Get seasonal with spring greens, avocado and grapefruit salad

March 25, 2014

Spring is just around the corner. Can you feel it? Warmer, longer days, and daffodils and crocuses peeking through the soil all give me hope that winter day’s are almost at end.

Often, when I feel anxious for the beginning of a new season, the best way I find to welcome it into being is to begin doing so in my kitchen and, of course, by extension, onto my plate.

Spring Greens, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Spring Greens, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

A light, colorful salad is the epitome of spring, particularly if it includes small micro-greens, shoots and starts. Packed with nutrients, delicious to eat and beautiful to look at, micro-greens should be in everyone’s salad at one point or another. More readily available than they’ve ever been, they are perfect additions to smoothies, stir-fry, sandwiches or on fresh roasted fish as a garnish with berries.

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Recipe shows eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore

February 18, 2014

When I was growing up, my mother often served eggs for dinner. The idea that we could have what was usually a breakfast food for dinner was a fun and unique thing for us. For my mother, it was a great way to get a nutritious dinner on the table fast.

Baked Eggs with Polenta, Prosciutto and Swiss Chard

Baked Eggs with Polenta, Prosciutto and Swiss Chard

We had our fair share of waffles and pancakes for dinner, too, but for some reason, I remember the egg dishes the most. Most frequently, we had eggs in omelets, scrambled or my personal favorite, pan-fried in toad in the hole.

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Tis the season for peppermint bark

December 17, 2013

If the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has just about overwhelmed you and the thought of making one more treat or wrapping one more gift is more than you can bear, I hear you.

Every year, with the best intentions, I set out to make and bake an ambitious list of treats and goodies. Every year, I fail miserably to accomplish even a fraction of what I intend. Life, work, holiday merry making and all the other responsibilities just simply get in the way.

PeppermintBarkFood 2013120 copy

By Maria Nelson
Don’t let your sweet tooth go into the new year before trying this recipe for holiday crispy curnch peppermint bark.

I’ve made peace with doing less over the years, and as my children have gotten older I’ve realized that really the most important thing is just to make a priority of enjoying the season. Spending time together in the kitchen is a great way for us to do that.

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Got leftovers?

November 26, 2013

Serve up a strata the morning after a holiday feast

By Maria Nelson Thanksgiving Day leftovers make for the perfect ingredients to put into a morning after holiday strata.

By Maria Nelson
Thanksgiving Day leftovers make for the perfect ingredients to put into a morning after holiday strata.

 

One of the most wonderful by-products of the Thanksgiving meal, in my mind, is the abundance of leftover turkey.

If you haven’t completely exhausted yourself in the kitchen on the day of, there are a plethora of recipes to be found online and in magazines that will help you turn the humble bird into another spectacular meal.

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Savor the season with a salty cake

October 22, 2013

In my mind, there is nothing quite as representative or symbolic of fall than baked apple desserts. Caramelized in sugar, sprinkled with cardamom and cinnamon or stewed in compotes on pancakes, or eaten unadorned from a bowl, warm and tart and sweet, I think you get the idea.

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Beautifully versatile, apples beg to be included in not only the sweet, but they are also perfect companions to the savory. They are best simply roasted in a pan with onions, and sausages, drizzled with maple syrup or slipped into crispy, melty cheese sandwiches. Serve along side roasted tomato soup and you really cannot go wrong.

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Issaquah cook wins blue ribbon

August 27, 2013

Elizabeth Backus’ cooking career began when her father issued her a challenge: “I bet you can’t make a lemon meringue pie.”

Backus, then 12, rose to the occasion. For five consecutive days, she worked on the pie after school, trying to get it right. Finally, on the fifth day, she succeeded.

By Contributed Elizabeth Backus displays her famous lemon meringue pie in the kitchen of her Issaquah home.

By Contributed
Elizabeth Backus displays her famous lemon meringue pie in the kitchen of her Issaquah home.

“When I did it, my dad said, ‘Honey, you finally got it,’” Backus said, and a passion for baking was born.

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No need to churn this ice cream

August 20, 2013

There are few foods that epitomize summer more than ice cream. Lazy afternoon days soaking up the rarefied Pacific Northwest sun are just somehow made better, more poignant with a bowl or cone of meltingly creamy ice cream at hand.

The plethora of summer fruits available in markets right now are just begging to be included in virtually everything we eat. In salads, on the grill brushed with olive oil, in desserts and in this case, specifically in ice cream.

By Maria Nelson Blackberry no churn ice cream is an easy concoction to create to stay cool during summer.

By Maria Nelson
Blackberry no churn ice cream is an easy concoction to create to stay cool during summer.

August is the perfect month to dive into some homemade ice cream if you haven’t had the chance yet. Gone are the days when in order to make ice cream you needed a bulky, hand-crank-and-rock-salt contraption. Gone even are the days when you need an ice cream maker of any kind. Easy no-churn ice cream recipes abound and the beauty of them lies in their versatility.

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Strawberry season pairs well with this savory, salmon recipe

April 23, 2013

Although I can’t seem to grow a tomato in my garden, for the past few years I’ve had strawberries popping up everywhere in my yard. I’ve been feeling just a tiny bit triumphant about my unexpected crop of strawberries. Combined with my weekly trips to the Issaquah Farmers Market and Jubilee Farms last summer, my kitchen table and countertops overflowed with the sweet red berries.

Strawberry shortcake, spinach and strawberry salad, strawberry preserves, strawberry coconut sorbet and, of course, the Bennett Crews favorite, strawberry salmon.

By Karista Bennett Savory strawberry sauce served over grilled salmon features the best of seasonal ingredients.

By Karista Bennett
Savory strawberry sauce served over grilled salmon features the best of seasonal ingredients.

Fruit has long been used to flavor savory sauces and nothing seems more well-paired than berries and salmon: a perfect celebration of spring and summer.

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