Saturday, August 12, 2017

Salmon with Pappardelle and a Brandy Cream Sauce #SundaySupper

Salmon with Pappardelle and a Brandy Cream Sauce
Can’t believe we are in the last leg of summer, it’s amazing how time flies. I don’t know about you but I feel like summer never really got started here in the PNW. Many of our veggies and berries came later in the season as the winter weather clung on long and hard.

Summer vacation is quickly coming to an end and the kids will be back in school. It’s a Sunday Supper post again and this time we are sharing our best back-to-school dinners. All-in-one dinners, skillet dinners, any dinner recipe that makes life easier for a busy parent that the whole family will love. Please be sure and check the links below to see what everyone else in the Sunday Supper club has brought to the table. Many thanks to our event manager, Em Beitel of Life Tastes Good. Thank you Em!

This meal is quick to prepare and easy to serve. Canned salmon or tuna can be easily subbed for the fresh salmon. Instead of the spinach swap out frozen peas, in the coolers months, butternut squash. Versatile, quick and easy, perfect for those fast paced school nights.

Salmon with Pappardelle and a Brandy Cream Sauce


  • 8 ounces pappardelle
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the water before draining.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add olive oil. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Cook salmon in hot oil 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate; flake into large pieces with a fork.
  3. In the same skillet add the garlic with a couple dashes of salt. Cook about 2 minutes then add all the spinach, cook until the spinach wilts stirring to coat with the garlic, transfer to plate with salmon flakes.
  4. To make the cream sauce once again in the same skillet over medium-high heat, add butter, when melted add green onion and sauté until tender, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in broth and brandy. Cook about 5 minutes or until mixture is reduced (should coat back of spoon).
  5. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper if desired.
  6. To Serve, gently combine pasta, salmon and spinach with brandy sauce. If a looser sauce is desired add some of the pasta water. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
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Beef and Pork

Pastas, Soups, Rice and Stews


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Buttermilk Peach Scones #ISW2017

Fresh Peach Scones
It's international scone week (ISW) and I'm linking up with the talented Tandy Sinclair from Lavender and Lime who is hosting this grand event. This is my second time participating and I’m very excited to be involved. If you would like to take part; create and blog a scone recipe and post it August 7th through the 13th. Link back to this post on Tandy’s site and use the hash tag #ISW2017. Tandy will also showcase all the recipes on her sidebar for the entire year. Sounds like fun right?

For ISW I am sharing these Buttermilk Peach Scones. For this recipe I used fresh unpeeled diced peaches. The peaches must not be too ripe or your dough will get too wet and sticky. The other thing to keep in mind here is that the sweetness of the scones is dependent upon how sweet your peaches are. This scone is more biscuit like than muffin like in texture and not too sweet. You could always add a glaze, I think a cinnamon glaze would work well if you would like a little extra flavor.

Fresh Peach Scones Up close

Yield: 8

Buttermilk Fresh Peach Scones


  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter (cubed)
  • ¾ cup fresh peaches, leave skins on, cut into small dice


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the buttermilk and egg together until frothy and set aside. In a large bowl, blend the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and blend the mixture with your fingertips, until you have no lumps larger than a pea. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Now add the peaches, gently stir until everything is combined. This is a wet, sticky dough.
  3. Drop the dough by the 1/4-cupful onto the prepared pan; an ice cream scoop works well here.
  4. Place on a silpat, or prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, glaze wedges with remaining egg mixture. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 scones.
  5. Optional: Sprinkle the scones with coarse sugar, to add more sweetness and a little crunch
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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Pearl Couscous with Roasted Veggies and Basil Pesto

Pearl Couscous with Roasted Veggies and Basil Pesto
It’s been a busy week around here. Yesterday we drove up the coast to Cannon Beach to visit with friends. "S" is a fantastic gardener, cook and canner so you can only imagine the great time we had. She gifted us a fabulous jar of her current and raspberry jam, which we enjoyed this morning on toast. What makes this jam even more special is that she grows her own berries.

I love this dish and the fact that it is so versatile. I purposely left the title ambiguous. In the end I felt that the word “veggies” opens up the recipe to more seasonal eating. As you can imagine the base of pearl couscous will go with most any vegetable. Next time I will prepare this with slow cooked cherry tomatoes, garlic and maybe some arugula. Normally I prepare pearl couscous like rice, but this time I lightly toasted them in olive oil first to give them a slight nutty flavor. A drizzle of pesto before serving adds even more beautiful color and a nice flavor punch. If you have access to fresh herbs this time of year try making your own, it’s the best way to go.

