Book Launch Party Thursday, July 1st, 6-9pm

May 27th, 2010

Come to my book launch party at Fortune Tattoo! (photo courtesy of Sarah Law

My boyfriend Tyler Adams and his business partner Ms. Mikki opened Fortune Tattoo at 1716 E Burnside, in Portland, on April 1st of this year. No fooling! The shop has been doing great and they don’t even have a sign up yet. Stop by and say hello if you’re in the neighborhood. You can grab some wings at Fire on the Mountain or an gyro at Foti’s — both are Fortune Tattoo neighbors — while you’re at it.

((ATTENTION: My boyfriend, Tyler Adams, no longer co-owns Fortune Tattoo. Visit his North Portland shop — Grizzly Tattoo — which opened June, 2011! For more info. visit, 503.265.8146. Grrrrrrrizzly!))

I’m happy to announce that my book launch party for Food Lover’s Guide to Portland will be at Fortune Tattoo on Thursday, July 1st from 6-9pm. Come one, come all for food, drinks, music and more.

The kiwi tattoo I got from my man at Fortune Tattoo. His first tattoo in the new shop.

It’s going to be a huge party with food and drink from a whole bunch of generous local folks featured in the book including Captured By Porches Brewing Company, Newman’s Fish Company, Cheese Bar, Pix Patisserie, Cork, Laurelhurst Market, Xocolatl de David, Hot Lips Soda, and more.

Help me fill this space. The more the merrier! (photo courtesy of Sarah Law

If you, or the business that you work for, are in the book and want to make a food and drink donation to the party please be in touch. There will also be a very exciting prize that we’re going to give away during the party to a lucky book buyer. More details soon…

Where I hope you'll be on the evening of July 1st. (photo courtesy of Sarah Law

Book launch party Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
Fortune Tattoo, 1716 E Burnside, Portland, OR
Thursday, July 1st 6-9pm
Food, drink, music, books

Check out more of Sarah Law’s excellent photography:

Yard Fresh Pt. 4

May 24th, 2010

Spring bounty -- nettles, tatsoi, garlic and chive blossoms all from the yard.

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these Yard Fresh posts and it’s not because I haven’t been eating well or from the garden — I assure you that that is rarely the case. Even when I’m sick I manage to enjoy food, especially homegrown food. I just haven’t gotten around to posting about it. It’s easy to snap photos though and I often do when we turn out something tasty.

Yard fresh is somewhat of a stretch with a couple of these but in every food and drink below some part of the equation is homegrown. This spring we’ve been enjoying a lot of greenstatsoi, spinach and nettles — along with fresh herbs, chive blossoms, sorrel and more.

One food in the garden that I’m really excited about are the honeyberries that I bought from One Green World and planted last year. They’re already bigger than blueberries and still have some growing and ripening to do. One Green World Nursery is one of my favorite local nurseries by the way. It’s a bit of a trek but if you haven’t been I highly recommend heading there. Anyhow, here’s are some of the good eats in my good life lately…

Pulled pork, sorrel and homemade spicy garlic dill sliders.

Pulled pork, Marsee bun and sauteed tatsoi.

Lentil curry with nettles and artichoke hearts.

Soy chorizo nettle scramble with Di Prima Dolci ciabatta.

Chicken, cabbage, spinach and rice soup.

Five gallons of homemade hard cider bottled with the final jump of sugar.

Happy cooking & happy eating!

Yard Fresh Pt. 1
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 3

Boozy Brunch with din din

May 21st, 2010

Rock me Amadeus. Bring a wig to din din's brunch and booze. (Image courtesy of Tim Gunther)

I get so many press releases that I’ve gotten good at speed reading them. Rarely do I spend more than a minute on one but the press release that I got from din din last week kept me rapt for, well, three minutes. That says a lot and it’s the reason why I’m sharing the details it divulged here. The photo above is of the lovely din din ladies which you can read more about here.

Since the press release rocked, I’m sharing it here verbatim:

Americans like something we call “breakfast for dinner,” but I’ve always been a “dinner for breakfast” kind of girl. There’s something very elegant and effortless about a perfectly poached farm egg on top of last night’s dinner.

