Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pepper: The Spice of Life - December 2010

Diva:  Lovina

Drinks:  Mariah
Dirty Bloody Martini

2 oz Absolute Peppar Vodka

1 oz Dry Vermouth

2 oz V8 Juice

1 T Olive Juice

2 Olives

2 Ice Cubes

Put all ingredients into a shaker, except olives, and shake until shaker is frosted. Pour into cocktail glass, add olives and serve

(Adapted from

Sunday Bloody Sunday

One part Sparkling Apple Cider
One Part Pure Cranberry Juice
A Pinch of White Pepper
Stir vigorously and sever over ice

Appetizer:  Sara
Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

1 (7 ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
¼ c drained capers
¼ c black olives, minced

½ c jumbo green olives stuffed with jalepenos and garlic, minced

½ c fresh red pepper

1 tsp garlic, milled in mortar and pestle
salt and pepper to taste

Pulse all ingredients in food processor until well mixed.  I made the tapenade about 3 hours in advance so it marinated in all the yummy juices for a while.  I served it with parmesan cheese slices and a variety of crackers.  Another variation is that it could be served on cucumbers.


Salad:  Colleen
Pear and Brie Salad with Lemon Pepper Dressing

2 tsp mixed peppercorns
1 c extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp lemon zest
Juice from 2 lemons
2 T white rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar

Lightly crush peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.
Pour crushed peppercorns into a medium bowl, add remaining ingredients and whisk until blended.

(Adapted from

Serve over salad of mixed greens, slices of pear, slices of brie and walnuts.

Soup:  Aven
Squash, Chipotle and Apple Soup

2 T vegetable oil, plus 1 cup for frying
½ medium white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 fuji apples—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, thinly sliced crosswise
half sunshine squash, peeled and thinly sliced
1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 c water
1 small canned chipotle in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sugar
3 yellow corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips

In a medium soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the apples and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the fruit and vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in the chipotle.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper and return to the pot.

In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Heat the remaining 1 cup of oil in a medium skillet. Add the tortilla strips and fry over high heat, stirring, until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve the soup in shallow bowls and garnish with the fried tortilla strips.

Side Dish:  Erin
Spaghetti Squash with Jalapeño Cream

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
2 c milk
2 to 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 T butter, plus more for pans

3 T flour
1 tsp salt
1 c shredded jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon or melon baller to remove seeds and surrounding fiber. Put squash, cut side down, on a lightly buttered baking sheet and bake until tender when flesh is pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Or poke several holes in skin of squash with a fork and microwave it on high 10 minutes. Squash should be tender when pierced with a fork; if it isn't, microwave on high in 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and jalapeños until bubbles form along the edge of the pan. Remove mixture from heat and let sit 15 minutes. Strain and discard jalapeños.

When squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the strands out of the skin and into a large bowl.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Whisk in flour and salt and cook, whisking, until flour smells cooked (like piecrust), about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in jalapeño-infused milk while whisking. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture over squash and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with jack cheese and bake until bubbling and brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Entree: Ashley
Smokey Black Pepper Beef Ribs

4 lbs beef back ribs (about 8 ribs)
2 T freshly cracked black pepper

1 T kosher salt

1 T dark brown sugar

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground chipotle
spray canola oil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Line a sheet pan with foil and/or parchment paper. Spread beef ribs out on the pan so they’re not touching. Leave them on the counter to knock the chill off them while you mix up the spice rub.

Grind up the black pepper.

Put the black pepper, kosher salt, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and ground chipotle in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix to combine with a fork or whisk.
Sprinkle the ribs with the spice rub.  Pick the ribs up to coat all sides. Press the spice rub down with your hands to help it stick to the meat.

Give the top of the ribs a very light spritz with spray canola oil.

Roast for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees. After 15 minutes, drop the heat to 300 degrees and roast for an additional 1 hour 20 minutes. Your final roasting time will depend on the size and meatiness of your ribs.

