Sunshine again in Portland! Just in time for my parents to come visit, too. They seem to bring nice weather with them whenever they visit which I greatly appreciate. For years, my mom did not believe me that it rained 10 months out of the year because every time she came, it miraculously cleared up and we had an unnaturally nice couple of days. Yet another reason that parent visits are wonderful!
We took full advantage of the nice weather this weekend and hiked in the Columbia Gorge yesterday and saw a bunch of beautiful waterfalls (Horsetail Falls, Ponytail Falls and Triple Falls). It was a gorgeous hike and not too hot (but my mom kept claiming it was SO humid... I guess that's something you aren't used to living in Utah). At the halfway point, I accidentally fully submerged my foot (just one) in the stream and subsequently ended up hiking the rest of the 3 miles back with one soaking wet foot.
Today, we enjoyed the sunshine by stopping at my mom's favorite grocery store, New Seasons, (or as my parents continually call it, "New Horizons", "Whole Seasons", or the new one, "Whole Horizons" just to annoy me) and bought a light lunch consisting of fresh corn on the cob, Thai chicken kebabs, organic cherries, fresh focaccia, and halloumi. If you've never had it, halloumi is a Greek cheese that is known as the "grilling cheese" because it has a higher-than-normal melting point. You can grill it or cook it on the stove and it holds it's shape.
It is one of the easiest and most flavorful appetizers that is humanly possibly to make and is always a big hit. I buy it at upscale grocery stores like New Seasons, Whole Foods or even Trader Joe's but you may be able to buy it at your local grocery or at a Middle Eastern market. It's quite salty and flavorful on it's own and doesn't need much to spice it up. My mom always makes it by grilling, or pan frying, it then simply squeezing fresh lemon juice over it. So good!
what you'll need:
1 package of halloumi
Fresh chopped parsley for serving (optional)
Slice the halloumi into 1/2 inch thick pieces.
Grill over medium-high heat or pan fry over medium-high heat until browned on both sides.
Squeeze 1/2 lemon over browned halloumi pieces and serve immediately.
Check out our delicious spontaneous picnic!
And a picture of the beautiful Ponytail Falls