Taste of the Nation 2011

May 9th, 2011

Celilo Restaurant's (in Hood River) morel and fromage blanc topped crackers were super tasty.

Taste of the Nation truly gets bigger and better every year. We had a fantastic time eating and drinking all sorts of amazing things from Portland area chefs and food/drink folks at this year’s Taste of the Nation at Luxe Autohaus. (Always made much better by the fact that 100% of the proceeds go toward local child hunger relief.) If you don’t know about the event you can read more about it here and here. We paced ourselves a lot better this year so that by the end (and we stayed until the very end — as in tables being folded) we felt full but not roll-out-the-door full.

It’s hard to pick favorites but I think it’s good to give credit where credit is due. SO here are my top five favorite things that I ate at this year’s Taste of the Nation (not to mention all the delicious wine, beer and bubbly) followed by photos…

Top five bites at this year’s Taste of the Nation in no particular order…
La Calaca Comelona’s rainbow chard wrapped masa with pork in a red sauce
Biwa’s braised pork and house pickled vegetable lettuce wraps
Bamboo Sushi’s Oregon albacore carpaccio
Fifty Lick’s coconut lemon saffron sorbet
Davis Street Tavern’s cold carrot fennel soup with sorrel salsa verde

Screen Door's mini chocolate and peanut butter pies were really good. Especially when eaten right after their...

Smoked meatloaf and whipped potato bites topped with crispy shallots. Yeah, pretty genius side-by-side.

Biwa kicked ass as usual with their braised pork lettuce wraps with pickled veggies.

Fratelli was set up right next to Biwa with some yummy rockfish crudo that got topped with yuzu foam seconds after I took this photo.

No, he did not get stuck in the ice cream cooler. 50 Licks' coconut lemon saffron sorbet is incredible.

Andina had a lovely spread of marinated fish in a aji colorado al batan sauce, fava bean salad and okra rellena stuffed with braised oxtail. Top that why don't you.

We hung out with friends until the lights-out end. Another fantastic Taste of the Nation with 100 percent of proceeds going to local child hunger relief organizations. Cheers Portland!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, May 2nd, 2011
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
Stay tuned for next year’s Taste of the Nation

DIY Galley Cooking (And not cooking…) On A Small Sailboat Pt. 3

December 15th, 2010

We have a stainless grill too but most of what we cooked on the boat happened here.

This is my last installment for small boat cooking. Our sailing trip to the San Juan Islands late September/early October seems so far away now so it’s nice to go through the photos again and share some of the food and drink ones with you. In my last post I left off at our arrival on Lopez Island. I’ll keep it chronological and start at Lopez here.

Please let me know if you have any special boat foods you like to make — either before the trip or while underway…

We got to spend a couple days and nights with great friends on Lopez and before we set off again we had this Odlin Bay picnic with really good sandwiches that Sandy made and all sorts of cheese, chips and snacky goodness.

Lunch on Matia was leftover peanut, serrano and garlic pasta with hardboiled egg and pinto bean sandwiches

We ate at Doe Bay's Cafe on Orcas Island a few times. This was their fresh from the garden list for a week in late August. Soooo good.

Doe Bay Cafe rocked. We ate our breakfast sandwich with pickled onions and garden greens and huevos while calming our sea legs.

Second mug shot -- literally. Kathryn Taylor Chocolates in Eastsound on Orcas was awesome and served Stumptown. Hello cappuccino.

Farewell dinner with Sandy and Vern back on Lopez Island in their outdoor dining room.

That's what was for dinner -- fresh Vern-caught Dungeness. It doesn't get better than that in my books.

We cooked the potatoes and corn on the fire in the foreground and everything else in the outdoor kitchen behind the bus.

DIY Galley Cooking On A Small Sailboat Pt. 1
DIY Galley Cooking On A Small Sailboat Pt. 2

DIY Galley Cooking On A Small Sailboat

September 23rd, 2010

Out of the water and ready for the San Juan Islands.

When you read this we’ll be en route and setting sail for Lopez Island, our first stop, on this boat above on our San Juan Islands sailing trip. The past several weeks have been a confluence pretty much of two things — book events and boat readying.

Early this summer my boyfriend and I decided that at the end of summer/beginning of fall we’d finally take our 19-foot, 1970s O’Day sailboat out for a real spin and, of course, take a much needed vacation.

We bought the boat with our neighbors last summer and have been up and down the Columbia where it’s been moored ever since. This will be the first big journey — ten days sailing around the San Juan Islands.

There’s been a lot of preparation including getting it out of the water, scrubbing it, decking it out with more down-below storage, purchasing a dinghy, barbecue, lights and then some. We’re in the last leg though now since we leave on the first day of autumn — September 23rd.

To be honest, my boyfriend has done the bulk of the work but my job is important. I’m stocking and setting up the galley. Well, we don’t actually have a galley so it’s more setting up the makeshift galley.

I looked at some books at Powell’s on galley cooking and got some good ideas but didn’t feel like any were worth buying. Really, I think the most important thing to galley cooking is planning ahead, just like camp cooking. Learning to work with your small cooking space, stocking up with minimal and long lasting ingredients and some full-flavor tricks up your sleeve are all important. Having a food dehydrator doesn’t hurt.

We’ll be stopping at a lot of markets and farmers markets (my friend Rachel’s mom is the editor of the publication that I just linked to here) during the trip to stock the larder and we’ll also be checking out the local cuisine. Here’s some of what I’ve cooked up for the trip…

I turned these Brooks plums from our front yard tree...

Into dehydrated plums.

And I turned these backyard Gravensteins...

Into dehydrated apples.

I made a big batch of spicy beef jerky.

Stocking up...