Pre-order Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Tique Box

December 5th, 2014

Food Lover's Guide to Portland TIQUE BOX! Available for pre-order!

I had so much fun putting together this Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Tique Box with Tique founders Inger McDowell and Paige Buckner when they reached out to me several weeks ago. The mission of their business is very similar to the mission of my book — celebrate talented and passionate local artisans, oftentimes lesser known ones.

There are all sorts of fantastic Portland foods/drinks/crafts/art that these ladies have put together into pretty boxes for subscriptions (I have a year-long subscription and just got my first box!) or for individual purchase. For my Food Lover’s Guide to Portland box I wanted to include treats made by folks who I love and admire that just about anyone will use and enjoy (in other words — accessible) which is why I included easy to love salt, hot sauce, peanut butter, honey, chocolate, candy and cheese. That said, these are all elevated, unique and, of course, delicious renditions of these classics. Go Portland!

This box makes a fantastic gift for locals and folks afar and you can pre-order it now for $45 here to ship by Priority Mail on Dec. 15th — just in time for the holidays. Here’s what you get:

So many tasty treats in this Tique Box!

Meeting of the minds -- Paige (left) and Inger at our initial Food Lover's PDX Tique Box meeting at Breken Kitchen.

Inger (left) and Paige with their Tique Boxes.

My November Tique Box -- delivered to my doorstep! Love it.

Purchase the Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Tique Box at
$45, ships via Priority Mail on Dec. 15th

Friend Food Pt. 7

February 13th, 2014

Awhile back I was having a rough week and my best friend Beth in Cincinnati sent me a Cincinnati chili care package. Warmed me through and through. So sweet.

I am so lucky to have the most amazing family of friends. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t feel gratitude at some point for that. Last night I was talking with my friend Wendy about how I show my love and give love to those I’m closest to through food and how she does the same.

Lucky for me a lot my friends share this trait. My friends have given me so many amazing things to feed me in more ways than one recently as you can see below. And I’ve really appreciated it since I haven’t been able to cook as much lately since the Toro Bravo cookbook dropped and we’ve been busy with events and then some for that along with everything else. I love this semi-regular blog installment because it reminds me of one of the greatest reasons that life is so sweet — friends. The love you have is the love you give. Cook something delicious for someone you love today.

Tasty plum jam from the side-yard tree that my neighbor Michael made.

A bottle of birthday cava from John from the cava vineyard that we visited south of Barcelona in 2012 for the Toro book.

A beautiful mug that my friend Jess made me that has made my mornings brighter.

A holiday Thermos from my friends Rale and Elizabeth and buckeyes from my friend Krista. So lucky.

Fruit turnovers from my lovely neighbor Alison. And flowers!!

Homemade sugar plums and toffee from one of my other amazing neighbors Robin.

Vegans eat pizza too. Michelle and Kylie making their pies at our MLK Day sleepover party.

My fully loaded pizza.

The awesome Chemex coffee maker that my brother and sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. It makes super tasty coffee.

Really yummy pickled onions that Kalera made.

Our New Year's Eve spread at Loly's. Pre-pots and pans banging.

Molassesy gingerbread from my neighbor Mulysa.

Molasses cookies and other sweet sweets from her as well.

Cook something delicious and spread the love!

Friend Food Pt. 6
Friend Food Pt. 5
Friend Food Pt. 4
Friend Food Pt. 3
Friend Food Pt. 2
Friend Food Pt. 1

Revel in Portland

February 18th, 2013

Revel in Portland Volume 1 profiles Portlanders including Toro Bravo chef-owner John Gorham.

A few weeks ago I got a complimentary copy of Revel in Portland in the mail since Toro Bravo chef-owner John Gorham is featured in it (we’re currently working on the Toro Bravo Cookbook due out from McSweeney’s Oct. 2013) along with nine other creative folks in Portland including illustrator Carson Ellis, filmmaker Lance Bangs, and architect Jeff Kovel. There’s a Q&A with each person in this pocket-sized book filled with beautiful matte art and photos that’s followed by a descriptive list of their favorite Portland places.

There are three Revel in New York books already and the group is looking to expand with books for Austin, Miami and Los Angeles next year.

It’s a fun, inspiring read that makes me proud to be a Portlander. Although the group hasn’t secured significant distribution yet you can find Revel in Portland at Reading Frenzy, Ampersand, Heart Roasters, Albina Press and you can also purchase it directly via their site.

