• Posted by Califia Suntree on December 10th, 2012, 5:27 AM

    I neglected to do a homemade gift roundup last year (though I stand by my 2010 suggestions–particularly the cocoa mix, which I made again for a camping trip this summer), and now it’s a bit last-minute for 2012. But if you are like me, last minute is the name of the game. Last Christmas, I gave lemon-lime marmalade, which is a great last-minute canning project since citrus is in season and it’s ready to eat right away. I included a recommendation to use it as a marinade-booster or glaze for chicken and fish. Here’s a fresh batch of ideas for 2012! Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on October 18th, 2012, 5:04 PM

    From time to time, I feel like it’s my duty to remind everyone to pickle things! Now that winter is coming on, pickle-friendly veggies are taking center stage, and there’s nothing like a zingy bite of something sour to spark up cold-weather dishes like roast meats and stews. It doesn’t take much–maybe a quick cook to soften, and then a nice long soak in a flavorful brine. No need to do any fancy canning, just a clean jar and a fridge. The glorious pink pile you see here is a batch of watermelon radishes, thinly sliced and soaked in lemon juice, white balsamic, salt, sugar, and zest. It took but a moment and brought days of happy snacking. (This system works beautifully for daikon as well. But remember, pickled radishes of any stripe are stanky.) So as the beets, carrots, radishes, cabbages, garlic, turnips, and brussels sprouts pile up around you this fall and winter–please, remember to pickle.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on October 8th, 2012, 5:33 AM

    I like sweets for breakfast, mostly because I drink coffee, and there’s just nothing like a sweet with a cup of coffee. So I’m always seeking ways to indulge my cravings while still getting a shred of nutrition to start my day and balance out the caffeine. I’m new to coconut oil, the healthy fat du jour, and have mostly been using the jar I bought as body lotion. (It’s FAB as body lotion.) Could it compete with butter in a batch of banana muffins? Combined with honey, ginger, pecans, and a handful of coconut chips, the coconut oil not only competed, it beat butter at its own game. These muffins are damned delicious.

    Makes 12 large muffins. Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on September 28th, 2012, 4:24 PM

    Four weeks in, I’ve eaten my way through what feels like an epic array of restaurants here in Portland, OR, but which is in fact just a weensy sliver of what this town has to offer. It’s really no wonder New York has a crush on Portland, something that is not lost on the locals. (It’s like when that one nerdy kid is beloved by the cool kids, mostly because he honestly doesn’t care if anyone likes him and he just does his thing. It’s pretty much exactly like that.) I’ve dutifully sipped Stumptown, though given the choice I’d much rather sip Heart–and if there’s one thing you have as a coffee drinker here, it’s choice. I’m sure it’s to combat SAD. My ranging included obligatory stops at Pok Pok and Salt & Straw, where the noodles and fudge sauce, respectively, did not disappoint. But here are some highlights from the first four weeks, should you decide to visit (and you should!): Read on… »

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