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Portland, Oregon food blog with over seven years worth of recipes, restaurant features and food photos.

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Things to do with Yogurt When You’re Bored (or Hungry)

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We always have tons of yogurt in the house. Little containers of Tillamook Vanilla, Strawberry and Peach, as well of large containers of vanilla or honey for smoothies and plain yogurt for Indian-ish and Mexican-ish dishes.

So, when I saw Alton Brown make Yogurt Cheese on a Good Eats recently, I immediately went rummaging through my kitchen drawers looking for cheesecloth (I just knew I had some somewhere). Because — wow! Cheese from yogurt, you say? That’s sounds so fun.

After locating the cheesecloth and blending my yogurt and herbs together, five hours later I had this easy and tangy yogurt cheese spread. I used a seasoning blend that I had on hand, but fresh herbs could easily be used in this recipe. Chives, thyme and rosemary would be good. So would shallots, chives and tarragon — the possibilities are quite endless!

The secret is in separating the whey from the yogurt. The whey is the watery liquid that is strained from the yogurt, leaving the creamy, thicker yogurt cheese when you are done. Give this one a try.

Herbed Yogurt Cheese Spread
1 quart plain yogurt (low fat)
4 big cloves of garlic or 8 little cloves . . . → Read More: Things to do with Yogurt When You’re Bored (or Hungry)

Risotto Weather’s Last Stand: Asparagus Risotto

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This last week here in Portland has been cold and rainy. A few nights ago, jwa and I even contemplated using the last of the firewood. We considered it briefly, but decided it was cozy enough lazing on the couch watching the Daily Show and the Lost finale with the cats (they make surprisingly good lap and leg warmers).

Feeling the need for more warmth and a little comfort while the rain pounded the roof and the basement collected a little bit of water, I decided to whip up a pot of asparagus risotto. It’s a very good dish but it can be tricky to time it right. Ideally, you want to make it in the Spring, when asparagus is in season, but when it’s too hot, the last thing a person wants is a big bowl of hot, heavy rice. Thankfully, we live in western Oregon, where except for one typically weird week towards the end of Spring/early Summer, it can be counted on to be cold and rainy until July. Excellent.

My other reason for posting this recipe is to participate in Kevin’s Asparagus Aspirations event over at Seriously Good. It seems that there are a lot . . . → Read More: Risotto Weather’s Last Stand: Asparagus Risotto

SHF19: Honey-Ginger Pineapple Crepes

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Once Upon a Feast came up with a great theme for his month’s Sugar High Friday — Ginger. Ginger is a very fun ingredient, as it can be in spicy, savory dishes or sweet (and a little bit spicy) dishes. It’s versatile!

Of course, this is Sugar High Friday, so I went with the sweet option. In addition, ginger is very good for the digestion, which makes it a great choice for a dessert theme.

While looking for a recipe, I came across this one from Gourmet Magazine and immediately knew it was what I would be making. jwa gave me a crepe pan a few years ago and I am always looking for things to cook up in it — mainly crepes. I also, have never made dessert crepes before. I’m usually more of a savory crepe kind of girl. I’m really glad I didn’t let that stop me from trying this recipe because it was wonderful!

Oh and using a whole fresh pineapple? So very easy! The original recipe called for canned but as I was walking through the grocery store, I thought What the hell? I strolled through the produce section, while the Maui Gold pineapples . . . → Read More: SHF19: Honey-Ginger Pineapple Crepes

Spinach Pasta Salad for the Hot & Hungry Masses

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If it were sunny and warm again, I would be wanting a light, cool, pasta salad for dinner. That is, if it wasn’t 60 degrees, cold, grey and rainy. But that’s okay — I actually prefer cooler weather. I also don’t mind a pasta salad for dinner when it’s not Summery out. Besides, a pasta salad that isn’t cold is really just a bowl of hot pasta. Yeah. So there.

Spinach Pasta Salad
2 cups spinach leaves
1 small handful basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup feta cheese
dash red pepper flakes
1 package cooked pasta — fusili works well, so does rigatoni
10-12 chopped kalamata olives
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained well and quartered
2 tomatoes chopped
1 yellow bell pepper diced

Add washed spinach and basil leaves to your food processor along with the garlic and parmesan. Pulse until broken up and stream in the olive oil and it’s a nice pesto-like consistency. Salt & pepper to taste. Transfer to a large bowl.

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Combine the spinach pesto with the olives, tomato, artichokes, beans, red pepper flakes, feta and bell pepper.

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Add the warm, cooked pasta and toss . . . → Read More: Spinach Pasta Salad for the Hot & Hungry Masses

A Turkey Burger to be Reckoned With…

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Pickled onions. Tillamook Cheddar. Toasted onion bun. Crispy, golden oven fries. Now, this was a meal. I sometimes like to add different combinations of ingredients and make interesting turkey burgers. These puppies had sautéed onions, spinach and smoked paprika. They were excellent.

Yukon gold potato wedges were roasted with some extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt and Trail Dust seasoning and magically turned into a crunchy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside accompaniment for this epic burger. Make your own, won’t you?

Spicy Greens Turkey Burger
1 small onion, diced
1 handful spinach leaves, chopped roughly
1 tsp olive oil + a bit more for brushing
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 lb ground turkey
salt & pepper
Onion buns, toasted
Microgreens — or any favorite lettuce
Sliced tomato
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Ketchup
4 slices Cheddar cheese — or any cheese you are in the mood for — there’s no bad cheese for this — all cheese is delicious. (mmmmmm…cheese….)

Saute the onion in the oil until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika and continue to stir until it becomes very fragrant and the onions darken. Add the spinach and toss, until spinach wilts. Remove from heat and let cool.

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When onions are room temperature, combine with ground turkey. Form into four equal burgers. Heat a grill pan and . . . → Read More: A Turkey Burger to be Reckoned With…