Bakesale for Japan April 2nd @ Ristretto Roasters & Barista

March 28th, 2011

This Satuday in Portland 10am-2pm!

Giovanna Zivny, Elizabeth Nathan and others have organized Portland’s Bakesale for Japan next Saturday, April 2nd from 10am-2pm at two of Portland’s favorite coffee shops — Ristretto Roasters (Williams) and Barista (Pearl).

Home and professional bakers are grabbing their whisks and cranking up their ovens to raise money for Peace Winds Japan, a partner of Mercy Corps.

This is a nationwide effort (Bakesale for Japan currently has generated 17+ bake sales stretching from San Francisco to NYC) that originated with Oakland chef Samin Nosrat. She raised $23K for Haiti last year with just three bake sale locations. Portland’s Bakesale for Japan has a matching donation lined up from Intel.

If you’d like to bake (amateurs and professionals welcome) or volunteer for Bakesale for Japan contact pdxbakesale@gmail.com.

Here is the amazing list of Portland folks signed up so far to contribute tasty baked goods: Little T American Baker, Alder Pastry & Dessert, Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry, Fleur de Lis Bakery and Cafe, Alma Chocolate, Kir Jensen (The Sugar Cube), Kristen Murray (Paley’s Place), Kim Boyce (Golden Oven), Bakery Bar, Suzette, Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery, Petunia’s Pies & Pastries, Confectionery, Little Branch Jam, and Bees & Beans.

Portland’s Bakesale for Japan
10am-2pm Saturday, April 2nd @

Ristretto Roasters (N Williams location)
3808 N Williams Ave
&
Barista (Pearl location)
539 NW 13th Ave

Portland Italian Food Panel @ Elephants Delicatessen Tuesday Night

January 10th, 2011

Darryl Joannides owner of Cork: A Bottle Shop will talk about Italy to Portland wines at Mangia, Mangia!

A few months back Jesse Locker of the Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) asked me to be a part of PBSCA’s January Know Bo event at Elephants Delicatessen. I was honored and now here it is mid-January and the event is tomorrow night.

I’ll be hosting the Mangia, Mangia! panel for PBSCA’s monthly Know Bo tomorrow night at Elephants on NW 22nd Ave. from 6-8pm. The event is free and open to the public. There will be minimal food/drink samples but plenty for purchase to eat/drink during from Elephants Delicatessen. I’m the event moderator so I’ll strive to sound smarter than I am about Italian food while asking local experts about everything from red sauce to Italian ristretto style espresso.

Joining me on this Italian food folk panel will be folks featured in my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Andrea Spella of Spella Caffe, Patricia DiPrima LeConche of DiPrima Dolci Bakery and Darryl Joannides of Cork: A Bottle Shop. I’m really looking forward to it. The more the merrier. Come on out and mangia, mangia with us.

Andrea Spella will talk all things Italia coffee at Mangia, Mangia! Tuesday night.

Portland Bologna Sister City Association (PBSCA) January Know Bo Mangia, Mangia!:
A food panel about Portland/Italian food hosted by me
@ Elephants Delicatessen
115 NW 22nd Ave., Portland
Tuesday, January 11th 6-8pm
Free and open to the public

www.elephantsdeli.com
Facebook Mangia, Mangia! event page

A Week Away…

June 24th, 2010


Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Book Launch Party Invite

A week from today on Thursday, July 1st, from 6-9pm at Fortune Tattoo I hope that you’ll join me in celebrating the launch of my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland! It’s been a long time coming and I’m more than ready to celebrate with friends and fellow Portlanders. It’s First Thursday after all so if you’re hitting up the galleries head across the river for a bit and celebrate PDX food and drink.

((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 www.grizzlytattoo.com, 503.265.8146. Grrrrrrrizzly!))

If you scroll down on the invite above you’ll see some of the fine food and drink folks donating incredible stuff for the party. These are some of my favorite Portland people and I’m so happy that they’re helping me out in this way.

