Salted Almond Butter Chocolate Bars + Easter Recipes Roundup

Easter is here already? It really seems April is speeding by for me this year – though perhaps part of this is helped by how much is on my calendar this year, I think this Easter weekend is actually the only weekend that isn’t packed with plans already. I also just had my second food list published on Eater P – in January it was the PDX Essential Ramen List and now I have a list of Hottest Portland Popups.  But I still squeezed some new recipe trying from a cookbook.  If you have a little free time and some extra chocolate bunnies, have you ever considered re-purposing the chocolate into making your own chocolate treats? Like say, Salted Almond Butter Chocolate Bars? I also will highlight some other possibilities for Easter recipes.
Recipe for Salted Almond Butter Chocolate Bars, a vegan chocolate bar you can easily make in 30 minutes, adapated from A Modern Way To Cook by Anna Jones

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Cousins Maine Lobster

I’ve visited Cousins Maine Lobster before, at their food truck in 2013, and since then the Cousins (yes, they are two cousins who founded this, plus backing from Shark Tank) they have expanded the number of cities for which they have food truck franchises (20 trucks in 13 cities throughout the US, though no location in Portland Oregon), and also opened a brick and mortar restaurant location in Los Angeles in the West Hollywood area. You can get their lobster goodness to eat there at the restaurant, order to go, or even get it delivered via Postmates or UberEats. Being a lover of eating lobster, of course I had to check it out!
Cousins Maine Lobster in West Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, the only brick and mortar restaurant location besides the food trucks.

They still offer three seafood rolls- the classic Maine lobster roll that is served chilled with mayo, the Connecticut which is lobster served warm with butter, or the Crab roll that is the Maine lobster roll but with crab meat instead of lobster meat.

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Breaking Bread with Meadowlark PDX and Nostrana

I’ve written about the pop-up Meadowlark PDX before, when I had the warm and delicious experience with them for their Seollal Korean New Year Dinner last year in February and then their Springtime Sicilian Cocktail Party also last year. Since the events in our political stage in the United States last fall, Meadowlark has since shifted some of their goals. Headed by Chefs Jen Datka (OCI, Nostrana intern) and Emily Park (Lovely 50-50, Our Table Cooperative), they still do wonderful meals usually with a theme. In addition now, this year they plan to donate profits from each of their benefit events to a different social justice organization. This one I attended was a Breaking Bread with Meadowlark PDX and Nostrana lunch with a focus on Iranian Cuisine.
Breaking Bread with Meadowlark PDX and Nostrana to benefit the Cascade AIDs Project (CAP) with a luncheon featuring Iranian cuisine Breaking Bread coordinator Libby Clow welcomed guests with some kombucha from Farm Spirit after checking their names
First Photo: L-R Chefs Jen Datka and Emily Park of Meadowlark PDX, Chef Cathy Whims of Nostrana,
and to the right standing Breaking Bread coordinator Libby Clow. Second Photo: Breaking Bread coordinator Libby Clow welcomed guests with some kombucha from Farm Spirit after checking their names

In this case, Meadowlark PDX volunteered along with Cathy Whims of Nostrana as chefs for this Breaking Bread lunch event, and the luncheon was organized by Libby Clow, Breaking Bread coordinator. Breaking Bread is a community centered supper club that occurs quarterly and is aimed at connecting members of our local community who may not ordinarily interact over a nourishing meal. It is a completely volunteer and donation based event so the entire $50 tickets went directly to the cause, which in this case is Cascade AIDs Project (CAP). CAP’s mission is to support and empower all people with or affected by HIV, reduce stigma, and provide the LGBTQ+ community with compassionate healthcare.

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Imperial Session New England Beer Pairing Dinner

This quarterly dinner series by Imperial Session duo Advanced Cicerone Ryan Spencer (Bailey’s Taproom) with dishes from Chef Spencer Watari (Clyde Common) pairs beers and food. Unlike many beer and food dinners, this pop up concept does not beholden itself to any particular breweries or restaurant so they can select any beer or dish to make an interesting pairing without worrying about representing or promoting any business. The last dinner focus was on beers from New England.
Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner, Ryan pouring beerse for one of the courses Imperial Session New England Beer Dinner

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Trust Me at Sugarfish, Los Angeles

One of the other lunches I got to enjoy while on my recent trip to LA was the Trust Me at Sugarfish. You can order some items a la carte, but the best option will be to order some of the omakase set menus where they decide what to serve best based on what is fresh and in season. All the sushi at Sugarfish is traditional, so don’t expect crazy combinations and sauces, there are no fancy rolls, including no California Rolls. Just simple sushi and hand rolls. I ate little slices of ginger and a smear of wasabi but never needed or even poured a drop of soy sauce.
We ordered the Nozawa, or Trust Me at Sugarfish Nozawa, or Trust Me at Sugarfish with courses of Organic Edamame, Tuna Sashimi, Albacore Sushi, Salmon Sushi, Yellowtail Sushi, Harame Sushi, Snapper Sushi, a Daily Special, Toro Hand Roll, Blue Crab Hand Roll

We each ordered The Nozawa, the Trust Me. At $37, it is the most expensive of the three options (the other two are the Trust Me and the Trust Me Lite, which take out the Daily Special, Snapper sushi, or more for the Lite so that there are less courses.). But, for the amount you get and quality it is very reasonable. And lunch is the best deal, the same menu is more expensive at dinner or without the special for the to go version. After my sister birthed my niece, Trust Me at Sugarfish To Go was her choice after denying herself sushi all that time… how cool is the to go box?

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