My affinity for brunch landed me a stint at Matchbox Lounge as brunch chef, and one Sunday a while back we were lucky enough to host the final stop of the House Spirits Brunch Series. While I was poaching eggs, the House Spirits boys slipped me a sip of what was, at the time, the unreleased MARTEAU absinthe. I was sold. Brunch and spirits.

Since then, the craft distilleries of the Hawthorne area have banded together as Distillery Row. They all work from the ethic of producing the very best of what they do locally, and they get that it makes sense to collaborate. I’m honored to be able to collaborate with them for this brunch series.

So we present six brunches, Saturday & Sunday the last three weeks of May. din din coursed brunch with cocktail pairings by Distillery Row. $35 + gratuity. Coffee by beloved heart. Columbia Gorge juices. At my stomping grounds, Milepost 5*, 900 NE 81st Ave. 11am. rezzo details below.

These are the menus, loosely:

((Sorry about your luck…))
Saturday & Sunday, May 15th & 16th
New Deal Distillery

deep-fried asparagus and steamed oyster with coppa and Piment d’Espelette
New Deal’s house bloody mary with Hot Monkey Spicy Vodka

squash brioche tart with foraged ramps
Princess of Whales (New Deal Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka, aquavit, and Madeira topped with bubbly)

poached duck egg with braised short rib, sorrel salsa verde, and soft polenta
The Rhubarb Bloom (rhubarb simple syrup, mint, lime, and gin)

soufléed sweet omelette with New Deal Mudpuddle Vodka hazelnut cake
The David Bowie (New Deal Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka, bourbon, and orange)

Saturday & Sunday May 22nd & 23rd
Highballl Distillery (cocktail pairings TBA)

brioche toast with french breakfast radish, french butter, and fleur de sel

Odessa Blue cheese custard with dressed Weppler Farms greens

french style omelette with stinging nettle pesto, oven-dried tomatoes, and fried potatoes

Elemental Vanilla Espresso Vodka panna cotta with Phelps Creek Pinot Noir-macerated strawberries

Saturday & Sunday May 29th & 30th
House Spirits Distillery (cocktail pairings TBA)

Roquefort toast with soft-boiled egg

crespiau: a cake of paper-thin omelettes layered with herbed black olive tapenade and fennel tomato sauce

tuna with chartreuse lettuce sauce and potato salad

marmalade and orange flower water shortbread tart

to make your rezzo:

send a check for $35/person to:
Courtney Sproule
900 NE 81st Ave #114
Portland, OR 97213


the dates you want to come
the names of those in your party (or at least a total number)
your phone number
your email
any notes you may have for us

As soon as we receive your payment/rezzo, we’ll confirm with you that we did receive it.

We can credit or refund you up to two weeks prior to the din din. If a conflict arises less than two weeks from the dinner, you’re welcome (and encouraged!) to send someone else in your place.

*Milepost 5 is an intentional community of live/work spaces designed for artists and creatives located in Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood.

din din

Buy No Seeds Year

May 17th, 2010

No stalking the seed aisle this year...

It’s buy no seeds year for me and if you know me you realize how difficult that is. One of my favorite things to do in the spring is flip through the Territorial Seed Company catalogue ticking and dog-earing delicious looking and sounding seeds, wandering the seed aisles at local nurseries, and choosing tiny parcels of seeds to carry me through the growing season.

I love reading the packets — the tiny but taste-filled descriptions of tomatoes, the short and concise growing recommendations, the drawings or photos of the plants and fruits. I love the names — Armenian cucumbers, tigerella tomatoes, sweet sugar snaps, red meat radish.

But there comes a time to clean out the long forgotten stores. To reach for that satchel filled with old seed packets (some are more than five years old) in the utility room and make do with what’s inside. It’s the same in the kitchen — working through the stores, the frozen containers, jars in the back of the cupboard, tins on the highest shelf so I can start afresh. Some packets only have a few seeds remaining and never get used — I’m planting all of those remainders this year.

So far buy no seeds spring has been somewhat successful. Most of the tomatoes have come up in the seed trays, all of the cukes, the green beans haven’t sprouted yet in the backyard but I’m pretty sure they will. The poppies and nasturtiums look small and unhappy and only a few of the spinach seeds germinated but those are the only ones that have been weak and truth be told they were all kindergarten age. The sunflowers haven’t sprouted yet either but I still have hope. It’s crazy to think that all this was happening just a couple months ago.

