stepping back

I can't believe this blog has been around since 2005. I started because I wanted a record of the things I was making and giving away as gifts, and of the food I might want to make again.  I came to really enjoy sharing that personal thrill of creating something. And when you fine folks let me know you liked it or found it useful, well, that felt great too.

But somewhere between having kids and just plain time going by, my online notebook isn't as much of a priority. In the long periods between posts I get a little self-consious about what to say and for the first time, I'm finding my heart's not in it. So I'm giving in, rollin' with it, and officially signing off.

Many many thanks for stopping by, friends. I really appreciate it. It's been grand.


*Like our new wall art? Painted birch rings by earthartbywendy over at etsy. I love staring at them until I can't possibly decide which I love best.


salmon-potato cakes

Borrowing from this Jamie Oliver recipe and this random recipe from Food.com (there are a ton to choose from), I made salmon-potato cakes. In the spirit of it all, adapt to your taste.

salmon-potato cakes
makes 8 cakes, serves 4

2 russet potatoes, cooked and mashed (approx. 2 cups mashed potatoes)
1 213g (7.5oz) can of wild Alaskan salmon
small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs onion, minced and sauteed in olive oil
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 egg, lightly beaten
less than 1/4 C flour
3/4 C breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
lemon wedges for serving

After mashed potatoes have cooled, combine all ingredients. Evenly divide and form into cakes, then fry in a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Even though the salmon and potatoes are cooked, there's raw egg in there, so be sure to cook through (4-5 minutes per side). Also, a crispy golden crust is nice. Serve with a spritz of fresh lemon.


quinoa cakes

Technically, this is a baby food recipe. But who cares, when everyone in the family likes them. They're small so they are perfect for the littlest fingers, but a few at a time make a fine snack for the rest of us.

And I'm not sure why I was getting excited about this while I was making them, but they would make good airplane food. A portable, healthy protein that's not string cheese or almonds? What's not to get excited about?!

The basic recipe can be made savoury or sweet with your choice of seasoning. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom are all good.  I want to try cumin or thyme next time.

Ack. Bad lighting. I can't wait for the 'someday' that my kitchen will be flooded with natural light.

I got this recipe from a friend, who got it from a friend, and well, I have no idea where it came from. So, Original Source, please forgive me for not crediting you.

quinoa cakes
makes 25-30 cakes

1 C quinoa
1 ripe banana
seasoning of choice
2 Tbs butter

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve and put in bowl. Add cool water until quinoa is covered by about 1/2" of water. Cover and leave to soak overnight in fridge.

In the morning, put soaked quinoa into a blender with banana and puree, adding a little more water if necessary, until mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. Add a pinch or two of whatever seasoning you want.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and melt butter. Add batter by the spoonful to form mini pancakes. Lightly brown on each side. Cool before serving.

These freeze well.  To freeze, place in single layer on a cookie sheet to freeze individually, then store together.


mushroom fontina pizza

Do you love mushrooms? Yeah, me too. And Jeff is a completely reformed mushroom-disliker. Since the kid digs 'em too, mushroom pizza is a clear winner.

Head over to Annies Eats for a fantastic recipe (and waaay better pictures.) I simplified the recipe a bit, but hers is great inspiration.  I used my go-to cornmeal pizza crust recipe.

I guess she largely borrowed from this recipe over at Pink Parsley. It was that blogger who said that this is a 'wine-worthy dinner'. I agree. Not that beer can't be fancy, but this pizza, with its roasted mushroom pesto and sauteed mushrooms topping, is definitely more involved than the average pizza n' beer night.

But the hassle is relatively minor and was worth it. It makes for a deliciously salty, earthy pizza that, by the way, goes great with a simple arugula salad.

Which reminds me. I love arugula. It's so bitter and peppery and I find that it complements a lot surprisingly well.

But I digress. Mushroom fontina pizza. Yum.