Our sweet little home melts into the backdrop of a 260+ acre forest. We have loved the forest for all it gives. Birdsong, shade, the ever-present rustling of the treetops, the pure fresh earthy scent that’s especially noticeable in the early mornings, and the eerie sounds that call from it after dark. Beginning Tuesday, as happens in Oregon, the crop of timber– the entire forest– will be harvested. By September what once was a Douglas Fir forest will be three new homesites. We knew this would happen one day. We just liked to think that one day was 20 years from now. What does one serve on the occasion of a forest being cut down?
Oregonians are rightfully proud of our home-grown hazelnuts, with 99% of U. S. hazelnuts grown right here in the Willamette Valley. This fast and simple four-ingredient recipe (five if you use the optional almond extract) features them like the heroes they are.
Nutty meringue cookies have been around for decades. The difference here is that I’ve developed this recipe to feature as much hazelnut flavor and texture as the egg white meringue will hold. Don’t let this quiet beige cookie fool you– they pack in a lot of hazelnut along with their very pleasant crispy and chewy texture.
The only thing better than ice cream for dessert is ice cream and sorbet for dessert! Making both with the same fruit makes a beautifully balanced contrast of color, tanginess, sweetness, creaminess and frostiness. This type of dessert duo is one of my entertaining go-to’s. The frozen desserts can be made in advance– a big win for the host! There is something show-stopping about serving it this way. I like to serve my ice cream/sorbet duos with some type of cookie, often a shortbread or something nutty.
Vintage Celery Amandine is proof that celery is more than a minor-league bench player at your table. There is a reason why celery is last to be chosen for Team Exciting Foods. Grocery store celery is pale, stringy, flavorless, and waterlogged in comparison to locally-grown, bright green, crisp version that hasn’t been trucked half-way around the world. Garden-grown or farm-fresh celery is a different thing altogether.
Do you have a show-stopping dish in your cooking bag of tricks?
You’ll know the recipe. People lean forward over their plates to inhale its aroma and turn their focus to their fork or spoon. A hush falls over the table. An eater’s brow becomes furrowed in concentrated curiosity, quiet little sighs or hums bubble up as a delicate soundtrack to the moment. Time becomes momentarily suspended.
All of a sudden . . ..
My mom and I live nearly 3,000 coast-to-coast miles apart, or roughly the same distance as it is from my home to Mexico City. It’s been nearly 16 months since I’ve seen her. If I were with her this week, I’d make mom these tasty Banana Coconutty Breakfast Cookies. I’d actually make a double-batch, and zippy-bag them up for her freezer so she’d have a month of homemade breakfast cookies after I left. Here are fourteen of the ways my mom is very special.
Part two of the Ode to the Bean trilogy recipe is an asparagus-bean salad with lemon vinaigrette. Its crispy lemon-panko topping is pretty special, if I don’t say so myself. It makes a great side dish, but we ate it as our main course and loved it.To bring you up to speed, last week I cooked up one pound of Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans. My objective was to create three unique recipes that wouldn’t having us hating beans by the end of the week. The three recipes– today’s lemony asparagus-bean salad, along with pasta with beans and mushrooms, and brothy beans-and-greens bowl– resulted in three distinct, tasty success stories.
Artichokes are another of the short-season wonders, and we try to eat as many as we can while they are available. This terrific recipe is super easy, and makes the most succulent, juicy, and rich-tasting artichokes ever. It’s nice to have a new addition to the ‘choke repertoire.
Have you noticed what happens when a crowd of people eat with their fingers? It’s a magical way to drop barriers and bring people together. Put a bowl on the table for guests to toss their tooth-scraped outer leaves into.
The process of preparing and eating citrus makes me happy. I never get tired of the bright cheery colors; the way the skin’s oils pop when peeled, exploding the most uplifting scents; and how a little lemon, lime, or orange can enliven an otherwise drab dish. April and May wrap up the season for most US-grown citrus varieties, and now is the use-it-or-lose-it window for the freshest citrus. This beet-orange salad is perfect for your spring table.
Passover, Easter, Earth Day, Mother’s Day– Whether your spring celebrations are about freedom from bondage, the resurrection of a savior, or your motherly origins– Mother Earth or your earthy mom– you need a good feast. If you’re tired of the same old scalloped or kugeled potatoes, 24-Karat Carrot Risotto a luxurious and celebratory substitute worthy of becoming a tradition.