Ginger Magic

Today a piece I wrote on pickled ginger ran in the Register Guard - you can read it here

Which has me thinking about what else people want to learn how to make, and what I should be sending out in terms of pitches. If only I had like, Grace Helbig-level followers. I could post on Tumblr hey, what do you want to read about? And people would answer. 

Maybe I should just email Grace Helbig. Now there’s an idea.

Some say it ain’t easy being green. I say it ain’t always easy being a freelance food writer. Case in point - articles like the one posted on First We Feast: 20 things everything thinks about the food world (but nobody will say). Followed by a post on the same website that deals with 20 most annoying things servers do. 

It became painfully clear that the person putting together the server article had never set foot in the back of the house. 

But, this is food writing. Where have all the Ruth Reichls gone. 

Tags: Food Ginger DIY

Yeah, yeah I know Chanukah is over - but I don’t care. It is downright freezing for an Oregon winter and I’m craving holiday doughnuts dusted in cinnamon, sugar and cardamom. 
So I’m sharing this very special recipe with you - courtesy of Tobi Sovak, baker extraordinaire. Eat responsibly. 
Tobi Sovak’s Jelly Filled Doughnuts for Chanukah, aka Sufganiyot
2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes dry yeast
2 cups cups lukewarm milk
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, room temp.
5 cups flour
1 – 2 quarts oil, for deep frying
1 jar strawberry or raspberry jam
1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, mixed together in a bowl and set aside
In the bowl of a standing mixer, sprinkle yeast over warm milk and let stand five minutes or until foamy.
Add the sugar, salt, eggs, butter and two cups flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed.
Beat in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about five minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour or a bit longer.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gently roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into circles. Let rise again until doubled in bulk.
Heat four cups of oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350. Carefully slide doughnuts into hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn the doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Doughnuts are ready when both sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and blot on paper towels. Quickly toss into the spiced sugar mixture.
Fill each doughnut with one teaspoon jelly using a pastry bag and a small pastry tip, or by cutting a small slit in the side of the doughnut and inserting the jelly with a baby spoon.
Serve immediately.

Yeah, yeah I know Chanukah is over - but I don’t care. It is downright freezing for an Oregon winter and I’m craving holiday doughnuts dusted in cinnamon, sugar and cardamom. 

So I’m sharing this very special recipe with you - courtesy of Tobi Sovak, baker extraordinaire. Eat responsibly. 

Tobi Sovak’s Jelly Filled Doughnuts for Chanukah, aka Sufganiyot

2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes dry yeast

2 cups cups lukewarm milk

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, room temp.

5 cups flour

1 – 2 quarts oil, for deep frying

1 jar strawberry or raspberry jam

1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, mixed together in a bowl and set aside

In the bowl of a standing mixer, sprinkle yeast over warm milk and let stand five minutes or until foamy.

Add the sugar, salt, eggs, butter and two cups flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed.

Beat in remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about five minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour or a bit longer.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and gently roll out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into circles. Let rise again until doubled in bulk.

Heat four cups of oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350. Carefully slide doughnuts into hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn the doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Doughnuts are ready when both sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and blot on paper towels. Quickly toss into the spiced sugar mixture.

Fill each doughnut with one teaspoon jelly using a pastry bag and a small pastry tip, or by cutting a small slit in the side of the doughnut and inserting the jelly with a baby spoon.

Serve immediately.

Tags: doughnuts food

Hey y’all! I made souffle! Read about it here in my latest Poor Taste column. 
In other news, Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” was in the big Euge. I went opening night and was completely entertained. If the show is coming to your city and you’re on the fence in regards to tickets, read my review for Ticket Files here. 
Have a great Monday!

Hey y’all! I made souffle! Read about it here in my latest Poor Taste column. 

In other news, Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” was in the big Euge. I went opening night and was completely entertained. If the show is coming to your city and you’re on the fence in regards to tickets, read my review for Ticket Files here

Have a great Monday!

Yikes, it’s September! 
Since I last posted anything original, I’ve celebrated a birthday, had a bash, went to see the always amazing and entertaining Michael Franti, went camping, made new friends and picked up loads of freelance work. I’ve been so busy it’s been wonderful. 
Here are a few things I’ve written in the past few weeks:
For Poor Taste: 
An ode to sweet summer corn, how to pickle green beans, and how to fail at making saltwater taffy. 

For the Eugene Weekly: 
A run down of the music lineups for the annual Eugene Celebration and a preview for the Mavis Staples show coming to Eugene with Bonnie Raitt. 

For the Register Guard: 
A feature on Ginger Kesey, the graphic designer behind original artwork for Kesey Enterprises and the McDonald Theater, Cuthbert Amphitheater and Eugene Celebration. 

And, I think that’s all for now. There’s a ton of stuff in the works, possibly a new job opportunity and an upcoming Minnesota vacation. I think I’ll like September. 
What about you? 

Yikes, it’s September! 

