Reflecting on the Summer of Chimichurri

Tri-Tip Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

I have tangible files of travel ideas. I have virtual files of travel ideas. Ideas for weekend excursions, best hikes, best camping, bike tours, Napa Valley wine tours, Yamhill County wine tours, Five Perfect Days in Paris, 72 Hours in Carmel, New York City with Kids, and on and on and on. When summer hits, […]

Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos to Kick-off a New Eating Mindset

Spicy Pulled Pork Tacos

As if it were yesterday, I can recall the first clue that something wasn’t quite copacetic with my middle guy. At his first Birthday, he cried when we gave him his first piece of Birthday cake. Not the cry that says I don’t want frosting on my face, but one that says I don’t want […]

The Bonne Femme Cookbook – A Gift for One of You

    I have a book fetish. I am never without a book that I’m reading. I keep books stacked on, under, and around my nightstand. On every shelf and corner of my office. Stuffed in closets, armoires, drawers. Piled in the kitchen next to the phone. Downloaded by the dozen on my Kindle. In […]

Don’t Know Much but I Do Know that Mushrooms and Asparagus Together are Delightful

  For a few years now, I have been attending various food blogging conferences. I usually return home brimming with inspiration and loaded down with lots of free Scharffen Berger chocolate. A week or so ago, I attended my third BlogHerFood conference up in Seattle. There wasn’t any free chocolate (Scharffen Berger wasn’t a sponsor […]

A Few Thoughts on Food Followed by Chicken Sausages with Tomatoes and Shallots

Sausages with tomatoes and shallots

I suppose the acronym FLOSS can be used to describe my thoughts on food. I suppose I could also be labeled as energetic and sleep-deprived, frazzled and bossy, presbyopic and middle-aged, but why…why must we label everything? I can’t think of a greater need as a human being than to eat. Okay, well, maybe drink. […]

Am I Doing it Right???

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My sixth-grader is hard on himself. When I sit down to help him with his homework, the first thing out of his mouth is, “I don’t know if I did it right.” When I start to read aloud a rough-draft essay of his, he’ll cry out, “Oh, stop reading. It’s total crap.” A few days […]

Comforting Yourself with Turkey and Bacon Meatballs

You had been told that this would happen. This ever-increasing independence. The wings starting to flap. You’d read about it in books. You’d been told, many, many times by all the people who came before you but still, for you, you weren’t quite ready. No, you’re still back in preschool when she’d cry and call […]

Barbecuing up Garlic, Lime, Cilantro Flank Steak on a Much Needed Weekend Away

A Little Steak and Chicken Pocket Pie

“Ummm, Mrs. Minns, I don’t think our camp starts until 10:30 am,” my 12-year old’s buddy says to me as I’m minutes away from dropping the two of them off at cooking camp. “Oh no, darlin’, it starts at 10am. I’m sure of it. I have it in my calendar.” It was the first week […]

Hummus, the Perfect Partner for a Handful of Sweet Beans

Lemony, garlicky hummus...

I look out at the square boxes full of bare dirt. Good dirt. Actually compost-boosted-dirt but still…bare dirt. Not a lick of green…um, except for the occasional weed that chooses to land in there. Yes, it’s true, last year those boxes had been overflowing with tomato plants, some lettuce, carrots but this year…nothing. Nada. Rien. […]

A Bowl of Potato Corn Chowder and Pondering What Not to Wear

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I had known about this trip for months. Five months to be exact. Five months to pack, go to the grocery store, make carpool arrangements, buy Birthday presents. Five months to figure out why the fan on my laptop runs continuously when I use it. But here it was t-minus three days and I had yet […]

Chickpeas, Asparagus and a Splash of Lemon Salad So Good You Might Weep

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Yes, it’s true. “I’m a weeper. I weep.”(To borrow a line from one of my favorite movies, The Holiday, which does indeed make me weep.)Just this morning I started weeping while making the kids’ lunches. One may have thought it was because if I have to make one more school lunch I may start weeping […]

Peas and Carrots, Carrots and Peas Spring Soup

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I sit here in the shadows just out of sight like my mother did before me. There but not there. Still needed but not seen. Watching you with your friends. Linking hands with these friends as you jump unabashedly into the water. Holding handstand competitions. Saddling up to these friends on the chair lift. Laughing […]

