Christmas Pavlova

I may have a slight obsession (I really mean huge) with the Great British Baking Show. While the bakes are intriguing because they’re so unique to my American upbringing, what I really love is the camraderie between the bakers. It doesn’t appear to be a competitive, back-stabbing show that is typical to what is commonly seen on TV.

While most of what they make is terrifyingly complicated to me, the pavlova really peaked my interest.

Was it the marshmallowy center or the crisp outside, the sweet whip cream or the healthy fruit😉? God only knows.

I followed Mary Berry’s Wreath Pavlova recipe and it was delicious along with being beautifully festive.

Christmas Pavlova Recipe

Guess what I’ll be making for Christmas desert?

Miso Hard Boiled Eggs

Fat, Salt, Acid, Heat is a new food show I found on Netflix. Did someone say food and Netflix? I loved the beauty of the series shown by being on location in amazing places and seeing first hand what goes on behind the scenes to produce these vital elements into our food.

Instead of buying the first plane ticket to Italy and meeting these red cows as shown in the first episode, Fat, I exhibited self control and went with what I had in my fridge. Miso and eggs. I’m not a huge salt fan, but I do like a little salt on my hard boiled eggs and I was intrigued to see how miso could deliver it.

After you hard boil eggs and let them cool, I just cocooned the peeled eggs in miso paste.

I let them sit overnight and absorb all the saltiness and was eager to try them the next day. Well, going back to how I’m not a huge salt fan, I found them to be way too salty. Although they definitely had a different depth of salt flavor, it was just too much. But, it may not be that way for everyone. 😊

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🤔