Saturday, August 1, 2015
I had a jar of left over pickled blueberries and didn't want them to go to waste cause I can only drink so many of those Pickled Blueberry and Mint Tom Collins! I thought I should try baking them in to a coffee cake. It turned out great and I also found that the cake tasted better after letting it set out over night. There's was less "pickle" and more blueberry taste and so here's the recipe:
Pickled Blueberry Coffee Cake
Preheat oven to 350F and tuck some parchment paper in to a square 8x8 baking pan.
You'll need for the CAKE:
1-1/4 c flour
1-1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 c butter at room temp and I always use unsalted when baking
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 c milk
1/4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
2 T cold butter
1/3 c chopped walnuts
1 c left over Pickled Blueberries or you can use fresh or thawed frozen
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In your mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth for about 1-2 min. Add the egg and vanilla and beat till smooth again. On a lower speed, beat in dry ingredients alternately with milk, starting and ending with dry ingredients, until blended. Just a note here… I actually cut the milk in half and used some of the pickled blueberry juice as liquid. Also note that if you do this, the cake part of the coffee cake will be a little purple or blueberryish which is fine.
For the topping, in a small bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry blender or fork until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the nuts.
Spread the batter in the prepped pan. Pour or sprinkle the 1 c Pickled Blueberries if that's what you are using, over the batter. Sprinkle topping over that and bake about 45 to 50 min or until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean.
For the best flavor, let cool, remove from pan and wrap loosely in saran and let sit on the counter over night or for at least several hours. I tried it straight from the oven and then a while later but the best flavor came from letting it sit over night.
The basic recipe here came from The Big Book of Breakfast by local author, Maryana Vollstedt complete with my changes to make it with those leftover pickled blueberries!
It's been a hot summer in the Pacific Northwest but it hasn't stopped me from baking. I have enjoyed making the pickled blueberry recipe found on link at the top of this story and I've enjoyed baking with berries and other goodies I receive in my weekly CSA box. Please let me know if you bake this coffee cake and if you have any variations, let me know that too! Happy Baking!!
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Following a favorite bar/restaurant on Instagram, got me going when I saw that they made a cocktail with pickled blueberries. You might know the place… Old Salt Marketplace on NE 42nd Ave. not too far from where I live. So, instead of heading over, I decided I'd try to make this one at home. I did promise however, to head over soon to check out their version.
I got an over flowing pint of fresh blueberries in our CSA box a few weeks ago so it made sense to begin the picking process. You'll find the recipe below but I have to tell you first… I halved the recipe using only that one pint and I change pretty much every recipe I touch so just an FYI, I didn't can these once I was done, I just poured them into a jar and put them in the fridge. I have learned how to can but decided I don't want to begin without all the right equipment and plus, I didn't expect them to last very long.
The Tom Collins recipe is from the old Mr. Boston Cocktail book and I haven't changed it much at all but this is my version: Put 2 oz. good gin into a shaker or in my case, a glass jar. Add lemon juice from half a lemon, 1 teas. powdered sugar and a bunch of ice. Put the lid on and shake well. Using a cocktail strainer, pour the contents in to a glass that has had 1 tablespoon of these pickled blueberries added to the bottom. Add ice and one mint leaf and fill with club soda! I used an 8 or a 12 oz. glass to make mine last week but use whatever you want.
Besides using the pickled blueberries for this cocktail, I have added them to oatmeal for breakfast, topped strawberry shortcake with them and plan to bake something with the remainder unless of course more cocktails get made.
Have fun making the pickled blueberries and this cocktail! Summer will be over before we know it and as I say this, it's raining and cold outside my window. But… it's supposed to hit the 90's again by mid-week. Stay cool friends!
Catherine's Pickled Blueberries Recipe:
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Goodbye to the lawn and say hello to an interesting and creative outdoor space at your home!… From California to Oregon!