The Revel team puts it best:

“The Revel In Portland Guidebook is a celebration of the Portlanders who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Artists, chefs, musicians, designers, filmmakers, troublemakers, and our city’s most interesting characters. 10 interviews, pictorials and 72 personal recommendations.”

Revel in Portland, Volume 1

John Gorham's chapter in Revel in Portland Volume 1.

Friend Food Pt. 6

February 11th, 2013

Went to my friend Chris and Karen's a couple weeks ago for a sauna and their friend Paul Yonchek (he photographed a couple of Caprial Pence's cookbooks) made these tasty pretzel breads with mustard for everyone. So good!

I have incredible friends and family and we give each other a lot of love with food and drink. I started this blog series a while back to chronicle that. Here are some of the tasty things that I’ve gotten to be involved in with friends or have been given by friends lately…

Debbie gave me a big bag of delicious Green Salmon Coffee, from Yachats, to brew and fill my new mug withfor Christmas.

Several weeks ago my friends Chris and Karen invited me over for dinner and we made buttternut squash and chevre raviolis. So good.

What dinner looked like that night.

My friend Loly made peppermint schnapps and Kahlua for the holidays and I was lucky enough to get both!

My brother and sister-in-law gave me this mug with my nieces on it when I went home to Cincinnati for Christmas this year. It makes me happy.

My neighbor and friend Chris made a batch of this tasty raspberry jam and I got some.

And his girlfriend and my good friend Alison has been giving me eggs from her hens for years. I love my neighbors so much.

My friend Michelle and her daughter Kylie and I making beet salad.

My friend Emily gave me this jar of rendered pork fat from a class that she took recently at Portland Meat Collective.

And just so you know that the gifting goes both ways -- here are most of the edible gifts that I gave to loved ones over the holidays.

Friend Food Pt. 5
Friend Food Pt. 4
Friend Food Pt. 3
Friend Food Pt. 2
Friend Food Pt. 1

Portland Food Lover’s Suite Airbnb

October 22nd, 2012

Come stay with me in North Portland through Airbnb!

I’m really sorry for the long delay in writing here but so much has happened this summer that I had to drop a couple things and unfortunately blogging was one of the casualties. I’m back though and I hope that you will forgive the silent treatment.

I recently got introduced to Airbnb — do you know about it yet? If not check it out because it’s a great way to travel around the world and stay in folks’ homes usually for very little $. I’m doing it with the entire second floor of my home and I’d love it if you or a loved one or even an acquaintance would come and stay at my food lover’s suite. I’m including a copy of my book for those who stay four or more nights. It’s $70 a night.

The second bedroom/reading room attached to the bedroom.

I hope that you are doing well and, of course, eating well!

Here’s the description that I have up on Airbnb: listing

The 400+ square foot entire second floor of my house has hardwood floors, sloped wooden ceilings, a queen bed, a full bed/couch, two closets, dressers and reading nook along with an attached office/reading room and private bathroom with bath at the base of the stairs. It’s perfect for one to four people. There’s a TV with DVD player (for DVDs or VHS, no TV stations) and free WiFi. Cozy and clean, no pets please. Check in/out time is flexible, please inquire.

North Portland’s Overlook neighborhood has all sorts of restaurants (Mextiza, Pause, Mio Sushi, food cart pod with 10 carts), bars (Old Gold, Palace of Industry, Barlow’s, Hop & Vine), cafes (DiPrima Dolci), coffee shops (Blend) and parks all within a short walking distance of my 1907 cedar shake bungalow with front and back edible gardens and a comfortable front porch with chairs.

I’m a local food writer and editor and I’ve lived in Portland for 10 years. Included in the cost of a four day or more stay is a copy of my book, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. It will help you find all that is delicious throughout the city! I’m more than happy to offer eat, drink and be merry suggestions to you during your stay.

Guests can easily travel the city without a car from my house. The light rail line is five blocks away and takes you to/from the airport, downtown, the Rose Quarter and all over Portland. A bus to the Alberta Arts District also runs by my house and gets you there in 10 minutes. There is plenty of street parking available and it’s a quick car or bike ride to downtown, Alberta Arts District, Mississippi Avenue, and all sorts of other great Portland neighborhoods.

You’re more than welcome to use my fully functional and equipped kitchen (French press, refrigerator, oven, shelf space etc.), living room, as well as the washer and dryer and there is wireless throughout the house.

Please help share this with anyone that you think might be interested. Thanks so much!

