Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Boeuf Bourguignon - Caity

Bouef Bourguignon. If you can say that without doing it in Julia Child's voice, you are a much more mature person than I. If you must do so in her voice, we obviously have a lot in common and I already like you a little bit more. If you have no idea what I'm talking about please watch this SNL skit as soon as possible.  Even if you've already seen it, watch it again! 

Beyond all the laughs, Bouef Bourguignon is amazing and while this is not Julia Child's recipe, this classic French dish became popular in the US because of her. It's not just beef stew (which is also great in it's own category). Boeuf Bourguignon builds flavor from the base (meat cooked in bacon grease and deglazed with red wine, yum!). It is quintessential "cold weather" food, I know you'll enjoy it. What is even better is that it tastes better the day after - SO make it on a slow Sunday and save it for a busy weekday! It can be served straight up, or over mashed potatoes, or noodles or with some nice crusty bread. I must insist you take your time while cooking this dish and enjoy yourself! Maybe watch "Julie and Julia"?

P.S. This recipe comes from the Kitchn 

Serves 6

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Turkey
Four years ago: Chex MixCrab and Brie Soup
Five years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Autumn Arugula Salad with Fennel, Apple and Delicata Squash - Caity

An October without a trip to the pumpkin patch is a sad October in my opinion. Yes, you could go to the grocery store and struggle to get your large pumpkin out of the bin while some jerk steals your cart as you say "Oh um... that's actually my cart" and he says "Doesn't look like it" as he continues taking your cart, leaving you struggling with the heavy awkward pumpkin.  Sigh... Apparently I'm still not over it. Pumpkin patches, on the other hand, are great places where you can feast on roasted corn while enjoying a nice cold beer and casually peruse the pumpkin selection before taking a hay ride back to your car. 

The  Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie's Island sports a small market where you (or your friend's 5 year old daughter, Lily) can select all sorts of squash you didn't know you needed. Lily chose me a lovely little delicata squash which I am happy to say, was put to good use in this Autumn Arugula Salad.

I have complained for years that I cannot make a decent salad. The idea seemed so simple but I could never master it. Some people (my mom in particular) just throw the fridge leftovers on a bed of lettuce and it turns out amazing. I was not born with this talent! I have improved with much practice and this recipe for Autumn Arugula Salad is my golden child. I created it one day when I threw it together AND I actually liked it! I love the balance of the savory delicata squash, the crunch of the fresh fennel and sweet apple.  

Even if you think you don't like fennel, I urge you to please try it, sliced thinly, in this salad! Try serving with Peruvian Style Roasted Chicken and Orzo with Parmesan and Basil or with Butternut Squash and Sage Soup for a lighter meal

Notes from October 2016: I am still loving this salad a year later! I have made a few "this is what I have in my fridge changes" lately that I wanted to share with you. I love adding a handful of sliced lacinato kale into the arugula! And when I don't have pomegranate syrup on hand, I have used IKEA's lingonberry jam instead and results have been great! 

Serves 4-5

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tomato and Feta Phyllo Tart - Cathy

It's still tomato season in Utah!  In our garden we are fortunate enough that they're still going strong.  But I know from some of the food blogs and Instagram accounts that I follow that in some parts of the country tomato season is officially over.  Even if your season is done, perhaps the cherry tomatoes are hanging in there--if not at your house, then definitely at the farmer's markets.  Erin and I went last Saturday to Salt Lake City's huge downtown farmer's market, and the stands there had so many cherry tomatoes in all colors and shapes.  They were all so beautiful! 

Here at my house, we definitely still have plenty, though...

But you won't catch me complaining.  No way!  Not even when all of my counters, bowls, everywhere--are covered with tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.  And even though I keep canning them, supplying all of my friends with them, and we keep eating them, we still seem have so, so many tomatoes! But they are gorgeous, organic, and bursting with ripeness and flavor.  These are the treasures that Farmer Kevin carefully tends and works so hard to fend off (very carefully) all of our beautiful but destructive deer visitors and other invaders to protect. 

These visitors are too pretty to chase off, so we have to use other measures to save what we can of our garden.  They sure do lots of other damage to our yard though!  But even our dog, Molly knows that she is not to chase them, so she lies down carefully in the grass and watches them wistfully.

