What I’m Reading Wednesday – Batman & Superman

The age old debate… Batman vs. Superman. Much like pie vs. cake there will always be people that will lean heavily one way or the other. Personally, I’ve always been a Batman girl, especially growing up with all the cheesy goodness that was Batman & Robin. But as I’ve been discovering my love of comics and graphic novels I’ve been branching out to read more about both The Dark Knight & The Man of Steel. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and these two graphic novels I read this past week have really shown some different sides of these superheros.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller is an old classic but it’s new to me. My husband picked it up and after reading it passed it along to me with a very enthusiastic, “You need to read this.”

This is a dense graphic novel. It’s intense, violent, and shows what happens to Gotham after Batman retires. You’ll see lots of familiar faces like Alfred, The Joker, Harvey Dent, and Commissioner Gordon. You’re also introduced to a new set of villains called The Mutants who are just as dumb & violent as they sound. Superman makes an appearance not as an ally to Batman, but as another force trying to get him to fall in line.

This book also introduces Carrie Kelley as Robin. She’s a badass babe with killer glasses and she goes toe-to-toe with the criminals of Gotham! (Cosplay dream girl!) She really brings a lightness to the book, and shows that a teenage girl is not to be messed with. Also I think it’s pretty hilarious that Batman threatens to fire her throughout the story but you can tell he totally has a soft spot for her.


(Dark Knight Returns Robin by Gingerhaze)

superThe other graphic novel I read this week was Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar.

How would things be different if Superman had landed in Russia and not America? What if he grew up to be Stalin’s right hand man and eventually have control over the whole communist party?

Well Mark Millar gives you a look at that very different world, and it’s not always pretty. This book features Lex Luthor, Lois Lane… or should I say Lois Luthor, Wonder Woman, and even a Soviet version of Batman. Things in this world are violent and Superman does all he can to gain order & control, but at a high cost to people’s personal freedoms.

One of the best parts of this graphic novel is Superman’s internal struggle with doing what feels right and what he’s grown up believing is right.

Also, the twist at the end is just the cherry on top of this great book!

I really suggest if you’re looking for something to hold you over for a bit until the Batman/Superman movie comes out in 2015, check out these books at your local comic book store or library.

Which Superhero do you prefer: Batman or Superman?



Neighborhood Watch – Interurban

When we got married, Nate referred to me as the Duchess of Brunch in his vows. I love this nickname so much that I plan to have it tattooed on me someday. I really am the biggest fan of brunch, whether it’s homemade, a big buffet, or at a hip restaurant. My only requirements for a good brunch are thick cut bacon & yummy cocktails (usually a big mimosa).

Portland is a mecca of brunch spots, and people will tell you in order to find a good brunch you have to be prepared to stand in line for 1+ hours. I really hate lines, so this has forced me to search for some places that are off the grid.

That brings us to one of my favorite brunch locations in one of my favorite neighborhoods:


Interurban is a hip bar located in the heart of N. Mississippi Street. The walls are decorated in mounted deer heads, the bar is made of dark wood, and the whole place has a sexy vibe. We like to grab a seat at the bar for brunch since there’s usually no wait, but I’ve seen people only have to wait about 10-15 minutes for a table (which isn’t bad considering Gravy down the street has people waiting for 2 hours sometimes).

The menu is light and creative. Portion sizes are filling and the prices are just right with most plates costing $6-12. My favorites are their weekly quiche special and the Breakfast Biscuit with bacon. These guys do not skimp on the thick cut bacon!

As for cocktails, they really know what they’re doing. I’m a sucker for a mimosa, but since they don’t have bottomless I like to venture out and try some other options.


Their Pimm’s Cup is pretty fantastic and refreshing. If you’re not careful you could find yourself downing several of them no problem. Nate always likes to get the Walk of Shame which is a bottle of Rainier and a shot of Flying Cock Bourbon. And another great choice is the Corpse Reviver #2. Don’t let the name scare you off, this beautiful cocktail is made with gin & absinthe and definitely would help you after a long night of being fabulous.

