Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:14 PM
I do remember enjoying a bunch of great German food, both from awesome delis and restaurants, the most memorable being the Westpahlian Ham that we used to get. Whether you go to the same places still, well, I couldn't fathom a guess (I was merely a tagalong to my guides at the time), but I did get the sense that there was a pretty nice German community in town.
In regards to the mini cakes- did you add the blueberries in their frozen state? That sounds like a neat trick, along the lines of 'why didn't I think of that?', if you did. I'm going to have to try it one of these days.
And, FWIW- the city that Jeff Smith used to reference all of the time was Takoma, WA (close, but no cigar...)
Chi mangia bene, vive bene!
"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."
"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."
Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:33 PM
And what I ordered (a smoked bratwurst, a polish sausage, a roll, and a cup of the roasted garlic and tomato soup.
Everything was great, as usual. You can also get beer and wine, but since I was dining alone and didn't have a DD, I stuck with the traditional German standby, Orange Fanta. I liked that there were two kinds of house made mustard on the table plus yellow mustard, ketchup, and horseradish. I'm a multi-condiment kinda girl. I like to have options...
After I was full unto bursting with lunch, I snapped some shots of the meat case (insert nice sausage joke here) and did some closeups so you all can see what a great variety they have. Here's the wide shot:
And some closeups:
Mmmm..cured meaty goodness. I went home with 4 more brats, since it's kind of a trek to get there from my house, I'll stash them in the freezer for later...and those I WON'T let languish, forgotten, they will get eaten!
Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:42 PM
For dinner tonight, my Dad requested roast chicken and potatoes.
I think next time I'll tweak the seasoning on the chicken a little, but other than that, a satisfactory meal all around.
So did your Dad enjoy the meal? Was his roasted corn in the pics?
FauxPas-Gardening is unfortunately NOT a strong suit of mine.
When I asked about gardening, I forgot that you have a few young children and you are baking as a business and taking courses, so you probably just don't have time for anything else right now!
You mentioned your home is close to neighbours - is that why the kitchen window is so high? I would want a lower window I could see directly out, but if the neighbouring house is very close, better to just see the sky!
You mentioned U-Pick farms for berries and making jams - I am on Vancouver Island for most of this summer and the El Nino system seems to be delaying the warm weather and I am sure the berries here will be later than normal. Are you seeing similar delays in OR?
You mentioned your use of liqueurs in baking, do you also use them in your jam-making? And do you incorporate fresh fruit or home-made jams or preserves in your baking?
Forgive me if I am asking too many questions or getting off-topic!!!
Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:10 PM
I'd love to blame my lack of gardening ability on my busy life, but I actually have always been a terrible gardener...I like the concept of growing things, but my execution is just poor. I always forget to water them. It's a good thing I'm better with my kids!
The proximity to my neighbor's house is the reason the window in the kitchen is so high. And if it was lower, I'd be looking into their downstairs bathroom every time I washed the dishes, which would put me off dinner, to say the least.
I guess there might be some delays with berries this year, the farmer's markets have only been open for a couple of weeks and berry season is just getting started, but I haven't noticed anything major yet. I've never put any liqueurs in my jams, my primary consumers are my kids, so although the potential for early bedtime due to intoxication is tempting, I should probably refrain until they're a little older
Although, maybe that has some Chooseyourownwinterholiday gifting potential...any ideas or combos you've found to be particularly good?
Not too many questions at all, keep 'em coming!
TongoRad-yes, I do add the berries to the batter frozen, but I have also done this recipe very successfully with fresh fruit, raspberries and tart cherries in particular, as well. I just would recommend leaving the fruit frozen if you use frozen fruit, if that's not a totally unclear way of saying it...
Coming from an upbringing in Wisconsin, I'm kind of spoiled with good German food, but Edelweiss and Berlin Inn are pretty tasty.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:21 PM
movement for years-it just wasn't apparent to the rest of the country.
