soy curls & margaritas

Portland’s had a weirdo summer all right. I blocked out most of the spurts of humidity (shades help), but it seems like it’s back with a vengeance for my goddamn birthday. I don’t plan on doing much today besides listening to Billy Joel, waiting to see if my second sibling remembers to call and imbibing on a refreshing cocktail or two, so I suppose I’ll manage.

The following watermelon margarita, inspired by Lauren Fitzgerald’s (of Millennium and Portobello) “market-driven” mixology demo at the Montavilla Farmers Market this past weekend, is totally in the running for 2011’s birthday cocktail:

Watermelon Margarita test run: fresh yellow watermelon juice, fresh lime juice, clementine liquor (subbed for Harlequin), silver tequila and a sea salt & cayenne rim

Learning how to make cocktails at the Montavilla market with the lovely Lauren Fitzgerald and her assistant.

Speaking of markets, I hit up three over the Labor Day weekend. This mini haul is from the Hollywood market, with a couple of bonus additions and the Sunny Day Farms zine for inspiration. Come to me, heirloom tomatoes!

My weekend also included a long-awaited date with the Flavor Vegan over cocktails and dinner at Sweet Hereafter.

I’ve caught myself joking more than once about how Soy Curls are so three, if not four, years ago, and I take it back.

The Buffalo Sub at Sweet Hereafter changes everything. It features hot soy curls, lettuce, tomato, tangy ranch dressing and creamy miso chive cheese in a crusty baguettewich (yeah, I said that) and blows every other tasty option I’ve tried at this bar away. Plus, you know, Chelsea is adorable, and we got to catch up on life and that con thing.

 Sazerac & Buffalo Sub from Sweet Hereafter: There’s a Soy Curl revolution in my life.

lately

I’m just going to come out and say it. Hi. My name is Jess. I have a camera and a blog and here’s the flow of what I’ve been up to lately:

Smoked Potato Cheese: Take 2, Creamy Edition. I'll post the recipe after one more test run before Heartichoke.

Have I mentioned that I'm digging my stovetop smoker? Well, I am. Smoked Cherry Tomato & Kale Raab Pesto Bruschetta

Kale Raab Bistro Chowder; Bruschetta. Bistro Chowder Recipe from Appetite for Reduction. Farewell, Soup Season.

Tofu Cube Toss with Smoked Tomatoes, Roasted Red Pepper, Maitake Mushrooms, Kalamata Olives, Collard Raab; Mac & Cheddar Teese Sauce with Miso & Collard Raab. This ain't no wimpy scramble.

Baked Saffron Rice with Roasted Peppers. The recipe will be in the Spring issue of T.O.F.U. Magazine. Zomg.

From a small dinner party: Baked Saffron Rice with Roasted Peppers, Serrano Seitan Ham over Kale, Roasted Potato Bread and Blood Orange & Grapefruit Marinated Olives, etc.

Galician Empanada Pie with Smoked Soy Curls & Serrrano Ham, Take 1. Will be working on the conrmeal crust and spice factor.

TGI Return of the FarMar & Multi-Color Carrots. There are white carrots in the empanada pie, yo.

From the PPK Test Kitchen: Cappuccino Mousse Pie with Rad Whip. I'll get the fluffin' up next time.

From the PPK Test Kitchen: Manhattan Mud Pie. Photo by Lucas DeShazer. Truly, one of the few times you'll ever see me in the backround of a photo here.

Portland Hidden Gems are up next. Really.

Photo Essay #703: BloLo Brunch & Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

One of my favorite, least-cohesive type of updates.

Over the course of this past slammin’ weekend, I saw the Mayor at a brew pub, dined with friends at Taqueria Los Gorditos: The Restaurant, tried out a new karaoke spot, baked biscotti, finished The Comeback (delightful!), sipped a couple local microbrews on the engaging, Pretzel Necklace™ NW Portland Brewpub Crawl, baked more biscotti, baked even more biscotti, brunched at the new Blossoming Lotus,  sold cookies at Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti, and had a super fantastic meeting with my friend Janessa for a secret big project we’ll be announcing later in the month. !!! I also found a bit of time to feed my cats and do one mere load of laundry, score!

Brunch at BloLo: Florentine Scramble Plate with Maple Seitan Sausage.

Brunch at BloLo

Brunch at BloLo: Sweet Pancake

Brunch at BloLo

Brunch at BloLo: Grits and Greens

Brunch at BloLo

Over all, one of the best and classiest vegan brunch experiences I’ve ever had.  Hands down the best in Portland so far.

The excitement never ends about Taqueria Los Gorditos.  It’s in my hood!

Fajita Soy Curl Burrito at Taqueria Los Gorditos

Taqueria Los Gorditos con amigos

Would you believe this is my first actual burrito from Gorditos? You should believe it, because it’s true. I hear they make their own soyrizo now.  I’m on a Soy Curl kick, myself.

Weekend Baking.

Biscotti: Savoury Italian with Sun-dried Tomato, Rosemary and Basil. Sprinkled with Coarse Sea Salt & Black Pepper.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Biscotti: Savoury Italian and Blueberry, Lemon & Basil

biscotti

Blueberry, Lemon & Basil Biscotti

biscotti

Rummy, Spiced Chocolate Chunk Biscotti

biscotti

I have social anxiety over making pretty things for bake sales, so I went with something I knew, and that was meant to be over-baked!

Onto the Bake Sale!

Insane amount of donations, insane amount of love, insane amount of purchases!  Isa’s idea was beautiful – last time I checked, the grand total for these nationwide, DIY vegan bake sales was over 32k! Portland topped 3k, alone!

For most of the day, there were 4 tables: $2, $3, $4, and COOKIE.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Some pretty scones and coconut cupcakes made their way to the cookie table.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Adorable Blackberry-Apple pie pops

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Behind the scenes, what at one point was the drop-off table

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Love

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Love – Leigh and Ann’s Spicy Haitan Creole Sauce. So good!

I had some over tempeh last night! Talk of this is all the rage on facebook.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Eek! Woof!

Love. Cupcakes.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Pie!

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Pretties.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Butterscotch Bundt !!

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Convenient Cookies!

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

A brief moment the cookie table wasn’t jam-packed.

Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti

Vegans rule.