Thursday, December 27, 2007

Recipe for a perfect holiday

preheat house, turn on some music, cross another day off the calender. it is december 24th, 2007.

Begin with your mother, who you haven't seen in 2 years. Then add her two youngest daughters, who are also your half sisters you have only seen 5 times in their short lives.
Throw in your dad, stepmom, sister who is visiting from FIDM in San Francisco.
select a few choice friends, and at the end your 18 year old brother who already ate.
Stir everybody together with pear brandy champagne cocktails, 5 lbs of maple glazed salmon, salad with edible flowers, and let sit for a few hours.

Sprinkle conversation, laughter, jokes, and best behaviour to taste.

My sister Eleena with her Pear Brandy cocktail. we put edible flowers in them too, and used local Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy.

my friend Mo and my youngest sister Kellan.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brunch with the ladies

It was the day before my birthday, and I celebrated by inviting my lovely lady friends to brunch. i woke up in the morning on this chilly saturday, my new love in my bed. We watched the snow flakes tease the ground from under my rabbit fur blanket. I dropped him off, and headed over to the Screen Door to meet up with my girls.
matia and I, friends for over 10 years.

I switched it up, and ordered the blue crab benedict! it was incredible.

Tiffany ordered the bananas foster waffle.

My fried Jeevan, who I wrote about taking to the screen door before, had all 8 of us do a little project. we all wrote letters to our future selves, dated 6 months from the day we wrote them. here is Jessica(a lovely laywer turned chef, and Tiffany writing their letter to themselves)
Jeevan took them from us and will send them all out at the beginning of June.
I didn't know what to write. i was just too happy sitting with so many beautiful women who inspire me and who were all out to celebrate me.

Brisa in her fantastic suit with the most beautiful Chicken and Waffles in town!
Later that night I threw a huge dance party and we shook off all that yummy rich food....unfortunately, everyone was having so much fun, no photos were taken...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Birthday Rituals

My memories from my childhood are sometimes spotty at best, but I remember very vividly tastes and smells like a ceremony.
Every year until I was nine, my mom baked Spanikopita for my birthday. And even after she moved to the east coast, occasionally, around the beginning of December, a large box would come in the mail full of the savory homemade spinach delicacies.

For the past few years, I decided to carry on the tradition by making it for myself. I bought the feta and filo from a lovely European market on 17th and Hawthorne. The man who works the counter calls me "pretty lady", and when I told him it was my birthday, he reached his large hand across the counter and handed me a chocolate Kinder Suprise egg.
He shared a story of how women in his country(Bosnia) must learn to make the fine sheets of filo from scratch before they are eligible to marry. I tell him I am grateful for his little shop so I don't have to do that part.

My Mom's Spanikopita:

2packs of frozen organic spinach
at least!! one pound of feta
jar of pesto
stick of salted organic butter
cup of extra virgin olive oil
box of filo

you will also need a pastry brush to paint the oil onto the filo sheets.
follow the instructions on the filo box about letting it get to room temp so it doesn't split!

heat the oven to 350. put the spinach in a pot and cook it up!
when it is thawed, put it in a large bowl, and place a smaller bowl on top and drain as much water as possible.
(this method was cooked up by Matt, the lovely man who helped me make this meal this year)
then, mix the pesto, feta, and spinach all together.

melt the butter and pour the olive oil into it.

make little piles of spinach mixture on a sheet of dough, and paint all around it with butter mixture.
then do some folding, making sure all the time that the dough is thoroughly covered in butter.
make a bunch! until everything is gone!

paint the top of them with butter mix, then put em in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Matt and I decided to step outside on my balcony and take a few deep breaths of cold crisp night air, so when we opened the door back inside out noses were arrested by the intoxicating scent of Spanikopita happily baking...

I highly suggest this last part. I also highly suggest eating these with your hands, and eating them with people you love, the smiles are amazing.

memories of summer

This summer I had the opportunity to go fishing with my friend Scott. He is a local musician who plays drums and clarinet in Loch Lomond and Nick Jaina. He is talking about writing a column for a local paper about fishing with Portland's movers and shakers. A fashion designer on a lake! yes! On this particular day, we drove up to Trillium Lake on Mount Hood, late in the morning, after buying sandwiches, beer, and a bar of toblerone chocolate...

