Rugbraud Bread

I am one lucky girl, having just returned from an amazing trip, including Iceland.

While there aren’t a lot of traditional Icelandic foods that particularly appealed to me. Hello, fermented shark. I absolutely fell in love with this bread, rugbraud. It was served along side the traditional fish stew, plokkfiskur. Rugbraud is a dark rye bread, very dense and slightly sweet. I was thrilled when we found it in the grocery store and enjoyed it at our hostel. Then, I saw it at the airport and brought it home to share with my family. When that was gone, I looked up how to make it. I just couldn’t get enough. 😊

But, I’m so glad I looked up rugbraud recipes because I learned about the history and how it is traditionally made. Buried in the ground and slowly steamed next to a geothermal hot spring. How cool is that?! Or hot? 😉

Often, I don’t have a lot of luck with baking so I was somewhat skeptical how it would turn out. Added that I was substituting molasses for the golden syrup could be disastrous.

I followed this super simple recipe. – Rugbraud Bread

I initially used 1/3 cup of molasses in place of the full cup of golden syrup, but it wasn’t enough moisture. So I added in another 1/3 cup molasses and a splash of milk. This did the trick and it mixed up well! It baked in 7 1/2 hours; low and slow!

It looked just right and tasted just right!

One of the joys of traveling is experiencing different cuisines and being able to incorporate it back home in my Oregon kitchen. Where to next?

‘Not Missing Anything’ Sandwich

When there’s so many flavors bursting in your mouth, I finally made something that my husband can’t comment his typical, “it’s just missing something.” Mission accomplished!

I was given garden fresh okra and I was a little stumped on how to cook them, along with the everyday struggle of what to make for dinner, hence this sandwich was born.

I had to ‘OK Google’ what to do with the okra, also known as lady fingers because, well, they look like fingers ha! This is the recipe I used to make the okra. – Okra

Roasting the okra, then sautéing it with onions– seasoned with garlic, ginger, cumin, tumeric, gram masala and salt was terrific. The okra didn’t get the stereotypical slime, but cutting them length wise made it hard to eat on a sandwich because of their stringiness. Live and learn.

I had previously thinly sliced tempeh into a pool of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and vacuum sealed it for the freezer.

I followed this recipe (from an unknown source) for the tempeh marinade.

This made dinner come together in a snap. I baked the tempeh at 425° for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Cooking tempeh until it’s almost burnt is the secret to life!

Using ghee to toast the sandwiches, layered with the tempeh, okra mix and these crushed jalapeño chips

was an explosion of tastes! Or as my daughter said, “there’s a lot going on in my mouth.”

I call that a win! 😁

Cajun For Days

One of my must-do’s on vacation is to do a supermarket sweep bringing back local food favorites to recreate each areas unique cuisine at home. No place I’ve been has more iconic foods and flavors than New Orleans.

This Oregon born girl was excited to try to meld the two worlds together; adding in more vegetables, but with Cajun flair.

My first attempt was Creole seasoned roasted kale. Going to the grocery store, Rouse’s, with locals was great because they showed us the must haves, with this seasoning being at the top of their list.

Preheat the oven to 425 °

Line a baking sheet with foil (I just do this for easier clean up)

Pile high with kale

Drizzle olive oil over (I only had coconut, so that’s what I used this time) and sprinkle the Creole seasning to taste

Roast 15 minutes, mix and roast another 5 minutes

Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

Oregon meet Louisiana 😋

Incorporating the holy trinity was my next food adventure. The holy trinity in Cajun cooking is using celery, onion and bell pepper into savory dishes. No attention is paid to even knife cuts, or if they should be diced or minced or julienned; you just chop them up. I kinda like the no rules. This threesome is so prevalent that often large batches are made so they’re ready to go for the next recipe. Talking to a waiter while we were there also reminded us that the chopping must be done by hand, no food processors. In fact, he gave us a great quote of NOLA wisdom, “taking the easy street, takes the heart out of it.”

In my quest for more vegetables and our garden’s consistent over abundance of zucchini, I sautéed them with zoodles.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • Coconut oil
  • Creole seasoning
  • Voodoo flavored Zapps chips

Sautee holy trinity in coconut oil over medium heat until nearly softened

While that’s cooking, spiralize zucchini

Add zucchini to pan and cook until just soft

Add Creole seasoning to taste and sprinkle crushed up voodoo chips on top!

Sounds crazy, but super good!

Stay tuned for more Louisiana inspired dishes, but with a vegetarian Oregon flair 😊

Hot Mess

I know I’m not the only one. You see all the pictures online of beautifully styled food in equally as lovely backdrops or locations. And you just think there’s no way you could recreate this or ever measure up.

So, in an attempt to be more transparent, thanks to my recent attendance at the International Food Bloggers Conference. And full disclosure, I was too distracted by the excitement outside the conference walls to even be in full attendance. I want to see more, not less honesty on social media.

So, here it goes. This is truly what my kitchen looked like my first night cooking upon my return home. Not only are all the foods out, ingredients spilled and not an inch left of counter space; you can even see that we’re in the middle of a kitchen remodel. And by ‘in the middle’ I mean that it’s only been three years since we’ve had cupboard doors or baseboards or trim work done.

