I Love Powell’s Books

July 29th, 2010

The first time I saw my book in a store was at Powell's City of Books at the Orange Room info. desk. Next to the one and only!

And then I saw this -- the same day that I saw it displayed in Powell's City of Books windows!

I moved to Portland from Catalina Island in part because of Powell’s Books. I applied for a job at Powell’s Books for Home and Garden before I even got to town. Once I’d been here for a few weeks I interviewed at downtown’s Powell’s City of Books. I think you already know that I didn’t get either job but you probably don’t know how many times I’ve applied to work for Powell’s Books since. Neither do I — I’ve lost count.

I first heard of Powell’s as an undergrad. at Vassar College. I was a junior there when I bought my first book from Powell’s on the website. I was obsessed with Graham Joyce at the time and had to get my hands on a hard-to-find novella of his. Powell’s had it and I’ve been hooked on Powell’s since.

When I moved here in 2002 Powell’s was kind enough to give me a friend. Ingrid and I kept seeing each other at readings for weeks at the downtown Burnside location so one night I turned around and asked her if she wanted to move up a row and join me. We’re still friends.

Over the years I’ve been to so many amazing author readings at Powell’s Books ranging from Barry Lopez and Brian Froud to Dave Eggers, Nick Hornby and Miranda July. Now I get to attend the readings of authors that I work with at Hawthorne Books publishing house as well. Not too shabby.

The fact that Powell’s has been so supportive of me and my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland since it came out on July 1st and the fact that I have a book event scheduled there next Monday, Aug. 2nd I feel the need to open my heart and gush a little over my favorite bookstore.


Since it came out Powell's has been behind my book. I'm so grateful.

Please come to my Food Lover’s Guide to Portland panel event
with Nick Zukin of Kenny & Zuke’s, Sarah Hart of Alma Chocolate, Steve Jones of Cheese Bar, and John Cleary of Newman’s Fish Co.
Monday, Aug. 2nd 7:30pm
Powell’s City of Books on Burnside

In Good Taste Event

July 26th, 2010

Chocolate covered cacao bean from...Cacao!

There was a lot of competition on Saturday, July 10th when we decided to have a mid-day book event for Food Lover’s Guide to Portland at In Good Taste in the Pearl — everything from the Mississippi Ave. Street Fair to Bastille Day at Jamison Square Park to the NW 23rd Ave. Street Fair. Not to mention sunshine and summer which we hadn’t had a lot of until mid-July.

Although we still had relatively high hopes we weren’t surprised when only 30 or so folks dropped by for the event. We had a great time despite. Aubrey Lindley and Jesse Manis were there sampling out delicious chocolates from Cacao; Morgan Grundstein-Helvey brought all sorts of vegan sweet and savory pastries from Dovetail Bakery; Athena Pappas of Boedecker Cellars poured tastes of her Stewart Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; and Michele Knaus of Friends of Family Farmers gave out tastes of her homemade ice milk (made from Kookoolan Farms’ milk) blended with mascarpone topped with a strawberry honey balsamic glaze. (Michele also teaches fresh cheese classes at In Good Taste.)

So, basically if you weren’t among those 30 folks you sorely missed out. I’m sorry but it’s true. It was fun, it was delicious and so nice to hear all of these Portland food folks talk about their very special businesses and organizations — ones that I happen to love immensely. Here’s what you missed…

Cacao sampled this incredible hazelnut cream and whole hazelnut chocolate bar. I've thought about it several times since. I want one NOW!

Dovetail Bakery's awesome sweets and savories...

Morgan Grundstein-Helvey of Dovetail Bakery sampling her pastries.

Athena Pappas of Boedecker Cellar sampling her delicious Stewart pinot noir and chardonnay.

Michele Knaus of Friends of Family Farmers with her perfect for a hot summer day homemade ice milk with strawberry balsamic glaze.

Where it all went down.

Thank you Barbara and all the staff at In Good Taste who made this event happen!

