Inaugural Autumn

Here are a few quick and easy weeknight dinners that can be made in 40 minutes or less and require very little hands-on time. Best yet: The leftovers are easily packable and make for tasty lunches during the workweek. ...

Lentils

A staple in so many other parts of the world — lentils are bursting with nutrients, rich in protein, packed with fiber and slow-release carbs, incredibly versatile, and cheap to boot....

As the Season Turns, Savoring Spelt

As we dip our toes into the waters of this new season, I think you just may find that spelt is a great excuse to crack open the window and let in some of that cool autumn breeze while preheating the oven. The best of both worlds, no?...

Midsummer Italian Feast

Have you ever wondered why food in far-off places like Tuscany or Provence tastes so much better than at home? More often than not, it’s because dishes are prepared with locally grown ingredients...

When Life Gives You Lemon Balm…

Don’t despair if your yard is overrun with lemon balm at this time of year. Instead, grab big handfuls and make a delicious lemon balm simple syrup...

Summer Jewels: Blackberries

Overripe wild blackberries, warm with the sun — preferably whiffed from a hiking trail or the saddle of a bike — are the smell of summer in the Pacific Northwest....

Mint Perfect!

Mint. It grows like a weed around these parts and we might sometimes take its ubiquity for granted. Yet there is no easier way to conjure up a burst of summer sunshine than by throwing a handful of zingy, fresh mint into a dish....

Summer arrives with apricots

Apricots are one of my favorite early-summer stone fruits. I love pulling them apart at the seams and taking big, juicy bites as the soft, orange skin brushes my lips, the sourness clings to the back of my throat, and the syrupy fruit quenches my thirst....

A May Day Dinner Party

With the arrival of spring, cheerful, fragrant blossoms fill the air, and colorful, vibrant produce can be found in abundance at our local farmers markets....

Spring Brunch

Gradually, our days begin to lengthen. Young leaves unfurl in the warmth, and blossoms begin their glorious show. It feels as if the world has come alive, all sparkling and new. Mornings are especially effervescent with this vibrant energy, and I can't think of better way to celebrate this magical time of year than with friends and family gathered around the table for a spring brunch....

Emerald Forest Cake

At this time of year, a trip to the farmers market yields slim pickings for the seasonal cake baker, and for a time, this seasonal cake-recipe writer was similarly lacking in inspiration, until I turned my attention to all the wonderful local products in our store cupboards and freezers. As thoughts of hand-crafted chocolate and succulent frozen cherries came to mind, I started mulling a Pacific Northwest version of a traditional Black Forest Cake. After some local and seasonal substitutions, the result was a take on the cake that might be better than the original....

Proven Pearings

I speak from experience when I say that a pastry chef’s palette of seasonal ingredients is crowded with caramel and chocolate browns when winter rolls around. But if you look closely, there are plenty of local options for satisfying your sweet tooth. From the sweet, creamy yellow flesh of a Seckel pear, to the papery mahogany skin of the hazelnut, to the deep, dark brown of extra-dark, bittersweet chocolate, what winter’s offerings lack in bright color and flavor are made up for in richness and texture....

One Ingredient Three Ways: Dungeness Crab

The delicate but distinctive flavor of the Pacific Northwest's Dungeness crab combines winter's reality with summer's promise, making a perfect New Year's resolution....

Holidays on the Lamb

The last two months of the year are a time of celebration and giving thanks. Family and friends gather around the holiday table to reconnect and reminisce while enjoying a hearty meal together. When I was growing up, lamb often found its way onto our holiday table. An untraditional meal to many, lamb became our tradition, and to this day, the smell of lamb wafting through the house brings back all those memories of home and comfort....

The Proof is in the Parsnip

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Fine words butter no parsnips.” In other words, flattery (“buttering up”) is meaningless without the behavior to back it up. A variation of sorts on “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” it's a particularly apt turn of phrase when speaking of parsnips, that humble root vegetable whose gnarled exterior is at odds with its creamy, sweet interior....

A Very British Picnic

Surprisingly, although the British summer is often non-existent, we Brits have a splendid repertoire of traditional summer foods...

Quinoa

Food trends have a way of coming on quick and fizzling out in much the same way...

Baked Lemon, Honey, and Rosemary Cheesecake

At this quiet time of year, when the earth is still sleeping and only a few green shoots remind us that we are about to tumble headlong into the madcap cacophony of spring, the pickings are slim when it comes to seasonal produce. Instead, this luscious baked cheesecake is a celebration of those cupboard ingredients that are so easy to take for granted here in the Pacific Northwest: fresh ricotta cheese from the farmers market, our astonishing local honeys, and new farm eggs -- all imbued with intriguing hints of the rosemary that grows like a weed in our backyards. If you can get Meyer lemons, they would work wonderfully, but ordinary lemons, such as I used here, are more than fine....

Brrrrrrrrr!

When the temperatures drop, it’s time to turn to comfort menus and heartier dishes....

Farro for the Cold

Farro is part of a larger wheat family consisting of three ancient varieties: emmer, spelt, and einkorn....

Sorghum: The Versatile Grain You’ll Fall For

In our kitchen, the cooler months beg for pantry items that are versatile. I often find myself hunkering down a bit more than usual in the winter, as many of us do in Seattle, relying on old standbys like soups and stews, homemade bread, and roasted vegetables....