I think once the summer sunshine sets in I’ll devote an area to random direct seeds. It’ll be the empty-all-remaining-packets mound. We’ll see what comes up. Last year was a very fruitful season, hopefully this year will be too.

Maybe I’ll even save some seeds this year. I always have the best of intentions but it never seems to happen. The best I’ve done is scatter dried seed pods directly in the ground, to wait through the winter and hopefully rise in the spring.

Go sow some seeds!

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland is a Book

May 13th, 2010

Coming soon to a bookstore or library near you.

Maybe you read it (or heard ads for it on the radio…) and maybe you didn’t but the March issue of Portland Monthly bore the same title as that of my forthcoming book that I’ve been researching and writing since fall 2008. I got a lot of calls and emails about this way back when so I thought I’d belatedly set the record straight here. Yes, they used the name of my book on their cover, in their advertising campaign, and for a feature without consulting me or my publishing house. No, I’m not included in the issue.

Moving right along to the sunny side I’d like to acknowledge some books about Portland food and drink that have inspired me. The books in the photo below are great and I’ve learned a lot from them even though they’re a little dusty.

Portland food books

Another book that helped my own book along was Katy Calcott’s Food Lover’s Guide to Seattle. I love her book and I had wanted to write a book like hers about Portland food and drink culture for a while. Finally, I wised up and thought why not ask Sasquatch Books to publish mine? Before signing the contract to write Food Lover’s Guide to Portland I got to talk with Katy about her experience researching and writing Food Lover’s Guide to Seattle. She gave me some great advice that kept me sane.

There are loads of other fantastic books lining my shelves that inspired me as I researched and wrote Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — most importantly Patricia Wells’ The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris, and Patricia Unterman’s San Francisco Food Lover’s Guide. These are both fantastic books and if you pack them in a travel bag I doubt you’ll regret it despite the fact that they’re both pretty hefty.

As far as size goes I’m guessing my book weigh in at about a pound on it’s pub. date of July 1st. More details soon on my open-to-the-public book launch party…

Pre-order THE BOOK Food Lover’s Guide to Portland from:
Powell’s Books
Barnes & Noble

If you’re a bookstore and you want to order books:

If you’re a non-trade business and you want to order books:
Sasquatch Books

Portland Food Co-ops’ Local Farm Event June 6th

May 10th, 2010

Strike a pose. Mustard Seed Farms.

Portland has great food cooperatives and on Sunday, June 6th all three of them are joining forces for a day-long local farm tour — Alberta Cooperative Grocery, Food Front Cooperative Grocery, and People’s Food Co-op.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for youth below 14 years old, and low income tickets are available. Ticket price includes: lunch, wine tasting admission, bus transportation, entrance into raffles, drinks and snacks. To register, contact your nearest co-op for details.

From the press release:


On June 6th, the three Portland food co-ops will be joining together to offer a day long farm tour. Community members from Alberta Co-op, Food Front Co-op, and People’s Co-op will spend a relaxing day together in the rural farmlands of Oregon visiting two farms and a ciderworks.

Sunbow Farm

The farm tour will began with a visit to Sunbow Farm in Corvallis to meet “the father of organic farming”, Harry McCormack. MacCormack established Sunbow Farm in 1972 to be an organic market garden. The farm is now home to six greenhouses, several barns, a bath house, and the Institute of BioWisdom, an education center focused on building hands-on organic farming and life skills.

For lunch, Wandering Aengus Ciderworks will host the tour for a seasonal local meal and cider tasting on their 280 acres of land. Just outside Salem, Wandering Aengus grows organic apples that are crafted into cider using a low intervention technique that showcases the delicious taste of their heirloom apples. With Willamette Valley Cheese Company just across the road, tourers can also expect to be treated to a little cheese with their cider.

Wandering Aengus Ciderworks

The final stop will be at Mustard Seed Farms in St. Paul, where Farmer Brown and his wife Nancy will show off their diversified vegetable farm that supplies all three co-ops with beautiful, year-round nutrition. Known for their fall pumpkins, Mustard Seed Farms grows a large variety of organic produce, from lettuce in the spring to over-wintering cauliflower. By working with local communities and organizations, farmers David and Nancy Brown have been able to maintain what may seem impossible…a small working family farm.

