Friday, December 10, 2010

it's beginning to look a lot like Fritmur!
making Fritmur goodies!
hedgehogs, porcupines and mice oh my!
1 cup peanut butter 
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup non-instant powdered milk

Mix ingredients to make a stiff, malleable dough. 

Add more powdermilk or honey as needed to get the right consistency. Chill it in the fridge.

Form into 1" balls (I used a 1 tsp. measuring spoon) - make them pointy on one end. 

For mice: peanut ears and zante currant eyes, and a snip of fruit roll-up for a tail.  

For porcupine: sliced almonds for spines

For hedgehog: blanched slivered almonds for spikes

Store these critters in the fridge.


What to do with leftover candy canes:
(These are stupid easy, but no one would know.  I'm all about the lazy way out.)

1 stick butter (unsalted)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Melt the butter and sugar together in a saucepan over low heat.

Stir until the sugar is no longer grainy.

Take it off the heat.

Fork-beat the egg in a small bowl (I remove the white stringy thing)

Then stir in a little of the butter sugar mixture, a spoonful at a time, to "temper" it.

Then add the egg mixture to the butter/sugar in the saucepan.

Stir in the vanilla and the flour.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a loaf pan, and up two of the sides (you want them to be handles to lift out the brownies with).

Spread the mixture evenly in the pan and the push the chocolate pieces into the batter, one for every bite (1" apart).

Bake at 350° for 22 - 25 minutes

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then use a knife to cut around the edge.

Lift the whole thing out with the paper, and place on a cutting board.

Cut into 1" squares, but don't separate them yet.

When they are cool, drizzle on the icing and sprinkle on the candy cane bits.

1/2 teaspoon powdered egg white ("meringue powder")

1 teaspoon water

1 teensy drop of peppermint extract, and I mean TEENSY. That stuff is strong. Use a toothpick so you don't get too much.

2 - 4 Tablespoons powder sugar, as much needed to make a thick, drizzly icing.

 (this only makes a few spoonfuls of icing, but that's all you need for this recipe)

Let the meringue powder and the water stand until dissolved (you can "help" it with spoon).

Then beat the reconstituted egg whites until nice and frothy. I beat mine with a tiny little battery operated cappucino whisk that my twin sent me. He sends me new gadgets for Christmas and I always say "WTH is this?" but then they turn out to be really useful.

Put the icing in the corner of a sandwich bag, twist it off like a pastry bag, and snip off a tiny corner. Pipe the icing out and drizzle it over the blondie bites.

Sprinkle the candy cane bits on whilst the icing is wet.

Cut the cookies again and separate them. Put them in little mini papers to dress them up, and gift them in an empty re-cycled candy box:


Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I went persimmon picking with the Portland Fruit Tree Project!

12 people picked 200 pounds of fruit.
Half went to the Oregon Food Bank,
and the other half was divided up amongst the pickers.
We each got 8 pounds.

The flat-ish ones are Fuyu persimmons, they can be eaten when still firm.

The pointed ones, Hachiya persimmons, are not edible until fully ripe.

I remember the small American wild persimmons we'd eat in West Virginia.
They're the "sugar plums" of "visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads."
I think I am gonna dry some of the Fuyu and maybe make fruit leather with the Hachiya.

I made this slaw with yellow "banana apples" Fuyu persimmons, banana peppers, mint, and sunflower seeds:

I made Persimmon Leather: (it has bits of candied ginger in it)

 Dried persimmon chips:

Monday, November 1, 2010

HalloWeenie Salad

Carrot Sesame Salad

1 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 an orange, zest and juice
2 tsp dark Asian sesame oil
2 tsp minced candied ginger
1 tsp black sesame seeds 

Mix the zest & juices with the sesame oil and the minced ginger. 
Toss with the shredded carrot. 
Sprinkle on the black sesame seeds.

Saturday, October 30, 2010



I picked the ones I could reach and there are probably hundreds more up there in the neighbor's vines that are choking out the trees that hang over my yard and fence.

These are hard and will take weeks to ripen, in the crisper drawer and / or stored in egg cartons in my unheated pantry. I have to pick them now before the frosts, rains, squirrels, and birds get to them. They usually ripen on the vines by December.