I’m also grateful to my boyfriend Tyler Adams and his business partner Ms. Mikki for hosting the party at their open-since-April-1st tattoo shop — Fortune Tattoo. THANK YOU guys! Toward the end of the night I’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky book buyer that involves needles and ink. I wonder what it is…

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — Book Launch Party
Fortune Tattoo, 1716 East Burnside St., Portland, OR
Thursday, July 1st — 6-9pm
Food. Drink. Music. Books.

Dovetail Bakery Open: Extra, Extra!

February 4th, 2010
Tasty vegan treats at Dovetail Bakery's new NE Alberta location

Tasty vegan treats at Dovetail Bakery's new NE Alberta location

In December, I wrote about vegan Dovetail Bakery’s soon-to-be new retail location on Northeast Alberta Street. Well, they’ve delivered on their promise — they’re open for business!

This Saturday, February 6th from 5-8pm Dovetail is hosting its grand opening party with snacks, drinks and all sorts of good folks. According to Dovetail owner Morgan Grundstein-Helvey the more the merrier so head on over for some merrymaking and free tasty vegan drinks and snacks this Saturday.


Dovetail Bakery 

3039 NE Alberta St.

Portland, Oregon

503.288.8839

Hours: Tue.-Sun. 8am-6pm
www.dovetailbakery.blogspot.com

**All photos in this post were taken by Morgan’s friend KC Tarog on Dovetail Bakery’s opening day late January.

Good morning sunshine -- Dovetail's cinnamon rolls

Good morning sunshine -- Dovetail's cinnamon rolls

More Dovetail Bakery vegan sweets. Open for business!

More Dovetail Bakery vegan sweets. Open for business!

Dovetail Bakery vegan scones and muffins

Dovetail Bakery vegan scones and muffins

The Grand Central Baking Book: Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

January 1st, 2010
Celebrate 2010 with these Grand Central Baking Book chocolate shortbread mint chocolate ganache sandwich cookies.

Celebrate 2010 with these Grand Central Baking Book chocolate shortbread mint chocolate ganache sandwich cookies.

I’m not a big baker. I don’t have a stand-up mixer, I rarely sift, I can’t remember the last time I bought shortening, and I don’t even own cake or bread tins. It’s not that I don’t enjoy baking it’s just I’ve never gotten into the habit of doing it. Not like some people I know. A couple months ago though something happened that might have an influence on that.

I interviewed Piper Davis of Grand Central Bakery in the spring for my book and shortly after spending an afternoon with her at the Fremont Grand Central, The Grand Central Baking Book hit the shelves. Piper wrote the book with local food writer Ellen Jackson and a couple months ago their publisher Ten Speed Press sent me a copy.

I’ve been reading various sections of the book since then and I really like the simple and straightforward approach they’ve taken. It’s a really nice all-level bake book because there are step by step photos for the amateur as well as more complicated techniques and recipes for the more advanced baker.

I decided to bake the chocolate shortbread, mint ganache sandwich cookies from it for Christmas and I’m so freakishly happy that I did. They were incredible.

First I made a batch of chocolate shortbread and chilled it in the fridge for a couple hours:

I doubled the batch...

I doubled the batch...

After the shortbread had chilled I sliced and baked it:

Into the oven with you!

Ready and waiting.

Then I baked the shortbread while preparing the chocolate mint ganache:

Chocolate, heavy cream, mint extract.

Chocolate, heavy cream, mint extract.

After 15 minutes in the oven the shortbread was ready:

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven.

The melt in your mouth chocolate shortbread combined with the creamy dark chocolate minty ganache was knee buckling good. These are definitely a new annual holiday cookie in my books. The only thing I’d change with the recipe would be to cut the ganache in half. It was a lot. That said, it never hurts to have a little extra ganache hanging around.

I’m really looking forward to trying Grand Central’s pizza dough next. I love homemade pizza and I’ve used the same dough recipe for awhile now. It’ll be nice to switch it up.

Even though I’ve only baked one recipe from the book so far — the success of that combined with reading through techniques and other recipes — I stand behind my loud and proud recommendation of The Grand Central Baking Book.

Two ganache covered thumbs up for this one.

Two ganache covered thumbs up for this one.