Pearl Couscous with Roasted Veggies and Basil Pesto

Pearl Couscous with Roasted Veggies and Basil Pesto


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium summer squash, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup packed basil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Salt and pepper


  1. To Cook Pearl Couscous: heat olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan add 1 cup pearl couscous and stir until lightly browned about 5 minutes. Add water, and bring to a boil, simmer and cover about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and spread on a large baking sheet to cool, serve warm or at room temperature.
  2. You can grill or roast the veggies, this time I roasted them for roughly 25 to 35 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. While in the oven make the pesto.
  3. To Make The Pesto: Place the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and Parmesan into the bowl of a food processor and pulse. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. While the food processor is running, add the olive oil in a steady stream. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To Put Dish Together: Spoon couscous on serving platter, cut veggies into bite size pieces and place on top, drizzle with pesto. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Summer Vegetable Tian

Summer Vegetable Tian
Is there such a thing as eating too many veggies? I don’t think so but if there was I’d be in trouble. I’ve been averaging two farmers market’s plus my own garden every week for the last few months. And because one of the main reasons for such markets and a garden is to eat the freshest veggies and fruits available, it doesn’t make sense for me to have produce sitting around for days in the fridge. So with thoughts bent on using as many and a mix of veggies, I decided upon this Vegetable Tian.

A tian itself is a dish of chopped vegetables that are usually layered with overlapping veggies baked in the oven au gratin style. I sautéed onions and two cloves of garlic together, placed this on the casserole bottom and then layered the veggies around in the same pattern, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and tomato. The veggies were topped with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. This dish baked up in 40 minutes and the house smelled divine. I love all the bright summery color and the flavors all meld together perfectly. What’s your favorite summer veggie?

Summer Veggie Tian

Summer Vegetable Tian

This vegetable tian represents the colors and flavors of summer. For best results try to find vegetables about the same size.


  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound eggplant, sliced unpeeled, into ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced unpeeled into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 pound summer squash, sliced unpeeled into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 pound tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Brush a large baking casserole with olive oil. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Layer vegetable slices alternately in baking dish on top of the onions, fitting them as close as possible, make only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Place dish in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tops just start to lightly brown. Garnish with parsley and chives. Serve hot out of the oven, warm or room temperature.
  4. This dish is great as is but it would also be great served as a side dish or atop rice or pasta noodles.
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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom Sandwich #SundaySupper

Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom Sandwich

The first time I made my husband a veggie sandwich I was a little apprehensive. But that quickly changed once he declared it one of the best sandwiches he’s ever had. You see he loves sandwiches of all kinds especially meat laden ones with lots of extra goodies, so this was a fairly big compliment. Anyway, I have made this sandwich many ways, one of my favorites is this combo and the other is an eggplant variation which I have posted before. If you decide to make this, have fun choosing the veggies, cheese options, and bread type.

The beauty is that you can grill or roast your favorite combo of veggies all at the same time. During the summer we grill to keep the heat out of the house. The trick to have evenly cooked veggies is to sear your vegetables over high heat, then move the faster cooking veggies to the cooler part of the grill as the others finish up.

It’s a Sunday Supper post again. And this time it’s all about sandwiches, just in time for the month of August which happens to be National Sandwich Month! Please be sure and check the links below to see what everyone else in the Sunday Supper club has brought to the table. Many thanks to our event manager, Em Beitel of Life Tastes Good. Thank you Em!

Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom Sandwich

Yield: 2 to 4, (this makes 2 very large sandwiches or 4 petit ones)

Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom Sandwich #SundaySupper


  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise about ¼ inch thick
  • 2 large Portobello mushrooms, scales scooped out of caps, cut into large strips
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced lengthwise about ½ inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of both salt and pepper
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • Feta slices or crumbles
  • Olive tapenade
  • ¼ slab Herb focaccia


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper, set aside.
  3. Brush zucchini, eggplants, mushrooms and red onion with olive oil mixture.
  4. Grill veggies until grill marks form (2-3 minutes); flip, and grill until tender (3-4 minutes more), move the faster cooking veggies to the cooler part of the grill as the others finish up.
  5. Cut focaccia into 2 pieces; slice each in half. Brush bottoms evenly with olive oil, place tops and bottom on grill until lightly browned. Remove from grill.
  6. Slather enough olive tapenade on one side of the sandwich, layer half of the veggie and onion slices among each sandwich. Top each sandwich with feta cheese, and top with focaccia. Wrap in waxed or parchment paper, enjoy!!!
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Simple Sandwich Recipes That Will Make You Love Lunch #SundaySupper

Any day 'Wiches

Any time 'Wiches

Anywhere 'Wiches

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Final Month Cottage Cooking Club

Once again it’s time for our cooking club to gather together and post our recipes for the month of July. But what makes this post even more special is that this month marks the sixth and final month of our second project for our international online cooking group. We are a group of blogger's from around the world that collectively post our pictures and experiences as we cook along with two of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's cookbooks. The books are, "River Cottage Every Day" and "Love Your Leftovers". Our group is meant to be a project aimed at incorporating more seasonal dishes in our everyday cooking. Andrea of "The Kitchen Lioness" is our dedicated founder and leader. The goal is to cook and share as many recipes from either cookbook of our choosing. This month I decided to shake things up a little bit as I will be sharing two recipes that I enjoyed this month and then share one recipe from each book that was a favorite during this online cooking adventure.

