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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

Really Good Asparagus-Dill-Lemon Soup

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Mmmm, I love the asparagus. And this is an excellent asparagus soup recipe, based on one from Sara Moulton. Originally, the creaminess/thickening came from eggs — I used tofu instead. Again, tofu is the best thing ever for making soups creamy.

Huh, I think that’s all I have to say about the soup. Just make some and you too will know how good it is. On an unrelated note, I will add that aside from asparagus, I also love sleep.

Asparagus-Dill-Lemon Soup
1.5 lb asparagus
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium leek, white part coarsely chopped and washed well
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1/2 cup soft tofu
Optionoal: more fresh dill and some lemon zest for garnish

Trim the ends off the asparagus but reserve the ends. In a saucepan combine the asparagus trimmings with the chicken stock, bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow stock to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain stock and reserve.

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Cut the trimmed asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

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Heat the oil in a soup pot over moderate heat and cook the leeks, onion and celery, seasoned . . . → Read More: Really Good Asparagus-Dill-Lemon Soup

This is the Kind of Night it Was…

So, my original plan was to go to bed early last night and post something this morning. Perhaps the chicken and plum tart from my new Shakespeare-inspired Cookbook that I got in Ashland a couple of weeks ago. Or maybe the lavender and rosemary crusted chicken.

But here’s what happened instead.

10PM — I turn the light out and try to sleep while jwa decides to do his vocal impressions of Jack Black, Dio, Meatloaf and Dave Grohl while singing along to the entire Pick of Destiny soundtrack.

11PM — jwa discovers computer stuff at work is broken and he needs to go in and see what’s wrong…

11:30PM — Spencer is upset that jwa is gone — continually mrows and vocalizes his displeasure. Chelsea, oblivious, snores away.

12:00 AM — I go downstairs and end up watching Law & Order.

1:30 AM — I go back to bed and read a bit. Turn out the light for the 2nd time around 2:00.

2:30 AM — jwa calls, he’s going to be a while longer.

3:00 AM — I think I fall asleep, as does Spencer, who finally gives up his protest and decides to take a nap. Chelsea still snoring.

4:00 AM-ish — jwa gets home. Then . . . → Read More: This is the Kind of Night it Was…

Cauliflower & Manchego Puree

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This is a recipe based on a dish from Sara Moulton. I omitted the cream in the original and replaced it with some manchego cheese. Mmmmm, cheese. It was flavored much like the soup I had a Dundee Bistro last month (that was on purpose as I loved that soup).

The Sara version was featured on a show called, “Cooking for One”, which I don’t really understand. jwa and I both had some of this along with some chicken the other night and I was able to use leftovers the next day to make soup. So, one? Probably more servings than that but it’s not really a problem as this puree is awesome.

Cauliflower & Manchego Cheese Puree
1/2 pound cauliflower florets, chopped (2 2/3 cups)
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cubed manchego cheese (I won’t tell anyone if you add more cheese)
1 tsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
Freshly ground pepper

Simmer cauliflower, garlic, broth, and salt in a small saucepan, covered, until cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes. You will have a lot more cauliflower than broth, so really, you’ll be kind of steaming it.

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Puree mixture with cubed cheese, paprika . . . → Read More: Cauliflower & Manchego Puree

A Rainy Spring Italian Feast

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Ah, Spring. Rainy pasta weather (well, sometimes). A week or so ago we were had a lovely pasta meal while the wind and storms raged outside. The dilemma — jwa likes spaghetti best whereas I prefer rigatoni or a pasta more like that. Needless to say, we really rarely have spaghetti.

I think it was the meatballs that convinced me to make this spaghetti and meatballs dish. Forming meatballs is fun. So, he got a spaghetti dinner and I got to make a bunch of little meatballs with currants and pine nuts (oh and pork, too). Everyone wins. Actually, the meal was very tasty and I may just have become a spaghetti convert after this one.

I came across this recipe (and now, I can’t remember where. I’m 90% sure it was at www.foodnetwork.com, so it’s probably one of the usual suspects there). I added a few extras to the sauce (olives, red wine and a pinch of sugar) and fennel to the meatballs.

Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup chopped black olives
1/2 tsp dried oregano
pinch of sugar

Meatballs
2/3 cup fresh . . . → Read More: A Rainy Spring Italian Feast

SHF30: Lavender Shortbread

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This month’s Sugar High Friday is hosted by Coconut Chutney and the theme is edible flowers. Hey — it’s a great time to break into my stash of dried lavender! In case anyone has trouble finding dried lavender, I usually buy it at Cost Plus, where it comes in nicely sized bags in the spices section. You can also use fresh lavender flowers, of course.

This recipe by Gale Gand, another person I wish still had a show on the Food Network.

Be warned — these are very addictive. The only problem I had is that the dough was way too dry and I had to add a little milk. So, I guess the lesson here is just have a little milk on hand in case your dough needs a bit more moisture.

Lavender Shortbread
8 tbsp (1 stick) cool unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp dried lavender flowers
Optional (if needed) 2-3 tbsp milk

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter until soft in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add 1/4 cup sugar and mix until incorporated.

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Stir . . . → Read More: SHF30: Lavender Shortbread