Remove from the oven when they have a handsome brown crust and the meat comes away easily from the bone when pulled at with a fork.

(From the

Vegetarian option – dredge slices of portobello mushrooms with spice rub mixed with matzo meal.  Roast 20 minutes.

Dessert:  Stacey
Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper

2 lbs. fresh strawberries--cut in half

½ c white sugar
¼ c balsamic vinegar
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place strawberries in a bowl.  Drizzle vinegar over strawberries and then sprinkle with sugar.  Stir gently to combine.  Cover bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least one hour--but NOT MORE than 4 hours.  Just before serving grind pepper over the berries.  I served berries over vanilla ice cream.
Lottery:  Tamara

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cinnamon - October 2010

Diva: Aven

Drinks:  Erin

2 bottles red wine
2 oz dried orange zest
2 oz cinnamon sticks
20 whole cardamom seeds
25 whole cloves
1 pound blanched almonds
1 pound raisins
1 pound sugar cubes
5 fluid ounces brandy

Pour wine into a large pot.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Wrap orange zest, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and cloves in cheesecloth, tie with kitchen string and put into pot.  Let boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in almonds and raisins and continue to boil for 15 more minutes.  Remove from heat. 

Place a wire grill over the pot and cover with sugar cubes.  Slowly pour on brandy, making sure to completely saturate the sugar.  Light sugar with a match and let it flame.   When sugar has melted, cover pot with lid to extinguish flame.

Stir and remove spice bag.  Serve hot in cups with a few almonds and raisins.

Erin’s Note: Don’t add as many raisins/nuts, definitely take the spice bag out prior to flaming the brandied sugar, and don’t add as much sugar as it calls for


Appetizer:  Mariah
Crostini with Roasted Garlic, Goat Cheese and Apple Chutney

1 c (packed) golden brown sugar
¾ c rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 ½ pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into -inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 c golden raisins
1 French-bread baguette, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
Olive oil
Roasted Garlic
12 ounces soft fresh goat cheese room temperature

Stir sugar and vinegar in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add next 4 ingredients and simmer until mixture is syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Mix in apples and raisins. Increase heat to high and boil until apples are tender, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. (Chutney can be made 3 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Spread each toast with roasted garlic; top with goat cheese and chutney.

(Adapted from Bon Appétit October 1999)

Salad:  Aven
Fall Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Mixed Greens (lettuce, mizuna, arugula)
1 Pear, sliced thin
1 Fennel Bulb, sliced very thin

¼  pound dry Gouda, grated 

Toss greens, top with pears, fennel, cheese, and dressing

Cinnamon Vinaigrette

¼ c white balsamic vinegar

¼ c olive oil

1 T lemon juice
2 T agave syrup
½ tsp cinnamon, cumin, coriander, cardamom
¼ tsp cayenne

Side Dish:  Colleen
Corn on the Cob with Cinnamon Honey Butter

Place corn in pot with cold water.  Bring water to a boilover medium-high heat.  When water boils, corn is done.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

1.5 sticks of butter, softened
¼ c honey

1 tsp cinnamon

Whip butter, honey and cinnamon until smooth.

This butter recipe yields a large batch - enough for many ears of corn and leftovers for toast or rolls or anything else you'd like to eat buttery and sweet!

Entrée:  Sara
Cider Brined Pork Loin with Dijon-Brown Sugar Glaze served with Apple Compote

1 center cut half boneless pork loin (4.5-5.5 lbs)
4 c apple cider
1 c apple cider vinegar
1 c light brown sugar
3 T orange juice concentrate
1 T honey
2 tsp cinnamon

Whisk together the ingredients in a heated sauce pan, then allow the marinade to cool.
Take a gallon slide lock freezer bag and stick your pork loin inside it. Make sure you can zip it shut before you pour in any liquid. If necessary, cut the pork loin into two parts so that it fits in your freezer bag (or use two). Pour in the liquid, squeeze out the air and zip the bag shut. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Take the pork out of the refrigerator, pour out the marinade, pat the pork dry and let sit for 30 minutes.  At this time preheat the oven to 350.