  Then there's these guys that showed up one day while I was drinking my coffee and reading the paper.  Pretty sure they don't eat the tomatoes, though...

But I digress...back to those tomatoes!  As many as we have right now--and they will continue on until the first frost, we are happy to have our precious tomatoes.  We will have lots of fresh Tomato Soup (coming someday here), BLTs, Caprese Salad, Panzanella Salad, Spaghetti alla Margherita, Heirloom Caprese Pasta, and just straight off the vine, still warm from the sun, maybe with a little salt and pepper, juice dripping off your chin... So many ways to eat wonderful summer (and fall) tomatoes!

Here is one more way, and a quick and easy dinner or lunch. Really! I promise! Even if you've never worked with phyllo before, this will make you totally lose your fear of it.

I tore out this recipe many years ago from a Sur La Table catalog because it was so gorgeous.  Much to my delight, I had all of the ingredients at home so I made it right away and have made it often since.  It's great for when you have a ton of cherry tomatoes to use up, but works great in the wintertime too, with those sweet grape tomatoes from the store. 

I know that phyllo can seem intimidating, but as long as you buy it from a store that has a good turnover of product so that it's not too old, and you don't try to rush thawing it out from its frozen state, it's easy to work with.  I like to buy brands that separate the phyllo into two packages per box so that you can only thaw out half the package at one time and save the rest for later.  Make sure to defrost it in the plastic package in the fridge or at room temp.  As you work, keep the phyllo covered with a damp towel as it dries out very quickly--especially in ultra-dry Utah!

You just lightly brush the layers of phyllo with a mixture of olive oil and butter, sprinkle them with a bit of a cheese/herb mixture, keep adding a few more layers (and no big deal at all if they tear, really--there are so many layers!), then top it all off with more cheese and tomatoes. 

It all turns out to be crispy-brown, light and delicious!  Nice crusty edges, with just a bit of cheese and herbs and some sweet and tart tomato flavor and juiciness.  So good.  It would be great on its own, or with a salad (like Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad, or with soup (like Butternut Squash and Sage Soup, Elephant's Tomato  Orange Soup, or Spinach and Fontina Soup).

Serves 6 as an appetizer or side
or maybe 4 for a meatless meal

One year ago: Spinach and Fontina Soup
Two years ago: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal, Mushrooms on Toast
Three years ago: Hungry High Schooler Beef Sandwiches, Pumpkin Spice Creamer
Four years ago: Hearty Lasagna, Snickerdoodles, Coffee Cake Muffins

Friday, September 4, 2015

Heirloom Caprese Pasta - Caity

Of all the plants I grow, tomatoes are by far my favorite. I love coming home to see the bush covered in bright little dots, waiting to be picked and eaten. Even the smell of a tomato plant is wonderful! During tomato season, I eat tomatoes with every meal: pan fried tomatoes with breakfast, tomato sandwich for lunch, and Caprese with dinner. I am a very happy eater during tomato season! 

On the flip side, tomato season can become overwhelming. In May, it may have seemed like a really good idea to buy all those cute little tomato plants. But now, in September, they are overflowing with ripe little tomatoes nagging you to be picked. Meanwhile the ones you picked earlier this week cover every surface of your counter and the fruit fly population threatens to conquer the house. It's a love hate relationship sometimes. I hear you. 

This recipe is a most wonderful recipe because you can use your beautiful little cherry tomatoes (especially those from the really cool plant you just HAD to buy in May) to make a delicious meal. This is one of Brendan and my favorite go-to meals when we are both hungry and lazy. It is one of the few meatless meals I can get away with making without Brendan saying "it would have been better with chicken", which is really saying something! It is really fast to make and in the summer time, you are likely to have these ingredients in your kitchen. The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, "Modern Mediterranean", by Melia Marden. I only make one change and that is to add the mozzarella while the pasta is hot so it gets all melty and gooey. Try it before tomato season is over!

