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Yogurt Cheese Dip

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

Yogurt Cheese DipFor the 2011 Whatcom County Farm Tour, I went to BelleWood Acres to do cooking demonstrations featuring dishes made with their stellar apples. I chose recipes that would allow me to show some locavore techniques which could be used for many purposes, and this recipe was perfect. Continue Reading

Locavore Mayonnaise

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Category : Recipes, Sauces and Dips

I had difficulty naming this recipe. Let me explain.

It all began with the idea of making a mayonnaise recipe that didn’t use vegetable oil, which is  not produced in Whatcom County. What I ended up with was a mixture which had the consistency of mayonnaise and a wonderful tangy flavor, but not a typical mayonnaise flavor.  Continue Reading

Yogurt Cucumber Dill Dressing

Category : Condiments, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Yogurt Cucumber Dill DressingFast and flavorful, this dill salad dressing combines well with nearly any salad ingredients. It’s smooth enough to go with spicier ones such as arugula, mesclun salad mixes, etc., but also adds enough flavor to perk up blander ingredients, such as hard-boiled eggs or plain lettuce.

Since no salad oil is produced here in Whatcom County that I know of, I’m constantly looking for alternatives for dressing bases. The tangy taste of yogurt is light enough to go with most greens, and also combines well with many herbs.  You can achieve a rich variety of flavors by blending yogurt with such fresh local herbs as lemon balm, sorrel, basil, dill and more. Don’t forget the garlic! Continue Reading

Spring Salad Menu

Category : June, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Spring Salad MenuIt’s that wonderful time of the year for putting together spring salads with enough variety to make a meal unto themselves! Gardens and farms are currently harvesting a cornucopia of lettuces, mixed salad greens and other salad vegetables. Continue Reading

Cooking With Local Herbs

Category : May, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Herbed Meatballs MenuYou may already be cooking with “fresh” herbs from the grocery store, but if you haven’t tried locally grown fresh herbs you’re in for a delightful experience. The difference in flavor between dried herbs and fresh herbs, even fresh herbs shipped for long distances, is huge, but local freshness boosts the flavor by yet another quantum leap.

When you work with local farm fresh herbs, the first difference you’ll notice is the fragrance. Chopping herbs for a recipe is one of my favorite cooking activities. The scent is exquisite, and you can easily judge the freshness of your herbs by the smell alone. Continue Reading

Raspberry Yogurt Cheese Dessert

Category : Desserts, Recipes, Snacks

Photo of Raspberry Yogurt Cheese DessertSometimes I happen to create a recipe that is a serendipitous combination of simplicity and deliciousness. This recipe is a perfect example. It’s so good!

It starts with some homemade yogurt cheese. Add the flavor of fresh mint and some local honey for sweetness. Finally, I had some frozen raspberries from last summer in the freezer, and I put those on the top.

The result was unbelievable. Be quick when you serve it to friends or family or you may not get any for yourself! Continue Reading

Exploring Local Cheeses

Category : May, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Photo of Explore Local Cheeses MenuArtisan cheeses are one of the great joys of locavore eating in Whatcom County. Several local farms produce traditional and gourmet cheeses which are available year round.

I recently visited Appel Farms (Ferndale). Their family-owned dairy has been producing a wide variety of delicious cheeses for over 30 years. You can browse the coolers in their retail store, the Cheese Shoppe, located right on the farm, open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Each cooler has an inviting array of tasting samples so you can readily savor the flavors and styles of cheese available. It’s a culinary adventure since Appel’s products range from familiar cheddars and feta to less well known varieties like paneer and quark. Their aged, smoked, and flavored gouda cheeses are my personal favorites. Try their red pepper gouda–a tasty delight! Continue Reading

Herbed Yogurt Dressing

Category : Condiments, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Photo of Herbed Yogurt DressingThis dressing is so simple that the incredible flavor is almost shocking. If you have any doubts that local farm fresh food tastes better than food that’s been harvested elsewhere and shipped long distances, try this dressing. You’ll never go back.

