Gorge in the Gorge » Blog

Dog River Coffee has amazing coffee, and their approach to making each cup of coffee great has been documented, but I sometimes forget to sing the praises of one of my favorite things to order there… the Mexican Hot Chocolate. When things get busy, I’ll grab my oldest child and head down there for a quick mom-daughter date. We order a couple of hot chocolates and either grab a window seat, or if it’s quiet we will settle down in the back by the toys to read books. If you’re feeling a little sluggish you can always step it up and order a Mexican Mocha, which is also pretty amazing.

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One of my favorite ways to pass a slow afternoon is to go by myself or with a friend up to Marchesi Vineyards. I love to do a tasting if I’m with someone who hasn’t been before, but more often I will order a glass of something I’ve loved in the past, or try something new. April is the Columbia River Gorge’s Wine Passport Month, and Marchesi, along with lots of other local wineries, are bringing forth their new wines for the season. Marchesi is introducing it’s 2014 Pinot Grigio, Primitivo, and Dolcetto, and 2013 Esta and Barbera (pictured below) this April (with their delicious rosé following shortly after in May or June). Basically, if you are looking for me for the next three months I’ll be sitting on the patio at Marchesi.

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A couple weeks ago I stopped by Henni’s Kitchen and Bar in White Salmon, Washington to talk to Christiaan about his classic South African dish, Bobotie. Bobotie is a sweet, savory dish that, as Christiaan explained, is a constant on tables in his country of origin. The original bobotie recipes came to South Africa from Malaysia, and it’s unique blend of flavor and ingredients are testament of that. Christiaan’s version is served as a small plate, though he said that it’s traditionally made as a large casserole with a custardy egg topping poured over it and lemon leaves covering the top before baking. It’s usually served with a variety of sides like cumin rice with raisins, fresh banana, coconut, and chopped onion and tomato. The Henni’s version is pared down and served with a bit of rice. I brought some home from my afternoon in the Henni’s kitchen and my kids ate all of it – I hardly got a bite!

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Bobotie is rich with the flavors of spices like garam masala, ginger, banana, garlic, apples and spices. All of the ingredients compliment the ground beer in an unexpected way as they are not flavors we would typically combine together here in the U.S.  All of the cooked meat and fruit is placed in a dish, topped with a bit of egg and heated through. Then it’s dolloped with a bit of rice and served.

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One of the things I love about Henni’s is that there are such wonderfully different things on the menu, a variation from the norm. This beef curry with egg custard and rice is a small dish that’s full of unique flavors and South African tradition.

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Yesterday I stopped by Double Mountain Brewery to enjoy a pint of their recent collaboration beer with 10 Speed Roastery: 1st Crack Coffee Porter! This beer is right up my alley. After all, coffee and beer, like peanut butter and jelly, just make sense. The brewers combined their slightly sweet, malty brown ale with expertly roasted Guatemala beans from Hood River’s own 10 Speed Coffee Roastery. The result of this Double Mountain + 10 Speed affair is a truly unique coffee beer that they dubbed 10 Speed First Crack; a marriage of milk chocolate, berry notes, and toffee undertones that remind us with each sip that the sum of two good things is greater than its parts.

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After having First Crack, my husband asked if I wanted to try the new anniversary beer. One of the (many) benefits of being married to a brewer is that you get to try special things that haven’t been released yet, like the special common ale that they brewers concocted for this year’s anniversary party. Eight and Easy, as this beer is names, is light, and slightly sweet. It’s bright, hoppy, crisp and delicious. Perfect for sipping a couple pints of at their 8th anniversary party which is this Saturday, March 14th from 12-10pm! I will most definitely be there celebrating another year of hard work and great beer.

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Hope to see you all on Saturday! Cheers.

DOUBLE MOUNTAIN BREWERY AND TAPROOMPIN

 

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  • March 11, 2015 - 8:03 pm

    Rebeka - Oooh I didn’t know their anniversary party was on Saturday?! How’d I miss the announcements this year? Soooo bummed.ReplyCancel

I’ve known Colin and Kristin Franger for a long time and I have been so impressed with the work they are doing with their cultured food business. They started Blue Bus Cultured Foods to share their love of fermented foods with the rest of us. They use all organic ingredients and make each small, artisan batch by hand. Their operation is impressive and inspirational, and the krauts and kombucha they make are loaded with wonderful probiotics.

I visited their little kitchen last month and watched as they prepped for making Shakedown Beet. Giant crocks line the workspace and Colin and Kristin work side by side, performing different tasks to get each batch into the crocks to ferment. Shakedown Beet is a fairly simple combination of beets, ginger, green cabbage, and salt. The flavor of shakedown beet is anything but simple; it’s complex, spicy, bright, acidic and flavorful.

BLUE BUS CULTURED FOODS HOOD RIVERPINBLUE BUS CULTURED FOODS HOOD RIVERPINBLUE BUS CULTURED FOODS HOOD RIVERPINBLUE BUS CULTURED FOODS HOOD RIVERPINBLUE BUS CULTURED FOODS HOOD RIVERPINBLUE BUS CULTURED FOODS HOOD RIVERPINBLUE BUS CULTURED FOODS HOOD RIVERPINI took home a jar of Shakedown Beet and played around with it in the kitchen. If you read my recipe blog, you know that I’m a big fan of tartines (things on toast), and although Shakedown Beet kraut is outstanding on salads, added to stirfrys, and on more complex sandwiches, my favorite way to eat it is on toast. The very simple recipe follows.

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SHAKEDOWN BEET TOAST WITH GOAT CHEESE

Ingredients.
sliced rustic french bread
extra virgin olive oil
soft goats cheese or chèvre
1 jar Shakedown Beet kraut

Directions.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, add the slices of bread to the pan ensuring that each soaks up a bit of olive oil. Toast the bread on one side until golden. Remove from the skillet.

Smear goat cheese onto the toasted side of the bread, top with a good amount of Shakedown Beet kraut.

PRINTABLE RECIPE.
SHAKEDOWN BEET TOAST WITH GOAT CHEESE

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