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Randall predicts 2014 culinary trends

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Amy Haroldson of Lake Oswego shared her knowledge on classic cocktails with Lifting the Fork readers in 2013.

I’d say 2013 was pretty interesting in terms of culinary news. I’ll share a brief rundown of some of the highlights of what I’ve covered in Lifting the Fork.

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  • Inspired by a historic cookbook loaned to me by Lake Oswego’s Barbara Buckley, beginning in January I included a sidebar each week featuring a Sunday dinner recipe. Barbara’s book, “Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners,” was written by Elizabeth O. Hillier, copyrighted in 1913. If you kept up with Lifting the Fork throughout 2013, you should have a year’s supply of Sunday dinner entrees, give or take a few which had to be pulled for lack of space. Coming in 2014 will be more recipes for sides, salads, appetizers and desserts to complete the menus.

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  • In early March I began sharing information I learned in Northwest Veg’s Master Veg Program, which looked in great depth into issues of a plant-based lifestyle. It was an eye opener for me, though I have to admit I am still serving meat at my house.

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  • At the end of March, Lake Oswego’s Amy Haroldson taught us how to master making the perfect classic cocktail.

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  • I enjoyed visiting food carts in the spring and love the creative options offered. Lake Oswego’s first food cart — Salt and Straw ice cream — opened in May.

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  • I discovered drinking vinegars in May and still enjoy making them for friends and family.

    by: STAFF FILE PHOTO - West Linn entrepreuner Miffy Jones launched her Miffys Muffin Mixes in 2013.

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  • I met West Linn’s Miffy Jones and her marvelous muffin mix in June. What a fun lady, and boy, can she make a great muffin. You can too, with her easy-to-use mixes. Keep in touch with her via her website, miffysfoods.com.

    by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Chef Adam Weiner teaches Navy culinary specialists culinary skills. His recipes were featured in the July 4 edition.

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  • I met via email and telephone chef Adam Weiner, who volunteers as a chef mentor with the Adopt-A-Ship program. He gives special training to culinary specialist in the U.S. Navy to improve the quality of the food they serve. He shared his experience of helping Navy chefs build a better burger, which I included in the Fourth of July issue, as a tribute to those serving in our armed forces.

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  • In late summer, Riverdale elementary student Audrey Russell won a trip to the White House to meet the president and Mrs. Obama. She had submitted her recipe for salmon fried rice in Epicurious’ Healthy Lunch Challenge. As Oregon’s winner, she and her mother were invited to attend a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House. Details of the 2014 Healthy Lunch Challenge have not yet been released, but keep checking recipechallenge.epicurious.com/ for details.

    by: STAFF FILE PHOTO - The Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon hosted a festival to introduce the community to Arab cuisine and culture.

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  • Our friends with the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon shared their delicious foods and fun during the Mahranjan festival at Portland Community College in August. This was a real treat — the foods were flavorful and exotic.

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  • I had to share some disturbing news during the height of berry season. Remember the infestation we experienced last August of the dastardly spotted wing dropsophila? We were advised by Oregon State University experts that the fruit flies were not toxic and could be removed by salt extraction or fruit dunk flotation methods. The “added protein” didn’t damper our appetite for fresh fruits and berries.

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  • September brought us Feast Portland, a true celebration of Oregon’s bounty. The event showcases the best food, wine, beers and other beverages produced in Oregon. Keep tabs on development for next year’s Feast Portland online at feastportland.com.

    by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Barb Randall met Claudia Lucero, founder of Urban Cheesecraft, at the Wedge, the cheese fest sponsored by Oregon Cheese Guild in October.

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  • The Wedge, the street fair celebrating artisan cheeses put on by the Oregon Cheese Guild, was a highlight of October. It was there I met Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft., who shared her simple technique for making farmer’s cheese. She offers her cheese-making kits online at urbancheesecraft.com.

    Kramer Celebrate series of sparkling wines

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  • Another highlight of fall was visiting Kramer Vineyards to participate in the harvest. I knew the wine industry was labor intensive, but I didn’t understand all that entails. And how the winemaker makes incredible tasting wine out of simple grapes is nothing short of a miracle. Keep up with Kramer Vineyards news at kramervineyards.com.

    What will we see food-wise in 2014? I predict we will be seeing more emphasis on healthy eating, at home and when dining out. School lunches, whether packed at home or purchased at school, will include more healthful options. Restaurants will be using vegetable “cast offs” to create innovative dishes. As an example, kale stems, which are ordinarily tossed, will be showing up in stir fries, salads and other dishes.

    I predict more people will learn to cook rather than rely on processed foods. More of us will follow a vegetarian lifestyle, and we will want our food to be local and produced using sustainable methods.

    The range of gluten-free foods will continue to widen and improve in quality.

    The food truck craze will continue to grow in popularity, giving us the opportunity to sample authentic cuisines from around the world.

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