauce.

ebi karaage

a deep fried tiger shrimp with a japanese style tartar sauce

the donburi bowls

before i give away the secret, did you know that MARUKIN RAMEN was founded in 1994 in tokyo, japan. they currently have over 10 locations with one of those locations being the first any only stateside restaurant and it's right here in portland, oregon.

being a ramen shop that is highly specialized in ramen means each and every bowl is crafted with care and served at optimum temperature, making ramen to-go a great idea but harmful to the integrity of their homemade noodles ramen noodles (as the noodles will continue to soak up the broth and breakdown). therefore MARUKIN RAMEN does not offer their beautiful bowls of noodles to-go, so take a moment and slurp up a bowl and grab some of those awesome sides or a donburi bowl -as mentioned above- to go!

the super secret ramen

while here on a media preview i was super fortunate to try the super secret ebi ramen, a rich tiger shrimp and chicken-based broth with sea salt. this vibrant and beautiful bowl of ramen comes topped with succulent and plump tiger shrimp, boc choy, a mushroom age-tofu mix, kikurage, and negri. 

the process behind making the ebi ramen is a multi-day process, making the ebi bowls of ramen super rare and limited to only 30 bowls on the select days it is even offered. the most direct way to learn which days and location is offering is to follow along on their social media channels: instagram @marukinram or facebook. i'd be sure to follow along because once that last bowl is offered up, there is no given time when the next opportunity to try the ebi ramen will be. 

so next time you're looking for some ramen to find solace from this brutal pacific northwest winter head over to either of the two MARUKIN RAMEN locations and order up a bowl of comfort.

Thank you to Marukin Ramen's owners and chefs for serving up an excellent variety of dishes and ramens to try and to Little Green Pickle for setting up the fantastic media event highlighting their house made noodles and dishes to go.

disclosure: i was invited to attend a media preview of Marukin Ramen's newly launched to-go offerings and ramens, while there i received complimentary tastings. all opinions shared are my own and not in exchange for a positive review.


happy middle of the work week!

so you guys i'm pretty excited to share two things; my first ever ombre layer cake and an amazing giveaway! before we talk about the giveaway let me talk about that cake. i n e e d to admit, i was a little hesitant to even make an ombre layer cake, it just seemed like too much work with all of the layers and the coloring but let me say the process wasn't bad at all. i bought these awesome 6" layer cake pans and it made the process so much easier than i could have predicted.

now let's talk about this giveaway! a few weeks ago the wonderful folks at JORD wood watches reached out to me about hosting a giveaway with my followers! how could i turn that down? they even sent over a band new watch for me to check out and attest to how truly amazing these wood watches are. i received the dark sandalwood and mint from the frankie 35 series and holy moly, the wood display box of this watch is truly a beautiful display on it's own. after opening the wooden display box i saw my new watch comfortably resting around a JORD embossed pillow. the first thought that came to mind was how this watch's color combination reminded me of mint and chocolate, yes it's true, i was food inspired by a watch! only i, i who thinks about food, reads cookbooks like novels, studies beer lists before making a dining decision and bakes whatever sweet treat that's been on my to-bake list, could feel such a desire to correlate a watch to a sweet concoction.  since i was feeling inspired by this mint faceplate and dark sandalwood wristband i had to pour my inspiration into a cake pan, and am so happy i did.

with very little free time since the kid arrived (more on that later) how was i going to make a cake that embodied chocolate and mint, plus a cake that is big on flavor but required very little fuss? well, i answered my own question with a not-so-simple-looking ombre mint-green cake with a fancy looking whipped chocolate ganache frosting. so easy to make and so simple to frost. but let's not forget the real reason i started this post; because i have an amazing giveaway to share with you all, scroll to the bottom of this post for details and the link to enter!


women's watches

men's watches

frankie 35 dark sandalwood and mint -the one in the photos!



preheat oven to 350 degrees F. butter the bottoms and sides of five 6" cake pan, dust with flour, and tap out the excess.

whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

beat the butter, sugar and oil in a large bowl in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla until combined.

alternate folding the flour mixture and the milk into the batter with a spatula, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two, starting and ending with the flour, until just smooth. 

to create an ombre effect with the layers; add in 3 drops of green food coloring to the entire batter and fold to incorporate. this will now be the starting base color for the ombre layers. pour proper amount from this starting batter into one cake pan. with the remaining batter add-in an additional 2 drops of food coloring, fold to incorporate until a change in batter color is noticeable, if change is subtle add in an additional drop. pour proper amount of batter into an additional cake pan, repeat the food coloring process to remaining batter and pour into additional cake. repeat the process until all of the batter is used.  each cake pan of batter should have a difference in color.

