Regional Treats

Jul 2015
Taste of Summer: Walla Walla Sweets

I missed the big kick-off for this season, the huge juicy sweet onions have been available for a few weeks by now. But there's still time to get your fill of one of Washington's hallmark  agricultural products: the delectable Walla Walla sweet onion. They've even been officially name-checked by the USDA since 1995, to assure that the name is attached only to true Walla Wallas from distinct geographic scope. It's reminiscent of the European practices that ...

Jan 2015
Torrone with Almonds

It's a funny thing, coming home with a suitcase full of treasures from a delightful adventure abroad. The less common the destination and the more distinctive the treats acquired, the more nerve-wracking it can be to decide when will be the ideal/perfect/best moment to enjoy them. From this fall's explorations in Portugal and the northwest corner of Spain, I came home with a couple dozen tins of exquisite seafood (sardines, tuna, octopus), for instance, much of it from this amazing ...

Jul 2014
Road Trip: Wenatchee

When my beloved 1992 Jetta was hit with some minor but worthy-of-being-deemed-'totaled' damage a couple of years ago, I got myself a new VW that invariably came with tons more automatic doodads and general smarts than my old car had. Even just getting a cup-holder and no longer hand-cranking the windows up and down was a huge advance. I hadn't quite expected the car to actively nudge me with notes on ...

May 2014
Salmon Season Special Offer

Between gin, snacks and salmon, it's kind of hard to know which of those favorite topics I touch on more often here. But with the traditional mid May launch of Copper River salmon season just passed, it's little surprise salmon is on top of mind right now. It's something like the swallows back to Capistrano, an event that signifies the general launch of key commercial salmon fishing season ...

Oct 2013
Northwest Cuisine: My New Series

Thrilled to announce that my first-ever self-published e-book was released earlier this week. For this initial entrée into the new realm, with The Northwest: Crab, I have revived some content from projects dating back a decade or so. The Northwest Homegrown Cookbook Series was one of the most personal projects I had the opportunity to ...

Aug 2012

One of the unexpected outcomes of pursuing a path in the world of food writing is that of being asked to judge cooking competitions. It's not something I'd had in my scopes when thinking about this career path, but must say it's a really enjoyable part of the picture. From salmon recipes in Alaska to Spam recipes at the Puyallup Fair, I've judged a lot of contests over the years. It's one of those things that--from the outside--looks pretty swell. Can't ...

Aug 2012
Green Goddess Crab Salad

It's such a delightful problem to have. More crab than you can eat in one sitting. Friends who have a home on Whidbey Island had had pretty good luck with the crabbing last weekend,  got through as much as their family could consume, then dropped a quick email to see if we'd like to take some off their hands. Next thing you know, we're picking a parking lot to meet in, they handed off 4 Dungeness crab that had been caught-and-cooked the ...

Jul 2012
A Canadian Canola Escapade: Saskatchewan

I took about a thousand pictures in this field bursting with yellow blossoms, set against the blue sky accented with white-and-silver clusters of clouds. Okay, I exaggerate. A bit. It was a few dozen perhaps. But I could have kept going if me and my fellow travelers didn't have yet another great meal to run off to.....  The place was somewhere outside the city of Saskatoon, capitol ...

Mar 2012
A Black Forest Adventure, with Cake

“So, do you want to maybe go to Germany today?”  Anne-Marie asked us. Not your usual breakfast time conversation but it’s one of the benefits of spending time in the Alsace region of France. Taking a brief drive to have lunch in Germany is a fully realistic option. And we took our friends up on it during a trip in the fall of 2010, piled in the car and in ...

Aug 2011
Albacore and Ale in Astoria

  It had been a good 15 to 20 years or so since my last trip to Astoria. So I was especially happy when an invitation came through from the Oregon Albacore Commission and the Western Fishboat Owners Association to join on an albacore escapade to Astoria last week. Didn't hurt that I'd recently put my latest cookbook to bed. The prospect of a mini road trip to the ocean coast sounded like just what the doctor ordered after a particularly hectic few months ...