About this Blog

Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.


Awesome Onion Goggles

Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner

Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner, Portland

Project Grace
Friday nights at Trinket
2035 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
503-805-1342 for reservations (or OpenTable)

Apparently, the last pop-up at Trinket is 4/18/2014 and the menu region is Sicily. Menu details are on Project Grace’s facebook page.

Late last month we went to Project Grace for dinner. This is a pop-up that happens every Friday night at Trinket — they also do an additional Italian-American-inspired meal Tuesday evenings at Hokusei (SE 42nd and Belmont). Obviously, one of the huge appeals for Trinket (or Project Grace) for us is that it is walkable and we are lazy diners. That said, I would totally drive across town for more of the Cacciatore-esque roasted game hen.

Every Friday is a five course meal (for about $40) that focuses on a different region of Italy. On our night, it was Campania. This meant seafood, chilies, rich tomato sauces, and saffron. The meal is served family style and if you are lucky, you will get to enjoy an 80′s soundtrack with your dinner.

We started with cocktails and freshly grilled bread with a honey-lavender butter. The plates came out well-paced and each time something got laid down on . . . → Read More: Project Grace Pop-up: Campania Dinner

Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Quinoa Polenta with Sauteed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Oh my god, I love polenta. Creamy polenta, sautéed polenta — doesn’t matter. I just wish corn was healthier than it is, especially when I could probably eat polenta multiple times per week. I think I have found a solution! Polenta that is half traditional polenta and half quinoa! Because quinoa is good for you, it all works out.

I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I actually saw it at the store. You know those little tubes of pre-made polenta you can buy? Well, that polenta isn’t that great compared to homemade, but they also now make a quinoa polenta version. I saw it the other day and I couldn’t believe what a great idea it was. So, I made my own at home.

I had also recently just made some apricot vinegar and although we had been using it in wonderful salad dressings all week, this dish seemed like a great use for it as well. I love making polenta with sautéed greens, so I just stuck to that theme here. I used some rainbow chard and used the same cooking technique as I did . . . → Read More: Quinoa Polenta with Sautéed Greens, Parmesan & Apricot Vinegar

Baked Fish, Potatoes and Spanish Chorizo

Baked Fish, Potatoes and Chorizo

This is a great spring or summer meal. First of all, it has an easy one pot type set up (always a plus) and it’s Spanish in influence, which always makes me think of sunny weather. You could easily skip the chorizo if you can’t find any (this requires the real, cured Spanish variety) but if you can track some down it’s highly recommended.

In the oven, the broth, spices, and chorizo kind of work this magic and transform into a thick, flavorful broth. The potatoes are well, potatoey and get all infused with that awesome broth and the fish makes it healthy for you. If you added some bread and a hunk of manchego cheese on the side, you would be even happier. Trust me on that.

As a side note: I often wonder how I got along in the world before I discovered smoked paprika.

Baked Fish, Potatoes and Chorizo

Baked Fish, Potatoes and Chorizo

Baked Fish, Potatoes and Chorizo

Baked Fish, Potatoes and Chorizo

Baked Fish, Potatoes and Spanish Chorizo
Adapted from Real Simple magazine; serves two, easily doubled.
1 tbsp . . . → Read More: Baked Fish, Potatoes and Spanish Chorizo

Freekeh with Green Onion Sauce, Toasted Walnuts, Asparagus and Tuna + a Giveaway

Freekeh with Green Onion Sauce, Toasted Walnuts, Asparagus and Tuna

Recently, Freekehlicious offered to send me some Freekeh from to try, which was very exciting, as I had heard of the grain before and had wanted to experiment with it for awhile.

So, what is freekeh, you ask? Well, freekeh is a grain that I think looks a little like spelt. “Young roasted green wheat is harvested while still young and green, then parched, roasted and dried. The process captures and retains the grains at the state of peak taste and nutrition.” And besides that, it’s just a really tasty whole grain and a healthier replacement for rice (or even pasta).

The cooking time is about what you would expect — 20-30 minutes. For the sake of experiment, I tried soaking it for 8 hours, while I was as work, before cooking and was able to then cook it in about 10 minutes (this was the cracked freekeh, but I’m sure that would work with the whole grain freekeh as well).

When looking for inspiration for freekeh, I turned to one of the cookbooks that I usually look to first when I need some ideas on what to do with . . . → Read More: Freekeh with Green Onion Sauce, Toasted Walnuts, Asparagus and Tuna + a Giveaway

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks for St. Patrick’s Day

Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks for St. Patrick's Day

Over the next couple of days I’m going to be posting two ideas for St. Patrick’s Day meals and this first one uses two very Irish ingredients — Guinness stout and lamb. It does take awhile to cook but the reward is worth it.

Of course, there’s also the challenge of finding a pot big enough to fit the lamb shanks in (usually my downfall), which is definitely tricky, but again, very much worth it in the end. If you have leftover braising sauce (and you probably will), it’s great used in lentil soup. Just thin with a little more chicken broth and cook your lentils in it. Mmmmm….lamb-y.

On the side — Polenta & Cabbage: This is sort of a colcannon-type dish but with polenta instead of potatoes. Just cook up a batch of polenta like usual (one part polenta whisked into four parts boiling liquid), and when it’s almost done, saute some sliced cabbage in separate pan, using about a tablespoon of butter. Add salt and pepper and let it get a little golden in places. Add the cooked cabbage and butter to the polenta and stir in . . . → Read More: Guinness Braised Lamb Shanks for St. Patrick’s Day