What has your Grain done for you?

A comparative grain tasting

If you have ever tasted plain flour, you know it tastes quite bland. That’s why we decided to set up a grain tasting. Why would you choose a bland grain, when you might be able to use a tastier grain that might even add some great texture to your dish? We cooked up a batch of each grain to the specifications on the bulk bin at the store. We also ground some of the grain into flour, using our juicer, and tried out the flour in pancakes.

Red Quinoa

  • Pancakes
    • Amy: sweet, malty, slight crunchIMG_1735
    • Leo: sweet, moist, creamy
    • Soren: thick, tasty, sugar, sandy
    • David: meaty, malty
  • Plain
    • Amy: crunchy, bitter, great texture, vegetal
    • Leo: crunchy, watery, bitter
    • Soren: crunchy, sweet, vegetal, astringent
    • David: herbal, watermelon, great texture

White Quinoa

  • Pancakes
    • Amy: nutty, grassy, veggies, bitterIMG_1734
    • Leo: flat, vegetal, bitter
    • Soren: vegetal, hard to eat, astringent
    • David: floral, nice texture, grainy
  • Plain
    • Amy: yellow potatoes, cardboard, good texture
    • Leo: furry, moist, astringent
    • Soren: mushy, vegetal, cardboard
    • David: rice, bland


  • Pancakes
    • Amy: creamy, eggy, richIMG_1736
    • Leo: moist, fresh
    • Soren: incredible, thick, sweet
    • David: creamy, smooth texture
  • Plain
    • Amy: nutty, nice texture, tasty
    • Leo: good cold, cinnamon, sweet, chocolate
    • Soren: floral, nice texture, sweet, maple syrup
    • David: coconut, floral, nice texture

Pearled Barley

  • IMG_1738Pancakes
    • Amy: gummy, fishy
    • Leo: chewy, thick, fishy
    • Soren: Chewy, thick, fishy
    • David: thick, chewy, banana
  • Plain
    • Amy: nice texture, little flavor, nutty
    • Leo: mushy, slippery, watery, sweet
    • Soren: like steel cut oats, sweet
    • David: poppy, malty


  • Pancakes
    • Amy: thick, sweet, meatyIMG_1740
    • Leo: chicken broth, flat
    • Soren: sweet, chicken broth
    • David: chicken broth
  • Plain
    • Amy: sweet, mild, nutty
    • Leo: grippy, dry
    • Soren: malty, poppy, slt sugger
    • David: bitterness, cellulosic

Roasted Buckwheat

  • Pancakes
    • Amy: almond extract, dry, nuttyIMG_1741
    • Leo: chewy, caramel
    • Soren: chewy, dry, smokey, bitter
    • David: hoppy, sand
  • Plain
    • Amy: burnt toast, almond extract
    • Leo: painfully tannic,
    • Soren: smoky, soft, tannic, almond extract
    • David: tannic almond extract


  • Pancakes
    • Amy: maple syrup, creamy, nuttyIMG_1742
    • Leo: egg, honey, smooth
    • Soren: sweet, maple syrup, fish
    • David: eggy, sweet, chicken broth
  • Plain
    • Amy: nutty, malty
    • Leo: crunchy, wet, shiny
    • Soren: poppy, drying tannin, malty
    • David: hoppy, bitter


  • Pancakes
    • Amy: burnt nuts, sweet, burnt toastIMG_1743
    • Leo: moist, soft, vegetal
    • Soren: vegetal, maple syrup, thick
    • David: vegetal, soft, sweet
  • Plain
    • Amy: smoky, great texture, nutty
    • Leo: yellow, squishy, addictive, smoky
    • Soren: golden, sweet, poppy, addictive
    • David: golden/Yukon potato

Hard Winter Wheat

  • Pancakes
    • Amy: Amazing, slight crunch, sweetIMG_1737
    • Leo: Crunchy, puffy, light
    • Soren: sweet, chewy, thick
    • David: sweet, nice grain flavor
  • Plain
    • Amy: popping texture, sweet, yum
    • Leo: moist, smoky, chewy
    • Soren: sweet, maple syrup, popping
    • David: coconut

Tajarin Adventures on Command!