In Good Taste
231 NW 11th Ave.
Mon.-Sat. 10am-6pm; Sun. 11am-6pm

Homemade Cherry Wine Pt. 2

July 22nd, 2010

One glass of chilled homemade cherry wine on the house.

Last summer was a big year for my friend Craig’s backyard cherry trees. He has two trees — each three maybe four years old — and last year was the first year that they went off. The boughs were loaded with Black Tartarian and Rainier cherries. So heavy, in fact, that we decided to use three gallons worth for some old fashioned homemade cherry wine. Neither of us had made it before and we decided to use Sandor Ellix Katz’s basic fruit wine recipe from his book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods.

A year later, as in just last week, we siphoned the five gallons into 20-plus wine bottles. And into our mouths. It’s delicious! We couldn’t be happier with it. We first drank it at room temperature and it was great. (We had an impromptu bottling party and clinked glasses on the front porch.) Once we chilled it, though, is when the real magic happened. I think the best way to describe our cherry wine is as a nice, nuanced pinot noir fortified with the flavor but not the weight of a tawny port. It’s not too alcoholic — I’m guessing 11 percent — typical for wine — but it does sneak up on you. That might have to do with the fact that it’s hard to stop drinking…

If you want to read about how we made it check out my post from last summer — Homemade Cherry Wine Pt. 1.

Ten bottles of cherry wine for us and ten for our friend Craig.

Kokanee Trout

July 19th, 2010

Kokanee trout before trimming and scaling.

I didn’t know what kokanee trout was until a few weeks ago when our neighbor brought over a frozen sack of it. I thanked him profusely and learned about the fish from him including the fact that it’s land-locked sockeye salmon. This neighbor is unbelievably kind to us — over the years gifting us everything from freshly hunted elk and venison steaks and wild game sausage to all sorts of line-caught local fish — mostly salmon and trout.

We’ve been really busy in recent weeks so I tucked the already frozen fish into the freezer — with plans to make it soon. (A few weeks later and they’re still in the freezer — soon!) Yesterday afternoon this neighbor’s son knocked on the door with another bag for us. This time filled with eight fresh, kokanee trout that they’d caught earlier in the day. They were beautiful looking fish and smelled delicious so I cooked them last night. We had company so I put five in the oven on the red cedar plank that my mom gave me.

My boyfriend trimmed and scaled the already gutted and headed trout and then I stuffed them with slightly sweet homemade garlic scape pesto (made with candied almonds) and thinly sliced lemon. Part-way through baking them for 25 minutes at 350 degrees I brushed the skin with some of the melted butter from the sauteed snap peas on the stove-top and then sprinkled some sea salt on them.

We served the fish with snap peas from the front yard sauteed in butter with fresh mint, slow cooked green beans with olive oil, tomatoes and lemon, some freshly baked kalamata loaf from DiPrima Dolci, and chilled homemade cherry wine. The fish was tender, juicy and delicious. It was similar to sockeye but more subtle in flavor and texture. I hate to use such a cliche but it truly melted in your mouth. The best meal I’ve had in months. Just perfect.

Kokanee trout stuffed with lemon and pesto and roasted on cedar.

Media Love

July 14th, 2010

KPTV Fox's Better Portland cameraman Eric Patterson and host Brooke Carlson with Tobias Hogan of EaT Oyster Bar.

It’s been crazy the last few weeks. I’m not complaining though — quite the opposite. Beyond all of the book events the amount of media coverage that’s been showered on my book pre- and post-launch has been fantastic. I am extremely grateful. I knew that Portland would welcome this book but I didn’t realize how much.

All of these radio and TV interviews in the past few weeks make me happy that I successfully eliminated the filler word “like” from my vocabulary at the end of high school and beginning of college. My filler now — I didn’t realize it was so pronounced — is “um.” I had no idea how many times I say that until I heard myself on various programs for the book. Any suggestions for quitting “um” are much appreciated. Um, what else…

A featured book at my favorite bookstore Powell's and next to one of my favorite national food folks. Doesn't get much better than that...

