Delicata Squash Gratin


Delicata squash is a favorite of mine not just for its subtle, nutty flavor, but for the fact that the peel is so thin you can eat it!  It’s so nice to be able to skip the peeling step in this recipe.  You just have to cut it in half, scrape out the minimal seeds, and slice it thinly.  You can roast delicata squash on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and salt for a delicious and healthy side dish, or you can combine it with breadcrumbs and cheese and make this delicious, satisfying gratin.

  • 1 delicata squash, about 10 inches long, seeds scraped out and sliced thinly
  • 1 C. panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1/2 C. grated or shredded parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the squash into very thin slices and set aside. In a baking dish, drizzle a little oil and create a layer of squash.  Sprinkle the layer with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with about 1/4 C. of the breadcrumbs and 1/8 C. of the cheese.  Drizzle again with a little oil.  Repeat with another layer of squash, then salt and pepper, then breadcrumbs and cheese.  Continue to repeat until you’ve used all the squash.  You will probably have about four layers. Be sure to finish with the last of the crumbs and cheese and another drizzle of the oil on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the cheese is melted and golden brown.



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Apple Fritters

Apple Fritters

I love making breakfast on the weekends, but I was getting tired of the same old pancakes.  These fritters made a great change of pace.  They are a cinch to make.  All it is is a pancake batter with shredded apples added to the mix.  If you use a saucepan that isn’t very wide (7 inches or less) you won’t need to use much oil to get to 1 1/2  inches deep.  Also, the oil may be strained and reused for another frying job, so there is almost no waste.  These are tastiest when they are hot.  Keep the finished fritters in a low oven as you prepare the rest so they’ll all be hot and ready to serve at the same time.

  • Canola oil for frying
  • 2 c. Bisquick (yes, Bisquick)
  • 2/3 C. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 c. apples, shredded, grated, or diced very small ( I used the Cuisinart)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Maple syrup

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan until it reaches 360 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Combine the  Bisquick, milk and egg until well blended. Fold in apples.

Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil. Turn and fry until golden brown on both sides.

Drain on paper towels.  Serve hot with syrup and powdered sugar.

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Fresh Tomato Pesto

When the tomatoes are ripe and get that intense flavor of summer I love to come up with different uses for them.  This is an uncooked sauce that can be tossed with any type of pasta.  We used it for spaghetti.  It has a brightness from the fresh tomatoes and basil and a rich nuttiness from the walnuts.  Great for all ages!

  • 3/4 C. basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 C. olive oil
  • 2 T. parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 C. walnuts
  • 4-5 small, ripe tomatoes, I used plum tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 t. salt

Combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until smooth.  Cook 1 lb. of pasta according to the package directions.  Toss the pesto with the hot pasta and serve with more cheese and chopped basil.

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Easy Ahi Poke


Portland food trends come and go, but I hope the luscious poke I see on menus everywhere is here to stay! If you haven’t tried poke (say poh-kay), I really encourage you to give it a go.  It has a silky texture, and the addition of sesame and soy means it’s packed with umami flavor! It’s very easy, quick to make, and healthy to boot.  Ahi is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and magnesium. PS- I bought a rice cooker! I used to scoff at them and say, “why would you need an appliance just for that?” Well, now I know that rice cooked in a rice cooker IS SO MUCH BETTER!!! Sorry for yelling. Serves 2 as an entree, or 4 as an appetizer. The fish is raw, so use your best judgement about food safety. You should not have any problems if you buy it fresh from a reputable fishmonger such as Portland Fish Market. 

  • 1/2 lb. highest quality, fresh ahi tuna (you can use albacore, but it soaks up the sauce more, so go easy or it will be too salty)
  • 1/4 C. soy sauce (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1/4 C. sesame oil
  • 1/4 C. mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 t. sesame seeds
  • 1/4 t. hot chili sauce, such as Sriracha (or more if you love spice)
  • 2-3 small sheets of toasted seaweed to crumble over the top (optional)

Freeze the ahi just for about ten minutes, it makes it a little easier to make clean cuts and not smash it. While it’s in the freezer, in a large bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients.  Reserve a few seeds and scallions to scatter on top for garnish.  Cut the ahi into small cubes, about 1/2 inch square.  Try to handle it as little as possible.  Gently toss the fish with the dressing.  Taste for seasoning and adjust.  Garnish with a few scallions, sesame seeds, and flakes of dried seaweed. Serve right away, or refrigerate.  Poke can be made about an hour ahead of time, but more than that and it will become a bit mushy. You can prep the fish and sauce separately up to a day ahead and toss it just before serving. Serve the cold poke over warm, steamed white rice.



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Laurie’s Heirloom Tomatoes with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

Happy Birthday Laurie!

This salad was inspired by one I ate several years ago at a Farm to Fork dinner with my friend Laurie.  It was her bachelorette dinner (happy-almost-anniversary, Laurie and Chad) and we all absolutely loved this salad.  Smoked paprika can be found at better grocery stores and is sometimes labeled Pimenton de la Vera.  Look for imported Spanish Pimenton de la Vera- it’s not expensive, but it has an unmatched smoky flavor.

  • 2-4 Large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/4 C. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1.4 C. good quality olive oil – on the grassy side
  • 1/8 C. champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 t. smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 t. Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a platter.  Sprinkle them with parsley, salt, and pepper.  Combine the oil, vinegar, and paprika with a pinch of salt and shake to combine.  Pour over the tomatoes and serve.  The salad we had at the dinner also had some blanched green beans, toasted almonds, and blue cheese crumbles.  Yum!

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Spicy Broccoli Slaw

This broccoli slaw makes a great accompaniment to burgers and dogs on the grill.  The kick comes from onion and cayenne pepper.  This would also make a great condiment for grilled brats or tacos.

  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 C. packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lb broccoli, I used baby broccoli that had long stems
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, shredded

In the food processor add the oil, spices, lime juice, onion, sugar, and cilantro.  Blend until the herbs and garlic are minced.  Transfer to a large bowl.  In the food processor, attach the grating blade (no need to wash the bowl) and shred the broccoli with the stems, and the cabbage.  Dump the veggies into the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

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Root Beer Teriyaki Kabobs


Root beer works as a terrific marinade for beef.  Not only does it tenderize\ a less expensive cut, but it creates little caramelized edges when cooked. It’s an easy marinade to throw together, and could be used with pork or chicken as well.  I use metal skewers on the grill so that I don’t have to worry about burning the bamboo skewers.  Just be careful, the metal skewers get hot!  Summer grilling season has begun!

  • 2 lbs. beef (not too lean, you want some fat for flavor, I used a chuck roast) cut into large bite-sizes.
  • 2 C. fresh pineapple chunks
  • one bunch of scallions, cut into thirds
  • 2 C. root beer
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t. grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • pinch of Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1/4 C. soy sauce
  • 1/4 C. rice wine vinegar (seasoned or not)
  • coarse salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a container or zip lock bag and toss to combine.  Let it marinate for at least two hours or overnight. Discard the marinade, thread the meat, pineapple, and onions onto skewers and grill on medium high for 8-10 minutes, or until meat is cooked to your liking. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt. These are great, hot off the grill or at room temperature, making them the perfect summer party food.  Serves 4-6.





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