The Mother of All Condiments

This past fall I had the great fortune of teaching a quarter-long class on preserving to an eager audience of health-minded, highly educated individuals at Bastyr University. Using the prolific campus garden and taking cues from local farms, I built a thirteen-week course based solely on what was seasonally available to put up for the pantry. ...

Apple Chutney/ Pumpkin Butter

In late fall, gardens heave a near audible final breath and give up the last of their fruits. Fields turn fragrant with the pungent smell from fermenting fallen fruit and the last of anything sweet is gathered from bare tree branches or browning vines....

Elderflower Syrup and Pickled Maple Blossoms

Last summer on the highway home from a long weekend at Lake Chelan, I pulled my car across three lanes of traffic when I spotted a tall slender tree hunched over by the weight of its small blue berries. I had noticed the same trees on the way out to the lake, but wasn't sure they were what I thought they were – elderberries....

The Back Story on Yeast

To the uninitiated, a sourdough starter sounds like a lousy co-pilot—it's a soupy mixture of flour and water, about the color and consistency of a melted milkshake. But to see it only for its parts is to miss the beauty of the whole....

The Simple Art of Homemade Tortillas

Cooks who believe in the phrase "easy as pie" will have no problem when Cristina Zurita Ceniceros says that making flour tortillas is as simple as throwing together a pie crust....

Locally Grown Pie

Pie matters. It's dessert, yes, which all by itself is enough to rate of high importance, but pie is also a symbol of just about everything that is good and true....

The Beginners Fermentation Project: Ginger

Fermenting at home is easy, but the process is bound to leave beginners with questions unanswered. Beginners will get the best results with a starter culture specific to the project. Learn how to make Spiced Ginger Beet Relish and Fizzy Ginger Soda....

Adventures in Fermentation: Homemade Yogurt

BY AMY PENNINGTON When I was in elementary school, my mom packed my lunch every day. I wasn't one of those kids who glamorously got to wait in line for a hot lunch; I was the one with a grease-stained paper bag. On the very rare occasion, my mom would pack up a yogurt cup. I favored the kind with sweetened yogurt on top and jam-like fruit on the bottom. Thankfully, my taste buds have matured and the thought of pre-sweetened yogurt is cringe-inducing. And while I eat yogurt daily, I never considered making it at home until my friend Lynda eco-guilted me by pointing out my habit creates considerable waste from all the plastic yogurt containers I blow through. This simple...

DIY Holiday Gifting

Several holiday seasons ago, I decided to stop buying material gifts for family and friends and start making handmade presents....

You Say Tomato

I have been a dedicated home canner for years and have preserved damn near everything for stockpiling the season—jams, chutneys, sauces, drinks, tuna—you name it. ...

Adventures in Fermentation

When I was in elementary school, my mom packed my lunch every day. I wasn't one of those kids who glamorously got to wait in line for a hot lunch; I was the one with a grease-stained paper bag....

Plum Crazy

Together, plums and cherries make a happy marriage of texture and flavor: plums break down easily in cooking, and cherries hold their shape. They are both stone fruits, and maintain a slight almond essence that can be highlighted with a splash of brandy or kirsch....

Send in the Shrubs

Several summers ago I stayed on my friend Lynda's farm in the Methow Valley. As expected in eastern Washington, the long summer days saw temperatures climbing and without air conditioning (we were on a farm, after all) we suffered through the stifling heat by moving slowly and wearing sun hats. In the evenings, we would sit on the porch and sip yuzu vinegar with a splash of sparkling water and a glass full of ice. It was Lynda's trick for keeping cool and while the first sip was bracing, the second was nothing short of refreshing. An addiction was born....

Carrot Jam Sweet & Spicy Carrots

Winter is a great time of year to tackle a kitchen project that will both add to the pantry shelves and bring a little color to the gray days. While there isn't much local produce available over winter, carrots are a cold-weather standout, and a fabulously flexible vegetable—equally tasty in both sweet and savory dishes....

A Very Dainty Jelly

My grandma was a Depression era farm girl turned career woman, who went from home-canned veggies and burlap skivvies to high heels, high efficiency and a love of Betty Crocker instant cakes and Marie Callendar frozen pies....

Adventures in Tofu

The first time my husband made us tofu, one of the (many) things I could not figure out, was how he had mysteriously caused the soy milk to thicken....

Love and Walnuts

Nocino brings people together—I knew that even before I knew what nocino was. I was sitting in Trattoria Arcari in Colorno, Italy, sipping a sweet dark rich liquid when Mrs. Arcari, her apron still on, sat down next to me....

Taking Stock – Making Stock

Winter is the perfect time to move your attention from stocking your pantry to stocking your freezer. The absence of farm fresh greens brings dependence on root vegetables and alliums—perfect partners for making homemade stock....

Tomatillo Salsa/Grape Jelly

I started making this salsa at home when I overplanted tomatillos in the garden one summer and ended up with far too many. It's an amazing garnish for stewed black beans and can easily be used as a dip for chips....

Cordials

Cordials are essentially sweetened syrups infused with herbs, spice or plants. They are simple to make and offer a wide range of flavors and essences to anyone willing to experiment....