Place the pork loin on a rack fat side up. Cook 25 minutes per pound and check with a meat thermometer.

At 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours, glaze the top of the loin (see below).  When internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, pull it out, cover it with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.


1 ½ c light brown sugar, packed
2 T flour
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 T cider vinegar

Heat the ingredients in a sauce pan and allow to cool (5 mins).


Lentil Loaf
3 ½ c water or vegetable broth
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
2 c pre-cooked rice
½ tsp salt
¼ c ketchup or barbecue sauce
½ tsp sage
½ tsp Italian seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large soup or stockpot, simmer the lentils in water or vegetable broth until cooked, about 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly then mash the lentils until they are half mashed.
Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft.
Combine the onions, garlic and olive oil with the mashed lentils and add the rice, salt, ketchup or barbecue sauce, sage, and Italian seasoning.
Gently press the mixture into a lightly greased loaf pan.  Drizzle a bit of extra ketchup on top if desired.

Bake for 1 hour.  Allow to cool slightly before serving, as this will help the lentil loaf to firm up.


Apple Compote

2 c water
⅓ c sugar
½ vanilla bean, split in half
1 T Calvados or brandy
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
8 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cubed

In a large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, Calvados, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the apples and return to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender and the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla bean pods. Let cool to room temperature before serving.  (The mixture will thicken as it cools.)


Dessert:  Tamara
Baked Pears with Cinnamon Soy Ice Cream and Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Points


6 pears, peeled, halved and cored
melted butter
1 T cinnamon
¼ c brown sugar

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat and stir in cinnamon and sugar.  Baste both sides of pears with butter mixture.  Bake in baking dish, 350 degrees until desired tenderness.

Cinnamon Soy Ice Cream

2 c vanilla soy creamer (or any non-dairy milk)
2 c vanilla soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
¾ c sugar
2 T arrowroot
2 T cinnamon

Mix 1/4 cup of soy milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside.
Mix the soy creamer, soy milk, and sugar together in a saucepan. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).  Mix in cinnamon.

Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

(Adapted from

Cinnamon Tortilla Points

2 whole wheat flour tortillas
spray oil

Lightly spray tortillas with oil on both sides.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake in oven at 350 until desired crispiness.

Serve pears with ice cream on top and a tortilla point.

Lottery:  Ashley

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Locavore - September 2010

Diva:  Ashley

Drinks:  Stacey

Palouse Falls Brewery:  Idaho Gold Ale and Steptoe Stout
Local Apple Cider mixed with ginger ale.

Appetizer:  Lovina
Palouse Harvest Hummus

2 c raw garbanzo beans (Genessee, ID -- 16 miles)
1 c organic pumpkin seeds (central Oregon -- 250 miles)
grapeseed oil
4 heads garlic (from local CSA - grown in Moscow)
1 large lemon
olive oil
fresh parsley (from my backyard herb garden)

To prepare the garbanzo beans, add the dried beans to a pot and fill with water to at least a few inches above the beans. Place pot in fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. After the beans have soaked, drain in a colander. Refill the pot with fresh water to at least a few inches above the beans. Generously salt the water and bring to a boil. Lower the temp, allowing the beans to simmer for about an hour. Drain cooked beans in colander.

To roast the garlic, place 4 heads of garlic on tin foil and drizzle with olive oil. Tightly enclose the garlic in foil and bake in toaster oven for 30 minutes or until garlic is softened and the outer surface of the garlic is lightly caramelized. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the pumpkin seed tahini, place about 1 cup pumpkin seeds into a food processor bowl. Process seeds for about 1-2 minutes until a fine grain is obtained. Slowly drizzle about 1-2 Tbsp grapeseed oil in using the feeder slot. Process until a smooth paste is obtained.  Salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the hummus, place cooked garbanzo beans into food processor bowl. Add roasted garlic and tahini. Squeeze in juice of one lemon.  Add pinch salt and pepper. Process and add olive oil until the desired consistency is obtained. Lastly, add in rough chopped parsley and pulse to mix together all ingredients. Transfer to bowl and serve with Lavash Crackers with Pumpkins Seeds (recipe below).

