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Lemon Salt Lemon Cupcakes And Portland Trip Part 3

Lemon Salt Lemon Cupcakes

Finally edited the last part of my trip to Portland a few weeks ago. I get lost in my memories of Portland every time I look at this last set. The day was jam packed with fun adventures…it kept my camera busy and happy.

I ended my trip on the same note it started, taking Sunday as an extra day to chill before getting back to work. A day spent with friends, visiting more of Portland, free of schedule. More time to spend with Tami, Nicole and Andrew to go about town. One pit stop at The Meadow salt and chocolate shop inspired the Lemon Salt Lemon Cupcakes pictured above.

Before I start waxing poetic about the shop and the salts, let’s (re)visit that last part of the Full On Oregon trip. Kuddos again to Travel Oregon for the incredible trip. I can’t wait to go back with Bill or my family.

Portland Market

We started bright and early at one of the farmers market. A mix of food vendors, fresh produce and flower stalls as far as the eye can see…Desserts and small bites from the dinner appeared behind a case and I was tempted to get more macarons and brownie bites…

Portland Market

Gorgeous displays of pastries from various bakeries in town as well as what seemed to look like an ever ending sea of flowers strewn about the market.

Portland Market

I must say that seeing one of Portland farmers market made me very proud of our own. Although smaller, we are equally serious about quality and diversity of produce, farmers and artisans.

Portland Market

A display of various kinds of mints and basil as well as other Asian staples. Heirloom tomato season was in full force and they were popping at just about every corner.

Portland Market

Flowers as far as the eye can see…

Portland Market

Bouquets of Brussel sprouts and colorful cauliflowers.

Portland Market

Artichoke flowers…mesmerizing color.

Portland Market

Gorgeous produce everywhere. I am telling you, my finger was glued to my shutter button!

Portland Market

My favorites… Ronde de Nice zucchini are perfect for "Petits Farcis" like my grandma used to make. Recipe here.

Portland Market

Garlic, garlic flowers and more gorgeous flowers…

Portland Market

After a thorough tour of the market, we actually had to stop and shop for the items we would use during the first workshop of the day on preserving and canning. As you can tell, it was not a complicated task to find everything we would need!

Portland - Preserving Workshop Instructor

Jennifer from Sassafras Southern Kitchen led our workshop on canning and preserving. We set up at KitchenCru, a community kitchen and culinary incubator which is about 24/7 so that various business can cook and package their products safely when their schedules allow it.

Portland - Preserving Workshop

We used all the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes we had picked up earlier at the market and set up various station of chopping and canning for the next three hours.

Portland - Preserving Workshop

The final product was Sassafras Southern Kitchen signature tomato relish. A little sweet, a little vinegary and simply delicious. I made it twice since I came back from Portland and we are just slathering it on everything. Will post the recipe soon!

Portland - Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Lunch was served right in the dining area of KitchenCru space and catered by three award winning chefs in Portland. Again, we did not lack great food exquisitely prepared. The meal was topped up in the most delicious way by Salt and Straw Salted Caramel ice cream. This team is young but they are already creating some big buzz around them. Justifiably so.

Portland Charcuterie Workshop

My afternoon session was all about charcuterie. My choice. I know, I could have gone with chocolate or ice cream making but I wanted to do something completely different and challenge my camera eye, my perspective and well….I do love charcuterie. Plain and simple.

Portland Charcuterie Workshop

Our class was led by Paula Markus and Eric Finley of Chop Butchery and Charcuterie. The enthusiasm and care they have for their business was contagious and evident in the quality of their products and the meats they use to keep such standards courtesy of Mt Shadow Natural Meats.

Portland Charcuterie Workshop

We started by making chicken liver bourbon mousse, then moved on to starting pancetta (it needs months to cure) and gathering herbs and seasonings for it.