bake the cake on the same rack for 20 to 25 minutes, rotate the pans about halfway through. check for doneness. add an additional 4 minutes if needed. let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, turn out onto cooling racks and let cool completely.

to assemble: stack up cooled cakes starting with the darkest layer and adding subsequent lighter layers until the last cake is the lightest. spread each cake layer with an equal amount of frosting. restack the frosted layers in the ombre order desired, darkest layer at the bottom to achieve the same look as mine. if frosting remains or in excess use to crumb coat the outside. place in the fridge for an hour. after the cake has had a chance to chill remove from fridge and frost entire cake with whipped chocolate ganache.  

allow cake to sit at room temp. for 2 hours before serving.

*if using wilton five layer 6" cake pans, follow package baking directions* 

i used these pans for the ombre cake layers


1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter at room temp, plus more for the pans

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour leveled, plus more for the pans

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. fine salt

2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. vegetable oil

5 large eggs, at room temp.

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1 c. milk

green food coloring



















beat the butter and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. once it's all been added, increase the speed to medium-high, beat until white and fluffy. add 2 tbsp. of milk, one tbsp. at a time.



3 stick (1 1/2 c.) unsalted butter at room temp.

3 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 c. milk

pine of fine salt


12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

1 c. heavy cream



place chocolate chips in a large bowl. heat heavy cream in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium-high head until it comes to a boil. remove from heat and immediately pour over chocolate, stir until all the chocolate has melted and is smooth.

all ganache to cool completely, place in the refrigerator for at least an hour afterward. when ready to use pull cold ganache from the fridge and whip using an electric mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula until homogenous in appearance and semi-fluffy looking, about 8-10 minutes.

cake recipe adapted from the CLASSIC VANILLA CAKE recipe from the Food Network



click here to fill out the insanely simple form for a chance to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site. 1 person will win, but e v e r y o n e will receive a consolation code worth $25 at the end of the contest! so just to be sure you understand, that means you still win just for trying! 

contest ends at 11:59 CST 02/19/17 and both codes expire 04/30/17

not only is the watch beautiful in craftsmanship and visually appealing but look at the wooden box that it comes in! this is not a box to toss away or one to hold random loose buttons (what else do you use your watch boxes for?). this is a box to keep for a lifetime. the top magnetically attaches to the base and the bottom of the base is a little sliding compartment! 

disclosure: i was provided with a JORD wood watch in exchange for promotional social medial and a blog post. all opinions expressed are my own.


hi friends! if you are a fan of buffalo sauce + blue cheese then i have got a fun recipe for you: 

say hello to blue cheese buffalo deviled eggs. yes my friends, buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and deviled eggs come together for an amazing combination that will have you quickly clearing the table of those bags of chips and velveeta dip and make space for these tasty, tangy, salty, spicy bites.

while a traditional deviled egg incorporates mayonnaise to get that oh-so-creamy-tangy zip, i've swapped out the mayo and instead used Toby's Lite Blue Cheese Dressing. the deviled centers were still very creamy and not overly rich like what tends to happen with mayonnaise.

be sure to mash everything up before adding the blue cheese. and chop up any large blue cheese crumbles -unless you want big salty chunks to slap the heck out of your tongue then be my guest.




remove yolks from eggs and place into a small bowl. place egg whites on serving dish and store in the refrigerator. mash up the yolks using a fork until semi-smooth.

to the mashed egg yolks add ground mustard, buffalo sauce, and @tobyfoods blue cheese dressing, mix well until smooth. add 1/4c. blue cheese crumbles, and salt and pepper to taste, incorporate well.

add egg yolk mash to egg whites (i use a pipping bag to add them neatly, a ziplock baggie will work in a pinch).

garnish with remaining blue cheese crumbles and a few dashes of hot sauce is preferred. store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. serve cold.

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved.

3 tbsp. toby's lite blue cheese dressing

1/2 tsp. ground mustard

2 tbsp. frank's red hot buffalo sauce

1/4c. + 1 tbsp. blue cheese crumbles

salt + pepper to taste


do yourself a favor and store away one or two for eggs yourself before serving. these deviled eggs will be gone before you know it, and when you do know it, you'll crave them even further!

thank you TOBY'S FOODS for sponsoring this post!