News Bites: Portobello Opening and FAAN Walk

Portobello Grand Opening

Vegan and gluten-free friendly restaurant, Portobello Trattoria, has been closed for a month while moving and will be hosting an opening celebration at its new location this Wednesday. See our review of Portobello, here.

Hello Peoples!  We will be opening up on June 9th in our new digs at 1125 SE Division Street.  It’s right on the corner of 12th and Division, in the “Banana Building”…the one with the big Andy Warhol banana inspired mural (ya’ know…like on the Velvet Underground album…anyway…).  So! Come on down for din-din or a cocktail/mocktail and have a nice time with us. We’re opening around 5ish.


Reader Kristal notified us about a walk to benefit the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). The Portland Oregon walk for food allergies will happen August 28th, so mark your calendars. The location will be at Kenilworth Park, SE 34th and Holgate Blvd. More information here. Says Kristal:

This is going to be a great day for everyone who is affected by food allergies… There will be a lot of fun stuff for the kids and lots of Sponsors with booths and freebies. I am also having a donation raffle of yummy food allergy sensitive treats!!

About FAAN (from their website):

Founded in 1991 by Anne Munoz Furlong, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) is the world leader in information about food allergy, a potentially life-threatening medical condition that affects approximately 12 million Americans, or one out of every 25, and is rapidly increasing in prevalence.

FAAN continues to lay the groundwork for a brighter future for those with food allergies. We work throughout the year on initiatives that will improve the quality of life for those with food allergies. Our focus is to provide advocacy and education while advancing research on behalf of those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis.

Gluten Free Class at Hipcooks

Hipcooks will be offering their gluten-free cooking class Saturday, July 11 from 1-4pm. Check their Portland class schedule for more details. (See our review of their cooking classes here and here.)

June GIG Meeting is this Saturday

Mike & Maria Smith of Bavaria Mills Gluten Free Bakery will be presenting at this month’s Portland Metro Gluten Intolerance Group meeting this Saturday, June 12th. The GIG meetings are currently held at Legacy Emanuel Hospital – 2801 N Gantenbein Ave., Portland, OR 97227, in Conference Room 1075. More information on the Portland GIG here.

Lots of Additions to Our Restaurant Lists

We have heard from a lot of readers and restaurant owners and have added a bunch of new entries to our gluten free restaurant list and gluten-free pizza list. So if you haven’t looked at them recently, you should take a gander. Also, with each restaurant on the list, there is a place to leave your own comments. We’ve had a great response with this, and hope that more people will leave comments with their experiences.

And note that it’s become much more easy for restaurants to submit their information with our handy restaurant submission form.

Whew that’s it. Hope everybody has a great week!

News Bites: Classes and Gluten Free Food Fair

2010 Portland Gluten-Free Fair

First up, the Portland Metro GIG has announced the time and place of the 2010 Portland Gluten-Free Food Fair. It will be on Saturday, May 1, 2010. It is open from 11 AM to 2 PM at the All Saints Catholic Church at 3847 NE Glisan Street. The cost is $5 per person for a max of $10 per family. Children under 12 get in free. They will be having raffles at 12 noon, 1 PM, and 1:45 PM. Here’s their blurb:

The Portland, Mid-Willamette Valley, and McMinnville Branches of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) are hosting the 6th Annual Gluten Free Food Fair on Saturday, May 1st, 2010. The mission of these support groups is to increase awareness of gluten intolerance diseases by providing support to individuals and families; accurate information and educational programs; and outreach to health care professionals and restaurants. This event is a fund-raiser which allows the three GIG groups to offer events and services without a charge.

We’ve attended the fair the past two years and always find it very interesting. Here are our notes from the 2009 Gluten-Free Food Fair.

Gluten-Free Class at Bob’s Red Mill

I forgot all about this! There is an upcoming gluten-free cooking class at Bob’s Red Mill on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 2:00-4:00 PM. There will also be one at 5:00-7:00 PM but that one is already full. The class fee is $45. Click here for the current class schedule. Here’s the blurb:

We are so excited to have gluten-free expert and cookbook author Carol Fenster, Ph.D. back to help us out with great baking time-savers. Carol will focus on her fabulous Gluten-Free Breakthrough Bread. It’s as easy as mix the dough, store in the fridge and bake throughout the week…as you wish, as much as you wish. Using Bob’s GF Shortbread Cookie mix, Carol will also demonstrate her Frangipane Tart using the cookie mix as the crust, layered with almond paste and topped with fresh fruit. A second mouthwatering recipe from this mix will be her Decadent Chocolate Bars. Additional recipes will include a fabulous Cherry Cobbler and just in time for summer Strawberry Shortcake. Learn how to take a simple mix and make incredible, easy desserts.

Carol Fenster is the author of a number of books on gluten-free cooking. I think that the two most popular are: 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes and Gluten-Free 101.

We really enjoyed the last gluten-free class at Bob’s Red Mill, and bet this one will be great too.

Other Classes

Since we’re talking about classes, don’t forget to check the class schedules of HipCooks and Abby’s Table.

Gluten-Free Cooking Class at Bob’s Red Mill

Gluten-Free Class at Bob's Red Mill

A couple of weeks ago, we listed a bunch of gluten-free cooking classes, and decided to take one or two ourselves. So we signed up for the “Gluten-Free Baking with Tiff Mumma!” class at Bob’s Red Mill. Click here for their current class list (note that most of their classes are not gluten-free). Here’s the blurb for the class, which was two hours.

Let’s face it gluten-free baking can be a challenge, knowing which flours to blend and what to use as replacement for gluten can be frustrating. Tiff an avid gluten-free baker, is back to help put an end to your gluten-free baking challenges. Whereas many people view their diagnosis as the beginning of “living without” Tiff sees the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle as an opportunity to expand her diet to include a variety of grains. Her class menu will focus on: Banana Cake, Cinnamon Rolls, Potato Bread, Pumpkin Bread and Zucchini Bread. Come enjoy an evening filled with fabulous instruction and priceless baking tips!

As the title mentions, the class is taught by Tiff Mumma, who was diagnosed with celiac disease several years ago, and who also has family members with various food allergies. Tiff is a very enthusiastic instructor, and you can tell that she cares a lot about food and nutrition, as well as health. Each student was given a handout with recipes, a survey about the class, a Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free product brochure, and a complimentary package of their “Sweet” White Sorghum Flour. Sorghum flour makes up a large part of the flour mix that they prefer, which is Carol Lee Fenster’s flour mix. (Carol Lee Fenster is the author of 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes and Gluten-Free 101, among other books).

Bob's Red Mill classroom

The classroom is large, and our class was full. It is set up for doing demonstrations. So there is a long cooking island at the front of the class with cameras set up over it. Two large monitors on either side of the class show what is on the island. They also have microphones and a speaker setup so there’s no problem hearing the instructor.

During the class, Tiff Mumma went through a demonstration of making four recipes from the recipe handout. These were gluten-free pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, cinnamon rolls, and banana cake. She noted that all of the recipes in the handout can be made without eggs. The handout also included recipes for cinnamon roll toppings, a cinnamon icing, and an old-fashioned potato bread.

It’s really wonderful to watch an experienced person bake and listen to their cooking tips. Our class was very inquisitive and a lot of people had questions for Mumma. Things we learned:

