Food

Make-Ahead Blackberry Oatmeal Blender Pancakes

Ahhhh, September. The sweet convergence of pickles, pies, and pumpkins. Want to make someone happy? Feed them. Nothing says I love you quite like a home cooked meal. Show some extra kindness to your family and ease those back-to-school mornings with a healthy breakfast. Start by stirring up the fun this weekend with these Make-Ahead […]

Gazoz

Beautiful to look at, delicious to drink and definitely the most fun to make, gazoz is “a gorgeous, aromatic, colorful, zero-proof beverage of fruit, fizz, flora and fermentation.” A seasonal sparkling drink of the moment, let nature be your guide and create what speaks to you. Fruit and flowers, spices and herbs, syrup and sparkle […]

Chipotle Chicken Nacho Dip

I feel fall. Maybe you do, too. It’s a teensy bit cooler, the days are a bit shorter, and if you stop long enough to notice you can see a few leaves here and there getting ready to put on a show. Summer is winding down.  If you have kids at home, this last week […]

Hiyashi Chuka

Cue the cucumbers, it’s warm out there and you need to adjust accordingly. A cold noodle salad is refreshing on hot days and these Tokyo-inspired cold ramen noodles are a fun way to wrap up this final week of the Olympics. Because you will not be using the seasoning packet, you can use any kind […]

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peach Cobbler

Fresh Northwest peaches are here, and they are sublime. Eat this very fragile fruit-of-the-moment every way you can. Scatter fresh peach slices over whole grain toast smeared with ricotta, add blackberries and drizzle with honey. Grill peach halves and serve with chicken. Try a Peach Caprese: sliced peaches play well with tomatoes, mozzarella and ribbons […]

Seared Scallops with Basil Risotto

Grab a taste of the tropics with this breezy basil-pineapple risotto. Topped with meaty, seared scallops, it’s a big impact entree you can make with low impact effort. It’s summer, remember? Don’t stand at the stove stirring! Use your Instant Pot and set as directed below, or if you have a Multi-Cooker with a risotto […]

Ginger-Miso Pasta Salad

What would summer be without pasta salad? This Ginger-Miso version is a healthy side dish, but it’s filling enough to be a main. Vegetarian and gluten-free, there is no mayo. Plus, it gets better as it sits, making this dish perfect for picnics.  I used an 8 ounce package of cavatappi shaped chickpea pasta to […]

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. […]

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 […]

More cooking with Hana

Another month and another chance to cook with Hana Adamko, my fellow parishioner at the Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater in downtown Vancouver. This time we made a Polish kielbasa-cabbage stew. Again, our guests at the Frassati Supper sang Hana’s praises and sent compliments to the chef. Frassati is a once-a-week event in which volunteers feed […]

Layered sauerkraut catches me by surprise

I coordinate volunteers for the Frassati Supper, part of an outreach program for the poor and homeless at Vancouver’s downtown Proto-Cathedral of St. James the Greater. Aboutt a year ago, I was short a head cook for the fourth Thursday of the month. Out of the blue, fellow parishioner Hana Adamko offered her services. Of course, I […]

Roasted and stuffed portobello mushrooms on the menu

I’m giving away the menu, Mary Lou Oberson and Betty Schmidlin. For the past couple of years, Mary Lou, Betty and I have renewed our friendship from our days at Portland State. During our working years, we went for long stretches with little communication, except for those Christmas cards. Now we meet for lunch about […]

Coconut Macaroon Nests

Coconut Macaroon Nests will totally be on the table at Easter brunch next weekend.  Although they’re a bit messy to make, they look adorable and taste great.  Feel free to make these a day or two ahead so you have less to manage on Sunday. Coconut Macaroon Nests Makes 24 nests Ingredients: 1 14 oz […]

Super Lemon Coffee Cake

I’m a food nerd.  Completely comfortable with this title, it means I read cookbooks for fun (yes really), take pictures of everyone’s food at restaurants (sorry not sorry) and take about 5 hours in any kitchen store (I told you to get a coffee and bring a book). Food nerd status also means I love […]

Pecan Caramel Clusters

Pecan Caramel Clusters don’t require any baking.  Quick and easy, these treats would be a perfect addition to Mother’s or Father’s Day brunch.  You can also substitute in your favorite nut mix.  A coworker has asked me to try making these with a pecan, cashew and pistachio combination.  Sounds even better, can’t wait to give […]

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