The mountain loomed large behind the clouds, you could feel that it was there, even though the snowy peak was hidden from view. We cast our lines over and over again, talked about falling in and out of love, drank some beers, and watched the eagles dive bombing the icy waters..

After about 3 chilly hours without any bites, we turn the little blowup boat around and Scott rows us back to shore. When we get to the bank, a large truck is pulling up to the water. It is full of tiny fish. I guess we will just have to wait for them to grow up so we can catch them!!

Scott fell asleep on the drive home, but I caught this amazing sunset.

Even though we didn't catch any fish, we decided to cook something from the waters. We made delicious mussels and ate them all up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

for the love of a Clyde

I spoke at a panel of Fashion Designers and Creative entreprenuers during fashion week in October, and didn't get a chance to eat anything beforehand. So afterwards, my friend and past sales rep, Tracey Forrest of True Collaborative Fashion Showroom and her husband and business partner, Tyler, and I went to get some warm comfort food at Clyde Commons.

I had never been there before, but i had heard many many things, all of them good.
We walk in and sit down and my nose is greeted by delicious smells, and my eyes are met by the lovely diners.

I don't remember the name of what I ordered, but it satisfied all of my hungers. Toast, and spinach, and hard cheese and poached eggs. perfect hangover food.

shortly after sitting down, and before ordering, I noticed a group of people in the back table that looked familiar. They turned out to be the entourage of Stewart and Brown, a fantastic couple from Southern California that are pioneers in the organic fashion movement. I had met them during fashion week, and fell a little bit in love with them all. I am very grateful for the inspiration that people can unknowingly bring into your life, just by being kind and passionate...

one of the girls in the party, her name is Paris, she ordered this delicious item, and i couldn't help myself, I practically drooled on her plate, it looked so good.

I also ran into Patricia No, who is a fellow blogger : and fantastic fashion maven.

It was pretty much the perfect afternoon.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Breakfast before Seattle

A few weekends ago, I drove to Seattle for a fashion tradeshow, selling my sustainable clothing line called Emily Katz. (my name too)
I called my friend Jeevan to see what she was up to for the weekend and to tell her a few things that I was thinking about. She said
"come on over here before your drive, and I will make you breakfast!"
So I drove on over, with my little jetta wagon packed snug, and sat on her lovely porch in the late morning sun.

The coffee was from Tiny's in a thermos, but the plums were picked by our friend Seth, and the rest was warm and filling, and so was the talking, that i was definitely late getting on the road. But it was worth it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Music and Wine Country

It was a grey Sunday in August, I woke up very early, which for me is 9am, and walked over to my friend Bobby's house. He is in a band called "Lusty Leaf" and we were playing an uncommonly early show. Who goes to see music at noon on a Sunday? I usually don't. I set my instruments down in his living room and we headed down Alberta to get coffee and yummy muffins at Random Order. Our friend Kaylee was also playing the show, she in fact had organized it all. And she is responsible for the muffins. She is a little bundle of smiles and her songs (which she sings under the moniker: Talk here, and sometimes : Talk here asshole) are so cute you want to stuff your cheeks with them. Well, anyway she was going to drive us to Music Millennium in NW. That is where the show was. At noon. On a Sunday.
We get there and they made such cute signs for us, so it was hard to feel tired, grumpy, or hungover.

The crowd of maybe 10 or so were unconventionally attentive, and a few random shoppers stopped flicking through jeweled cd cases and watched, and listened, and maybe they were touched somewhere.
After I played, a girl who was there to see Talk Here, came up to me, Her cheeks were smeared with mascara. She told me my songs were beautiful, and I thanked her. And then I thought to myself, this is the only time when I feel really really good about making someone cry.

