Balsamic strawberry spoon cake with poppy seeds


So I had a smashing time at the Kenton farmer’s market on Friday! The berries were especially lovely, and by buying in bulk I got a screaming deal on some strawberries. We ate most of them au natural but I had about a pint left yesterday and whipped up this lil’ cake, which conveintly coincided with Food52′s Your best berry recipe contest . The balsamic packs a nice tang and makes little pockets of syrupy loveliness that balances out the sweet cake, and right at the end a bit of crunch from the poppy seeds! I am not a great baker, but this recipe hybrid I created is fool-proof and delicious. I like no nonsense rustic stuff, if you are looking for hotsie totsie…..go elsewhere, if you want something easy that will highlight the best of the season then read on! Continue reading

Dinner, Vegan option

Rustic Lentils and Barley ala crock pot


You know that feeling when you finally feel like you are home? Well I haven’t felt that way in quite a few years….and finally I feel that sentimental braingasm of belonging that isn’t really familiar to me. With all the anxiety that moving brings we quite possible made the best decision we as a team (my husband and I) have ever made. Abraham Maslow theorized that every human desires membership, order, and meaning. In the hierarchy of needs we need all these things to be “happy” I don’t know if its in a “Pharrell” kinda way or just having a sense of belonging. I actually find it quite hard to be my normal, cynical, self when everything seems to be coming up Zanny (my nickname). With this new optimism comes a rediscovery of things in the past I have been negative about….one I have realized I had unfairly judged would be the crock pot, slow cooker, whatever you like to call them. Continue reading


Underground Panna Cotta with Grapefruit & broiled Orange


Wow!  Feel like i’ve been gone forever, we have successfully moved into our own home, but not successfully unpacked yet. It has been awesomely stressful as with most things that are good decisions.  I have also gone to Seattle, and to the coast, not to mention registering Ava for school, Ari’s birthday, and an awesome visit from my homeboy SMP!  On his recent visit he brought along some Underground Herbal Spirit made in my hometown and I decided today was the day to make a quick and easy dessert with the herby elixer before I drank it all. Continue reading

Appetizer, Dinner, Salads, sides

California Walnuts’ Virtual Salad Party and a Cook Book Giveaway!


I was recently invited to participate in California Walnuts’ virtual salad party! I got to choose from several different entree salad recipes and I chose this one from Aida Mollenkamp. The recipe is Baby Beet Salad With Chevre And Savory Caraway-Walnut Granola and the reason I chose this one is because of the ingenious savory granola element added to a classic mix of stuff my family and I love. Continue reading

Beef, Dinner

Grass fed, Cross rib roast

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So I have definitely waxed poetic about Chuck’s and although due to religious beliefs they aren’t open Saturday and they don’t have pork or beer available, I find myself finding excuses to go up to Vancouver just to shop there. Jarom works up there so that helps….my latest and greatest find is the meat department, they serve Painted Hills and it is the best beef i’ve ever had available to me in a grocery store that is still affordable enough to feed the whole family. Continue reading

Dinner, soup

Tortellini and Turkey meatball soup

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I talked about making soup with the pan juice from my Mom’s Greek Roasted chicken recipe and today I actually did! I saved the pan drippings and placed them in the fridge, then I scooped the layer of fat that separates off the top and used the jellied consomme as my stock! It makes thee best soup stock ever, and I paired it up with some dried tortellini and some meatballs I made out of ground turkey breast…I know its possibly not soup season, but I love soup lately I can eat it in one form or another for every meal! This version is delicious, and you can use whatever stock you have, even beef or veggie, this is just an example of a recipe being a “Two for one” make the Greek chicken get the soup stock for free! What a bargain! Continue reading

Dinner, Salads, sides

Portland Caprese


Summer..Summer…Summertime….let’s just sit back and unwind (In the style of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (before Scientology). Ah the delights of Summer! All kinds of seasonal produce is hitting the farmer’s market right now, so why not make a 5 minute recipe? First thing’s first I AM IN NO WAY STATING that this is Portland’s “Only” caprese cuz I know one of the 10 people reading this is gonna be all “This is not “Portland’s Caprese” I had it at (insert local place here) and it totes magoats has kale and veggie shreds”….this is MY version of the famed overly put on restaurant menus all over the country salad ok? Kinda like when Depeche Mode talks about one having “Your own personal Jesus” purely perspective based, nothing to be made doctrine of…just a damn good salad. Now that that disclaimer is out of the way we should talk ingredients. Continue reading


Mom’s Greek roasted chicken


My mom is a connoisseur of Mu-moos, she wears them with pride and frequently. They range in pattern from kittens to tacos and never fail to gather attention wherever she goes. My mom has done 8 hr shifts grill cooking in mu-moos, she has traveled in them, she loves them. Once I borrowed one for a skit I was in my senior year of high school, it was a poorly rehearsed “Jerry Springer” style schtick, it was a comedic role and I played it well. The next day at our end of year awards assembly mom made sure and sported it to the assembly and everyone hollered at me as she strolled down the halls “Hey Alex…your mom is here”. Continue reading

Dinner, soup, Uncategorized

45 minute chicken pozole

When change comes in life it doesn’t wait for you to catch up. Looks like we have indeed found our future home here in Portland, in fear of jinxing it that is all I will say at this point, but as soon as I can I will spill the deets (it has a gas range, been cooking on electric so this is exciting news for me). I also am trying to clean up my diet which means I’ve had to curtail my beer consumption, which was basically for me what gruel was for Dicken’s “Scrooge”. In keeping track of calories (a thing I have never done with much success until now)I was stupefied and amazed that pints run about 280 calories for some of my favorite beers….so my beloved hoppy nectar is no longer a daily event. I’ve also switched up the dinner choices and tried to cook some recipes that are conducive to health. Pho is a fav of mine for sure, and today’s recipe is what I would say is similar to the same idea but a Mexican soup called pozole. Pozole contains hominy, a type of dried corn, it is usually made with pork, but I did a chicken version with some local, free-range chicken thighs. The broth has a bit of heat and then you can add toppings to your liking. Its delicious and healthy, while still filling enough to forget its low in fat and calories. I could eat soup for every meal I think and this one is a crowd pleaser, unless your crowd is folks with ulcers or severe aversion to chiles…..this one packs a bit of heat. Continue reading