Category Archives: Appetizers

Smoked Salmon Dip


It’s late October and I’m having a tough time giving up my warm weather habits…  I’m resisting the impending cold weather as long as I can.  Even if it is a bone chilling 32 degrees outside, I still prefer to order my latte over ice early in the morning on my way to work.  I know that once I start to order it piping hot, I’m going to be drinking it that way until the warm weather arrives again in the spring.  I look at it this way, we still have at least another week of glorious warm weather here in Southern Oregon and I am going to take advantage of it.  That means getting outdoors and enjoying the bright sunshine while it is still here.


While preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip for an appetizer for a dinner party later this evening, I spied some cedar waxwings in one of the trees outside my kitchen window.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and grabbed my camera.  Cedar waxwings are sleek crested medium sized birds that frequent my neighborhood in the fall of the year.  They arrive in large noisy flocks to eat the fruit off of the flowering crab apple tree in the back of the yard.  Cedar waxwings are distinctive for they look like little bandits with dark black masks streaked across their faces.


Another way of identifying a cedar waxwing is by the glossy dark grey wing feathers and bright yellow tip on its tail.  Cedar waxwings are similar to Bohemian waxwings but are smaller in size.


A pair of cedar waxwings deciding on which juicy berry they are going to pick first.  The one on top of the photo is a juvenile.  You can tell by the lightly mottled brown feathers on its breast and back.  By next spring its plumage will look like the mature adult perched on the branch below.


Cedar waxwings are without a doubt, greedy little birds.  They are in the trees as soon as the sun comes up in the morning, and they stay throughout the day, gobbling up as much fruit as they can fit into their bellies.  It’s amazing to see how many berries one single bird will gulp down.  Within a few short weeks all of the fruit will be stripped from the trees.  Regardless of what the calendar says, that in my mind, officially marks the end of the warm summer months…


After snapping a few photos of the cedar waxwings, I resumed preparing my Smoked Salmon Dip.  My Smoked Salmon Dip is light, flavorful and easy to make. It’s made with good quality smoked Oregon Chinook salmon, fluffy cream cheese, light sour cream, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  My Smoked Salmon Dip tastes amazing on crackers, toasts, chips and even fresh vegetables.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 6 ounces smoked salmon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • a few dashes hot sauce (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • garnish with bits of smoked salmon or fresh snipped herbs

Begin by placing the cream cheese, sour cream, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and hot sauce in a medium sized bowl.  Using a hand mixer, whip the cream cheese mixture until it is light and fluffy.  Be sure to use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that the mixture is well incorporated.  Break apart the smoked salmon into smaller pieces removing the skin or any bones.   Add smoked salmon to the cream cheese mixture and blend well.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Keep chilled.  Place in a dish and serve.  Garnish with bits of smoked salmon and herbs.  Makes approximately two cups.

Egg Drop Soup


Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love it when the leaves on the deciduous trees in my neighborhood turn canary yellow, fiery orange and bright red.  Fresh picked apples, pears and pumpkins are some of the last crops sold at the local farmers markets as the late summer harvest winds down.  Remnants of my little garden will be tossed in a compost bin and added back to the soil next year.  Seeds will be saved.  Pots need to be scrubbed and cleaned and tomato cages need to be stacked.  In a few short months, the seed catalogs for next year will be in my mailbox.  Can you believe it?  I’m already planning next year’s garden.


On the flip side, fall marks the beginning of the cold and flu season.  People walking around with sniffles and barking coughs become increasingly noticeable.  At the grocery store, over the counter cold remedies and boxes of tissue seem to fly off the store shelves.  Hand sanitizer and constant hand washing does help in the prevention of colds but, sometimes there’s no avoiding it.  Once you got it, you’ve got it.  We’ve all had it.  Unfortunately, most of the time, you just have to let it simply run its course…


One of my favorite dishes to prepare while dealing with the common cold is Egg Drop Soup.  My Egg Drop Soup is similar to what you may find at your favorite Chinese restaurant.  My Egg Drop Soup is slightly different for I like to add finely chopped carrots, celery and use galangal root instead of ginger.  It’s easy to prepare, mild in flavor and has a wonderful soul soothing chicken soup like quality about it.  I love curling up on the couch with a good book and wrapping my hands around a warm little cup of my Egg Drop Soup.  Egg Drop Soup certainly won’t cure your cold but it may help you feel just a little bit better.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 quart chicken stock (reserve 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped fine)
  • 1/2 cup carrot (chopped fine)
  • 1 slice dried galangal root
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 1/4 Tbs cornstarch
  • salt to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 or 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce (optional)
  • chives or green onion for garnish

In a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat add 3 cups chicken stock, celery, carrot, galangal, and white pepper.  Bring to a slow boil.  Cook until the celery and carrots are tender.  Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix together the cornstarch and 1 cup of chicken stock.  Add cornstarch mixture to soup and stir well.  In a small bowl lightly beat eggs.

