Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Classic Peach Pie: Summer's Glory

I love a perfect peach. When in season, nothing beats the smell of freshly picked stone fruit. Glorious. I could die and be happy after a juicy peach, but I love life and will keep cooking. I eat them slowly and slurpily, smiling all the way to the last bite.

My girlfriend, new mother of two, invited me to come and behold their bounty. They moved into a new house unaware of what fruit trees graced their backyard. Not knowing how the trees had been cared for in the past year, they new it would be a bit of a gamble. But with a new born and a toddler, she gladly took me up on bringing her lunch in exchange for a bucket of fruit!

They were small, but ripe and ready. I was determined to make the best of these beauties.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Turkey Sausage

Zucchinis are burst out all over! I've been bombarded by requests for recipes! My favorite sweet recipe is my chocolate zucchini bread. I recently had so many zucs I made four loafs and froze them! But it's savory time, zuc lovers!

Stuffing a vegetable. It's not that hard to be creative. You need other veg, maybe a meat (or hearty grain), an egg, some sort of bread agent for binding and good spices.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brie and Fig Crostini with Rosemary (and my) Honey

There are apps for this sort of thing. You know- enter what you have left in your fridge and it will supposedly spit out your meal options. I dare you to use your own brain. Think texture. Think sweet. Think salt. Then think of seasoning that could tie it all together.

I used leftover figs, leftover bread and leftover cheese for this. If you are really struggling, there's always Google.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Embarrassingly Simple: (Greased) Watermelon Salad with Basil and Mint

This salad IS summer. Sure, the pool, sunscreen, kids doing car washes, summer camp, Popsicles and pink toes may qualify as summer-ish. But, have you had these three incredible ingredients together? Alright I said it... three ingredients! No one wants complicated for summer. This is about as easy as it gets.

A quick watermelon story... I could tell you that my mother loves it and my father could do without it, but that's not as scandalous as this picture:

Sun-kissed man with greased fruit?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company, Tahoe City, CA

Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon

My eyes have been trained.  I now note several things when approaching a new town: wine shops, grocery stores, golf courses and... BREWERIES.  Beer offerings can be so unusual- always so fun to taste.  When you stop at a winery, you at least have an idea of what a Cab might taste like.  Beer, dare I say it... can be even more complex.  More factors to hone in on.  Portland taught me great truths on beer assessment, and I feel my knowledge is barely scratching the foamy head surface on a fresh pint.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Soba Noodle Vegetable Salad

I'm typically a red wine vinegar and olive oil girl... but I'm telling you these Asain inspired dishes are speaking to my soul lately.

Plus the herb medley in this salad is so complimentary. It's like watching the perfect double play, each player executing their role flawlessly. The diving fielder with the quick flip to the second baseman; the split second throw to first and the painful splits to catch the ball moments before the runner touches the bag. It's a beautiful thing... basil, mint and cilantro: well done.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hello! Welcome to The Joyful Table

Welcome to The Joyful Table. I hope you choose to stay a while. Talk food. Talk life. Reminisce about recipes from your childhood. Relay new food ideas found or read about. At least, that's what I'll be doing.

I cook because I love food and I love people. My most cherished moments are around a table. Maybe it's big family style where everyone is reaching for the hot dishes and carrying on. Maybe it's an intimate table with your Spouse sharing a much needed meal out. Maybe it's old friends that you get out the best wine for. Maybe it's new friends that you hope to connect with over a simple potluck. I love that it's at the table where so many great life moments take place.

As I write this, I'm sitting at my table. My kitchen is calling out behind me. My apron is loosely tied.

For as much as I love to cook, it's the best I can hope for as a dedicated home chef- the end to the means of my cooking- The Joyful Table.



Embarrassingly Simple: Mussels Steamed in Beer

Mussels. I wrote them off as a youngster because they were part of my sand castle building. They did not belong on a plate, but better served as the stone work for the bridge over my castle's moat. But never be too afraid to try something new again. Our palates are constantly changing. I keep telling this to my husband about tomatoes. No luck so far.

A few rules of thumb for these creatures of the sea:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Embarrassingly Simple: Zucchini Bites

I've decided to start a page on the blog for all my really SIMPLE recipes. EMBARRASSINGLY SIMPLE!  These are the recipes that I would recommend for even the "I don't really cook" person. There have been many times I've been asked by dinner guests "is this on your blog?" I shake my head, "No, but it's embarrassingly simple." It's the stuff that barely requires thought or even cooking! My husband thought this would make a great series... so here's the first.

My sweet friend Lindy (and fellow Ina Garten lover) from Portland is responsible for bringing me back to my childhood. I was in her home for a dinner party and noticed a bunch of cookbooks on her counter. She told me her favorite way to discover new recipes is going to the public library to checkout cookbooks! BRILLIANT! Free! Community Adventure! I was all over it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dining Out: The Waffle Window, Portland, OR

The Waffle Window on Urbanspoon

Oh how we miss Portland!   This little nook of a best kept secret in Portland was one of our last dining out experiences in PDX before our big move to California.  You know those Gruplivingsoshresturdailydealeos that we all buy and then takes months to redeem?  Why did we wait so long on The Waffle Window?!

Precious.   Home-style.  Creative.  Very Portland.

Whether you are a local looking for brunch on a lazy Sunday, or a tourist looking for an inexpensive "totally Portland" treat, this place is perfect.