Friend Food Pt. 5

July 30th, 2012

Our dear old friends Rale, Elizabeth and Maya moved away from us to Missoula and we are sad. Rale Sidebottom has the best name of anyone I know and he also sends the best parcels in the mail. He sent me this a while back and I loved it. Not as much as I love him though.

I’m so grateful for my friends near and far — such a great family of friends in my life. I don’t have any friends that don’t love food so we eat, drink and are merry a lot and also gift one another with tasty food and drink often. In this installment of friend food you may feel a little jealous. I hope not. I hope that it inspires you to make something yummy and give it to someone you love — every last bite of it.

My friend Michelle recently moved and she has an enormous rhubarb plant in her yard. She didn't have time to cook with it so she gave me all of it and I chopped it up and made...

Rhubarb syrup! So far we've just had it with seltzer but rhubarb margaritas are in our near future...

My dear old friend Autumn moved to India a little more than a year ago and when she visited us this spring she brought us all of these treats. Lucky.

Our friend Anthony grows all sorts of chiles from seed every year and he's kind enough to always give us some. This year he gave us shisito, cherry bomb and aji chile plants and they are happy and healthy in the backyard. Future hot sauce.

My King of the Brine friend David Barber of Picklopolis recently gave us a couple bottles of his excellent hot sauce after he got his lovely new tattoo from my boyfriend Tyler at Grizzly Tattoo to commemorate his baby girl. The tattoo -- "Junior Pearl -- mon petit cornichon." Love.

Finally finished bottling the 50 or so bottles of last year's plum cherry wine. It would have been without the cherries if it weren't for my lovely friends and neighbors.

Our friend Nat West dropped off a case of his super tasty hard cider that's now available in all sorts of restaurants and bars around town. Go Nat!

And last but not least our friend Alison and her boyfriend Chris brought us back some tasty candy from Massachusetts. Witches did not make it.

Friend Food Pt. 4
Friend Food Pt. 3
Friend Food Pt. 2
Friend Food Pt. 1

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef

July 16th, 2012

I love this book.

I’d never heard of Joe Beef until shortly after the Montreal restaurant’s cookbook The Art of Living According to Joe Beef came out this fall. The cookbook published by Ten Speed got so much buzz early on that I felt like I had to at least pick it up and see what the talk was about. I knew it had a foreword by David Chang and all sorts of big name, glowing blurbs from Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern and Alice Waters and wondered if it was as good as they claimed it was.

There are very few cookbooks that I’ve read cover to cover but a few that I have include Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine, a couple James Beard Cookbooks, At Home on the Range and Wild Fermentation. I’m reading the Joe Beef cookbook essay by essay and recipe by recipe. I’m learning a lot. I love the narrative and voice and how the book goes well beyond the template that most cookbooks follow and gets to the heart of the matter — why cook and why Joe Beef?

One of my favorite parts so far is the book’s third chapter on trains. Joe Beef co-owner Frederic Morin has a deep and loyal love for trains and as a reader you get to take a 17 hour train ride from Montreal to Moncton on “The Ocean” — the oldest continuously operated train route in North America — with Joe Beef chef-owners Morin and David McMillan, Joe Beef cookbook writer Meredith Erickson and the book’s photographer Jennifer May. They drink from Fred’s “traveling-salesman bar kit, complete with bottles of vermouth, gin, Johnny Walker, and Fernet Branca.” They listen to Neil Young and eat all sorts of delicious food including Black Forest Cake and Canadian wine. The recipes follow the essays — “The following recipes are inspired by and meant for train travel…” including Tiny Sausage Links, Chicken Jalfrezi, Beer Cheese and Dining Car Calf Liver.

I’ve only cooked a couple things from the book so far — the hot Daube de Joues de Boeuf Chaude (page 246) and the Kale for a Hangover (page 202) and they were both super tasty. I’m looking forward to cooking more and reading more. I hope that future cookbooks follow suit with deeply personal and complicated narrative and essays (and Smorgasbord centerfolds! That’s right.) that push the envelope of what a cookbook can be.

Joe Beef's Hot Daube de Joues de Boeuf Chaude over mashed potatoes.

Before setting it to braise...

A couple hours later...

Joe Beef's potato ricer mashed potatoes.

I didn't have a hangover but Joe Beef's Kale for a Hangover cured me of something I'm sure.