I live in Washington now, but I still travel to Oregon and when I do, I always make a stop at Uwajimaya. It's easy to stock two full coolers of their wonderful fresh seafood and Asian specialties. They have the most wonderful Asian "deli" I've ever seen.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 07:38 PM
Coming from an upbringing in Wisconsin, I'm kind of spoiled with good German food, but Edelweiss and Berlin Inn are pretty tasty.
Also wondering what you think about Wisconsin cheese vs Oregon cheese? I still remember the first time I drove through Tillamook, OR. Heh. I emailed a pic of a single cow to a friend, told her to multiply it by 10,000 or so and she would have the sense of Tillamook. Yes, much of it is is kinda mass-produced but wondering if you find any specialty stuff or smaller local producers?
I really like small-batch jams, I have an all-purpose recipe which is probably pretty basic, but that discussion is probably better suited to another thread. Actually, it's probably already been said on some other thread - I'm not sure that my approach is that original!
Posted 24 May 2011 - 08:20 PM
FauxPas- I don't know if I'm the best person to ask about the comparison between WI and OR cheese. I didn't really get into artisan cheeses until I moved out here. I know that there are lots of little local producers, and some that are not so little, and we've got some amazing cheese shops, one of which I hope to visit tomorrow. However, I know there are also lots of little local producers in WI, so I don't want to give anyone the short shrift...I'm happy to sample and comment on any cheese anyone wants to send me, though!
Posted 24 May 2011 - 10:25 PM
And what you see when you walk in the door:
I love their housewares dept. They always have lots of neat bowls and interesting kitchen gadgets. Here's a nori punch for decorating rice:
And a spiffy little sandwich maker I considered buying, until I saw the $25 price tag.
Here's the wall o'bowls:
And the accompanying wall o'tea pots:
I got pics of the miso case, which is where I got busted for using my camera. I should have started at the other end of the store, they have an amazing seafood section.
Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:03 PM
Which is gin, cardamaro, simple syrup, soda, and lime. It was super refreshing and light, not too sweet and very easy to drink. I was joking with the waitress that I could see making a pitcher up and sitting on the porch with it this summer. I generally get a glass of wine, but they do have a very nice mixed drink list, and for all you mixology buffs out there I took one for the team tonight Here's what the rest of the drink menu looked like:
We had an arugula, taleggio, prosciutto, and grana padano pizzette for our appetizer, and it was so good it was hard to leave enough room for our entree.
I got chicken under a brick with polenta, speck, english peas, and early morels. Even though I was getting full pretty quick, I couldn't stop eating it until it was totally gone. The flavors were really balanced, and it was very well seasoned. Every component really added to the dish. Other than the peas. Can't stand 'em. Gave them to my husband. He said they were good though. I'm not buying it...
For dessert we split a piece of Boca Negra, which is a flourless chocolate cake. My recipe for Boca Negra is a little more custardy, this was more like a brownie, but it was good. Not too sweet, which is my main complaint with most chocolate desserts at restaurants. I can understand why, sugar is cheaper than chocolate, but I'd much rather have a less sweet, more intensely chocolatey dessert. My husband always laughs when I take a bite of some 5 layer chocolate extravaganza and the first words out of my mouth are,"too sweet...not chocolatey enough..." Anyways, this dessert was a success in my book.
I'm turning in for the night. Tomorrow might go one of several ways, depending on the weather and what the kiddos are up for...see ya in the morning!
Posted 25 May 2011 - 01:05 AM
Is the Powell's cookbook store the one on Hawthorne? Bread and Ink Cafe was a favorite brunch spot of mine when visiting Portland.
So one of the more well known landmarks in P-town (as all the cool kids refer to it) is Powell's City of Books, which is a ginormous bookstore downtown. Powell's also has several smaller stores throughout the city specialising in specific types of books, like technical books, and, my favorite, cookbooks. That store was the one I visited today.
Uwajimaya looks amazing. I didn't know about it. How's the asparagus this year? I'm guessing it's too early for cherries. Do you ever get over to the dry side?
Looking forward to more baking tips.
Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:22 AM
Zeemanb-Thanks for the kind words! The chicken was, in fact, amazing.
Today I will bake something else...not sure what yet, but I have a lovely container of ricotta cheese that will figure into it prominently. The children have requested going to an ice cream shop, so I'll see what I can scare up that's interesting for people in the over 5 set...
More to come!
Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:08 AM
When I started thinking about using the ricotta to bake with today, I immediately thought of the Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake, if only because I've looked through that book so many times I know all the recipes in it. After reading her anecdote at the top of the page about how this recipe was inspired by another recipe that she found and drastically altered, I knew she'd have my blessing to mess around with it some more! It was supposed to have figs, but I broke out the aforementioned dried peaches instead, and I subbed 2/3 cup stone ground and 1/3 cup fine ground cornmeal for the one cup medium grind cornmeal. I also left out the lemon zest, wasn't sure how it would go with the peaches, and besides, unbeknownst to me, the sole lemon in the house had gotten all squishy and gross at the bottom.
Here's the mise:
Cornmeal, flour, baking powder, eggs, butter, peaches, ricotta cheese, honey, sugar, and salt.
First you mix together the ricotta and water in the mixer until smooth, then you add the honey and sugar and beat until light. Looking at my batter, it didn't seem like the type that would EVER get light, it had way too much moisture. Chalk it up to the fact that my ricotta was pretty milky. Here's what it looked like, note the total lack of light'n'fluffiness...
You then add the butter. In this recipe it's melted, which is FABULOUS since I never remember to take it out of the fridge to soften, and when I try to soften it in the microwave I invariably end up with melted butter anyways...after the butter, you add the eggs, and beat it until everything is nice and smooth. Then the dry ingredients go in and get mixed to combine. A third of the batter goes in the pan (note that I used a springform instead of the fluted tart pan the recipe called for, more of that remixing I mentioned) and then the figs, or in this case, peaches, get sprinkled on top. Here's how it looked at that point:
Finally cover with the remaining batter, and sprinkle with bits of butter. I had a brief moment of doubt when contemplating just exactly what the dimensions of a "bit" of butter should be (does nathanm mention that in MC? ) but I figured about 1/4 inch cube-ish type pieces would fit the bill. Here it is:
Then into the oven, until it's done, probably around an hour for this thickness of batter. I'll post the results when it's out.
This morning (well, probably afternoon by the time I chase the kids out the door) we're going to mosey on over to Bob's Red Mill, and then hit one of the food cart pods I haven't been to before. And yes, there's ice cream there!
Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:20 AM
Posted 25 May 2011 - 11:48 AM
Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:09 PM
Patti- Thanks! I'm really enjoying sharing it with everyone!
I'm sorry I'm slacking on posting, we were running around the city this afternoon. I decided to be proactive and ensure a pleasant trip for everyone involved by starting at the girl's favorite lunch spot, Burgerville. We generally don't go out for fast food, and I avoid big chains especially (I'm talking about you, Clown and King...) but I do love me a Burgerville burger. Their slogan is Fresh Local Sustainable, which are three things I'm a fan of. They have seasonal specials, for example, right now it's strawberries in sundaes, smoothies, and milkshakes, and fried asparagus spears with garlic aioli dipping sauce or in several sandwiches. As summer progresses, they'll have blackberries, cherries, portabella mushrooms, pumpkin stuff, and hazelnuts near the end of the year. They had some awesome rosemary shoestring fries, but they were replaced by the asparagus spears ...I also like that they use Oregon Country natural beef, which has no antibiotics or hormones and is vegetarian fed. They've also got a pretty extensive collection of non-meat sandwiches. I particularly like the Yukon Gold and White Bean Basil Burger. It's not a burger, but it comes slathered with pesto mayo and the patty actually tastes really good, although in no way does it resemble an actual burger. And if I get a veggie burger, I can eat an entire basket of fries and drink a cherry chocolate milkshake with a clear conscience, so it all works out! They also have a rewards card that gives you like 5% back on all your purchases that you can use towards meals. I think we've got like $30 on there now, which shows how often we eat there...
