Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eggs and Snow

It is snowing in Portland. Snowing, It’s-a-White-Christmas, giant, powdery white snowflakes kind of snow. The kind of snow that conjures the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and dreams of skating in Rockefeller Center and drinking hot cocoa afterwards at Serendipity.

After I have imbibed all of the hot chocolate I can possibly handle, it is precisely this kind of day that makes me crave comfort food! One of my favorite comfort dishes is one that Court introduced me to when we were first dating. In fact, I think he pulled it out to make sure I would be powerless to resist him. It is a simple Cantonese dish that transports him right back to his childhood, and for me, provides great satisfaction when I don’t want to make much of an effort for dinner.

Steamed eggs might not sound like the incredibly luxurious dish that it actually is. It is a very simple dish—with only 4-5 ingredients and a short cooking time, but the result is a silken custard of savory eggs topped with scallions and oyster sauce. I am incredibly attached to oyster sauce—it is the perfect balance of savory and sweet. I should warn you that it might take a couple of attempts to find the perfect bowl to cook it in. We like rounded bottom ceramic dishes the best, and use our double boiler as our steamer. It is hard to nail down a cooking time, as it varies so much from dish to dish, so for the first time please stand close by and check every two minutes with a fork. You will know it is set when it is the texture of silken tofu in the middle. Once you have the cooking time down, it might just become one of your go to comfort foods as well.

Let it snow!

Cantonese Style Chinese Steamed Eggs

Serves 2
• 3 eggs
• ¼ cup broth (I use chicken)
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 2-3 drops of toasted sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon canola oil to coat the bowl
• 2-3 scallions, finely minced
First, bring water in double boiler or wok to a rolling boil and be sure to coat the bowl with canola oil.
Whisk the egg with salt, sesame oil and broth in the ceramic bowl.
Place bowl into a steamer or double boiler and cover with lid. (You can make your own steamer by simply adding some water into a wok and raise the bowl above the water by using a small wire rack. If you do this, don’t close the wok lid fully... leave a small gap)
Gently steam for 8-15 min (time varies greatly depending on dish). You should open the lid and check if the egg is cooked by placing a fork in the center to see if it has set. Remember that it should be the texture of silken tofu.
Remove from steamer, drizzle with oyster sauce and sprinkle scallions on top just before serving. Serve with steamed white rice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jill's Stuffed Cornish Game Hens

I am thankFULL.

I must admit that after moving away from all our family and friends earlier this year, Thanksgiving was not something I was looking forward to. This may be a common feeling for many of those who have to journey long distances to have stress-inducing conversations with extended family, but for me, Thanksgiving has always been an uproarious family event with a ridiculous amount of amazing food and hilarious conversations with people I love. My relatives plan out the menus months ahead of time and the day itself is spent imbibing copious amounts of champagne while roasting birds and vegetables to culminate in a collectively prepared feast.

Over the years, I have spent Thanksgivings apart from my family, but always in the company of friends who have felt like family themselves. This year my Thanksgiving woes were put to rest by my dear friend Emma, who also loves food, plots out feasts months ahead of time, and even better yet, loves to drink champagne while filling pies, stuffing birds and roasting squash.

We had a delightful dinner for six—starting out with one of my favorite salads: grapefruit, avocado and butter lettuce is the ultimate palate cleanser (to help wash away the many rich cheeses we had been devouring in the hours leading up to the meal).

The star of the main event was my mother’s amazing Cornish game hens dusted with nutmeg and stuffed with herb cheese. I have come to enjoy preparing turkey (I baste all day in butter and wine), but when we found out there would be just six of us, Cornish game hens seemed so much more special. We served it with caramelized butternut squash, roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta, apple sausage stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and my mom’s mashed potatoes.

As much as I loved the entree, Emma’s beautiful apple galette may have been my favorite of the night—she even made a homemade Calvados applesauce! Suffice to say, a wonderful time was had by all!

Jill’s Stuffed Cornish Game Hens:

These are ridiculously easy, and a real show stopper. I generally serve with a loaf of crusty bread, roasted carrots (with butter and thyme) and a nice bottle of red wine.


• 4 (1-2 pound) Cornish game hens
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• Salt and white pepper
• Freshly ground nutmeg
• 1/4 cup white wine
• 1/4 cup chicken stock
• 1 container of herb Boursin or Alouette cheese


*The night ahead: scoop out six 1-2 Tbsp of Boursin or Alouette cheese and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place the herb packets in the freezer overnight. You can get away with freezing them the morning of if you forget!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and position the oven rack in the center of the oven.

