Celery and Heart of Palm Salad

There’s something about traveling that gets my taste buds going. I want to try everything that region has to offer and then, if it’s good, I want to go home and recreate it.

I spent 6 weeks in the Northwest this summer. I planned to eat my fill of local cherries, peaches, blueberries and other fruits Washington and Oregon have to offer, but somehow I missed the seasons for those. Regardless, we made our way to other local food shops that made up for it. Have you been to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Seattle?

hero_storyOh my! I think we went in three times just to try their samples. Pikes Place was chef’s heaven. I honestly can’t imagine what it’d be like to live close enough to a market place like that where you could buy everything fresh and go home to cook it for dinner. Sigh! We tried pastries at Le Panier, an authentic French bakery, and crumpets at The Crumpet Shop. Storyville got high ratings from my coffee connoisseur brother and, if we hadn’t eaten 5 breakfasts already, I would have ordered some of their amazing looking waffles. Just their logo makes me happy, but the whole place was pretty awesome.

Cup_Lifestyle__63521.1355745602.290.253As good as the food was in Seattle, it’s hard to beat my sister-in-law’s cooking at Lake Chelan. She always inspires me with her culinary prowess and her upbeat personality. The hearts of palm in this salad, along with the simple lemon dressing, are ideas I got from her.

You rarely see celery as a main ingredient – it remains constant and reliable as a base in mirepoix – but I think it deserves a little more fan fare.

Please welcome celery starring as the main character in this tangy salad!

IMG_0957Celery and Heart of Palm Salad

  • 1 head celery, sliced, including leaves
  • 2 cans heart of palm, sliced
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice from 3 lemons
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. capers
  • 1 red jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 t. minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper

Toss everything together and let chill for a few hours before serving.

IMG_0960What amazing food places did you discover this summer?



Greek Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium berlandieri) Pesto

So as to not disappoint you, my readers, let me say right up front – this post is not about juicy roasted lamb legs drizzled with earthy pesto sauce, though that sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?

This post is about a weed.

That’s right, a common plant found all over the world, that many people pull out of their gardens and dump in the trash.


If they only knew what they were missing out on! Lamb’s Quarters (scientifically known as Chenopodium berlandieri and also called goosefoot, fat-hen, bacon weed, pigweed and many other unappetizing names) is from the same genus as quinoa and beats spinach as a source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C and vitamin A. It also contains B1, B2 and oxalic acid (Source: Lambsquarters: Prince of Wild Greens The leaves are tender, like spinach, and mild, but it doesn’t leave that chalky feeling in your mouth like spinach does. However, underneath the leaves it looks rather like it’s dusted with vitamin C powder.


Mom has a lot of this green growing in and around her garden and gathered a bunch of it for me. It’s easy to use because you can replace it with spinach in anything from smoothies and salads to creamed dishes and sauces.

I decided on a pesto to go with last night’s Mediterranean Couscous Salad.

Greek Lamb’s Quarters Pesto

  • 6 c. loosely packed lamb’s quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 oz. Parmesan, grated or sliced
  • 1 oz. feta cheese (My favorite? Double Cream Mykono’s Feta made by Central Valley Creamery)
  • 1/4 -1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 fresh sprigs Greek oregano and 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed from stems


Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Lamb’s quarters is drier than basil so you may need more olive oil if you like a finer consistency.


There’s some great information to glean from the internet about Lamb’s Quarters. I found this video by Eat The Weeds that would be helpful if you want to find your own greens. I had to bookmark his site as it looks like it will be a very helpful reference on gathering wild edibles.


Enjoy your pesto on pita bread (or Sourdough) with cream cheese, or toss it into warm, buttery pasta. Oh, and it’d also be amazing as a sauce to drizzle over a roasted leg of lamb! ;)

Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

We actually hit 58 degrees the other night. The leaves are starting to fall from the elm trees already and for the first time in my Oklahoma life I’m just a teensy bit sorry to see summer go so soon.

Our counter is piled high with red (and green) tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers…still cucumbers (I’ve made more pickles this year than I can count.) We even have a few strawberries and some knobbly carrots that look like they didn’t know which way was down.

A friend of mine gave me red peppers from her garden that were just amazing (Thanks, Libby!). I roasted a bunch of them and put them in everything from Eggs Florentine to Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions. You can’t get much better than that!

These Breakfast Peppers come pretty close. I had to make them twice just to make sure because I’ve never been a fan of stuffed peppers. This is a whole different story.


One thing I love about these is that I don’t feel like I need extra carbohydrates to go with it or to fill me up. Two pepper halves make a very satisfying and delicious breakfast.

Here’s what you need…

Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

  • 4 medium to large red peppers (You can also use green, or yellow for that matter.)
  • 6 slices Applegate Farms smoked turkey bacon (or bacon of your choice)
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 T. milk or cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz Parmesan, freshly grated

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membrane, being careful not to cut through the pepper. It’s helpful to get peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom (There’s probably a technical name for those…) and cut them so they balance by themselves, but if your peppers are oddly shaped like mine were, place them in a ramekin or muffin tin to balance them out.

Cut or tear bacon into pieces and saute in a skillet until cooked through. Divide evenly between pepper halves.

Beat eggs, milk and salt together (You can go crazy here with herbs, too, if you like) and pour over bacon, filling the peppers just before the point of overflow. (Am I explaining things weird today or what?!)

Slice cream cheese thinly and layer over egg mixture. Top with grated Parmesan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool slightly before digging in.


If you happen to have enough refrigerator space (Mine is stuffed with pickles [1 gallon jar, one 1/2 gallon jar, and 2 quart jars to be precise], sauerkraut, milk kefir, water kefir, creme fraiche, lacto-fermented peppers, plus groceries for a week… I really need another refrigerator for this fermented stuff!), you could assemble these the night before and pop them in the oven for a quick breakfast. As it is, it takes 10-15 minutes to assemble and 35 minutes to bake.

Hope you all are enjoying the last days of summer!