Welcome! My name is Katherine and I like to cook while eating (gets rid of that ravenous hunger thing). Please have a look at my recipes and always remember, never cook on an empty stomach!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I've moved!

I've moved on to wordpress, here is my new link. There's more restaurant writing, book review, but still recipes, of course!
Head on over to:


Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

I'm a little recipe happy today, so here's another! Since moving into my own apartment that is literally upstairs from the PSU Farmer's Market, I have been exploring new ingredients. So last week I picked up a couple fuschia colored stalks of rhubarb, and then realized I had no idea what to do with them. Often, you see compotes, crisps and pies marrying the tartness of rhubarb and sweetness of strawberries. I thought a compote would be a nice way to top my morning pre-Zumba oatmeal, so I gave it a shot. You could also use this compote on top of ice cream, farina, or polenta. Feel free to sub out the brown rice syrup for honey or sugar.

1 cup of strawberries, hulled and chopped in quarters
2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into one inch pieces
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup (or honey, sugar, etc)
the juice from half a lemon

Cook rhubarb and syrup in a small saucepan over medium high heat until tender, around 6-8 minutes. Add strawberries and cook over medium heat, letting the strawberries soften as well.When mixture resembles a jam of sorts, take off heat and add lemon juice.Mint might be a nice addition if you had it.
Serves 2-3 people.

Harissa Bloody Mary

*recipe published in the Daily Vanguard*

Harissa (a North African spice paste) has been showing up in a lot of my cooking these days.It's got a nice balance between smoke and spice, and adds a good kick to any traditional tomato dish. You can buy harissa at well-stocked grocery stores (Whole Foods, New Seasons or plenty of ethnic markets), or make your own by soaking dried chiles and then grinding them with spices in a coffee grinder.
Here's a harissa-laced breakfast beverage-I prefer gin myself, but feel free to use vodka. It's your thing, do what you wana do.

Harissa Bloody Mary

6 cups of R.W. Knudsen Family Very Veggie juice (or any other low-sodium tomato juice)
3 tablespoons of harissa paste
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
3 grinds of black pepper
2 tablespoons of horseradish
4 ounces of gin
The juice from one big lemon or two Meyer lemons
Several shakes of Worchester
1 tablespoon of salt
Celery sticks, green bean or asparagus for garnish

Add ice to pitcher, filling up about halfway. Fill with gin or vodka. Add tomato juice and stir with large spoon. Stir in harissa, tasting along the way to fit your heat preferences. Add peppers, horseradish, lemon juice, Worchester and salt. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with celery, asparagus or green bean. Serves four.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spicy Pig&Pineapple Tacos

**As Previously Published in The Daily Vanguard**

Sorry I've been M.I.A. lately, I'm in between homes right now so my camera and cord are in the bottom of some box as we speak. I made this recipe for my bf and his family last week and it was delightful, and I thought I'd share. I love the smoky taste that comes from grilling, but since I have no access to a BBQ at the moment, the broiler has done the work for me. This was inspired by a recipe on the Whole Foods website, and the salsa is freakishly easy, so have at it-enjoy this outside in the sun to conjure feelings of summer. It's coming kinda soon, right?

1 lb pork tenderloin
5 or 6 key limes
1 onion
1 large handful of cilantro
1 fresh pineapple or 2 or 3 cans, drained
corn or whole wheat tortillas
chili powder

Slice pork tenderloin vertically into thin strips. Set aside.

Chop pineapple, making sure not to include the tough center, or alternatively, drain cans of pineapple, saving the juice for another recipe. Slice onion into large wedges.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and preheat your broiler to high.

Add pineapple and onions to baking sheet, and let it broil for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally when the fruits and veggies start to get brown.

While pineapple cooks, finely chop cilantro and lime wedges.

When pineapple and onions are nicely browned, remove from the oven and put in a large bowl and cover with tin foil.

Add pork to the same baking sheet, sprinkle with chili powder, salt and lime juice. Broil for 8–10 mi
nutes, being careful not to overcook it.

While pork cooks, put a stove burner on very low heat. Char each tortilla, a minute or so per side, until a nice brown starts to appear and the tortilla softens a bit. Stack on a plate and cover with a paper towel.

When pork is finished, take out of the oven and squeeze with the juice from several limes.

Build each taco with pineapple, pork and onions. Serve with Sriracha, fresh cilantro, lime wedges and Tangy Green Salsa.

Tangy Green Salsa
A tangier take on the classic Pico de Gallo, this recipe calls for tomatillos, which can be found in most grocery stores.

1 lb tomatillos
1 large handful of cilantro
juice from 5–6 key limes
1 teaspoon of sugar
red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove

Remove papery layer from tomatillos and dice into small pieces. Finely chop cilantro, as well as the garlic clove. Place tomatillos, cilantro and garlic in a bowl. Add limejuice, sugar and red pepper flakes and taste so the meal heat and tartness are both to your liking. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes to overnight, and serve with tacos, eggs, or tortilla chips.

Dios Mio Cocktail
Enjoy this one on a hot day with your favorite Mexican meal.