Rinse hens inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Tuck wing tips under the hens, then place them, breast side up, in a large roasting pan, alternating directions of hens so that they fit well in the pan. Rub the hens with 1/2 tablespoon each of the butter. Season the hens inside and out with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Unwrap the cheese and place inside the cavity of each bird. Tie each hen’s legs with kitchen twine. Roast hens for 20-25 minutes, then move them slightly in the pan to prevent them from sticking on the bottom. Continue to roast the hens until they are golden brown and the juices run clear, about 20-30 minutes longer. The hens are done when you can pull the leg away from the body without any resistance.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer hens to a serving platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil while you prepare the sauce.

Pour off any excess fat in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop over high heat. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and stock, scraping the bottom of the roasting pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon gravy over the birds and serve with crusty bread!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Of Eggplants and Parmesan

Since we are heading full throttle towards the beginning of a new year, I have started working on a couple of early resolutions. For one, after much hemming and hawing, I have decided to get over my need to have perfect photos to go with every entry, and just focus on writing more. I am not a photographer and do not foresee an expertise in this realm any time soon.

As you might be able to tell from my new running head, I was also craving a new look for the site. This gorgeous ode to cheese was taken at what is undoubtedly one of my all time favorite restaurants, Gramercy Tavern in New York City. It is a photo of their renowned cheese station, and though I took this picture several months ago, I am still amazed that I was able to capture this image. Gramercy Tavern is a New York institution, the place where Tom Colicchio got his start, and a place that never fails to delight me with consistently excellent food and an ambiance that is at once intimate and rollicking. This photo reminds me how absolutely beautiful a table of nothing but cheese in all its artful simplicity can be.

Cheeeeeesse. I would not want to imagine my world without it. When I recently discovered that I had a sensitivity to wheat, my first thought was, “Thank God its not dairy.” I was of course fazed by the news, but truth be told, I feel so much better after cutting wheat out of my diet that it’s hard to get too worked up about it. And many of my favorite recipes don’t have anything to do with wheat. After a few crestfallen moments realizing that I would have to eat less pasta (I refuse to give it up entirely!), I began to account for all the wheat free foods I could come up with. The first recipe that came to mind was Jamie Oliver’s Eggplant Parmesan. Before trying Oliver’s recipe, I was not at all a fan of this Italian-American classic. Somehow, being battered and fried and smothered in tomato sauce is something I think best left to the mozzarella sticks of my youth.

This recipe is light, even airy, and is delightful with a salad and crusty bread (if you are so inclined). If I want a couple extra portions leftover, I add in lasagna noodles* to make it more substantial. I also tend to add a bit of fresh mozzarella to the top, but it is lovely with or without it...

*For gluten-free readers: I recently discovered the joy of Tinkyada’s brown rice pasta. Try theirs if you want to opt for the lasagna option.

Eggplant Parmesan

Adapted from “Jamie’s Italy” by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion, 2006)
3 medium-large eggplants, cut crosswise into ½-inch slices
Olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 28-ounce can no-salt plum tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or as needed
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs, optional.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves, optional.

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil, and place in a single layer on two or more baking sheets. Bake until undersides are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, then turn and bake until other sides are lightly browned. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add onion. Sauté until soft: about 10 minutes. Add garlic and dried oregano and sauté another 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and their juices, breaking up whole tomatoes with your hands. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Add vinegar, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Into a 9-by-9-inch, 10-by-5-inch or 10-by-6-inch baking pan, spoon a small amount of tomato sauce, then add a thin scattering of parmigiano, then a single layer of eggplant. Repeat until all ingredients are used, ending with a little sauce and a sprinkling of parmigiano. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and oregano, if using, with just enough olive oil to moisten. Sprinkle on top. If desired, recipe can be made to this point and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking.

4. Bake until eggplant mixture is bubbly and center is hot, 30 to 45 minutes depending on size of pan and thickness of layers. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Recipe can also be reheated.

Yield: 4 main dish servings.
Time: About an hour 45 minutes- 1 hour

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Season of Short Ribs

I feel as though I have spent the last year trying to disavow my love of meat. I think it is fair to say that I’m quite conflicted. Some months have been more successful than others – July and August were a breeze. Particularly if I discount the dinner my brother and I spent at the delicious meat-intensive restaurant Beast in 105 degree weather—consuming 5 courses as we did our best not to melt.