The next part of the day felt like a dream. My friend Sean had invited me and a guy I was seeing out to wine country. Sean's friend Mitch had rented a limo for the day and a group was headed out to the rolling hills West of Portland for a day of wine and relaxing. My Beau and I broke up the night before, which made my tiredness and desire to head out of the city more pronounced.

So, I am standing outside of Music Millennium with my instruments and my friend Nick (who I have known since the 2nde grade in Waldorf School) calls me, and then I see him drive by.

Sorry I missed the show, he said.
Come to wine country! i replied.

All in all the day was seized. Nick came along. We all got drunk at 4pm. I bought my first bottle of wine that cost $28. a 2004 pinot noir. oh man. i wanted to save it, but then we realized we had a wine opener in the limo so I thought: when is the next time I will drink AMAZING wine in a limo? or be in a limo for that matter? The bottle was from a new and very beautiful winery called Le Nez. The building stood alone on the top of a hill overlooking miles of rolling green and yellow pastures. After our 4th tasting we all spread out in the perfectly manicured grass and watched tiny grasshoppers dance on our heavy limbs. I did a few cartwheels until one of the women who worked there expressed concern for the greenery.
I don't regret it.

Nick and Sean strike a pose on the deck overlooking the vineyard.

Returning to Portland was easy, Mitch cooked everyone dinner, Sean and I played a new duet on our guitars, and then we headed to the end of PDX POP NOW to see some bands I had never heard. It was a very long and fulfilling day, and any grumpiness from the night before was completely washed away by floods of songs and wine and friends.

Monday, August 20, 2007

she feeds me right.

I have many fabulous friends who feed me well, and Erin is one of them. Cocktail parties, amazing brunch, fresh fruit and kefir with flax oil, are among the things she has brought into my life....
In a few weeks, she is moving to New York and then Paris.

I will miss her.

Jessica's birthday soiree

well, i didn't get the black dress memo, but Tessa, in all her glory, came through and dressed me up in her grandmother's finery.
the dinner was for Jessica, who is a chef, and the ladies sweated the whole day in the kitchen to feed us full.
after eating, Ritchie from Loch Lomond, Sean from Invisible Rockets, and little ole me, played acoustic sets on the balcony, ending finally in sing alongs, and giggles.

zucchini stuffed with chevre and pesto, inspired by the chefs at Simpatica.
oh man, it was amazing.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Summer Feast

My favorite thing about summer, besides swimming in rivers and soaking up sun, is feasting with friends. My dear friend Natalie, whom I have known since high school, is an amazing woman who knows how to throw a fantastic potluck.
The theme was summer edibles, and so my contribution was fried squash blossoms stufffed with chevre and fresh figs.

here they are frying in the pan.

Some ladies transplanted from Kansas brought a delicious torte with marscapone and grilled apricots.

Erin made caprese on a stick!

Here is Natalie getting ready to put her yummy eggplant dish in the oven.

The spread was bountiful, and we stuffed ourselves silly.
Music was played, we all found ourselves stretched out in the grass. It was the perfect way to end a beautiful summer night.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


It was another lovely summer day: warm enough for white wine outside, cool enough for an arm swept around you, and hungry enough for the biggest sushi in town.
Gathering together friends, we met at 6:30pm at Saburo's in Sellwood, put our name on the list, and passed the time with a bottle of wine down the street. We were all sitting at a table outside, when we heard a little commotion. There was a momma duck and her 4 little tiny baby ducklings keeping close by her side. The patrons of nearby restaurants all stopped eating to try and funnel them down the sidewalk and not into the street.
The little birds scuttled through the mob outside of Saburo's, and hopefully into the park down the street. Tried to get a photo, but it was blurry.

The wait was a little long as usual, but with thoughts of the little ducklings, the wine, and the lovely company, the time passed quickly. We weren't seated until an hour later, but the food was more than worth it. The eel was the length of my whole hand! the yellowtail was so buttery and smooth, and the special rolls were so big we couldn't fit the whole thing into our mouths.

