Bear Pita

One of my go-to bear recipes, this recipe can be used with any type of meat. While developing recipes for a friend battling a fatty liver and pre-diabetes, I substituted crumbled tempeh for the bear and discovered a new favorite. To fully appreciate this meat or meat-free dish, you must make the tzatziki and the hummus! Or just make the tzatziki and buy the hummus.

This is from page 91 of our book, Cooking Big Game. If subbing tempeh for bear meat, add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the marinade.

Crumbled Tempeh, Hummus & Tzatziki


The first time we had a traditional pita with hummus and tzatziki, wile traveling through Europe, was a memorable experience, one we wanted to bring home.  The amazing spices and flavors compensated for the fact we had no idea what kind of meat we were eating.  Later we learned it was goat.  We’ve since had it with both black bear and grizzly, and both were excellent.

  • 1 pound bear, cut into small chunks
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, pureed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

In a small bowl combine all ingredients.  Marinate bear in refrigerator up to 24 hours.  Heat a medium skillet on medium-high heat, add bear with all marinade.  Bring to a quick boil letting marinade reduce, 5-10 minutes.  Strain off marinade and discard.  Serve bear in a warm pita with lettuce, tomatoes, hummus and tzatziki.    


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 cups cucumber, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed (optional)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dice cucumbers and place on several paper towels.  Pat dry to remove extra water.  In a medium bowl mix all ingredients.  Keep refrigerated.


  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Dash of cayenne or hot pepper sauce

Place all ingredients in a food chopper and puree until smooth.  Keep refrigerated.


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Waterfowl Fajitas

screen-shot-2016-12-20-at-8-13-09-amGreat as a salad or main course with corn tortillas, fajitas can be presented in a variety of ways.  Pupusas or sopas (thick tortillas) are an interesting change and can be purchased or made from scratch.  All colors of bell peppers and mushrooms are also great fajita additions. If you are looking to neutralize the stronger flavor of waterfowl, soak breasts overnight in salt water (about 1 tablespoon of salt per quart of water) or buttermilk overnight.

  • 1 pound waterfowl breasts, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fajita Spice Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, mix spice rub ingredients.  Completely coat meat with rub and let sit 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 6 hours.  Heat oil in a large skillet, caramelize onions and peppers on medium-heat adding meat after 3-5 minutes.  Continue stir-frying 2-3 minutes or until meat is barely browned.  Serve over pupusas, sopas or with warm tortillas and all the usual fajita fixings.


Tom Kha Gai being demonstrated and sampled at the 2013 O'Laughlin Sport Shows.

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Roast Goose with Cranberry Walnut Stuffing

roastgoosewcranDon’t wait for a special occasion to enjoy this treat.  This works great for a plucked bird but in our family, plucked birds are hard to come by, as skinning is much faster (and a great excuse to use bacon).

  • 1 whole goose, skinned
  • 3-4 cups white wine
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cups bread stuffing cubes
  • 1 cup crumbled cornbread
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6-8 slices bacon
  • White wine for basting

In a kitchen size trash bag, marinate goose overnight in white wine and a tablespoon of salt.  (Double the bag and place in a bowl in case of leakage.)  In a skillet on medium-high heat, sauté onion and celery in olive oil until soft.  In a medium bowl mix remaining ingredients except the bacon slices.  Place goose in roasting pan, breast-side up.  Stuff goose with stuffing mixture.  Tie legs together with cooking twine.  Completely cover the goose breast with bacon slices.  Cook in a preheated, 400º oven, 25 minutes.  Turn oven to 325º and continue roasting for an additional hour or until birds reach desired tenderness or temperature, 130º – rare, 140º – medium rare, 150º – medium, 160º – well done.  Baste frequently with white wine and bacon drippings.  Let sit 10 minutes before carving.