Summer was blissfully spent with corn, tomatoes, arugula, and peaches, but being the anticipatory eater that I am, I was already plotting my braised meat dishes for fall. Fortunately, I have a like-minded friend who not only loves to plot meals months ahead of time with me, but also insists on wearing a nubby sweater while eating braised meat and drinking red wine for the total autumn experience. And so it came to pass this October, that we wore nubby sweaters on a perfect crisp fall day, and made what might just be one of the most delicious of all fall dishes— mushroom braised short ribs

I have frequently made this dish in the dead of winter— most often for Christmas dinner. One of the reasons I love this dish so much on Christmas is that, after a modest amount of chopping and seasoning, you can leave the meat to its own devices for a good four hours. In my family, this means that our championship Trivial Pursuit game can continue without interruption. I love to serve this with egg noodles and a crisp salad beforehand. I won’t lie to you, it is a rich meal, and one that might inspire you to take a nap, but it is just so goooood.

* Note: Unless I’m preparing for 6-8 people, I often half the recipe.


* This is adapted from “Tom Valenti’s Soups, Stews and One-Pot
Meals” by Tom Valenti and Andrew Friedman.

Total time: 4 1/2 hours after overnight seasoning
Yield: 6 servings
6 pounds short ribs (about 6 pieces)
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 cups dry white wine
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
9 cups store-bought, reduced-sodium beef broth
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup dried morel or porcini mushrooms, rinsed under running water to
remove grit

1. Day before cooking, season ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. Heat olive oil in roasting pan over medium-high heat until hot but
not smoking. Add ribs and brown on all sides, about 1 minute per side.
Remove from pan and set aside.
4. Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan. Add onion, celery,
carrot and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned,
about 8 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Stir in
mushrooms. Bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Return ribs to pan, cover with foil and braise in oven for 1 hour.
Remove foil and cook 3 more hours, or until meat is very tender and
falling off bone.
6. To serve, remove ribs from braising liquid and divide among 6 warm,
shallow bowls. (Leave bones for dramatic presentation.) Strain braising
liquid, reserving morels and discarding other solids. Skim off and discard fat from liquid and pass as a sauce at the table.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Learning Chinese

When we finally decided to venture across the country to Portland, I had some misgivings about leaving the food of New York. This is not to say that I didn’t think I would be getting a great deal of amazing food in return, but I was deeply attached to many of the ethnic cuisines that are readily available in NYC - namely Korean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and perhaps most importantly, Chinese.

Court grew up in the New York Chinese restaurant community, and we had spent many a day together going to the different NYC Chinatowns to eat amazing roast chicken, pork, duck, and I can’t even get started on the wonder that is Xiao Long Bao (a.k.a soup dumplings). Up to this point, I had been fairly disenchanted with American Chinese food, mostly stemming from the Chinese food I’d eaten in my youth. This all changed with the forays south of Canal to New Green Bo, Joe’s Shanghai, and of course, Big Wong.

So, in light of our impending departure I gave Court a Chinese cook book for Christmas in the hopes that we would both use it to recreate some of the dishes we loved—though I have to say that I am alone in my love of thousand year old/soy sauce eggs! After much perusing, I settled on Kylie Kwong’s Simple Chinese Cooking both for the simplicity of the recipes and the beautiful images. We have tried a few recipes so far (with mixed results) but both very much enjoyed her “Steamed Shrimp with Ginger and Scallions” so I thought I would share.

First off, I love having frozen shrimp around because it pretty much assures me that I can make a great dinner with just the shrimp and whatever else I have on hand at the time. The steaming worked beautifully, and as always the only real caveat with shrimp is to take care not to overcook!

My complaints here were mostly with the sauce—it quite simply lacked the brightness and balance of flavors that signifies much of Chinese cooking. I have altered the recipe according to my tastes, which are heavier on the garlic, ginger and acid, but I think it is still a very clean, balanced, subtle dish. We served it with steamed rice and devoured the entire thing in one sitting! I also love to slice some Kirby cucumbers and dress them with sesame oil, lots of rice wine vinegar, a generous pinch of sugar and some Sriracha hot sauce. The acid of the crunchy pickles complements the steamed shrimp beautifully!

Steamed Prawns with Ginger and Scallions

Adapted from Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong

1 lb large uncooked shrimp
1/3 cup shao hsing wine or dry sherry
2 ½ tablespoons julienned ginger
2/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Sprinkle the ginger, wine and scallions evenly on top of the shrimp in a ceramic bowl or plate.

Carefully transfer the dish with the shrimp to a rack in a skillet (or steamer) and cover tightly, then steam over moderately high heat until they are just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.

Combine soy, garlic*, sugar, sesame oil and vinegar in a bowl and drizzle over the steamed shrimp. In a small skillet, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil over moderately high heat, then pour it over the shrimp before serving.