I loved this article complete with photos from Houzz.com. It hit me in particular because I was born and raised in California and moved here to Oregon almost eight years ago. Since then I have noticed the warmer winters, the dryer weather and have been able to count on one hand how many times I have worn my "heavy" coat over the past two years. Kind of scary but it's the real deal. It's what's to come and so we learn to deal with it. I keep telling myself that one big reason I moved to Oregon was because of the cooler wet weather. I hate hot summers but have learned to accept that changes that are coming.
|Forgotten finds late last winter!|
One of the things we had decided when purchasing our new home last year here in Portland was that we'd have no lawn. No grass to mow, no mower to maintain or edger to keep sharp. We paid someone to till the soil just to loosen it up a bit and we smoothed it out and added chunky bark and some dust as well to areas we may want to plant in someday. A three-in-one soil was tilled in as well before the bark went down so quite literally our entire yard, front and back is garden ready.
From there we have planted three trees and I've been told… no more trees please by you know who;)! Our yard is smallish so I tried to keep to the spruces but the ornamental type. One Paper Bark Maple to balance out the house and the front yard and I'm done with trees, for now. There were already two Japanese Maples out front so those stayed as well. I wanted a raised garden so we got these two tubs leveled and filled with rock and soil and for the second year in a row, I have a flourishing garden pouring from them. You'll see those pics and descriptions in my next story but I have to say, I love container gardening!
We have built one more raised bed out of wood and I think that's how we will do the rest. I love neat and tidy and the wood bins are all so straight, it's easy to keep a garden in line. Right now we have corn growing in a small bin and I really love the containment of it. And, since we tilled and laid bark and dust, the weeds, which are few by the way are easy to yank out. I also have many potted veggies and flowers around as they are easier to keep from going crazy as well and with less watering I might add.
|Off season in my container gardens!|
We are still working on this yard front and back but we have made a huge dent and are happy so far with our planting choices over the past year. Whether here or in California, this garden and yard would flourish on very little water and that makes us feel good about our choices.
I would love to hear about how you have cut back on water use and what types of plants you have planted to keep things native. Just leave your ideas and story in the "comments!"
My next story will be about the details of my garden and our plantings. Some tips on starting a garden from seed, when to plant trees and larger foliage and how to maintain a garden throughout the year!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
|Food Truck on NE 42nd next to Pollo Norte!|
Last week before I left for Texas, we finally got over to Pollo Norte and the Kim Jong Grillin food truck on NE 42nd. You know about my list right?… it grows and then shrinks but then grows again because quite frankly, I live in the best place in the world for food! With restaurants and food carts/trucks everywhere in my city, I have tons of choices every day. Lately, I've been taking in my neighborhood here on the east side and finding out that a lot of people seem to think that this is where the best food in Portland is found. I'll have to agree a bit with them but seriously, if you are in Portland, there is delicious food to be found in every neighborhood, in every nook and on every street! There is no neighborhood untouched by good food!
|Bibim Box! It's vegetarian!|
I sent folks in to Pollo Norte to get orders in while I trekked over to check out the Kim Jung Grillin food truck. Upon recommendation, I ordered the Bibim box with this egg and other veggies including kimchi! I didn't know if I really liked kimchi or not because I have been kind of afraid to try it but let's just say, this whole box was filled with flavors I cannot properly describe! The rice was perfect and a little fried/crunchy which I loved as well as all the veggies were prepared perfectly for my taste. I also got another box of deliciousness to share at the table and it was devoured before I could get a decent photo. This along with the chicken, rice and beans from Pollo Norte combined with our beers, was the best dinner I'd had all week!
|Table outside of Pollo Norte filled with good food!|
I've been head long in to food for most of my life, surrounded by it, and immersed in it and for the past 8 years, it has consumed my life. I have started food tours in other cities that are still running I might add, I have written and photographed food and drink as well as tasted and swooned over many delicious bites all over Oregon and beyond. I have to say that there is no doubt I live in the best place to keep these awesome experiences coming by the droves. It's because of chefs and folks in the business working hard to be the best of the best while admiring the others that do the same jobs, I have this to live for and share. I have never seen a food city like this one. To each their own but to share and collaborate and support is even better. This seems to be the mantra here in Portland by every chef, every purveyor of delicious food and drink and it makes for an interesting place to just be.
