All posts filed under: Recipes

Upside down rhubarb cake on plate

upside-down rhubarb olive oil cornmeal cake

Two weeks ago, I turned 30. Despite the stigma around aging, especially for women, I feel really, really good about being 30. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we measure time and how a year, in particular, is simultaneously extraordinarily long and yet, somehow, it passes wildly fast. Last year, in particular, was full of transitions and growth and new beginnings. And so, this year, I’m celebrating a lot of firsts/one year “anniversaries.” One year of prioritizing myself, of really, actually getting to know myself & loving myself wholeheartedly. One year of knowing and loving, adventuring, cooking, cuddling, talking (oh my gosh, so much talking), having the most fun I’ve ever had, and laughing, laughing, laughing with the greatest (life) partner (in crime). One year of living alone, and feeling the least lonely of any year before. This new decade, a brand new number to mark my age, seems a fitting metaphor for this new season of my life. You know I like to find metaphor in these moments, the parallels of where I …

Gluten free rhubarb buckle cake cut into slices

gluten-free rhubarb buckle cake with lime & coconut

Sometimes, it’s really hard to write the story of a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write. A few months ago, when I really dove into returning to this space, I maybe didn’t dive all in. I was shaking off the cobwebs, pulling the dusty white sheets off all the furniture like you see in abandoned haunted houses in old horror movies, & I had writer’s block. For recipes, for stories. So I decided to start over by starting from the beginning of this blog. By revisiting, revamping & re-photographing old recipes. Like this cake. It was, really, a buckle cake — I just didn’t know that at the time. I also didn’t know much about rhubarb, but I was (as always) strong willed & stubborn. I didn’t want to coat it in sugar or dress it up. I just wanted it to be what it was. So, I made a cake that was OK. A cake I ate like a little kid (by picking all of …

Hazelnut crumble topping

gluten-free golden milk banana muffins with hazelnut crumble

When I was a wee writer still in school, I struggled with metaphors. Similes were so easyyy — just look for the “like” or “as” in a comparison. But metaphors felt fleeting, ethereal. Untethered in a sentence, not anchored by or to anything easily spotted by the skimming eye. Metaphors felt infinite: any one thing could be compared to any other thing in just a few words or a sentence, or an entire stanza, paragraph or page. In the nearly two decades (oh, lord) since, however, metaphors have become a constant in my life. I find they work best as an almost parable; I learn about myself and my life through metaphor. A few years ago, I wrote at length about how making pie from scratch was a meditation for me. Baking in any form still is meditative: it requires a calm, steady focus. If you’re not paying attention or you add ingredients out of order, you might miss something or forget to add a key ingredient. For me, oddly enough, I often forget to …

savory vegetable crumble with hazelnuts and hard cider

This winter has worn heavy. Slowly, the darkest days are getting lighter. The sun spreads across the sky a little earlier each morning. If it’s not raining too hard, I hear the birds finding their songs for the season. The other day, I caught a glimpse of a fat squirrel tipping off a skinny branch. Spring is coming. But it is arriving at a snail’s pace, and I am growing more impatient every day. Yearning for long walks through the city, along Alki Beach, or weaving my way through Discovery Park. Toes sinking into the sands of Lake Washington. Watching the sun set, sending the most brilliant gradients of color streaking across the sky over Golden Gardens Park in Ballard. I am ready for summer in Seattle. I am longing, too, for the farmer’s market. Exploring (and tasting) the bounty of summer. We are entering the spring hunger stretch — the last of winter’s reserves are wearing thin, but the precious first shoots of spring haven’t fully arrived yet. In the depths of winter, I’ve ventured …

how to use thanksgiving leftovers

how to use your thanksgiving leftovers

Let’s be real. Thanksgiving is all about the leftovers. You see my sister makes these amazing turkey sandwiches. Her secret is, she puts an extra slice of gravy soaked bread in the middle. I call it the Moist Maker. Raise your hand if you really wanted to soak a piece of bread in leftover gravy to put in the middle of your leftover turkey sandwich after hearing about Ross’s sandwich on Friends. It must have been good, because he freaked out when someone else ate it. That sandwich was the only good thing going on in his life. And, as I’m nearing 30 myself, I can kind of understand where he’s coming from. That must have been one helluva sandwich. For the first Thanksgiving I ever hosted, all on my own, I bought my turkey just a few days before Thanksgiving. There wasn’t much of a selection left at the grocery. I ended up with a huge turkey. I think it was at least 20 pounds. (We had 7 people over for dinner.) We had …

