Summer is in full swing in the Pacific Northwest, and right on cue, I’m wilting. The only thing I want to eat right now is salad. Lots and lots of interesting, big taste salads. This refreshing, super crunchy, super tasty Vietnamese Chicken Salad fits the bill. It’s modeled after one I eat almost weekly at Luc Lac […]
I have a confession to make. I grew up on Italian-American style “spaghetti sauce.” In our Northwest neighborhood, there were only two pastas in those days—spaghetti and macaroni. Spaghetti had only one sauce. As I recall, it involved a can of tomato sauce, ground beef, and a packet of spices. I loved it because it […]
A meatball is a meatball, is a meatball, is a meatball. Right? Well sure, in the sense that nearly all meatballs are simple mixtures of ground meat, spices, and sometimes fillers (for tenderness) and binders (for cohesion). And nearly all meatballs are round, although the same mixture can be shaped meatloaf-style or cigar-style around a […]
To my palate, store bought Nutella tastes like overly sweet, poor quality chocolate, with way too much vanilla and the lingering taste of stale powdered milk. But wait, you can easily make your own! And it’s fabulous. There are five basic ways to make Homemade Nutella. This articles explores two of the best.
This is NOT your average, common place, every-day, garden-variety cake. Frankly, it’s not normal or even respectable. It doesn’t play by the rules. If you are Merriam-Webster, you might call it bizarro, wacko, crazy, curious, eccentric, far-out, odd, kooky, offbeat, outlandish, peculiar, quirky, screwy, strange, or weird. In other words, this unassuming little snack cake is […]
I was going to call this 10-Minute Chocolate Cake, but it takes 45 minutes to bake, and so that wouldn’t be quite accurate. Nevertheless, if you’re focused and fast, your ACTIVE time investment is under 10 minutes. You can jog around the block a few times while you’re waiting for the cake to bake. If there’s a grocery store nearby, grab a quart of premium vanilla ice cream while you’re at it. This simple cake just begs for ice cream.
There are so many delicious uses for Vietnamese Dipping Sauce–essentially the same as Thai Dipping Sauce–that I have it on hand in the fridge at all times. I’ve experienced it numerous times over the years in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants. But it was in tiny Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen in Portland, Oregon that fondness finally […]
I’ve had pudding cakes on my mind for quite a while now, so when I was leafing through old issues of Gourmet Magazine recently and saw the fabulous Blueberry Pudding Cake on the cover of the July 2005 issue, I knew the time had come. I had fresh blueberries and the other ingredients are kitchen staples. Of course I tweaked the recipe a bit, adding a good hit of lime and a caramel note to the sauce. And then my blueberry sauce didn’t sink through the batter as the original recipe said it should, so I tweaked the procedure for the sauce as well. The result was a hit with all four tasters. The only grumbling I heard was over the lack of ice cream accompaniment. Next time, I’ll make sure to have that on hand.
This Blueberry Cobbler is from a different universe than the soggy, ho-hum cobblers encountered in many restaurants these days. The berries are evocatively enhanced with maple syrup, lemon, and cinnamon. The biscuits are crisp on the top and tender on the interior, with a subtle tang from the addition of sour cream and lemon. And the whole dessert goes together in under 20 minutes.
My Hutterite grandmother, Mary Pullman Stahl, was lauded for her other-worldly cooking, and when it came to biscuits, hers were incomparable. As a farm girl used to the demands of communal meal preparation, she never measured anything and the speed with which she could cover every counter in the kitchen with impossibly tender, light, fragrant biscuits was nothing short of magic–especially to her eight-year-old granddaughter who stood by ready to make cinnamon “dog ears” with the scraps.
If there is one soup that is an absolute must for me in the summer (in addition to Gazpacho of course), it is the cold, silky, incredibly reviving amalgam called Vichyssoise (vih-she-swaz). I have been known to make a gallon at a time and polish it off easily in a week. (Luckily, one can actually survive healthily on a diet of only potatoes supplemented with dairy.)