Sunday, December 21, 2008

file under: why don't i make these more often?

let me set a scene for you: it's winter. you live in portland, or. since it so rarely snows, streets are not plowed well or often. there are 8 inches of snow on the ground (!) and freezing rain on top of it. you know what you need? a hot toddy.

from my internet research, i've found that a toddy can be as simple as whiskey, lemon, honey and hot water, or more nuanced with applejack, cinnamon sticks, tea, etc. we had the toned-down verson, and they were delicious. in this house, we prefer bourbon. just in general. must be our kentuckiana ties. what about you?

a few nights ago, i made brian's favorite soup: broccoli potato with cheese. it was getting late, and we didn't have any bread in the house, so quick bread seemed like the thing to do. i tend to mess up the rolling and cutting of biscuits, so it was nice to see that james beard had me covered with a variation for drop biscuits. and i added some oregano.

oh boy. so good. should have made a half batch, because i kind of (ahem) went through them quickly.

next time, i'll try adding some sharp cheddar cheese. as good as they were, i missed that aspect. maybe because my mom makes cheesy biscuits.

stay warm out there, friends!

Friday, December 19, 2008

say it ain't so: solstice market cancelled.

ah, mother nature. she giveth the vegetables, and she taketh them away. the last portland farmer's market of the season (tomorrow) was cancelled due to the threat of inclement weather. we've been experiencing what the local news media likes to refer to as an ARCTIC BLAST for the last week or so, but thing might actually be messy on saturday. sigh.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

organica deluxe cookies

so, my blog sponsor, foodbuzz? they asked me if they should send me free cookies in exchange for a review. "uh, okay," i said. never having said no to a free cookie before, i wasn't about to start now. so, they sent me two ginger cookies from organica deluxe to try out.

in this big shoebox-looking thing. filled with peanut packing. now, apparently, this packing situation means that your cookies arrive intact, but it just seems like overkill. does the technology not exist to ship cookies without breakage in a small envelope? no? anyone? any cookie packaging engineers out there?

also, when packing peanuts are involved, that means i have to make an extra trip to a shipping store to have them re-used. even if they're cornstarch and bio degradable. that's my time that could be better used elsewhere.

oh, well.


the cookies were good! to be honest, i'm never going to reach for a ginger cookie first. the ginger flavor wasn't too strong, which was a plus for me, but maybe not for ginger lovers. they're soft cookies, with a wonderful melt-in-your mouth consistency. i have the feeling that there isn't much flour in them, or that maybe they use cake flour. the flavor balance was spot on for my tastes - a little molasses, a little ginger, a little vanilla, and great quality organic ingredients.

so, in short, a great cookie, but the packaging? nice effort, but needs work.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


our "plan a" for saturday night was foiled when the movie we wanted to see was sold out, so i came up with a delicious plan b: dessert at pix patisserie. for some reason, i'd never been there. it was about time.

i had an amelie, with orange vanilla crème brûlée, glazed chocolate mousse, caramelized hazelnuts, praline crisp, and cointreau génoise. oh yeah. brian had the shazam! with caramel mousse, salted almonds, and chocolate almond cake. maybe we should have shared a dessert, but we both made it through our individual cakes and coffees. all together, we paid just about what you would for two tickets to a mainstream movie theatre.

next time, i'm going for the tarte manage a trois. ooh la la, indeed! because we ARE going back.

and hey, look at that! they have gift certificates!

of course, i've been doing a little of my own cooking, too.

scrambled eggs with tortilla strips. scramble tip: don't shred your cheese. chunk it. that way, you'll use less and taste it more.

wontons from a trip to fubonn. you'll hear more about this.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

congrats, mari!

i just got my january issue of vegetarian times in the mail, featuring a recipe by my friend mari. check out the reader recipe for black bean and plaintain burritos on page 12, and the recipe for spicy mango salsa online. check out her blog, too.

now i feel like i oughta cook something other than beans and rice or pasta. man, have i been unimaginative lately. i need a culinary kick in the pants.

mari makes this crazy cream cheese/coconut cream base for dessert pizza. it's the best.

maybe she'd like to send the recipe along?


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

portlanders: more chances to eat and cook local!

while most farmer's markets are closed for the season, in portland, we're lucky enough to have temperate climate good for growing diverse crops. those wagon trains didn't trek across the oregon trail for nothing.

the portland farmer's market at portland state university is running through december. there aren't nearly as many vendors as at the peak of summer, but the crowds are more sparse, too. a few weeks ago i picked up a box of cookies from two tarts at the market. never a bad choice. they have a storefront now, due to their success at the market, so check them out. one tiny, but beautifully made and carefully crafted cookie will satisfy better than a huge chocolate chip monstronsity. take it from someone who rarely says no to the monstronsity. i reccomend the pecan tessie - like a tiny pecan pie, but without the corn syrup.

when the portland market closes in december, no need to worry. there's a market in hillsdale running every two weeks through april. i haven't been to this one yet, and it's not as centrally located, but i look forward to something local and delicious in january.