Summer marks the beginning of berry season in the Northwest. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, black caps, and of course our huckleberries will all begin to show up as the season progresses.
A few days ago, on a camping trip in Idaho, we stumbled upon a patch of wild strawberries. In size, they were the smaller than a pea, yet surprisingly, bursted with so much strawber
Food is deeply personal and becomes rooted in us at a very young age. For most of us, our comfort food is what we grew up eating. The special meals our parents made for us in celebration, or even just the simple daily meals we ate together as a family. After I moved away from home, this was the one meal I missed the most and looked forward every time I went back to visit.
Have you ever wondered what to do with a green papaya?
During our recent trip to Vietnam we found out. They were everywhere... piled high on the back of motor scooters, along roadside stands and at all the street markets. They were on many menus as well, mostly in the form of a salad (Som Tam) served with beef or prawns or pork. After having a bad experience with a very
This is my favorite "breakfast for dinner" meal... and it's pretty darn good for breakfast too. It can be made in less than 30 minutes, and is perfect for company, or a lazy weekend brunch. Skillet Huevos Rancheros is not only flavorful and hearty... this vegetarian version is surprisingly healthy too. For a fun twist, use mini cast iron skillets for individual serv
We've had a unusually warm Spring here and our city is exploding with blossoms.
Mothers day came and went, and the dogwood I planted bursted in white, shouting, I’m still here. The Lilies of the Valley returned quietly, laden with tiny white bells, and unbelievably fragrant.
I've been thinking about flowers lately.
How quickly they bloom... and then gone - their sole purpos
This vegan and gluten-free Mac and Cheese Recipe with Kale and Mushrooms from Alison Collins, chef and owner of Boots Bakery and Lounge, is seriously good. And seriously good for you too. It's packed with protein and vitamins while remaining very low in fat, keeping you fueled and energized all day long. And the best thing is, it can be made in less than 30 minutes.
One of the best things about growing up in Southern California, was its proximity to Mexico. Being able to drive there or hop on a quick flight, gave us the opportunity to visit many different towns and experience regional Mexican cuisine. My personal obsession when visiting Mexico is always the same. To find the perfect taco. After a day or two of serious reconnaissance work, it beco
This has easily become one of my favorite salads. Crunchy, bright and refreshing with lots of fresh dill and citrus, it satisfies. If you have never tried fennel bulb in its raw state, this is the perfect introduction. It has a mild anise flavor and is great in salads because of its texture and crunch. A friend of mine, Jill, made a version of this last spring and I found m
Every now and then, do you ever get a hankering for a grilled cheese sandwich? After spending three weeks in Asia without a bite of cheese and very little bread, it was one of the first things I wanted to eat when we got back. It also happens to be National Grilled Cheese month.
This grilled cheese sandwich starts with good bread. A rust
Wok-seared asparagus with garlic, ginger, dried chilies, fermented black beans and roasted peanuts is a fast, easy vegan side dish that will spice up your dinner. Served with rice and crispy tofu (or chicken), it is a quick and flavorful meal. In Shanghai, this dish is typically made with Chinese long beans (similar to green beans), and during our recent visit it easily became one of my favori
My husband Brian loves to snack. This is his recipe and he makes it a lot. Like almost everyday, a lot. Inevitably, no matter how much I tell myself that I'm not going to have any (because once I start, I can't stop) I find my hand reaching across him into his bowl of popcorn. It does this on this own, I can't control it. Garlic Parmesan Popcorn, made on the stove top the old
This lighter, healthier version of Pot Pie bridges the seasons by utilizing the new vegetables of Spring, in a warm and comforting way. This vegan recipe is easily adaptable and can be "beefed up" for meat-eaters and like this Shepherds Pie Recipe, can be fully customized. Served in individual ramekins, you can add chicken or beef to some while keeping some
In an attempt to eat more healthfully, we have been experimenting with ways to consume more raw produce. Up until recently, brussel sprouts were always pan-seared, roasted, or sautéed around here, but today I tried something different. Treating brussel sprouts like the cabbage they are, I turned it into a slaw. Crunchy, flavorful and uber nutritious, this salad, makes me
I have been dreaming of faraway lands. Sometimes it helps to pick a country and go there, only if it's just for dinner. This fragrant warm dish is seasoned with Madras Curry, named after the old city of Madras in Southern India, now known as Chennai. Madras Curry is a blend of spices and chillies, and like all curry, varies greatly from region to region. In this dish, the
The Spring issue of Souvenir is available today! I thoroughly enjoyed working on these new spring recipes for this issue-in my story called "Going Green", featuring artichokes, asparagus, fennel, avocado and spring peas. The magazine is filled with gorgeous pages of home decor and decorating ideas, artisan businesses, vintage g
Rustic Eggplant Moussaka requires a little love and patience. This is not a 30 minute meal or one pot dinner. Rather, it calls for nothing short of a 2 to 3 hour commitment, and will end up claiming most of your pots and pans. I am not trying to dissuade you from making this, but instead, wholeheartedly encourage you, despite its fussiness, because when all is said and done, it is w
Dreaming of sunshine? February and March can be downright depressing in the Northwest. We can go weeks without seeing a lick of sun. When it does make its brief appearance, all seems right in the world. We are emotionally recalibrated, set back on track.
