Tag Archives: appetizer

Peach Pico de Gallo

The trees around here tell me that Autumn is on the move.  However, in Bellingham it is known that summer doesn’t fully start until the Fourth of July and sticks around till end of September.  Today would prove otherwise.  But, I’m not letting it get to me and trying to make up for so much lost time in the kitchen this summer.  Peaches, nectarines, apples & plums are in abundance.  In fact, you can still get strawberries, blueberries & raspberries at Joe’s Garden (oh how I love thee).  Not to mention the nightshade vegetable/fruit family abounding everywhere.

And since we’re leaving to Vegas this week for my sister-in-law’s wedding, I needed to do something with the tomatoes & peaches before I left.  A peach pico de gallo sounded wonderful.  I think it was two summers back we would buy this mango-peach salsa from Costco & simply loved it.  It was more on the sweet side, not as much spice, but perfect for grilled chicken, salmon or even better…scrambled eggs.  My version is less sweet and it tastes like a pico de gallo should–fresh.  You can up the spice factor however you like.  It takes me to the beaches of Mazatlan where my grandpa lives, except this time I’m older and can drink a beer with it.  Enjoy!

P.S. We got our camera in the mail this week (must use the word “our,” as I’ve already said “my” once–OOPS!) & I love it!

A Year Ago: Sour Lemon Scones

Peach Pico de Gallo (printable recipe)


1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 large red pepper, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced (the heat is in the inner white spine, so you can remove that to make it less hot)

6 hothouse tomatoes (Joe’s Garden), diced

1 1/2-2 lbs peaches, chopped & skinned

pinch of salt

juice of one lime

Optional: If you want more heat, add more jalapenos.

Directions: This is relatively easy to make.  The work is done with a sharp chef knife, cutting board and bowl.  Cut, dice, chop, etc and put it into the bowl.  Mix together, taste for flavoring & add more of what you think you need.  Eat with chips, serve on eggs, chicken, salmon, fish tacos, cod, halibut.  Add a mango if you like.


Thankfulness Squash Galette

It’s almost Thanksgiving and I really should be in bed.  However, since I’m at my in-laws house, I know I get to sleep in.  I’ve been extremely blessed with loving in-laws who are also amazing grandparents.  They have a rule, which is one I affirm wholeheartedly, “Parents get to sleep in while they take care of the grandkids.” I am thankful.

And I know it’s Thanksgiving, to which we are to be grateful for all the many blessings we’ve been given; however, life happens at the most inopportune times and you’re not always handed something to be thankful about.  I received some news which is discouraging and causes me to think with a fatalistic fear.  I’m not gifted with optimism the majority of the time.  And although I would say my glass is half full, this doesn’t equate with walking around thinking I can tackle anything and keep truckin’.

I’m at first glance an optimist fatalist, because I’m an extrovert who is over dramatic.  I see the best in the outcome, but I get caught up in the path to get there at times.  Ultimately, I need to remember that I am not savior and rely on one who is.  Life is hard enough without having a savior complex.  What…with being a mom, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister, etc., is enough in and of itself.  I’m only required to live in this moment and do what I’m called to do.  My job is not to be the perfect mom.  Or to cook the perfect meals. Or to carry others burdens/issues.  I don’t have to live up to expectations that others have set for me or even ones I’ve set for myself.

And in a world where we compare everything and everyone, it can be pretty damn hard.  Where our children are compared to one another from day one based on their weight & length.  Where mothers ask other mothers what “percentile” their child falls (maybe to feel good that their child is a bit bigger and doing “better”).  Where smart is based on knowing your ABC’s, speaking in fluent tongue, or excelling in ‘quantifiable’ means.  Where beauty is measured based on waist size & symmetrically aligned faces.

Yet, in the midst of all the reasons aforementioned (and then some), I can take solace in what the prophet Zephaniah spoke to Israel many, many moons ago:

Sing, O Daughter of Zion;
shout aloud, O Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
O Daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”

I like knowing that I am to “shout…rejoice with all my heart,” because He “delights” in me, he “quiets” my whole being with “his love,” and he “rejoices over me with singing.”  It gives me a picture of my daughter happily singing (in and out of tune) with complete abandon through the living room.  It brings me joy & I fully delight, or enjoy her…for her.  And when she’s upset, or hurt, or even quietly in my lap…I get to shower my songs upon her.  And oh my, it brings her peace in the midst of a storm feeling.  Thankfulness…it’s knowing that type of peace in eye of the storm, and choosing to see the good in the midst of it.  So for that…I am thankful for this day the Lord has made.

