Archive for the ‘Nourish’ Category

Pies in Disguise

If you are going to dress up for Halloween, why not dress up your pastries too?

Pies in Disguise

Pies in Disguise makes pie in Asheville, NC. Jessica and I saw their photos online and had to immediately go to the farmer’s market outside of Asheville in order to get a pie – nevermind that we had been eating our entire East Coast Sister Trip, or that we were going to eat dinner in less than an hour, we needed a Pie in Disguise! Unfortunately, there were no Pies in Disguise to be had that day. Fortunately, Ashley English was there!

I had to google “clip art mustaches” for this project – my favorite is the one with the little goatee.

Only a few kids ventured down the South Side of Ellis street for Trick-or-Treating, so Tommy, Jessica, and I had plenty of time to eat our Pies in Disguise!


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When we visited Ellen and Roger, my great aunt and uncle, a few weekends ago, we were blessed with a cooler full of apricots from their trees out back. Most were RIPE and ready to be used immediately. Apricot mustard sounded great to me – but whenever I mentioned to friends that I was going to make it – they were skeptical. “Really, what will you put it on?”

Well, I was right. It turned out great. The best thing? The apricots did not need to be peeled!

Apricot Mustard

Apricot Mustard

from Urban Pantry by Amy Pennington

Before you start, read up on your water-bath canning techniques. Also, this is a 2-part recipe, so don’t start your boiling water bath until Step 3.


  • 2 pounds apricots, pitted and halved
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lemon, outer peel grated, halved, and juiced (seeds reserved in a muslin bag) **I used 1/4 cup lemon juice**
  • ¼ cup brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ cups yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground yellow mustard
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the apricots, sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon halves, seed bag, and grated peel. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer. Skim away any foam from the surface as it cooks. Cook until the fruit is soft and the sugar is dissolved, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and, leaving the mixture in the saucepan, cover and hold in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. While the apricots are cooking, smash the brown and yellow mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle, working in small batches. Or use a spice grinder, grind to a coarse meal. Put the smashed seeds and ground mustard in a small glass bowl, pour in the apple cider vinegar, and set aside, covered, on the counter top, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Prepare jars for canning. You will need to sterilize the empty jars.
  4. Put a small plate in the freezer to check the set later on. Return the saucepan of fruit to medium heat on the stove top and cook down until thickened and amber in color, about 30 minutes. Stir in the vinegar-mustard seed mixture. Scoop out about a cup of the apricot mustard and puree in a blender, on high speed, until creamy and smooth. **I used my immersion blender and just blended the mustard in the saucepan until it looked how I wanted it.** Add the pureed fruit back to the pot and cook until thick and the mustard has set, about another 15 to 30 minutes. Skim foam as necessary. Remove the lemon halves and seeds from the stockpot, pressing out any mustard or remaining juice and pulp, and compost.
  5. To test the set, remove the plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of mustard on it. Push the mustard with your fingertip. It should wrinkle, indicating it has set. If the mustard is loose, return the mixture to the heat and cook for another 10 minutes, checking the set until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add the mustard to the prepared jars and gently tap the bottom of the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a clean damp cloth, wipe the rims of the jars and put the lids and rings on the jars. Process in a water bath for 5 minutes (whether using half-pint or pint jars).
  7. Remove the jars with tongs and let cool on the counter. When the mustard is cool, remove the metal rings, check for proper seals, and label with date and contents.
  • Store in a cool, dark cupboard until ready to use, for up to one year.
  • Once opened, store in the fridge for many months
  • as a pretzel dip
  • with pork or cured meats
  • on brats (with Luce’s zucchini relish!)
  • as a glaze on roasted meats

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We spent the past weekend in Vancouver with our dear friends Kathy-Ann and Max as well as Becky and Isaac.

First stop was a tour through their newly updated home. Beautiful!

Next we had a lovely dinner at Havana – complete with a pitcher of Mojitos!

Then we hopped on the bus toward downtown on our way to the Celebration of Light – Vancouver hosts a fireworks competition every year over English Bay. We ended up having to run down to the beach, but it was well worth it. Great show.

In the morning, Kathy-Ann and Max created a beautiful brunch  spread – crepes, fruit, coffee. And their parents also stopped by so they could meet the “Mo and To” from the trip.

Kathy-Ann and Max in their pretty kitchen


Finally, we took a lovely walk around town – stopping at Land to buy some pretty hand towels for our **new home** and then made  a quick stop at a sweet Italian ice cream shop. Yummy!

Thanks, friends!

**more on the house later!

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Summer came to Bellingham this weekend! We have waited a long time.

Climbing into bed on Saturday night I was  reminded of how great it is to feel tired from the sun and tired from walking around town all day. It was perfect. It felt right.

Sightings of Summer-

Three children playing with a little red wagon, each with a pixie hair cut and dresses, like an image from 1957.


Sprinklers. (seriously? it is going to rain tomorrow, you know)

Playing Frisbee on our extended front yard.

Bellingham Farmer’s Market Finds: a big bunch of spinach and a beautiful bunch of beets from Rabbit Fields Farm.

Beets mean summer to me. They are beautiful and earthy and oh so tasty. I roasted the beets for a salad, but then I just ended up eating them plain because they were so good.

