Monthly Archives: April 2012

Red Wine Vinaigrette

Red Wine Vinaigrette

I love spring.  It’s without a doubt my favorite time of year.  By the time April rolls around I’m tired of preparing stews and soups for dinner and I am so ready for backyard barbeques and fresh picked produce.  This time of the year I am starting to find fresh local lettuce, spinach and chard in our farmers markets.  The perennial herbs like mint, chives and tarragon are also available.  In just a few short months we will be dealing with the onslaught of fresh zucchini, corn, tomatoes and beans.  I can’t even wait.  Store bought tomatoes can be so disappointing…

Miniature narcissus and spearmint from my garden.

It has been a few weeks since I planted my little pocket garden and I found that I have lettuce that needs to be thinned and picked.  The heads are not quite mature but I have learned that if I steal a few leaves from each plant when I want to make salad, nobody (not even the plants) seems to notice.  Today when I got home from work I made a beautiful green salad drizzled with my Red Wine Vinaigrette.  My Red Wine Vinaigrette tastes great on a pasta or red quinoa salad.  It’s made with kalamata olive oil, sweet basil, garlic, red wine vinegar and a few other ingredients.  It’s quick and easy and you will not want to buy store bought vinaigrette ever again.  Makes about 1 cup.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup kalamata olive oil (substitute olive oil if you want)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dried sweet basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until well blended.  Store in tightly covered container in the refrigerator.  Keeps about 1 week.  Makes about 1 cup.

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

I love living in Oregon.  One of the cool things about where I live besides breathing fresh air, drinking clean water, tall mountains and trees is that Oregon has lots of breweries.   And seriously good breweries…  Hand crafted IPA’s, wheats, amber ales, darks, porters, lagers and the list goes on.  I can think of at least 5 microbreweries within a 10 mile radius from my home.

What I have learned is that a really good beer makes a really good beer bread.  The problem is making that choice to sacrifice a couple of your favorite beers for baking bread.  My Whole Wheat Beer Bread is so good that you really don’t have to think too long and hard about making that tough decision.  My Whole Wheat Beer Bread is ridiculously easy to make and tastes absolutely wonderful.  Makes 1 tasty loaf.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups beer (20 ounces)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 X 5 pan.  Mix all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl, mixing dry ingredients first then adding the beer.  The batter will look like really thick pancake batter.  Add mixture to the baking pan and drizzle the top lightly with olive oil.  Bake 60 t0 70 minutes until a beautiful golden brown.  Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.  Slice and serve with sweet cream butter.