Thanks to Pollo Norte for being in my neighborhood and thanks to Kim Jong Grillin for parking your truck next door! Looking forward to seeing this area grow with many more new additions to add to my big plate!
|The guys at Pollo Norte!|
|Handmade tortilla filled with good stuff!|
Note: I highly recommend Pollo Norte and Kim Jong Grillin on NE 42nd Ave.!
Thursday, July 9, 2015
|Popcorn snack with tōgarashi, honey and butter with a Heater Allen Pilsner!|
I recall the first time we went for dinner at Clyde Common. It was a few years ago and my husband still talks about the chicken he ate. He still believes it was the best he ever had. Fast forward a few years and there's a new chef in town that seems to have the right combo in creating even more amazing dishes in the kitchen of Clyde Common.
Meet Carlo Lamagna, Executive Chef at Clyde Common right next to the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland Oregon. Influenced by food from all over the world, Chef Carlo's past sounds a bit like any child growing up in house where everyone is a good cook. However, his home was in the Philippines where he grew up and eventually his skills expanded from there to many areas of the country as well as the world. So, it's not surprising to me that some of the flavors I enjoyed at Clyde Common yesterday at lunchtime not only piqued my interest in a big way, they brought out the essence that I think is a major part of what each chef needs to share in his or her own cooking. A personal laying on hands so to speak and something that says, this isn't just your typical dish sitting here. To be special, one must exude the confidence to do things a little different while offering the familiar as well. For example, the popcorn starter yesterday was seasoned with tōgarashi, honey and butter. Those flavors were amazing together and washed down nicely with a local pilsner I might add. This is just one simply amazing little snack that made my day and made me wish I could find a corner and hide with a vat of that popcorn and perhaps a little more beer to sip and enjoy.
|Clyde and Olympia Provisions Charcuterie!|
notes: Clyde Common is located next to the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland. This perfect location allows for an awesome lunch, cocktail, happy hour and/or supper next time you are nearby or even for brunch on the wknds. Just an FYI… I love the dining room however, the upstairs loft is cool and a bit more intimate if that's what you're looking for. And… thanks again to Little Green Pickle for the invite.
|Executive Chef Carlo Lamagna!|
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
We have friends we travel with and this year so far, we have stayed with them in Zion NP and now Glacier NP this past week! They have a goal to stay in as many National Park Lodges as possible and since we travel so well together, we love to tag along. It's rare you know to have traveling companions that actually like being together but this works for all four of us. We enjoy the same foods, the breaks needed along the route are almost perfectly timed and just hanging out with people you love is easy and fun as it should be!
We were gone for 6 days and along our drive from Portland to Glacier NP in Montana, we spent one night in Spokane, WA. I have been through this area several times when traveling up to where my parents used to live in Sandpoint, ID. In fact, we still own an acre there so went there the next morning. But, back to Spokane… it's an interesting city. Not sure what the draw is and the work done there but the downtown is pretty sweet. Lots of old buildings that have been restored and a great hotel called The Davenport is gorgeous! We had a light breakfast with coffee at this sweet coffee house called Atticus the morning we departed for Glacier. It was darling and I wish it was near me here in Portland! I love finding these places on our travels.
On the road again that led us through Sandpoint, Idaho. My parents lived in the woods for over 20 years nearby and we were tempted to find their old place but I really wanted to see our property since it had been 7 years ago that we drove up to check it out. Our acre we invested in years ago is still gorgeous but it'll just sit there till it sells as we plan to remain in Oregon forever!
We got to Glacier and checked in to our lodge and relaxed till dinner. The hot summer days were upon us and even though they are unusually hot right now, we had a nice breeze in our lodge room so we were comfy and enjoyed the evening. With our view of Lake McDonald, we had the best room in the lodge as far as I was concerned! Breeze blowing and taking the curtains with it, our room was cooling down and we were lulled asleep by the wind and the rushing river in to the lake nearby.
The next day, we explored the lodge and the area around Lake McDonald by taking a boat tour. It lasted an hour and was a perfect way to learn about this area by an 87 year old Ranger who had not only grown up near Glacier NP, he has worked there for over 45 years! Rusty, slow and with that deep old man voice, we learned things about this area we never knew. He was filled with antidotes and stories that made us laugh and appreciate him and his time here. After that boat tour, we would see him around the lodge and at other stops in the park and kind of revered him as we respected his knowledge and lifetime in this gorgeous place.