Yes, I am a hot mess. And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone 😊

Sherpa Pie

Continuing on from my last blog post, another tasty idea using zucchini sheets – Zucchini Sheets

Brainstorming led me wanting to incorporate the sheets into a pie, lining a baking dish with them. Kind of imagining a vegetarian option of a cross between shephard’s pie and chicken pot pie.


  • 9oz tempeh
  • 3/4 cup Maya Kaimal Coconut Curry sauce (I find this at Costco)
  • 1 cup Abborio rice
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot, I used purple cause it’s pretty
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Zucchini sheets
  • Plum fruit leather
  • 1/2 c peanuts

* Bonus 😊 I was lucky enough to have fruit leather on hand. It was made from this recipe – Fruit Leather


  • Slice tempeh into thin strips and place in dish with the coconut curry sauce and let it marinate for a few hours
  • Preheat oven to 425°. Slice tempeh into stripes and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake for 15 more minutes
  • Make rice according to directions on container, using the onion and vegi broth
  • Cut up all the vegis and make a pretty design on baking sheet 😉
  • Drizzle vegis with olive oil and toss with salt, pepper and minced garlic. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes.
  • When all the elements are finished cooking. Layer zucchini sheets in a 8 1/2 x 11 sprayed baking dish

  • Fill with rice, tempeh and vegis. Top with plum fruit leather strips and bake for 10 minutes at 425°. Because I wasn’t sure how the fruit leather would turn out, I only covered half of the dish, just in case it was horrible. Good to leave your options open. 😊

  • When done, top with chopped peanuts

Another winner! Can’t wait to see what is next🤔

Layered Summer Vegi Trifle

One of the biggest perks and most fun aspect of this blog is sharing food and ideas with my fun, foodie friend. At only 1.5 miles away, it’s super easy to trade all of our creations back and forth!

So, you can imagine my excitement when she stopped by with her newest masterpiece, zucchini sheets. Or as she coined them, flavor layers, because you can go as wild as you want, flavoring them with herbs, spices; the possibilities are endless. – Zucchini Sheets

Brainstorming ideas of how to incorporate them into a casserole, led me to eggplant. I was thinking either Mexican, replacing the corn tortillas or Italian and replacing the lasagna sheets. When I saw the eggplant cutlets at Trader Joe’s, the heavens opened and sang.


  • 1 box Eggplant cutlets
  • 6 zucchini sheets
  • 1 onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 8 oz mush
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp oregeno
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 2 lb jar marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 425° and grease baking sheet. When ready, bake eggplant for 10 minutes. Flip, bake for 5 minutes more. Then broil for last 5 minutes.

Chop vegetables and saute over medium-high heat until soft. Add in garlic. Saute for 30 sec. Add in herbs. Mix. Add half of the jar of marinara sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Once eggplant is done and the vegetable/sauce is done. You can start assembling the casserole.

In a sprayed 8 1/2 x 11 casserole dish, layer zucchini sheets. 2 fit perfect. Then eggplant. Top with the vegi sauce and repeat. Dump the rest of the marinara sauce over the casserole. I ended with zucchini sheets on top.

Bake in a 425° oven for 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool slightly.

I topped with grated Parmesean cheese, more basil, because yumm! and a few cherry tomatoes from our garden.

I was really pleased with how this tasted. I just wish you could see the layers better. But, that’s why my momma always said, you can’t judge a book by its’ cover. It may be ugly, but it’s yummy! 😋

Decedent Deserts

Apparently I like to do things in threes, when I look back at my most recent posts; there’s definitely a theme.

I’ve been collecting these recipes and decided today was the day to make THEM ALL! 😊. Go big or go home!

Lemon tofu cheesecake. With extra meyer lemons from a current food adventure, that I will definitely be writing about soon, they’re still fermenting. And a freezer full of tufu, it seemed like a no brainer.

Following this recipe for the cheesecake. – Lemon Tofu Cheesecake

And an almond flour recipe for the crust, I almost went sans crust cause I didn’t want the graham cracker version, but I decided at the last minute to experiment with this one. – Almond Flour Crust

I used vanilla flavored ghee and added no sugar!

This ghee is the bomb. I’ve been ordering it from Thrive Market.

I was really happy with how the cheesecake turned out!

I’m still looking for ways to eat a million zucchinis…. Why not in brownies? – Zucchini Brownies

I liked that this incorporated different ingredients; oats, peanut butter, honey, unsweetened applesauce and of course zucchinis. They came out of the oven super moist and yummy!

And since it’s such a hot day here, ice cream was a necessity. Definitely not traditional ice cream, but very tasty and so pretty thanks to the beet powder.

This is another fun find that I’ve ordered from Thrive Market and today was its debut!

The hardest part was remembering to freeze the bananas prior. I sprinkled cacao nibs on top, the recipe also suggested rose petals, but I’m just not that fancy. – Beet & Banana Ice Cream

Here are all three deserts looking so pretty and complimenting each other well. I did add a blackberry compote on the lemon cheesecake because it was in my fridge from my kids experimenting at grandma’s house. Now, if I just hadn’t had so many tastes before dinner 😉