If you’re wanting to add some tangible thankfulness to your day (or someone else), then this galette is definitely high on the list. Happy Thanksgiving!

Butternut Squash Galette & Delicata Squash Galette (printable recipe)

This pastry crust is courtesy of Epicurious.  I needed to make two Galettes, so I doubled the pastry ingredients below.  I also used 3/4 butternut squash for one galette and 1/4 for the other galette.  The crust was flaky, savory & sublime. I love these for their versatility and improvisation.

For pastry:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For butternut squash filling:

  • 1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2- by 1/4-inch slices (4 cups) **reserve about 1/4 of it for other galette if making it.
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium sized shallot
  • 4 ounces soft mild goat cheese
  • 4 ounces soft cream cheese
  • 1 egg

Make dough:
Pulse flour, butter, sage, and sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture and pulse until it just forms a ball. (Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.) Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make filling while dough chills:
Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.

Toss squash with sea salt and 1 Tbsp oil and arrange in 1 layer in a 17-by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Meanwhile, saute shallots in 1 tablespoons oil with a pinch of sea salt in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool slightly. Combine goat cheese, cream cheese & egg in a small bowl.  Mix to combine.

Make galette:
Roll out dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Transfer to a baking sheet. Spread out cheese filling in center of dough.  Dump about 3/4 of butternut squash on top, along with shallots, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. Put a few sage leaves on top, drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with sea salt.  Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.

Delicata-Butternut Squash with Kale Galette: there’s no need to peel the delicata, because it’s skin is tender upon roasting and is easily eaten.

  • 1 delicata squash
  • olive oil for drizzling delicata
  • sea salt for sprinkling delicata
  • 1/4 of above cooked butternut squash
  • 1 medium shallot (I cooked 2 shallots and divided them between the two recipes)
  • 3 kale leaves, vein removed & chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 ounces goat cheese

Cut ends off of delicata.  Scoop out seeds & pulp.  Cut into 1/4 inch rings, then cut into half moons.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Drizzle with olive oil & sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast at 450 for roughly 15 minutes.  They don’t take that long.  Cool.

Meanwhile, saute kale in 1 tablespoon of olive oil till tender.  You may need to add more oil or even some water.  Remove to a small bowl and set aside. Saute chopped up half moon shallots in 2 teaspoons olive oil for 1 minute or so.  Remove to small bowl.

Combine the delicata squash, 1/4 leftover of cooked butternut squash, cooked shallot, & kale together.  Roll out your dough following instructions above, drop goat cheese throughout the center of the rolled out galette.  Arrange the vegetables on top of the goat cheese lined crust.  Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.

V. Storey’s Pinwheels


There are times in life when lunch time feels like a blur, especially when there is a two and a half year old on the verge of a meltdown.  Actually, make that a two and a half year old, a 30 year old and we’ll throw in a baby for good measure.  Then, to top it off you look in the fridge at least 10 times in a span of 30 seconds with the 11th time hoping for the breaking of the five loaves to miraculously appear.

But of course, that doesn’t happen.  Instead, I start pulling out the lunch idea and go for hors d’oeuvres for lunch.  Sounds good to me!  I mean really, don’t you find yourself eating more of those tiny whatevers they have on the silver plate at weddings than anything else.  One because you’re thinking, “who includes their great aunt in the receiving line?” and two, “Man, these are fun to eat!”  Well, we have a “No Great Aunt” included in our family motto, but fun miniatures for lunch time sure stands the test of time. **Plus, anything with a toothpick always adds an element of pazzazz for the diner, especially when they’re 38 inches tall.


V. Storey’s Pinwheels

2 whole wheat tortillas

1 mango, cut into thin slices

2 slices of ham

About 2 -3 tablespoons of cream cheese

few sprigs of basil leaves

1 tomato, cut into cubes

1/2 avocado, cut into cubes

1/4-1/2 peach, cut into thin slices

pinch of salt & chili flakes

Put the cream cheese across both tortillas.  Put one piece of ham on each tortilla.  Top with mango, tomato, peaches, avocados, basil, & sprinkle of chili flakes and salt.  Roll it up (think of rolling up a sleeping bag as you continue to tighten in the rolled end).  Cut it up into pinwheels and put a toothpick through to keep it contained.  Enjoy!