Portland Charcuterie Workshop

Both Paula and Eric tagged team throughout the afternoon to take us through the various products and processes of their operation. They also had a whole hog brought in and took us through the various cuts and how they’d be used. Learning where you food comes from…

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

After our session and a quick refresher at the hotel, we boarded a bus, direction the Willamette Valley wine country for the Full On Oregon culmination dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. The surroundings were gorgeous and we got here right as the sun was setting and the Golden Hour was setting a wonderful cozy glow on everything.

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

More flowers everywhere and even more surprises at every turn in the garden. More on that later.

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

The dining room was beautifully set and each table was adorned with more flowers and a tablet of local Xocolatl de David chocolate bar was given to each attendee. I regretted that we did not get a tour of the property or the operation. It would have been nice to hear about their vision and products.

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

The dinner was executed by local chef Vitaly Paley and his staff and each dish was paired with different wines. Although all exquisite in their own way, dishes and wines, I must say my sensory palette was overwhelmed. So much so that I can’t tell you who was what and where.

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

One of the surprises waiting for me at the corner of the patio where we were enjoying hors d’oeuvres and wine was the small garden patch brimming with gorgeous fresh produce. Tomatoes galore of course but so much more…

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

Onions…and more tomatoes….

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

Swiss chards and blooms.

Portland - Dinner at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars


Portland - Penner Ash Wine Cellars Dinner

Yes…I know. More tomatoes. But admit these are gorgeous. I just wanted to cut one open, sprinkle it with salt and eat it right there and then.

The Meadow

Speaking of salt…After this official closing dinner party on all the events of the Full On Oregon trip, I had decided to leave Portland on a red eye flight Sunday night. It was leaving me more time to hang out with Tami, Nicole and Andrew. We started with a little bite a food truck in town and met up with Andrew at The Meadow. The famous salt shop…and wow…were we in for a treat!

I picked up a few salt including a really fragrant lemon salt that immediately made me think of a sweet/salty concoction. The vision of lemon cupcakes with lemon salt was already dancing in my head…

We also took some time to walk through the Japanese Gardens before saying our goodbyes, eyes full of wonderful sights and bellies repast with delicious meals. My heart was just making jumps of appreciation and gratefulness for knowing so many nice and genuine folks.

Lemon Salt Lemon Cupcakes

Lemon Salt Lemon Cupcakes:

Notes: I used The Meadow lemon salt to top the cupcakes with and I realize it’s not accessible everywhere. One easy substitute is to rub some lemon extract with coarse sea salt and sprinkle it on the cupcakes. Another option is to just use a very light sprinkle of high quality sea salt on top. The salt and sweet combination is really tasty.

Makes 12

For the cupcakes:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1½ cups Jeanne’s gluten free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk
zest and juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and airy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the flour mixture and milk alternatively to the butter/eggs mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Add the zest and lemon juice ad beat until smooth. Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out free of raw batter. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream:
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water + 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
zest of a lemon

Prepare the buttercream:
Place the yolks in a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
Bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to 238F (on a candy thermometer) in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Slowly pour the hot syrup over the egg yolks and continue to whisk until cold. Change to the paddle attachment and beat in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add the lemon zest and continue to beat for a few seconds until completely smooth.

Pipe the buttercream on the cupcakes and top with a few flakes of lemon salt or coarse sea salt.

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Neysa @ Key Ingredient October 7, 2011 um 3:36 pm

These photos are just achingly beautiful. I'm curious what that little paper says on Jennifer's shirt. =) I'm definitely going to make these lemon cupcakes. So lovely.

Cooking for My Kids October 7, 2011 um 3:41 pm

Your pictures are simply breathtaking. And, I love cupcakes and salt and lemon, so I cannot wait to try these cupcakes.

Cassie October 7, 2011 um 3:44 pm

Wow, you had me at lemon.

These pictures are wonderful! It is so neat to see that they all came from somewhere near to me–I'm in Camas. The food looks to die for!

london bakes October 7, 2011 um 3:44 pm

More beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing. And I am intrigued by the idea of lemon salt; those cupcakes look so delightful.

Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen October 7, 2011 um 4:01 pm

Unbelievably gorgeous photos. So vivid, breathtaking!

Rhonda October 7, 2011 um 4:22 pm

Another beautiful post on Oregon. I've been craving a Lemon for weeks now, but I didn't want to make a big cake. I think your cupcakes may be the solution to my dillema.

Jessica @Glaze October 7, 2011 um 4:32 pm

Beautiful! I could spend so much money on all that produce! I went to The Meadow website and the salt cellars (which I have been looking for) are amazing!

Lynda October 7, 2011 um 4:38 pm

Oregon looks amazing! All that lovely fresh food … thanks for sharing the cupcake recipe!

Mr. Bill October 7, 2011 um 4:41 pm

No way about it….I covet your photography! And thanks for the cupcake recipe.

Rocky Mountain Woman October 7, 2011 um 4:59 pm

I am in awe of your photos…

absolutely amazing!

Katherine Martinelli October 7, 2011 um 5:02 pm

I just love hearing about your Portland trip and seeing the photos – so stunning! I've never seen artichoke flowers before and they are so beautiful. I love Portland and hope to go back some time soon. Luckily quite a few Portland folks are heading to New York – a branch of the Meadow opened on Hudson St.! These cupcakes look divine.

Amy October 7, 2011 um 5:08 pm

You got some awesome pictures at the farmer's market. I've never seen artichoke flowers before that that's a lovely color. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Happy Friday to you. Take care.

argone October 7, 2011 um 5:35 pm

Quelles couleurs superbes sur ce marché ! Coup de foudre pour les artichauts bleus !

Our Gang October 7, 2011 um 5:48 pm

Wow, such great pictures! The food and the farmers market fabulous!

Novell October 7, 2011 um 6:00 pm

Would I have any issues if I didn't use Gluten Free flour?

Taryn October 7, 2011 um 6:55 pm

I actually have this very same salt fro Portland that was given to me as a gift… I haven't used it yet, but now I know exactly what to do with it!!

Gen October 7, 2011 um 7:09 pm

Quelles belles couleurs! C'est un vrai bonheur pour les yeux! Les tomates sont extraordinaires, et les cupcakes très appétissants!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 7, 2011 um 8:05 pm

The photography in this post tells such a great story…I love all your shots and thanks for recapping this fabulous event.

tomato relish, can't wait for the recipe. Sounds PERFECT.

And that buttercream frosting, that's perfect too 🙂

Anonymous October 7, 2011 um 8:09 pm

Having lived in Portland for 5 years, this photo journey really brought me back.
Lucky you to pal around town with Andrew and company.

I'm thinking maybe burying a few lemon peels into a pot of salt will work to infuse the flavor. I'll let you know in a month or so if it works.

Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker October 7, 2011 um 8:22 pm


If you were photographing your own garden, would you have pulled the weeds before taking the shot?

I grow so much of our food here at home, and I also photgraph my garden. I usually try to make sure the weeds are pulled. Obviously you wouldn't do this in someone else's garden, but if it was your own?

Laurel October 7, 2011 um 9:10 pm

Very beautiful. I really think the northwestern states are stunning. My sister was looking over my shoulder telling me how great those cupcakes look like, hinting she would like them to be on the agenda in the near future 😉

Lemon October 7, 2011 um 9:22 pm

Wow, your photos are so extremely beautiful, looking at them is like eating a chocolate truffle.

Kasey October 7, 2011 um 11:24 pm

I love artichoke flowers- they are so stunning, in such a humble way. Gorgeous photos, as always. Looks like an amazing trip!

