chicken with pesto and cherry tomatoes

Chicken with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

I just picked what was probably the last of the cherry tomatoes and basil from my pots in the backyard. Fall is here, and temperatures don’t take long to dip below freezing in central Oregon. It’s fine with me; I’m totally over summer and ready for crisp fall days. My harvest, along with the fresh mozzarella in my fridge, inspired this colorful recipe for Chicken with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes.

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pan seared pork tenderloin

Pan Seared Pork Tenderloin

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much we spend eating out, especially after our trip to Australia, where we had little choice in the matter. I’m not complaining, we enjoyed every minute (especially the French bakeries that were so plentiful in Sydney), but we were all happy to come home to our kitchen. My girls are always amazed when I point out the difference in the cost of preparing food from scratch at home vs. dining out or getting takeout, so I’ll start emphasizing that a little more in my blog posts because I know they are not alone.

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Cod with Cucumber Mango Salsa

Cod with Cucumber Mango Salsa

Oh, hello, June! I’m not sure how you got here so fast, but you are lovely so far. I’ll take sunny and 75º every day, please. The farmer’s market opened today, just a block away from my house, and I enjoyed a stroll with a great friend to check out the gorgeous produce (including my beloved Oregon strawberries) and all of our incredible local artisans. Not a bad start to a Saturday.

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baked salmon

Baked Salmon with Garlic Oil

It’s a sunny spring day here in central Oregon; not quite warm, but it’s trying, and I’ll take it! Soon it will be grilling weather, but for now, I thought you might enjoy this delicious herbed baked salmon in garlic oil. I used dried shallots, lemon peel, and dill because I had them in my pantry. Of course, you can substitute with fresh if you wish. A ratio of 1:3 dried herbs to fresh is standard and is good for the shallots and lemon peel as well. I recommend you stick with the fresh garlic in the recipe.

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garlic-stuffed pork roast

Garlic-Stuffed Pork Roast

Garlic-stuffed pork roast was one of my mom’s go-to dinner favorites. She would often call me or my sister, Suzanne, after school and tell us how to prepare it. Getting the garlic stuffed in the roast was the most important thing. Even if she was working late, as she often did hostessing at our family’s restaurant, she made sure our dinner was taken care of and we learned how to cook along the way.

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meat sauce

Meat Sauce – Instant Pot

I threw this simple meat sauce together in the Instant Pot a few nights ago and thought I should share it. Cause, you know, that’s what I do. One of the things I like most about the Instant Pot is its ability to marry flavors that otherwise would take hours, and, as much as I love making sauce on the stove when I have all afternoon to let it simmer, that’s not usually possible.

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Smoked Beef Chili - No Beans

Smoked Beef Chili – No Beans

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This recipe for smoked beef chili is a great way to use leftover smoked brisket or tri-tip. We had great friends here last weekend, and Bob decided to put about six pounds of tri-tip in the smoker. It was a little bit overkill for seven people, so here we are. We used some to make steak salads when my nieces were over the following evening but still had a couple of pounds left, so I decided the best thing to do was make a Texas-style no-bean chili. It was the right thing to do.

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lime and garlic marinade

Lime and Garlic Marinated Chicken Thighs

Happy Tuesday! I wanted to get in a quick post ahead of Cinco de Mayo (barely). This lime and garlic marinade comes together quickly and is perfect for grilled chicken thighs. You could use breasts too, but they won’t be quite as juicy and flavorful. Slice up the grilled chicken thighs to use in tacos, burritos, bowls, salads, etc., or serve them whole with sides.

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beef stew

Red Wine Beef Stew

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This recipe makes good use of the red wine and balsamic marinade I posted a few weeks ago. I feel like it’s really a dish better suited for fall and winter, but we still have plenty of cool days ahead in Central Oregon. Plus, I made it for the cookbook already, and if I don’t post it now, the photos will get buried. Yes, I probably should look into a system to better organize my photos. It’s number 2396 on my list of things to do.

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