The Art of Living According to Joe Beef

By Frederic Morin, David McMillan & Meredith Erickson
fall 2011
292 pages
$40 Ten Speed Press

Friend Food Pt. 4

December 5th, 2011

Our friend Pete gave us the beautiful foraged mushrooms that made this chanterelle brussels sprout risotto so special. He also regularly gifts us with his homebrew. We're so lucky.

Our friends keep us very well fed and this regular installment aptly titled Friend Food is a chronicle of the edibles and potables that they are so kind as to give us. It goes both ways of course. I love to give friends homemade food and drink and the things I most often gift include all sorts of pickles and vegetable ferments (kimchi, kraut, spicy garlic dills, pickled beets etc.), hot sauces, salsas, mustards, and if you’ve been very good some homemade fruit wine.

Maybe you’ll get an idea here for something to cook and give to friends and family this holiday season. Please leave a comment if you’re making something good as a holiday gift this year that you’d like to share…

Our very good friend and neighbor Alison baked us this lovely lemon meringue pie for Thanksgiving this year. I really miss this pie. So good

Our friend Pete also gave us a bottle of liquid gold -- his homemade dandelion wine.

Better late than never with these awesome smoked pork ribs that our friend Dave made in his smoker late this summer. He fabricated the smoker ground-up and for the time being it's at our house. Again, lucky.

Picked the last of this year's plums from our neighbor Alison's trees and turned them all -- along with other fruits -- into wine that's fermenting in the utility room.

Our friends Vern and Sandy migrate between Rainbow County in San Diego and Lopez Island every year. This year on their way south from Lopez they visited us and left us with these tasty gifts -- canned Dungeness and homemade salal/blackberry/apple jelly. Mmmm.

Friend Food Pt. 3
Friend Food Pt. 1
Friend Food Pt. 2

Lucky Peach

November 28th, 2011

Second issue of Lucky Peach hot off the presses!

Have you read this magazine? This second issue just arrived in my mailbox and I love it. The moment I heard that McSweeney’s was coming out with a food magazine I got a subscription. After the first two issues I can’t recommend Lucky Peach enough. I’m not the only one that loves it. This is the kind of food/drink magazine I’ve been dreaming of for a long time.

In Lucky Peach you won’t find page after page of fussy kitchen and food shots that require stylists and production teams and you won’t have to page through seemingly endless glossy ads until you get to the meat of the matter. There are paintings of past-its-prime blue cheese, recipe corrections composed in comics, how-to photos for killing and cleaning fish, and stickers! (The mock fruit stickers — you know these kinds of stickers but funny — are between page 112 and 113 in the second issue.) There’s cursing. There’s a haiku about corn with miso butter and bacon. There are honest and original stories with strong voices that you haven’t heard before that make you laugh, think and feel and want to cook and eat. It’s real, raw and it’s ripe for the picking. Go get yourself a Lucky Peach.


Signed Copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

November 14th, 2011

I'll write sweet nothings and send you some books.

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
Custom message with signature?

Even though my book is available from all sorts of great sellers including Powell’s Books, New Seasons Market, Elephants Delicatessen, In Good Taste, Elliott Bay Book Company, Mirador Community Store, Alma Chocolate, Kenny & Zuke’s, House Spirits and Reading Frenzy I get more requests than usual around the holidays for signed copies. To remedy the situation I’ve added this magic little PayPal button above for folks who want signed copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. You don’t need a PayPal account to buy books this way but you do need a credit card.

I think my book is a nice gift on its own (yes, a little biased) but I think it’s even better with a tasty treat or two from one of the many food and drink folks featured in it. I’m going to post 100 local pairings for the book between now and the end of December on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing. For now, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland pairs nicely with…

Pickled herring and house-cured salame from Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen
A bottle of Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir or Pear-in-the-bottle brandy from Clear Creek Distillery
A Spella Caffe gift certificate
An Urban Cheesecraft DIY cheesemaking kit
Another local food book or two from Powell’s
Farmstead cheeses and charcuterie from Cheese Bar
Smoked seafood from Newman’s Fish Company in City Market
Custom Kinder eggs or chardons from Pix Patisserie


I’m taking care of the shipping on continental U.S. orders via media mail and there are discounts for multiple book orders. Media mail takes a few days to a week but you can also spring for priority mail for a bit more $. If you want even quicker shipping, more than three books, books to multiple addresses, or a chicken in a zebra costume please just drop me a line and we’ll figure it out.

From my shelf to yours...