Here's the outside:
And the inside:
I totally meant to take pictures of the food, but the kids weren't the only ones who were hungry, and I spaced it until my meal was just about gone...
Posted 25 May 2011 - 06:38 PM
And a couple of shots from the inside:
I left with some pastry flour, a bag of dried apples, conveniently prechopped into little cubes, perfect for muffins, and some graham flour for making graham crackers with the kids. All in all it was a productive trip. I wish it was closer to my house, they have any kind of flour and specialty grain stuff a baker could ever want.
Posted 25 May 2011 - 08:49 PM
For the garden challenged I advocate a kiddie pool like this - just a 6 pack of garden center zuchini- many good things to come from this simple set up and your kids and their friends will brag about eating flowers at your house (fried zuke flowers rock)
Posted 26 May 2011 - 08:55 AM
Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:49 AM
Oh yeah, baby. That's right. You didn't misread it, your eyes are in fact working. That's foie. On a FOOD CART MENU. On housemade potato chips with parsley and a creamy garlic sauce, no less. Can I get a hallelujah? I mean, come on, it's hard enough to find foie on ANY menu in PDX, it's kind of a "we love the animals" type of city. And don't get me wrong, I do love animals. But foie is like meat flavored butter. And if I see it on a menu, I order it. 'Nuff said. So clearly I ordered it. The owner, an extremely nice man named Charles, said his culinary goal was to create "odd and interesting food for the masses." A noble endeavor, in my humble opinion. I ordered the foie and chips and while it was being made, I meandered over to:
AKA Creme de la creme, for some of their french onion soup. I'd heard good reviews, and it really did hit the spot since it was kind of a rainy and cold day. Here's the rest of the menu:
The girls opted for sweets over savories (what a shock, I know...) and took their pick from items at Sugar Cube.
Mina got a chocolate malt and Aria opted for the chocolate caramel potato chip cupcake. When I pointed out that we had cupcakes at home and maybe she should try something different, the woman made an error that almost got her banned from my blog. She said that HER CUPCAKES WERE BETTER THAN MINE! I know, totally out of line, right? And not true, once I tasted them...I mean, they were tasty and all, but at the very most, I'd say they were AS good as mine, not better. Although the potato chips dipped in caramel and chocolate ganache were pretty nummy. But she did lose one Nom on my Heather rating scale of deliciousness based on her (in my mind) totally unfounded and unappreciated Heather's cupcake hate
This is what the (maybe as good as, definitely not better than mine) cupcake looked like:
As the girls sat down to eat, I heard my name ring out through the air, calling me back to Euro Trash, for this:
Tell me that's not the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Well, unless you're a vegetarian, then it's probably not even in your top ten, but for me, it was up there, trust me...After I ate, the sun came out for a little so I shot a couple of pics of some of the other carts.
Despite the fact that it's on the other side of the city and about 35 minutes from my house, I will definitely be returning to this pod. I saw lots of other things I want to try, although they'll be hard pressed to top Euro Trash. Ironically enough, the food cart that initially drew me to this food cart pot, Fifty Licks:
Was actually closed. Go figure.
Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:53 AM
Our first course was a spring chicken and onion soup with a cheese toast. It was pretty good, but the cheese on the toast was goat cheese, and I think that it's somewhat barnyard-y flavor dominated a little too much. It was also really really hot, which is understandable, but a couple of the people at the table complained of burnt tongues, which can kind of impair your enjoyment of the rest of the meal...
The next course was, I think, my favorite. I do love plates with multiple meats, and this one had them in spades. Clockwise from the top, foie gras bonbon with sauternes gelee, fleur de sel, and peanut shortbread, chicken liver mousse with pickled onion, pickled carrot and beet, beef tartare with quail egg on brioche, pork, chili, and fennel pate with cornichon and grainy mustard, and duck proscuitto. The salad in the middle was fennel and radish. Everything was amazing, but my favorite was the foie gras bonbon. It was both cute and tasty. And since my husband doesn't like foie, I got two of them. It was a good day to be me.