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A Taste of Spain

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-50-22-amWhen my dear friend Kathy had a benchmark birthday on the horizon, I wanted to help her celebrate. Both of us had a connection with Spain and a love of Spanish food so we came up with the idea of A Taste of Spain. The evening was delightful and the menu was one I’ll certainly repeat.screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-48-23-amscreen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-49-55-amAfter a few nibbles on Spanish cheese, nuts and guava jelly, it was time for a Tortilla Espanola, Spanish Omelet, demo. Having enjoyed these on many occasions when I lived in Spain, this is one of the traditional dishes I make often and I love teaching others how to make it. There are a variety of methods and unlimited add-in’s but I usually keep it basic.spanishomeletSpanish Omelet

  • 2-3 cups cubed cooked potatoes
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a shallow, non-stick, frying pan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add potatoes and gently stir-fry until they begin to turn golden brown. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, beat eggs until well combined and salt and pepper to taste. Add potatoes to eggs, give it a quick stir and pour egg potato mixture right into the skillet. Place on medium heat and cook until egg mixture releases from pan. Using a flat plate that is larger than the frying pan, place plate over pan, invert pan and slide omelet back into the hot pan. Cook the other side until egg mixture is set. Slide on to a serving plate, cut in wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Joanne Weir’s Gazpacho Andaluz, Cold Iced Tomato Soup, from Andalusia was a must-have at this party. I’ve enjoyed many of Joanne Weir’s recipes both in person at her many cooking classes and from her tv shows. I took this recipe right from her book, From Tapas to Meze and the only change I made was to use only 1/2 cup raw sweet onion and I soaked it in 1/4 cup white vinegar about 30 minutes before adding them to the blender. Here’s a link to Joanne’s similar Golden Gazpacho Soup.

Gazpacho Andaluz

  • 3 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 seeded, chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 seeded, chopped cucumber
  • 5-6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups tomato juice (I used V-8)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all gazpacho ingredients in a blender until smooth. Chill before serving. I served this with homemade croutons and a dice of pickled bell pepper, red onion and cucumber.screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-49-11-amThe main course was, Paella, a fun recipe that has dozens of variations and can be catered to please any palate.


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces Spanish chorizo or Andouille sausage
  • 8-10 chicken thighs
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped orange bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio or medium-grain rice
  • 3 cups seafood or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads or 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 10-15 raw shrimp
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

In a large, ovenproof skillet, sauté chorizo in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat until crumbled or if using sausage, slice and brown. Remove chorizo or sausage from pan but leave pan drippings. Add additional olive oil if needed and brown chicken thighs. Remove from pan. Add onion, pepper and garlic and continue to sauté an additional 2 minutes.  Add rice and sauté 2 minutes.  Add broth and seasonings and bring to a boil.  Place chicken evenly over rice mixture. Cook in a preheated 375º oven 10 minutes.  Without stirring, evenly place shrimp, chorizo or sausage and tomatoes around the pan.  Cover and return to the oven an additional 15-20 minutes or until shrimp are pink and rice has soaked up most of the liquid. If mixture seems too dry, more broth can be added at any time. If mixture has too much liquid, continue cooking, uncovered. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro.screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-50-42-amServed with the Paella was an orange and red onion salad. Spain Recipes, was the inspiration for this simple, flavorful salad. Here’s my version with a few less ingredients.

Spanish Salad, Ensalada de Naranja

  • 6 oranges
  • 1/2 thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Chopped romaine lettuce

Cut peel off of oranges, cut in half, and slice crosswise into bite sized chunks. In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients. Chill before serving on a bed of lettuce.screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-50-59-amWe rounded off the plate with a rustic bread and Fresh Herbal Butter

Fresh Herbal Butter

  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced mint
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.

We wanted a light dessert with a mild flavor. This simple, make-ahead, not-too-sweet, Cantabrian cheesecake, Quesada Pasiega, from Cocina Para Urbanitas, was perfect.spanish-cheesecake-1

Spanish Cheesecake

  • 8-ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt if using unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350º. Cream the butter and sugar and whisk in the eggs and vanilla. beat well and add in the ricotta cheese and pinch of salt. Finally, beat in the milk and then little by little, the flour. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake 35-45 minutes. The cheesecake is ready when slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cheesecake cook for at least 15 minutes to set. Enjoy on its own or with a bit of your favorite jam or a dusting of powdered sugar.screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-51-58-am

