Berry + Cherry Galette

It’s that time of year here in Portland where our yard becomes a (humble) bounty of berries. When we moved here two years ago we were lucky enough to discover raspberry bushes, blueberry bushes and a strawberry patch. Last winter we pruned the raspberry and blueberry bushes and it seems to be paying off. They’re producing more and better berries. The blueberries are just starting to ripen and it looks like we’ll have a sizable harvest soon. And even though its been two years now in a house with a yard, the novelty has not worn off, it still feels very special to this former city apartment dweller. 

Galettes are a great way to put together a quick dessert, I love the rustic casual way they’re designed, not very fussy but pretty all the same. Oh, and the dough was a whole new experience for me. A few months ago we bought a food processor, I had been doing most of my mixing by hand or with the kitchen-aid, but that doesn’t work so well for cutting butter into flour so I would cut it by hand which was a lot of work, so this week was my first time making pie dough with the food processor and, wow, just wow, in seconds I had my dough made. I was blown away. The dough recipe is for two pie crusts, it’s nice having one in the freezer ready to go.

Berry + Cherry Galette

  • 4 cups of berries and cherries (I used 2 cups raspberries and 2 cups cherries)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 13” pie dough, recipe below

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 13-inch round. Fold the round in half, transfer to the baking sheet lined with parchment paper, unfold the round. 

In a bowl, lightly stir together the berries, lemon juice, sugar and flour. Spoon the filling onto the dough, leaving a 2-inch border uncovered around the edge. Fold the edge up and over the filling, forming loose pleats. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes. 

Transfer the galette to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch galette

Pie Dough

  • 11-1/4 oz. (2-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz. (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
  • 5 oz. (about 2/3 cup) ice water

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the chilled butter using a stand mixer, a food processor, or a pastry blender until the butter is evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces. Add the ice water all at once to the flour and butter. Mix the dough just until it begins to come together (if using a stand mixer or a food processor, be especially careful not to overmix the dough). Note: it’s recommended to remove butter/flour mixture from the processor and incorporate the water gently to form the dough by hand. Gather the dough with your hands -- don't worry if you see streaks of butter -- and shape it into two disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Adapted from David Lebovitz and Williams-Sonoma

I couldn't stop taking photos while eating, messy and delicious

Homemade Kefir and Strawberry Kefir Smoothie

If you love yogurt as much I as I do you will definitely love milk kefir. It has a similar flavor to greek yogurt and can be used in smoothies, dressings, ice cream and anywhere you might use yogurt or buttermilk in a recipe. Why Kefir? It’s very beneficial for your digestive system as it’s a great source of probiotics. And kefir in particular has more beneficial bacteria than other fermented foods from what I’ve read. For example if you’re lactose intolerant you shouldn’t have any problems consuming milk kefir since it has the proper enzymes for digestion. And honestly heath benefits or not, I love this stuff! 

Keep in mind this is similar to making a sour dough starter, once you start you’ll need to keep feeding it. If you’ll be going away you can put it in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Here’s “How to take a break from making milk kefir” which also has instructions on how to dry them for up to six months.

We ordered the grains from Amazon, it’s a nice little kit with easy instructions which I’ve outlined below. And if cared for they will last indefinitely. 

Milk Kefir

  • 1 packet of dehydrated milk kefir grains
  • 1 cup milk, preferably organic, avoid ultra-pasteurized (plus more for each day)

Equipment: Glass jar, strainer, cheesecloth or coffee filter, rubber band, storage jar (all equipment/jars should be completely clean)

Activating Kefir grains

Empty packet of dehydrated milk kefir grains into 1 cup fresh pasteurized milk in glass jar, then stir. Cover with coffee filter or cloth and secure with rubber band. Allow to sit in warm spot 68°-85°F.

Keep an eye on the thickening over the next 8-24 hrs. If it has thickened or changed in texture then strain out the grains, discarding the milk, then put the grains in a 1 1/2 cups fresh milk. If it’s been 24 hours with no change, follow the steps to strain and place cultures in fresh milk. Follow these steps over the next 3-7 days, checking daily, and straining daily, increasing the amount of milk by 1/2 cup each time until you’ve reached 4 cups. At this point you’re milk kefir will be ready to drink and store in the refrigerator (it might be ready before you reach 4 cups, smell and taste, if it looks good you can start drinking it rather than tossing it.) When it’s ready it will be thick and have a tangy aroma and flavor much like yogurt.

Making Milk Kefir

Each day strain the kefir grains, store your new milk kefir, then place kefir grains into 2-4 cups of fresh milk, storing at room temp. If you use 2 cups it will probably culture faster than 4 cups. You can also place the kefir in the refrigerator to slow it down if you’re going to be away. Always use sterile clean jars and equipment.

