Author Archives: alexandbecky

Spiritual Sundays: Our Favorite Budget Wines

Not only is this Spiritual Sunday the first one about wine that we’ve posted, it’s also the first one written by both Alex and Becky, so that’s very exciting!

We love wine. But we, just like many others, can’t always afford to buy pricey bottles of wine for everyday dinners (as much as we would like to). Luckily, there are lots of fantastic options for delicious, good quality wines that don’t break the bank. Here are some of our tried-and-true favorites, none of which exceed $10:

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Out to Eat in PDX: Savoy Tavern & Broder

Over on 26th and Clinton in Southeast Portland, just a few blocks between my (Alex’s) middle school and high school, there is a little corner with multiple dining spots: K&F Coffee, The Press Club wine bar, NoHo’s Hawaiian, and many more. Two of these spots are Broder, a Scandinavian cafe, and Savoy Tavern, a mid-western themed restaurant and bar. They are owned by the same people, and we love both spots. In this post Becky will share with you our outing to Broder, and Alex will share the trip to Savoy. Enjoy!

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Spiritual Sundays, Spiritless Edition: Bitters and Soda

I work nights right now, as I have been for a few years. When I get off work, I usually just want to have a drink and watch an episode of Community or something. However, my store closes at 11pm, which means I usually roll out around 11:30, and get home somewhere close to midnight. If I want to get anything done the next day before I have to be at work again at 3:30, I really need to get up early. Of course, if I start drinking alcohol at midnight, it usually makes for a groggy morning. So what am I to do? Have a glass of water and call it a night?

Enter Bitters & Soda; a simple non-alcoholic drink that still has flavor and complexity and allows for some creativity far more than a simple soda from the store, and with almost none of the sugar.

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Summer Dinners

Becky and I are back in our hometown of Portland, OR. It’s an odd, at times difficult, adjustment, made easier by the fact that we have a place to live. Both of us our staying at our respective parents’ places, with Becky spending more time at my place than I hers, due mostly to my busy work schedule at nights.

At the moment, I only have two nights off a week to do dinner with her, or really at all. We’re making it work to the best of our abilities.

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Spiritual Sundays: Don’t Fear the Vermouth, Volume 2.5

This week: Cocchi Americano, and two cocktails that use this aperitif.

The Vesper:

First off, Cocchi Americano isn’t really a vermouth, it’s a bittersweet aperitif. It’s also the closest thing we have to the original recipe for Kina Lillet; it’s definitely closer than Lillet Blanc, which lacks the quinine which Kina Lillet was named for. But while it’s not technically a vermouth, in exploring the Martini, its use as such comes to light.

Most people know James Bonds famous martini: Shaken, not stirred. For the most part, that’s the limit of what people know about a martini. Gin? Vodka? Vermouth? Bitters? Eh, Shaken. Not stirred. With like, three or four olives.

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Happy birthday Jeff!

No, not Alex’s dad Jeff. I’m referring to my (Becky’s) big brother Jeffrey, who’s turning 24 today!

Jeff is a volunteer at a food bank living in Tucson, and I miss living in the same state as him. Jeff, hope you had a great day and here’s to a happy year ahead!! Love you!


Spiritual Sundays: Don’t fear the Vermouth, Part 2

Part 2? Where’s part 1, you ask? Over here, at my father’s blog: Rants of the Hedgehog

Vermouth, especially dry vermouth, is among the most maligned spirits. Most people tend to think of it as some sort of poisonous elixir which no sane person would ever add to such a pure substance as flavorless, chilled vodka. Now, I could go on a for a long time about how chilled vodka in a glass is not a martini, or how stupid I think it is to order an incredibly expensive vodka at a restaurant, like Grey Goose, just to pour some foul, cheap olive brine into it. My dad already summed up why people  avoid vermouth; It’s probably because most people have only ever had a dry martini, and if they ever had a martini with vermouth in it, it was probably not a quality spirit.

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Spiritual Sundays Volume 2: The Best & The Worst

Sorry for the two month’s absence.

Since I’ve yet to get behind a professional bar, the majority of my knowledge comes from reading about cocktails and watching them be made by skilled bartenders. Due to my income and location of residence, I’m not always able to make it to the bars, so often I settle for watching bartenders online. In my searches I have found some amazing, inspirational videos. I have also found some truly dreadful ones. Here are some side by side examples of the best, and the worst, for you.

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Spiritual Sundays Volume #1: The Negroni

Welcome to the first installment of my (hopefully) weekly article: Spiritual Sundays. Every Sunday I will discuss a cocktail, or possibly wine/beer/whiskey, etc…

How could I begin this article with anything but one of my all time favorite cocktails, The Negroni? I’m fairly certain I had this drink for the first time at my dad’s apartment. Bitter, herbal, floral, and bright, I immediately fell in love with it.

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Mac n’ Cheese, Wine, Cup Pies, Pushing Daisies


Last night’s meal started with a bottle of wine, as many good nights do. Actually, it goes back farther, to a $50 Pinot Noir glass from Riedel that I found for a dollar at St. Vincent de Paul’s. Obviously, I wanted to try a nice Pinot in the glass, and the fantastic wine steward of Eugene’s Marché Provisions, Ryan Stotz who happens to be a family friend, helped me out with that by selecting a 2007 Pinot Noir from the Loire valley of France.

Though I was too busy talking cocktails with Ryan to remember to ask him about food pairings, I was lucky enough to  catch another wine steward, Ziggy of Kiva, when Becky and I were buying groceries there. We eventually decided on a baked macaroni and cheese to go with the wine.

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