Lavash Crackers with Pumpkin Seeds

1 ½ c unbleached bread flour (Harrington, WA -- 101 mi)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp instant yeast
1 T honey (Princeton, ID -- 22 miles)
1 T canola oil
⅓ to ½ c water, room temp
½ c organic pumpkin seeds, finely chopped (central Oregon -- 250 mi)

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, honey, oil, and enough water to bring everything together in a ball. Sprinkle the counter with flour and transfer the dough from the bowl. Knead for several minutes until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.  You'll know you have the right consistency when the dough becomes satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Grease a bowl and transfer the dough, rolling it around to get an even coat of oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temp for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. After the dough has risen, transfer it to a lightly greased counter surface. Using your hands, press the dough into a square and dust lightly with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a paper-thin sheet (roughly 15 by 12 inches). You should periodically lift the dough from the counter and allow it to relax to get the desired thickness. Cover the dough with a towel or plastic while it relaxes. When you get the dough to the desired thickness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and carefully transfer the dough to the sheet. Snip off the excess overlap with scissors.

Preheat the over to 350 and place the rack in the center of the oven.  Mist the dough with water and sprinkly a covering of finely chopped pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough diagonally, creating unique shapes of crackers. There is no need to separate the pieces as they will do so on their own while baking. Alternatively, you can leave the dough entire then break into shards after baking. Bake dough for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough has evenly browned on top. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the crackers to cool for 10 minutes.

If crackers are made in advance, store them in a paper bag for up to 24 hours.

(adapted from the "The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of
Extraordinary Bread" by Peter Reinhart, 2001)

Salad:  Tamara
Lentil Salad with Roasted Beets and Carrots

½ dozen small beets, peeled and cubed
8-12 carrots (Moscow, ID, GT Farms)
2 c cooked green lentils (the Palouse, Lentil Capitol of the World!)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 T oil
salt, pepper
1 T toasted fennel seeds
Lettuce (Santa, ID)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place beets in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt, cumin and nutmeg.  Roast for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  Add carrots, sprinkled with salt, after the first 15 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Combine lemon juice, zest, oil, salt and pepper to taste toasted fennel seeds and mix well.  Serve lentils, beets and carrots over a bed of lettuce and drizzle with dressing. 

Side Dish:  Aven
Roasted Ratatouille Stacks



Bell Pepper




some form of alcohol

some form of vinegar

My vegetables and herbs came from Affinity Farm, Backyard Harvest and my own garden.  I used homebrewed mead and the juice from some pickled garlic scapes I made this spring - both of which had many not local ingredients (vinegar, salt, yeast, etc.).  However, I didn't use any salt or other spices in the dish and I thought it tasted great.

Mix alcohol and vinegar with finely diced herbs and garlic; this is your marinade for the veggies.  Cut veggies into round slabs, preferably all the vegetables are about the same diameter.  Marinate the eggplant, zucchini, and onion for an hour or so.  Stack the veggies in a casserole or roasting pan with one of each veggie in each stack pouring a little marinade between each, order doesn't really matter but the tomato will end up the softest so it should go on top.  Extra garlic cloves can be sprinkled on and around the stacks.

Bake at 400, covered for about 45 minutes and uncovered for about 15 minutes or until everything is soft.

