July 25, 2014

Cilantro Chickpea Sliders

Ten times a day something happens to me like this - some strengthening throb 
of amazement - some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.
Mary Oliver

This recipe for Chickpea Salad Sliders, has become a god-send when having to whip something up quickly and inexpensively for a gathering- and when it needs it to be vegan or vegetarian -and still hearty. A friend introduced them to me a few years ago, and I fell in love with them, putting a variation of them on our catering menu. They are always a big hit, and surprisingly, non-vegans end up devouring them too.  It's such a simple recipe that can me made in minutes. It's also perfect for easy weeknight meals, or lunches, and instead of using slider buns, the salad can be stuffed into pita bread, or into wraps. If gluten free, skip the bread all together and place a scoop of the flavor chickpea salad over a bed of dressed arugula. For those, who are not cilantro fans, substitute Italian parsley and a bit of fresh tarragon.

July 21, 2014

Grilled Jerk Chicken and Peach Skewers

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name 
is safe in their mouth.
Jess C. Scott

Our grill has been working overtime lately, allowing our old house (sans air conditioning), to stay a little bit cooler during our heat wave.  This recipe for grilled jerk chicken skewers with peaches, has become a new favorite around here.  It screams of summer with its bold Caribbean flavors and sweet tart juicy peaches- tender, ripe and dripping with nectar. The spicy heat of the chicken is soooooo incredibly good with the peaches --you simply must try this!  My husband Brian, I admit, was a little skeptical when I handed him the skewers to grill - he's not a huge fan of cooked fruit- but I'll tell you what, when it came time to eat, those skewers disappeared so fast, I had to laugh. He totally devoured them. So, get yourself some peaches and get grilling. Tis' the season …for both!!

July 18, 2014

Grilled Potato Salad with Black Garlic Vinaigrette

If you are looking for a different way to treat potatoes this summer, try grilling them. This recipe for grilled potato salad, is a fun twist on the classic, with a vinaigrette made from fermented black garlic. The black garlic gives the lightly charred potatoes a unique flavor - earthy and subtly sweet. Pair this with crispy skinned grilled salmon, and a dollop of dill sour cream, and it's a match made in heaven.

July 15, 2014

Peach and Elderflower Sangria

On a hot summer eve, what could be more refreshing than an icy glass of peach sangria. This has been my saving grace, perking me up, after days of sweltering heat.  I like to make a big batch and enjoy it over a few days - because surprisingly, it gets even better and better as it marinates in the fridge. Infuse  the sangria with your favorite herb - mint, basil, lemon verbena, lemon balm, or  lemon thyme - and add a splash of floral, tropical elderflower liqueur, like St-Germain. Or, if you have elder flowers in bloom near you, it's actually quite easy to make your own. I will share my recipe for elderflower liqueur soon!

For this Peach Sangria recipe, find the most fragrant peaches you can get your hands on. Peaches are just showing up here at our local farmers market.  If you are lucky enough to have them growing in your area, make an effort to buy these, because locally grown peaches are left on the trees longer,  developing more of their real peachy flavor. Peaches that must travel far, are picked before their peak, to account for travel time, so very often they are not as flavorful. In any case, let the peaches ripen on the kitchen counter for a couple days until they are fragrant, and lightly soft. Then they will be perfect for sangria. 

July 9, 2014

Israeli Salad

The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, 
but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is the refreshing Israeli Salad I was telling you about last week... that pairs so well with Grilled Chicken Shawarma. The salad itself bursts with the good flavors of summer -fresh vegetables, fresh herbs all tossed in an easy lemony dressing. Simple ingredients, healthy, light….and oh so tasty. This is summer in a bowl.

Hope everyone is having a good week. It has been kind of crazy around here in the catering world --we are definitely in the thick of it. But in the midst of all of it, there are little moments, here and there that help keep my head from spinning completely off.  I'm trying to adopt a new perspective this summer, trying to not let myself get to the place where I feel overwhelmed and panicked, which is all too common when we are super busy. It mostly involves bringing myself back into the present, every time I stress about all the things that need to be done. It has been interesting- I'll let you know how it works out. In the mean time, enjoy this salad. Make some shawarma to go with it.  Cheers!

July 4, 2014

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe

This easy Grilled Chicken Shawarma recipe is bursting with middle eastern flavors. Fast and simple to make, it comes together in less than 30 minutes and it's one we use a lot at home. During hot summer evenings, I love it best served over a bed of a chilled Israeli Salad, a salad made of very finely diced summer vegetables and fresh herbs. The combination of hot grilled juicy chicken, together with the chilled Israeli salad is refreshing and delicious. Look for the Israeli salad recipe here in the next couple days.  For heartier appetites, fold the tender flavorful chicken into pita, with tahini sauce along with this Turkish Cucumber Salad, or simply serve with rice…..the flavors will not disappoint. 

July 1, 2014

Bowl and Pitcher

Farmhouse Big Bee Salt Cellar

In my kitchen at home, the things I cherish most, are those that have lasted through the years - sturdy, durable goods, simple in design, that seem to get better and better with wear.

Linen aprons that soften with each wash. Wooden spoons, of various sizes that last forever, aging  gracefully with time and use.  Sturdy, hand thrown ceramic bowls and pitchers, holding cherries or flowers, a work of art right on the counter.  An old, beat up, cast iron skillet, seasoned to perfection.

I tell you this today because…something is happening. Well, actually, it has been happening behind the scenes for a while now, but today, July 1st, is the day I get to tell you officially, that it is happening, right now - out here in the open!

My friend Jill, ( who've you've met before ), and myself are launching a little tiny kitchen store, called Bowl and Pitcher. For those of you that live here, you will understand why we picked the name. Bowl and Pitcher is a breathtaking site, a natural rock outcropping rising grandly out of the Spokane River in Riverside State Park. The name is a nod to the beautiful place in which we live.

Our store will feature simply designed, thoughtfully curated kitchen goods that we have fallen in love with. Items will rotate often, and a few vintage items will be offered which I have used on this blog, many of which you have asked about. Eventually we would like all our products to be crafted locally, so if you think you or anyone you know would be a good fit, drop us a line, we would love to work with you.

Here are a few items we are staring with. To get monthly updates on new items we will carry, be sure to sign up here at Bowl and Pitcher.