About and House Manual


We’re Jim and Kris. We’re raising Joe and Henry in an idyllic little Oregon town set in the thick of wine country; our older son Mike does his baking in Los Angeles. There are 250 wineries within 20 minutes of our house, making some of the finest Pinot Noir in the world.

It’s hard to keep up.

Jim is an author and journalist who has traveled the world bringing back stories for magazines. He loves to bake and learn, mostly Frenchie stuff but also an all-American apple pie whose recipe he must never reveal. He also writes books, the most recent of which are funny novels for kids aged 10-15. His travels have taken him to some 35 countries, always in search of cool things to eat, taste, and try to make at home. He has weaseled his way into the kitchens of everywhere from Laduree on the Champs Elysees to Carlo’s Bakery (“Yo, Buddy!”) in Hoboken, NJ. The photo above was taken when he was drafted to make desserts for 60 people at a Paris dinner party.

Kris is a painter, sculptor and Office Manager of a McMinnville manufacturing firm. Formerly the manager of the McMinnville Downtown Association, she knows everyone in town and is a fount of information about area history and events. And she makes a mean zucchini bread. You’ll find her on Saturdays perusing the fresh veggies at the weekend Farmers Market at the McMinnville Grange.

We’re not professional bakers, although we’ve worked in professional kitchens, but we absolutely love to explore the world of baked goods, try stuff, taste stuff.

And share it with you, as we hope you will share your stories and experiences with us.

As of May 1st, 2017, The Pastry Ranch is open for rentals and visits, with a fully equipped kitchen where our fellow pastryologists can visit, share some wine and exchange baking techniques and recipes. Find us on Airbnb.com and HomeAway.com.


Click the download button, below, to get the full scoop on the Pastry Ranch before you come.