{Beets, ready to roast}

{Beets, roasted and steaming}

Roasted Beets (from Good to the Grain, Quinoa and Beet Pancakes, recipe below)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the beets in a glass or metal baking dish with about 1/2 an inch of water in the bottom.
  3. Cover with aluminum foil and roast until very tender, about 1 hour.
From this point you can eat them warm, chopped over a salad, marinate them, or puree and freeze so that you can make Quinoa Beet Pancakes later. Also, just enjoy the beauty of the beet juice left in your dish for a bit after eating them!

{Quinoa and Beet Pancakes}

Quinoa and Beet Pancakes (from Good to the Grain)


  • Butter for the pan
  • Roasted Beets, 3 medium-small red beets
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 egg
  1. Roast the beets (see above). Cool, peel, and puree the beets in a food processor or blender until smooth. You will need 1/2 cup of beet puree (freeze the rest for later).
  2. Mix the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, melted butter, egg, and 1/2 cup of beet puree until smooth. Using a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently combine. The batter should be the consistency of lightly whipped cream and crimson in color.
  4. Heat a griddle over medium heat until water sizzles when splashed onto the pan. Rub the pan generously with butter. Dollop 1/4-cup mounds of batter on to the pan. Once bubbles have begun to form on the top side of the pancake, flip it over and cook until the bottom is dark golden-brown, about 5 minutes total. Wipe the pan with a cloth before the next batch. Rub the pan with butter and continue with the rest of the batter.
  5. Enjoy with maple syrup and plain yogurt on top.
  • I am sure that I used 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour and omitted the all-purpose flour. When you are eating beets I don’t think that you are probably too worried about the flavor of the whole wheat flour shining through.
  • Use honey or another sweetener, or omit altogether as beets have a lovely amount of sugar present.
  • These freeze well for later – just pop them into the toaster straight from the freezer.

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Farmer’s Market finds Saturday, May 21:

    • Kale flowers (which I thought was broccolini last week), Giant Spinach, Lettuce, and Garlic Greens from Rabbit Fields Farm
    • Bunny Box CSA from Rabbit Fields Farm – I paid for my main season share – I will get a box of fresh, local, organic produce every week from June 11th to October 22nd – one step closer to becoming a more fresh, local, organic eater!
    • Nettle Soup with Creme Fraiche from 22 Greens (I am going for a salad next time – check out their video below!)

22 Greens at the Bellingham Farmers Market from ENW with Deb Slater on Vimeo.

And here is what I made for dinner with all of my spring greens:

Spring Greens Pizza with an Egg on Top

Spring Greens Pizza with an Egg on Top


  • pizza dough
  • olive oil
  • sauce and/or cheese (white sauce, feta)
  • fresh greens (spinach, garlic greens, kale flowers)
  • fresh eggs
  1. Prepare your pizza dough a few hours before you want to eat. I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
  2. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature with a pizza stone set on a top rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
  3. Prepare your sauce while the dough is resting. I made a white sauce from my Betty Crocker cookbook because I didn’t have any cheese or red sauce.
  4. Form the crust and bake it for a few minutes on the pizza stone while you chop your greens. I did this so that the sauce would not interfere with the crispiness of the crust.
  5. Mix greens with olive oil and feta (I tossed my greens in the bowl I made my dough in because it had a little oil in it already and I wanted to limit Tommy’s time at the sink washing dishes after dinner)
  6. Take the barely cooked dough out of the oven, spread the sauce evenly over the crust, dump and distribute the greens, and if you are brave and feeling European, crack an egg on top.
  7. Bake your pizza until it looks tasty to you. To me, that means no runny egg whites, a golden crust, and wilted greens.

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Gorgonzola Apple Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Jessica and I had a fun-filled Saturday morning: After walking in the Human Race at Zuanich Park to benefit the Arc, we stopped by the Food Blogger’s Bake Sale in Fairhaven. Jessica decided to try the Bacon and Date Scone, while I went for the more tame Chocolate Chip Cookie with Fleur de Sel. Both tasty.

Then to the Bellingham Farmer’s Market for some more nutritious food. We gawked at the beautiful flowers, chatted with friends, and made our way to the Rabbit Fields Farm booth. Roslyn has such beautiful produce and lovely presentation. We both ended up making frittatas with our veges:

  • Jessica made a Spinach Potato Pepper Frittata {spinach from Rabbit Fields}
  • I made a 4 Cheese Broccolini Potato Frittata {eggs from Tom Kat Farms, broccolini from Rabbit Fields}

4 Cheese Broccolini Potato Frittata

and I made a salad:

  • Gorgonzola Apple Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette {lettuce from Rabbit Fields, raspberry vinegar from Aunt Ellen}

His and Hers Salad (Gorgonzola for Her, Feta for Him)

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Today I participated in the Whatcom Food Network Forum.  The point of the Forum was to “build common understanding and facilitate collaboration efforts toward a healthy and equitable food system for all.”

It was so interesting and energizing. I met some of my secret ‘heroes’ of Whatcom County: the people who grow our food, market and sell and distribute our food, and educate about food.

I was hesitant to register at first because why would they want a teacher there? But I soon realized that the schools are an integral part of the Food System, and we need to collaborate more so that everybody knows about where our food comes from in order to make healthy choices. People were seeking me out!

It is going to take me a few days to distill and crystallize everything I learned today, but I just wanted to share what a wonderful day I had with like-minded food people.

The closing question of the day: How do we work as a combined force to come into right relationship with food and diffuse that into the broader community?

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