Now, grab a spoon and stir the boiling soup in a single direction.  Slowly add the egg mixture to the soup stirring gently.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Remove galangal root.  Add soy sauce if desired and garnish with chopped chives or green onions.  Makes about 4 – 1 cup servings.

Lemon Cucumbers and Peanut Sauce

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALemon Cucumbers and Peanut Sauce

I’m curious…  Have you ever heard of or seen lemon cucumbers before?  The reason that I ask is that I have to tell you that lemon cucumbers are my all time favorite variety of cucumber.  Every year I grow one or two plants in my little garden and for about 4 months during the summer, I get big handfuls of tennis ball sized sweet little cucumbers.  This year, due to lack of garden space, I had to grow my lemon cucumber plants in a pot.  They did surprisingly well and I will be sure to try that method again next year.

One of the ways I like to eat lemon cucumbers is to slice them into thin slices and dip them into a creamy homemade peanut sauce.  I could eat lemon cucumbers and peanut sauce all day if I could… I first was introduced to peanut sauce by my grandmother many years ago.  She always seemed to have a small bowl of peanut sauce on the table at family barbecues and meals.  I loved to drizzle it on many Indonesian dishes such as pork satay, nasi goreng and gado gado.   Many years later, I’ve taken peanut sauce a step further and put it on pizza, tofu tacos and turkey burgers.  Peanut sauce is so versatile and delicious!


Lemon cucumbers resemble lemons with the yellow color and oval shape.  What I like about lemon cucumbers is that you don’t have to peel them for the skin is paper thin and you can eat them like an apple.  After picking them, you will notice that the cucumbers have a bit of a rough exterior.  All I do is wash them well and rub off the small little stickers or spines with a damp cloth that grow on the outer skin of the cucumber.   Once cleaned up, the skin is smooth and the cucumber is ready to eat.  Lemon cucumbers are delightfully mild and delicious.  Lemon cucumbers have a short shelf life as compared to the green cucumbers that you see in the store.  Once picked you have to eat them within a day or two.  Maybe that is why they are hard to find except if you grow them yourself or visit a farmers market.  Lemon cucumbers taste great sliced up in salads, on sandwiches or in a pickle.  If you get a chance to purchase or grow lemon cucumbers, be sure to make some of my peanut sauce for dipping!  Enjoy!  Tessa



  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce
  • 1 Tbls. sweet chili sauce
  • regular soy sauce (optional, to taste)
  • sambal oelek or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Lemon cucumbers (regular cucumbers can be substituted)

Grab a medium sauce pan or saucier.  Find a whisk.  Add all ingredients to the pan and cook on low heat for 20 – 30 minutes, whisking constantly.  You want the flavors to marry and the sauce to thicken.  Taste it.  If it is too sweet for your liking, add some soy sauce.  If you want it spicier, feel free to add some sambal oelek or some red pepper flakes.  Remove from heat and let it cool.  Pour into a serving dish.  While preparing the peanut sauce, wash and slice the cucumbers.  Serve cucumbers with the peanut sauce.  Makes nearly 1 1/2 cups.

Golden Gazpacho Shooters

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGolden Gazpacho Shooters

Every summer there comes a time when I have “almost” too many tomatoes growing in my garden.  Don’t get me wrong, I will eat fresh picked tomatoes with breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It’s just that by mid summer they seem to ripen all at once.  I have limited freezer space at our home so that’s when I share the bounty with family and friends.  I could not imagine a single summer without home grown tomatoes in my garden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeirloom tomatoes and nasturtiums

A few of my tomato plants.  I plant them in sturdy metal tomato cages to keep them growing upright and from falling over.  I also trim the leaves at the base of the tomato plants so all the energy in the plants gets redirected from growing leaves to tomato production.  Did you notice that I cram my plants in a really small space?  No patch of precious real estate ever gets wasted in my garden.  What you see here are early girls, lemon boys and my all time favorite, pineapple tomatoes.  I also planted nasturtiums at the base of the tomato plants.  The nasturtium flowers are edible and have a wonderful peppery flavor.  The bright colored petals are great for garnish or in salads.


Whenever I head out the side yard to my little garden, my buddy Gromit is sure to follow.  He’s such a comical creature.  While out, he goes on what I call “cat patrol”.  First, he runs straight to the front gate to make sure that there are no uninvited guests in the area and then he follows the perimeter of the fence to ensure that the yard is cat free.  He thinks he’s such a tough guy.  It must be that spike collar of his…  I feel sorry for any unsuspecting cat that happens to be in our yard when he flies out the back door.


