Seasonal Eats

02
Sep 2017

My lemon verbena is blooming like mad right now, so I clipped some yesterday to bring inside to accentuate the kitchen. As usual, I stripped spare leaves from lower part of the stems before popping them into the vase. So I stared at that pile of gorgeously aromatic herb leaves...hard to just toss in the compost when it offers so many possibilities. A syrup to use in cocktail? (One of ...

03
Aug 2017
Ad-Lib Salad for the Heat

Like my  close-up shot here giving you detail of this salad down to every grain of farro? It's not me trying to be arty or stylish. It was the simple matter of the fact that I'd gotten down to the last few bites left in the bowl before I realized I might want to capture it before all was gone. After my first bite a bit earlier I'd thought to myself, hmmmm, this is pretty good. (Particularly since it was leftovers ...

19
Nov 2015
The Joy of Thanksgiving

This time next week many of us will be scrambling around the kitchen, tending to a bird, popping a batch of rolls in the oven, trimming Brussels sprouts to steam, setting just-baked pies aside to cool. For some I know this can be a stressful occasion, whether it's because of pressure to not mess up the beloved meal, or in anticipation of the potentially-awkward dynamics around the dinner table later. (After ...

29
Sep 2015
Marinated Wild Mushrooms with Fennel and Pearl Onions

In honor of the season and the slew of wild mushrooms beginning to hit markets now, how about a little recipe from my Wild Mushrooms ebook in my Northwest Cookbooks series? I’ve long loved marinated mushrooms, even those pretty basic types that come in little jars from the grocery store. Though like so many favorite snacks like that, it gets only better when ...

06
Aug 2015
Peachy Peach Peach

So many peaches! I was gifted a flat of the luxuriant organic peaches from Frog Hollow Farm a couple of weeks ago. The farm's east of San Francisco, but their peaches are--thankfully--made available at Metropolitan Markets  in the Seattle area each summer. When that box landed in my kitchen, the first and most automatic impulse was to make pie. Summer fruit pies are one ...

18
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 ...

15
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 ...

01
Oct 2013
Mustard Soft Pretzels: In Honor of October

I realize Octoberfest isn't relegated strictly to the month of October, in its homeland of Bavaria in southern Germany, the beer-fueled festivities tend to start late September. But still, the act of flipping the calendar page this morning to October inspired this brief consideration of the fall festival that plays out globally this time of year. My contribution to the party is this recipe for soft pretzels from my most recent book. This was one of the last additions to the Salty Snacks...

01
Nov 2012
Stormy-Day Chili

Based on Twitter feeds and Facebook chats, it sounds like many of us around the country were feeling a sort of solidarity with all those on the eastern seaboard being ravaged by frenetic megastorm Sandy. Honestly, the blustery weather we're having in Seattle would have been enough on its own. But hearing of those girding themselves against the extreme winds and rain, facing the dark and chill of the storm's effects...I guess our mutual instinct was to cocoon a bit ...

19
Sep 2012
Canning Summer: Plum Butter

It's funny how sometimes there's an odd confluence of input on one topic coming at you from seemingly disparate directions. For me this week, it's been canning: a subject chatted about at a dinner party Saturday, something Facebook friends gave me lots of guidance about after posting a quick question, and something I did by myself for the very first time yesterday. Then, today, I come across this column by Melissa Clark in the New York Times. Not so much about canning ...