Northwest Character

13
Jan 2016
Taste of Place: Meroir

Most of us have wrapped our brains, and our palates, around the idea of terroir by now. According to Merriam-Webster, its usage dates back to the mid-19th century, referencing the various influences from soil, climate, altitude, aspect, wind exposure, etc. that contribute to the unique character of wine grapes grown in a particular area. My 1941 copy of the Merriam-Webster New International Dictionary doesn’t include terroir sandwiched between territory and terror. Wine jargon seems to have owned the ...

27
Oct 2015
Egg in Wine Sauce: Oeufs en Meurette

Eggs in your wine? I realize that concept may sound less than appealing at first. But leave it to the French to have put eggs in wine and made something glorious of it. Perhaps it doesn't hurt that there is also bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions. A bit of butter helping make a luscious sauce. If you've ever had oeufs en meurette--dug your fork into that pillow of poached egg, the yolk blending ...

29
Sep 2015
Marinated Wild Mushrooms with Fennel and Pearl Onions

In honor of the season and the slew of wild mushrooms beginning to hit markets now, how about a little recipe from my Wild Mushrooms ebook in my Northwest Cookbooks series? I’ve long loved marinated mushrooms, even those pretty basic types that come in little jars from the grocery store. Though like so many favorite snacks like that, it gets only better when ...

12
Jan 2015
Oysters for The Ark

So, first some news. Things have gotten pretty briny around my house, and that's not just because the Puget Sound is a brief stroll from here. I hadn't anticipated that my 2014 would wrap up fully engrossed in oysters, but that's how it played out. By complete coincidence, two Seattle publishers reached out to me about oyster-related projects. The first, an article for Seattle Magazine, appeared in the December issue and covers both the current boom in oyster bars ...

28
Aug 2014
Feasting on Portland

It's one of those photo-ops-missed that I've thought about more than a few times in the past year -- arriving in Portland on a Sunday afternoon, looking down on the sidewalk and seeing a "Feast Portland" wristband that clearly had gotten a lot of good use over the previous few days. That trip, obligations had colluded to keep me from attending the event itself, but I whipped down to Portland to ...

03
Jul 2014
Road Trip: Wenatchee

When my beloved 1992 Jetta was hit with some minor but worthy-of-being-deemed-'totaled' damage a couple of years ago, I got myself a new VW that invariably came with tons more automatic doodads and general smarts than my old car had. Even just getting a cup-holder and no longer hand-cranking the windows up and down was a huge advance. I hadn't quite expected the car to actively nudge me with notes on ...

18
Apr 2014

It's sad but true -- as a Washingtonian, I am most decidedly a wet-sider. I've lived pretty much my whole life here on the damp, evergreen west side of the Cascade mountains. And while we get over to the Yakima and Tri-Cities area every year or so to visit friends, that feels like quite the trek. The extra hour ...

03
Mar 2014
Northwest EBooks Promotion

The new series of eBooks that I launched a couple of months ago is on a special promotion right now. Today the price of each of the seven titles is down to $.99, and over the course of the next few days the price goes up one dollar per day until returning to the full price on Thursday. ...

15
Nov 2013
Restaurant Photos: A Different View

I came to the conclusion this week that I'm deeply tired of that pause from the pleasure of eating out that's inescapable when the let-me-get-a-shot-of-that-before-you-take-a-bite routine kicks in. So I plan to give it a bit of a break. While at the same time giving a break to family and friends who usually love, but surely sometimes are perplexed by, hanging out with a food professional. Of course I'll still be taking food snaps, no way around that. They're part of the toolkit ...

17
Oct 2013
The Season of Hops

    Hops. Where would beer be without them? They add not only that distinctive floral-citrus-resiny flavor to the hop-heavy ales many of us in the Northwest love, but as a backbone of the beer-making process they contribute to the characteristic aroma of beer and act as a sort of preservative to help stabilize it against bacteria. (That hopped-up India Pale Ale style of beer is so named because extra hops were ...