Journal

Hawthorne Fish House ~ Event #3

First of all, thank you-thank you-thank you to all our members for the awesome turnout and great company!  We saw lots of familiar faces and also welcomed many new members, doubling the size of our group from 8 in December to 16 in January (plus some adorable and amazingly behaved kidos)!  GF Supperclub is really starting to feel like a community and it’s been great hearing everyone’s GF stories, tips and recommendations. 

Two of our new guests own the GF Chef food truck and it was exciting to hear about all of the menu options, including a variety of sandwiches made on their homemade breads.  I look forward to hosting one of our future GF Supperclub events at their cart once the summer rolls around.

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Hawthorne Fish House delivered delicious GF food, as usual.  Our group’s selections covered most of the menu, from crispy fish and chips, to giant fish tacos and even chicken strips for the kidos.  Everything tasted super fresh and ridiculously good.  The only thing I was a little disappointed with (and another member agreed) was the crab pepper cheese soup, which is typically my favorite thing on their menu but this time it didn’t have as smooth of a consistency.  However, the flavor was still rich and delicious.  For desert, several of us had the decadent coconut rum cake – highly recommend for those with a sweet tooth!  

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As an added bonus, Paxton with Harvester Brewing showed up to the restaurant and gave out HB pint glasses to the first six people who ordered their draft IPA #3.  I’m still always surprised when I realize I can order a GF beer on tap – it’s such a glorious thing!  To put it simply, the quality of my life has seriously improved because of the HB crew and their brews.  I feel like I should put them on my Christmas gift list this year – they totally need a sign that reads: Beer is proof that Harvester Brewing loves us and wants us to be happy! 

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We also had a quick visit from Terina Chapman from New Seasons Market.  Terina is also a personal chef and food coach specializing in special diets.  She dropped off a bunch of GF materials from New Seasons including a stack of recipe cards and “Gluten-Free Getting Started” pamphlets (I’ll bring the pamphlets to our next event if anyone would like one).  I plan to start testing out some of New Season’s recipes at home and will include them in the “Recipes” section of this site.  Stay tuned!

Thanks again to all our members, guests and business owners for making these events fun and informative – can’t wait to see you next month!

Cheers,
Jen

Event Location:
Hawthorne Fish House
4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97215

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Happy New Year!

Ken and I rang in the new year with the southern tradition of black-eyed peas.  Not because we’re superstitious but because they’re delicious.  But just in case the folklore is true, I went heavy on the greens and served it up in gold colored bowls.  Can’t hurt.  Check out my recipe for Hoppin’ John, your belly (and possibly your pocketbook) will thank you.

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Jade Teahouse Dinner & Cookie Exchange ~ Event #2

Everything about our second event at the Jade Teahouse & Patisserie was excellent.  Dinner.  Company.  Cookies.  All of it.  

We had a great turnout and even welcomed a few members, increasing our group from 5 in November to 8 in December. Not too shabby for our second event – especially since it was so close to the holidays!

We started our feast with the truffle fries, salad rolls and sesame balls.  You could put truffle oil on pretty much anything and it will taste amazing but their hand-cut fries are otherworldly.  The salad rolls were made of fresh crisp veggies and tofu rolled up in rice paper.  I was stoked to see that they were served with a GF peanut dipping sauce because it’s typically made with soy sauce, which contains gluten… but not at the Teahouse – score!  The sesame balls were chewy goodness and it took some self control to not fill up on them before our entrees arrived.          

Most everyone ordered different entrees and it was refreshing to see so many GF options at one restaurant!  The entrees ordered included wide rice noodles, chili noodles, grilled sesame beef, fried red snapper, soup, chicken satay, green papaya salad and Banh Bot Loc (pork dumplings).  This is going to be one of my new go-to places for lunch and dinner.  I don’t think I’d ever get tired of their menu!

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For dessert, we exchanged cookies. The perfect way to stock up for Christmas gatherings and impress the family with sweet variety!  GFSC member Carol made cappuccino flats, Sharon made M&M Chocolate Drop Cookies and Barbara made Chocolate Cherry Chews… and they were all delicious!  And last but not least, Rebecca brought WOW ginger and lemon cookies courtesy of Freddy (aka Fred Meyer).  I could easily develop a serious addiction to the lemon cookies, they’re fantastic!

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As for me, I got a bit carried away in the kitchen (as usual) and made 4 different types of cookies.  This being the 2nd year without my grandma and feeling reminiscent, I tried to GF some of her Christmas cookie staples and even added my own twist on a few with the help of a some recipes I found on Pinterest.