One of the enjoyable trips we trekked out on was The Going to the Sun Road! It was hotter than heck but we poured sun screen on ourselves, grabbed as much water as possible and tootled around in a vintage red bus with our tour guide Rod! Top rolled up most of the time, the sun beating down, we again were taught so much about this NP. We could see the mountains, a few glaciers and the results of them melting over thousands of years. Those results left mountains and formed new ones as well as gullies and "U" shaped valleys that are now filled with trees, foliage, animals, hiking trails, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and some pretty gorgeous photo opportunities!
The ride lasted most of the day and we stopped and took a lot of pictures along the way and enjoyed it immensely. At the end of the day, it was time to go back to our lodge and rest up for the next trek which was to be Canada!
Taking the same road, we meandered in to areas we saw the day before but we went farther this time. In to Canada and the attached NP there, we drove though similar places filled again with some glaciers and foliage and more scenic views. We made it to the Prince of Wales Hotel and enjoyed lunch and the views from there for a while before heading to the village of Waterton seen from the windows of the hotel. Quaint and busy, the village is hopping with visitors like us and there's tons of lodging options there and so with lake activity nearby and the views, this may make the list for our next trip up that way!
|Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton!|
|Big Horned Sheep grazing in a meadow!|
|Black Bear crossing the road!|
So, that was our trip in a nutshell. I suggest you make a trip to Glacier NP sometime. It's totally worth the drive and be sure to plan on spending some time on the Canadian side. It's all pretty gorgeous and we learned so much and we also had a lot of time in the evenings to sit out by Lake McDonald drinking beer, watching the sunset and laughing with friends. What a fun trip and until we go on to our next adventure… see you then!
Thursday, June 25, 2015
|Stromboli at Muddy Rudder in Sellwood… love this place!|
Hope you get a chance to hit some of my favorites and please note: these are my personal notes, my views and be sure to find me on Yelp for more ratings and info and photos of my food of course! Enjoy and go eat, drink and be merry!
I won’t mention little places I’ve been to over and over again for ice cream such as Salt & Straw and some places for coffee, etc. unless they are outstanding of course. And, if you see a *... it’s because it’s either new to me or the first time I’ve had food there… some places I frequent: Barista on Alberta St., The Tea Bar on Killingsworth, Salt & Straw, Eb and Bean, Baker and Spice in Hillsdale, Cheese and Crack, etc…...
Been To: Since mid March!
*Bamboo Izakaya-now a sushi place on Alberta. Food was good and cocktails... delicious but I don’t like sushi so I prob won’t go back.
Lucky Lab-only had beer but food looked and sounded good and had the grilled cheese before once with salsa in it and it was delicious!
Meat Chz Bread-Ray liked his chicken salad sandwich and I had the fall Panzanella which is good but I find that I pick the greens and the croutons out and leave the squash. It’s a bit chewy is all but tasty.
*Woodblock- nice tour and chocolate good for dark choc lovers.
*Bang Bang-delicious curry bowls. Lots of flavor. Smallish place. I had Paenang and yes, I’d go back!
*The Brooklyn Park Pub-just beer. Smelled like greasy food inside so I prob won’t go back.
*Red Pig Garden Tools-neat place in Boring, OR. Everyone needs to go!
*Jonsrud View Point-view of the Sandy River Canyon and it’s gorgeous and a must see!
*The Conquistador Lounge on Belmont. Food ok and Margarita was great. All vegetarian and great for Vegans too!!!
The Knock Back. Great bar food for our first time to eat there. Hubby had the dirty popcorn which he loved and I had a veggie slider that had great flavors! Lovely Tom Collins!! This is a cool bar in the summer when the evenings are cool. Order and watch the bartender make your cocktail and sit by the fire to enjoy it.
Blue Goat in Amity. Had sunchoke soup. Delicious and a must go to anyone in that area of the Willamette Valley!
La Sirenitas Alberta St... as always, decent Mexican food, cheap!
