• Posted by Califia Suntree on September 12th, 2014, 9:21 AM

    Alma Handmade Chocolates is my favorite sweets shop in Portland, and not just because they make these adorbs hazelnut hedgehogs. Alma’s confections (like their pistachio-filled bon bons, Thai peanut butter cups, and epic barks) foreground flavor, not just sweetness. The sugar is ratcheted down, and the inspired fillings and toppings–and, of course, the ethically sourced pure dark chocolate–amped up. I love popping in on a winter’s day for a demitasse of pudding-thick hot chocolate, looking out their big windows at the rainy streets…They are, to me, pure Portland, and now Alma is doubling down on its Oregon-ness by teaming up with Pendleton Woolen Mills, a true local institution. A select line of Alma chocolates featuring Oregon-produced ingredients like sea salt, cherries, and hazelnuts, will be available in gorgeous Pendleton-designed packaging now through the holidays at all Pendleton stores (including outlet locations). Go here to find the location nearest you, and stock up. The holidays are closer than you think, and I can think of no better way to share a taste of Oregon.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on September 9th, 2014, 12:54 PM

    Print is so yesterday–literally, because TODAY my e-cookbook Bring Your Lunch! comes out from Workman Publishing! Download it to your tablet here or anywhere e-books are sold. This book has been percolating in my mind since I moved to New York in 2002 and, as a worker bee editing cookbooks at HarperCollins, saw a profound need for a comprehensive lunch cookbook and guide to brown-bagging. Now, finally, I offer you more than 60 recipes for everything from soups to snacks, plus lunch staples like dressings and sandwich spreads, a complete chapter on the all-important mess kit, and helpful hints galore. Download now, and revolutionize your lunch!

    To tempt you even further, here’s a glimpse of just a few of the recipes on offer–all for a mere $4.99! Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on September 8th, 2014, 5:00 AM

    The second winning recipe for the Spooning Can-It-Forward Day recipe contest (with generous prizes courtesy of Ball) comes from Ann Forsthoefel, also of Portland, Oregon. (What can I say, the locals deliver!) She will be enjoying a bounty of Ball Heritage Collection Spring Green Mason jars, herb savers, pectin, and more for all her future canning endeavors (from what I hear, she has many such endeavors!)—and we will be enjoying her Tarragon Pickled Beets. As the directions below indicate, these can be processed in a hot water bath to be shelf stable, but Ann prefers to make them refrigerator pickles “because it keeps the beets so crisp.”

    Tarragon Beets

    Makes 3 pints Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on August 26th, 2014, 5:58 AM

    Presenting the first of the two winning Can-It-Forward recipes, to celebrate preserving the harvest. This one comes from Chris Ericsen and Keri Padon of Portland, Oregon–second-time winners! I’m sure they are still working their way through the bounty of pectin from last year, but this year they will enjoy even more canning goodies from Ball. And we will all enjoy their flavorful fresh kimchi, bursting with spice and so easy to make. It’s not processed, so it stays crunchy and salad-like, but isn’t shelf-stable–keep it in the fridge. Chris suggests adding dried shrimp, too, for “extra funk.” They can be found online or at Korean markets, as can the chili powder.

    Refrigerator Kimchi 

    Makes 2 quarts

    1 head Napa cabbage in 1-inch Dice
    2 tablespoons salt
    2 tablespoons sugar
    3 tablespoons minced garlic
    3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
    3 tablespoons fish sauce
    1/4 cup: Korean chili powder
    1 bunch green onion, sliced
    1 bunch cilantro, sliced
    4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

    1: Combine the cabbage, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes to draw the liquid from the cabbage. Squeeze the excess liquid from the cabbage.

    2: Toss the remaining ingredients with the cabbage. Taste for seasoning. Too spicy? Not salty enough? Note: If it is too spicy add more sugar and that will tame it.

    3. Pack into 2 clean quart jars, seal, and refrigerate. It will keep for several months.

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