Kristianna October 8, 2011 um 12:52 am

Oh what timing! I just received a bunch of the same round squash in my CSA share today and was puzzling over how I'd make the best use of them, since slicing them and using just as regular seemed a waste of such a very cool shape. Thank you for the recipe link! And the gorgeous photos, of course. This will actually be my very first time using one of your recipes, though I drool over the photos when you post them. 🙂

Torviewtoronto October 8, 2011 um 2:12 am

these cupcakes look delicious
lovely pictures beautiful colourful produce
I am reading your book now and enjoying it as so many things that I can relate to

VickyHastings October 8, 2011 um 3:11 am

Gorgeous photos! Lovely post. We're so glad you could visit.

Valérie (France) October 8, 2011 um 11:28 am

Tout cela me met très en appétit, avec de belles images de ta campagne qui me font voyager
Je te souhaite un bon samedi

angela@spinachtiger October 8, 2011 um 11:46 am

It's been so many years since I've visited Portland. What a fun trip. I'm intrigued by the lemon butter cream made with egg yolks. I've never seen this type of recipe for a frosting. And, a lemon salt would be exquisite as a finishing touch.

Unknown October 9, 2011 um 1:23 am

I've always wanted to see Portland and now even more…lovely photos…thanks so much for your inspiration!

Unknown October 9, 2011 um 1:34 am

Beautiful. The photos really capture this amazing experience. What a wonderful opportunity and reading your observations is just delightful. I can't wait until our Portland trip to visit that farmer's market…

Anonymous October 9, 2011 um 2:19 am

The trip looks like it was great fun and thank you for taking the picture of the artichoke flower…I've never seen one in bloom!

CouponClippingCook October 9, 2011 um 6:42 am

This cupcake sounds delicious. The salt and lemon are a perfect match. I've looked at all of your pictures twice now because they are so amazing. As soon as I'm done with this comment I'm going to look at them again. Just beautiful.

Kelly-Jane October 9, 2011 um 9:39 am

WOW! I'm blown away with your photographs 🙂

Sarah October 9, 2011 um 1:18 pm

These photos are tremendously beautiful!!

Anonymous October 10, 2011 um 4:33 am

Fabulous inspiring photographs. Thank you for sharing! I really miss fresh produce at farmer's markets.

Ilke October 10, 2011 um 2:10 pm

I just can't wait to visit Portland after all these series!
What a lovely color on artichoke flowers!

Russell at Chasing Delicious October 10, 2011 um 2:49 pm

Gorgeous shots! I felt like I was there – I wish I was there. And these cupcakes look stunning.

Vanessa October 10, 2011 um 5:16 pm

Truly beautiful photos. <3 Inspiring.

Baerbel October 10, 2011 um 5:59 pm

Wow, your pictures are STUNNING! It's a big motivation for me to keep on practising…

jillian October 10, 2011 um 11:52 pm

Just beautiful! I loved all your posts on Portland. I went on vacation there last year, and think of going back often. Your photos really captured the feel of the area.

Michelle Stiles October 11, 2011 um 1:32 am

My girlfriend and I drove to the Willamate Valley this summer for a few days of photography and wine. It was amazing and I would go back in a heart beat. I thing it is so great that you were able to experience it as well!

Lulu October 11, 2011 um 4:21 am

Your photos are beautiful — I really am drawn to the photos from the market! I need to try this cupcake. The frosting method intrigues me, it is not one I have tried yet. Thanks for sharing =)

BriBriMX October 11, 2011 um 7:44 am

Que de jolies photos colorées dans la grisaille grenobloise….

YONKS October 11, 2011 um 10:58 am

Wonderful images 🙂

Elizabeth October 11, 2011 um 3:03 pm

Just amazed at these beautiful photos. I love your work and am inspired to jump into the kitchen and make treats!


Marilyn Miller October 11, 2011 um 3:47 pm

Thanks for the recommendation on the lemon salt. I went to the Meadows yesterday and found it. Yummm! I think it will be good on many things. What's not to like lemon and salt combined.