*Boxer Ramen... Good flavor but music was screaming loud and so I won’t be back.
*Farina Bakery on Hawthorne... so sweet and clean and cute. Had a savory scone and one Macarone... orange cardamom. Steven had a savory galette and a little fruit thingy. She sent us home with a goodie bag since they were officially closed. Owner is young and one of those bakers that started baking from her apt. Love stories like that!
The Old Gold.. went a while ago for Whiskey 101 but had food and beer there this time. Had a grilled cheese and it was ok. Fries are coated. This is a noisy but fun happy hour place and prices are great. Great whiskey selection so we’ll be back over and over again!
*Cup and Bar on MLK... just for coffee but oh man. Take Ray asap. Next time I’m having the Dirty Charlie!
*Ville Velo Bake Shop at Prescott and NE 15th Ave. So sweet and they’ve only been open about a month. Today is 4-28-15 I had a lemon berry scone and I brought home a cookie for Ray. They have everything right there so you can pick what you want. I was on a walk and ate the scone walking home. Good at the time but disappointed when I got home and had already ate my scone. Dang it! Reminds me of a smallish cake shop in an English village I’ve been to.
Stella Taco and I loved the margarita and vegan molé taco! Lots of flavor in there!
*Garden Bar in the Pearl... just a salad but a good one.
Pip’s and as always.. perfect! Loved the seasonal strawberry rhubarb doughnut!
*Jade in Sellwood for macarone’s and a chocolate chip cookie... so good and cheap! Can’t wait to try lunch or dinner there.
Bye and Bye for chili frito pie! Yumeeee! On May 4, 2015
Milk Glass Market for breakfast on Sat. May 2, 2015. I had an Oatmeal pudding thingy and an apple butter scone that was delicious. Ray, Steven and Ann had a breakfast sandwich that they really liked too.
Opa in Sellwood for their calazones... so good as always!
*Upright Brewing.. so fun and good beer and thanks to Jacko, we love this place!
Ex Novo again because I love it! Highly recommend it!
Liberty Glass.. my fav and took mom and dad and they shared the Date Cake and loved it!
Back To Eden.. as always, so good if you want Vegan sweets!
*Taco Pedaler on Broadway... good little tacos and cute little place. It will do well and I’ll go back again!
*Eisenhower Bagels inside Pinky’s on Interstate. I want to go back for breakfast there but I brought home three salt bagels that were delicious boiled bagels. They were real!
*Migration Brewing for a beer. It was ok but has this weird smell that a lot of places with concrete floors have. It needs to be power washed? Great for the neighborhood and love the patio! They have new outdoor seating available and it’s super nice out there.
*The Fireside on NW 23rd for a grilled cheese and fries and a cocktail which was yummy. I’d go back.
*Portland Mercado for food truck food and it was good with the Barrio, a bar inside. Took home some Chicken to cook for Burritos. The carts are cute and clean and I love all of it!
*Belmont Station for beer... bought some to bring home. Great idea with lots of beer to chose from. I’ll be back over and over again.
*Costello’s Travel Cafe... went a few weeks ago for coffee and it was cute and busy. Went today for a waffle and it was ok. I’d go back for lunch. Interesting place.
All-Way... my first time to the downtown location. So freaking good! Went back a few weeks ago on a Sunday evening and even though it was still good, my bun wasn’t toasted or grilled and that makes a huge taste difference.
*Buttercraft... very cute but would like to see them offer more. They are super new so I’m sure they’ll grow. Tried some butter but not a fan of eating it off a spoon. Would suggest a plain cracker or piece of bread for sampling. Took some strawberry butter home. Haven’t tried it yet but son did on toast and loved it!
Dar Salam... had the falafel sandwich and it was amazingly delicious!
*Culmination Brewing for beer only.. good but would like it colder.
Milk Glass Market... Apricot Scone and oatmeal pudding... yum! Would like if they would let me order that scone and two scrambled eggs but I was told, there are absolutely no substitutions or changes to the menu. I get that but how hard is it to scramble two eggs??
*Creo Chocolate... I had a coconut brownie that was delicious and Ray loved his chocolate nib brownie. I took a few candy bars to SoCal for family.
