Food

Seedy Oat Crackers

Don’t wait another minute. The holiday season is here and it’s all about the party bites. You don’t need a big, fancy occasion to celebrate. Today is special enough.  So make yourself a festive drink, snag a cocktail napkin, and let’s have fun!  Kick off baking season with these easy to make, good for you […]

Roasted Squash Rings with Pear, Dried Cherries and Feta

Every Thanksgiving, I think of my grandmothers, both of them gone now, but still in my heart nonetheless. They lived in opposite directions from our house, but somehow synchronized, they would arrive at exactly the same time, both of them dressed in their best for the holiday and bustling through the door carrying heavy plates […]

Thanksgiving Breakfast Cookies

Thanksgiving is a mere week away, and I can’t wait to bake all the pies, casseroles and stuffing my heart can hold. No matter who or how you may be gathering, big or small, there are two things you should be thinking about right now: before and after.  Let’s start with before. Do as much […]

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Take stock, and make a little more room, with a quick clean of your fridge for National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Celebrated on November 15th every year, it is aptly timed to help you clear your space before the Thanksgiving stuffing begins. Rather than making one big chore of it, do it a bit […]

Easy Gluten-Free Bread

Soul soothing and perfect to pair with a bowl of whatever piping-hot soup you plan to make next, homemade bread is heaven on earth. Rediscover the joy of baking and celebrate Homemade Bread Day this November 17 with this incredibly easy Homemade Gluten-Free Bread that you make in your bread machine.  Specialty bread can be […]

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese with Bacon

No bones about it, Halloween here is just better. Someone flips a magic switch- foreboding clouds gather. A chilly breeze hits the leaves, and the night takes on all the broody, moody feel of a Nirvana song. Perfect, right? Now gather your ghouls and goblins and let’s get this party started! Pray for drizzle, but […]

Speedy Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna

Your next cook from home assignment is an easy one. This Speedy Pumpkin Skillet Lasagna is a one dish bake that’s packed with fall flavor and it’s easy enough to make on a weeknight. With several servings of veggies built right in, there’s no need to serve a side. You can add a tossed salad […]

Slow Cooker Healthy Hamburger Soup

There’s no better way to chase the chill than with a warm and hearty bowl of soup. Prepared early in the day in your Slow Cooker, it fills the whole house with the soothing, simmering aroma of dinner that’s ready when you are. This Slow Cooker Healthy Hamburger Soup is fast, family-friendly fare. Packed with […]

Crispy Bacon Brussels with Walnut-Parm Crunch

  It’s not too early. And this year in particular, you don’t want to be too late. Who says Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special day for that matter, only happens once a year? Why constrain your happiness to one day when you can string the joy out over time. Jump in now on the […]

Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Stir up some smiles this week with a fall treat that lets everyone get in on the pumpkin spice action. Plant based and refined sugar free, these Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Brownies are  a healthy treat you can feel good about eating. Packed with filling fiber from the oats, flax, and pumpkin, plus an added boost […]

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 […]

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 […]

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