1 ice-cold Mexican beer (Corona, Dos Equis, Negra Modelo, Tecate, etc.)
½ ounce of Bacardi Limon
1 lime
1 ounce of tequila, any variety

Pour beer into a tall glass (or concoct inside a Corona bottle). Add Bacardi, tequila and juice from the lime. Enjoy ice cold with spicy food.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sping on a plate

**recipes as previously published in the daily vanguard**

Hello! I know it's been awhile, and I apologize. I went on a mental and physical vacation to my hometown in Sonoma County, California. Meyer lemons, beautiful family, and 75 degree weather made it extremely hard to bring myself back to Oregon, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Another event that occurred on my vacation was a visit to Michael Chairello's restaurant, Bottega in Yountville. I don't review restaurants on my blog but this may have been some of the best Italian food I've ever had.
My main course was a pan-fried gnocchi with a heaping serving of spring vegetables and a creamy fonduta sauce. The colors on the plate were electric greens and oranges and the tastes were so fresh you'd think the veggies were picked that morning.
Here is my inspired recipe from the dish, minus the Fonduta add creamy goat cheese crumbles (a favorite ingredient of mine).
And following that, I have artichoke my way, a seasonal and fun food to eat. As Mr. Chiarello says,Buon Appetito.

Shells and spring veggies
Feel free to add any of your favorite spring vegetables—sugar snap peas would work well here also.

1 leek, cleaned and sliced into half moons
6 medium sized carrots (green tops removed) cut into slices
4 tablespoons of garlic and chive pesto (purchased from Pesto Outside The Box, a vendor at the PSU Farmer’s Market)
1 cup of whole wheat or regular shell pasta
4 tablespoons of olive oil
Zest from one Meyer lemon
2 tablespoons of goat cheese crumbles
Sprinkle of salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper

Bring a medium saucepan filled with water and a sprinkle of sea salt to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat, add olive oil.
When olive oil is hot, add carrot slices. Sprinkle with salt, grind pepper and let the carrots cook in oil for a few minutes.

Add pasta to water and cook according to package directions.
Next, add leeks to skillet, stir with spatula and add spices as needed. Sauté for 8–10 minutes at medium heat.

When pasta is ready and carrots are crisp tender, mix the pasta into the skillet.
Add pesto, goat cheese crumbles and zest.
Serve with lemon slices, serves 1–2 people.

Artichoke with lemon dill crema
This is a classic preparation of a vegetable that’s as fun to eat as it is tasty. If serving with pasta, make sure to start the artichoke earlier than the pasta. They often take a long time to become tender.

1 artichoke, trimmed of dirty leaves and stem removed
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of dill
Juice from one Meyer lemon
1 teaspoon of honey

Place a few inches of water in a medium saucepan. Place garlic, bay leaf, and vinegar in water and let it come to a boil.

Place steamer basket above water, and place artichoke in, stem up.
Place lid on pan and let simmer for 20–40 minutes.
When leaves can be removed easily with a fork, the artichoke is ready. Serve with lemon dill crema.

Mix yogurt, honey, lemon juice and dill in a small bowl. Serve with artichoke for dipping.
Serves 1–2 people.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Olive Press Competition: A 4 Course St. Patty's Meal

I sure do love me a food holiday. That’s why when I was invited to participate in a food blogger competition for Olive Press olive oil company in Sonoma (my hometown county! Represent!), I instantly thought of our upcoming holiday. Sure, I may be Italian/Lithuanian, but my boyfriend and favorite beer are both Irish, so of course I know what I’m talking about. Please enjoy my greened-out meal; each course highlighted with one of the following Olive Press olive oils:

Arbequina (light)
Mission (medium)
Italian (robust)
Blood Orange (sweet)

They've got all kinds of great oils you can check out at:

I’m not even the slightest bit competitive, so I just want to say thank you to Olive Press for sending me your samples and taking a chance on a newbie food blogger. Thanks so much!

Starter: Kale chips with Avocado Crema
These kale chips are nutrient-packed and transform completely in the oven into crunchy, salty delights. The Italian olive oil helped these chips achieve a smoky taste, which paired well with my avocado crema dip. Who doesn’t like avocado? (It’s got that good fat).

1 small avocado, very soft and ripe
1 tablespoon of nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tsp sea salt
1 bunch of kale
Italian Olive Oil (Olive Press)

1) Take prettiest, fullest leaves from the bunch and rinse thoroughly.
2) Lay out kale leaves on baking sheet. Drizzle two tablespoons Italian olive oil, top with sea salt and a grind or two of pepper.
3) Bake kale in the oven for 10 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, mix salt, avocado, and Greek yogurt in a small bowl, tasting for preference.
5) Serve avocado crema with kale chips, instructing guests to dip the stems of the chips in the crema.

Side: Spinach Dill Mashed Potatoes
Here’s a comfort classic with ribbons of farmer’s market spinach and earthy dill to add some flare to an old favorite. I use the medium Mission olive oil because it isn’t an aggressive flavor and it adds the silkiness butter usually offers to mashed potatoes. And most importantly, it’s St.Paddy’s Day so you have to have SOME potatoes!