*Ringside... they boast of their onion rings. It’s the dressings that are good! Had a veggie platter... eh. Ray loved his steak though. Will save this place for celebrations.
*Teote.. omgeee.. So good! I had the veggie bowl and loved it and loved the plantains and the corn cake was perfect. The best guac in the city! Will go back!
Prost... just for beer and it was good as always! BTW... their pretzels are amazing!
*Thai Noon on Alberta St... just ok flavors. Kind of hot and there’s so many places like this so it’s hard to say which is best.
Went back to All-Way downtown and my burger wasn’t as good this time. I think they need to be more consistent? Anyways, it was good but I was taking a tried and true burger lover that adores In & Out and this time just didn’t do it. I think the first time I went to this location, the bun was toasted or put on the grill to toast and this last time it wasn’t. It really makes a difference.
Miss Zumstein’s... so good! Love their bran muffins and son loves their muffin tin doughnuts but they don’t make them very often.
Base Camp just for beer... it was good! Had the wit!
Solstice in Hood River... had the S’mores dessert before pizza and it was delicious! The pizza was amazing too! Love this place. Had a cocktail called the Farmer’s Daughter.
Arleta Library Cafe... delicious as always! Raspberry Coffee Cake this time but I wish they would switch coffee and quit using Stumptown.
*Red Wagon Creamery Ice Cream at an event for Little Green Pickle. It was pretty darn good ice cream!
Stella Taco... had the Fried Avocado Taco and the Street Corn. Both amazing but the corn... OMG... hope they have this all summer long! The ice blending margarita was so good but man, there’s a lot of tequila in those suckers. Barely made it walking home and I only live a few blocks away!
*Angel Face Bar... super cute, service was fine and cocktails were ok. Desserts could be better. I have ideas cause they didn’t seem to be housemade. Seemed frozen and thawed.
Muddy Rudder... always a favorite with the best stomboli in town and a great bar period! For the locals but it’s welcoming to everyone and so we go now and then. One of my top favorites in town.
Autentica.... first time for dinner. First thing I noticed was the menu was not long as far as entrees go and the prices seemed steep but, the food is outstanding and filled with flavors with just the right texture. I had the only “no meat” option on the entree menu and again, delicious. Others had goat, beef and loved it! The tortillas are soft warm and just made along with the guacamolé and the margaritas, this place is perfect!
*Cruise In Diner... it was a cute place and in the middle of nowhere. We have malts and burgers and it was ok. It was pretty packed but we found a place to sit on the patio. It was nice and warm and we could see vineyards etc. from there. I’d go back.
*Stammtisch’s... a German sister to Prost with a bigger menu! Great beer selection and love the menu! Not totally packed with items it’s truly perfect with a little of everything you need to say you ate authentic German food. Had some potato pancakes with applesauce, frites, asparagus with hollindase sausce, a warm soft pretzel with German hot mustard and hubby had schnitzel and boiled potatoes. Everyone love it. Nice sized restaurant with some outdoor sidewalk seating too.
Gigi’s in Hillsdale... second time out and had the angel food waffle with syrup and some eggs. Steven had the Monte Cristo on a waffle. Delicious.. all of it!
Baker and Spice... got Ray a chocolate crackle and chocolate chip cookie and Steven picked up some goodies too. All of it so good. Some day I’ll go for breakfast again.
Autentica for brunch... again. Delicious and their patio has been redone is so cute and comfy. On Fr’s day.
Radio Room... go here for meetings once in while. Always get the grilled Margarita cheese sandwich and soup. Always good!
*1856 is a bottle room on Prescott and NE 15th near Grain & Gristle. Love this little shop. Went in yesterday for a cold beer and they have a lot to chose from to drink there and/or take home.
|Solstice in Hood River… the S'Mores Dessert!|
|Eb and Bean on Broadway!|
|Baker and Spice.. next to Gigi's in Hillsdale!|
Here's the link to my earlier list this year… from January to March 2015: http://whitebreadandjam.blogspot.com/2015/03/my-oregon-dining-experiences-quarterly.html
|1856 on Prescott and NE 15th Ave.|