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A mess of ravioli

When I put in an Amazon order for my summer quarter textbooks, I added a pasta rack and the ravioli attachment for my pasta machine to the order. It arrived yesterday afternoon, so I had to make a mess of ravioli, and it really was a mess.

Just like all the other mechanical kitchen gadgets, the instructions always make it sound so easy, but the fact of the matter is that it takes practice.

I made up a batch of spelt pasta, which hung wonderfully on the new pasta rack, and came up with a quick mushroom, onion, garlic filling since Laurie can't do dairy.

Farmers' markets and food co-ops in and around Portland, OR

Here is a list of some of the farmers' markets and co-ops in and around Portland. This is not a complete list of markets in the area, just the ones that I shop and/or perform at.


Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace, June through August, 5pm to 8pm
E Main St & SE 2nd Ave, Hillsboro, OR MAP

Working out a new recipe #2

Getting closer to what I am going for with this version of the new recipe. Still do not have a name for it.

I decided to do away with the ribs and the browning because I want this to be an easy to prepare and eat dish for a dutch oven gathering.

I figure I will make this a few more times to get the spice mixture just right and to try a couple of other cuts of beef and lamb.

Ingredients (in the order that they will be used):
2 T. olive oil

Busy piper's pizza and bread

Over the Memorial Day weekend I had a lot of piping events and forgot to keep track of my bread situation. Monday afternoon my wife asks me if I am baking bread since we are almost out and I realize that the sourdough starter is still sitting in the back of the refrigerator. So I say, "No, I will just swing by the store and pick up a loaf of Grand Central sourdough and we will get by with that for the week." I can tell that she is not too happy about it - but she is spoiled the rest of the time so it will not hurt her too much.

I need to get a pasta rack

Last night was one of those times when I had no idea what I wanted to eat. Nothing sounded all that good. So I decided to make some homemade spelt/semolina noodles and see what I finally ended up with. While I was messing around with making the noodles, Laurie decided to whip up a meat and veggie sauce with a jar of the commercial spaghetti sauce from Costco. I'm not sure exactly what she put in it, and she probably doesn't remember either, but it came out perfect for those homemade noodles. Isn't it amazing how once you start cooking, your mind starts wanting what you're making?

Dry cured bacon at Costco

I made the monthly pilgrimage to Costco yesterday and was surprised to find that they are now carrying Fletcher's Dry Cured Bacon! For those of you that don't know, dry curing is the way that bacon is supposed to be made. If you look at a package of bacon in the supermarket, the second ingredient, after "pork", is "water". The only reason for processors to add water is because it is easier and cheaper for them. Who wants watered down bacon?

Working out a new recipe

I had an idea for a recipe, but the final result is not quite what I am after. The flavour is right on, but the sauce texture is too thin.

Here is the (not yet named or finished) recipe:
1 c. dry pinto beans, soaked overnight, drained

Chop: 1 carrot, 1/2 onion, 1/2 rib celery.
Mince: 2 cloves garlic.

In a small bowl mix: 1 T. smoked paprika, brown sugar; 2 t. kosher salt; 1 t. mustard, pepper, sage

2 c. beef stock
2 T. tomato paste

8 beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
2 t. olive oil

Turn the oven to 225F.

A meat and potatoes Grooms Cake

You gotta love someone that can come up with a a real men's cake for a wedding. Check out this groom's cake made out of meatloaf with mashed potatoes for the icing.

"Design Your Dream Kitchen" course at OSU

First a bit of background:

The one day course was run by senior students, and supervised by instructors, in the OSU home design program. The course consisted of presentations from, and discussions with, a kitchen designer, a builder/contractor, an appliance salesman, a lighting designer, the owner of a "green" building supply outlet, and a representative from National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Our overall impression of the course:

Kitchen Remodel #4

I know it has been a while since I have posted anything on the remodel, but it is still in progress. My wife and I are going to a kitchen design course (more like a one day workshop) called "Design Your Dream Kitchen" at OSU.

Here is the course description:

A foodie day

I started my day yesterday with a nice big breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs and English muffins. Nothing too fancy, not even home made English muffins, but it sure was tasty.

For lunch I put together a picnic with a couple of sammiches (a smoked turkey and a salami) and some left over mac and cheese, and headed down to school. The Evergreen State College campus is over two square miles of mostly forested land with its own beach on Cooper's Point. I wandered the trails for a little while and settled on a nice log on the beach for lunch.

Spring break is finally here!

That was my toughest quarter of college yet. Taking two writing intensive courses at the same time was not the most brilliant move I've ever made.

Now that Spring Break is here, and I put Laurie on the plane to the library conference in DC, it's time to play with cooking all the fun meals that I've missed out on over the last month. I'm thinking of making some Mongolian Beef, and maybe a lasagna with homemade noodles and sauce to start off the week, and I'll see where I go from there.

Giving The Rock a second chance

On Sunday night, we were meeting a bunch of Laurie's coworkers at The Rock in Lacey before heading down to Evergreen to hear Maya Angelou speak. Back about five or six years ago, we tried out The Rock up in Lynnwood shortly after it opened, but we weren't all that impressed. Their pizza was actually pretty good, but they only had their list of specialty pizzas, without much else. They had a policy of no split pizzas, and no substitutions of items. We ended up spending around $40 for the two of us, and while the pizza was good, it wasn't that good.

International Dutch Oven Society (IDOS) 2007 Fall Convention

The fall convention this year will be held on September 1st & 2nd in the White School Park Building at the corner of 1st and Morson streets in La Pine, OR. MAP

The DOG will be held on Saturday evening. This will be a large gathering. Plenty of dutch oven cooks for you to talk with and plenty of food for you to sample.

Kitchen remodel #3

I know I am not putting these blog entries in time-line order. I am trying to put up the current things as they occur and work my way back to others as best as I can recall them. So here are some of the reasons/thoughts behind our current kitchen remodel designs.

Kitchen remodel #2

We did some more looking around on the Internet and went to a few more appliance, flooring, and stone showrooms. Here is what we are thinking about and why we are thinking this way. Hopefully this will help you when you are looking at remodelling your kitchen.

Valentine's dinner

When I went to the chiropractor yesterday, the receptionist and the chiropractor's wife were telling me that it's the guy's job to cook a romantic dinner for the girl on Valentines Day. i guess that might make sense, if it is the girl that is always doing the cooking, but in our house, the most romantic dinners are the ones we make together. It isn't the part where we are being served, it's sharing the experience.

Kitchen remodel

My wife and I have talked non-seriously about a remodel for the past five or so years. Discussing what we think we would like to have in the kitchen, where and why we would like to have it, and go out and look at open houses in the area to get other kitchen ideas that we had not considered. (Each time we go out we come back liking our own house, lot, and location more and more, so it seems like a remodel instead of a new house is the correct answer for us.)

Gotta get in the habit of collecting menus

It's been a busy week, and I haven't had much chance to work on this site, much less make any decent food. When I've gotten a chance to make something, it has always been something quick like a Thai chicken dish or a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich.

Dutch Oven Gathering (DOG)

I like to keep trying new things, especially with my cooking, so I am going to my first DOG next month. I am starting slow - this is not a competition level event - and I am not sure that I am interested in getting into competition cooking right now. (Getting in enough practice time to keep my piping at a competition level keeps me plenty busy.)

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