I'm passionate about writing and design and I love living in Oregon with its combination of urban style and down-home friendliness.

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Market Scene: Summer's in Full Swing at the Hollywood Farmers' Market

Did a double take when I saw that tomatoes were available at the Hollywood Farmers' Market! The reason is that here in Portland we have a Hollywood market as well and, in the northern Willamette Valley, while we've got plenty of berries and cherries right now, tomatoes are a ways off. Thanks for the glimpse of what's to come!

Healthy & Delicious: Blueberry Salsa

Great idea! Like Mary_Eats, blueberry season is in full swing here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, so this will be fantastic to have with salmon or chicken on the grill. I'd never had a fruit salsa before a friend brought a cherry salsa to a potluck dinner and it got raves. Thanks!

Grilling: Buffalo Wings

I'd avoided wings altogether, thinking they would be too complicated, until I realized (d'oh!) that all they are is baked or grilled wings that are tossed in a sauce. My neighbor made some amazing Asian chicken wings (and gave me the recipe) that have changed my life. Imagine how well these would go with an Asian-inflected pizza!

Healthy & Delicious: Black-Eyed Pea 'Caviar'

I am all about bean salads—and I don't mean that awful too-sweet three bean variety sold at most deli counters—for summer dining. Whether a nicoise with cannelini beans and oil-packed tuna or a black-and-white bean salad with a cumin vinaigrette, you can't beat 'em for ease of preparation and deliciousness. Thanks for pointing this out!

Another Portland restaurant succumbs

Indeed. I've received several comments on this on the blog, all lamenting the loss of a neighborhood place that really staked out new territory in the city.

Chef leaves Portland restaurant

As several people close to Anderson have said, it's a young chef's dream to get an opportunity like this.

Cook the Book: Rhubarb Cream Cheese Pie with Fresh Strawberries

I try to freeze at least 15 lbs. each spring just to have enough to last through the winter! Favorite recipes: rhubarb crisp and an olive oil cake with honey-roasted rhubarb. And I never, ever mix it with strawberries...that'd be like spray-painting a Lalique vase!

Serious Heat: Huntley Dent's Red Chile Sauce Recipe

I adapted my recipe for chile sauce from American Cooking: The Great West, part of the Time-Life Foods of the World series. Great with huevos rancheros, chili, enchiladas or, as you mention, for braising meats.

Barista in the Wild, Part 2: Roasting to Perfection

Portland, Oregon, may be cornering the market on small-batch, specialty coffee roasting. Even excluding our larger hometown roasters like Stumptown (that just opened an outlet in NYC), Kobos Co. and Portland Roasting, the city's microroasting community is going strong. Coffee's not just for staying awake any more!

Meat Lite: Bulgur 'Risotto' with Roasted Asparagus

Thanks for the suggestion! I've been experimenting with farro, the Italian name for emmer wheat, and it's great in a grain salad with pecorino. I'll have to substitute bulgur sometime!

Where to get fresh morels?

Practically daily at any of about 40 farmers' markets here in the Portland, Oregon, metro area! Or you can find great pickings only about 30 minutes away by car on the flanks of Mt. Hood!

Illustrated Guide to Steak Cuts, Plus Grilling Tips

I was surprised to find out, though I suppose I shouldn't have been, that the National Cattlemen's Beef Association recently spent $1.5 million on a 5-year study to, in the words of NY Times writer Kim Severson, "dig around in the carcass and find muscles that, when separated and sliced in a certain way, were tender and tasty enough to be sold as a steak or a roast." One example cited is the newly named "Denver steak" that, instead of being ground into hamburger and sold for $2.99 a pound, can be cooked like a steak and sold for $5.99 a pound.

Healthy & Delicious: Lighter Home Fries

My husband started using Spanish smoked paprika on our home fries a couple of years ago, and now we can't imagine having them without!

In Videos: Michael Pollan on 'The Colbert Report'

Unless I missed it, Pollan didn't actually take a drink. He sniffed it, then put it down. Smart guy.

Esquire Names The Best Bars in America

I can't believe the two bars they listed for Portland, Oregon, included Jimmy Mak's (great jazz but lousy drinks). The other was Clyde Common, a terrific restaurant with good cocktails, but nowhere near Secret Society, Teardrop Lounge or Ten-01. Obviously the compiler only talked with some flak rather than actually coming here and trying them out. Egad.

Making Paprika at Home

Hank rocks! His blog is not only incredibly informative, it's subject is one of the more unusual among food blogs. He shoots/hunts/grows everything he features and has detailed instructions on preparation. Plus it's fun to read. It's a 10!

Serious Green: Saving Energy By Using The Microwave

I was a late comer to the microwave (not crunchy enough for this gal) but can't do without it now. Barbara Kafka's classic "Microwave Gourmet" is high on my list of must-have cookbooks. Scoff if you will, but her recipe for microwave risotto is indistinguishable from the stirred (and stirred and stirred and...) version!

Weekend Cook and Tell: 'Off-cuts' of Meat

We're going to be doing some hearty hunks of flesh in the smoker this weekend, one for my brother's 50th and one just for us. The cut is a brisket (weighing in at just over $4/lb.), which we've done before, and our source here in Portland being the temple to all things meaty, Gartner's Country Meats. I'll report back on the results!

Salmonella Found in Raw Alfalfa Sprouts

Thanks, CJ, for making that point! Once again, like the pistachio and peanut contamination, it's not the food itself but the processing that's the problem. Here's a link on how to sprout seeds at home.

Cook the Book: Choucroute

Choucroute is my favorite braised dish ever! We had it while traveling in Alsace many years ago and have made it at least a couple of times a year since, using the Cooking of Provincial France book from the Time-Life Foods of the World series.

First, you don't need duck legs...they're expensive and unnecessary. Substitute bone-in chicken thighs (leave the bone in for extra flavor), slices of smoked ham or plain or smoked pork chops.

Second, drain the sauerkraut well and rinse in several changes of water, squeezing out as much liquid as possible each rinsing to get rid of the vinegar taste. You can then braise it in half chicken stock, half wine or all stock and the sauerkraut will be mild and slightly sweet. So delicious!

Snapshots from Italy: The Mother Of All Carrots

I seem to have caught carrot fever, too...I just planted three varieties in my raised beds last weekend, an orange (Parmex), a red (Atomic Red) and a purple (Purple Haze). Can't wait!

Cooking with a Friend: Seasonal Produce and a Family Soup

I don't know if it's in season where you are, but we've had some terrific rapini showing up in our markets. Jealous that you've already got favas...can't wait! Yum!

Cooking Lamb Shoulder

I've adored this cut since my friend Michel shared her incredible braised lamb recipe (after, I hate to admit, a bunch of pathetic pleading) with me. Great suggestion for Easter! Thanks!

Serious Cheese: Mt. Townsend Creamery's Seastack

These guys not only make fabulous cheeses but are truly nice folks. I was fortunate enough to meet Will O'Donnell when he taught a cheese class at our local cheese shop. The next best thing to meeting such a sincere, dedicated artisan was tasting his wares!


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