Chanterelle & Green Bean Casserole

Chanterelle & Green Bean CassaroleThis is a popular Pacific NW version of the traditional Thanksgiving side dish, Green Bean Casserole. Stephanie Kimmel, chef/owner of Marché restaurant in Eugene, turned Thanksgiving’s well-worn green bean casserole into a refined dish. The colorful fresh green beans and chanterelles baked in a homemade white sauce are a serious improvement over the 1950s three-can combo. For toppers, the golden shallot and bread crumb crust out-crunches canned french-fried onions any day. To make things easy on the big day, prepare the beans and sauce ahead. Continue reading

Can this sourdough starter be saved?

Freeze-dried starterSince it’s October, I decided it was time to dig out my sourdough starter from the back of the fridge and get it ready for some fall baking. The last time I used it was in May, but as always, I fed it well and closed the lid, sure that I would be able to revive it this fall. Normally, a thin layer of green sludge forms on the top, so I remove that to uncover the creamy yellow pudding underneath. I then scoop some of that into a jar, add water and flour, and usually within a week I have an active starter again. Continue reading

Pumpkin Carving Tips

Pumpkin Carving Tips

  1. Don’t cut out the top of the pumpkin to scoop out seeds. Cut out the bottom instead. This way, the pumpkin doesn’t cave in on itself and it lasts longer. Also, you can just set the pumpkin over a lit candle or light without having to stick your hand inside.
  2. Sprinkle some cinnamon inside the pumpkin after carving. The heat from the light or candle will make it smell like pumpkin pie.

Easy, Low-Carb & Gluten-Free Coconut Pie

I came across a recipe for an easy, crustless coconut pie the other day, and I immediately thought about how to make it better. The original recipe called for Bisquick, which is a big no-no in my book because of all the chemicals and additives. It’s easy enough to make your own self-rising flour that I never use commercially prepared products. So then I figured, why not just whip up some self-rising coconut flour? And since coconut oil is a solid, it is a good substitute for the butter and add an extra coconut flavor boost.

But even more intriguing to me was the possibility of making some significant changes that could benefit those with food allergies and special diets. So here is my revised recipe, which is still quick and easy to make, and tastes delicious. Feel free to experiment with this one — the few ingredients it calls for can all be readily substituted based on your family’s particular needs. Continue reading

Steak Fajita Salad

While we’re waiting for the tarragon vinegar to set up so we can make green goddess dressing, I dug through my recipe Dropbox to find some other salad recipes. Here is another one of our favorites — Steak Fajita Salad. The trick with this one is to make the dressing the night before, so all the spices have time to marry and the vinaigrette gets cold. The only thing that should be hot about this salad are the slices of juicy steak, fresh off the grill. Continue reading

In Quest of the Green Goddess: Tarragon Vinegar

We’ve been having a heat wave here in the Pacific NW — a bit early for us, but even though it is now cooling down after a week of 90-degree days, my thoughts are turning to summer salads. Of course, that means you have to have some interesting salad dressings to go along with it, and so I started digging into my “recipe box” for some ideas. Continue reading

Easy Peach or Berry Tart

I ran across this recipe for an easy peach tart and was intrigued because it didn’t require rolling out the crust. The author doesn’t peel her peaches, because let’s be real here, peaches are tough to work with. Between peeling and trying to excavate the pit and then cut it up into pretty slices… well, let’s just say my tart didn’t look this perfect. Still, it was impressive, and peach preparation aside, it was pretty darn easy to assemble this and get it in the oven.
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