Entrée:  Mariah
Walnut Crusted Salmon

1 Onion
2 T butter
3 T Honey
1 clove garlic – spicy variety
2 tsp savory, dried
dash Salt/Pepper
⅓ c walnuts, ground (from a friend’s tree in Riggins)
Half a Salmon Fillet (caught in Riggins)

Sauté onions and butter until onions are very soft add ½ cup of water, let simmer for 15 plus minutes add honey and garlic and dash of salt/pepper. Reduced to mostly onions.  Let simmer another 10 minutes.  Put salmon (tomato steaks) in a foiled baking dish.  Check mixture, it should have a slightly watery consistency, if not add 2-3 Tbsp of water and let simmer for 30s-1min for flavors to meld.  Pour mixture over salmon (tomatoes) keeping onions on top, let mixture cover bottom of pan. Salmon should not be immersed in water, cover and put salmon in fridge for a couple hours.  Mix finely chopped walnuts, a pinch of savory, salt and pepper -- store walnut mixture in fridge.  Preheat oven to 400 F. before putting salmon into oven pack walnut mixture on top of salmon - leaving onions in place.  Bake uncovered about 10mins per inch of thickness of salmon at widest part or until salmon flakes apart.

Vegetarian option is made with beefsteak tomato “steaks” (from Moscow Farmers’ Market); cut toms into thick slices, prepare as Salmon is prepared and bake for approximately 6 minutes.

(adapted from

Dessert:  Ashley

Blackberry Clafoutis 

½ c all-purpose flour (WSU wheat lab)
¼ c plus 2 T sugar
3 large eggs (from my neighbor)

3 T unsalted butter, melted
finely grated orange peel

¼ c plus 2 T milk (from Spokane's Family Farm)
3 cups blackberries (from my garden)

confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a 9-inch gratin dish.  In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt.  Whisk in the eggs, butter and orange zest until smooth.  Add the milk and whisk until light and very smooth; about 3 minutes.  Pour the batter into the gratin dish and top with the blackberries.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the clafoutis is set and golden.  Let cool slightly.  Dust with confectioners' sugar, cut into wedges and serve.

(adapted from Food and Wine April 2010)

Lottery:  Erin
L'Shana Tova!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Asian Fusion - August 2010

Diva:  Erin
Drinks:  Colleen
Mango Mojitos without the Muddle

2 lb mango flesh, pureed

juice of 8 limes
mint simple syrup (1 c sugar, 1 c water, 1+ c roughly chopped mint)

2 + 750 ml  bottles sparkling water

mango rum

To make the mint simple syrup, bring sugar, water and mint to a boil.  Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes.  Strain mint leaves and chill simple syrup.

For drinks, add pureed mango, lime juice, simple syrup and sparkling water (start with 1 of water bottle and add to taste) in a pitcher and stir.  For non-alcoholic version, serve over ice with a lime wedge.  For alcohol version, add a shot of mango rum to a glass of ice then top with mango puree mixture and a lime wedge.

Appetizer:  Sara
Veggie Tempura Fries with Wasabi Ranch and Ginger-Citrus Sauce

 1 c Ice Water
1 Large Egg

1 c All-purpose Flour

3-4 T Black Sesame seeds (I couldn't find any, so I used poppy seeds and regular sesame seeds)

Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying (I used a fry daddy)

Salt and Pepper to taste.

I blanched green beans and snap peas, carrots, beets, and zucchini (unblanched). Coat in batter, Deep fry until golden brown.

Wasabi Ranch

1 c mayonnaise

½ c Greek yogurt
½ tsp dried chives

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp dried dill weed

¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder

⅛ tsp salt

⅛ tsp ground black pepper

1 T wasabi powder ( I also added about 2 inches of wasabi paste from a tube)
more salt to taste.

Citrus Ginger Sauce

1 ¼ c water

1 T corn starch
¾ c dark brown sugar
¼ c soy sauce
2 T minced fresh ginger

1 tsp minced garlic
2 T lime juice
1 T lemon juice
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

(From Kitchen on Fire)

Soup:  Ashley
Mushroom Wontons in a Lemongrass Ginger Soup

For the wontons: makes alot.  I was making this up as I went so amounts are approximate.
2 c finely chopped crimini mushrooms

1 pkg firm tofu, drained and finely chopped or crumbled

3 green onions finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pkg wonton wrappers
salt to taste

Saute mushrooms and tofu in 1 tbs butter or oil until soft and cooked through.  Add green onions and garlic and saute about 2 minutes.  Fill wontons according to pkg directions.  Set aside.