The Grand Central Baking Book

by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson
Ten Speed Press

Grand Central U-Bake — June 6th, 9am-1pm

June 2nd, 2009

I’m much more of a cook than a baker. I make my own pizza dough and every once in awhile I’ll bake a cake or some cookies but that’s about it. So when Piper Davis of Grand Central Bakery came by the other day with a big bag of GC’s soon to hit the market U-Bake frozen cookies, puff pastry and pie dough I felt pretty unworthy. Turns out I’m the ideal person to give them a try because I’m a novice baker who loves tasty baked goods but rarely takes the time to make them.

For my U-Bake pie I started by making this…

A strawberry, pear and rhubarb filling

A strawberry, pear and rhubarb filling

Then I filled this…

Grand Central's U-Bake pie crust

Grand Central's U-Bake pie crust

And I ended up with this…

Just out of the oven and soon to be topped with vanilla ice cream

Just out of the oven and soon to be topped with vanilla ice cream

The line of frozen pre-made and formed cookies (oatmeal chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and ginger molasses) are even easier. You pull out the frozen dozen, separate a few cookies, roll them in sugar, put them on the cookie sheet and 10 minutes later you have delicious home baked cookies.

Ginger molasses cookies straight from the oven

Ginger molasses cookies straight from the oven

I made a whole bunch of savory treats with the puff pastry dough for dinner with a friend’s family but I didn’t take any photos of the cheesy puffs because the dinner was at their home and I didn’t want my camera to get in the way of our eating. Luckily right before we left for their place I took a photo of the fillings…

Ricotta/sorrel pesto/mozzarella mix with bulk spicy Italian sausage

Ricotta/sorrel pesto/mozzarella mix with bulk spicy Italian sausage

If you have a chance this Saturday, June 6th GC is rolling out its new U-Bake line (pie dough, puff pastry dough, pre-made pies and cookies) at all of its Portland bakeries. From 9am to 1pm each bakery cafe will be staffed with a baker sampling U-Bake products and sharing recipes and advice. Added bonus: 50% of the proceeds of U-Bake products sold that day will be donated to the Portland Schools Foundation. Be sweet and go buy some sweets.

Grand Central
www.grandcentralbakery.com
9am-1pm Saturday, June 6th U-bake roll out at all Portland Grand Central Bakeries

Everything is Connected: Portland cheese, bread, pastries and chocolate

April 22nd, 2009
Grand Central breads on any given day...

Grand Central bread

Portland isn’t so big and once you’ve anchored yourself in the food community it’s hard to buy a loaf of bread without some sort of connection — oh they’re using that local co-op’s flour or that’s the amazing bread that I used to always wait in line for at the farmers market… Well, the web of connections has been growing to Charlotte’s Web proportions lately as I research and write my book which is why I feel ok lumping such a diverse group of people and businesses together in this post.

A couple weeks ago I met with Piper Davis one of the owners of Grand Central Baking. We talked about the history of her family’s business, which began in Seattle, while sharing a buttery strawberry raspberry danish. After getting all the details of GC’s timeline and current operations I took a tour of the Fremont bakery and snapped some photos…

Grand Central Easter cookies

Grand Central's Easter cookies

Last week I got to meet one of Piper’s back-in-the-day employees — Julie Richardson, now owner of Hillsdale’s Baker & Spice Bakery. Julie and Piper are close friends and in many ways they’ve mirrored each other the past couple years, mostly in terms of writerly pursuits. More on that later, but let’s just say that there are a lot of buns in the oven in terms of Portland food books by Portland food folks soon to be published.

Baker and Spice's Katie Buns sheeted and ready to roll with cinnamon and raisins

Baker and Spice's Katie Buns sheeted and ready to spread with cinnamon and raisins

Julie told me about how she started her first bakery in Ketchum, Idaho at the wee age of 23. After moving to Portland in the late 90s she managed to build up a successful farmers market bakery business. She opened the brick and mortar Baker & Spice Bakery four years ago.

Baker and Spice's bread is baked by Richardson's husband Matt Kappler

Baker and Spice's bread is baked by Richardson's husband Matt Kappler.

