yoyogi cocktail

I think I’ve found my favorite cocktail of 2016, and that’s saying a lot because I love cocktails.  I first sipped the Yoyogi at Noraneko, a restaurant located in Portland where I live. The restaurant is billed as a ramen shop, but their Japanese appetizers and traditional comfort foods are what dominate the menu. What gets me excited about Noraneko is their bar program. They have an extensive selection of traditional Japanese whiskeys and mixed drinks on the menu.  Continue reading yoyogi cocktail

a grandma-inspired cake

Memories, nostalgia and food are a theme in my life. I’ve written about food memories many times here. The taste and smell of food can bring back memories not just of eating food itself, but also of place and setting. For me, food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions.   Continue reading a grandma-inspired cake

bring back the harvey wallbanger

It doesn’t get more ’70s than a Harvey Wallbanger cocktail. I certainly was not drinking this iconic cocktails as a baby during the 1970s, but I can appreciate a drink whose heyday occurred during the decade of my birth. I’ve been familiar with the Harvey Wallbanger for a while, I may have seen it on a couple of cocktail menus , but I never gave it any thought until my friend Shannon told me the history with her grandma’s love for the drink.  Continue reading bring back the harvey wallbanger

spring-y soup

Now that I once again live in a state with distinct seasons, I find the timing of making certain recipes has changed. No longer can I find citrus at the farmers market in January. In fact, I’m hard pressed to find a farmers market open in Portland in January.  After a year in Portland, I’ve adjusted to braising pork shoulder in the winter and baking peach cobbler in the summer. Spring is when things get really fun in the kitchen. Flowers start blooming, fiddlehead ferns start showing up at the markets, and rhubarb is readily available. My recipe choices start to lighten up as the weather warms.  Continue reading spring-y soup

borrowed books result in celery root salad

I’ve started pilfering my friend’s many cookbooks. You see, she’s quite the cookbook collector, but claims to rarely cook, which I know is not true. However, since she made this claim, I happily grabbed a number of her cookbooks to peruse and borrow indefinitely. One in particular is a beautiful book by ex Chez Pannisse alum David Lebovitz, who now resides in Paris, and whose cookbook now lives on my bookshelf.  Continue reading borrowed books result in celery root salad

kachka’s short rib borscht

Kachka is having a bit of a moment in Portland. It’s a sweet little Russian restaurant with a chef who’s elevating what I used to consider bland, heavy food. Truth be told, Russian food can be heavy, but to me it’s perfect for the rainy, chilly days we’ve been having for the last few months in the Pacific Northwest.  Continue reading kachka’s short rib borscht

tasty n alder’s radicchio salad

If you live in Portland and like food, chances are you’ve dined at one of the restaurants in chef John Gorham’s portfolio of awesomeness. I first learned of Tasty n Sons in Bon Appetit magazine when I lived in the Bay Area. A few years ago when I was visiting in Portland from the Bay Area, I insisted that a group of my friends and I wait in the excruciatingly long weekend brunch line at Tasty n Sons. I really dislike waiting in line for food, and usually draw the line at an hour wait. However, my rule of no waiting for food seems to get thrown out the window when it comes to John Gorham’s restaurants.  Continue reading tasty n alder’s radicchio salad

khao soi, northern thailand’s iconic noodle soup

I fell hard for Khao Soi while I was in Chiang Mai. The coconut curry noodle soup both won my heart, and was a good introduction to Northern Thai food. It can be found anywhere and everywhere in Chiang Mai. I quickly found myself scanning street food stands for bags of fried noodles; the telltale sign that bowls of Khao Soi are being served from large cauldrons.  Continue reading khao soi, northern thailand’s iconic noodle soup

exploration in the kitchen, and restaurants near and far.