What I’ve been baking: Portland

7 Oct

It’s been a busy summer and early fall — with trips to Europe and Nebraska as the highlights. Naturally, baking (or at least the sampling of baked goods) accompanied both. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve baked, what I’ve eaten, and what I’d like to bake this fall.

What I baked


First, and most importantly, were Croissants a la Julia Child. Hannah’s blog challenge did not go unanswered, but it took me a while to get to these, mostly because I was intimidated by the method. I used a combination of recipes and tutorials to figure out what I was doing. They tasted great — with that much butter, how couldn’t they? — but the texture and shape weren’t quite right. They just didn’t rise like I’d expected. Still, they were delicious with some tomato marmalade I brought back from Malmö, Sweden.

Caramel apple pie

In Nebraska, my sister and I made an apple pie (improvised recipe for the filling!) for our annual family potluck. We used the peels to boil down a simple syrup and topped it with a caramel sauce. Though, to be honest, there wasn’t enough caramel.


My cousin left for Air Force training this summer, so we gathered with her family for dinner. I contributed a strawberry pie, made with fresh Oregon farmers market berries. Lovely for an early summer day.

Just this weekend, my boyfriend and his roommate ran a marathon, so I cooked them a post-run meal, complete with fried chicken, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and (here’s the baking part) baking powder biscuits. My mom always used to make these from the Betty Crocker recipe, so they’re a definite source of nostalgia for me. (Sorry, no photos. They got eaten pretty fast.)


What I ate

Amsterdam apple tart

In Amsterdam, we ate apple pie/cake/tart — it really is a combination of all three. And it’s delicious, with a crunchy “crust” and a coffee-cake-like filling. Winkel is said to have the best, and I believe it. In fact, it was so good we went there twice.


Another annual family tradition when we visit Niobrara, Nebraska, (about three hours north of Omaha): We always eat kolaches. The town of Verdigre, about 20 miles south of Niobrara, styles itself as the “Kolache Capital of the World” and does indeed have some lovely pastries at its bakery. We’re partial to the berries and cream varietals, particularly the Bavarian cream.


To bake this fall

Apple tart

  • Of course, after one bite I wondered how they made it. It’s apple season in Oregon, so I’m dying to try this out.
  • Recipe from Food Nouveau
  • Recipe from Martha Would Be Proud

Pumpkin rugelach with sage and walnuts

  • For the sake of trying something new with pumpkin, this should be a good experiment.
  • Recipe from Food52

Butterscotch pie with curry crust

  • I love the taste of curry in unexpected places, such an interesting flavor. Particularly in ketchup. We’ll see how it fits in pie crust.
  • Recipe from Bon Appetit

Skillet chocolate chip cookie

  • My cast-iron skillet has easily become my favorite kitchen item. Let’s put it to the test.
  • Recipe from Martha Stewart


That’s all for now. Hoping to have some tasty news on one of these fronts very soon!



One Response to “What I’ve been baking: Portland”


  1. Solo projects: Fall baking in Portland | catsandcommas - November 9, 2014

    […] Happy Fall, everyone! It’s been a busy October and early November. After taking some time off during the summer (something about using a hot oven when it’s above 80 degrees just doesn’t seem right), I’ve jumped back into the delights of baking. And so far, I’ve made one of the fall baked goods I had on my list. […]

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