*If you are not as fond of raw garlic as I am, you may want to add it to the shrimp at the same time as the scallions and ginger.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pok Pok/ Whiskey Soda Lounge

3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR

I have to say that I am approaching this entry with a fair amount of trepidation given that it is only my second review of a Portland restaurant and it happens to be on Pok Pok: a restaurant that has garnered national attention and the fanatical devotion of most of Portland’s most voracious and discerning eaters. All that being said, I have now been to Pok Pok twice, both times eagerly anticipating a meal that would delight me—I have as well spent many a moment pouring over Pok Pok’s online menu— my mouth watering in anticipation of the roasted game hen, their beef flank salad, the catfish, the papaya salad, the curry noodle soup and the chicken wings so delectable that they made Food and Wine’s top ten list of 2007.

The first time I went to Pok Pok was in November when I was interviewing for my job at Timber. We spent a good hour or so in line on a cold, rainy Friday night, but thankfully had the good fortune of standing behind a couple who told us how they felt about living in Portland. They both had visited the restaurant on several occasions and also waxed rhapsodic about the wings. After being ushered into the cozy, wood Whiskey Lounge, we ordered the half roasted game hen (Kai Yaang), the papaya salad (Papaya Pok Pok), the catfish (Cha Ca La Vong), and the chicken wings (Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings). We enjoyed the hen, though I was not overwhelmed as it was a bit on the dry side. The catfish was nice, but pretty much an unmemorable dish (though I would definitely order it again to make sure, since I adore catfish). The papaya salad was tart, and mostly balanced, though a bit too spicy.

I should say that I absolutely adore spicy food and have a fairly high tolerance for heat compared to most, but I think there is a line where the heat numbs your palate and really ends up detracting from the experience. Of course, there is something strangely satisfying about this “pain” as I fist discovered at the age of 15, ordering Kung Pao chicken at a restaurant in Washington D.C., where I proceeded to gobble it up as if in a race against the Sichuan peppers. At times, while eating extremely spicy food, I am almost afraid to stop for fear that the real pain will take hold. This leads me to the (in)famous wings, which we ordered spicy(without thinking twice), only to find that our mouths had almost entirely lost feeling with the exception of the exquisite burning. Because one has to fully engage with chicken wings—no knife and fork for these--our lips came into full contact with the spice and it sadly numbed our mouths to the point that we had to keep rubbing our lips with rice to try and make the pain stop. I realize this must sound completely melodramatic and that it must have been some sort of fluke as very few people mention how spicy these can be.

The next time we went, we vowed to order them again and to not order them spicy regardless of what our server’s recommendation—and although he DID try to get us to order them spicy, we held firm. I am sure that the spice is normally fairly moderate but I didn’t want to take any chances. The wings have been described by the Oregonian as “super-crisp and caramelized and tasting like fried chicken from the dining room of paradise,” but this second time around in the warm light of a early May evening, I found them almost ridiculously sweet, as if someone had poured caramel over them in a thick mess. I was reminded of eating a caramel apple as I attempted to scrape the sugar coating off my teeth before taking each bite. Again, I am hoping that this was another off night for the wings, considering how many people I know that love them dearly. I will try them once more and if thwarted again will take it as a sure sign that my love affair with Pok Pok’s wings is simply not to be. The next dish we ordered was the flank steak salad (Neua Naam Tok) at the waiter’s suggestion. This type of Thai beef salad happens to be one of the only Thai dishes I make at home and I will say that I wound up wishing I had cooked it myself. The most glaring problem outside of the balance of flavors (I would have liked a bit more acid to balance the heat) was the fact that the steak was cooked medium well! If I desire one thing above all others in a steak salad, it is that the meat is cooked medium rare.

The last dish was nice—a simple grilled calamari (Ca Muc Nuong) with a chili lime dipping sauce and crisp lettuce to wrap it in. This was soothing after the sugar and spice of the first two dishes and we really did enjoy how clean and fresh it tasted, but it simply could not get me excited about the meal as a whole. I know I may alienate some people with this negative review, but I am truly not that hard to please. Never one to give up on a challenge, I will go a few more times to see if the stars can align and I will finally feel like I am eating “the fried chicken from the dining room of paradise”. What a lovely thought!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Apizza Scholls (4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR)

APPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPIIIIIIIIZZZZZZZZZZZZAAAAA SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSCCCCCCCCHOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Let’s all say it together—slowly, with some reverence please! As you might already know from my piece on Lucali’s, I love pizza. As Woody Allen once said to Annie Hall, “I don’t just love you, I luuuurrvvve you.” I myself have said this to Court and even more often, to pizza. Not just any pizza, mind you, but I find it slipping out to a particularly wonderful pizza. Having lived in New York City for close to a decade, I also fancy myself somewhat of an expert on the subject and even though I ate my way through many pizzas in its birthplace of Italy, I have still maintained that New York is the home of the best pizzas in the world. I know it may sound obnoxious, but I never rooted for the Yankees so I thought that my pizza superiority complex was fair. When I left New York, I have to admit that I was very ready, but I did have serious concerns at leaving the pizza (Grimaldi’s in particular). But there is something wonderful about the fact that generally, at even at the most modest pizzeria, you can get a decent and inexpensive slice. So upon arriving in the fair city of Portland, I resolved to get over my pizza pining and just learn to perfect making one at home. That was short lived, as I do not have a wood burning oven that reaches 800 degrees….