A bucket full of fresh picked garden goodies.  The lemon cucumbers, yellow peppers and tomatoes will be going into my Golden Gazpacho soup.  The remaining heirloom tomatoes and peppers will be oven roasted and tossed in the freezer to be used at a later date when the tomatoes and peppers are no longer in season.  If you happen to have a bunch of heirloom tomatoes that are yellow or orange in color, be sure to set some aside to make some golden gazpacho.  If you love tomatoes and never had gazpacho before, you are in for a real treat.  Gazpacho is an easy to prepare chilled tomato soup that is Spanish in origin.  It’s wonderfully light, refreshing and delicious.  It’s like sunshine in a shot glass!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 pounds vine ripened yellow or orange tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2- 3 lemon cucumbers
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • big pinch of cumin (or to taste)
  • Garnish with tomatoes and basil

Rinse and remove skin and seeds from the tomatoes.  Cut into quarters.  Peel and chop the onion.  Slice lengthwise and remove the stem and all the seeds from the yellow pepper.  Wash, lightly peel and quarter the lemon cucumbers.  Peel garlic clove.  Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.  Chill well before serving.  Pour into bowls or into shot glasses for elegant mini appetizers.  Garnish with cherry tomatoes and/or basil.  Makes about 6 cups gazpacho.


Sriracha Egg Salad



Sriracha Egg Salad

During the work week, I am notorious for eating lunch at my desk.  Some people may frown upon it but I don’t.  I consider it being efficient and a form of multi-tasking…

For those who do not know what Sriracha is. It’s an Asian chili sauce that you may be able to find in the Asian section of your favorite grocery store.  It’s a little bit spicy and in my opinion, tastes wonderful in so many dishes that you may want to add a little heat to.  It’s a staple in my kitchen and I use it all the time in soups, stews, sauces, eggs, stir fries and even on pizza.  

My Sriracha Egg Salad is one of those dishes that I can easily prepare the night before and have it ready in my lunch bag before I leave for work the next morning.  I just grab a handful of crackers, maybe a piece of fruit, some sparkling water and lunch is done. My Sriracha Egg Salad is a riff on a traditional egg salad but with light mayonnaise and spicy Sriracha sauce. Next time you are in the mood for egg salad, add a bit of Sriracha to liven it up.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 Tbs relish
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Sriracha or to taste (I like to use more)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped chives and pinch of smoked paprika

Peel and chop your hard boiled eggs.  Add to a medium sized bowl.  Add light mayonnaise, celery, relish, green onion, dijon mustard, sriracha, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Spread on your favorite bread or crackers.  Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Makes 4 servings.

Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables


Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables

If you love hot and spicy food, you are in for a real treat.  This unassuming little dish of pickled vegetables will fire up your taste buds.  My Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables is a wonderful combination of marinated bright orange carrots, crunchy cauliflower and smoking hot Serrano peppers.  I like to serve my Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables whenever I make homemade tacos, burritos or enchiladas.


Serrano Peppers.  Use gloves when slicing these little bad boys…  Also, be sure to not touch your eyes or nose after working with these peppers.  Wash your hands well after working with the peppers.  Trust me.  You will not like what they will do to you.  I made that mistake once.  If you can’t handle the heat from the Serranos in the dish, you can dial it down by simply adding milder peppers instead.

My Mexican Style Pickled Vegetables is not only easy to make but vegan too.  Next time you serve Mexican cuisine at your home, be sure to make a batch of these pickled vegetables to serve along side your favorite dishes.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 pound carrots
  • 1 pound cauliflower
  • 3 Serrano peppers
  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic

Begin by washing and peeling the carrots.  Slice diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces.  Set aside.  Wash and cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets and set aside with the carrots.  Trim the tops of the peppers and cut into 1/2 inch sized pieces.  In a non reactive pan, add vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaves, salt and black peppercorns.  Bring vinegar mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.  Add garlic, Serrano peppers, carrots and cauliflower.  Cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Be sure to let the vegetables sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before serving.  The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the spicier it gets.  This makes a pretty good sized batch, so feel free to cut the recipe in half.  Makes about a quart and a half of spicy pickled vegetables.

Gevulde Broodjes


Gevulde Broodjes

The recipe that I am sharing with you today is one of my most favorite of our family recipes.  They’re called Gevulde Broodjes.  Translated from Dutch, it means stuffed buns.  It’s one of those dishes that I like to prepare because it reminds me of my most fondest childhood memories.  Many years ago my Oma used to make these for my sister and I whenever we visited her home.  The filling for these little rolls is the same as the filling that she used to make for her kroketten (croquettes).  Kroketten is another recipe that I need to share one day soon!

