Red & Green Tortellini Soup  


Now is the time for family and guests; for a full house, for friends, parties and caroling. It’s time for wrapping up work, prepping the house, hanging decorations and spending time with family. Now if you can balance it all out do please send me your secret. If you are like me though, you are feeling more than a little behind and more than a little exhausted. Trying to fill the days with cheer and merriment can certainly wear a girl out! Feeding all of those guests and family members certainly can do you in as well. The key of course is managing expectations, giving your self a little grace and some help in the kitchen. Now the first two items I can’t help with but the third, readers, I have you covered.

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The Perfect Roast Turkey


The Turkey. It’s the prize of the table, no need for a centerpiece with this bird, for if it’s cooked right its glory is more than regal enough to make your table glow. This year we are getting our own bird and I couldn’t be more excited to try a wild Oregon bird. Normally I pour over the local stores and their turkey providers, weighing the pros and cons of heritage birds, organic birds, and trying my hardest to find a free range bird that lived a healthy life before it lands on my table. This year my husband will be hunting for a perfect wild bird to grace our table and I am over the moon!

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Rosemary Sea Salt Beer Bread



Warm bread.  Isn’t it perfect?  The way it fills your whole house with its delicious yeasty smell, the crunch of the crust with the fluffy soft center, toasted to perfection and served with pumpkin butter spread on top; divine!

As the weather starts to turn, I crave the warm goodness of fresh baked bread almost more than a glass of red wine… almost.   The only problem is; bread is complicated, difficult, has a big margin for error, and takes time, care, and love. I mean wouldn’t it be grand if you could pop open a cold beer, stir it into some mix and have fresh bread in under an hour?

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Roasted Beet, Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta Salata



It’s the peak of summer harvest here in the Pacific Northwest. Gardens are over-flowing with the bounty. Local farmers markets are saturated with the vivacious tastes, smells, and colors of the season. Co-workers bring in boxes full of produce, letting the bright colors seep into the office, laying out the summer bounty in the break room, making the donuts seem sad and desperate. Neighbors drop off baskets overflowing with greens, yellows, oranges, reds, and purples so deep and rich you can hardly believe it.

Your mind starts to race as you think of all the recipes to be explored. Your heart quickens as you dream of the canning to be done; to capture the tastes to be savored on a cold winter day as you open summer captured in a jar. You start to salivate as you think of sitting down to a meal, oh the cooking to be done! But instead of turning on the stove and tying the apron strings on, you slice a tomato and sprinkle it with salt, taking a bite of it raw. It is perfection on the tongue, so sweet and juicy; it makes you wonder what piece of plastic has been posing as a “tomato” the rest of the year in your grocery store. Yes, it’s time to enjoy the splendor of what the good earth has to offer.

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