Tonight our Mom Amy was moaning and groaning about how much work she did today and how much she missed Italy. So we were like, “Why don’t we make that pasta you loved so much from Piedmont.” but Amy said,

“We don’t have enough time and we need a kilo of flour and at least 30 egg yolks.”,

“Do you really need all that stuff, we could make a smaller batch.” we responded. That is why we ended up making Tajarin known as the 30 egg yolk pasta.

The plan was to use the eggs she bought last week, but we kind of used them all for pancakes. Oops! So she went to the store for eggs while we started to ready the flour. Then when she got back we started mixing nine yolks in to two cups of flour, but that wasn’t enough we ended up using 14! Then we ran it threw the pasta maker then used it to cut the pasta. it looked like this.


Then we boiled it for one minute and prepared it with the chicken with sage we were preparing. It looked like this.

IMG_1701We gobbled it up hastily. It was amazing!

At Elephants, a Food Coma is a Good Thing!

On Thursday, April 24th, our parents did a winemaker dinner at  Elephant’s Delicatessen Uptown, and we got to go too. It was the third winemaker we have ever been to. Instead of having wine, we did a tasting of some other non-alcoholic drinks. We started off with Steelhead. By the third course we had finished it and were on to our second. We shared a blood orange San Pellegrino and a Bundaberg root beer. Besides Plants, from Oven and Shaker, Budaberg is now our favorite root beer.

Now for the food. The first course was a leek tart. Nick told us a good tip to sweat the leeks. At first we thought  Nick was telling us to wring them out as if they were a rag. Nick told us you just put a little oil into a pan, put the leeks in, then put a lid on top of the pan. DSC_3310The lid will catch all of the liquid from the leek. When you release the steam, the leek will be drier and nice and concentrated. The leek tart crust was super tasty, and much like the crust at Loretta Jeans, but maybe even a little more flaky if that’s even possible.

Next we had the second course: a parsnip soup with a crostini in the center. Atop the crostini was incredible duck rillettes. The color of the parsnip soup was bright yellow because of a good addition of curry spices. Very tasty.

We were getting a little tired and full by the time the lamb arrived. It was served with springDSC_3473 vegetables like carrots and haricot verts, and it was awesome. But dessert was still to come.

We were almost falling asleep by dessert because it was past our bedtime, but we woke up long enough to scarf down a tasty lemon tart.DSC_3294 DSC_3383

Our hosts Nick Doughty and Chef Scott Weaver. We were really excited to be invited to this dinner and everyone at Elephants did a really good job of hosting it!

A Tour of Portland Pie Land

To celebrate National Pie Day, and to eat lots of amazing Portland Pie, we ate pie for 3.14159 days. Below are the results.

Homemade chicken pie

ImageWe started our journey to pietopia at home, by making a roast chicken pot pie. We roasted off a big tasty chicken with garlic and a bunch of tasty herbs and salt and pepper. We added some carrots and a whole head of garlic. After the chicken was cool, we took all the meat off the bones and took the skin off. Our Dad made an amazing crust and we put the chicken meat in there. We made gravy out of the pan drippings and poured it on upon the heap of chicken, put the crust lid on, and baked until it was done. It was awesome.

Over the next three + days, a pie-athon ensued. We tasted all of these pies which we will now tell you about.

Baker & Spice: apple hand pie

It was extremely sweet and succulent with a unique croissant crust. The croissant dough made it amazingly buttery and flaky. This was pretty much as good as a hand pie can get, especially since they served it while it was still warm. We can’t wait to go back and order a whole pie. Everything this place makes is awesome, so just pick out whatever you want and you won’t be disappointed.

Hungry Heart: apple hand pie

We noticed Hungry Heart when we were on our way over to Whiffies, and we could not resist. We got the apple hand pie. The crust was not our favorite, but it was still good and the filling was very well-spiced.


The first thing we must say is that Whiffies makes fried pies. They were all amazing, but there was one downside: the fact that the crust was vegan. We were very skeptical, but when the first pie came out, we took nimble bites and found that it was ridiculously amazing. The Beef & Mozzarella pie was the best, but the Chicken and berry were also really good. There was also a retro carousel to play and the nearby Crepe foodcart was playing our favorite band, Cake.

