Sunday, August 28, 2011

Northwest Cabbage Slaw

This is my go-to recipe to take when invited to a BBQ or potluck.  It's asked for frequently, and with good reason!  DeNise asked me to share the recipe yesterday, so I've done my best to write it down.  This recipe has evolved, kind of from a recipe I used to make that started with raw ramen noodles and cabbage.  One night I decided to make cole slaw to go with something BBQ'd, but there was one little problem....I despise mayonaise!  So I decided to use an oil & vinegar dressing similar to the one I sued on the ramen salad and it got good reviews.  This recipe evolved from those initial attempts.  If you keep the ingredients on hand, this salad goes together really fast, especially if you buy the pre-shredded cabbage and toasted almonds. 

1 small head of cabbage, shredded (OR 1 bag of shredded cabbage, NOT the angel hair variety)

1 bunch of green onions, cleaned and sliced finely

½-1 whole bunch of cilantro, or to taste, chopped finely

¼ -1/2 cup craisins, chopped

¼-1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 jalepeno, chopped finely

Prepare vegetables and add to large bowl.  Toast almonds in a dry pan on stovetop (or buy them already toasted).  While the almonds cool, chop and add the craisins to the salad mixture.  Add the almonds when they are fully cooled.  Mix well.


3 T rice vinegar

1 T good light olive oil or grapeseed oil

Salt & pepper

¼ t cumin

¼ t coriander

1 t. sugar

Whisk until sugar is dissolved and pour over salad.  Mix well.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nancy's Black Cake

Thanks to Aunt Nancy for this recipe!  I sure hope at some point you decided to share it with your sister!! 
I am not usually a big fan of chocolate cake--it's typically too dry for me, but this cake is moist, easy and awesomely chocolately!  This is maybe the simplest "scratch" cake I've ever made. 

Butter a 9" x 13" pan, then sprinkle cocoa powder like you would flour, coat the pan and pour out the excess.  In a large mixing bowl, mix all the following ingredients well.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 t. vanilla
2 squares (2 oz) baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup milk + 1 t. vinegar
1 cup boiling water + 1 t. baking soda
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 t. salt

Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


Melt together:
5 T. sugar
2 T. butter
3 T. evaporated milk

Bring to boil, then remove from stove and add 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  Beat till smooth and pour over hot cake. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


One of the best things I've ever bought at a charity auction was a picnic basket.  Technically, I've bought TWO picnic baskets--the first one was wicker and oh-so traditional looking, but not very practical.  The second looks like a piece of soft-sided luggage, but holds everything you might need for picnicking!  We like head east on Memorial Day Weekend, betting that the east side has some of the elusive sunshine that we don't often get over here (reliably, anyway) until July or so.  The hubby and I like road trips.  When I bought the first picnic basket and lugged it along on a road trip/wine tasting trip to Kelowna, BC, he thought it was a silly thing to bring along, and that we wouldn't use it.  After a stop at a gourmet grocery and a nice little picnic on the patio outside our hotel room, he changed his tune.  Now, he always asks if we're bringing it along when we head out for a few days.  This last weekend, we drove over to Pendleton, OR, then hit Walla Walla, and the Tri-Cities for some wine tasting (and buying)!  I prepared a few things to take along instead of just stopping at a grocery store and we ended up stopping at a great little park at Wallula Junction, right outside of the Tri-Cities.  I wish that I would have taken a picture--the weather was picnic perfect, we had the park practically to ourselves,and the food was terrific!

Shrimp with *homemade cocktail sauce
*Cracked pepper flatbread
White bean dip
*Baby carrots & sliced cucumbers
Asiago bread
Artichoke heart tapenade
*Pickled asparagus
Smoked Gouda
Blue Cheese
A nice red-blend wine

* From my kitchen--watch for the recipes!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rosemary-Lemon Flatbread

Lately, the bread basket at several restaurants I've been to has been filled with different kinds of wonderful, crispy flatbreads so I decided to try my hand at making some at home.  I've made this twice now, and it is SUPER easy, even for a cook who isn't a great baker, like me!  And it keeps really, really well in a sealed container.  Today I rescued the last two pieces from my last batch, sprinkled a little Italian blend cheese on them and broiled them in the toaster oven, then added slices of tomato.  Next time I'm going to add a little basil as well.  Tonight I served this alongside Chicken Curry and Coconut Rice.  This is really a quick recipe and very satisfying to make!  Enjoy!!

Rosemary-Lemon Flatbread        

1-3/4 c. flour
1 T. chopped rosemary
1 t. lemon zest
1 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. water
1/3 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a large baking sheet on the middle rack to preheat.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, rosemary, lemon zest, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the center and add water and oil.  Mix with wooden spoon until a dough forms.  Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.  Don't overwork the dough.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces.  Set aside two and wrap in plastic while you work with the first.  Roll out one piece on a sheet of parchment paper into about a 10 inch round.  No need to make it perfect.  Dough should be thin and even.

Lightly brush with a bit of oil and sprinkel with sea salt.  Slide the dough and parchment onto the preheated baking sheet.  Bake until pale golden and browned in spots--8-10 minutes.  Place bread and parchment on a rack to cool, return the baking sheet to the oven and make the other two rounds the same way.  When it is cool, break into pieces and serve! 

Keeps for several days in an airtight container.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rosemary-Asiago Gnocchi

1-1/2 lbs russet potatoes
1/2 cup flour
1/4 c. grated Asiago cheese
2 egg yolks
1/4 t. allspice
2 T. finely chopped rosemary
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper

Boil potatoes whole until soft enough to mash--20-40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.  When they are tender, remove from water and cool until you can handle them.  Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.  Run through a potato ricer into a mixing bowl.  Add flour, cheese, egg yolks, allspice, rosemary, salt & pepper and mix well.  Add more flour if needed.

Flour your hands, pick up a chunk of dough and roll it into a rope about 1/2 inch thick.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.  Cut the ropes into 1/2-3/4 inch lengths, flouring the pieces as you go.  Place the pieces on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to cook. 
To cook:  Place gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water. They will rise to the top when they are done.  Remove from the pot with a large slotted spoon. 

Cheese sauce

1 cup milk
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. grated cheese asiago cheese.

Mix milk and cornstarch, heat until thickened.  Remove from heat and add cheese.  Mix until blended. 
Mix with gnocchi to serve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cheesy Artichoke Dip

I just heard that today is National Artichoke Heart's Day!  In honor of one of my favorite vegetables, I thought I would share my recipe for hot cheesy artichoke dip!  This is one of my go-to dishes for parties and potlucks--I almost always have the ingredients on hand and it never fails to impress.  Mmmmmm, cheesy goodness!!!

4 cans cheddar cheese soup

1 cup shredded cheese—use cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, or Italian blend, depending on what you like or have on hand

1 cup milk

1 small package cream cheese

1 large can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1 large can diced green chiles

Dump all ingredients into a small crockpot and heat till warm.

Serve with cubed Hawaiian or sourdough bread, flatbreads and/or crackers