Monday, January 10, 2011

Homemade Mini Pizzas - a family tradition

My family has been making mini pizzas for Christmas Eve dinner for as long as I can remember. It is a tasty and interactive dinner that is great for any age. Normally pizza is a little underrated for Christmas Eve dinner, but not in my household! We love the tradition and it is even something you can do anytime of the year.

Over the years we have experimented with a variety of ingredients and explored all the different crust options. This year was the best by far - we added pesto and basil to the ingredients. If you have read any of my previous posts, you know how much I love basil.

It all started with the kid-friendly pizza - english muffin crust, marinara sauce, cheddar cheese, pepperoni and sausage. (There may have been veggies to choose from, but as a kid, I was not interested).

Now we have stepped up our game with the option of making our own crust with pre-made pizza dough or already baked eight inch pizza crust rounds. My mom even bought some pizza crust rounds layered with cheese. Yum!

Here are some toppings we used - try these or experiment with your own!
Our toppings




Green Peppers

Take a look at the finished product!

Next year I think we want to try a BBQ chicken pizza or maybe a Thai chicken pizza? 

Let me know what sounds good to you!

Update 10/2/12: Where to get the crust? Check out Trader Joe's pizza dough. They have it in three different flavors - whole wheat, traditional and garden herb. Also, you can buy pre-made pizza crust rounds too. I have had luck buying them at Winco but I believe Trader Joe's sells them too. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

¿Por Que No? - why not Mexican?

Por Que No? Why not visit this mexican taqueria for some awesome food? This place is fantastic and I know the rest of Portland thinks so too because there is always a line to order food. I am addicted to their carnitas (braised pork) because of the sweet flavor and juicy taste. 

There are two locations - one in North Portland and one in SE Portland. We chose to visit the one in SE on Hawthorne Blvd. I have only been to the one on Hawthorne but I never been disappointed. You walk into the restaurant, order and pay, take your number and wait for them to deliver it to your table.

This mexican taqueria is so much more than just the "traditional" mexican menu with rice, beans and enchiladas/tacos/burrito. The ingredients are so fresh which makes the dishes so colorful - with red onions, cilantro, radishes, tomatoes, black beans and homemade golden crispy chips. My meals of choice are listed below:

Bryan's Bowl (sub fish for $2 / $3 for shrimp).................$6.75 Your choice of meat or veggies in a bowl with beans, rice, guacamole,salsas, queso fresco, crema, cilantro & a side of chips or 3 tortillas

Porque Plate (sub fish for $2 / $3 for shrimp)...............$11.00 Your choice of meat or veggies served on a plate with beans, rice, a small salad, salsa fresca, guacamole, crema & 4 tortillas

{via menu}

Bryan's Bowl with carnitas
Bryan's Bowl with chicken

The decor is eccentric and vibrant with colorful walls and a variety of different types of artwork. Chalkboards cover one wall listing all the food and drink specials. The table and chairs are all different shapes and sizes. It is an organized chaos on the walls with vases, mirrors, empty frames, Virgin Mary statues, Christmas lights and paintings - you name it. There is indoor and outdoor seating at the SE Portland location and it is especially fun in the summertime because they open the front garage door so the whole has an outdoor feel to it. 

Affordable, great ambience and delicious food.

open 7 days a week
lunch and dinner

3524 N Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR 97227
(503) 467 - 4149

4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97215
(503) 954 - 3138

Check them out at