Sautéed spinach

Bagged spinach or bunch spinach? Sometimes I do buy the bagged spinach, because it’s so much easier. But bunch spinach is better, really. It’s a little bit cheaper, but mainly it’s better because fewer people handle it, and so it is less likely to have nasty germs than the bagged spinach is. Also, if you […]

Spinach soup

Cold day, warm appetizer or lunch It hardly ever snows in Portland anymore, thanks to global warming. But when it does, the kids get really excited and rush out to play in it. Coming from the Northeast, I always think it’s funny when the kids are excited about two inches of snow. How to make […]

Lettuce soup

Really? Lettuce Soup? Even though I am the world’s worst gardener, one year we did have a bumper crop of lettuce, which I have never been able to achieve again. But that year we just had too much lettuce. I was desperate for ways to use lettuce that weren’t salads. One good way is Thai lettuce […]

Twice baked potatoes

Cooking for Occupy Portland Last fall when I was cooking for Occupy Portland, we needed to make dinner for about a thousand people a night (no kidding!) with whatever jumble of ingredients people happened to have donated. One winner was these twice baked potatoes – they’re cheap, they’re easy to make, and they’re easy to […]


The one recipe French women can make Most French women can’t really cook – and why should you, when delicious food is right there at the charcuterie? – but they all know how to make chocolate cake and quiche. Quiche, as you might expect from this story, is not that hard to make. Because eggs were in […]

Potato curry (no rice)

Indian food without the rice We wanted to have curry, but we had already eaten enough rice that week, so I made this potato curry, which was filling without the rice. How to make potato curry: Dice six baking potatoes, and chop an onion, half a cabbage, and a bell pepper. Heat 1/4 cup of […]

Octopus and polenta

Really, you eat octopus? Yes, it’s yummy! They sell it frozen at our regular grocery store, but every time I ask for it, the people behind the counter act startled, like they can’t imagine why anyone would buy octopus. But the kids like it, it’s not expensive, and a little goes a long way. [Added […]

Oatmeal cakes

Yummy use for leftover oatmeal In Scotland, where people pretty much lived on oats, it used to be pretty common to let oatmeal get cold and solid and then slice it up to eat for lunch. These oatmeal cakes are another version of that idea. I serve them with salmon or lox because that’s another […]