 Lauretta Jean’s laurettajean.comImage

This place was so awesome we had to try a big assortment. We tried:

Ham & leek and potato (savory)

Broccoli (savory)

Squash and goat cheese (savory)

Chocolate chess pie (sweet)

Apple Brandy Blackberry (sweet)

Cherry Tart (sweet)

We almost died after eating all this pie, because it was so awesome. Our five tasters were divided about favorites. The ham and leek pie was loved by everybody. One taster said that one perfect bite of the Cherry Tart was the best single bite of pie she had ever had. The chocolate chess pie was super smooth and creamy, said another taster. It was so rich and choclaty, it would be best to split a piece. All of these pies we ate until we pretty much couldn’t eat any more. That’s why our mom took back roads when driving to the next pie place.

Random Order Coffee and Pie. Our mom liked the pie. We liked watching the hipsters. This place is crawling with them.

New Seasons


Since we love shopping at New Seasons, we wanted to try their pie, and we needed a break from the hipsters so we went to a more “normal” place. We tried their marionberry pie. We had to take it home and try it later because we were so full, ridiculously full. First of all this was clearly a hand made pie. It was no normal grocery store pie that they bought from some pie factory in North Dakota or somewhere. It was very fresh, most likely made that day. It was very luscious and had jam-like quality that covered your tongue so you could get the most flavor. Since it is from New Seasons you can pretty much assume it comes from local marionberries too, which is probably why it tasted so great.

Pie Spot

Pie spot was one of our favorite places especially because of the amazing selection. They get the points for creativity and uniqueness. Plus they tasted really good They even made a cinnamon roll out of excess pie dough that was incredible. They have these little pies called pie holes that are about four inches in diameter and are super tasty. We tried:

Lemon vanilla bean: This had a very lemon curd like texture, and was just the right amount of tart and sweet, and the vanilla hit your palate at the perfect time.

Smores: We have had the smores pie before and it was miraculous, the marshmallows blended very well with the chocolate because they squished the marshmallows into the hot chocolate and they melted.

Banana cream: Firstly we must say that the pie had ribbons of salt Carmel, it also had a big pile of whipped cream, it was very fresh.


Then we got to the bottom and filled our mouths with sweet banana cream, it was one of the tastiest pies we had.

Pacific Pie Company: These were whole pies, the savory ones we baked at home like the Beef mushroom.

Beef mushroom: The Beef mushroom had succulent beef and mushrooms that absorbed the beef and spice we can’t describe it well because we were scarfing it down.

ImageBlueberry Anzac: we ate this pie in the morning for breakfast, it very flavorful and had a great texture, it was sweet and kept the taste of blueberries. It was one of our very favorites.

Chicken pie: We have not eaten this pie yet we are eating it on National Pie Day on 1/23/14.

One of the cool things about Pacific Pie is that they let you take the real pie plates home and you bring them back for a deposit. Good for the pie, good for the environment, good for you.

The pies we had showed us that there are many different techniques and types of pie that we did not know about. We found it cool that all of the pie places we visited were super creative to make their pies unique. None of the pies were the same. The were like works of art. Happy Pie Day to all the Portland Pie Artists!

Attack of the Root Vegetables


In winter there is a high supply of the supposedly-hated root vegetables. These are three of the things we did with them:


  1. Bacon Stuffed and Wrapped Carrots. Every so often we get a big box of bacon. This time we had other things to eat and we needed a use for it. We also had some very thick and long carrots. We decided to stuff these carrots with bacon. We started with a knife, but that didn’t work, we couldn’t put enough bacon in and it was too hard. Then our Dad told us that some of his old wood working tools might work. So we decided to give it a try. They worked extremely well. After hollowing a few out, we chopped up some bacon and fried it up in a pan. Then we put it into the carrots, put the carrots back together and tied them up with butcher’s twine. Then we put them in a roasting pan with a lot of olive oil and roasted them until they were soft. They were amazing. So amazing that the next time we made them, we wrapped bacon on the outside of the carrots too!
  2. Roasted Root Vegetables. We got a whole bunch of root vegetables. It doesn’t really matter what you get, but we got parnsips, carrots, turnips, elephant garlic and beets. Potatoes would work also. We peeled all of  those root vegetables and then put a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of the pan. We added a layer of root vegetables and drizzled some olive oil over the top. Then we added another layer of vegetables, then oil and so on. We roasted them at 375 degrees until they were well-colored, soft and tasty. We added salt to taste. They exceeded all our expectations with their deliciousness.
  3. Roasted Root Vegetable Soup. We made a LOT of root vegetables (see above), so we decided to put them in a pot, heat them up slowly, adding some water at first so they don’t burn. We used a blender on a stick to puree them. Then we added milk (you could also use cream or half & half) until the soup was about the right consistency. Don’t add in all the cream/milk at the same time, or it will be hard to puree the vegetables. Add more olive oil. Make sure it doesn’t boil because there’s milk in there. Be aware: if you add beets it will be amazingly bright red. Very delicious too!