Gevulde Broodjes are small fist sized dinner rolls that are hollowed out and stuffed with a warm beefy filling.  They are generally served as a snack but I have also made them for lunch or even dinner.  Last summer my Uncle Boebi made a large batch of these rolls to share with our family.  Within a few short minutes, the Gevulde Broodjes were gone. Scarfing the rolls is probably a better word to describe what happened.  That was the only time over the entire weekend with the family that there was near complete silence in the home.  Silence because everyone was quietly devouring the rolls :).  My family loves these little beef rolls and I hope that you do too.  Enjoy!  Tessa


Slice the top off of the roll…


Gently hollow out the roll.  Save the crumbs for another dish…


Stuff the rolls with beef mixture and replace the top.  Now they’re ready to warm up and serve!


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup white onion (minced)
  • 1 cup celery leaves and stems (minced)
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour (use more if needed)
  • 2/3 cup water (use more if needed)
  • salt to taste
  • 12 soft french bread dinner rolls

Melt butter in a large frying pan.  Cook onions and celery on medium heat until onions are translucent, taking care not to brown the mixture.  Add ground beef and mix well and cook for a few minutes until nearly done and the beef is finely crumbled.  Drain any grease out of the pan.  Add chicken bouillon cubes, garlic, coriander, nutmeg, and white pepper.  In a separate bowl, \whisk together the flour and water until there are no lumps.  Add flour mixture to beef mixture and cook for about 15 minutes, constantly stirring until the flour taste is gone.  Add additional flour and water if needed.  Taste and correct your seasonings and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Start cutting the tops off the dinner rolls and set the tops aside.  Using your fingers, gently remove the center of the rolls.  Be sure to leave 1/2 inch of bread on all sides of the roll.  Do the same for the tops of the rolls also.  Do this until each of the rolls have been hollowed out.  Fill each roll with about the beef mixture and add back the tops.  Place rolls in a baking pan, cover with foil and bake until warmed through.  Serve with good quality yellow mustard.

Broccoli Bisque


I have not posted any recipes for the past couple of weeks… It’s not that I did not want to or that I was being lazy.  Most of my free time after work has been spent trying to figure out why my website was not cooperating with me.  Most of the time food blogging is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby but it can be extremely frustrating at times.  Maintaining a food/recipe website is a combination of being a food writer, photographer and webmaster.  I am comfortable with the first two items, but the web master part, I’m still learning (struggling). And, in my opinion, I have a long way to go…

My website problem was this…  Every time I tried to post my Broccoli Bisque recipe, the body of the post would not stay formatted properly. I tried everything. I uninstalled and re-installed different components on my website.  I tried even changing the look of my website.  My frustration level with my computer was at all time high.  I was seriously irritated and I was questioning why I even want to be a food blogger in the first place.  In other words, my website was seriously “jacked up”.

Then late last night it dawned on me…  I thought to myself that maybe I’m having software conflicts with web browsers.  I’ve seen that before with software applications at work.  I have certain applications that I work with that don’t run very well in Internet Explorer and perfectly in Firefox.  And vice versa.  Since I only have Firefox on my laptop, I thought I’d download a free copy of Google Chrome.  I installed it and then I tried working on my website while on Google Chrome.  Unbelievable!  Problem solved!  I learned something big.  Next time I am having problems with my website I’m going to check if it is an issue  with a web browser before spending the time dismantling my entire website.

Well, I’m back.  I look forward to being back on schedule and creating some dishes to share.  Meanwhile, be sure to try my easy vegan Broccoli Bisque.  It’s simple to make, good for you and most importantly, it tastes delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 3/4 pound broccoli florets
  • 1 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 cups russet potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • salt to taste.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, add broccoli, onions, canola oil and a big pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring constantly until broccoli is crisp tender or onions are translucent.  Add potatoes, vegetable stock, coriander, and white pepper.  Cook covered until potatoes and broccoli are tender.  Grab an immersion blender and blend until creamy.  Add more stock if necessary.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley or chopped onion.  Serves 4.

Orange Pomegranate Salad

Orange Pomegranate Salad

The holidays are fast approaching and I am already planning our meal for Christmas Eve.  It’s a family tradition that every year on Christmas Eve I make a huge pot of New England Clam Chowder to share with my family and friends.  With the chowder, I serve up finger foods, fresh baked breads, salad and dessert.  Since the chowder is the only item on the menu that does not change from year to year, I try to think of different and fresh tasting dishes to serve with the soup.