For the broth:

1 carrot, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
8 c vegetable broth

4 stalks lemongrass

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 T sesame oil

1 T Siracha hot sauce or to taste

In a soup pot, heat sesame oil.  Add carrot and leeks and cook until softened.  Add broth, lemongrass, ginger, green onion, garlic, and hot sauce.  Simmer for about an hour.  

To make the Wonton soup:
 Drop filled wontons into the simmering broth.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Ladle into bowls.

Salad:  Stacey
Salad with Sweet Sesame Dressing

⅔ c rice vinegar
1 c canola oil
2 T sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T soy sauce
½ c sugar
4 tsp sesame seeds

Place all ingredients in a quart jar.  Shake and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Serve over a salad of shredded cabbage, cucumber, red onion, red pepper and chives.

Side Dish:  Mariah
Braised Dino Kale (or bok choy)

1-2 T of vegetable oil
5 bunches of kale

1 c veggie or chicken stock

1-2 T Soy sauce

1-2 T Sesame Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a large saute' pan over high heat. Add the kale, and sear until outside is nicely browned. Deglaze the pan wit the stock and some soy sauce. Reduce the heat until the liquid is at a simmer. Continue to cook, covered or not, until the bok choy is nice and tender. Adjust the seasoning with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper.

(From Kitchen on Fire)

Entrée:  Tamara
Asian Pizzas

Pizza Dough

1 c warm water
1 ¼ tsp yeast
3 T olive oil
3 T wheat gluten
3 c flour
1 ½ tsp salt

Combine ingredients in bread machine and run on dough or pizza dough cycle.  Roll out dough into desired shape (to make enough for everyone I made my pizzas in rectangle cookie sheets) and let rise for about a half hour.  One recipe will make one rectangle or 2 round 10” pizzas.  For the Japanese pizza I added in chopped up nori. 

Thai Pizza

3 T peanut butter
3 T brewed black tea
2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 T minced ginger
2 tsp honey
2 T sesame seeds
1 T paprika
1 tsp salt
4 green onions, chopped
1 larger carrot, grated
tofu, crumbled and pan fried
chili oil

Combine peanut butter, tea, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and honey.  Mix well and set aside.  Toast sesame seeds and combine with the remaining ingredients.  Add 3 tablespoons of the sauce to the vegetable mix.  Spread remaining sauce on the dough and top with vegetable mixture.  Cook at 550 for about 6 minutes.  Sprinkle finished pizza with a bit of chili oil, if desired.

(Adapted from

Chinese Pizza

3 T hoisin sauce
3 T tomato paste
1 T rice vinegar
1 T chili pepper puree
1 tsp soy sauce
2-3 slices of ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ can of water chestnuts, drained and sliced
⅓ c red onion, diced
½ c small snow peas, halved
½ can bamboo shoots
1 can baby corn
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
2 tsp sesame oil

Combine hoisin, tomato paste, vinegar, chili pepper puree and soy sauce.  Mix well and set aside.  Heat some oil on high heat and sautee garlic and ginger, about a minute.  Add vegetables and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in sesame oil.  Toss well.  Spread hoisin sauce on pizza base and top with vegetables. .  Cook at 550 for about 6 minutes.

Japanese Pizza

2 sheets of toasted nori
1 block tofu
flour for dredging
2 T soy sauce
1 T orange marmalade
1 tsp honey
⅛ tsp ground ginger
bok choy, chopped
ramen noodles

When making pizza dough, add in 1 sheet of crumbled or chopped nori to the bread machine.  Press block of tofu between two plates to remove some water for about a half hour.  Cube the tofu and dredge in flour.  Pan fry the tofu on medium-high heat, turning often to sear each side of each cube.  Remove from heat and cool.  Combine soy sauce, marmalade, honey and ginger and mix well.  Pour over tofu and allow it to marinade for at least an hour.  Steam the bok choy (adding in white parts first then green parts at the last minute) with a bit of salt.  Plunge in an ice bath to halt cooking.  Spread marinated tofu over pizza crust and top with bok choy. .  Cook at 550 for about 6 minutes.  Sprinkle the second sheet of crumbled or chopped nori on top.  Serve with crumbled ramen noodles on the side for sprinkling. 