Serves 4

Three years ago: Barley Greek Salad


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Stone Fruit Sangria - Caity

There is something about sangria that says, "kick back on the patio and enjoy life". And I am listening! I love sangria in the summer and this Stone Fruit Sangria (stone fruit refers to the pits inside of the fruit) is an excellent addition to any summer get together. With all the beautifully ripe produce around, I insist you try it this weekend! You will not be disappointed. Try serving it with Caprese Salad, Salmon with Blackberry Chimichurri, and Grilled Fava Beans.

Instead of peach brandy, I used High West's Peach Vodka and it was great! This recipe comes from the website, The Kitchn. 

One year ago: Watermelon Popsicles
Three years ago: Blueberry Banana Bread

Serves 4

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Paella Mixta / Mixed Paella - Caity


I have a serious love for paella. We got to know each other very well when I studied abroad in Barcelona and some of my favorite memories there involve paella. I feasted on Paella de Marisco with friends while we explored El Born neighborhood after school. My classmates and I admired (then demolished) two 5-foot-wide pans of Paella Valencia while touring the Valencian countryside. My friend Kristin and I decided to stop for a quick drink after we watched the Magic Fountain on Monjuic and ended up eating a whole Paella Mixta and polishing off two pitchers of sangria. Man, life sure was rough! 

For those of you who don't know what paella is and may not understand my devotion; paella is a Spanish rice dish flavored with saffron. Depending on the type of paella, it might include vegetables, meat, sausage, seafood or any variation.  Traditionally, it was made of whatever was handy: tomatoes, garlic, onion, snails (eek!), rabbit, duck, chicken, beans, and later on, seafood. Paella mixta, or Mixed Paella, tends to be the most popular (especially with tourists) because you get some of everything, chicken, sausage, seafood and vegetables.

 I have tried for 6 years to reproduce the multitude of paellas I ate in Spain. The people that ate the ones I made said it was "really good", but I was never satisfied. It wasn't quite right; the rice was too mushy and burnt on the bottom, or there wasn't enough flavor in the rice, etc. Finally, I have found a recipe and a cooking method that has so far produced 3 paellas that are excellent, in my humble opinion! One of the most important changes is the cooking method. Before, I always tried to cook my paella on the stove but the burners weren't big enough and always resulted in the middle being burnt and mushy and the sides being uncooked. Where can you find a bigger burner? The grill!

This recipe comes from a Portland Catering Company, called "Crown Paella", and I have made only several slight alterations. If you don't happen to have a paella pan, you can use a regular pan (or cast iron) or a wide pot. You want to have as much surface area as possible for the rice and broth to make contact with the pan to create the beloved socarrat (the crunchy rice at the bottom of the pan). Also it is important for it to be grill proof since you will be placing the whole thing on the grill. 

Serves 4

One year ago: Watermelon Popsicles
Two years ago: Tomato Parmesan Farro, Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart with Rosemary Crust, Watermelon Juice
Three years ago: Baby Bok Choi and Snow Peas
Four years ago: Giant OreosGrilled Lemon Chicken and Mushroom Flatbread Pizza


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad with Chipotle-Lime Dressing - Cathy

This recipe is one that was inspired many years ago while standing by the takeout case at a wonderful local restaurant, Oasis in Salt Lake City, admiring a gorgeous, colorful salad.  I read through the ingredients and decided that I'd better try to make it at home, and it's been a family favorite since then.  It's full of color and flavor, but the recipe is not terribly specific, so feel free to adjust to your taste.  Great for a summer barbeque!

One year ago: Watermelon Popsicles
Two years ago: Grilled Cornbread Panzanella, Quick and 
Easy Blueberry Freezer Jam
Three years ago: Rice, Bean and Many Veggie Gratin  
Four years ago: Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad, PanzanellaGrilled Salmon with Sundried Tomatoes

Friday, July 31, 2015

Grilled Corn, Tomato and Red Onion Salad - Caity

'Tis the season to refuse to turn the stove on and cook everything on the grill! In Brendan's words "It's a good summer meal if I can cook 100% of it on the grill". Wise words my friend! This salad fits the ticket perfectly. It is made with grilled corn and red onion, fresh tomato and topped with Fresh Basil Vinaigrette. Amazing!

