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Holiday Appetizers

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Category : Holidays, Recipes, Sauces and Dips, Snacks, Vegetarian

Holiday Appetizers - Whatcom MagazineSeveral holiday appetizer recipes I created were published in the November 19, 2010, issue of Whatcom Magazine.  If you’re looking for snacks for visiting friends, you might want to take a look. Continue Reading

Cilantro Root Mashed Potatoes

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Category : Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Cilantro Root Mashed Potatoes (See to the right and behind the bowl in the photo.) She said she had seen it used in Asian dishes.

At first I was baffled. The roots were so woody that I couldn’t imagine how to prepare them in a way that would make them easy to chew. Finally I found a suggestion online to pan fry the chopped roots to make them a little crispy, and then grind them up with a mortar and pestle. Continue Reading

Celeriac Slaw

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Category : Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Celeriac SlawCeleriac is currently in season early winter, and I thought it might make an interesting flavor twist if used as a non-traditional ingredient in a traditional dish. I’ve been experimenting with ways to prepare it. Celeriac is also called celery root, which is exactly what it is. It’s whitish, typically about the size of a baseball or  softball,  and has little flat stems sprouting out of it every so often randomly. It kind of looks like an organic alien spacecraft…or something. Continue Reading

Chanterelle Cheese Sauce

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Sauces and Dips, Vegetarian

Chanterelle Cheese SauceSome sauce recipes have become “classics” known to everyone. For example, experienced cooks learn how to make an Alfredo sauce, a buttery bechamel, and an herbed tomato sauce.

One reason these sauces are classics is their versatility. They can be used in many ways with many different ingredients. For example, bechamel sauce can be used as is over potatoes, or as the basis of a mustard sauce for chicken or a creamy herb sauce for steamed vegetables. Herbed tomato sauce can be served over pasta, grilled meats, or spread on toasted bread as a crostini appetizer. Continue Reading

Variations on a Theme

Category : November, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Variations on a Theme MenuHoliday get-togethers usually center around a meal, and potlucks are an easy way to spread out the work as well as enjoy new recipes. I’m always looking for ideas to fix a traditional dish in a new way for my potluck contributions. My goal is to satisfy those who aren’t comfortable venturing too far afield (gastronomically speaking) and also to stimulate those explorers who enjoy trying something different. A potluck dish also has to be easy to pack and carry, and preferably doesn’t require re-heating or fussing with before serving. Continue Reading

Vegetable Pot Pie

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Vegetable Pot Pie ServingFall root vegetables are the theme of this one-pot dish of stick-to-your-ribs goodness. Just as the cold weather begins to settle in, the local food markets begin to carry hearty, heat-holding root foods.

Potatoes, carrots, turnips, and beets are well known to most Americans. When you buy from locally grown sources, though, lesser known varieties are also available.

Celeriac (or celery root) is a root vegetable I’ve seen but had never tried cooking with before. It’s flavor is a lighter version of celery stalks, and it has a texture similar to all the common root vegetables. When cooked, it stays crisper than a cooked potato, and doesn’t have the creamy texture of a cooked beet. It’s more like a turnip, though the flavor is milder. Continue Reading

Holiday Gratitude

Category : November, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Holiday Gratitude MenuHolidays are upon us. Are you planning to serve dishes for all or part of your holiday meal with ingredients grown in Whatcom County? I’d like to give you some good reasons to do so: Continue Reading

Local Holiday Menus Made Easy

Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, December, Farmers' Markets, Holidays, Main Dishes, November, Recipes, Seasonal Menu Ideas, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Farmers MarketIf you’ve been considering planning a locavore holiday menu this year but thought it might be too hard, I’ve found just the resource for you! Bellingham Farmers Market has made it as easy as can be. Here are two complete local holiday menus, one based on poultry and one vegetarian:

Holiday Menu and Recipes (with turkey or chicken)

Holiday Vegetarian Menu and Recipes Continue Reading

Cabbage Vegetable Bake

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Cabbage Vegetable BakeMy garden (and my friends’ gardens) produced an overabundance of cabbage this year. What to do with all that cabbage?

Fortunately I enjoy cabbage, but I usually prepare it as a side dish. In order to use sufficient quantities this time, I decided I needed to come up with a main dish. Continue Reading

Garden Cleanup

Category : November, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Garden Cleanup MenuMy home garden has been taking care of itself for the past few weeks (insert ironic chuckle here) while I’ve been busy canning, pickling and freezing produce from other sources. Last weekend I finally ventured forth to see what had happened in my absence.

Let’s see, how can I emphasize this enough… CABBAGE had happened, and in a big way. There were three smallish heads, one large head, and one monster that weighed in at 10 pounds after cleaning and trimming. Continue Reading

Northwest Mushroomers Show

Category : November, Related Organizations, Seasonal Menu Ideas, Wildcrafting

Northwest Mushroomers Association - Edible MushroomsFor 21 years, the Northwest Mushroomers Association has organized a annual public show of an enormous variety of local wild mushrooms. Since I’d never attended a mushroom show before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived at Bloedel Donovan Park recently.

At the ticket table I was given a brochure to help me get oriented. I couldn’t miss the rows of tables down the center of the room containing the specimens (see photos I took), but other features weren’t as obvious. For example, experts were available at one table to help people identify wild mushrooms they’d found. Another table allowed people to try making spore prints, one of the most reliable methods of identifying mushroom genus. Continue Reading

Mushroom Stock

Category : Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian

Mushroom StockMaking soup stock is a fairly simple process, but getting the flavors balanced can be a little tricky sometimes. Not so with this mushroom stock. It’s made with the tough stems and trimmings from fresh mushrooms (though dried mushrooms could be used instead, if necessary). Just about any combination of flavorful mushrooms will work easily and taste wonderful. Continue Reading

Pasta With Mushroom Sauce

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes, Sauces and Dips, Vegetarian

Pasta With Mushroom SauceThanks to the Northwest Mushroomers Association (NMA) Show in Bellingham (see photos I took), I was able to connect with Cascadia Mushrooms and purchase a beautiful assortment of locally grown mushrooms. Many of them also grow wild in our area, and I’d encourage you to contact NMA if you are interested in learning how to identify the edible varieties. Continue Reading