Cheesecake Always Feels So Decedant

I cannot lie, I LOVE cheesecake, and so does my son.¬† So much so that this child who prefers not to cook unless it can happen in the microwave will actually make cheesecake from scratch!ūüė≤For those times when you want cheesecake but do not want to make it from scratch this week’s local business of the week has you covered – Zoe Ann’s Cheesecake

Owner Zoe Ann who everyone calls Zoe bakes all of the cheesecakes herself.  She believes in quality over quantity.  The reason she choose to start baking cheesecakes is that she believed a product that tasted AMAZING would make people happy.

In today’s world where everyone is watching what they eat, Zoe Ann knows that there are times when people want to splurge and when they do what they splurge on should taste amazing and use good ingredients.¬† For this reason Zoe Ann uses Philadelphia brand cream cheese, butter, fresh heavy cream, nuts, liqueurs, pure extracts and fresh fruit.¬† While these ingredients cost more she knows that they are what makes her cheesecakes taste so good!

She says, ”¬†For instance, in our Coconut Cream ¬†cheesecake, we crack fresh coconuts, and use macadamia nuts in the ¬†crust. (Well, okay, I don’t personally crack the coconuts, my husband ¬†does that!) Our cheesecakes might seem a bit pricey, but when you ¬†consider the ingredients and labor involved in each and every flavor we ¬†offer, they are actually a good deal. Our cheesecakes are rich, creamy, ¬†and very satisfying. They are baked in small batches to ensure quality. I ¬†truly mean it when I use the phrase, quality over quantity, to describe ¬†my baking and business philosophy.”


All I can say is that, that coconut cream cheesecake sounds like something that needs to get in my belly (so long as it’s gluten free).¬† So, the next time you’re sweet tooth is screaming at you give Zoe Ann’s Cheesecakes a try, and let me know what you think.

Sometimes You Need to Feed that Sweet Tooth!

My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copyI know that many of you are just like me and have a sweet tooth that you have to feed.¬† If so then this week’s Black Owned Local Business is going to make your sweet tooth oh so happy.¬† It’s Jelana’s Bake Shop¬†a local licensed in home kitchen located in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Owned by Jelana Canfield, a California native who brought her family heritage and passion to share amazing baked goods to the Pac NW.¬† Jelana has a Bachelor’s in Theater Arts from Mills College.¬† After graduation she traveled the globe pursuing her career in the performing arts as an dancer, writer and actor.¬† During this time she earned extra money working in restaurants where she gained knowledge and found she had a passion for pastry, food and wine which led to her side hustle becoming her career.¬† While working as a server and manager in different restaurants she began to hone her pastry skills by taking training sessions for pastry at Morimoto Maui, Mala Ocean Tavern as well as the Cheesecake Factory.¬† This training led her to accept a baking restaurant at Portland’s oldest restaurant The Harvest Bar where she continued to expand her knowledge and skills regarding operations, as well as professional and technical pastry skills.

Jelana’s specialties include amazingly flavorful cinnamon rolls, cookies, tarts, designer desserts as well as custom cakes for all events.¬† Please keep in mind that Jelana’s is not your traditional walk up bakery.¬† Your sweet tooth fantasies are all ordered online with most items being ready to be picked up on the same day they are ordered depending on time of day they are ordered and how much is ordered.¬† You can do pick-up, delivery or have your treats shipped to your door – DANGEROUS I know.

Jelana works with local suppliers because she wants to source the freshest local ingredients that she can.¬† The produce and animal based ingredients she uses are organic and she uses local flour as well as Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour when needed.¬† Please keep in mind that Jelana’s is not a nut free, gluten free or strictly vegan bakery, however they do provide tasty treats that meet your dietary restrictions.¬† When making these items a complete deep sanitization treatment is done before and after these products are made.

If you’ve tried Jelean’s Bake Shop I’d love to know what your favorite treat is.






Italian Food is Made With Love

It’s the truth, Italian food always feels like it’s made with love.¬† I believe it’s because you’re reminded of an Italian Nona who has spent all Sunday making the sauce, and preparing tasty dishes for the family to enjoy.¬† Maybe that’s why I love Italian food so much, and have missed it over the past 6 years since my Celiac Diagnosis.

If you are a lover of Italian Food then you are going to want to try this week’s featured business of the week Decarli¬†located in Beaverton.¬† Keep in mind, that like many businesses COVID and the restrictions put in place by Governor Brown they have been closed for a bit, and are slated to re-open on February 3rd, which means you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before enjoying their food.¬† However, while you wait why not hear a little bit about Decarli and it’s owners Paul and Jana.

Jana is a native Oregonian who graduated from U of O, while Paul is a long time Oregonian who graduated from the Western Culinary Institute.¬† One of the fabulous things about Decarli is that they enjoy using seasonal¬†ingredients that can be found throughout the state to create amazing dishes.¬† Paul’s culinary influence comes from his Swiss/Italian-American heritage to create unique food that is both rustic and sophisticated.

If  you are looking to dine somewhere that has a fabulous ambiance look know further than Decarli.  Paul and Han have worked hard to create a warm, authentic environment in their 4000 square foot space.  The restaurant features Doug Fir floors, exposed brick walls, tall beams and rafters that are accentuated by an amazing skylight, and you cannot forget the amazing brass chandelier hanging in their dining room which was salvaged from the historic Benson Hotel in Downtown Portland.

Decarli is the perfect spot for date night or girls night out with the open kitchen that overlooks the bar area that will keep you feeling at home.  Please be sure to support them on Takeout Tuesday when they reopen on February 3rd






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Top 5 Bakery Picks

There is nothing better than an amazing pastry.¬† It was one of the things that I was sad about not being able to eat anymore when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.¬† One thing is for sure I shouldn’t have worried because living in the Portland Metro area means that I am thankfully able to find my favorite pastries.¬† If you are looking for a yummy pastry here are five of the top bakeries on the Westside, and yes my fave gluten free bakery is on the list.

My fave Blue Moon Bakery in Hillsboro – yes they are gluten free

Decadent Creations in Hillsboro – the owner has won Chopped and their macrons are to die for

La Rose Patisserie in Beaverton

Tour de Jours in Hillsboro right across the street from my office in Orenco Station

Carina’s Bakery in Beaverton

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie……

Friends if there is one thing I love it is pasta and an amazing piece of garlic bread.¬† It honestly is the hardest part of having Celiac Disease for me because it means I don’t get to partake in¬†dining at an Italian Restaurant because ya know gluten.¬† However my husband loves to head out without me and grab some Italian food from one of his favorite places Nona Emila in Aloha.¬† I honestly can’t fault him for it either because he’s a trooper when it comes to cooking and accommodating my auto-immune disease.¬† ¬†If you’re looking for a good Italian restaurant to grab some take out from you’re in luck.¬† Here are 5 of my hubbies top faves:

Giovanni’s on SW Broadway in Beaverton

Pastini in Cedar Hill Рone of my faves because they do have gluten free pasta.  The pesto is AMAZING!

Mingo on SW Crescent in Beaverton

Nona Emilia in Aloha – my husband’s favorite

Brooklyn Trattoria on NW Bethany Blvd. – Portland aka Bethany

It’s my hope that you find some amazing food that you love and gives you a break from all of the cooking we’ve all been doing.