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


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Happy Halloween!


Who carved . . . → Read More: Happy Halloween!

WCC 33: Coq au Vin with Autumn Vegetables


Whew! Right in under the 10/31 deadline! Confessions of an Apron Queen is hosting this month’s Weekend Cookbook Challenge and the theme is Fall Vegetables. This is a great theme as far as I am concerned as I do love the Fall vegetables. This recipe is from the Williams Sonoma cookbook, Autumn. I believe I’ve drawn inspiration from it before for WCC.

This Coq au Vin does indeed have Fall vegetables — carrots, rutabaga, purple potatoes, and parsnips. It was also supposed to have a turnip but I was trying to hurry and get dinner ready (hungry!) and I didn’t feel like prepping that one. So sad. However, I think Mr. Turnip will show up in a soup shortly.

This recipe has many parts, many bowls, lots of steps (a lot of ins and outs) but only 1 pot. It’s a good Sunday night meal. Probably not a realistic Tuesday night meal.

I followed the directions from the book mostly, except that I added a diced onion and about 10 chopped cremini mushrooms. Oh and some rosemary. And more thyme. I also roasted my veggies because I like roasted veggies. And I used less chicken stock. And…Well, hell, it’s kind . . . → Read More: WCC 33: Coq au Vin with Autumn Vegetables

The Attack of the Spider Cookies for Halloween

Chocolate Spider Cookies for Halloween

This recipe is from The Secret Life of Food by Clare Crespo. I actually saw these this recipe about two years ago but, I kid you not, the last two Halloweens I have had colds. And thus, didn’t really want to bake things. This year? Germ-free, baby!

These are what I made for the Halloween Baking contest at work. Pretty much followed the recipe except I used dots of red tubed frosting for the eyes (instead of red hot candies) and I used a silicone basting brush to coat the cookies with chocolate. So much less wasteful than pouring it, imho. You will also use less chocolate to begin with. I started with a half of a bag of chips and 1 tablespoon of oil, figuring I could always melt more up if I needed more. Also, try to get a larger tub of the chocolate sprinkles. The 10 oz tub size, if you can. You will use at least 6-7 oz. Finally, I used dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate because that’s just how I roll.

Oh and I broke the pretzel sticks in half to make the legs a little shorter. Just as impressive . . . → Read More: The Attack of the Spider Cookies for Halloween

Split Pea Soup with Rosemary & Bacon


Okay, once again it’s time for split pea soup. Although, today (Sunday) it was beautiful here — about 69 degrees and sunny. We had our windows and front door open! Maybe I was a little too quick with putting flannel sheets on the bed last weekend?

Anyway, here’s the soup! It’s from Bon Appétit. Oh, I reduced the original’s 4 slices of bacon to two. Yay me.

I know that I’ve made split pea soup before. It’s just so good I can’t help myself from trying different variations…

Split Pea Soup with Rosemary & Bacon
2 bacon slices, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 14 1/2-ounce cans 7 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 1/4 cups green split peas, rinsed
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Garnish: Sour cream, crème fraîche or plain yogurt & more rosemary


Sauté bacon in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Add onion, leek, carrot and garlic and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes.


Add broth, peas, bay leaves and rosemary and bring soup to boil.


Reduce heat to medium-low, cover . . . → Read More: Split Pea Soup with Rosemary & Bacon

BBQ Mahi Mahi with Cilantro & Yellow Pepper Pesto


First off, can I just say that I am looking forward (I think!) to Nov 5th? I am getting sick of having to obsessively check wonkette, fivethirtyeight and google news > elections like 50 times per day.


Anywho, this recipe is from Food & Wine, via Bobby Flay, and it was super good. I changed some things so I’m going to say that I adapted it from Bobby Flay. We like the Mahi Mahi as you can find it at Trader Joe’s, frozen, for about $6-something a pound. Woo-hoo! I’ve seen it both plain and marinated in a chimichurri-type marinade. This was that variety — I just wiped off the extra marinade after defrosting it.

If you have leftover pesto it is excellent with pasta, chicken or, uh, a spoon.

2 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tbsp chile powder blend
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Mahi Mahi
Four 1/2 pound mahi mahi fillets
2 tbsp olive oil

Cilantro Pesto
2 large yellow bell peppers — peeled, seeded and chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

. . . → Read More: BBQ Mahi Mahi with Cilantro & Yellow Pepper Pesto