Sage Aioli

A-I-O-L-I.  Aioli.  Spelling aioli is probably the most complicated part.  Making it certainly isn’t tough.  More importantly, who doesn’t love the stuff?  It goes perfectly with everything: fresh veggies, sweet potato fries, roasted artichokes, and beyond….  There are approximately 1000 takes on aioli out there.  I have tried a good number of them, but this sage-y garlicky version has become our mainstay. This version is made the “cheater” way with mayonnaise instead of starting at square one with an emulsion of egg yolks and oil.  Just make sure your mayonnaise is organic or higher quality.  Why “cheat?”  Less time; same taste.  Seriously, under 5 minutes for this little ditty.  I repeat.  Under…

Honey Candied Pecans

I have a little secret to tell you. I am a cheater – not on taxes, not in cards, not in marriage, but in the kitchen. What do I mean? You know the pecans I candied for the salad? Yea, they had been in my freezer for 2 months. See, I cheat. I make things that I know I can use in the future in huge batches, so I always have some handy. Whether it is candied nuts, a loaf of banana bread, chipotle enchilada sauce, or cookie dough, this comes in handy all the time. Just about anything that makes meals or entertaining a more streamlined process is a…

Mediterranean Quinoa Chop Salad

I don’t know if there is any scientific evidence behind this, but during every summer of my formative years, I was in Alaska.  My dad would be there for work so my family would join him as soon as school let out.  As a result, I inadvertently trained my body to believe that a really, really nice summer day was in the low seventies.  During the first summer that we didn’t “go north,” as my mom called it, it hit ninety degrees, my body didn’t know what to do.  I had never experienced a heat stroke but was quite sure that this must be it.  My body was simply never trained…

Italian Hazelnut Crescent Cookies

As a kid, my favorite holiday cookie was what my Mom called Russian Tea Cookies.  Although, I have heard some folks refer to them as “Snowballs” as well. When I found a recipe for Italian Almond Crescent Cookies, I was intrigued because of its similarity to my old favorite.  Now, my favorites are a variation of these little buttery crescents. Once upon a time, I was craving these on a snowy day, but I was all out of almonds.  Pilfering my pantry, I discovered that we did have plenty of hazelnuts. And, we certainly love hazelnuts!  So I thought, why not?!  Since then, we have never wanted these cookies any other…
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Salted Caramel Apple Bars

The summer of 2015 will go down in Washington state as being one of the driest and hottest yet.  Wild-fires ravaged the eastern half of the state.  The low snowfall from the previous winter caused alpine streams to cease flowing.  Even our Olympic National Park that is home to two rain forests was shaken by forest fires.  Now that we are rounding the corner into fall with they blustery wet days Seattle is famous for, many who call the Evergreen State home – myself included – are breathing a sigh of relief.  Aaaaaaaaah…. **kicking feet up on the ottoman with a cup of tea** Seattleites in particular are not made…
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