Tag Archives: Local

Brew BQ – A Pacific Northwest BBQ Joint

BrewBQMeat, I wanted meat…and alcohol. It had been a very long stressful week. Most of my meals had been vegetarian or veg with token pieces of chicken or seafood. Don’t get me wrong, I like going vegetarian but after a while I need meat, particularly when stressed. So when my coworker suggested dinner out on a Friday night I had two requirements:  alcohol and meat; chicken, fish, seafood, or hamburger need not apply, only chunks of meat carved from a large animal.

Luckily my coworker enjoys meat and drink as well. We spent quite a bit of time trying to think of a place that would fit the bill but not let us overspend or over eat. At least Brew BQ is fairly inexpensive.

Brew BQ is a hole in the wall place next to Flattail Brewery. It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. I’m not sure how to describe the decor, but I’ll go with upscale Southern shack or maybe upscale redneck shack. Lampshades and chandeliers are from pint beer glasses (with various logos) and 22 oz. bottles. There’s an image of the “mud flap girl” made of bottle caps on one wall and across from her there is a matching image of a truck driver (complete with belly and cap) in the same pose. Continue reading →


Black Bean Salad

Black Bean SaladThis salad is so very versatile, easy, and good for you. It’s good to eat on its own, as a side dish, or throw the leftovers in a quesadilla, taco, or burrito. You can also serve it with chips as an appetizer  Heck, throw it in some scrambled eggs for breakfast!

Unbelievably I still have some red peppers holding out in the garden, so I didn’t even have to settle for some sad out of season pepper from the store. You could also use roasted red peppers from a jar. Make it a few hours or a day ahead of when you want to serve it for the best flavor. Continue reading →

Squash is Beautiful


Squash is beautiful.


It’s luscious curves and sweet flesh beckon. Even better, this sultry beauty is good for you. Winter squash is fat and cholesterol free and low in calories but a good source of vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and fiber.

We are inundated this fall with a variety of shapes and sizes, some that I have never seen before, such as this Carnival Squash.


I have a habit of setting them on the counter so I can appreciate them for some time. Luckily, winter squash lasts quite awhile. At some point their natural luster will dull and it will be time for them to move onto their next phase.

While there are lots recipes for squash, the simplest is one of my favorites. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut it into wedges. Lightly oil the wedges and season with salt and pepper. Roast them in a 350° until soft. I like to roast them until the skin starts to get crispy. Mmmm, crispy, sweet goodness.

Don’t forget the seeds! Rinse them well and remove as much of the attached…goo…as you can. Toss them with oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 350° until they have reached the amount of crunchy you desire. I like mine very crunchy so I wait until they’re a nice tan or light brown color. Add them to your salad for a little something extra.

If you’re already dreaming of next year’s garden, consider planting a few extra of these lovelies. You can always control how many you end up with by using the squash blossoms.


Jabberwocky Ale

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Jabberwocky Ale by Walkabout Brewing Company in Medford, or, what a name, how could I resist? I’m not much of an ale person, I’m more of lager girl but I thought I’d give it a try. Continue reading →

Summer Frittata

Frittatas are a great way to use up ingredients, eggs or vegetables. This time of year those of you with chickens are looking for a way to use up eggs, it’s the season of plenty. I discovered frittatas many years ago, but quickly lost my taste for them.  I had found five dozen eggs on sale and bought some, about a week later I found them on sale again and bought some more. Ten dozen eggs for two people, not my greatest moment. The menu was frittata heavy for several weeks and I quickly lost my taste for egg heavy dishes. BTW, did you know you can freeze eggs? Beat an egg, pour it into a lightly greased small container (you can use a ramekin for one egg or a muffin pan for multiples) and pop it into the freezer until hard. Remove the egg from the dish and store in the freezer in a bag or container. When your chickens aren’t laying in December you can use the eggs from the freezer. Sure wish I had known that when I had 10 dozen eggs I was trying to use up.

Firing up the oven is not exactlythe first thing that crosses my mind this time of year, but you can work around the heat. In my case I was up early canning anyway. The kitchen was already hot, so I might as well use the oven. Frittatas reheat so well that it’s easy to make them in advance and then just reheat in the microwave. You miss the pretty pan presentation, and this recipe is very pretty in the pan, but that’s okay with me if I get to avoid heat stroke in the kitchen. They also freeze very nicely. You can have home-made, frozen lunches or dinners that were fast and easy to make. Continue reading →

Strawberry Syrup

Deep in the depths of winter there’s nothing quite like popping the lid on berries preserved from the summer. Strawberry season is my favorite time to make jams and syrups. The weather isn’t too hot yet so working over a hot stove isn’t too bad yet and they’re the first berry of the summer so you’re not burned out from all the other products you’ve put up. Continue reading →

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

This recipe has been in my family for quite a while. It’s one of the first dishes I made as a child. It’s fast, easy, and always popular. This is a personal adaptation of the basic recipe that introduces a hint of lemon to the crust. Please note that with the exception of the first four ingredients, the measurements are estimated. The filling of this dish is quite variable. Also, the amount of sugar needed for the filling will vary depending on the sweetness of your berries. Feel free to adjust to your taste. Continue reading →

First Burger

 First BurgerFor my first restaurant review, I thought I’d go to first burger on the 1st of September. That has to be lucky right?

First Burger is located in Historic Downtown Albany, Oregon. They’ve been open for a couple of years but this is the first time I’ve been able to get there. I was intrigued by the way they advertised their local, fresh ingredients. This is their mission statement from their website, “First Burger is based on the simple idea of using the best possible ingredients available to make the best possible hamburger. We Oregonians are lucky that the best quality is local, natural and sustainable. First Burger strives to keep Oregon working; we hope that you will join us.” They also list their suppliers on their website, all of which are indeed local. Continue reading →