While I am thinking about what I am going to serve with the chowder, our family is busy decorating our home for the holidays.  Bruce’s responsibility is to put up the lights out in the front of the home, and my job is to decorate the dining room and living room.  I love doing that.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.

This is what my dining room looked during the last Christmas season.  Last year, I focused on red and green colors.  This year my plan is to decorate with white and silver.  I want my dining room to have a shiny cold sparkle to it.  The table will be removed and 2 eight foot tables will take its place on Christmas Eve.  That’s what I do every time we have a large gathering in our home.  What I have in mind this year is crisp white table cloths, white candlesticks with snow covered greenery.  The three little trees that you see above are now covered with little white birds, silver ornaments and shimmery snowflakes.

One of my white birds.  I snagged about a dozen of these at a craft store last week for about a dollar each.  I would have bought more but I cleaned out the bin…

Silver pine cone ornament.  My Mom gave these pine cone ornaments to me earlier this year.  These pretty ornaments are on the same trees as the white birds.  Can you believe that this ornament is made of plastic?  Could have fooled me…  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not ashamed of decorating with plastic ornaments.  I like plastic ornaments because they are pet and child friendly, they don’t shatter and when they fall off the tree, all they do is bounce!  And what’s even better about plastic ornaments…  They’re inexpensive.

I just love the holidays!  In my opinion, it’s not about the gifts or the food.  It’s all about spending quality time with family and friends.  I want everyone who visits our home to have a wonderful time and have fond memories of our time together.

I have made the decision to serve my Orange Pomegranate Salad on Christmas Eve.  It’s light, plates beautifully and won’t leave my guests stuffed once I start ladling up steaming hot bowls of chowder.  My Orange Pomegranate Salad is made with fresh naval oranges, pomegranate seeds, watercress, radish shoots, crunchy pepitas and a tangy pomegranate vinaigrette.  It’s easy, bright and delicious! Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 6 large naval oranges, peeled and sliced.
  • 3 cups water cress (use more if you like)
  • 3 cups radish shoots (use more if you like)
  • 6 Tbs toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 6 Tbs fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/8 cup pomegranate vinegar
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Begin by cutting off the peel from the oranges.  Slice each orange into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Arrange on six salad plates with water cress, radish shoots, pomegranate seeds, and pepitas.  Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the canola oil, rice vinegar, pomegranate vinegar, brown sugar, ginger and salt.  Drizzle the vinaigrette on the salads when ready to serve.  Serves 6.

Marinated Black Olives and Autumn along the Rogue River…

Marinated Black Olives

This year at our Thanksgiving table, one of my responsibilities is to prepare an antipasto platter to share with our family.  My antipasto platters always includes a simple selection yet carefully chosen variety of cheese, salami, olives, vegetables and bread sticks.  Those who have prepared antipasto platters before, know that good ingredients don’t come cheap.  One way to save some money is to instead of purchasing expensive store bought marinated olives, is to marinate the olives yourself!

My Marinated Black Olives is simple to make and what’s so cool about it is that you can make a ridiculously dirt cheap can of black olives taste amazing!  Toss together the ingredients and make a plan to get out of the kitchen.  And while your olives are marinating, go out and visit one of your favorite places for the next couple of hours. Maybe the mall, your favorite park, or hiking trail…

One of my favorite places to visit in Southern Oregon is the Rogue River.  This a section of the Rogue River a few miles outside a tiny little town called Merlin.  This is a view looking downstream above the world famous Hellgate Canyon.

A view of Hellgate Canyon at the top of the hill.  Several Hollywood movies and television shows were filmed in this area. John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn filmed “Rooster Cogburn” in the canyon.  James Arness filmed an episode of “Gunsmoke” here.  Kevin Bacon and Meryl Streep filmed scenes from the movie “The River Wild” on the Rogue River below.

A fly fisherman along the bank of the Rogue River at Indian Mary Park.  Abundant quantities of Salmon, Steelhead and Trout are found in the river.

A view up river towards Merlin.  If you ever get the chance to visit Oregon, be sure to stop by our wonderful Rogue River.  It’s so beautiful!

My Marinated Black Olives are ready to serve.  It takes only a few minutes to prepare and about 4 hours minimum to marinate.  If you are patient, the olives taste even better the following day.  These Marinated Black Olives are bargain priced, easy to prepare and most importantly, delicious!  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 – 5.75 ounce can of black olives (drained, I used jumbo)
  • 1/3 cup garlic red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Mix all ingredients in a non reactive bowl.  Add to pint jar or container. Cover and place in refrigerator.  Keeps up to 3 – 4 days.