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

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A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

Ratatouille is one of those recipes that I’ve been making for years. I used to make it all the time in grad school, fairly often when I lived in California, and still make a pot every so often now. And one of my favorite times of year to make ratatouille is fall. Sure, you’ll probably need to used canned (or tetra-pak) tomatoes, but who really wants to simmer vegetables on the stove top for an hour in summer anyway (not me!)? Plus, in fall, a big bowl of vegetable stew is exactly what a person wants – especially when you have discovered the best possible ratatouille recipe, which this is!

Another plus to making a big pot of this is everything you can do with the leftovers (if you have any) — I recently slathered ratatouille on a piece of what pita bread, topped it with some smoked mozzarella, and gave it a few minutes in the toaster oven for a delicious pizza-for-one kind of meal.

Another idea? Take your ratatouille and poach some eggs on top of the simmering stew – completely out of this world. That’s one you don’t . . . → Read More: A Recipe for Fall Happiness: Ratatouille

Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Smoked Mozzarella and Basil

Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Smoked Mozzarella and Basil

Hello summer! This is one of the best savory tarts I have ever made. That may be because all of the cherry tomatoes were from our garden or it may be because tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, and basil is a winning combination – probably a bit of both! If you don’t have your own garden supply of tomatoes, multicolored, heirloom cherry tomatoes would look amazing in this recipe.

Our tomatoes were so ripe that some actually split while they were picked. I think this led to me having an abundance of liquid after baking. This really wasn’t a problem because after cooling for about an hour with some sprinkled Parmesan on top it seemed that the cheese had soaked up some liquid. Perfect!

For this recipe, you can use any crust you like but I highly recommend Chocolate and Zucchini’s Easy Olive Oil Tart Crust, which is seriously my go-to savory pie/tart/quiche crust of choice. This time I used a mix of light spelt flour, whole wheat pastry flour, and white flour to great success!

I’m also not ashamed to admit that two of us polished this off for dinner one . . . → Read More: Roasted Cherry Tomato Tart with Smoked Mozzarella and Basil

A Soup for Cold Weather: Winter Spelt Minestrone

Winter Spelt Minestrone

This is a hearty bowl of soup. Spelt replaces the pasta for a healthy, toothsome addition. Sometimes referred to as spelt berries, they aren’t berries at all, but rather Spelt is an ancient whole grain related to modern day wheat. It’s high in magnesium, fiber, phosphorus and vitamin B3 and provides a pleasingly chewey texturehsome chew. Use it in salads, soups, and baked good. It can also be ground and used as flour. In fact, my new bread obsession is the Spelt Bread from Dave’s Killer Bread.

This is also the bowl of soup you want whether you are house-bound right now in the snowy Midwest, DC or even watching the rain fall in the gray winter of Portland. So comforting and filling. You probably even have a lot of the items you need to make it right now. Just go get some spelt. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

Note: for a summer version, replace butternut squash with zucchini and the kale with trimmed green beans and/or baby spinach and add in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Winter Spelt Minestrone

Winter Spelt Minestrone

Winter Spelt Minestrone

. . . → Read More: A Soup for Cold Weather: Winter Spelt Minestrone