Strawberry Kefir Smoothie

  • 2 cups milk kefir
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or sweeten to taste)

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. 

Cold Brew Iced Coffee

This is my first time making a cold brew coffee. It’s popular here in Portland and I wanted to give it a try. Stumptown coffee makes a delicious cold brew iced coffee with coconut milk (almost addictively good!), I tried adding some coconut milk to the iced coffee and it was really messy. Chunks of coconut cream that did not want to dissolve. I think the cream needs to be heated then cooled or something like that. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say what would work best when adding coconut cream. So here we’re sticking with a bit of half and half. Results? It was very good but I like a really strong coffee and it tasted like it could have brewed a bit longer than 17 hours. Or maybe my rough grind was too coarse. It’s fun to try so I recommend giving it a go, and it’s always nice to have cold iced coffee ready in the fridge! 

Cold Brew Iced Coffee

  • 1 1/2 cups coffee beans
  • 8 cups cold water 

Grind the coffee beans to a rough coarse texture. Place the coffee grinds in large pitcher, then pour in the cold water, give a stir. Place cheese cloth over the top and secure. Let sit at room temp at least 12 hours up to 24 hours. When ready prepare a large mesh strainer over a large container, strain the coffee grinds (there will be a lot!) Clean out the large pitcher and place a coffee filter on top (or you could use a Chemex pitcher and filter), pour the strained coffee into the clean pitcher. The two step filtering should be sufficient, but if you think you might need more repeat the process. Mine was fine with two strains. You could also use a french press for the whole process as well. Will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Sugar Snap Pea Slaw with Miso Lime Dressing

The best thing about this type of salad, or slaw, is that it keeps so well refrigerated. Often I like to make a really big batch that can work as a side dish throughout the week. It’s been crazy busy (not to mention physically draining) here lately with work on the backyard, so this sort of make-ahead salad works out perfect with something like a grilled burger. I won’t bore you with the details and logistics of digging dirt, discarding said dirt, irrigation, mulch, pavers, gravel, sand, whew! That’s some heavy stuff. But we’re almost there. I think. I hope.

I improvised this recipe from a salad I had at New Seasons, a local market here in Portland, they have terrific salads that I always want to replicate. They list all the ingredients in the prepared food case and I take a photo of it! And it’s very close. The baby kale is optional, I like the added greens, but I didn’t have any today, and spinach or other greens could work, but they won’t last as long in the refrigerator and will get too soggy. So if you add something like baby spinach you will want to eat it right away.

Well that’s all for now, enjoy!

Sugar Snap Pea Slaw with Miso Lime Dressing

  • 6 cups shredded cabbage 10 oz
  • 4 cups Sugar snap peas, chopped 12 oz
  • 1 large carrot, shredded 
  • 1 cup baby kale
  • 2 tablespoons White Miso
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup Sunflower seeds

In a large bowl combine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, baby kale and sugar snap peas. In a small bowl whisk together the miso and lime juice until smooth. Add the rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil, whisk until well combined. Toss the dressing in the slaw, then toss in the sunflower seeds. Best chilled before eaten. Will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Grapefruit Radler

Last summer I discovered the Grapefruit Radler drink. They seem to fly off the shelves here in Portland, especially on hot days, and for a good reason, it’s very refreshing. I’m not a big fan of soda-like drinks or coolers or whatever, but this is exceptional. Radlers (or Summer Shandy made with lemonade) are quite popular in Germany and Austria. It’s simply a neutral beer combined 50/50 with a sparkling citrus. The one I attempted to make is Stiegl-Radler, an Austrian brand. I initially tried to make it with a Hefeweizen beer, but the flavor of the beer was too strong, it tasted like a Hefe with grapefruit juice and syrup, the flavors just didn’t blend well. The Stiegl brand lists the ingredients as 40% Stiegl Goldbräu, 60% fruit soda. Goldbräu is an Oktoberfest beer, which is not so easy to find in April, so I bought their brand of beer since I wanted to get as close to the Stiegl-Radler as possible. Basically you want use a lager beer so there might be other brands that are just as suitable. Feel free to play around with the ratios but I felt this was pretty close to what I was trying to achieve. I think you’ll like this bright and refreshing drink that tastes like summertime. Cheers!

Grapefruit Radler

  • 5 ounces Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 6 ounces Club Soda
  • 12 ounces Lager Beer (Stiegl Gold is a good option)
  • Grapefruit Wedges To Garnish

(makes 2 drinks)

Combine the juice, simple syrup and club soda in a container, then divide between two glasses. Add 6 ounces of beer to each glass, give a stir and garnish with grapefruit wedges. 