Christmas cookies

I followed Grandma’s recipe for pecan crescents exactly, with the exception of using all-purpose GF flour and xanthan gum in lieu of all-purpose flour.  Shockingly, they tasted just as good as Grandma’s!  I would say she’d be very proud except I can’t, and this is because of their appearance.  Turns out, the xanthan gum didn’t do its job at well as gluten does, so the cookies didn’t quite hold their crescent shape.  Aaaand by “didn’t hold their crescent shape” I mean they looked a lot like dicks.  Ken and I got a pretty good laugh out of it.  My mom – being the sweet lady she is – said they looked like hearts but I suppose it’s like looking at a cloud, everyone sees something different.  Either way, nobody in our house seemed to care what they looked like because they were delicious, dick shaped or not.  However, if you try this recipe yourself, you might want to consider forming the dough into balls instead.  Dammit, you know what I mean.  Just make them like regular round cookies.  Capice?!

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Staging the cookies in an overlapping fashion helped disguise their shape;)

I also made thumbprint cookies with apricot jam but instead of using Grandma’s traditional butter cookie recipe, I went a paleo route (adapted from Food With Love’s recipe).  Figured I’d lay off the refined sugar for at least one of my recipes to do my hips a favor.  

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Paleo Thumbprint Cookies with Apricot Jam

Then there were the peanut butter thumbprint cookies (recipe from Bell’alimento) and I opted for my favorite chocolaty treat, Nutella because lets be honest – it’s a million times better than chocolate kisses.  

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Peanut Butter and Nutella Thumbprint Cookies: Copyright Paula Jones with bellalimento

And finally, I couldn’t forget the chocolate chip cookies (adapted from 80twenty’s recipe) except I put a little twist on the classic recipe by adding rosemary.  I know it sounds weird but trust me, chocolate and rosemary taste surprisingly good together! It has that whole sweet and savory thing going on that rocks my socks off.

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Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hope you enjoy these recipes and I look forward to next year’s cookie exchange in December 2014!

Event Location:
Jade Teahouse & Patisserie
7912 SE 13th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202

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Harvester Brewing Bites & Brews ~ Event #1

This is more of a retrospective post because I didn’t have this website at the time of our first event but I thought it was certainly worth mentioning.  In early November – while this Supperclub was still a figment of my imagination – I had learned about the opening of the Harvester Brewing Gastropub through a conversation on the Gluten Free Portland Facebook page.  First thing I thought was, hold up – Portland has a GF brewery?!  The answer… yes, of course it does.  Because Portland is awesome like that.  

So I promptly checked it out for myself and met with the owner James Neumeister.  His selection of GF beers on tap blew my damn mind. IPA, Pale Ale, Dark Ale, Marionberry Ale, Squash Ale, oh my! And you know what else?  They.  Didn’t.  Suck.  Quite the opposite actually – they were amazing and James has the medals to prove that I’m not the only one who thinks so!  

Aside from the delicious beer, they also offer a variety of small plates.  All of their menu options – from the cheese and bread plate to the burger – are gluten free.  So, my mind was made up.  This was the perfect location for our first GF Supperclub event.  

I wasn’t really sure what to expect for a turnout but we ended up having an intimate group of 5 awesome people.  James so kindly brought out a complementary appetizer of roasted squash dip served with flatbread points.  The dip had a delicious sweet and savory combination, that just I love.  Many of us ordered the pizza for our entree, which was more of a flatbread but it was excellent nevertheless.  Others ordered the burger and sandwich.  Everyone seemed very satisfied with their food and drink selections and I particularly loved the apple ale beer.  It was a perfect blend, not too sweet and not too hoppy.  I also really enjoyed a taster of the marionberry ale, so I bought a couple bottles to take home and even Ken – my brew loving fiancé – was impressed with its flavor.  He could hardly believe it was GF!  But if you’re not into beer, they also have delicious sodas that are made in-house from farm fresh fruits and spices.  They had cardamom-pear soda when we were there.

You should start noticing Harvester Brewing around town more often, if you haven’t already.  They have increased their distribution to many area grocery stores and bottle shops and they’re currently working on having dedicated GF taps at some of the local GF restaurants. Also, many GF restaurants already carry their bottled beer.

Cheers!

Event Location:
Harvester Brewing
2030 SE 7th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97214

 

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