About the Cooperatives:

All three co-ops are community-owned grocery stores focused on providing customers with high-quality organic local food. Alberta Cooperative Grocery at the intersection of 15th Ave. and Alberta St. was founded in 2001 and serves as a community resource and gathering place, while providing fresh, high-quality, affordable food to the diverse members of North and Northeast Portland.

People’s Food Co-op, located on SE 21st between Division and Powell, has been thriving since 1970 and will celebrate its 40th birthday this year. From cob walls to living rooftops, a weekly farmers market to relationships with over 50 farmers and producers, they are dedicated to nourishing the Portland community.

Food Front Co-op was founded in 1972 in NW Portland. It opened its second store in the Hillsdale neighborhood in 2008. Food Front treasures the relationships they’ve built with local farmers and food producers who provide them with the freshest and the finest.

Sunday, June 6th
All day local farm tour hosted by PDX food cooperatives

***Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for youth below 14 years old, and low income tickets are available. Ticket price includes: lunch, wine tasting admission, bus transportation, entrance into raffles, drinks and snacks. To register, contact your nearest co-op for details.***

The Sun Magazine — My Interview with Sandor Ellix Katz

May 6th, 2010

Meet my hero -- Sandor Ellix Katz.

In January 2009 I had the pleasure of flying to Nashville to interview my hero Sandor Ellix Katz for one of my favorite publications The Sun Magazine. It was a dream come true trip and now nearly a year and a half later the interview is in this month’s issue!

Sandor is an inspiration and he’s changed my life in many ways. I got a copy of his first book Wild Fermentation when it came out in 2003 just a few months after moving to Portland, Oregon. In the years since I’ve reached for that book on my kitchen bookshelf more times than I count. From it I’ve learned how to make sauerkraut, sour pickles, fruit wine, dandelion wine and much more. It’s my kind of book — lots of back to basics recipes, well researched culinary history and culture, and funny and insightful personal anecdotes. In other words, so much more than a straight-up cookbook.

When Sandor’s second book came out — The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved — I got my hands on it the week it released. More learning, more inspiration, more discoveries. I’ve written about Sandor and interviewed him many times and every time I feel all the wiser.

Meet my hero — Sandor Ellix Katz.

The Sun Magazine interview with Sandor Ellix Katz

I never thought this day would come...

Taste of the Nation Portland — Spring 2010

May 3rd, 2010

Nuestra Cocina rocked this year's Taste of the Nation...

Last week I got to attend my first Taste of the Nation here in Portland and I’ve been daydreaming about it ever since. I wrote about it on the blog a few times leading up to it because I was given two free tickets to give away in order to promote the 100% charitable event. Every bit of the proceeds from Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation go to local hunger relief agencies. How amazing is that?

When you hand in your ticket at the door — the event was at Luxe Autohaus on Northeast 17th — you get a little clear plastic food tray and wine glass to eat and drink from for the duration of the evening. I saw more than one person grabbing napkins to clean up their saucy trays as the night went on. I did once too when I didn’t have any bread to sop up one too many romescos.

I took a bunch of photos of food that I sampled during the three — yes three — hours of eating and drinking. (At least you walked a bit of it off while circling the tables.) There were 50 restaurants, 20 wineries and 5 breweries sampling food and drink. Mostly I drank pinot blanc, viognier and pinot noir from all sorts of local vineyards including Anne Amie Vineyards, Apolloni Vineyards, Lange Estate Winery and more. They poured tasters and sometimes when white followed red I’d have a blushed white.

In addition to incredible food and drink from Portland’s finest — and beyond PDX — there was live music, a silent auction, and even a magician although I never saw him. Maybe he had on his invisible cloak.

Here are some of the really good things I tried…

Nuestra Cocina's housemade tortillas...

Their chicarrones with salsa verde...

Don't touch my Nuestra Cocina barbacoa taco...

Firehouse rocked it too with meatballs and lamb sausage...

As did Autentica with its bay scallops on tortillas with green chile sauce...

It wasn't just memorable because it was one of the last things I ate at Taste. Bluehour's smoked pork sausage with frissee was awesome.

Tyler's favorite at Taste of the Nation from Jory at the Allison -- crispy pork belly, pickled ramps and truffle apple salad.

Get a little closer...

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation