Category Archives: Recipes

Day One of Summer Camp 2017

Today we “traveled” to Vietnam for our first day of Art and Cooking Summer Camp. We have a big group this year, but they are fantastic group of kids.

Our menu today was salad rolls with peanut sauce, chicken bahn mi sandwiches and a fantastic tropical tapioca.

I like Bob’s Red Mill’s tapioca, but I did find some really fun multi-colored tapioca at Fubon. We mixed them together for the pudding pictured.


Tropical Tapioca

1/2 cup tapioca pearls
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas , peeled, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds , toasted
1 mango or other seasonal fruit (or more bananas!)

  1. Soak the tapioca pearls in cold water for at least an hour prior cooking. They will swell to almost double in size, so check to keep the water level up.
  2. Drain well. Put in a big saucepan with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 10-15 minutes until the tapioca pearls are opaque and softened. Drain. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut milk, water and sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Add bananas to the saucepan and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked tapioca pearls and gently stir to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool and thicken.
  7. Spoon into individual bowls, sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with mango slices. Enjoy!


Easy-Peasy Jam!


I used to be an avid canner. My friend and I would spend whole summer days filling jars with pickles, jams, chutneys, tomatoes and fruit. Now, I just freeze all my summer produce and make a lot of refrigerator pickles.

But, yesterday I was inspired after reading an article on Food52 about making tomato jam in the oven. My counters are filled with tomatoes, plums, grapes and pears slowly being covered in fruit flies, the official nemesis of late summer. Something had to be done.

So, with outdoor temperatures closing in on 90 degrees, I did what any sane person would do, cranked the oven to 400 degrees and started chopping fruit. After the fruit was cooked I ran them through my food-mill (to remove peels and seeds) and stirred in 2 tablespoons of instant pectin. Then poured into clean jars. I filled some jars only 3/4 of the way and tucked them into the freezer for later eating. The rest went into the refrigerator to eat sooner.

My small taste-taster tasted them all this morning and I got gold stars!

Here is my vague recipe: 
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small oven safe pan add 2 cups of chopped fruit or tomatoes, 1/3 cup sugar and any spices your heart desires. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and juicy. Run through food mill if desired, then stir in 2 tablespoons of pectin. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Tomato Chili Jam: 2 cups cherry tomatoes, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 3 garlic cloves, 1 -2 teaspoons chili flakes

Grape Plum Vanilla Jam: 1 cup grapes, 1 cup Italian plums, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla (stirred in with the pectin)

Pear Butter: 2 cups ripe pears, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a little bit of water added to roasting pan.

Grape Jelly: 2 cups ripe grapes, 1/3 cup sugar

Sweet Onion Jam: 2 cups sweet onion, 5 garlic cloves, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, a little bit of water added to roasting pan.


Looking for more canning recipes? Here are some from my old cooking blog.
Refrigerator Dilly Beans
Pickled Green Tomatoes (my favorite!!)
Fig Jam




Drinking Vinegars


I have had a long standing love of drinking vinegars. I started drinking them in 2010 when I first discovered them at Pok Pok. Now, drinking vinegars, or shrubs are everywhere.

If you have an extra handful of berries and fruit I highly recommend making yourself a sour, sweet batch of drinking vinegars. This is my recipe, I have simplified it from my original recipe written 6 years ago.

Homemade Drinking Vinegars – makes about one quart
1 cup of berries or chopped stone fruit
3 cups organic apple cider vinegar (I think a rice vinegar would work well too)
1 – 1 1/2 cups white sugar

1. In a clean quart jar add fruit and smoosh with a spoon until juice is released. Top off the jars with vinegar. Push fruit under the vinegar if it floats.
2. Cover the top with a clean cloth napkin and secure with a rubber band. Leave in a cool place for 3-4 days. (At this point you have a fruit vinegar for salad dressings)
3. Strain vinegar to remove fruit solids. Put vinegar into a sauce pan. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of liquid.
4. Add sugar and bring mix to a simmer just until the sugar melts.
5. At this point I would do a taste test. Mix 3 tablespoons with a large glass of seltzer. Is it sweet enough? If not, add more sugar and simmer until the sugar melts.
6. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge. Use as needed.

PS. A yummy cocktail recipe: In a large glass mix 3 tablespoons of strawberry drinking vinegar, shot of vodka, squeeze of lime and top with seltzer.


Here are some drinking vinegar taste tests! Part 1 and Part 2

New Year, New Blog, New Adventures!(And Some Coconut Waffles!)

Happy New Year!

I am still in shock that 2014 has arrived. I can remember being in high school and not being able to comprehend the year 2014. I would be SO old! And the world would be SO different. I suppose a bit of both is true. I am not usually a person who makes resolutions, but this year I hope to start offering cooking classes regularly. (I would also like to get back to blogging regularly, but baby-steps!)

I am excited to have a new blog. I will slowly be moving my recipes from my old space to here. I will also use this space to advertise my cooking classes. I am still looking for a cooking space in Portland, so if you have any ideas please pass them along.


We kicked off the new year with some coconut waffles. I have been playing around with Thai food this week and have been craving a coconut treat. I decided to try a little waffle experiment and I am happy to report it is a winner. These are dairy free and quite filling. (I am usually someone who can easily eat two plates of waffles and be hungry again in 20 minutes. I think it is because of the high fat content that I was set until lunch with one waffle.)

To play off the coconut flavors I added a quick caramelized pineapple topping. Let me know what you think!

Coconut Waffles (Makes about 6 waffles)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat or white flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 egg
1 can of coconut milk

Plug in and begin to heat waffle iron.

1. In a large bowl stir together all the try ingredients.
2. In a smaller bowl whisk together coconut milk and egg.
3. Slowly stir the coconut milk mixture into the dry mix until combined.
4. When waffle iron is hot, grease with coconut oil or a spray oil. Pour in about 3/4 a cup and close iron. Cook about 4 minutes or until golden brown. (Or whatever your machine tells you to do!)
5. Serve with pineapple topping, lemon curd, or whatever your heart desires. They freeze well too!

Caramelized Pineapple Topping (I would start this before the waffles so it will be done at the same time!)

1/2 of a pineapple, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of salt.

1. In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar and salt and stir continuously for 2 minutes, until it begins to bubble.
2. Add pineapple, stir to coat in sugar mixture. Turn heat to low and let cook for 10 minutes.