They also have a killer beer selection and you can even bring your growler in to get filled with one of the many yummy beers they have on draft.

Lastly, one of the best things about Interurban’s brunch is that it’s not only reserved for Sundays. Every weekend you can enjoy their offerings from 10am-2:30pm. Now that’s a reason to wake up early on a Saturday morning!

What are you brunch must haves?



What I’m Reading Wednesday – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

My girlfriends and I started a book club a few months ago, and while most of the books we’ve read have been pretty great, this month’s selection is my favorite so far.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is an adult fantasy novel about a seven year old boy who after discovering his families tenant dead is thrown into a world of danger & adventure, all happening between his home & the “ocean” at the end of the lane.

I’m a huge fantasy junkie and I usually find myself reading a lot of YA. It was nice to read a more mature fantasy novel that had children dealing with some very adult issues, fighting creatures from other worlds, and was still able to make me laugh even through all the scary bits.

This book is under 200 pages and would be a great poolside or beach read this summer. (And certainly better than any trashy chick lit novel you might pick up instead!)



Make Something Monday – Vanilla Bourbon Doughtnuts

Doughtnuts were always a special treat while growing up. Moving days, Colorguard competitions, and if I was lucky maybe a late night Krispy Kreme run in high school.

But now I’m all grown up and I can have doughnuts whenever I like… and with whiskey too!


I do have a habit of adding booze to pastries, hence why I’ve called my pastry making business Lush Pastries. I’m in the process of relaunching my business up here in Portland, but I did fairly well in California making yummy and sometimes boozy treats for the good people of Orange County for 4-5 years.

A few months ago I picked up these doughnut pans from Amazon and they are fantastic. It you don’t feel like frying doughnuts, or just want an healthier alternative, these are a great option.

I decided for my first batch to make Vanilla Doughnuts with Bourbon Glaze. This recipe will get you 6 vanilla doughnuts. I followed the basic recipe for the glaze, but substituted the vanilla extract for Bulleit Bourbon. Feel free to pick your favorite bourbon or anything you have on hand, but I would suggest when making a glaze with alcohol avoid using cheap liquor just because you’ll be tasting the quality. Don’t skimp and buy bottom shelf. Plus, good bourbon or whiskey is always good to have on hand. (Old Fashion, anyone?)

This is a fantastic basic doughnut recipe and has room for you to experiment and make alterations. I know a few I’ll be trying… Rum & coconut doughnuts anyone? I might have to make those for book club next weekend.

When is your favorite time of day to eat doughnuts?



Make Something Monday – Who doesn’t love pie?!

I did not grow up in a household that baked a lot from scratch. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I really started baking treats for my friends. I never even attempted to make my first pie until I was in culinary school. They had always intimidated me a bit with their delicate crusts and so many options of fillings. I’m very glad that I’ve overcome my fear of under cooked pies because they have become one of my favorite things to bake, especially during the holidays.


This past year I was on a pie making kick, and I really would love to start expanding my pie making skills even more. I picked up the recipe for this delicious Spiced Bourbon Apple Pie from A Beautiful Mess. I’ve made this pie several times now and it’s always a hit! (It even sold for around $50 at an auction earlier this year.)

You can use any kind of bourbon you have on hand (I opted for Maker’s Mark because we got several bottles as wedding gifts last year). There’s even the option to substitute the bourbon for vanilla extract if you so desire. I also think using some fresh apple juice might be a great alternative as well!


If baking a hot pie during the summer isn’t your thing, you could opt for this yummy Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, also from A Beautiful Mess. I feel really confident recommending the desserts that Emma adapts over there. She may be my pie mentor at the moment!

This pie is super easy and quick! It’s also very adaptable. You could substitute the peanut butter for almond butter, which is a very healthy alternative. You could also make a gluten free crust by using your favorite GF cookies.

I hope you get inspired to go make something yummy this Monday!

Do you have a favorite pie? Or do you prefer cakes? The great debate!