This has been a summer staple for us since I realized it's a) easy to make b) tastes amazing c) can be eaten hot, cold or room temperature. This recipe is slightly adapted from "The Gardner and the Grill". Instead of grilling the tomato, we grill the red onion. But I bet any variation of the sort would be perfect. Use the leftover vinaigrette on grilled veggies like squash, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc etc.

Try serving with Rosemary and Oregano Pork Chops, Pan con Tomate/Tomato Bread, Caprese Salad (oh man I love summer tomatoes!!!) and a Porch Swing.  

Serves 4 to 6

One year ago: Gina's Mom's Tart
Two years ago: Peruvian Quinoa Salad, Quick & Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam, Zucchini & Halloumi Fritters with Lemony Sriracha Aioli
Three years ago: Rice, Bean and Many Veggie Gratin
Four years ago:  Asian Grilled Salmon, Mexican Style Hominey, Preserved Lemons, Kevin's Italian Beef Sandwiches, Porch Swing, Pan con Tomate/Tomato Bread


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Grilled Fava Beans - Caity

To a kid, fava beans never sounded like something I would want to eat. In cartoons, lima beans and fava beans were the "gross" food that all the kids despised. As an adult, I had heard fava beans were a pain in the... neck... to peel. Based on these two important pieces of evidence, I avoided them for 25 years. Until we went to dinner last summer at Grain & Gristle and I was feeling bold and brave (probably after a glass of wine) and I ordered Grilled Fava Beans. After sucking down two plates, let's just say I'm a convert. 

I still have not personally experienced peeling uncooked fava beans but I can attest that grilled fava beans are cake to peel. They sort of pop open like edamame! Grilled Fava Beans have become one of my favorite low-key summer sides. I like to make it with salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. If you have another combination you like, please let me know!

Three years ago: Hamachi Shots

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rosemary and Oregano Pork Chops - Caity

Growing up in my family, you learned that dinner did not happen at 5 PM. It also didn't happen at 6, or even 7. It was not abnormal for us to eat at 8 or 9 PM because someone in the family (dad) HAD to exercise after work (why didn't I get that gene???), which frequently pushed dinner out until right before bedtime. It was/is a common subject of discussion at our house, "Dad HAS to go on a 30 mile bike ride and THEN we can eat". It always made sense why we ate late; dad worked late, then he exercised, then we ate late. 1 + 1 = 2.

Then I grew up, moved out of my parent's house, and became responsible for feeding myself and somehow we STILL don't eat dinner until 8 or 9 PM. And now I can't even blame my dad for it! I guess a late dinnertime it was ingrained into me at a young age... or maybe I am just unprepared until 8 PM. Who knows? Let's not assign blame just yet.

Now that it is staying light longer, dinner is usually served at about 9 PM at our house on a much more frequent basis. It's just too tempting to lounge in our backyard with a nice glass of wine in the evening. Eventually, I will get my act together and make something easy. That is why I love these pork chops! They are easy, they are fast, and they are full of lemony herby goodness! You can marinate them overnight or you can marinate them for 10 minutes and they will have the same amount of great flavor. 

Serve with lemon rice and a nice salad and you must enjoy outdoors! This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Melia Marden's "Modern Mediterranean" (which is the source for Roasted Fairytale Eggplants with Chili Lime Yogurt Sauce, Balsamic Roasted Chicken, and Fig Crostinis).

Serves 4

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart - Caity


If you haven't tried Gina's Mom's Tart yet, stop what you're doing and make it... NOW! It is so good and so easy! I have been making a tart at least once a month and enjoying it thoroughly. With all the fresh rhubarb and strawberries right now I thought it would be great to make a Strawberry Rhubarb Tart and I am so glad I did. This tart is great for dessert but my favorite way to enjoy it is the next morning with a hot pot of tea. I must insist that you try it... NOW!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Two Minute Pomegranate Margaritas - Caity

Whenever the sun is shining, I crave Mexican food. And whenever I get Mexican food, I need a Margarita (obviously!). And whenever I get a Margarita, I may need a second one (this is starting to sound a little "When You Get a Moose a Muffin"-y to me). But what if I want to enjoy my Mexican food and margarita(s) in the privacy of my own sunny backyard? I can get my food to-go but they tend frown upon giving anyone alcohol to-go. I am condemned to margarita mix or squeezing a thousand limes. OR I can have these delicious Pomegranate Margaritas which require very little effort (hence the two minute title) and have great flavor!

