• 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 August 6th, 2012, 3:23 PM

    Should you find yourself en route to Mammoth, Yosemite or the eastern Sierras for a long weekend of healthy, outdoorsy activities, might I suggest that, instead, you stop in Bishop, book a motel room, and stuff your face morning til night with croissants, baguettes, and flourless chocolate Sierra Mud cookies from the Great Basin Bakery. You may come home butter-soaked and chubby, instead of tanned and fit, but you will have reveled in the best croissants this side of Paris (must try: spinach and cheese, warmed up, with a mug of strong coffee), dense, perfectly chewy sourdough, and oh those dark, gooey Sierra Muds! Our Yosemite camping trip was markedly more deluxe thanks to our Great Basin treats–their mini-baguettes made for delightful cheese sandwiches, enlivened with red pepper charred over the campfire–and now, back in pastry-deficient Santa Monica, we long mournfully for those croissants. Is 267 miles too far to drive for breakfast?

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on January 13th, 2012, 12:01 PM

    I have been waiting for some clever charlie to figure this out. Single-cup brewers have been an environmental nightmare, what with roughly 5 billion of those damned “coffee pods” ending up in landfills in 2011. The pods are neither recyclable nor compostable, but now, finally, there is a reusable option for Keurig machines. Fill the pod your own grounds, to your desired strength, and brew away one cup at a time, if that’s your thing.


    Ekobrew Reusable Filter for Keurig Single Cup Brewers.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 3rd, 2011, 12:14 PM

    I have never been so tempted to open a restaurant. Look at those turquoise chairs at the counter!


    “This 1946 Pullman Budd Round End Observation Kitchen and Dining Car – is no longer in use and is being sold by the rail service company to free up funds.

    This WWII vintage dining and kitchen car  was manufactured by Pullman in 1946 and at the time was state of the art. Relive the past and buy this 85′ car as a guest house, starter restaurant or put it back on the tracks.

    The interior is in excellent shape and includes a coffee bar, kitchen and dining area. The under carriage was certified four years ago.”

    Pullman Railroad Budd Round End Observation Kitchen and Dining Car – 1946.

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