  • Before you stir everything together, make two separate mixes: One mix with all the sugars and wet ingredients and a second mix with the rest of the dry ingredients.
  • Ingredients should be room temperature.
  • Agave makes a good sweetener for quick breads, but is sweeter, so you need less. Start with about half and adjust for taste.
  • Let baked goods cool ten minutes in the pan and then additional time on a rack. This gives time for the texture to set up.
  • You can use applesauce as a binder in quick breads to substitute for eggs.
  • Another egg substitute is 3 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp flax meal
  • Gluten-free flours should be stored in a dark place in airtight containers (although there is some debate that flours belong in the fridge).
  • Ever needed to flatten some gooey gluten-free dough? Pour dough onto a sheet of wax paper that has been heavily dusted with white rice flour. Dip your hands into cool water repeatedly as you spread the dough out with your fingers.
  • Gelatin is good in yeast breads for promoting a spongy inner texture and crisp outside.
  • Green pea flour is good for making cookies.
  • When making yeast breads, use an instant cooking thermometer to make sure your water is 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Guar gum and xanthan gum work better when used together – the tricky thing is getting the right proportions.
  • For a flaky gluten-free pie crust, substitute three tablespoons of vodka for one tablespoon of water in the recipe. The dough will be drier and easier to handle, and the alcohol will evaporate out.

An added bonus in our class was that we were sitting with a bunch of like-minded people who shared their own tips and experiences. A good time was had by all. During the class, samples of the breads and cinnamon rolls were handed out to everyone. The breads were really amazing (our one complaint was that the cinnamon roll seemed undercooked and needed way more cinnamon). Just when we thought the class couldn’t get any better, they had a drawing and gave out more gluten-free mixes.

Gluten-free cinnamon roll

It should be added that there are a lot of interesting products at the Bob’s Red Mill store. For gluten-free folks, they have baking mixes, flours, and oats. They have a full shelf of gluten-free cookbooks. The gluten-free mixes I saw were: brownie mix, shortbread cookie mix, chocolate chip cookie mix, pizza crust mix, chocolate cake mix, and a few bread mixes. The amount of stuff they have there is staggering. They even have bread machines (it would appear that they favor the Zojirushi and Breadman). This is a little off-topic, but it bears mentioning that Bob’s Red Mill has a separate area for making their gluten-free products to prevent cross-contamination, and also batch-tests their products.

They are planning to have two more gluten-free classes in the coming months. One in April and another in June. The class in April will be taught by Carol Lee Fenster. If you think that you might be interested, we recommend that you go for it. We’ll post more information on these as soon as we get it.

News Bites: Dot Com, Classes, More Classes

We’re Officially a Dot Com

We are now accessible at an alternate URL: Many thanks to Chris at Flypaper Creative for helping to make this possible.

Classes at Abby Table

Abby’s Table is a great place to get gluten-free food and has classes (see our review, here). Abby’s Table chef Abby Fammartino and health counselor Katie Decker are teaming up to present three classes in January. All classes are 7:00 to 8:15 PM. Check the Abby’s Table calendar for more info or to sign up. These are $30/class or $75/3 for the class series. Here are the classes:

  • January 14th: Setting Intentions, Detoxing, Food and Mood
  • January 21st: Seasonal Eating, Chinese 5 Phase Theory and Creating Balance
  • January 28th: Staying Inspired, Meal Planning, and Stretching One Meal into Many

Portland Metro GIG Hosts Dr. Stephen Wangen

The Portland Metro GIG will be hosting Dr. Stephen Wangen, author of Healthier Without Wheat: A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance at their March meeting. He will be speaking about his book and will be available for book signings after the meeting. Here is more information on this book (on Amazon). Dr. Wangen will also be speaking at the Eugene and Salem GIG meetings that same week. Here are the details:

  • Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 6:30 PM. Eugene GIG, monthly meeting held at the Lakewood Clubhouse, 1800 Lakewood Court, Eugene, Oregon.
  • Friday, March 12, 6:30 PM. Salem and McMinnville GIGs, dinner and presentation at Marco Polo restaurant in downtown Salem, Oregon.
  • Saturday, March 13, 10 AM to 12 PM. Portland GIG meeting at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon, Room 1075.

Gluten-Free Informational Classes in Corvalis

Nadine Grzeskowiak, the Gluten Free RN, will be hosting informational classes on January 5, 12, 19 and February 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 12-1pm at her office at 215 SW 4th Street, Corvallis, Oregon. “This class will cover the basics of gluten intolerance and Celiac disease and what it means to lead a gluten free lifestyle. Gluten free goodies will be provided. Class is held at the downtown office in Corvallis.”

