Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fresh Flavor Sunday - Blackberry Banana Cake

It's been a summer of mood swings here in Portland - we've had very hot, very cool, and very stormy weather, as well as smoke from recent wildfires blanketing the valley.

So I haven't been as on-top of my blackberry picking as I have been in past years. We live near some wonderful walking paths, a lot of them lined with blackberry bushes, so I've been anxious to go out. Well, I finally got to it yesterday with my niece. We were fairly certain we'd get rained on, but this was a rare Pacific Northwest moment where the dark clouds blew away from us!

We had a good time, but didn't find the kind of volume I would have hoped for. A lot of the berries were either unripe, out of reach, or shrivelled on the vine. We hiked through some tall grass in hopes of finding better berries, but only found dried ones - and wound up covered in burrs for our trouble.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fresh Flavor Friday: Adventures in Gardening with Katherine Reay + Book Giveaway!

Hillary here - so delighted to have guest Katherine Reay to chat about her adventures in gardening!

My family loves food. When we lived in Ireland, another family and ours would get together and share a huge Sunday dinner – one that took hours to cook and an equally long time to enjoy. Now that we're back in the states, Sunday dinner remains one of our favorite family traditions. The menu varies – barbeque one week, Coq au Vin another and some multi-course Italian extravaganza at least monthly. We love the time together, searching for the menu, and the cooking. We endure the clean-up. In fact, when writing Lizzy and Jane, I tapped into this passion. Most of Lizzy’s food comes from family favorites.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fresh Flavor Monday: Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad

If you're looking for a satisfying dish with a lot of flavor but not a lot of effort, heirloom tomatoes are here for you! They're right in season at the moment, so check out your farmer's market and better-stocked grocery stores.

Heirloom tomatoes are varietals that have been passed down in a family for several generations. We're accustomed to tomatoes that are round and evenly colored. Heirlooms can be yellow, purple, red, and orange, They can be lumpy and asymmetrical - no two are identical.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Eat Clean. Eat Fresh. Eat Local.

To celebrate the month of August and the recent release of Reservations for Two, my publisher and I are spending the month celebrating local flavors.

How do you join in? Snap a picture of celebrating fresh, local food (could be a recipe or a particularly lovely radish…be creative!). Post your photo to social media using #mylocalflavor and #ReservationsForTwo and you’ll be entered to win a Kitchenaid Mixer as well as a shot at one of 5 kitchen gift baskets put together by me! The gift baskets will include my favorite kitchen items, one of my favorite cookbooks and a copy of the book Reservations for Two.

Saturday, August 1, 2015