Mint Perfect!

Mint. It grows like a weed around these parts and we might sometimes take its ubiquity for granted. Yet there is no easier way to conjure up a burst of summer sunshine than by throwing a handful of zingy, fresh mint into a dish....

Summer Arrives with Apricots

Apricots are one of my favorite early-summer stone fruits. I love pulling them apart at the seams and taking big, juicy bites as the soft, orange skin brushes my lips, the sourness clings to the back of my throat, and the syrupy fruit quenches my thirst....

Spring Brunch

There is nothing like a good dose of spring to remind us of hope and rebirth....

Emerald Forest Cake

As thoughts of hand-crafted chocolate and succulent frozen cherries came to mind, I started mulling a Pacific Northwest version of a traditional Black Forest Cake. After some local and seasonal substitutions, the result was a take on the cake that might be better than the original....

One Ingredient Three Ways: Rhubarb

After the ground thaws, green shoots and buds emerge as harbingers of spring. The rhubarb leaves are among the first to uncurl and fan out. Soon, green stalks will blush pink, then red, begging to be picked. I always eagerly await rhubarb season. Its bright, sour flavor is welcome after a winter season full of rich, hearty foods, and it’s a versatile ingredient that works well in both sweet and savory recipes....

Proven Pearings

I speak from experience when I say that a pastry chef’s palette of seasonal ingredients is crowded with caramel and chocolate browns when winter rolls around. But if you look closely, there are plenty of local options for satisfying your sweet tooth. From the sweet, creamy yellow flesh of a Seckel pear, to the papery mahogany skin of the hazelnut, to the deep, dark brown of extra-dark, bittersweet chocolate, what winter’s offerings lack in bright color and flavor are made up for in richness and texture....

Clean Your Plate!

At the beginning of the New Year, many of us pause and think about the year behind and create plans for the year to come. After all the holiday indulging, many of these plans revolve around health and wellness, and we begin to move towards the idea of treating our bodies with a little more care. ...

One Ingredient Three Ways: Dungeness Crab

The delicate but distinctive flavor of the Pacific Northwest's Dungeness crab combines winter's reality with summer's promise, making a perfect New Year's resolution....

The Proof is in the Parsnip

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Fine words butter no parsnips.” In other words, flattery (“buttering up”) is meaningless without the behavior to back it up. A variation of sorts on “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” it's a particularly apt turn of phrase when speaking of parsnips, that humble root vegetable whose gnarled exterior is at odds with its creamy, sweet interior....

Holidays on the Lamb

The last two months of the year are a time of celebration and giving thanks. Family and friends gather around the holiday table to reconnect and reminisce while enjoying a hearty meal together. When I was growing up, lamb often found its way onto our holiday table. An untraditional meal to many, lamb became our tradition, and to this day, the smell of lamb wafting through the house brings back all those memories of home and comfort....