Food

Apple-Spice Muffins with Oat Streusel

This week, it’s all about apples. Get back to baking and fill your house with the warm, welcoming smell of these Apple-Spice Muffins with Oat Streusel. Delectably studded with fresh apple, these moist, tender muffins are topped with oat and cinnamon sugar streusel, then drizzled with just a bit of apple cider glaze. They’re just […]

Sheet Pan Oktoberfest

Fall is here at last. Welcome the cooler breezes and turn on your oven again! Feed everyone quickly with a sheet pan dinner so easy you can make it on a weeknight. Save a bundle but don’t skimp on the fun with this Sheet Pan Oktoberfest. Filled with German flavor, it’s family fare that’s easy […]

Sicilian Caponata

This week, I’m sharing what I’m eating, and right now, I’m eating caponata. I made this year’s first batch a few weeks ago, and memories filled my kitchen almost as quickly as the familiar smell did. Before I could get any tucked away in the freezer, it disappeared. Everyone was hungry for more, so I’m […]

Gazpacho and waning summer days

  I had forgotten how good gazpacho is on a warm summer night. I had also forgotten how good it is to pull out something prepared ahead to serve at a family meal. That’s how gazpacho went down on Labor Day weekend when some of my family gathered to say goodbye to summer. I had […]

Homemade Stromboli

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you make, but it better be good and it needs to get on the table quick. Everyone’s hungry and they’re all waiting for you. While you have a captive audience, why not pull something magic from your oven. Flaky, crisp, and warm, Homemade Stromboli is […]

Easy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

It’s the big summer send-off. The last hurrah before the ease of summer ends and the air becomes charged with the busy bustle of schedules and routines. Right this minute is a great time to gather all that basil and make some pesto. Slice some tomatoes and cucumbers. Add slivers of onion, salt, pepper, oil […]

Trail Mix Cookies and Healthy Peanut Butter Granola

  Get ready for the first week of school with two easy recipes you can make now and have on hand for later. Make this homemade Healthy Peanut Butter Granola with your kids. It’s a delicious, crunchy topping for yogurt or overnight oats, or a breakfast on its own, served with almond or oat milk. […]

My new favorite drink

Hi there, Small Plate pals: About two months ago, I had dinner at Masala, an Indian restaurant in Ashland, and I discovered my new favorite drink: Masala’s version of the East India Company cocktail. It is perfect for hot weather. The drink is icy, refreshing, tart and tasty. No kidding. It contains gin, pamplemousse rosé, […]

Chinese Chicken Salad with Red Chile Peanut Dressing

Just when you thought the worst was behind us, it is hot, hot, hot again. Consider this an excuse not to cook, and I’m writing all of you a permission note right now. Keep it cool this week and make simple meals. Don’t heat your house up. Here’s what to make when the stove and […]

Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Are we having fun yet? This was one of my dad’s favorite phrases. Secret code for those of us in the know, it was his way of saying, “Yep, this is a really good time.” Usually he was talking to one of his grandsons, fishing rod in hand, bent over so he could reach a […]

Summer Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Gratin with Herbs

Summer goes by so fast. Just when you really start to get the hang of it, it’s suddenly Labor Day, and before you know it, it’s over. Be sure to make the most of it. Eat fresh and eat seasonal every chance you get. No matter how you say tomato, the season is upon us. […]

Cowboy Caviar

The heat is definitely on this week. When it gets this hot, the last place you want to be is the kitchen. Warmer temperatures can definitely wreak havoc with your appetite, not to mention your desire to cook. Make something refreshing and beat the heat with cooling dips that let you eat light. These three […]

Nothing better than spring chinook

A couple of weeks ago, one of my sons and I made a quick trip to Eugene (exhibiting proper social distancing, using masks and doing hand sanitizing) to pick up some bees. We also ordered chinook salmon from Newman’s. (I miss them so much in Portland; best fish monger ever.) Last night, David and I […]

Apologies to nonna

Here is wedding soup, with apologies to all my Italian friends who learned to cook alongside their nonnas. I had to make substitutions because I didn’t want to run to the store, and I didn’t have the soup bones to make the rich, homemade broth. I had ground pork, but not ground chicken for the […]

Hunkered down and making poppy-seed cake

Hi there! It has been awhile, and I can’t say that I’m back at blogging for Small Plates, but today I made a cake that has been in the family files since 1972. It was a recipe that my mother-in-law used after her sister sent it to her from Virginia. Hunkering down to avoid COVID-19 […]

Frassati Suppers up and running again

After an extensive kitchen remodel in the Lower Hall of the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater, we are serving Frassati Suppers again. What’s Frassati? A welcoming place in Vancouver where volunteer greeters, chefs, waiters and others serve the poor and homeless in the spirit of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. The supper is part of the […]

Thai sweet and sour pork

My friend Linda Meade, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Vancouver and a volunteer for the Frassati suppers at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater where we feed the poor and homeless, took me to lunch the other day at Thai Orchid. We ordered the Thai sweet and sour pork entree. […]

Gardening and Multitasking

Gardening is a fun, creative and healthy hobby. There’s nothing like unplugging from your daily routine and getting down and dirty doing concrete, tangible work. A key part of gardening is how relaxing it is. In today’s fast-paced advancements in the technological world, you can also multitask while gardening, adding an entirely new dimension to […]

Crab sandwich and warm spinach salad

  I didn’t hesitate when No. 2 son (John) dropped by the other night and offered to make dinner: a Dungeness crab sandwich alongside a spinach salad. I was thrilled to have a night off from cooking and made a quick deal. He would do the cooking; I would do the cleanup. Afterward, we talked about getting the […]

Food evokes joy of friendship

Hi there, Small Plates readers: Last weekend, I had a fabulous visit with one of my best friends from high school and her husband. I flew to San José, Calif., to stay at their house. (It was on a Boeing 737, but not the MAX.) We went to the Little Italy section of San José […]

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