Uses for this dressing are only limited by your imagination. Obviously it goes well with salads, but try it also on warm vegetables, over baked potatoes,  or as a dip for raw veggies. Or just drink it. Okay, I’m kidding, but trust me–you’ll be tempted to take a sip! Continue Reading

Special Breakfast for Special Days

Category : May, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Photo of Special Breakfast MenuPeople sometimes think that by limiting themselves to food produced locally, locavores are also limiting themselves to plain, simple, boring dishes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While farm fresh local food often has so much natural flavor that little needs to be done to make it delectable, you can also get as fancy as you like with the same ingredients.

This week’s menu includes Savory Stuffed French Toast, a perfect dish for making any breakfast extra special. I prepared it on Mother’s Day recently, and it’s also suitable for birthdays, brunches, or for overnight guests. Continue Reading

Cucumber Yogurt Salad

Category : Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian

Photo of Cucumber Yogurt SaladOnly a locavore can understand the excitement I felt when I saw the beautiful long English cucumbers from Dominion Organics in Ferndale in the produce rack at Terra Organica. The first appearance of any variety of fresh produce in the spring is like running into an old friend you haven’t seen for awhile. It’s always cause for celebration. Dominion grows these early beauties in their greenhouse so they can be harvested while the soil is still far too cool for planting them outside in the garden.

When I talked with the produce person to confirm these were definitely grown locally, they also noted happily that the “plastic” wrap around each individual cucumber was completely biodegradable. That was good news, too. Continue Reading

Yogurt, Chives, and Sorrel Dressing

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Category : Recipes, Salads

Photo of Salad with Yogurt, Chives and Sorrel Salad DressingGreenhouses allow us to enjoy fresh salad greens most of the year here in Whatcom County. DEVine Gardens has a colorful mix of various tender greens that I really enjoy.

Making a local dressing is a bit of a challenge, though. To the best of my knowledge, no one in Whatcom County produces a salad oil, the basis of most salad dressing recipes. The next alternative is frequently lemon juice, also not produced locally.

In this recipe I offer one possible solution for both problems. First, using yogurt as the main ingredient gives the dish a creamy texture similar to that given by salad oil. Second, the leaves of the sorrel plant have an acidic, lemony tang that is quite delicious. Continue Reading

Raspberry Soup

Category : Breakfast, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Photo of Raspberry SoupIt’s hard to find locally grown fruit in the grocery stores in winter. I love my freezer at this time of the year. I was rummaging in the fruit section of my freezer and found a bag of beautiful frozen raspberries from last summer’s harvest in my friend Nancy’s garden. I froze them spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then put them in a plastic freezer bag. That way the berries don’t stick together. After months in the freezer, the color was still so beautiful and the flavor was so sweet that I didn’t add any sweetener to this recipe. You could add a tablespoon or two of local honey if your berries are more tart. Continue Reading

Dressed Up Breakfast Menu

Category : March, Seasonal Menu Ideas, Vegetarian

Photo of Dressed Up Breakfast MenuEggs and hash brown potatoes are a classic American breakfast combination. For this week’s menu I wanted to offer a little bit fancier version of the standard–and delicious!–breakfast fare.

In earlier articles I talked about sources for local eggs, potatoes, and cheese. The new ingredient this time is creamy Golden Guernsey Yogurt from Grace Harbor Farms made from non-pasteurized whole milk. I also used some raspberries from last summer that have been waiting for just this moment in my freezer.

This menu also requires a note about salt and black pepper, neither of which are produced in Whatcom County. It would be possible to create salt by dehydrating seawater. Evaporation would take forever in our humid climate. Boiling off the liquid would take many hours, perhaps even days–not exactly an efficient use of energy. Peppercorns, as far as I know, can’t be grown in our climate at all. Continue Reading