About this Blog

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

Categories

Awesome Onion Goggles

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

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Guess what? This blog has not been abandoned! Hooray!

So, let’s jump right into it. This post is a reverse-engineer sort of thing for the Mushroom Manchego Biscuits that I sometimes get at Albina Press (although, they are sourced from Crema). They are so addictive!

Here, I’ve also added smoked paprika to make them smokey–hence the Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits. Yes, there is a lot of butter, yes, there is also cheese, and yes, they are super delicious. The recipe is also easily halved, so you could just make four instead of eight.

Let’s just get right to the recipe, shall we?

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits
Makes eight biscuits
1 tbsp olive oil
6 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms (button mushrooms will also work)
1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika (+ more for sprinkling on top)
8 tbsp very cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup very cold buttermilk
1-1/2 cups grated Manchego cheese, dived in half
optional: one chopped green onion

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F and position a rack in . . . → Read More: Smokey Manchego Mushroom Biscuits

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

For Christmas, I received the Toro Bravo cookbook and although there are many pages ear-marked, this is the first recipe I’ve made from it. And I have to say, although I deviated a bit from the recipe (and took some shortcuts), this was delicious!

I did add some yellow bell pepper and (full disclosure) I used a bag of cubed Trader Joe’s butternut squash (because I had some and I needed to use it). I can only imagine how awesome this would be with freshly cubed squash. If you use a big squash and you have more than 12 oz cubed, just use extra cream and harissa, or straight-up double the rest of the ingredients.

This is great on the side of some grilled fish or chicken. Or just add a huge salad and make it a vegetarian meal. Also, definitely get the book for the original recipe — it will be even better! (Spoiler: there’s butter involved).

* Ingredient note: The original recipe calls for Rose Petal Harissa, which you can find at PastaWorks if you live in Portland. I used the Harissa paste in the yellow tube. That worked great, although, it is a bit . . . → Read More: Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

Central Oregon Travel: Bend & Crater Lake National Park

Central Oregon Travel: Bend & Crater Lake National Park

As I sometimes do, I’m posting about a trip taken months ago. In this case, Bend, Oregon and Crater Lake National Park from last October September…okay, wow — it was late August. The trip was certainly memorable and I took a lot of nice photos, so I’m not quite sure why I forgot to post about it. Glad I’m getting it up now, though!

We’ve been to Bend and Oregon’s high desert a couple of times previously, but it has been a few years since our last visit (and we’d never been to Crater Lake before). For the trip planning, deciding where to stay was half of the fun – as always.

Bend Vacation Rental
We took a chance on the one bedroom cottage (right next door to the property at the link above) and ended up being very pleasantly surprised. The bathroom was amazingly spacious, with tons of shelves for toiletries and the whole place was designed with an artistic, world traveler-esque flair. All of this, plus a full kitchen and location right next door to Boneyard Brewery and within an easy walk to downtown Bend.

Crater Lake . . . → Read More: Central Oregon Travel: Bend & Crater Lake National Park