Modern Pantry

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…

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.

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


It seems fitting that January is named after the two-faced Roman god Janus, because he reflects how torn I am about what to cook at this time of year. On the one hand…

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.

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