The last time I was in Portland, Oregon was two years ago. My partner AJ and I roadtripped up to Oregon, through Ashland where we saw their awesome Shakespeare Festival, visited Crater Lake and finally ended up in Portland to hang out with my college friend Sue and her husband Tony. I haven’t been up since but Portland has been on my mind recently because I’m going back up there in a few weeks to cover the Feast Portland event! I’m thrilled that they want me to help cover their second annual event and it inspired me to come up with this Blackberry Muffin Recipe made with Whole Wheat, Honey and Fresh Mint.
In addition, the cool folks at Feast Portland are giving away a Feast Portland T-shirt for one of you readers! Details at the bottom of the post. (Sadly the giveaway is over but you can still get the recipe! Jump directly there if you want.)
If you’ve been to Portland at all you know that their food scene is pretty vibrant. From their wineries in the Willamette Valley to the food carts in Portland, a ton has already been written about Oregon and their food. Feast Portland is in their second year, showcasing not only Oregon chefs, but chefs and food people from around the country. Hugh Acheson from The National in Athens, Georgia (I ate there when I visited Athens during our roadtrip and it’s awesome), April Bloomfield from the Spotted Pig in New York and Michael Voltaggio from Ink in Los Angeles are only just a few of the people that will at the Feast. Even the San Francisco area will be represented with chefs like Matthew Accarrino from SPQR, Chris Cosentino from Incanto and Christopher Kostow from the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa.
Of course Portland and Oregon will be fully represented with some awesome people like Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, Kim & Tyler Malek of Salt and Straw and Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood of Bunk Sandwiches. In fact, there’s such a huge amount of talent at the Feast that I’m not sure I’ll be able to cover it all. But trust me, I’m going to try!
You can follow my coverage of the Feast Portland event in real time during the days of the event from Thursday, September 19th to Sunday, September 22 by following me on Twitter or Instagram and using the hashtag #FeastPDX. I’ll be trying to capture as much as possible during that time. In addition, you can visit this blog and see short follow-up posts at the end of each day of the festival that will recap the amazement (and probably the insane amount of food that I ate). I’m planning on doing a more extensive photo essay recap post as well in a few weeks, after I sort through all my images (that’s right, I’m going to start doing my photo essays again!).
In the meanwhile, Feast Portland has offered up an awesome Feast Portland t-shirt for one reader of mine. All you need to do to enter for the shirt is leave a comment below , telling me your favorite thing to do in Portland, why you might want to go to Portland if you’ve never been, or your thoughts on Portland in general. The fine print – PLEASE READ
By leaving a comment below to enter, you are agreeing to the Official Rules.
▪ NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
▪ VOID WHERE PROHIBITED
▪ You must be over the age of 18.
▪ This contest is only open to U.S. Citizens. Sorry non-US people!
▪ The contest starts as of today, and will run until Sunday September 15th, 2013, 9am PST.
▪ The retail value of the t-shirt is $25.
▪ The winner will be chosen by a randomly selected comment. All comments will be numbered and I will use Random.org to pick a random number.
▪ The number of eligible comments below determines the odds of winning.
▪ If there’s a problem with contacting the winner, I reserve the right to award everything to someone else randomly chosen. So in other words, make sure you type in your correct email address if you want the membership and respond within a week to me when I contact you or I’ll give everything to someone else.
▪ This t-shirt will be coming directly from Feast Portland, which means, I can’t guarantee that I’ll get it to you in a timely fashion. If you haven’t gotten t-shirt from them in a few weeks, please email me again and I’ll check with the organization. Sometimes things take a bit of time.
This giveaway is closed. Thank you!
Special thanks Feast Portland and Alaska Airlines who are a major sponsor of the Feast Portland event. They’ll be sending the fab Sugar Jones (of Sugar in the Raw) and me up to Portland to cover it. If you’ve never flown Alaska Airlines, you can get $25 off your next flight by signing up for their free Mileage Plan loyalty program! While on there, check out their fruit and cheese platter, which has Beecher’s Flagship cheese and Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. Of course if flying makes you nervous (and really, who doesn’t get nervous when their thousands of miles up in the air?) you can calm your nerves with a little Waterbrook Two Ponds Chardonnay or Red Blend. Or maybe a complimentary craft beer if you happen to be on their regional flights operated by Horizon Air or SkyWest.
[And just for the records, even though Feast Portland and Alaska Airlines are sending me up to Portland to cover the event with my flight and accommodations covered, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.]
Blackberry Muffin Recipe made with Whole Wheat, Honey and Fresh Mint
By Irvin Lin
If you’ve ever visited Oregon, you’ll know that blackberries are utterly ubiquitous. Sometimes called marionberries up there, the blackberry bush seems to grow anywhere and everywhere and people seem to forage them all over the place. I’m not so lucky to have bushes on the side of the road, but I did find pints of them at my local grocery store, calling out to me to buy and use them. Who am I to refuse the call of the berry? Buried in the back of my fridge was a bunch of fresh mint that I needed to use before they went bad. I don’t know why fresh mint isn’t used more in baked goods as their bright herbaceous flavor adds a great layer of flavor. A little bit of honey, some ground almonds and the nutty flavor of whole wheat and you have a great little muffin to start your day with!
3/4 cup (115 g) whole wheat flour
3/4 cup (105 g) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (60 g) almond meal (ground almonds)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons (55g or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 g) white granulated sugar, divided
3 tablespoons (about 8 sprigs or 15 g of leaves) chopped fresh mint, divided
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups (185 g or 1 pint) blackberries
1. Preheat an oven to 350˚F and spray a regular muffin tin with cooking oil. Dust each cup lightly with a little extra all purpose flour.
2. Place the flours, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt in a medium mixing bowl. Using a balloon whisk, vigorously stir the dry ingredients together until uniform in color.
3. Place the butter, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons (10 g) of the fresh mint in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Reserve the remaining tablespoon of mint and the 2 tablespoons of sugar for later. Beat the butter, sugar and mint together on medium speed until creamy. Add the extracts, honey and eggs, one at a time and beat to incorporate between additions.
4. Add half the dry ingredients to the muffin batter and beat on medium to incorporate. Add the buttermilk to the batter and beat to incorporate. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat to incorporate. Gently fold the blackberries to the batter using a large flexible spatula, trying not to break the blackberries too much. Divide the batter into the muffin tin.
5. Place the reserve sugar and fresh mint into a small bowl and rub the sugar and mint together with your fingers until combined and slightly moist. Sprinkle the sugar over the muffins. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then unmold and let cool completely on wire rack.
Makes 12 muffins