Tiny Bits of Hope Wrapped Up in Goat Cheese Love

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Yes, it’s absolutely true that it rains here. I mean really rains. As in November through May you can expect a 50% chance rain on any given day which is most days. Half the year. Half the year with gray skies, wet shoes and saturated, moss-filled lawns.There’s a large percentage of us who welcome the […]

Garlic Shrimp with Spaghetti…An Easy Dish Yet a Privilege to Prepare

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As we slowly pulled into the lot the first thing I noticed was the police car. It could have been a coincidence. Just a routine drive through the neighborhood most likely but my heart sank a bit as I thought to myself, “Please keep them safe. Please let them be treated kindly.”We climbed the open, […]

The Super Duper Pooper Scooper…Makes White Bean and Kale Soup

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“I feel like a…like a…sh@$ shoveler. I can’t help it and I know I’m like a broken record whining and moaning about this every year at this time. But I do. Every year there’s this grand celebration about gifts and giving but once it’s over and everyone has moved on to the next “big thing” […]

Baked Minestrone to Evoke Memories Long Since Passed

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I had been forewarned about the hairpin turns but what I hadn’t been prepared for was the splendor of the canyon ablaze in reds and golds. The tiniest of the three of us had somehow managed to wedge herself in the “back” as we headed south in the cherry red sports car. The beauty of […]

AM Northwest is in MY Kitchin’ and We’re Making "Soup on Monday"

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When the kind, sweet people at AM Northwest asked if they could film a cooking segment in my kitchen, my first thought was, “Oh no, now I really am going to have to clean out that pantry.” There’s not much you can’t find in my pantry. I like to keep my kitchen well-stocked with staples. […]

Zesty Salsa…and a Gift For One of You

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“This may quite possibly be, the craziest thing you’ve ever done before leaving on a trip.” (pause) “No…this IS the craziest thing you’ve ever done before leaving on a trip considering you need to be up by 4 am and you still haven’t packed.”I was listening to my handsome guy as I lowered my jars of “zesty salsa” into […]

The Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chicken Named Rosie

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I roasted a chicken. With rosemary, garlic and lemon. Her name was Rosie. Or at least that’s what it said on the tag. I’m not sure how I feel about that but as my 11-year old pointed out, just like they do in Avatar, we gave thanks for her life so that we might feed […]

Shrimp Fresco for Just the 5 of Us

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As they circled back round past our home once again, we waved and hollered “good bye” and “drive safely” to them with all the fanfare as the first time. I watched as my 10-year old darted through beach grass and hopped over rocks trying to make it to the next driveway before they did. Trying […]

And Now, I Pass It To You….Cowboy Caviar

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“basil, lettuce, rice, peanut butter, shallots, eggs, butter, Parmesan cheese, pasta, parsley, thyme, rosemary, ketchup, oatmeal, raisins, whole grain mustard, sesame oil, vanilla extract, avocados, cherries, black eyed peas, corn, cantaloupe, lime, cilantro, salmon, flatbread, goat cheese, hot dogs, hot dog buns, hummus, salsa, pancake mix, tea, ovaltine, cherry tomatoes, Nana’s jam, soy sauce, milk……..”With […]

Sauntering Through the Market with a Basket of Rapini, Potatoes and Chives

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As usual, I was running late. Nothing new there but my tardiness was extra awkward (even for me) considering that I was trying to slip, unnoticed, into a pew in the hushed room of The Old Church for the monthly Willamette Writers meeting. This month’s speaker had already begun her talk as I tried to […]

All Is Safe and Sound Chicken

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The warm smells from dinner still lingered in the house. Smells from perhaps a “fall off the bone” tender beef stew, maybe chicken and dumplings or my mother’s delicious chicken and wild rice soup with her homemade dill bread. The dishwasher was humming. The voices from the TV were soft. Distant. I …

Lentil Soup for a Blustery Day

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Despite its self-proclaimed “Day of Rest”, I was exhausted from the weekend. The morning was dark until way past 8am. I was sleepy. I knew that exercising would help clear my mind but I was too tired to exercise. I stared out the window as the torrential rain rammed against the side of our house. […]