Recipe: Perfect Mashed Potatoes

[Updated November 2016] Such a simple thing -- throw some potatoes into a pot, then mash them up, but there's more to creamy mashed potatoes than that. I tend to make mashed potatoes a day ahead of a big family dinner and gently reheat in the oven; microwaving them tends to change the texture. Alternately, make them earlier in the morning and keep them warm by covering a pan with plastic wrap and nestling into a simmering … [Read more...]

Potage Parmentier (Leek & Potato Soup)

When I was a little girl in Michigan, we had potato soup at least once a week. It was inexpensive, warming and ready in relatively little time. I can remember taking my mother's thick homemade bread, slathering it with warm sweet butter and dunking it into the hot soup. A subtle heat wave made its way down to my center. I was not one of those kids who liked playing in the snow. I didn't get it. Snow was cold, wet and … [Read more...]

Shepherd’s Pie with Chard-Lentil Filling

Recipe by Kim O'Donnel My family has shifted to mostly vegetarian in the past couple of years. This has meant something new for us: meatless holiday dinners.  The key to this recipe is a great technique: braising lentils in red wine. This step adds a certain "meatiness" to the dish. Since I first made this dish, I now routinely braise lentils in wine for other dishes, too. Last year, we had the extended family for dinner … [Read more...]

Recipe: Potato Gratin with Camembert and Pancetta

Recipe by Jess Thomson, from Dishing Up Washington, photo by Lara Ferroni At Vashon Island’s Kurtwood Farms, owner Kurt Timmermeister makes a bloomy-rind cow’s milk cheese called Dinah’s Cheese. When it was first released in 2009, Seattle swooned; nowhere in the state is there a farmstead Camembert-style  cheese so clearly fit for international fame. In my official opinion, it would be an atrocity to do anything to … [Read more...]