Dessert:  Lovina
Lemongrass Cheesecake with Raspberry Coconut Milk Sauce

20 shortbread cookies, like Lorna Doone
2 T melted butter
2 pounds cream cheese
pinch of kosher salt
10 ounces sugar
4 stalks lemongrass, white parts only, minced
4 extra large eggs
Juice of 2 lemons
5 ounces cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees convection. In a bowl, combine crushed shortbread cookies and melted butter. Press cookie mixture into bottom and sides of 8-inch cake pan; a springform pan is
recommended. Bake in middle of oven for about 10 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool. Turn oven down to 300 degrees. In a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese, salt, sugar and lemongrass.  Add eggs one at a time, alternating with the lemon juice, allowing each egg to be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next, scraping the bowl constantly. Add cream. Spoon mixture into baked crust and place in a water bath. (You'll need to foil the edges of your springform pan to prevent leakage.) Bake cheesecake in middle of oven for about 60 minutes, until edges become browned and cake is set in the center. Remove from water bath, remove foil and place on a rack to let cool, then refrigerate until chilled and serve.


Raspberry Coconut Sauce
1 can coconut milk

⅓ c fresh raspberries (plus a few extra for garnish)

⅓ c sugar

2 tsp corn starch

In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk over medium heat. Crush the raspberries in a small bowl using the back side of a teaspoon. Add the raspberries and sugar to the coconut milk. Heat until simmering. Whisk together cornstarch with 1 TBSP water. Add cornstarch mixture to pan. Stir gently until sauce thickens. Cool to serve. Pour over slices of Lemongrass cheesecake and garnish with mint and raspberries.

Lottery:  Aven

Birthday Girl Aven!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wild Wild West: Divas in the Canyon - July 2010

 Diva:  Mariah

Drinks:  Ashley
Cowgirl Cooler

⅓ c water                          
⅓ c sugar
5 fresh mint sprigs                   
4 c pink grapefruit juice
2 ½ c bourbon                   
12 dashes Angostura bitters
1 c ginger ale

Stir water and sugar together in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  Add mint sprigs.  Remove from heat; cool syrup completely.  Strain syrup into a pitcher.  Add grapefruit juice, bourbon, bitters and ginger ale.  Serve over ice.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit Dec 2007)

Appetizer:  Colleen
Canyon Queso

2 lb shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 beer
4 small cloves garlic, pressed
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
3 T cilantro, chopped
4 oz can diced green chilies
¼-½ c diced, deseeded tomatoes
3 T pickled jalapenos, dices
1-2 T chili powder
1-2 T cumin
flour to cover cheese

Heat beer in a pot with pressed garlic and green onions.  Add tomatoes, chilies, jalapenos, and stir.  Mix chili powder, cumin, flour and coat cheese with mixture.  Add cheese to pot and stir occasionally until melted.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips!

Soup:  Erin
Vegetable Chili

¾ c olive oil (I didn’t use this much)       
3 zucchinis, chopped
2 onions, chopped                   
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large red/green bell peppers, chopped       
2 cans tomatoes w/ juice
1 c tomato juice                   
1 c uncooked bulgur wheat
4-5 stalks celery, chopped               
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin                   
1 T dried basil
1 T dried oregano*                   
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne                   
1 tsp salt/pepper
½ c chopped cilantro                   
1 ½ c kidney beans
1 c sour cream   
2 c grated cheese       
4 scallions, white bulb and 3 in green

Heat the tomato juice to boiling.  Add it to the bulgur in a small bowl, cover, and let stand 15 minutes.  Heat ½ cup of the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the zucchini and sauté until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.  Transfer the zucchini to another bowl.  Heat the remaining ¼ c oil in the soup pot over low heat.  Add the onions, celery, garlic, and bell peppers.  Saute until just wilted about 10 minutes.  Place over low heat.  Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, pepper, salt.  Cook (I simmered) uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.  Stir in the kidney beans and bulgur.  Cook for another 15 minutes.  Stir well and adjust the seasonings to taste.  Add cilantro.  Serve with bowls of sour cream, grated cheese and sliced scallions alongside.