I still have kiwi-ginger marmalade from last season (or was it 2008?!) in my pantry. I'm thinking I will probably just eat these fresh, freeze some, and give away some. I have a little grand-nephew who is ga-ga over kiwi!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When I lived in Eugene in the 1970s we were delighted to find English walnut trees growing everywhere. On every block you could find a tree with lots of walnuts under it for the taking. I visited Eugene last week and gathered some walnuts under a tree. These are for Theresie!

Lemon Marmalade

· Use organic lemons, if you will.
· Cut the peel off of the lemon (s) in strips.  Try to get just the yellow part.
· Julienne the peel strips into thin pieces.
· Remove as much of the white pith as you can from the rest of the lemon (s).
· Slice the lemon bodies into thin slices (1/8").
· Put the lemon bits in a saucepan; for every 1 cup of lemon peel and slices, add 1 cup of water.
· Leave the lemon and water mixture to stand for 4 hours or overnight.
· Bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
· Add 1 cup of sugar per 1 cup of lemon / water mixture.
· Bring back to a boil. Be careful & keep heat low, since it will probably try to bubble up furiously.
· Simmer, stirring, another 30 minutes, with the lid off. I used a silicone spatula to stir down the sides.
· Test the marmalade: Put a little of the mixture into a cup and chill the cup in the freeze or in a cool water bath. If it is still real runny, cook it a little longer. Be careful not to scorch the marmalade.
· (If you want a very firm marmalade, you might want to add a little bit of liquid pectin - follow instructions on the package)

Saturday, October 16, 2010


No Photo! ( we ate it before I could take a picture)
In the 70s I found a recipe that Liv Ullman posted in a magazine, for what she called "Torsk, Noregian codfish casserole". It is just whitefish filets laid in a baking pan with tomatoes and green onions on top. I used frozen sole from TJs, with garden tomatoes and garden herbs strewn on top: garden celery, green onions, marjoram, parsley. Baked at 400° for about 15 minutes (until flakey.) Served with hot pearl rice.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Tomato Time!!


This is how I made it:
I used 3 onions, peeled and chopped, about 3 pounds of green tomatoes chopped, and 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and sliced. I also added some red tomatoes. Roast in large roasting pan with oil until caramelized and soft. Add chopped fresh herbs: marjoram, garden celery, parsley, mint, thyme return to oven and roast 5 - 10 minutes more.

Orange Ginger Honey Marmalade

what to do with a big fat home grown orange from Steve & Carlos's tree in Rockridge:

This is from one orange!
For 1 orange, I used 1/4 cup honey, 1 T minced candied ginger, 2 T lemon juice, 1/4 cup water.
Remove & julienne peel. Remove & discard white pith. Slice orange flesh. Cook until clear and thick (low heat, about 30 minutes).

Baby Squash, Spinach Soup, Soft Boilt Egg

I pulled up all the remaining squash vines from the garden, and took off all the baby squashes and blossoms, including teeny tiny little fetal ones! Sautted them in a little olive oil and garlic, and set them on some spinach soup from the freezer that I had made a while ago. Topped with a soft boilt egg, cut lengthwise and spooned from the shell. A nice lunch on a sunny October afternoon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quince Paste & Hazelnut Crackers

Quince paste, hazelnut crackers, Spanish cheese


1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warmish water
1/2 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup wholewheat pastry flour
1/4 cup gluten flour
1/2 cup AP flour
3/4 tsp. salt
6 T unsalted butter

· Slice the hazelnuts with a sharp knife.
· Toast the hazelnuts on a sheet in a 350° oven until slightly browned and fragrant.
· "Start" the yeast and the water in a cup.
· Whisk together the flours and the salt.
· Cut the butter into the flour, making a crumbly mixture, using a fork or fingers.
· Stir in the hazelnuts.
· Add the yeast/water a little at a time, until the dough just forms a ball.
· You may not need all the water, or you might need to add a little more.
· Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces.
· Roll the dough out as thinly as possible on a floured surface. (I used wax paper)
· Sprinkle sea salt on top. You could use water or egg wash to make it stick.
· Cut into cracker shapes. I used a ravioli wheel that has a curly edge.
· Prick the crackers all over with a fork.
· Place the crackers on a baking sheet and bake at 375° for about 10 minutes.
· Baking time might vary, based on the thickness of the crackers, etc.

