Posts for November, 2013

November 20, 2013

Cider Insider

Hard cider is enjoying an unprecedented comeback of late, and the Pacific Northwest’s many excellent cider producers are doing their part to buoy the boom. In last month’s Mix Magazine, I highlighted six exemplary local cider makers that will give you a whole new perspective on the forbidden fruit. Drink, discuss, repeat, and pretty soon, you’ll be throwing around terms like sous-bois, scrumpy, keeving and kilderkin like the most fervid of cider savants.

Read the article here, and if it gives you a mighty thirst for fermented Foxwhelps, well, how handy that Portland’s principal cider source, Bushwhacker Cidery, is hosting a lively Finnriver Farm & Cidery tasting fest tomorrow. Bushwhacker is devoting all eight of their taps to Finnriver ciders, and you’ll also be able to sample their champagne style cider, port-style apple wine and apple brandy fruit wines. Plus, chocolatier Vanessa Holden from Smitten Truffles will be handcrafting custom chocolate “cordial cups,” because why not go all the way and sip your apple wine from a chocolate cup? That is how you roll.

All event details here, but all you really need to know is that it starts tomorrow, 11/21, at 5pm and goes until 9pm. Cheers!

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November 18, 2013

Eat Well AND Eliminate Irksome Leaf Piles with the Le Pigeon Cookbook

While positive press continues to swarm the new Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird cookbook, I had yet to check it out, so it was nice to combine my first browse with a four-course meal by Le Pigeon chef Gabriel Rucker, Multnomah Athletic Club executive chef Philippe Boulot, and Boulot’s kitchen crew at the MAC this weekend.

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The Friday night feast showcased four impressive recipes from the book, and equally or perhaps even more impressively, Gabe inscribed each cookbook with the admonition to “Have a blast in the kitchen, that’s how I do it,” then drew a pigeon underneath. I used to teach kindergarten, and I would have given this illustration an A+, although to be fair, that’s the only drawing grade you ever give in kindergarten.

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Over the course of the evening, we all dined on hamachi with cured foie gras, truffles and mandarins; Read full story »

November 15, 2013

Moves It To Tabor Bread

Sometimes people get mad at me when I say that I’m getting my chub on, because admittedly I could be a lot huger considering how often I eat, but fortunately I inherited my mother’s diligent metabolism. However, I can tell when I’ve been hitting the pecan sticky buns a little too hard and the “gym”* not hard enough because my hips start to jut out and form little triangular bulges. We all put our weight on differently and I don’t get love handles, I get toast points.

So the other day I was browsing the Daily Mail and came across a post about how Miranda Kerr stays in shape, and even though I know the real reason is because she’s an android with a very good wig, I still read it because I’m a sucker for articles like that, and because I thought maybe there would be some helpful advice about how to get rid of my autumnal toast points. The article said Miranda uses this app called Moves to track her steps every day, which was of particular interest because my bf Michelle had been bragging about her new Fitbit motiontracking device, but it costs the equivalent of 35 Tabor Bread pecan sticky buns, so fuggedaboutit. I have priorities, and my priorities are sticky buns.

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November 14, 2013

Fall Feasting With the Grand Central Clan

Last fall, I drove out into the wilds of tiny, rural Goldendale, Washington, to spend the weekend with the Grand Central Baking Company family for a Mix Magazine profile about their annual family cider pressing tradition. They were all warm and wonderful hosts, and best of all, the entire family cooked pretty much nonstop.

They were cooking when I got there, they were cooking when I left, and they were cooking most of the time in between, although they did break now and then to eat, sleep, throw sticks to the five family dogs, sip bourbon around the fire pit, and take walks around their incredibly scenic farm, complete with its own apple orchard, pond, and barn (horses included). Oh yes, and they also pressed one metric ton of apples into fresh cider. There was that, too.

The resulting article, styled and photographed beautifully by John Valls and his wife Theresa, came out in last month’s Mix, and you can read it online here. It includes recipes for Butterflied Salmon Steaks With Savory Relish, Cast-Iron Brassicas With Roasted Red Peppers, Butternut Squash Gratin, Gwenyth’s Baked Apples, and Pine Street Bakery’s Savory Biscuits. They’re all very Thanksgiving friendly, so keep that in mind of you need a 6th or 36th course for the ambitious T-Day menu you’re still fine tuning.

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Photo of the GCB fall family feast by John Valls … johnvalls.com