I knew from Anthony Bourdain’s special on Portland, that he was entranced with Apizza Scholls, but I am still not sure as to how much of Tony’s rants and raves I really believe at this point. Don’t get me wrong, I am smitten with the man and have even been known to start instinctively following him when I have come across his path in NYC (he is so willowy!) Regardless, I decided it was time to try the place after a good solid two weeks without pizza (it was painful I assure you).

When we first arrived, it was a Tuesday at 6 pm and we waited for about a half hour. We had heard tales of the long waits, but this did not bother us at all and in fact allowed us time to venture over to the old school arcade with Donkey Kong, Ms. Pacman, and Galaga. There is nothing like old school video games to build up an appetite for pizza! We ordered two old speckled hens, the Caesar salad and a Margarita with homemade sausage. The Caesar is huge and by far and away one of the best Caesars I have ever had at a restaurant. Actually, in our Portland adventures, we have discovered that the city has a knack for perfectly balanced Caesars. Apizza Scholl’s Caesar was tart, garlicky, and full of perfect romaine leaves, croutons, and anchovies. I was already getting emotional eating such an amazing Caesar salad, when the pizza arrived. It actually brought tears to my eyes when I took my first bite.

All of my fears about not being able to eat an exquisite pizza outside of NYC had been unfounded! This was the most delightful combination of a thin but chewy crust, fresh slightly tart sauce, and the amazing homemade sausage, oh the sausage! Our waitress that first night has remembered us every time that we have been in since, and trust me, she serves thousands of people! I have to admit that the subsequent visits were not quite as emotional as the first time, but especially on the nights that we excel at Donkey Kong, Apizza Scholls is just about perfect.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Westward Ho!

I must begin by apologizing for being so remiss with my fledgling blog. It has been three whole months with nary an entry and though I am not a big fan of excuses, I do have a really good one for my absence. Two months ago, I moved three thousand miles, in the company of my dog and very supportive boyfriend, to Portland, Oregon.

This great journey started a few years ago with a seductive article,
Portland, Oregon: Can a Place Be Too Perfect? I was immediately enchanted by the description of a city that not only seemed entirely focused on a love of food and drink, but was better yet, set in spectacular natural surroundings. I printed the article out for a close friend with the hope that we would both move there in the near future. My friend (dear Attia!) did in fact get a job as liaison to her company’s Portland office, and so was blessed with a few visits a year to this city. She would return to New York with tales of restaurants in quaint Victorian houses, people eating at outdoor cafes til all hours of the night during the summer and of course, the amazing food and drink! As I became more involved with my boyfriend, Court, we would dream about moving to the west coast. We contemplated never returning from a great trip up the Califorinia coast last year. But, as we waited almost an hour to cross the Bay Bridge on the last day of our trip, all of the reasons I moved away from the Bay Area years ago loomed before me and squelched any desire I had to move there.

As much as I loved living in New York for almost a decade, I had come to resent my long subway commute with people breathing down my neck, and more significantly, I was deeply agitated by the cost of living. The last six months I lived there, I could feel NYC’s hold on me loosening — however, I still had not found the place I wanted to land. Over the years, I would print out articles on Portland, and though it was always a potential destination, I could not conceptualize how on earth we would pick up and move there without jobs, friends or family. Then one fateful day last September, I decided that I was ready to not only find a new job, but to fly to Portland later that month to see if we could make a go of it. Court reasoned that we should wait until the following spring when we had enough vacation time to really absorb Portland and all it had to offer.

It was not too soon after that the New York Times dining section featured the city as a shiny gold beacon of food and drink, and I stumbled upon a job opening for an editor in Portland. From there, everything seemed to come together as if it were scripted and in my search for a new home, I did find a great city, but more than that, I found a wonderful job. I am now an editor at Timber Press where I am starting new lists in food, drink, sustainability and green living. We have been here now officially for two months and so far, Portland seems full of potential. And so, even though it feels like a happy ending to the story, it is just a new beginning.

And next week, the tales of Portland’s great food scene can finally begin…