Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Smoked Gouda Cheese Sauce

I really wish salads were my comfort food. [Read more…]



You know what I absolutely love? Those ginormous pickles you can buy out of the barrel. The kind they have at the really authentic Jewish delicatessens. Mmmm…..

Unfortunately, I have this phobia about eating them in public. There’s just something a little weird about walking around chomping on a big ol’ pickle.

*Sigh* Too bad.

Luckily, Steve and I found out that our fantastic newfound Portland friends are pickle fanatics as well. On a recent blueberry picking expedition, a few of us spied a 25 lb. of lovely gherkins and knew that a pickle party simply must happen asap.

(I should clarify that Steve, in true responsible Eagle Scout fashion, managed to talk us down from a full 25 lb. bag to a mere 12 lbs. What a pickle party pooper!)

So we met and chopped, and sliced, and boiled things.

And we realized very quickly that 12 lbs. of pickles take up a lot of jars. And those jars required a much bigger pot than we owned. (But really, what twenty somethings actually own real canning equiptment?)

So we made do. And boiled two jars at a time.

And at the end of it all? Pickle success!!

Easy Dill Pickles

6 lbs. cucumbers

Lots of fresh dill (enough to fit a couple sprigs in each jar)

1 clove of garlic, sliced

2 1/4 cups white vinegar

1/2 cup pickling salt

1. Prepare your canning jars. (This typically means washing and sterilizing the cans and lids in boiling water).

2. In a large saucepan, bring the vinegar, salt, and 8 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Set aside

3. Place a layer of dill in the bottom of each jar. Top each with a slice of garlic. Then fill with sliced cucumbers, packing tightly all the way to the neck of the jar.

4. Once all the jars are filled, pour in the brine until it’s about 1/2 inch from the top.

5. Add the lids and rings, then can using your preferred method.

Enjoy! *Chomp*

Roasted Tomatoes with Lemon and Rosemary

I am pretty enamored with Portland.

Which I guess is a pretty good thing considering that we just drove almost 3,000 miles to get here.

But seriously, gorgeous scenery, amazing hiking, and incredibly friendly people.

And the food……oh man, the food.

Steve and I had to make a pact to get on a hardcore exercise regimen just to support our increasing eating habits. I’m totally not exaggerating. Between the amazing restaurants, food carts, farmers markets….there is simply too much food and way too little time.

Despite the plethora of dining out options – Steve and I have been taking advantage of our extra down time to try out some brand new recipes. I found some beautiful tomatoes at one of the many farmers markets we visited and immediately thought of this recipe.

What I love about this is when you are done roasting all these tomatoes, you can really use them in anything. Pasta, bruschetta, pizza, etc. You can freeze them for up to 3 months, or even can them. Since Steve and I were pretty much starving when we made this, we decided to use the leftover penne and feta from the pasta salad we made a few days ago. 

Roasted Tomatoes with Lemon and Rosemary

adapted from “The Best of Cooking Light”

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp. extravirgin olive oil

2 tsp. grated lemon rind

1/2 tsp. salt

12 tsp. fresh ground pepper

4 lbs. plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, toss all of the ingredients except the tomatoes until combined.

3. Add the quartered tomatoes and toss to coat.

4. Place in a 13×9 inch backing dish. Bake for about 30 minutes – stirring every 10 minutes.

5. When the tomatoes are done in the oven, preheat the broiler and broil for about 10 minutes until the tops are browned. Remove from the oven and stir gently to combine.

6. If you are eating right away – cook up some pasta and top with the roasted tomatoes and some feta or shaved parmesan.