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Colorful Cauliflower

Category : Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Colorful CauliflowerCauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables. I like it eaten raw with dips, or simply steamed and sprinkled with a little salt. It combines well with other vegetables as well.

My daughter came home from the store at Boxx Berry Farm recently with two beautiful colors of cauliflower (two different varieties). One was a rich deep purple and the other was “cheddar”–a light orange color similar to the color of cheddar cheese. Together the two were lovely, so I decided to use them together in this dish. Continue Reading

Shellout Beans

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Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Shellout BeansI always enjoy learning to use familiar foods in a new and different way. For years I’ve eaten green beans, but it had never occurred to me to remove the pods and have only the beans inside.

In the fall after most green beans have been harvested, there’s always some left on the vine whose pods have become large and tough. They’re really too tough to eat as usual by steaming them. Continue Reading

New Foods From the Familiar

Category : Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

New Foods MenuWhen you go to a grocery store to buy produce, you don’t usually expect to learn anything about the fruits and vegetables available. The store may have recipe cards nearby, but in general you already need to know what to do with what you purchase.

One of the wonderful things about shopping at local farm stands (small stores located on the farms) and talking to home gardeners is getting to learn about food from the experts–the people who grow the food themselves. To me, that’s a priceless benefit. Continue Reading

Quick Pickled Beets and Eggs

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Category : Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Pickled Beets and EggsMy personal favorite pickled food is pickled beet eggs. As a child, when my grandmother opened a jar of her pickled beets, she would remove beets to serve and then fill the jar space with peeled hard boiled eggs. By the next day, when we sliced the eggs open, the colors were gorgeous! The egg whites were deep purple on the outside, shading to white around the bright yellow yolks (see photo). Beautiful! The flavor was delightful, too–the tang of pickled beets balanced with the mild taste of hard-boiled eggs. Perfect!

As soon as I spotted the first fresh beets at the Farmers Market this year, I was eager to get them home and into pickling juice as quickly as possible. Because I planned to eat them in the next few days, I used a “refrigerator pickle” recipe. Continue Reading

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Category : Make It Yourself, Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Pickled Beets MenuIt’s pickling season! If the idea of making pickles conjures up hours of  sterilizing jars, trimming and peeling pounds of produce, and wondering later if the lids sealed safely–relax! You can certainly go through that whole process if you enjoy it (as I do), but there’s also a much easier way to prepare homemade pickles.

Several vegetables commonly pickled can be  prepared as “refrigerator pickles.” Refrigerator pickles won’t keep as long as pickles canned the traditional way, but they are fast to make and will last from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the vegetables and the recipe you use. Continue Reading

Sour Cream Plum Pie

Category : Desserts, Recipes, Vegetarian

Sour Cream Plum PieThis recipe was quite a challenge. First I had to figure out how to substitute honey for sugar in a pie crust that is essentially a replacement for a graham cracker pie crust. The dough was similar to the texture of silly putty, but had a beautiful silken sheen from the honey. When I first put the crust in the oven to bake, I expected it to melt to the bottom of the pie plate. Happily, that didn’t happen! The crust didn’t shrink at all during cooking. Continue Reading

Locavore Baking

Category : Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Locavore BakingBaking using only local ingredients presents some difficult problems. First of all, there’s the grain used to make flour. No wheat is grown commercially in Whatcom County that I know of. We’re fortunate, though, to have a flour mill based in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham. They try to get grains from as close to home as possible, and they grind them here in the County. That’s local enough for me, at least until someone figures out how to grow wheat in this climate reliably. Continue Reading

Marinated Bean Salad

Category : Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Marinated Bean SaladAt my local Farmers Market last weekend, Nettles Farm (Lummi Island) had three varieties of beans available–green beans, wax beans, and my favorite Dragon’s Tongue beans. Wax beans are like green beans, but the pod is a pale yellow color.  Dragon’s Tongue beans have yellow-green pods with dark maroon patches all over (see a few beside the bowl in the photo on this page). They’re quite lovely! Continue Reading

Baking Powder Biscuits

Category : Breads, Breakfast, Recipes

vMy mother and my grandmother come to mind when I think of baking powder biscuits. Both knew how to make them light and flaky, a perfect complement to almost any meat and vegetable meal. Continue Reading

Crab Meat Sauté

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Crab Meat SauteOne of the special pleasures of living on the Northwest coast is the access to fresh seafood. When they’re in season, it’s easy to find crab, salmon, and other ocean delicacies caught in our local waters. Continue Reading

Harvest Vegetables–and Crab!

Category : Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Harvest Vegetables and Crab MenuWhile I’m not a vegetarian, at this time of the year I easily could be. The diversity of locally grown vegetables being harvested now is a wonder to see and delightful to taste. However, when a friend offers some fresh crab they just caught and cooked, thoughts of being vegetarian succumb to the flavor of fresh seafood. Continue Reading