I also recently visited with David Briggs of Xocolatl de David. He’s been crafting chocolates for more than three years in Portland and his current commercial kitchen is in the back of his friend’s hopping Southeast Portland sandwich shop Meat Cheese Bread. When I visited with David there I got to try his caramelized cacao bean honey brittle, all of the base chocolates, one of his tasty fleur de sel chocolate caramels and a soon to hit the shelf chocolate bar. I met with David in the morning and with one of his friends — Steve Jones of Steve’s Cheese — in the afternoon. David and Steve worked together at Park Kitchen for six months while David was sous chef and Steve was a server. Now David makes regular deliveries of his chocolates to Steve’s shop.

David Briggs has been making his chocolates full times since he left Park Kitchen a little more than a month ago

David Briggs has been making his chocolates full time since leaving Park Kitchen a little more than a month ago.

That afternoon Steve and I sat in the back room of Steve’s Cheese and tried some tasty Zingerman’s poundcake samples while talking cheese. In addition to nearly 200 cheeses in the case at any given time Steve’s Cheese also stocks cured meats and all sorts of non-perishable treats such as arbequina olive oil, harissa, sardines and pickled peppers. Oh and he’ll let you borrow his Raclette machine as long as you buy at least a quarter wheel of the semi-firm, nicely meltable cheese.

Steve's Cheese case -- always cut and wrapped to order

Steve's Cheese case -- always cut and wrapped to order

These are the kinds of wrapped gifts I want from Steve's Cheese reach-in

These are the kinds of wrapped gifts I want from Steve's Cheese reach-in

Anyway the friendship of two premier Portland female bakers and a local cheese vendor and chocolatier has proved yet again that everything (in Portland) is connected, which makes my work all the more enjoyable.

Grand Central Baking Company — www.grancentralbakery.com
Baker & Spice Bakery — www.bakerandspicebakery.com
Xocolatl de David — www.xocolatldedavid.com
Steve’s Cheese — www.stevescheese.biz

Pix Patisserie off the market!

April 17th, 2009
The rainbow and the pot of gold -- Pix Patisserie macarons

The rainbow AND the pot of gold -- Pix Patisserie macarons

I was very sad when I heard the news late last summer that Cheryl Wakerhauser was selling Pix Patisserie. The original Southeast Pix is home to one of my favorite Portland food events Dim Sum Yum Yum and the North Portland Pix is Portland’s answer to French cafe seating. When the weather is decent the wicker chairs near the roll-up garage door face out toward the street and sun and the small tables get topped with wine, espresso, Belgian beer, macarons, ganache covered cakelets, housemade chocolates and more. If it’s my table there’s most likely a hazelnut and chocolatey Royale, a few different macarons, and a dessert wine or Lambic on it all getting equal attention.

Long live the Pix -- North Portland location

Long live the Pix -- North Portland location

I met up with Cheryl yesterday at the North Portland Pix right after she’d tipped back some raw Chelsea Gems down the street at EaT Oyster Bar. While we talked she sipped on a fleur de sel rimmed margarita and soaked up the sunshine. Everything seemed right with the world — especially when she told me Pix was off the market. The gist: after meeting with interested parties she doesn’t have faith that anyone would be kind enough to her fabulous employees or loving enough and true to her devoted customers.

Lately she’s figured out ways to spend more time working and experimenting with ingredients that she’s passionate about, which is hard when you manage 40 employees at two rocking dessert-and-beyond houses and host more regular events than just about any other place in town: Annual Bastille Day Block Party, Culinary Trivia Night, Concoct Yo’ Own Dessert, Monday Movie Night…

I feel lucky that I moved to Portland in 2002, the year that the original Southeast Pix opened, especially since we rented a house just a hop and skip from it for three years. When we moved to North Portland and bought a house in January 2006 the North Portland Pix had just opened its doors. If I thought that another move might garner yet another Pix I’d consider it. Pix is one of my favorite Portland places which is why I’m so happy that it’s sure to shine on. No one can fill Cheryl Wakerhauser’s shoes. Long live the Pix!

No, you are not dreaming

No, you are not dreaming

Pix Patisserie Southeast
3402 SE Division St.
503.232.4407

Pix Patisserie North
3901 N Williams Ave.
503.282.6539

www.pixpatisserie.com