KidChowPDX Porksgiving

Pork loin stuffed with bacon meat butter, bacon-wrapped garlic, and rosemary.


This was our first time making the main course for Thanksgiving for our parents. Trust us, it turned out amazing! Save turkeys, EAT PIGS!

First, make the meat butter. Grab a pound of good bacon, none of the sweet, thin stuff, make sure it’snice and thick and extra tasty. We used Carlton Farms. Fry it up. It will take a long time (we used 28 pieces) so we recommend using a sheet pan in the oven. The bacon cannot be crunchy. Do NOT overcook.! Let it cool for about five minutes. Then we poured the bacon grease into our food processor and chopped up the bacon as well as we could by hand. Deposit that bacon into the cuisinart and start grinding it. Grind it for a long time until you have a substance much like butter or paté in texture.

Fry up some more bacon and while it is cooking, peel a bunch of garlic cloves, but make sure the bacon doesn’t burn so you will be able to wrap it around the garlic cloves. Dry of the bacon grease. Wrap the garlic in bacon. Put a little rosemary in each roll.

To prepare the loin, cut large hose in it. Insert the bacon wrapped garlic. Then plop small chunks of the meat butter on top of the pork loin and smush them around. Add some more rosemary and drizzle olive oil on top.

We baked it at 450 until it was nicely browned. Then we decreased the temperature to 375 and cooked it till it was done. Be careful not to overcook or it will be dry.

Serve with other Thanksgiving delights and be aware that this recipe can be used on any day, not just on Thanksgiving.

Wildwood’s New Menu!

On November 19, Wildwood got a new menu. We happened to be there that night. We were super lucky!

First we ordered the Mesquite Smoked Pork Chop and the Pan Seared Rockfish. First out was the Pork Chop the pork was not just smoked on the outside but it was smoked all the way through. It was “heaped” with a creamy, peppery soup with luscious Clams  and well cooked Potatoes. When we later asked Chef Dustin what his favorite dish on the new menu was, he said “The pork is pretty fantastic”. We agree. The collard greens it came with were  bitter and very acidic, just how we like them, but they were even better once we ordered some bread to go with them. The bread and butter tamed the acid. One thing of butter had delicious and crunchy Jacobsen Salt, from the beach not too far from here. The other butter had red alder smoked sea salt and it was amazing too!

The Pan Seared Rockfish was amazing! I (Leo) ordered it and no one else got a bite. It came with duck confit and a couple of roasted potatoes. But it left me wanting more, so I ordered…

The Osso Bucco. It came with truffled root vegetable puree that was SO good. There was also braised celery and grilled meyer lemon. Soren stole half of it. A fight ensued and I got to order dessert to make up for it. But I shared it with Soren. We had the butterscotch pot de creme and the “petite sweets” which consisted of a little cookie soaked in chocolate, a caramel with a hint of apple cider, this was our favorite. After that was a chocolate, a mini-butterscotch pot de creme, and last was a little gingerbread pudding which you could also order on its own, and we kind of wish we did. The little sampler was a perfect way to have dessert if you can’t make up your mind because it had two of the five tasty big desserts in smaller form.

One thing that makes Wildwood so awesome is that Savanna and Cana and Dustin are all usually there working. They don’t just make other people do the work. They are the best at what they do and because they do it themselves, everything turns out way better!

Meanwhile Mom and Dad scarfed down a ribeye the size of our face, and sadly, we didn’t get any. They were smart not to ask for any of our dessert.