Hippie Bowl

Getting healthy can be exhausting. Let me start out with the arrival of spring and that it means yard work. We’ve been digging up our backyard recently for a landscape project. Digging and lugging dirt in a wheelbarrow is pretty intense. It’s ok once you get in a groove but wow, this is some serious labor! I can’t tell you how many times we think about hiring somebody, but then we make good progress and keep moving along. This is good exercise right? People pay money to go to a gym for the same workout right? I’m more into yoga and hiking, not so much heavy lifting, but the end result will be satisfying so that keeps me going. Now the following recipe is not exhausting, however it does entail a few recipes within a recipe, but it’s worth it, and very much an energizing food to enjoy.

I first had this dish at a Sprouted Kitchen photography & styling workshop I attended last fall, it was so good that I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. It’s from their new cookbook Bowl + Spoon. Everything about this bowl is fantastic, however there are quite a few things to make here (the kind of recipe that makes me gasp at the ingredient list!), but some of this you can make ahead to save a little time, like the dressing and sunflower seeds. The dressing is really good not just for this bowl but other salads or falafels. These healthy bowls lend themselves to a lot of flexibility so feel free to swap out different vegetables or grains, but I would recommend sticking with the tofu marinade, the dressing and the sunflower seeds. The combination of flavors work really well. 

Hippie Bowl

  • 1/4 cup (coconut) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (low-sodium) soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tablespoons chili paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 (14 oz) extra firm tofu blocks
  • 1 cup millet (or quinoa)
  • 2 cups (low-sodium vegetable broth) or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups stemmed, chopped kale
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Sea salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 carrots shaved into ribbons
  • 1 cup sprouts or micro greens
  • 2 avocados, peeled and quartered
  • Tahini Citrus Miso Dressing (recipe below)
  • Spiced Sunflower Seeds (recipe below)

In a shallow dish whisk together the coconut sugar, soy sauce, chili paste, vinegar and sesame oil. Drain and press tofu between layers of paper towel or dish towel to remove excess liquid. Cut each block into 1-inch squares, toss them in the marinade and let soak for at least 30 minutes or for a few hours in the fridge. Flip them halfway through.

Preheat oven to 475°.

In a small pot over medium-low heat, add the millet and toast for a few minutes until you hear them start to pop. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 18 minutes until millet is tender. Remove from stove, fluff with fork, and stir in 1 tablespoon of oil. Cover and let sit until ready to use.

Spread the tofu on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until edges are browned. 

To saute the greens, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the kale and spinach in batches with a pinch of salt and the lemon juice, saute until just wilted, about 2 minutes.

Assemble the bowls with a portion of the millet, and then add your other toppings in quadrants on top, a scoop of tofu, warm greens, carrot ribbons and sprouts. Top with avocado, spiced sunflower seeds and a generous drizzle of tahini dressing.

Tahini Citrus Miso Dressing

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large orange (about 1/3 cup)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon juice to taste

In a mixing bowl whisk together the tahini, miso, honey, sesame oil, Sriracha until combined. Whisk in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Thin with water or lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning. The dressing will keep covered in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Spiced Sunflower Seeds

  • 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon (muscovado) sugar

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and that the sunflower seeds until just fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the salt, cayenne, and sugar and toss them around until the sugar is hot enough to stick to the seeds, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a piece of parchment paper and spread out in a single layer and allow to cool. The seeds can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in airtight container. (I had a lot left over and they were good well up to a week in advance!)

Adapted from Bowl + Spoon


Honey Cake

What to do with a jar of honey that’s crystallized? Make cake. There are ways to deal with crystallized honey, putting the bottle in warm water for a while will make it smooth again for a while, but for the everyday dollop on some yogurt it can be a bit tedious. This is the first time I’ve made Honey Cake and it’s a great everyday cake for dessert or even breakfast. Although it’s traditionally served for the Jewish New Year. The original recipe calls for vegetable oil, which I didn’t have, so I used olive oil. Initially I thought the olive oil flavor was too dominant, but after the cake had a chance to sit, the flavors seemed to mellow and I didn’t notice it anymore. I also used walnuts instead of almonds, so feel free to use whatever you like, I just really love walnuts in baked goods! There are a variety of cake pan sizes listed below, for me this recipe worked out to one 9” loaf pan and one 9x9” square cake pan.

