Quick dinner recipe: Fennel & tomato penne with eggplant

This recipe includes several solanaceous vegetables that are just coming into season where I live: eggplant, sweet pepper, and tomatoes. My beloved fennel also plays a starring role, along with fresh basil and onions. And it took me under 30 minutes to prepare. There’s so many vegetables in this dish you could skip the salad. But if you have as many veggies as I do … Read more

Recipe: Simple strawberry, peach & pistachio ice cream (all natural, no sugar added)

A hint of pistachios makes this sugar-free ice cream feel positively decadent. And since it’s made in a blender, all that goodness can be yours in just a couple of minutes from now. Ingredients 10 salted pistachios, shells remove 1½ cups frozen strawberries ½ cup frozen peaches 1 tablespoon heavy cream 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt 1 packet Truvia or … Read more

Bleach Sprayed Shirt

I love this idea so much. It would be a great way to rescue a shirt with minor bleach stains, or liven up a plain piece of dark fabric for use in quilting. And, unlike silkscreening or block printing, it requires absolutely no investment in specialty supplies. I’m looking forward to trying it out!

Simple side dish: Sautéed beets with fennel and lemon

With just five ingredients and one-skillet prep, this is a truly simple recipe that’s perfect for a lazy summer day. I could keep going on about uncomplicated this recipe is, and how the combination of two sweet vegetables with the sour bite of lemon appeals to our most basic, primordial tastes — but that verbal frippery would be totally incongruous with … Read more

Parsley, sage, rosemary and bee balm (or, How to eat the prairie)

I was walking by the river near my house today and was delighted to see one of my favorite prairie plants blooming along the banks: Monarda fistulosa, also known as bee balm or wild bergamot. This charming flower is native to most of North America — and if you don’t have it in your neck of the woods, you might have one … Read more

No shortage of false dandelion in Portland

There are lots of false dandelions (cat’s ear) around Portland.  Unlike the grass, they don’t seem to mind the drought. Like the greens can be eaten just like those of the true dandelion, and they’re way easier to grow than lettuce since you don’t even have to water them. They’re also more bitter, a bit like arugula or mustard greens. … Read more

Making a fabric-covered button

Do you have one of those shirts that’s so comfortable and flattering that you wear it at least ten times as often as any of your other clothes? This wine-red American Eagle shirt with fabric-covered buttons is one of those for me. After being worn a bazillion times, it recently lost one of its buttons. Fortunately, there was extra fabric below the collar (where the label was … Read more

Recipe: Instant cherry-spice sorbet

It’s hot here – the perfect weather for something sweet but light. When I was a kid I liked sucking on Flavor-Ice pops. Now I prefer something a little more elegant. Ingredients For 1 or 2 servings: 1 1/2 cup frozen pitted cherries 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 1/8 teaspoon allspice 1 packet Truvia (optional) Instructions Put everything in a blender or food processor (see … Read more

Applique the easy way

My friend Enid taught me an easy way to make applique with finished edges, and I’ve used it ever since. All you need is: your appliqué fabric used dryer sheets marker thread Here’s how to do it. I draw or trace the appliqué shape onto the dryer sheet and pin it to the right (show) side of the appliqué fabric. … Read more