1 large handful of spinach (preferably from the farmer’s market, oh so green!)
1 lb of Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed
½ cup half and half
Mission olive oil (Olive Press)
1 tablespoon fresh or dried dill
sea salt and pepper
1 minced garlic clove

1) Boil potatoes for 20-30 minutes or until you cut push through a potato with a fork easily.
2) When there is around 10 minutes left, set a medium skillet to high and add one tablespoon of Mission olive oil and the garlic. Next, add the spinach and sauté with a spatula.
3) Drain boiled potatoes and return to sauté pan. Add half and half and spinach and stir.

Main Dish:Calamari Shells With Goat Cheese and Capers
The shells I use for this recipe adhere really well to the creaminess of the goat cheese, and the tangy lemon zest compliment the zing of the capers. The Arbequina olive oil is by far my favorite of the four: it’s delicate and really highlights the flavor of seafood…I like it so much I add it to the sauce as well!

½ lb calamari tubes, sliced
1 cup of shell pasta
¼ cup of goat cheese crumbles
2 tablespoons capers
1 small zucchini, sliced
Delicate Arbequina Olive Oil (Olive Press)
the zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons parsley

1) Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil
2) When boiling, drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the Arbequina olive oil in a medium to large skillet. Place on medium high heat.
3) Add zucchini slices to mixture, cook for 4-5 minutes until becoming soft. Then add calamari to the mix, cooking a few minutes more.
4) Meanwhile, mix 2 more tablespoons of Arbequina with the zest and parsley in a small bowl.
5) When pasta is al dente, drain and then pour into skillet with calamari, zucchini and capers.
6) Top with lemon zest/parsley sauce and enjoy.

Dessert: Fruit Medley with Blood Orange Sherry Sauce
After any meal, it’s nice to leave the palate with something sweet. The Blood Orange olive oil from Olive press is really fantastic with a splash of sherry vinegar to add some kick to its sweetness. This fruit salad highlights some of our seasonal winter fruits that have been showing up everywhere, as well as some berries to prepare us for spring. Lastly, I added hazelnuts because they’re an Oregon favorite, and I have to give some love to my current residence!

1 Anjou pear, sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
½ cup blueberries
1 large handful of toasted hazelnuts
3 tablespoons Blood Orange olive oil (Olive Press)
1 and ½ tablespoon of sherry vinegar

1) Mix all fruit in a bowl with the nuts.
2) Mix oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork.
3) Top fruit with sauce, and serve to someone you love!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Whore Sauce With Shrimp & Lentils

*As Published In The Daily Vanguard*

Sugo alla puttanesca translates to “whore’s sauce” in Italian because of its “easy ingredients. The components of this sauce may be simple, but it is complex in taste. If you make Italian food a lot (Lord knows I do!), you'll likely have these ingredients in your fridge.

The recipe, inspired by a dish that Food Network’s Guy Fieri made with salmon on his show Guy’s Big Bite (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/lentil-puttanesca-with-salmon-recipe/index.html), is a combination of high flavor and high health. Lentils are full of all the good stuff—protein, iron, fiber, amino acids and vitamin B1.

Adding shrimp complements the nutrition factor of this dish, too. It’s a lean protein with just 85 calories to a three-ounce serving.

Of course, flavor is the most important aspect of your meal, and the saltiness of this sauce, with the hint of the brine from the shrimp, takes the palate to a very good place. Enjoy!

PS..sorry about the lack of pictures for this one..still trying to figure out this camera...more this weekend though:)


For the main course
1/2 cup uncooked lentils or 1 cup of the precooked kind (Trader Joe’s)
2 anchovies in olive oil, drained
2 tablespoons of kalamata olives, pitted
2 tablespoons of capers
3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes, low sodium
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 cups of shrimp of any variety, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of parsley

For bread
Olive oil
Whole wheat baguette
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons of oregano

For salad
4 large handfuls of spinach
2 handfuls of red cabbage, chopped
1 pear, sliced
2 ounces of almonds
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Half the juice of a lemon

Prepare your ingredients. Chop and drain the anchovies. Chop your olives. Drain your can of diced tomatoes. Chop the parsley. Dice your onion and garlic cloves. Slice your bread into as many slices as you wish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat one cup of water and the lentils in a saucepan on high until boiling. Simmer for 15 minutes and remove from heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet to medium-high, and add a few tablespoons of olive oil.

Add red pepper flakes to the oil and wait for a minute until fragrant. Next, add your diced onion and garlic to the oil. Sauté with spatula for five to eight minutes or until soft. Add anchovies, capers and olives. Add tomatoes and kick the heat down to medium and let the flavors mingle while you make the salad.

Take the cabbage, spinach, almonds and pear slices and place in a large bowl. Take the olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk with a fork in a small bowl or glass.

Next, place bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add shrimp to sauce, raising the heat a bit. Move around the shrimp with the spatula until they are a ripe pink, around six minutes.

Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle oregano on the hot bread slices.

When the shrimp is done cooking, add lemon juice, white wine vinegar and pepper.