Muesli with blueberries, orange juice, strawberry jam and yogurt
The first recipe I prepared was Muesli with blueberries, oranges and yogurt. Why I waited so long to make this myself I’m not sure maybe because I always enjoy the one from Bob’s Red Mill. For this recipe I combined dates, raisins, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts and flax seed. You can use different seeds, fruits and grains, whatever you have available. Muesli will keep for several weeks in an airtight container in the fridge. To serve; measure out about 1/3 cup into a cereal bowl, then add a small amount of orange juice and milk, let sit about 5 to 10 minutes to soften. Enjoy! I added a few blueberries, some Greek yogurt, a dab of strawberry jam and a drizzle of honey. FANTASTIC! The perfect way to start your day.

Roast Carrots with Butter, Cumin and Orange

The second was a bright and easy side dish made with young summer carrots. The carrots were so fresh that I gave them a good scrubbing and then cut them in half lengthwise. (no reason to peel) These carrots were roasted with olive oil, butter, cumin seed and a little honey. They caramelized beautifully and as soon as I removed them from the oven I added orange juice and the zest. It’s amazing the range of flavors and textures that root veggies bring to a dish. I will make this dish again and dress it up depending on the season and what spices and herbs I have available. Funny how such a humble ingredient can achieve so much flavor.

Spiced Fig Compote with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

My favorite recipe from, "River Cottage Every Day" hands down was the Spiced Fig Compote with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Here dried figs were soaked in water and then drained. The liquid was reserved and then the figs were added back in along with some brown sugar, honey, cardamom, star anise, cinnamon stick and a peel of an orange. This flavorful mixture was cooked down until a syrup consistency was achieved. I served this fruit dessert warm with vanilla bean ice cream.

Potted Smoked Fish
My favorite from Love Your Leftovers" was the Potted smoked fish. In this dish I used leftover hot smoked salmon, parsley, dill, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Another amazing combination that is great on toast, and delicious with pasta.

I also would like to take this time to thank Andrea from "The Kitchen Lioness for her leadership and inspiration. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude for your time, support, and patience.

To see the postings of what other Cottage Cooking Club Members prepared as their final dishes, click here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hot Pack Preserving, Jam and Pickles #fijchallenge

Hot Pack Preserving,  Blueberry Basil Jam and Pickles #fijchallenge
We are now in the seventh month of our year-long food preservation Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa of the popular canning blog, "Food In Jars". This month we are focusing on hot pack preserving. While I thought I understood the difference between hot and cold pack preserving, it wasn’t until this month that I finally “got” the difference. Basically the more you heat your food the softer it becomes. So while my pickles ended up with great flavor; the texture was a little softer than a store bought one. Still loads of flavor but if you like a more crisp pickle, cold pack preserving is a much better choice. Now for jam making the hot pack method is perfect, it all depends on what you are canning and how you would like the end result to be. This month I made a low sugar blueberry and basil jam and a small batch of bread and butter pickles.

I've learning a LOT about preserving foods and most of it is due to Marisa’s well organized and informative website. Thank you Marisa!

For the blueberry basil jam I followed the recipe from the Sure-Jell box except I used the plate test to tell when the jam was done and ready to scoop into jars.

Blueberry Basil Jam

For the bread and butter pickles I followed Marisa’s recipe exactly except I omitted the sliced red bell peppers, recipe here.

Bread and Butter Pickles

Yield: 6 to 7 half pints

Blueberry Basil Jam


  • 6 cups of smashed blueberries (you’ll need 8-10 cups of unsquashed berries to equal this amount)
  • 4 cups cane sugar
  • 1 box Sure Jell (the pink box)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ bunch fresh basil
  • Cheesecloth


  1. Prepare a canning pot and 6 to 7 half pint jars with lids and bring to a boil, let simmer at least 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare cheesecloth by cutting a large square, place basil in the middle and then tie ends together, set aside.
  3. Pour the smashed berries into a large wide, non-reactive pot, stir-in lemon juice and add basil packet. Combine ¼ cup sugar from the measured amount and 1 pkg of the Sure Jell in a small bowl, then stir into fruit. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Then add-in the rest of the sugar, keep stirring.
  4. Now this is where I got confused, still unclear. But the directions on the Sure Jell box says to boil one minute longer and then start scooping the jam into jars. Instead I tried the plate test, (see link above). My jam needed more cooking time. When jam passes the test, remove pot from heat, remove basil bag and funnel into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  5. When time is up, remove jars from canner and set them on a dish towel to cool. You will hear the lids on the jars start to pop soon after. Test the seals by grasping the edges of the lid and lifting the jar. If the lids hold tight, the jars are sealed. If any of the seals are compromised, refrigerate and eat right away.
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