Elena – delicious kitchen stories October 12, 2011 um 4:59 am

Such a beautiful pictures!!!! I'm getting the urge to run to Oregon right now 😉
Delicious cupcakes too.

lynn October 12, 2011 um 6:42 am

i wish i had had a food blog when i was in portland a few years ago – what a foodie paradise!

Josh October 12, 2011 um 1:25 pm

Thank you for sharing these photos and your travelogue — they are stunningly beautiful. You make me want to move to Portland! October 14, 2011 um 10:39 am

absolutely love the shots and farmers markets and fresh produce make for the sexiest photos!! and i just realized…..YOURE the auther of Plate to Pixels…..I am reading it right now! thank you for all the help!! x

Nicole October 25, 2011 um 6:24 pm

I've been waiting for these cupcakes since you mentioned the idea in the shop! I've been loving all the salts I picked up at The Meadow – I'm so glad we came across it!

Seanna Lea November 3, 2011 um 6:31 pm

These cupcakes. I want them. I want the lemon salt. They look like everything salty, sweet and delicious I would want in this world.

Mély February 8, 2012 um 12:12 pm

Un vrai plaisir de vous lire, comme toujours, et de regarder ces jolies photos qui nous font voyager, rêver & nous donnent envie !

Toni @ Boulder Locavore February 8, 2012 um 12:12 pm

Loved all the photos that feel like summer! My favorite of all is the river bordered by grapes. It was instantly transporting! The orange cherry tomatoes leaning over the fence are a tease of warmer temps to come (hard to imagine amidst feet of snow!). I'm glad you waited to post this; such a treat.

David @ Frenchie and the Yankee February 8, 2012 um 12:26 pm

Oh this is stunning!
I've never been there but really want to go.

Anonymous February 8, 2012 um 1:16 pm

I love the combination of sweet and salty and these cupcakes look beautifully delicate. Gorgeous gorgeous photos too – they really do justice to what sounds like a wonderful trip.

Anonymous February 8, 2012 um 1:23 pm

Those cupcakes look unfairly delicious. That addition of lemon salt must just put them over the edge! YUM. I'm going to have to make those!

Angela February 8, 2012 um 2:28 pm

Oh my…these photos have me really longing to go ahead with my spring garden. I cannot wait! Beautiful.

Connie Gordon February 8, 2012 um 2:50 pm

Wonderful recipe and beautiful pictures. You are out of control! Such an inspiration for me. I am always delighted to see the email alert come in that you have a new post and make sure I allow for at least 20 minutes to enjoy all of the wonderful pictures.

Dena 40 Fit In The Mitt February 8, 2012 um 3:02 pm

I could stare at your photos all day, just beautiful

Unknown February 8, 2012 um 3:03 pm

Your photos are beautiful!! Love the flowers and produce. The cupcakes sound fabulous!!

SkinnyMommy February 8, 2012 um 9:12 pm

Amazing colors here-ah!

Karine February 8, 2012 um 10:56 pm

Love this post, Helene. First time I see an artichoke flower. Really Beautiful! The pictures made me feel like I was visiting Portland with you. You captured the produce, restaurants and locals so well. I will make your lemon cupcake recipe soon.
I am a huge fan of lemons. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

Dmarie February 9, 2012 um 12:41 am

ooh, thank you for this gorgeous post…and the yummy looking recipe!

Katherine @ February 9, 2012 um 4:35 am

I'd never seen a garlic flower before, but I love how monotone the colors are in that picture– so pretty.

I like the suggestion of rubbing lemon into the salt– kind of like rubbing vanilla bean into sugar before making vanilla cakes!

tania@mykitchenstories February 10, 2012 um 9:07 am

What a lovely idea. Im making these tomorow. Thanks

Unknown February 11, 2012 um 5:56 pm

Gorgeous photos…I want a trip to Portland now!!!

Pétra February 25, 2012 um 6:21 pm

What a wonderful trip you had!! I wish I could have a day like that here in Portland. We do make it to the PSU Farmers market and Salt and Straw is my favorite ice cream ever!!

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