June cookin’

First things first, Happy Vegan Pizza Day! If three little things weren’t standing in the way of my own pizza-making ambitions today, well, I’d have some dough rising right now. Instead, I’m melting into a puddle of freckles as it’s heading above 90°F in Portland, my mom’s old Kitchen Aid mixer recently ceased to function, and I’m heading to Seattle first thing in the morning for a quick trip, so who would eat the leftovers?  Shockingly, at some point today, I braved the heat, donned my new shades, ran some errands and made a necessary pit stop for my dear brunch pizza

As one who watches the evolution and trends in culinary blogging from both a distance and my own little corner, I go through phases of the casual, the inspired, the focused. Sometimes, I sit on a notion, a recipe, or a collection; waiting for the right story to strike my memory, flavors to develop, or the adjectives to wander into my day. To get to the point…I’m taking a breather with a piece on DIY chocolate liqueur I’ve been putting together for some time, to get a little more back to basics, and simply share what I’ve created in the kitchen (and bar) this past month.

As summer settles in the Northwest, seasonal produce has been the focus (and the heat’s glorious, saving grace), and inspiration, for nearly all of our meals. 

Ready to bake: Spicy lemongrass, garlic scape & soy marinated tofu

For Bánh Mì Chay at home, as such. This one has Sriracha-smeared Vegenaise, pickled daikon and carrots, among other things.

Constant inspiration from my farmers market visits:

The next morning, Buckwheat (Straw)Berry Pancake. An Isa tester for an entertaining book-in-progress, as usual.

Chocolate chips version, for J. Legume

Clean-out-the-fridge pasta with leftover penne, cherry tomatoes, Upton’s bacon seitan (which is fantastic!), pea shoots, green olives and garlic scapes

Yet another bowl of Division Street Pho Chay (discussed at length & recipe here)

Fresh dinner of arugula & sunflower see salad, roasted baby potatoes with smoked paprika, Arabian Lentil & Rice soup (made with black rice on this occasion), etc.

Summer pickling of the spicy variety

Cardamom Swirl Crumbcake (adapted from the recipe in American Vegan Kitchen) for a visit from the Legume family

Experiments with champagne cocktails

Local blueberry pie (with a ring of sliced strawberries), plus a peanut butter chocolate helper, ready to bake.

Darjeeling Rooibus Kombucha takes over my home bar (Thanks to the VVC2013 SWAG bag & Oregon Kombucha)

Chiogga beets, black pepper, salt, garlic & herbs, ready to roast

Oh, gritsy: a lovely dinner of cheesy stovetop grits, roasted asparagus, beer-braised fava beans, floured & pan-fried tempeh and roasted beets

With that, I was hoping to return to 100 Days Homemade this summer, but it seems I don’t have enough days ahead of me before heading out of town mid-September for a bit. I have another round of unique bitters in store, but ideas for other initiatives are certainly welcome. So far, I know the meals will continue to be colorful, no doubt.


  1. “…but ideas for other initiatives are certainly welcome.”
    Mashed potatoes everyday! (forever!)
    Food architecture- make dinner look like buildings (preferably NY influenced)
    Tea time. With treats (donuts? macaroons?)

  2. Your pie looks so beautiful! I planned on making champagne cocktails last night, well with Cava, but then we drunkenly ended up drinking the whole bottle. Damnit!

    If you are looking for a new plan I’ve heard wonderful things about the taco cleanse….

  3. I really enjoyed your 100 days of Homemade… it’s really been a year?

    As always, your food looks terrific. I’d be tempted right now by the grits (I made some for the first time this Spring!) and the salad with the potatoes, You are good at pie making! I TRIED to make a lattice top pie once and it was not pretty at all.

    The pancakes with the huge strawberries look terrific.

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