Citrus has this same effect. Its bright flavor and aroma perk us up on dismal days. Citrus fruits are in peak season duri
This may look like pasta, but it's not. It's zucchini cut into fine strips, mimicking linguine, and sauteed with olive oil and garlic, finished with basil ribbons, toasted pine nuts and shaved pecorino-romano cheese. Serve this simple recipe with a piece of seared fish or tofu, and you have a perfect meal, flavorful and totally gluten free. It could be made vegan, but t
Roasted Poblano Enchiladas are a delicious twist on the traditional. The velvety poblano cream sauce is rich in flavor with a subtle enticing heat. The sauce alone will make you swoon. The secret to this sauce is through fire roasting poblano peppers, which is easier than it seems. The enchiladas can be made two ways: with chicken as a filling, or a for unique and tasty veget
Love.I hesitate bringing this up. How much to say. How little.
We each have our love stories, and within each story, a million more stories, like breaths, here for moment, and gone.
Love can wreck us, teach us, inspire us, surprise us...and if we allow it, crack us open like an egg and reveal us.
To live this life fully, we must dive in and love, over and over, letti
In my previous life, when my friend Tonia and I had just started Mizuna Restaurant, we decided to put smoothies on the menu. Delicious vegan concoctions, frosty, creamy and all made to order. Inevitably, during the busy lunch rush, I would get an order for an obscene number of smoothies. At that time, we only had one blender, and it roared and whined so loudly and obnoxiously, it would
Last week a friend left me with mounds and mounds of kale. Like soldiers, we have been munching our way through it, in every imaginable way, determined not to let any go to waste. I feel as if my skin has taken on a greenish hue. Another friend introduced me to these lovely little garbanzo beans, grown right here in the Palouse. And with the leftover chicken from my last post,
The warm spices of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are the essence of this roasted chicken recipe. Using a mortar and pestle, a paste is made from grinding whole garlic cloves with salt, adding fennel and caraway seeds and dried chiles de arbol. The dried chiles give a subtle heat and earthiness, reminiscent of a North African Harissa. The pungent, flavorful garlic paste
OK, I admit, this sounds a little strange. But after you try one bite, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I was a little skeptical myself. But the bright zesty flavors of Meyer lemon kept me wanting more and more. The creaminess of the avocado fools you into believing you are consuming something rich and decadent and cheesy. It's really hard to believe it is veg
This gluten free wrap (or burrito) has easily become one of my favorites. It's made with collard greens, instead of tortillas, so not only is it packed with nutrients, it is totally gluten-free. As a caterer, I am used to being asked to accommodate all sorts of dietary restrictions and requests. A more and more common request surpassing even veganism, is to prepare things gluten-free
It really doesn't get easier than this. Or healthier. Or tastier. Simple, clean, ingredients that are incredibly addicting and good for you. It's a ridiculously basic recipe, I hesitate even calling a "recipe", but here it is anyways, because it really is one of the things we feast on at home, regularly. The ethereal combination of lemon zest and truffle oil is one of m
I love Sundays. Cozy, relaxing, and practically begging for comfort food. Here is one of my favorite recipes on cold snowy days like these...perfect for curling up on the couch with a good book or watching the highly anticipated season opener of Downton Abby. With a few hours left before the show, you still have time to run to the store and whip up this easy recipe of Rosem
I've been craving my mother's tabouli. I keep wondering, why now, when tomatoes are not in season and the last of our parsley and mint are frozen little ice-sticks, poking out from the snow. It occurs to me that this is the time of year when I would normally go back home to California to see my parents. Perhaps my body still remembers. Without fail, my mother would make a large
Sometimes simple is best. There is nothing more gratifying than taking a few simple ingredients and turning them into a healthy flavorful meal. After the all the holiday indulgences, scaling back and eating more consciously and simply gives our bodies a break and chance to recover. This earthy Carrot Soup is seasoned with the deep warming flavors of North Africa. It is toppe
'Tis the season of "little bites". Much of our catering work the last few weeks has centered around holiday parties. Creating perfect little one-bite appetizers, requiring no plate or fork, that guests can easily plop into their mouths while conversing. Mini Filo Packages filled with caramelized fennel and tied with chive ribbon are a fun little bite to bring to
Red wine poached pears get a little makeover with pomegranate seeds and cardamom. This easy healthy dessert is perfect after a heavy holiday meal and is a snap to make. These little guys are stunning with their bright red hues. There is a secret ingredient which helps turn the pears into this lovely deep red. Can you guess what it is?
Try to find small pears, preferably on
Moroccan Roasted Beets with Pomegranate
Beets get a festive Moroccan twist with this easy and healthy recipe. Roasted beets, with a balsamic glaze tossed with pomegranate seeds and pistachios, served warm make for a hearty side dish. Save the leftovers and toss with greens for a lovely winter salad, during the week.
What is so startling is their color. Their brilliant hues continue to surp
Sumptuous, unctuous and oozing with flavor, a good bowl of Ramen is the ultimate in comfort food. Put away old ideas of packaged 29 cent ramen you used to eat in the dorm. This ramen is from a completely different world. In Japan, ramen is taken very seriously. There are thousands and thousands of ramen shops, with styles varying from region to region, each taking on the character of the peo
I received a nice surprise in the mail today. A gift. Truthfully, a gift from myself. For several weeks I had been patiently awaiting the arrival of Thomas Keller's new cookbook, Bouchon Bakery, so patiently in fact, I forgot I had ordered it. So when it arrived, it truly was a surprise. I highly recommend this. Surprising yourself. It feels magnificent.
What also feels magn
Shepherds Pie originates from Great Britain, where it came about at as a way to use left over meat, primarily lamb, (hence the shepherd) and vegetables in a savory stew, topped with a pillowy layer of buttery mashed potatoes, and baked. It's quite brilliant, isn't it?
This version however, is vegan (and gluten free). No shepherd involved here. The stew is made with mushr