sweet potato and hard apple cider chicken pot pies

It’s the season for serious comfort food. I may have gone on a little bit of a pie bender after introducing you to how I make gluten-free pie crust. Sweet or savory, the options are really limitless! These little cuties. They’re bowls of savory, comforting warmth full of seasonal goodness. Sweet potatoes and granny smith apples enhanced with the crisp, refreshing flavor of cider. They’re hearty, but not heavy — partly because they don’t have crust on the bottom. These are time-saving pot pies. I like making individual pot pies because they’re cute, and leftovers are more convenient for carrying to work, but this recipe would be just as good in a savory galette or a single large pot pie. Autumn has finally arrived here, in full force, with cooler temperatures and rain. I was driving through downtown the other day and watched men climbing trees to hang Christmas lights, and noticed that most of the trees still have their leaves. I was grateful to still see so much foliage. It’s totally sweater weather, but …

baked plum and grape pie

italian plum, concord grape and apple gin pie 

This pie has been many years in the making. Back in 2010, I checked out David Lebovitz’s newest cookbook, Ready for Dessert, from my local library, eager to learn about making pastry and ice cream. It was then, I think, that I really discovered that baking requires a lot of work. (It would be many more years before I figured out that it is very much worth the extra effort.) I’m not sure I made a single recipe from that book; I was intimidated by the names alone. Profiteroles. Crème Brûlée. Gâteau Victoire. Ingredients I hadn’t yet discovered, like black currants and anise. And Concord grapes. There was a recipe for a Concord grape pie in the book, which I dreamed of making for my little brother (who was, and still is, a huge fan of all things grape flavored). This was, however, before I discovered farmers markets, and the extent of my shopping skills involved picking out the most exotic produce from Whole Foods. Concord grapes could not be found. The recipe had so many …

gluten free pie crust ready for baking

easy as pie gluten-free pie crust

It must be fall, because all I want to do is bake. I never used to think that making pie was easy. You have to work quickly so everything stays cold, and there are just so many steps between crust and filling, making and baking. And those intricate, beautiful, lattice-woven crusts? No, thank you. The saying easy as pie actually refers to eating pie, not making it (same goes for “piece of cake” apparently). But over the years, I have discovered there’s a real peace in making pie. Once you have your routine figured out, there’s something pleasurable to the process. It’s almost as if time slows down, even if you’re moving quickly. The tactility — blending butter cubes into flour, rolling out the dough, flipping it into a pie pan — is almost like digging your fingers down into the sand on a beach, or making mud pies as a kid. Making pies, for me, started as a way to process (or put off, depending on how you look at it) emotions and to, …

fish tacos

rockfish tacos with cortido, cukes and cotija cheese

Taco Tuesday! A few weeks ago at the farmers market, we were on the hunt for fresh fish. There’s always frozen and smoked salmon available, as well as locally farmed oysters. But I was having a hankering for fish tacos. We spotted a neon poster board sign written with thick black permanent marker. Fresh rockfish $9/pound. The farmer led us to an open Igloo cooler packed with ice and started rummaging around, showing us different packages of fresh fish. This fish. He paused, balancing the clear zip-lock plastic bag in his hand, thinking and recalling. Hmm. Yep. This fish was caught three days ago. It’s one of the things I love most about the farmers markets. Unless you plan to grow and harvest vegetables yourself, or catch and filet your own fish from the water, this is the freshest you’ll find. (I’ve been given steep discounts because the arugula was four days old. I would have happily paid full price for something that, in my mind, was still fresher than I would find anywhere else.) At …

meatless tikka masala

vegan cranberry bean and summer greens tikka masala

This recipe should also be known as what I did with the random assortment of leftovers in my fridge. Every once in a while when I am feeling overwhelmed and uninspired, I turn to cookbooks and blogs for recipes and meal plans. Most of the time, though, I listen to Craig and to what my body (and my mind and my soul) need and crave. I find inspiration in the fresh ingredients at the market. I rarely go with a shopping list and instead piece together meals as I pick out raw ingredients. Sometimes I have a very general outline — I need greens, beans, herbs, mushrooms. Sometimes a whole chicken. Sometimes not. It can be difficult to cook this way. I know not everyone has the time or the interest to cook this way. And, I’ll admit, I still struggle with leftovers and reducing waste. Sometimes I get an idea and then it doesn’t work. Sometimes a recipe needs to be tweaked multiple times, but I still need to get dinner ready and on …