Our main was a Cattail Creek lamb loin chop with lemon creme fraiche smashed potatoes with cherrywood smoked bacon and peas mixed in, and a peashoot and mint salad dressed with warm bacon fat. I'm not a big fan of lamb, but this was delicious. It was perfectly cooked, the bacon added just the right amount of salty smokiness, and the salad was really clean and bright, a great contrast to the meat. The server mentioned that Cattail Creek was going out of business, so this would be the last of their lamb served. I was suprised, you see Cattail Creek lamb on quite a few of the upscale restaurant menus here. But upon visiting the website, it seems that it's an interpersonal issue, rather than a lack of demand, which leaves me hope that we'll see it again soon!
The salad course was an asparagus, porcini, and morel salad with parmigiano, browned butter and a poached egg. Not a big asparagus fan, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, but this was really good. So good, mixed with the runny egg yolk and the browned butter drizzled over, that I totally forgot to take a picture. Luckily, one of the other people at the table volunteered to let me take a picture of his...
Our cheese course was next. I unfortunately didn't get the names of the first two cheeses, and they were ones I was unfamiliar with, the first was a french sheep's milk cheese, it kind of reminded me of a manchego, and the second was a really nice goat's milk cheese, perfectly ripe and really creamy, with almost none of the funk I associate with goat's milk cheeses in general. However, the third cheese, Grayson, from Meadow Creek Dairy in Virginia is a washed rind cow's milk cheese. The flavor is almost meaty, the texture is slightly resistant and then just melts on your tongue, and the smell is pretty strong. Like feet-y strong. One of the other people at the table (the same nice guy who let me take pictures of his salad, as a matter of fact) compared it to "the worst bus stop bathroom I've ever smelled, you know, like when you really have to go, and then you walk into the bathroom and you wish you'd waited..." I thought it smelled more like unwashed feet, but hey, it tasted good, and that's what counts, right? The accompaniments were a champagne poached apricot, local wildflower honey, marcona almonds and anise shortbread. Pretty tasty all around.
Dessert was a strawberry parfait with a graham cookie base. It was good, really light, and very springy. The only complaint I had was that the cookie was pretty difficult to cut through with a fork, you should be able to get your fork all the way to the plate in one push, but this one took a little work. And the extra force kind of made it so you had to chase the dessert around on the plate a little bit, but as I said, it was yummy, so I won't give them too much grief .
When we staggered out, we were so full we went right to bed. Food coma. I didn't even eat breakfast. That's a good meal!
Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:00 PM
Oh -- are some of those converted school buses? (Does your area need a kosher deli truck? )
Pam Reiss aka "Pam R"
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Posted 26 May 2011 - 02:05 PM
The second one was for a two year old's party, he requested a rocket. This one was just enough for one person, everyone else got green glitter topped cupcakes with either alien heads, ufos, or mini rockets made out of fondant...
Both were quite successful, the kids really liked them. And since I got to eat some of the Fancy Nancy cake and the cupcakes, I enjoyed them too!
Posted 26 May 2011 - 05:15 PM
The pod i was at was actually on a big open lot with parking next door, bathrooms, and an atm. Not all of them are that well organized. The area around the other big pod close to that one is notorious for getting cars towed and ticketed. It would be amazing to have one out by us but I'm pretty sure there'd be zoning issues.
Edited by Genkinaonna, 26 May 2011 - 05:16 PM.
Posted 26 May 2011 - 05:38 PM
A fascinating idea: Are they squatting or do they usually get permits? I'd imagine each truck has it's own permit, but what about the whole?
"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."
"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father
My eG Food Blog (2011)
Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:52 PM
Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:29 PM
Posted 26 May 2011 - 10:30 PM
Posted 27 May 2011 - 09:26 AM
I think I would rather have had the foie and the chips separately (although leave on that delicious looking garlic sauce please!) especially in a situation where one lacks a proper table or utensils. What did you think of how the combo worked together?
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