Tag: Sauvie Island

Peach Shortbread and changes

Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerPeach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

It has been a week since I last posted, and oh what a week it has been. The past month has been a time of change for me. We moved into a new house in NE Portland, which has been really great. While at first I was not happy to be leaving SE, our new location has surprised me.

Also, I have changed jobs. They company where I worked is undergoing some big changes, and while I am still going to be doing some contracting work creating Prezis for them, I am an account manager no more! At first, this was scary, and I wasn’t sure what to do next. I applied to some administrative and management jobs, but what I kept coming back to was food. I knew I was not easily going to get a job in a restaurant, as I have no experience whatsoever. But I sure as hell was gonna try. Within about a week and a half, I had a new job, hostessing at a restaurant in NE Portland. I won’t tell you which one yet, as I’m still kind of in my training period, but so far, I am really enjoying it. The people are great, the food is awesome, and it’s a completely different kind of job. I needed that change in my life.

Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Peach Shortbread // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Anyway, in the midst of all this, I went to what will probably be one of my last commune dinners for a while. Sadly, my new schedule has me working on Monday nights. I’m hoping to make it to dinner whenever I can, because I’ll miss all that craziness, all that good food, and all that company.

For my last dinner, I was asked to make something with the peaches I had recently picked. North of Portland, there’s a small island in the middle of the river called Sauvie Island. To make sure the island doesn’t get all developed and covered with mansions, in order to live there, a certain amount of your income has to come from the land you own. This means lots of farms, cattle, sheep, etc. One of Portland’s most popular summer activities is going to pick berries, peaches, veggies, and flowers on the island. While our friend Emilie was in town, Jonah, Carmelle, and I took her to Sauvie Island Farms to go picking! We picked 6 ears of corn, 2 tubs of blueberries, a tub of raspberries, and 14 or so peaches, and got them all for $30. It was so fun! Anyway, I had posted photos of our fruit picking adventures, so a fruity dessert was requested. I found this recipe for peach shortbread on Smitten Kitchen, and did a little adjusting (mostly, we didn’t have nutmeg, so I used cloves and did half the amount). It was a big hit, and they were so dang easy to make.

Peach Shortbread


1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a generous pinch of ground clove
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 egg
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter (or somehow otherwise grease) a 9×13 pan or baking dish. In an electric mixer, or a good sized bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, flour, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Using the paddle attachment, a pastry knife, a fork, or those finger things at the ends of your hands, cut and blend the butter and egg into the dry ingredients. It’s going to be dry and very crumbly, but that’s ok! Take 3/4 of the dough and pour them into the baking dish, pressing down so they’re firmly and evenly packing into the dish. Now, lay the peach slices on top. You want them to be evenly distributed, so make sure every edge and corner is covered. spread the remaining dough crumbs over the top of the peaches and bake for 30 minutes. The top should be slightly browned, and the edges should be golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing up and serving. Enjoy!

Risotto with Fava Beans and Corn

Fresh corn and fava beans ready to go into the risotto // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerRisotto with Fava Beans and Corn // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Wowee! What a whirlwind it has been lately. A few weeks ago, Jonah and I were in Chicago for the 4th of July holiday, and it seems like from there, things got crazy. The night we left for Chicago, we applied to rent a house, and the night we got back we found out we got it! We are now living in NE Portland, within walking distance to Porque No?, Tasty n’ Sons, and countless other places. Mississippi and Alberta neighborhoods are a stone’s throw away, and I’m discovering a part of the city of which I had only scratched the surface. It’s pretty sweet. Be on the lookout for reviews of some spots in our new hood.

It has been a while since I gave you guys a recipe. This is one I made a while back, but it is just as perfect for right now. This past weekend, we went out to Sauvie Island to go berry picking – we have blueberries coming out of our ears! As well as raspberries, peaches, and a few ears of corn. The corn reminded me that I STILL hadn’t posted this risotto recipe! I’ve discovered that risotto is such an easy meal to make and you can really throw in anything you have around. Saffron? Sure. Squash? Yup. Mushrooms? Why not. But this was a great spring & summer risotto with fava beans and fresh corn.

Risotto with Fava Beans and Corn


1 1/2 lbs of fava beans, shelled and shelled again (to learn more about shelling favas, go here)
2-3 ears of sweet corn, the kernels cut from the cob
~4 cups of chicken broth (can easily be replaced with vegetable broth to be made a vegetarian dish)
1/2 cup white wine (Alice Waters told me (in her book) that if you don’t have any white wine, you can also use a light beer – I didn’t have any wine or nice beer around, so I used PBR… it worked just fine)
2 Tbl olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low.

In a separate saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook them until the onions are soft but not browned, about three minutes. Add the arborio rice and stir to coat it in olive oil. Add the wine (or in my case, beer, because I’m classy like that) and cook until the liquid has been absorbed and evaporated, stirring constantly.

Now add the broth, one cup at a time (or one ladle full at a time). Stir the rice frequently after each addition, and only add more broth when the previous broth has been absorbed. When you have added half the broth (after about 15 minutes), add the fava beans and corn. Continue adding broth and letting the rice cook and absorb, until the rice is tender but still has some bite to it. You may not need all of the broth. When the texture seems good to you, add about 1/4 cup of broth, remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!