29 September 2013

Grilled Salmon Cream Cheese Sandwich

Grilled cheese is one of the meals that would appear on just about everyone's top 10 comfort foods list.  Warm, toasty bread and melty, chewy cheese delights foodies from two to ninety-two.  Growing up, Tillamook cheddar was my mom's grilling cheese of choice.  I still love those strings of orange goodness stretching between two triangles of golden brown bread...yum.  Yes, melting cheeses are the traditional favorite when it comes to a grilled sammy or panini.  But....I have a confession to make.  I have not remained loyal to my mother and her good friend cheddar, having become absolutely obsessed with soft cheeses in grilled sandwiches.  Cream cheese and boursin are where it's at.  Feel free to call me crazy at this point, because that just means you've never tried either and have earned my pity.  But you are sooooo needing to try grilled cream cheeses...starting with this sandwich.

26 September 2013

Cranberry Brie Burgers

Dried fruit has always been one of my absolute favorite snacks.  Sweet, chewy and shrink-packed with flavor, these little tidbits cannot be beat.  Cranberries and prunes (yes, you read right) are two favorites that we always have on hand.  A few of these as an after dinner snack always hits that sweet spot oh-so-well (plus they're a great warm up for dessert).  Since I typically nosh on these post-supper, these burgers are like a two-for-one special in the evening.  The snack and the meal are combined into one delectable dish.  So efficient.

18 September 2013

Pumpkin Shortbread Bars with Candied Pecans

You know it's fall when pumpkin hits the market.  Be it carving, cooking or canned, pumpkin is the symbol of the season.  There's nothing like a piping hot bowl of creamy pumpkin oatmeal to start your day, tender roasted pumpkin meat tossed with pasta and goat cheese or a freshly brewed pumpkin latte from your favorite mer-coffee-maker.  And of course, there's the all time rockstar of pumpkin - the pie.  Problem is...I have a teensy problem when it comes to eating pumpkin pie on pre-holidays.  Post-holidays or the fĂȘte du jour itself, no sweat.  But before the holiday....I don't think so.  The hubs does not share my opinion and his sweet tooth would be hard pressed to wait until the end of November for a pumpkin dessert.  Luckily these delightful Pumpkin Shortbread Bars are the perfect tide-us-through dessert until the turkey hits the table.

14 September 2013

Puyallup Fair Scones

September is the month where harvest festivals, hay rides and state fairs abound.  As temperatures relax and cool evenings sneak up on us, you throw an extra blanket on your bed and are finally able to wear all your cute coats into work again.  Thank goodness.  I love the crispness of fall - the apples, the weather, the crunchy orange leaves - all of these things make it my very favorite season.  Growing up, the September event I looked forward to more than anything was the Puyallup Fair, now the Washington State Fair.  (Everyone stop and try to pronounce "Puyallup"....very good!)  My grandparents lived about two blocks from the fairgrounds, and every year we were there like freckles on a red-head (I'm allowed to say that cuz I'm a ginger).  Three things were required every year:  a thorough perusal of Hobby Hall, at least an hour in the stables staring longingly at all the horses, and Fisher's Scones.  Ahhhh....the scones.

09 September 2013

Almond Crunch Apple Pie

For the last three years, my college cohorts and I have gotten together once annually for a weekend of reminiscent debauchery.  In the past, weddings in the Pacific Northwest we our justification for the cost of bi-costal plane tickets.  This year, we changed things up by going East for a fabulous Labor Day weekend in NYC.  Think of the video from "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" over the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack.  Heck yeah!  Since there were no weddings this year, we decided to gather for the first of our group's big three-oh's.  The unexpected fun of a pregnancy announcement and surprise engagement was cause for even more celebration.  It was all fabulous - the ladies, the weekend, the city.  The only part of the Big Apple that I missed was a slice of pie.  Which for some reason, I took a little too close to heart.  After all, it's just pie, right?  Wrong.  So when my bossy pregnant friend demanded a post inspired by our weekend together, it was pretty obvious what I'd have to make.  Bust our your pairing knife, because it's time for some apple pie.

05 September 2013

Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Quinoa Patties

Call me Doug, because I'm in love with patties.  It's cool, because the hubs shares the mad Patty love.  I mean, delicious flavors squished together, then pan fried to toasty perfection...what foodie could possibly resist?  We pride ourselves on being equal opportunity eaters and will sample any patty that comes out way, but there is a special little corner of our hearts devoted to quinoa patties.  That delightful little grain has a way of turning out extra delicious and toasty.  So when I had a mad craving for caramelized onions a few weeks ago, I thought I'd give them a go in patty form.  Little did I know I was happening upon the ultimate steak side.  Beef or tofu, this is a winner dinner with paired with your favorite grilled protein.