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

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Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut + Halloween

Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut

This summer, we had a mystery squash growing in a garden. It was a mystery in that neither jwa nor I remembered planting any Red Kuri Squash but here it was – a beautiful red kuri growing in our garden. It was in a bed close to the compost so the theory is we either had a seed or two in the compost that ended up in the garden bed or maybe a critter buried the seed in the garden and it sprouted – either this way this fall we had a nicely-sized (about four pounds!) mystery squash to eat.

Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut

After much contemplation, I decided on a soup. I love coconut, curry, and pumpkin flavors so I went with a kind of a Thai/Curry/Coconut theme here. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can certainly stick to olive oil, and for the roasted chili paste, you can get a small jar of it easily enough in the grocery store (Thai Kitchen is the easily available brand), although if you live by an Asian market you can probably get better roasted chili paste. . . . → Read More: Roasted Red Kuri Squash Soup with Coconut + Halloween

Holiday Cookies: Festive Fireplaces

Chocolate Fireplace Cookies

Over the weekend, I had a plan to make holiday cookies, the kind with frosting and everything. And at the end of the day (and a fairly cramped right hand later), I’m proud to say that I ended up with these cute little fireplace cookies.

They’re especially nice because you can make them as Christmas-y as you want or even adapt the decorations to whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year. You could also just make and eat them because it is winter and you are sitting in front of a warm, toasty fire (meta). They are very versatile cookies.

Chocolate Fireplace Cookies

I also made these using one of my new favorite ingredients — black cocoa powder.

Black Cocoa Cookies
Original recipe origin unknown
1 1/2 cups butter, softened (I have also used 1 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter in this recipe and it works just as well)
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups AP flour
1 /2 Dutch process cocoa
1/2 cup black cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, combining well. Add . . . → Read More: Holiday Cookies: Festive Fireplaces

FFwD: (Mini) Mushroom and Shallot Quiche(s)

French Fridays with Dorie Mushroom and Shallot Quiche

Oh, look. It’s another quiche for French Fridays with Dorie, which actually just fine with me as quiche was something I used to make all the time, but really, for the past 10 years or so I’ve made it hardly at all. It’s a lot of fun to rediscover it with the recipes in Around my French Table. For this one, I did something a little different — mini quiches!

Notes:
1. I halved the recipe and had enough custard and mushrooms for three mini quiches. Unfortunately, I only had enough leftover whole wheat and olive oil crust for two. I improvised on the third quiche-lette with a circular piece of spinach tortilla.
2. I added garlic to the mushroom & shallot mixture.
3. Uh, I added a little bit more cheese than the recipe called for…and I used Parmesan instead of Gruyere.
4. I par-baked my wheat crusts for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees F before adding the filling.

Okay, on with the link to everyone’s posts and my photos below. And if you want to make the recipe but don’t yet have the cookbook, here’s the recipe at epicurious.com.

French <span style= . . . → Read More: FFwD: (Mini) Mushroom and Shallot Quiche(s)

Greens and Bulgur Gratin…Boo!

Greens and Bulgur Gratin

Looking for a side dish or even a vegetarian meal for Meatless Monday, or something like that? Well then, look no further because I have got the dish for you! Hearty winter greens (I used a mix of only kale and spinach, but the possibilities are pretty endless) are steamed and wilted, then combined with onion, garlic, a hint of mustard and bulgur wheat and layered into a cheesy, satisfying gratin. And, you can assemble this up to baking it and keep it on the fridge overnight, so it’d be an easy side dish for Thanksgiving…or even a hearty dinner on Halloween!

Greens and Bulgur Gratin
Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet magazine; serves 2-4; easily doubled.
1/4 cup coarse bulgur
1 pound assorted greens such as kale, collard, escarole, spinach, Swiss chard, and/or mustard greens
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine or vegetable broth
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
4 oz chilled whole-milk or part-skim mozzarella, grated coarse (or a mix of provolone and mozzarella cheeses)

For topping
1/4 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
2 tsp olive oil

In a heatproof bowl pour enough boiling water over bulgur to cover by 1 . . . → Read More: Greens and Bulgur Gratin…Boo!

2011 in Pictures

Darth Vader

I was trying to delete some blog spam the other night and I got distracted (I know, so rare!) by looking through my iphoto annals. It got me to thinking, “hey! I should go through all my pictures from 2011 and pick my favorite two (or three) from each month and put them in a blog post.”

So, that’s what I’ve done here. It was a lot more fun than deleting spam comments from the moderation queue. Although, you have to admit, this one has a certain charm:

I beloved as much as you’ll receive carried out proper here. The caricature is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you want be delivering the following. unwell surely come further previously once more since exactly the similar just about very regularly within case you defend this hike.

It’s weird. It always seems like the year went by very fast, but then looking at all these pictures, I guess we did do a lot of fun stuff. I also still think that on the whole, 2011 was a pretty bad year, but this exercise definitely reminded me of some very nice moments that . . . → Read More: 2011 in Pictures