Friday, July 27, 2007

a lunch of my own

For the last 7 months i have spent alot of time getting used to being on my own. Before that i lived with the most wonderful man who always made sure i was eating well and being loved well and all of that. Honestly there was a little while at the beginning of the year when i wasn't eating at all, and considering my love and appreciation of food, it was a unnerving. But then spring blossomed, and now I am full into summer, happily relishing in the bounty that life has to offer my belly.

I made this lunch for myself the other day, of artichoke, grilled zucchini, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, and sat on my balcony and listened to the birds singing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Am Northwest

This morning, bright and early i headed over to KATU channel 2 News. I am participating in a sustainable fashion exhibition opening August 2nd at the Art Institute of Portland, and the show AM Northwest was doing a little teaser fashion show.
Shown on the model is the WOW rain jacket from the Fall 2007 Emily Katz line.
it is made from water-resistant micro fleece surplus fabric. Essentially that means that I am using fabric from large companies that would normally end up in a landfill.
stylish and sustainable.

i talked with a few other designers backstage beforehand, and snuck in during the live show to snap these shots.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

secret spring 2008 preview

In addition to loving feasts and friends, I also spend lots of my time making art and designing a sustainable women's clothing line, called Emily Katz. that is me.

this picture is a scan of a new Spring tank top. Silk jersey handpainted with fabric dye.
I used vintage crocheted lace as the stencil.

the rest of my Spring line will be available for boutiques to order from in the next months.
more to come...

New Favorite

In the last 7 months I have gone out to a lot of breakfasts, all across the board, from your simple 2 eggs over medium with crisy bacon and toast, to grand fritattas. But I don't know if I will ever want to eat anything else again after discovering this: my new favorite: eggs Sardou.
this is what it is:
english muffin open, topped with sauteed spinach, WHOLE artichoke hearts, poached eggs, and hollandaise. a few giganticly beautiful slivers of potato nestled next to this beautiful dish. oh man. yum.

I went out with my dearest friend Jeevan, and the conversation was wonderful, between orgasmic moans over the food.

You will find me (and the most amazing chicken and waffles too!) at the Screendoor on 24th and E Burnside, for weekend brunch, with a big smile on my face.

Pancake, autoharp, violin, drums

What a night it was. The first thursday of July spread it's little art walk limbs into the streets, and they beckoned me out.

I set up a booth on 13th and Johnson, where they close off the street and artists and local apparel and jewelry designers set up and sell their wares.
The weather was a little blustery for July, my rack of clothing fell over more than once, smashing hangers and flinging little white embroidered dresses onto the dirty street, but no one was hurt, and I left with some newly earned money in my pocket.

The night progressed into dancing, and lovely people laughing.
I then met up with two dear friends, Scott and Nathan, and we drove back to Scott's house and he made us the most amazing pancake filled with blueberries the size of marbles!

It was the most memorable 3am pancake night i have ever had.

lebanese dinner and new friends

This summer dropped many new things into my little lap. The best of them many new experiences and so many new and absolutely beautiful friends. A love interest brought me into this group of 10 women, all working in their own way on following their dreams, hearts, and bellies.

the love interest now a bit out of the picture, i was happily surprised when one of the ladies invited me to a summer soiree on their balcony in se Portland.
the day was beautifully lazy. sunbathing at the river, reading Pablo Neruda out loud on the beach, and then rushing back to town to change into a dress, have a quick cocktail with a friend, and then off to the party.
I was a litte nervous at first. the boy I liked, well, his ex girlfriend was going to be there. but when i walked into the cozy kitchen, everyone drinking Pastis, and smiling, i felt immediately comfortable.

The Dinner was happening because the ladies of the house were hosting a fantastic nomad artist couple. the husband is Lebanese, and the wife from the Czech Republic.
we feasted on homemade Labneh, flat bread with Zatar, and drank wine until we were all silly and they all asked me to play my autoharp.

you can hear me here:

We lounged on the balcony until 1am, in the still 100 degree heat of summer. I felt taken care of by the world, surrounded by new friends, stuffed!! full of amazing food, a little drunk, and completely where I wanted to be.