News Bites: Gluten Free Hipcooks and New Cascadia Location

Hipcooks Announces Gluten-Free Class

First up, regular readers will remember that Hipcooks and we put up a survey asking what sort of gluten-free class our readers would like. The results are in and Monika has created a gluten-free cooking class. Portland is the first branch to get it! Don’t forget that some of their other classes are also gluten-free. Here is the current Portland class list.

The gluten-free class will be at 6 – 10 PM, August 9 in the Portland Oregon Hipcooks at 3808 N. Williams, Suite 120.

Here is the class description:

Our first Gluten-Free themed Class! You asked for it you got it! Meals on the go, bread-like baking, and dessert making. Also, most are also dairy free, with the exception of a little butter from time to time, so that’s how we’ll roll. This extra-long session has input from our in-house nutritionist, offer advice on meal-planning, and will come with a wonderful take-home cookbook packed with recipes and GF tips.

* No-wheat quiche
* 2 fun pastas with 2 fun sauces
* Adventures with Quinoa and other grains
* No-wheat breadsticks, and sandwich making
* 2 great cakes

Featured drink: Wine is GF!

We love Hipcooks. Check out our reviews of some of their gluten-free cooking classes.

New Cascadia Bakery Location Open

Next up, New Cascadia Traditional Bakery has announced that they are moved into their new cafe/bakery as of July 3. They have been updating their progress on their blog.

The new location is 1700 SE 6th Ave at SE Market (that’s two blocks south of Hawthorne). Besides their awesome gluten-free baked goods, they are serving Stumptown coffee and espresso drinks, and will have WIFI. We love New Cascadia Traditional Bakery and hope to visit soon! They are also planning an opening party, so we’ll be on the lookout for that.

Check out our past gluten free reviews and news about New Cascadia.

Hipcooks Healthy, Fresh and Zingy 1 Class

Last month we reviewed the Persian Immersian cooking class at Hipcooks. Hipcooks is a new place in Portland Oregon to take cooking classes and they have several gluten-free cooking classes available. We enjoyed the Persian Immersion class so much that we were excited when an opportunity to take another class came up. This time we took the Healthy, Fresh and Zingy 1 class (see full list of classes here and note the handy drop-down menu at the top for “Wheat Free, Dairy Free” classes). This is the first class in a series of three. The focus of the Healthy, Fresh and Zingy classes is to present healthy meals that aren’t going to slow you down and make you feel like it’s nap time.

Here’s what we made: Yin-yang roast red and yellow pepper soup with a pesto garnish; Seared sesame seed crusted ahi tuna (or sesame-crusted marinated tofu can be substituted); Mango-ginger salsa for the tuna; A very simple salad; and mini strawberry gelato ice cream sandwiches. We also had sauvignon blanc to wash it all down with.

To start, we made the gelato first so that it would have time to freeze while we made the rest of the dishes. With a VitaMix, we blended together a little water, some sugar, a lot of frozen strawberries, with basil, and some vanilla. I would never have thought to put basil into a dessert, but it really put some zing into those strawberries, and everybody loved it.

After the gelato, our teacher for the night, Alison, taught us some basic knife skills, and then we made the ying/yang roasted pepper soup. The soup was delicious, but we ended up thinking that it needed something. I think it needed either curry or a lot of black pepper. I could see adding zing with some leek too.

Gluten Free Yin and Yang Roasted Pepper Soup

After eating our soup, we seared some tuna. I personally was in disbelief because every time I’ve seared tuna in a pan on a stove, the results were awful. This tuna ended up amazing, however. It looks like maybe the secret is to use lots of oil, cook it very hot, don’t cook it too long, and make sure you start with really good quality fish. The tuna we cooked looked like it was sushi grade.