This recipe comes from Kay Hartz, my friend Rachael's mom, who introduced my college roommates and our parents to fast and tasty margaritas that you make by the pitcher. I think she changes the ratio of the tequila to beer, but I usually like to do 1 to 2 cans tequila then the rest cheap beer. Adding the pomegranate juice makes it taste good and you look pretty fancy drinking it. Don't forget the salt (or sugar) rim! 

Impress your friends with these Cheater Pomegranate Margaritas this Cinco de Mayo! Try serving with Pork Carnitas and Carnitas Tacos , The Orange Sauce (aka Crack Sauce), Pico de Gallo and Mexican Style Hominy for a feast you'll want to eat over and over again.

Four years ago: PB&Strawberry Sandwiches


Friday, April 17, 2015

Butternut Caprese - Caity

There are some days when I am entirely uninspired to cook anything. I am hungry but nothing sounds good. First world problems right?. I am sick of making the stuff I usually cook and I can't seem to think of anything that makes me feel excited about making dinner. 

Am I resigned to ordering pizza??? Sometimes. But usually, I like to open Erin Gleeson's cookbook, "The Forest Feast", and flip through her fresh and easy recipes and I am inspired to whip up something delicious! If you haven't seen it, this cookbook has gorgeous pictures of fresh food that doesn't require a million steps (perfect for when you're feeling lazy!). This recipe for Butternut Caprese comes from her cookbook and I highly recommend it. It's perfect as a light lunch or I served it for dinner with baked chicken thighs and Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad and it was fantastic! I recommend serving it as soon as it's ready to prevent any avocado browning. 

Serves 3-4 as a meal, serves 6 as a side dish


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Polenta with Red Sauce and Sausage - Caity & Cathy

This recipe is an old Walsh Cookbook favorite, from way back when the Walsh Cookbook was still in the .doc phase.  It is so easy to make and fantastic comfort food for any season. 

Here is my mom's excerpt from the original recipe:

" This is another great recipe from our kitchen builder/restaurateur friend, Andrea.  This is a favorite of Dad’s, especially because he’s become quite fond of polenta.  This is a warm, homey, comforting one-dish meal that seems especially perfect in the winter.  As with most of Andrea’s recipes that he taught us, this is deceptively simple and quick to make, but very delicious.  In the summer when I put zucchini in absolutely everything I make, I add some cubed zucchini and sauté it with the meat.  Very yummy.  Sliced fresh mushrooms would be very nice, too. "

An additional note: Andrea is also the creator of "Keegan's Rigatoni Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage", another delicious dish!

Four years ago: Paprika Shrimp Pasta


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Seared Cauliflower and Olives - Erin

This is my favorite easy way to do cauliflower, something about the combination of the olives and cauliflower, and then with the crunch of the bread crumbs it's just delicious!  I got the idea from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express book (here), but my love for olives goes far beyond "a handful" so I had to write my own version up.  You could easily go with a fancier olive if you wanted to, and I'm sure it would be amazing too.  I usually end up cutting the recipe in half because I love olives too much, and end up eating half the can while I'm chopping them up.  Oops.

what you will need:
1 head cauliflower, core removed and chopped roughly
1 can large black pitted olives, drained and chopped roughly
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup panko or other breadcrumbs
freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Monday, March 16, 2015

Irish Stew - Caity

 March is always very green in Portland, a little less this year than usual (due to the East coast stealing all of the West coast's precipitation!) but very green nonetheless. We went to Illinois to visit family last week which was tons of fun but it's very much still winter there - plenty of yellow grass, ice and crusty snow. It was so nice to come back to green grass, budding leaves and cherry blossoms! 

  Celebrate all things Green and Spring with this Irish Stew, slightly adapted from Yvette Van Boven's cookbook "Homemade Winter". It's really wonderful and different from your average stew with the addition of the parsnip, rutabaga and barley. It would be really great served with or served over Colcannon (maybe hold the potatoes in the stew if you want to do this?). Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!! 

Check out the St. Patrick's Day recipe section here!