Honey Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups (440 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons (about 8 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup (235 ml) vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup (340 grams) honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (95 grams) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm (235 ml) coffee or strong tea
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) rye or whiskey
  • 1/2 cup (45 to 55 grams) Walnuts (or sliced almonds)

Fits in three loaf pans, two 9-inch square or round cake pans, one 9 or 10 inch tube or bundt cake pan, or one 9 by 13 inch sheet cake. (I used one 9" loaf pan and one 9"x9" square pan.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease pan(s) with butter. Line the bottom and sides of pans with lightly greased parchment paper, cut to fit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Make a well in the center, and add oil, honey, white sugar, brown sugars, eggs, vanilla, coffee or tea, orange juice and rye or whiskey, if using. (If you measure your oil before the honey, it will be easier to get all of the honey out.)

Using a strong wire whisk or in an electric mixer on slow speed, stir together well to make a thick, well-blended batter, making sure that no ingredients are stuck to the bottom.

Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Sprinkle top of cake(s) evenly with nuts. Place cake pan(s) on two baking sheets, stacked together (this will ensure the cakes bake properly with the bottom baking faster than the cake interior and top).

Bake until cake tests done, that is, it springs back when you gently touch the cake center. For angel and tube cake pans, this will take 60 to 75 minutes, loaf cakes, about 45 to 55 minutes. For sheet style cakes, baking time is 40 to 45 minutes.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Marrakesh Carrot Salad

I don’t make many carrot salads. In fact I haven’t made one for quite some time. But this recipe is a keeper. It’s adapted from Sprouted Kitchen’s Bowl + Spoon The dressing is super delicious with Moroccan flavors that I really love. I changed a couple things from the original recipe, rather than using Medjool dates, which are probably delicious, I used a dried fruit mix that I had on hand. And I didn’t use the green onions, as I didn’t have those on hand either, and considering I was already using red onion, it seemed enough to me. I think it’s fine to skip unless you prefer a lot of onion in your salad. It’s a colorful and delicious salad that will keep well in the fridge, it also makes a huge amount with several servings. I’ve bookmarked a few things in the book that I’ll be making soon, maybe it’s all this rain or winter fatigue, but I really just want bowls of salads and fresh vegetables these days. 

Marrakesh Carrot Salad

  • 4 cups grated (or julienned) carrots (about 5 or 6 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit, such as Medjool dates or raisins
  • 1/3 of a red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios
  • Crumbled feta cheese (for garnish, optional)

In large bowl combine the carrots, garbanzo beans, dates, red onion and cilantro. In another bowl whisk together the olive oil, zest and juice of the limes, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the carrot said and toss to coat. Top with the pistachios and feta cheese. Serve as is or cover and chill in the fridge. (the salad will keep well and tastes even better after it’s had time to sit)

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen’s Bowl + Spoon

Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds

It’s been raining relentlessly here in Portland, like you can’t even believe record-breaking-rainfalls and all of that. So it’s a good time to bake. I’ve been wanting to make Rye Bread for some time now and this came out better than I’d hoped for. It’s based on the no-knead method, although not as airy as the original, this bread is fairly dense with an incredible crisp and chewy crust. And of course the caraway seeds add a wonderful flavor to the rye. I’m trying to make bread more often, simply because of how easy it is and tastes so good. I’m looking forward to experimenting with different grains and seeds, so you will most likely see more bread posts here in the coming months.

Rye Bread with Caraway Seeds

  • 8 oz rye flour
  • 12 oz bread flour
  • Generous 1/4 teaspoon dried, instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 15 oz water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds

In a large bowl combine flours, yeast, salt and caraway seeds. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal (you can rest dough on parchment paper as well, it’s less of a mess) Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger. (This rye version didn’t double in size, maybe 1 1/2 in size)

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450°F. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Roasted Beets + Yogurt

Every time I have beets I’m reminded that I just don’t eat them often enough. I love their flavor and versatility. I had a dish similar to this recently and was inspired to make it. The flavors of orange and thyme work very well with the earthiness of beets. It’s similar to the beet stacks I’ve made before but here I’m using greek yogurt rather than goat cheese, and it’s a more casual approach with presentation. It makes a great side dish and is quite easy to put together. Enjoy!

Roasted Beets + Yogurt

  • 1 bunch of beets (about 3 medium size)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (+ more for roasting beets and yogurt)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub the beets and trim the beet greens. Place beets in foil, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and salt. Wrap foil lightly and place on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until tender. Set aside to cool. Peel and chop in large chunks when cool.

In a small bowl whisk the juice of half an orange and olive oil, mix in 3/4 of the orange zest and fresh thyme, then add the chopped beets and toss. Allow to sit for a few minutes. 

In a separate bowl whisk the yogurt with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Plate the beets on top of the yogurt and garnish with orange zest and thyme. You can make one large plate or serve individually.

Makes 2-3 servings.