Frizzled Onions (Tobacco Onions)

Frizzled Onions

I use these addictive fried onions as a garnish for all kinds of dishes. They are the ultimate embellishment to soups, chiles, burgers, rice pilafs, and even mashed potatoes. But one person I know (hey, you know who he is), BEGS me to make them for him for no reason at all and then proceeds to […]

Almost Yotam Ottolenghi’s Mejadra (Spiced Rice & Lentils)

Almost Yotam Ottolenghi's Mejadra (Spiced Rice & Lentils)

I love Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks: Plenty, Plenty More, Ottolenghi, and Jerusalem, from which this fragrant rice dish hails. But I may never have discovered this dish if not for the opening of Chef John Gorham’s Mediterranean Exploration Company (MEC) in Portland, Oregon in August 2014. We ordered the Tomato Fritters, Moroccan Brick Chicken, Mejadara, and […]

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

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 […]

Almost Luc Lac Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Almost Luc Lac Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

This savory, salty, sweet, tart, spicy sauce is a takeoff on the one served at Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. It’s sensational.

Spicy Tunisian Tomato Sauce with Olives & Preserved Lemon

Tunisian Tomato Sauce with Olives and Preserved Lemon

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 […]

Moroccan Kefta Tagine (Spicy Meatballs & Tunisian Tomato Sauce)

Moroccan Kefta Tagine

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 […]

Homemade Nutella: Two Ways (Chocolate Hazelnut Spread)

Homemade Nutella

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.

Chocolate Snacky Wacky Cake (Depression Cake)

Chocolate Cake Serving 2

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 […]

Mexicano Chocolate Pudding Cake (Hot, Easy & Good)

Serving 2

When it comes to special desserts these days, I’m  into EASY. But I’m not willing to compromise on taste, so it’s got to be EASY and GOOD. And because Valentine’s Day is in two days, it’s also got to be HOT. And seriously, why can’t HOT, EASY, and GOOD go together? There are three components […]

Mad Dash Chocolate Cake (Fast & Easy)

Chocolate Cake Serving

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.

Pok Pok’s World Famous Vietnamese Chicken Wings

Lead shot 2

Pok Pok’s Vietnamese Chicken Wings have taken the food world by storm. They are the stuff of legends. And now you can make them at home.

Pork & Prawn Potstickers (aka Asian Dumplings)

Pork & Prawn Potstickers (aka Asian Dumplings)

Potstickers! Fragrant, chewy dough glistening with sesame oil; super-hot, ginger-kissed filling; salty, spicy, tart, deliciously cool sauce. Ahhh…

Spicy Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

Dipping Sauce

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 […]

Asian Potsticker Dough (for Jiaozi & Gyoza Dumplings)

Chinese Bamboo Steamer Filled with Potstickers

This silky, beautifully chewy potsticker dough is a mainstay in Asian kitchens where it is used to make Chinese Jiaozi and Japanese Gyoza. After you master this easy dough, you’ll find dozens of fillings to keep your dumplings interesting all year.

Chinese Good Fortune Cookies

Chinese Good Fortune Cookies

Is there any cookie in the world more magical and enchanting than a Chinese Fortune Cookie? No way. My heart and the corners of my mouth lift every time I am presented with one in a restaurant. How in heaven’s name are they made? And what will my fortune say this time? Of course the fortune […]

My Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Cheddar Bay Biscuits Closeup

These light, FLUFFY, flavorful, cheesy, moist cheddar bay biscuits are in a class all their own. They are actually significantly cheesier than their Red Lobster namesake. You won’t be able to eat only one.

Pumpkin Pie, Ginger High, Meringue in Your Eye, Oh My

Pastry Collage

Check out these fabulous and decidedly uncommon pumpkin pies from four Portland, Oregon food stars.

Spiced Orange Pumpkin Cookies

Spiced Orange Pumpkin Cookies

Tender, plump, spicy pumpkin cookies with a double whammy of orange. Perfect for Halloween festivities.

The Best Super Chewy Snickerdoodles Ever

Stack of Super Chewy Snickerdoodles

There’s something about fall–the brisk mornings, heavenly colors, and burning leaves—that make me want to run to the OtherWorldly Kitchen and whip up a batch of fragrant, spicy, crinkle-topped, chewy Snickerdoodles. You know, the super chewy Snickerdoodles of my dreams.

Pumpkin Spice Granola Clusters

True granola clusters. Not microscopic granola clusters. Not a few granola clusters. But an entire batch of big beautiful granola clusters.

Get ready for true granola clusters. Not microscopic granola clusters that break apart in your hand. Not a few granola clusters in here and there. But an entire batch of big beautiful granola clusters, fragrant with pumpkin butter and fall spices.

Ricotta Cavatelli with Toasted Walnuts & Baby Greens

Ricotta Cavatelli with Toasted Walnuts & Bitter Greens

This is a delicious pairing of chewy, pillowy ricotta cavatelli; earthy, almost sweet walnuts; toasted garlic; slightly bitter greens; and crisp pancetta; punctuated with a creamy, tangy goat cheese.

Homemade Ricotta Cavatelli Pasta

Hand Shaped Ricotta Cavatelli Pasta

Everything you need to know to make fabulous homemade ricotta cavatelli pasta–with or without a cavatelli pasta machine. Includes extensive tips for using the CucinaPro 530 Cavatelli Maker.

Caramel-Lime Blueberry Pudding Cake

Blueberry Lime Pudding Cake

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.

Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salsa

With chips

I look forward to making Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salsa each August when the first ears of fresh corn hit Northwest farmers markets. The corn is the star here, and it really must be fresh, sweet, and in season locally.

Melon Pico de Gallo (AKA Melon Salsa)

Melon Salsa

This refreshing, colorful Melon Pico de Gallo (AKA Melon Salsa) hits a perfect balance between sweet, hot, acidic, and salty. You’ll appreciate it best in the heat of summer with local, ripe, juicy melons.

Blueberry Cobbler with Maple, Lemon & Sour Cream Cornmeal Biscuits

Blueberry Cobbler with Maple, Lemon & Sour Cream Cornmeal Biscuits

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.

Cold Green Pea Soup (Green Pea Gazpacho)

Chilled green Pea Soup (Green Pea Gazpacho)

The vibrant green color is perhaps enough incentive to make this gazpacho-like soup during the height of sweet pea season, but the fresh, bright pea flavor with a chile kick and a hint of mint and lime will convince you too.

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Grandma Mary’s Heavenly Light Buttermilk Skillet Biscuits

Heavenly Light Buttermilk Skillet Biscuits

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.

The Perfect Vichyssoise (Cold Potato Leek Soup)

Vichyssoise Serving 1

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.)

The New Monte Cristo Sandwich

Monte Cristo Sandwich

A well-made (i.e. home-made) Monte Cristo Sandwich is an inspired pairing of oh so tender, batter drenched bread, artisan cheese, and fragrant ham—served hot and oozing. Finished with a dusting of powdered sugar and accompanied by a tart fruit sauce, it’s sublime perfection.