It's the 10th of the month, which means that Andrew and I get to have a fun day with each other where we celebrate our "monthaversary," or the day of the month in which we married each other. Next month will be our 2 year anniversary, and this February we will have been together for four years! Each monthaversary we plan something a little different -- sometimes I'll just make something extra special for dinner or Andrew might buy a favorite kind of wine. Today I planned a whole day full of fun things, since we both had the day off and Andrew was able to take a break from studying for school.
The day started off with breakfast -- I made overnight carrot cake buckwheat -- I'll post the recipe next week! After digesting a bit, we headed to a great new yoga studio in Portland's West End called Bhakti in Motion, where they're celebrating their first week with donation-based classes.
Since we worked up a bit of an appetite from yoga, we had the pleasure of going to Bam Bam Bakery's grand opening! We were like kids in a candy store there - a whole entire storefront full of goodies that we could eat, right in downtown Portland. The best thing about it, though, was that if nobody told me these treats were gluten free, I'd have no idea. That's how good they tasted. I even tried some day-olds to really test things out a bit -- but nothing we had was dry or crumbly, pure bliss on our tongues.
The owner, Bevin, graduated from The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City in 2008. Bam Bam Bakery was started her home in early 2009, and then grew to selling at various coffee shops and farmers' markets. Portland has a large population of restaurants and shops that are catering to a gluten-free market, but none that are 100% gluten free. Until now.
Andrew and I split a chocolate chip cookie while thinking about what we were going to fill a pastry box with. Let's start with the most decadent: Caramel Delight Bars. These blissfully large bars have a chocolate shortbread base doused in caramel, topped with a generous combination of nuts, dried cherries and Maine sea salt. Sea salt and caramel are so lovely together as a contrast of flavors, and the texture on this bar makes every bite one to savor and linger over. It completely blew any pastry I've had in my gluten-eating days out of the water.
This I-can't-believe-it's-day-old Banana Coconut Muffin practically melts in your mouth with it's softness. It's a pillow of perfection that I would happily sleep on if they made this muffin pillow-sized. The banana adds the perfect amount of sweetness, and things really come together with the coconut threads. It was a tropical delight, with the groundedness of millet flour.
The I-can't-believe-it's-day-old Zucchini Muffin was definitely my favorite muffin of the two, probably because of the vegetable addition, which wasn't overwhelming in any way. Again, this muffin was so soft and not dry, yet still held together well. I really liked how soft the walnuts were, as well -- they added a nice complexity of flavor without outshining the zucchini.
Monsterous Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies - These were day old, too. Cookies are ridiculously large and reasonably priced at $1.25 fresh, so these bad boys were just .75 cents as day-olds. They had a hint of coconut to them, and the cranberries were plump and juicy. Not too sweet but definitely a treat, these cookies made my heart sing. I've been really craving oatmeal cookies lately and these cookies definitely satisfied that craving.
I enjoyed nibbles of all these treats with a treat of coffee, which I've been drinking little bits of here and there again.
After our sweet adventure, we headed to the Portland Farmers' Market in the park for some vegetables for lunch. We bought some lovely flowers there as well to jazz up our apartment. It was so beautiful out -- the sky was clear, musicians were filling the air with the sound of kettle drums and the colors of the harvest were a feast for our eyes.
Lunch got us fueled up to take a hike along some trails at Bradbury Mountain, which is only about 30 minutes from our house. As I type this, Andrew is making me a secret dinner surprise...I can't wait to see and taste what it is!
Do you have any special traditions that you do with a loved one? What treat from Bam Bam looks like your favorite? How are you enjoying the last days of summer?
Enjoy the weekend!