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

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Awesome Onion Goggles

Attack of the Killer Zucchini Casserole

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Recently, our neighbor asked if we wanted some of their zucchini — their garden was being over-run, apparently. Of course, I replied, for I am quite fond of zucchini. Besides, the mystery squash plant in our garden that I *thought* was a zucchini is actually, well, still a mystery squash.

So, I found myself with two very large (about 3/4 of a pound each) squash. I remember trying a zucchini casserole once, from The Big Book of Casseroles, which utilized grated zucchini, sour cream and Parmesan cheese. I remember that being the very first time jwa ate zucchini without complaint. I looked again at the two very big zucchinis on the counter — I would definitely need help eating them.

Yep, this was a job for The Big Book of Casseroles, all right.

Grated Zucchini Casserole
2 big zucchinis, yellow or green, totaling about 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 pounds
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sour cream (light or full fat — not fat free)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
sprinkle of red pepper flakes

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grate your zucchinis. I usually do this over 3-4 paper towels, that way I can bundle . . . → Read More: Attack of the Killer Zucchini Casserole

Easy Falafel for a Lazy, Sleepy Night

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Can of garbanzo beans. Check. Onion. Yep. Cumin. Uh-huh. Garlic? Are you kidding me? Olive oil. Got it. Big pan. Right here. Well, okay then. Let’s go.

Easy Falafel
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained — you can also use 1 cup of soaked (overnight), dry beans
1/2 sweet white onion (red will also work — or, hell, whatever onion you have in the house will work here
1 handful parsley leaves
1 handful cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 shakes red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic
1-2 tsp lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 big tsp ground cumin
1 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp flour (or a little less)
olive oil
Extras:
kalamata olives (just a few, chopped roughly)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
spinach leaves
Tahani sauce
flat or pita bread

Start by adding the beans, herbs, salt, garlic, onion to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. You can also use a big bowl and a potato masher and skip the processor all together. Just be patient with the mashing.

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Next comes the cumin, lemon, baking powder and pepper flakes. Just a few pulses. Then add about 3 tablespoons of the flour. You want it wet but together enough to make little falafel balls. Add up to 3 more tablespoons . . . → Read More: Easy Falafel for a Lazy, Sleepy Night

SHF22: Fig-Orange Jam with Cinnamon & Sesame Seeds

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Midnight Fig
Here, finally is my Sugar High Friday#22 entry — only two days late. Not too bad. This month, the theme was — Can you can? Well, no, probably not. But, I can throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot, bring to a boil and store them in my refrigerator for a month. Does that count? I hope so!*

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This recipe is based on one from Gourmet magazine. I found it at epicurious.com. One of the things I really like about that site is that the comments have all kinds of helpful hints and ideas. There it was suggested to use orange instead of lemon and to add some cinnamon to the mix. These were excellent suggestions!

My title image are the labels that I made for this SHF. That was the issue that made my entry late. I did the jam last week but procrastinated on painting, scanning and texting the labels until Saturday night — I was working on this until about midnight. And there you go.

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Midnight Fig: Fig-Orange Jam with Cinnamon & Sesame Seeds
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange — zest it first though)
1/4 cup . . . → Read More: SHF22: Fig-Orange Jam with Cinnamon & Sesame Seeds

Two and a Half Years Later…

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So, my SHF dish is done but my extra-credit materials are not. So, SHF post this weekend. Today, we bask in the glory that is my finished (!) mosaic project — see, the last post was almost a year ago.

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We live in a bungalow. When you go up the stairs, there is a counter with built-in bookshelves, a bathroom and three bedrooms. When we first moved in, I knew I wanted to do something fun with this large 12 foot by 1 1/2 foot counter top space. I just didn’t know what exactly. I just wanted to add something to the house that would be here after we left. Sort of like adding a piece of mine and jwa’s history to our house.

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Then it came to me. A mosaic. There’s shattering glass involved, toxic fumes, grout, it’s some-what permanent and it involves hours and hours (and hours) of tedious work! It’s perfect. It started well. I think I finished laying out half the glass tile designs in the first three months. But then…

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I had longer and longer breaks between work sessions. Then, two years passed. Well, finally last week . . . → Read More: Two and a Half Years Later…

Summer Lasagna: Heirloom Tomatoes, Cheese & Noodles

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This was very simple and very good. I wanted to make a lasagna (we were having milder weather in the mid/high 70′s) and I had a bunch of heirloom tomatoes that I got at New Seasons and a pint of cute little yellow pear tomatoes. I had just recently made a tomato salad and wanted to do something a little different. What to do? What to do?

Oh yeah. Combine them with cheese and pasta. Okay. This lasagna is extra Summery because it’s really only in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Plus, you could make this with plain Romas or Hot House tomatoes or whatever you may have this Fall.

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Summer Lasagna with Heirloom Tomatoes
4-5 Heirloom Tomatoes (any varieties)
1/2 pint yellow pear tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups ricotta cheese
pinch of red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 red onion
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper
1 box of lasagna noodles, cooked (use as many as you will need for your baking dish, figure on needing 4 layers of noodles — if you use a large lasagna pan, use . . . → Read More: Summer Lasagna: Heirloom Tomatoes, Cheese & Noodles