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

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Winter Cooking: Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Cold wintery weather calls for something with melted cheese and bubbling sauce, right? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. And it’s really hard to go wrong with Mole Enchiladas. And when you make them a little lighter with kale and black beans instead of chicken, it’s a dinner that’ll find its way into your rotation on a regular basis–maybe even for a Meatless Monday!

For this recipe, I specify an amount of mole sauce to use. Because here’s a confession–the handful of times I’ve made mole from scratch, it’s been um, okay. That’s a lot of work for something that I’ve never been that thrilled with when I attempt to make it myself. So, if you have a homemade mole recipe you love, by all means, use that! If you have a jarred version that you always buy, go for it. You could even swap the mole for a regular enchilada sauce if you’d like (but you’d be missing out a little bit because the rich and peppery mole is definitely fantastic!).

Personally, I’ve had good success with this Black Mole Paste by Juquilita and even the Dona Maria brand that you can most likely find . . . → Read More: Winter Cooking: Kale and Black Bean Mole Enchiladas

Winter Cooking: Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings

Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings

This is the blog post where I announce a triumphant return to blogging on the regular.

Really. This time I mean it. And what better way to start mid-January 2018, than with a recipe for a smoky and delicious chicken goulash? This dish originally comes from Food and Wine Magazine but I’ve played around with it a bit and finally landed on this version. It’s a meal I make at least three or four times throughout the fall and winter. I think it’s best if you can make the goulash earlier in the day, then store it in the fridge for a few hours to let all the flavors meld together and get awesome.

If you don’t have time to do that, no problem, just make the dumplings after you get the broth into your pot and it will still be mighty flavorful. The orange brightens up the earthiness a bit and plays very well with the smoked paprika.

Some of the ingredients are divided and used for different parts of the recipe (half the sour cream for the dumplings, the other half with the chicken; some of the butter in the pan, most . . . → Read More: Winter Cooking: Chicken Goulash with Sour Cream Dumplings

National Pumpkin Day: Let’s Celebrate with Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

October 26th is National Pumpkin Day so let’s live it up with this spicy and satisfying soup!

Aside from being just plain delicious, the aroma of roasting squash and then chiles will make your kitchen smell like Fall with a capital F. You can certainly use canned pumpkin here, but there’s something to be said for diy-ing it—the slightly caramelized edges, the satisfaction of scooping out the velvety goodness from the golden pumpkin shells—it’s all part of this soup’s charm. That said, we all have jobs and responsibilities and using canned pumpkin is certainly a valid life choice. I am not judging. Promise.

But after all of the roasting and/or chopping, this soup comes together fairly quickly. Ideal garnishes include fried tortilla strips and chopped cilantro (or maybe even roasted pumpkin seeds or shredded cabbage) and if you want to substitute the pumpkin, an acorn or a butternut squash will do the trick nicely while still keeping the autumn theme intact.

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, Manchego Soup

Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup
About 4 main course . . . → Read More: National Pumpkin Day: Let’s Celebrate with Pumpkin, Poblano, and Manchego Soup

The Perfect Fall Dessert: French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

This cake is unlike any other I’ve made. Well, except for the apple cake that it’s based on.

But, here, in this rebooted version, pears replace the apples and pecans replace the walnuts. The pears are peeled and thinly sliced and then mixed into a very light batter. During a second trip into the oven, the brown sugar and pecan topping firms up and turns golden brown, with an almost custardy cake beneath. It’s really pretty amazing.

There may seem to be a number of steps, but don’t fear, it all comes together very easily and the only special gadgets you need are a cake pan and a couple of spatulas. So give this fall dessert a try!

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake

French Pear Cake
About 8 servings; Adapted from the Apple Lady Apple Cake in the Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells

Cake
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup 1% or 2% milk
3 large pears, cored, peeled, and sliced into thin wedges — I used 2 Anjou and 1 Starkrimson

Topping
1/3 packed . . . → Read More: The Perfect Fall Dessert: French Pear Cake

Stick a fork in a cool summer salad

Edamame, Corn, and Green Bean Salad

Ah, summer! Full of hot weather and the desire to eat cool foods for dinner.

Here’s a dish that will definitely win you over with healthy edamame, crunchy bell pepper, avocado and even roasted nuts. Okay, yeah, and some cheese. The dressing is especially flavorful–a mix of fresh ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, olive oil, and rosemary.

This can be kept vegetarian or you can add some shredded, cooked chicken breast. Also, raw corn is so delicious in salads. Try it, you’ll thank me.

Edamame, Corn, and Green Bean Salad

Removing corn kernels from an ear of corn

Edamame, Corn, and Green Bean Salad
Adapted by a recipe for BLD’s fresh vegetable salad in the LA Times; serves 3-4
2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
1 cup (about a big handful or so) green beans, trimmed and chopped into about 2-inch pieces
1 cup raw fresh yellow corn (about two ears), husked
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 cup toasted cashews or almonds *
Optional: 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded

Dressing:
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
1/4 of a small shallot (I usually peel the shallot, then slice a small piece off) – you can always add . . . → Read More: Stick a fork in a cool summer salad