Salad:  Tamara
Cowgirl Coleslaw

1 head of red cabbage, shredded or sliced
2 carrots, shredded
2 apples, cut in match sticks (I used Fuji)
1 T Dijon mustard
¼ c balsamic vinegar**
4 cloves of garlic, minced
6 T olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix mustard, balsamic, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper in a jar and shake to mix well.  Toss with cabbage, carrots and apples.  Serve cold.

**Note:  Next time I make this, I would use white balsamic or cider vinegar instead to keep the crisp white color of the apples.  The red balsamic darkened the apples too much.

Side Dish:  Stacey
Not-too Sweet Baked Beans

1 15.5 oz can great northern beans
1 15.5 oz can navy beans
1 15.5 oz can baby butter beans
1 15.5 oz can pinto beans
2 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
⅓ c molasses
2 T light brown sugar
2 T prepared mustard
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
6 oz bacon
1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350.  Reserving two sliced of bacon, cook the remaining bacon in a large skillet.  While it’s cooking, place all beans in a colander and rinse and drain.  Transfer to a large baking dish. 

Pour tomatoes over beans.  Add molasses, brown sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.

When the bacon has cooked, remove bacon from the pan and cook the onions in the bacon drippings stirring frequently.  While the onions are cooking, crumble the cooked bacon over the beans.  Add onions and combine all the ingredients well.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes and serve.

Adapted from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking.

Entree:  Sara
Buckaroo Stew

I cooked both stews partially on the stovetop and partially with charcoal outside.

6-quart cast iron Dutch oven
¾ large white oven chunked
2 carrots chopped
2 potatoes (I used red and russet)
2 celery sticks chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
½ can kidney beans
½ can black beans
1 c red wine
1 c veggie stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion. Add potatoes and carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes, wine and stock. Put about 5 hot coals on the bottom, and 5 hot coals on the top. Cook until potatoes are done and folks are hungry!


12-quart cast iron Dutch oven
1 lb bacon, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 ½ lbs London broil beef, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 ½ large white oven chunked
4 carrots chopped
3 potatoes (I used red and russet)
4 celery sticks chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
½ can kidney beans
½ can black beans
1 ½ c red wine
1 ½ c veggie stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in Dutch oven, remove. Sear beef, remove. Sauté onion in olive oil. Add potatoes and carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes, wine and stock. Put about 8 hot coals on the bottom, and 10 hot coals on the top. Cook until potatoes and beef are done and folks are hungry!

(Adapted from Grandpa Bob’s recipe)

Dessert:  Aven
Wild Berry Honey Buckle with Honeyed Cream

¼ c unsalted butter
1 c honey
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c berries (I used raspberries and blackberries)
1 ½ c milk
5 c flour (I used 6 ½ whole wheat pastry & 1 white)
2 c oats
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt

⅔ c flour
⅓ c brown sugar
4 Tbsp salted butter

2 c cream
6 T honey
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Cream butter and honey, add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Stir in milk and dry ingredients until just combined.  Fold in 2 cups of berries.  Grease a 10” springform pan, pour in batter and sprinkle with remaining cup of berries.  Sprinkle streusel on top of berries.  Bake for 60 minutes (if center is still slightly gooey turn oven off and leave cake in for another 30 to 60 minutes. 

Whip cream until soft peaks form, gently stir in honey and vanilla.

Lottery:  Lovina