Seared Tuna at Hipcooks

As with our last class, we had a blast. The people were friendly. Everyone participated in the cooking. The enthusiasm of our teacher was contagious. The cooking was fun. The food was delightful. The instructor was sensitive to our one vegetarian member. The wine was great. I ended up with absolutely no complaints. It also occurred to me that a class at Hipcooks would be the perfect third date.

Hipcooks emails you the recipes at midnight after the class. Classes can be found at the Hipcooks website. Not all the classes are gluten-free, so make sure you look for that. Hipcooks is located on North Williams just across the street from Pix Patisserie North (see our review of gluten-free desserts at Pix Patisserie.) Did I also mention that the classes are very affordable? We’re used to seeing classes cost twice this much.

We want to know: So are there more secrets to searing tuna? Have you taken a class at Hipcooks? Let us know in the comments!

Times we have visited: 2 (So we feel pretty good about our score.)
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same and very reasonable.

Hipcooks Portland
3808 N Williams Suite 120, Portland, Oregon 97227

Gluten-Free Cooking Classes at Hipcooks

hip-cooks-portland-home_219x200Hipcooks Portland has just published their course list for March and there are three gluten-free classes. Hipcooks teaches cooking at two branches in Los Angeles, California, and one in Portland Oregon. Their classes are reasonably priced and 3 hours long. Hipcooks is located at 3808 N Williams in N Portland. Check here for the current Hipcooks Class List. Here’s what their intro page says.

Hipcooks offers completely hands-on cooking classes to the novice and the seasoned cook in a relaxed setting. We ban measurements and encourage tasting to tease out your inner chef. And then the best part- each class ends as a dinner party where everyone enjoys the fruits of their labor.

Below are just a few of the gluten-free classes available, along with their descriptions. (Please note: this post is dated March of 2009, so class menus may have changed. Check their website for current menus.) While we’re on the subject of gluten-free cooking classes, does anybody else know about some other resources like this in Portland? Let us know!

Healthy, fresh and zingy
Just like you, right? Here I offer two variations on healthy food for everyday eating. These dishes are so scrumptious and fresh that you and your friends won’t notice you’re being health conscious!

Yin-yang roast red and yellow pepper soup with a pesto twist
Seared sesame seed crusted ahi tuna (yummy sesame-crusted marinated tofu can be substituted for vegetarians if you let me know)
Mango-ginger salsa
Mini ginger and almond ice cream sandwiches with mint.
Featured drink: Bubbly Water
just kidding, Sauvignon Blanc!

Persian Immersion
I am most excited to offer an exotic class on Iranian food, hurrah! Think Sherezade, 1001 Arabian nights, gorgeous and sexy dishes fragrant with sweet and sour flavors to delight your friends.

Two main chicken dishes will be the highlight:

Shirin Pollow, a saffron rice jeweled with almonds, pistachio, orange peel and barberries. Traditionally served at weddings, this is a wonderful, celebratory dish. Let’s prepare this so that the Tadik, the crispy layer of rice on the bottom, is flipped to the top.

Khoresht-e-fesenjan is another of my favorites. This is chicken slow-cooked in a walnut and pomegranate sauce. Ah, delight!

Other menus items:
Maast-o Khiar
Persian meatballs
and rosewater-cardamom ice cream for dessert!

This class is hard to pair with wine – but we’ll have a lovely Shiraz, of course. Feel free to bring something fun to share!

Hot Soup Focus Group
Oh yes, it is cold outside! Learn how to make healthy, gorgeous and oh-so satisfying soup for your soul. This is one of my most intense knife-skills classes, where we really get chopping!

Warming Carrot & ginger soup
Roasted butternut squash soup with garlic and sage
Lemony Watercress soup with creme fraiche
Sexy Moroccan lentil soup with cinnamon
Mushroom, sherry & thyme soup
Potato & leek soup
Corn, sundried tomato & tarragon chowder.

And a nice chardonnay to drink, AFTER we finish all that chopping