I’m going to do a post devoted to Powell’s Books soon here but until then I’d just like you all to know that the book is a New Favorites at the moment there which means it’s heavily placed in all stores and is also 30% off. I don’t know you Ted at Powell’s but I love you and owe you a drink. I feel so honored with the placement and push my book has gotten from Powell’s. I’m also really looking forward to my August 2nd event there.

If you watch the boob tube I’ll be on KOIN news tonight live at some point between 4-5pm. And then after that I’ll be at the Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation at Roots Brewery from 5:30-8:30pm. Tonight’s topic: Eaters’ Bill of Rights. Roots Organic Brewing Company closed its doors yesterday. I don’t have any details just that sad news. Tonight’s InFARMation is canceled and FOFF is looking for a new venue.

On the KBOO Food Show with Laura McCandlish and Delores Custer.

View from my mic...Devlyn Swenson host of Savor PDX on PDX FM.

Here’s some of the media coverage so far:

The Oregonian FOODday, June 2010

Willamette Week, June 2010

KBOO Food Show, June 2010

Fox 12 Better Portland Show, June 2010

Rose City Reader, June 2010

Reading Local Portland, June 2010

PDX.FM Savor Portland, July 2010

Lemonbasil blog, July 2010

Julia’s Omelette

July 8th, 2010

My boyfriend Tyler's perfected Julia Child's omelette. If I don't say so myself...

This is a short and sweet post just to let you know how lucky I am. My boyfriend Tyler has perfected Julia Child’s omelette. He’s been making them for months and honestly his first try with her technique — high heat, flash in the pan, minimal ingredients — was a hit. He used chives from the yard in this one and a bit of asiago and tomato. See for yourself…

Yard Fresh Pt. 5

July 6th, 2010

Hood strawberries, honeyberries and blueberries from the front yard.

It’s summer! I know it was officially summer a couple weeks ago but it finally feels like it. The sun is shining, summer blossoms opening, tomato plants growing. Feels pretty dang good. I haven’t been cooking as much as usual lately because I’ve been pretty busy with things such as this and this but I’ve still managed to put some good food on the table. Here’s a bit of what’s been good and yard/home fresh in recent weeks…

Garlic scape pesto with White Pine candied almonds.

Summer salad with stuffed/fried hardboiled egg, anchovies, olives and a lemony mustard vin.

Feta stuffed beef sliders on kalamata buns.

Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1

Thank You Portland! Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Book Launch Party

July 2nd, 2010

The dessert table pre-party...

So much has happened since I last posted. I really don’t know where to begin so I think I’ll start with what’s consuming my thoughts just 100 percent today — my book launch party last night for Food Lover’s Guide to Portland at Fortune Tattoo. I know it’s probably dorky to say but last night was one of the best nights of my life. I’m beyond happy that so many friends, fellow food folks and complete strangers came out last night to celebrate. It was magic. Loving life right now.

((ATTENTION: My ex-boyfriend, Tyler Adams, no longer co-owns Fortune Tattoo. Visit his North Portland shop — Grizzly Tattoo — which opened June, 2011.))

I’m overwhelmed by the thought of describing the evening so I’m just going to post a bunch of photos for those of you who were there and those who couldn’t make it. It was a blast and couldn’t have happened without the overly generous food and drink donations as well as awesome help of my friends, boyfriend, Fortune Tattoo and of my publishing house Sasquatch Books. Thank you Portland. I love you more than ever!

And then it was on...

And on...

My friend Rale Sidebottom rocking it in the loft for the party...

They got the Fortune Tattoo sign up just in time!

Tyler eating the Newman's Fish Co. smoked black cod...

The savory side...

Good mugs in food coma.

Before the perfect storm. Cheers to you! Thank you Portland!