Since I last posted anything original, I’ve celebrated a birthday, had a bash, went to see the always amazing and entertaining Michael Franti, went camping, made new friends and picked up loads of freelance work. I’ve been so busy it’s been wonderful. 

Here are a few things I’ve written in the past few weeks:

For Poor Taste: 

An ode to sweet summer corn, how to pickle green beans, and how to fail at making saltwater taffy

For the Eugene Weekly: 

A run down of the music lineups for the annual Eugene Celebration and a preview for the Mavis Staples show coming to Eugene with Bonnie Raitt. 

For the Register Guard: 

A feature on Ginger Kesey, the graphic designer behind original artwork for Kesey Enterprises and the McDonald Theater, Cuthbert Amphitheater and Eugene Celebration. 

And, I think that’s all for now. There’s a ton of stuff in the works, possibly a new job opportunity and an upcoming Minnesota vacation. I think I’ll like September. 

What about you? 

Hello everyone!
I feel as if lately I find myself doing more scrolling through Tumblr hearting and reblogging things than actually posting, which kind of sucks. Here I am again, lamenting the fact I don’t blog more often… in a blog post. Hmmm.
In addition to checking out Matchbook, that AMAZING Tumblr that pairs book covers with bikinis, here are a few things I’m hoping you’ll consider reading this week: 
Before we begin, yes… this is shameless promotion, as all these articles were written by me. 
1: Discovering delectable summer relishes - perfect toppings for any grilled meat. A recent column for Poor Taste
2: How to turn a regular old piece of salmon into cured gravlax. In two days. It’s pretty awesome and delicious. I’m sorry if you don’t live in the PNW and your salmon runs more than $10 a pound. 
3: Turn three different kinds of fruit into delicious pickles - pickle cherries, strawberries, and watermelon rind. Not only do I tell you how to do it, but I offer suggestions for what to eat with your tangy pickles. One of my cookbook hero’s Karen Solomon retweeted my tweet about this, and I almost peed my pants I was so excited. I did this piece for Culinate. 
4: Now for something I really hope you read: Nicki Maxwell’s RAFT Garden in Eugene.
Did you know that living in Oregon means I also live in Salmon Nation? A few years ago a man named Gary Nabhan divided our nation into different food nations depending on the heirloom foods that are native to each region. My parents, living in North Dakota live in Bison Nation, and when I lived in Tahoe I lived in Pinola Nut Nation. 
I’m fascinated about this - and what it means for us. See, RAFT stands for Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and that’s what Maxwell’s garden is all about. She discovered Nabhan’s book and researched the endangered foods of Salmon Nation. For the past few years she’s been growing the endangered foods in her RAFT garden for the purpose of saving and spreading the seeds. 
Bottom line - our biodiversity has been lost, and we are approaching a precipice. Now is the time to embrace our separate Nation’s specialties and help nurture them back from extinction. Screw Monsanto. Read Nicki’s journey - and maybe get inspired to take RAFT into your one life. 
I think that’s all for now. Next week I’ll be back with tales of silly summer dessert, picnic tips, and more. 

Hello everyone!

I feel as if lately I find myself doing more scrolling through Tumblr hearting and reblogging things than actually posting, which kind of sucks. Here I am again, lamenting the fact I don’t blog more often… in a blog post. Hmmm.

In addition to checking out Matchbook, that AMAZING Tumblr that pairs book covers with bikinis, here are a few things I’m hoping you’ll consider reading this week: 

Before we begin, yes… this is shameless promotion, as all these articles were written by me. 

1: Discovering delectable summer relishes - perfect toppings for any grilled meat. A recent column for Poor Taste

2: How to turn a regular old piece of salmon into cured gravlax. In two days. It’s pretty awesome and delicious. I’m sorry if you don’t live in the PNW and your salmon runs more than $10 a pound. 

3: Turn three different kinds of fruit into delicious pickles - pickle cherries, strawberries, and watermelon rind. Not only do I tell you how to do it, but I offer suggestions for what to eat with your tangy pickles. One of my cookbook hero’s Karen Solomon retweeted my tweet about this, and I almost peed my pants I was so excited. I did this piece for Culinate. 

4: Now for something I really hope you read: Nicki Maxwell’s RAFT Garden in Eugene.

Did you know that living in Oregon means I also live in Salmon Nation? A few years ago a man named Gary Nabhan divided our nation into different food nations depending on the heirloom foods that are native to each region. My parents, living in North Dakota live in Bison Nation, and when I lived in Tahoe I lived in Pinola Nut Nation. 

I’m fascinated about this - and what it means for us. See, RAFT stands for Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and that’s what Maxwell’s garden is all about. She discovered Nabhan’s book and researched the endangered foods of Salmon Nation. For the past few years she’s been growing the endangered foods in her RAFT garden for the purpose of saving and spreading the seeds. 

Bottom line - our biodiversity has been lost, and we are approaching a precipice. Now is the time to embrace our separate Nation’s specialties and help nurture them back from extinction. Screw Monsanto. Read Nicki’s journey - and maybe get inspired to take RAFT into your one life. 

