cookq
Jan 2nd, 2014

cookq:

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Foodie credentials:

Before my late twenties I could not cook pasta to save my life. I freaked out during my first stay in Los Angeles where my only affordable meal options would have killed me in no time. This is when one of my dearest friends in Italy, Antonio - also known as Tony Bitter;…

Dec 10th, 2013

Life of Pie Pizza - Portland

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Life of Pie, another great location for excellent pizza in Portland! I am a self proclaimed pizza snob, always skeptical when I approach a new pizzeria. When I drive by anyone that displays a glorious Stefano Ferrara oven I must schedule a visit.

Today I focused on two of their signature pizzas:  the seasonal mushroom pie, covered in chanterelles and shitake mushrooms and finished with shaved pecorino romano and truffle oil and the one with Carlton Farms applewood smoked bacon layered with oven-roasted leeks, goat cheese and caramelized onions.

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Now I have to confess that - as a pizza nerd - I peeked at the infrared thermometer when the temperature of the oven floor was taken: 680Fway too low for my standards! With less heat the cooking time has to increase, the dough with retain less hydration and the pizza will slowly transition from Neapolitan to a slightly more nordic (Italian) style. Nothing wrong here: 700F is a very desirable temperature, just not what I consider optimal given an oven capable of 900F.

I asked Jason Kallingal, owner of Life of Pie about the the temperature. He said their preference goes to a cornicione (crust) with wide charring spots and a slightly better cooked pizza. I agree with the concept: somewhere past the mythical 90” of cooking time, the perfectly crunchy and chewy pizza can be found, but the risk of overcooking is elevate.

The pizza arrived and I was delighted, I can’t really decide which one was my favorite! Both the combination of toppings were spectacular.

The crust, mystical pillar I always meticulously inspect, proved to have been matured slowly and extensively, was perfectly cooked and delivered a beautiful aroma and taste: I was sold. I was told that a local, organic, stone ground flour with low gluten strength is used and I was fascinated by the outcome.

Life of Pie officially enters in my top five pizza places in Portland, and it’s battling against Ken’s artisan for the first place. I must eat more before assigning the golden medal!

pearoo
Nov 8th, 2013

pearoo:

A SPECIAL (PLAY) DATE

Picture Playdates had been a draft in progress of a project that’s preoccupied me and that I’ve shared with friends for over three years now. The project finally became an event and last week, on October 27th, my friend and amazing partner, Saraswati, and I hosted our very first family photography workshop.  

While I’ve always been obsessed with images - and Polaroids - it wasn’t until after big Es birth that photography became a genuine hobby of mine; one I’ve come to invest in over time, partially through workshops. In doing so, I’ve come to meet the most talented people, thrilled to share their knowledge of this uniquely inspiring art form and their stories through the lense of their cameras. I was also making new friends and bonding with some old in the process. Great tips, practice and confiscating my husband’s camera have helped capture each unique moment of the kids just about exactly as I see them; moments that help illustrate and remind so many stories  to later share with “Daddy” and the rest of our family and friends scattered around the world. Why not help provide a similar experience to more parents and just anyone or everyone who share the same interest? Making it casual, yet empowering, in a fun and child-friendly venue to capture our favorite subjects as parents (and grandparents, aunts and uncles) in their element… during PLAY TIME!? 

October 27th brought together an amazing group of people - from attendees and their little ones, to our teachers and guest photographer, Jolie Goodson - making it a three hour playdate packed with photography, fun, friendship and some really delicious food provided by our amazing chef, Henry Kibit, of The Fireside. Our goodie bag sponsors - Barre 3, Tina Steinberg Designs and Perigee Books and Leslie McCollom, author of Preschool Gems, helped thank everyone for making it such a special occasion.

We hope to have inspired and continue doing so; our next event is December 15th, where we’ll get to know and spend time with the amazingly talented Margaret Jacobsen

Have a story-filled week ;)