Ripe quinces
·For every pound of quince, you will need approximately 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water.
·Make sure the quinces are ripe - let them stand on the counter until they are yellow and smell heavenly.
·Put the quinces in a sinkful of cool water and gently rub off the fuzz with a cloth or a soft brush.
·Cut up, peel, and core the quince, placing the pieces in a saucepan with the water and sugar.
·Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the quince is soft.
Run the cooked quince through a food mill or puree in a food processor.
Return to the saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat, until it is deep red and thick.
·Spread the paste in a prepared pan, with parchment on the bottom (you could use oil).
·Allow the quince paste to cool.
·Serve in thin slices on crackers with with Manchego cheese.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pineapple Mint Sorbet or Popsicles

No sugar! - just fruit and mint. These are very refreshing on a hot summer day.

Ingredients: 1 golden pineapple, Organic
a good handful, about 25, fresh young spearmint leaves

Peel and core pineapple, cut the pineapple into chunks.
(Save the peelings for Pineapple Vinegar, recipe to be posted soon)
Whirl the pineapple in food processor with spearmint leaves.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze, or put freeze mixture in flat container, stirring several times during freezing process. Or run mixture through an ice cream maker, such as a Donvier.

Spices and Herbs

I just updated my spice rack. After years of assorted babyfood and tiny jam jars and miscellaneous used spice jars, I bought a couple of 12-packs of 4 oz. canning jars - on sale for $6. I almost bought some aluminum tins that have clear plastic lids, but I decided that they were not quite airtight enough and something about the metal and the plastic just doesn't feel quite right to me. I think the herbs might get stale faster if they aren't airtight and I think the plastic and aluminum could interact with the herbs. Also I like being able to look through the glass and see what's inside.

I have had this wooden spice rack for at least 25 years. I like that it has dowels that keep the jars from falling off. One should keep spices and herbs in a place that is easy to access from the food prep area, but not too close to the heat of the stove or sunlight from windows.



Here's a basic list of the spices and herbs I like to keep on hand. I don't like to have big containers of spices - they lose flavor, especially when they sit 'round for months and years. I prefer to buy small amounts from the bulk section, so I can use it up and get fresh spices when I need more.


cumin (seeds & ground)
chili powder
garam masala
paprika (regular and smoked)
dill (weed & seed)
celery seed
coriander seed
poppy seeds
sesame seeds (brown and black)
fennel seeds
fenugreek seeds
mustard seeds (yellow and black)
dried mustard powder
ginger (dried ground, fresh gingerroot, and candied ginger)
cinnamon (ground and sticks)
nutmeg (whole)
anise seed
caraway seed
furikake (Japanese seaweed & fish - comes in many varieties, serve on rice)

fresh in the garden:
bay leaves
celery leaf
marjoram ("Italian oregano")

Easy Roasty Garlic Mushrooms

Eat as a side dish or tuck into sandwiches

• slice

• toss with olive oil in a plastic bag

• place in a layer on a sided baking sheet

• sprinkle with minced garlic, Balsamic vinegar, and sea salt

• bake at 375° until roasty

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cold Meal for a hot summer night

Chilled cucumber soup (with lemon, garlic, dill, and Nancy's Kefir)
Hello Kitty's Texas Slaw with chopped salty peanuts
Fresh Lime-Ade

Zuke Canoes!



Ground beef, onions, bread crumbs, egg, toasted walnuts, parmesan and cheddar, salame, and tons of herbs from the garden (celery, parsley, marjoram, chives, mint). More cheese and bread crumbs for the top. Coarse sea salt for the finish.

Brown the meat and onions, mix with other ingredients. Parboil the zukes, whole, then plunge into cold water. Drain, then slice lengthwise. Stuff the zukes, put more cheese and breadcrumbs on top, line up in a baking pan, bake at 350° about 45 - 60 minutes. Put a little broth into the pan to keep them from getting too dry.