I think that’s all for now. Next week I’ll be back with tales of silly summer dessert, picnic tips, and more. 

We be deep in strawberry season and I have been taking full advantage, consuming more berries than I probably should. 
Tired of the usual strawberry recipes, I had an epiphany and decided to pickle a pint. 
Results? Lip smacking! Read about it, and get the recipe in my column for Poor Taste here. 

We be deep in strawberry season and I have been taking full advantage, consuming more berries than I probably should. 

Tired of the usual strawberry recipes, I had an epiphany and decided to pickle a pint. 

Results? Lip smacking! Read about it, and get the recipe in my column for Poor Taste here. 

“Do you want me to remove your carrot tops?” asked the woman checking my groceries. I looked at her a bit confused, admitting no one had ever asked me that before. She offered again to simply twist them off and throw them away, but I quickly answered “Thank you, but no.”
I was like a kid who didn’t want a toy until someone else picked it up. I wanted those carrot tops! After getting home, I unpacked my purchases and pondered my tops. It didn’t feel right just to chuck them, after I had made such a stand at the store. The plan for dinner was a slow roasted porketta with carrots and rutabaga. I had also grabbed a bundle of skinny asparagus, and I now eyed them carefully. Carrot tops were going to fit in somewhere, I could feel the idea brewing.
I grabbed my processor and threw a big handful of pine nuts in the toaster oven. In the processor went three cloves of garlic, a rough chop of all the tops, a few sprigs of fresh mint and a few leaves of thyme, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of olive oil. After the pine nuts finished toasting, I threw them in and tasted my creation. It was what the color green should taste like – herbal with a slight bite, a zing of bitterness with a wallop of garlic. Carrot top pesto?
I have a giant jar of preserved lemons in my fridge I’ve been holding on to for over a year. I sliced one and preheated a cast iron skillet. In went a little oil, some sliced brown mushrooms, the preserved lemon, and the asparagus. On top went a healthy spoonful of carrot top pesto, mixing with all the flavors.
This was the best surprise sauce I’ve made in a while. Not only did I slather more on my asparagus, I heaped it on slices of porketta, using it as a sort of chimichurri. Today I mixed it into my homemade salad dressing, tossing it with romaine and grilled chicken. I even contemplated using it as dip for crudité.
If I can offer one piece of advice, it’s this:
Never throw away carrot tops again! 

“Do you want me to remove your carrot tops?” asked the woman checking my groceries. I looked at her a bit confused, admitting no one had ever asked me that before. She offered again to simply twist them off and throw them away, but I quickly answered “Thank you, but no.”

I was like a kid who didn’t want a toy until someone else picked it up. I wanted those carrot tops! After getting home, I unpacked my purchases and pondered my tops. It didn’t feel right just to chuck them, after I had made such a stand at the store. The plan for dinner was a slow roasted porketta with carrots and rutabaga. I had also grabbed a bundle of skinny asparagus, and I now eyed them carefully. Carrot tops were going to fit in somewhere, I could feel the idea brewing.

I grabbed my processor and threw a big handful of pine nuts in the toaster oven. In the processor went three cloves of garlic, a rough chop of all the tops, a few sprigs of fresh mint and a few leaves of thyme, salt, pepper, and a generous amount of olive oil. After the pine nuts finished toasting, I threw them in and tasted my creation. It was what the color green should taste like – herbal with a slight bite, a zing of bitterness with a wallop of garlic. Carrot top pesto?

I have a giant jar of preserved lemons in my fridge I’ve been holding on to for over a year. I sliced one and preheated a cast iron skillet. In went a little oil, some sliced brown mushrooms, the preserved lemon, and the asparagus. On top went a healthy spoonful of carrot top pesto, mixing with all the flavors.

This was the best surprise sauce I’ve made in a while. Not only did I slather more on my asparagus, I heaped it on slices of porketta, using it as a sort of chimichurri. Today I mixed it into my homemade salad dressing, tossing it with romaine and grilled chicken. I even contemplated using it as dip for crudité.

If I can offer one piece of advice, it’s this:

Never throw away carrot tops again! 

My latest column for Poor Taste has me exploring flavored salt and sugar - find 10 ways to enhance these building blocks of flavor. It’s exciting, trust me.

If so, you probably also like food. And the combination of the two? Now that’s some Ratatouille-style magic, right? 

I spent a few weeks getting to know many of the local brewers in Eugene, quizzing them about beer and food pairings, and what works best with their specific beers and the food on their specific menus.

The article ran today in the Register Guard, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.  Definitely makes me want a pint, or two 

Get in my (pork) Belly!
Are you interested in learning about the myriad of ways to utilize pork belly (or marbled maven, as I like to call it)? 
Read my latest Poor Taste column to get the goods. 

Get in my (pork) Belly!

Are you interested in learning about the myriad of ways to utilize pork belly (or marbled maven, as I like to call it)? 

Read my latest Poor Taste column to get the goods.