Original Post: Quesada Pasiega: Spanish Cheesecake

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Swedish Crackers

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-08-23-pmAlthough my best friend from college lives 7,706 thousand miles from me, we get together at least once a year. Our conversations range from kid updates to travel stories to food adventures. Kirsten always has something new for me to try and it always comes with a fantastic story… the pure moroccan argan oil, the rare candy from an Iranian friend, the exotic LuLu dates (that you can’t find anywhere on American soil). One of her latest treats for me stemmed from a gift she received from a Swedish friend on a day she needed some cheer. Artistically presented, these crackers not only make the perfect gift, they also make the perfect snack. Thanks Kirsten!swedish-crackers


  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup water (must be boiling)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Parchment/baking paper
  • Sea salt

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour boiling water over mixture and add the oil. Mix to a sticky dough. Cover a full size baking sheet with a sheet of parchment/baking paper; place a second sheet of baking paper on top and flatten the dough with a rolling pin or by pressing with a second baking sheet. Score with a knife to cut into squares and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 320º – check at 45 minutes (typically needs closer to an hour). Dough needs to be completely dry but remove before it browns too much. If it needs a little more time, turn off the oven and leave crackers inside to cool.20161124_121923-copy20161124_123802-copyswedish-crackers-recipescreen-shot-2016-11-29-at-4-47-44-pm


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Cooking Wild Turkey ODFW Facebook Live Show Notes

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-2-23-14-pmThanks for joining us on the ODFW Live Facebook Event, I will post a link to the video here once it airs. See links at the bottom of this post for more of my favorite wild turkey recipes. POSTED LIVE SHOW.

Tom Kha Gai being demonstrated and sampled at the 2013 O'Laughlin Sport Shows.


Field Care – gut immediately because of their thin stomach walls and their light bone/cartilage.  Birds can easily be tainted by a gut shot. If you have a chance to gut the birds right after the shot, do it, be sure to get all the lung tissue out. Birds don’t have much fat so their body heat is held in their internal organs. After gutting rinse with cool water – a creek or jug of water. Then get the bird COOLING asap!

Cleaning Game Birds

To skin or to pluck??  When and why to use other methods.

If a bird is body shot, don’t try to pluck and serve whole.  In my opinion, breasting them is best, then remove thighs & legs and cook separately.

Also when it comes to body shot birds, I like to cut the meat into chunks or strips so I can remove bb’s and feathers from the meat.  Dental care is way to expensive!! 

If plucked right after the shot, the job is easier but be quick and gut the bird as soon as possible after plucking.

Time is a factor in plucking too, some birds are super easy to pluck but skinning is so much faster. The challenge lies in keeping the meat moist during the cooking process of skinned birds.

For turkey, we’ve found the best way to pluck is to dip the bird in boiling water for 7 seconds, then remove feathers by pulling down toward the tail.  Avoid grabbing too many feathers at a time as this will tear the skin. 

Birds that have been plucked and not boiled, will have some downey feathers left over and those can simply be singed off with a torch.

Preparation best for freezing?  They do freezer burn easily so you want to keep track of them in your freezer.

Some people claim freezing with feathers on is best.  We prefer to have them cooking ready. Vacuum sealing is always best but protect the bag with a paper towel in spots bones may pierce through.

One thing we have really tried to do is eat the birds as they come in. 

We’ve got a great bird here, most of the time with wild turkey, I will break them down and cook them using several cooking methods.


Removed from the bird, this can be treated like a lean, free-range, boneless chicken breast. Cooked hot and fast, this meat is very flavorful, versatile and tender. Separate out the tenderloins as they cook faster.

The breast can be cooked whole but be sure to replace the fat by covering with something like bacon, sausage, even coconut oil and greens. You can also base as the breast cooks.

Slice breast meat and tenderloins for stir-fry or fajitas.

Slice larger steak sizes and pound into cutlets for a “chicken fried steak” style or marinate and sear on a hot grill just a minute or so per side.


These are not your average drumsticks. Wild turkey legs are tricky and full of tiny bones, tendons and ligaments and it can be challenging to get all the meat. The best way to cook these is LOW & SLOW. Any seasoning, cooked until the meat is falling from the bones will treat you with a very tasty part of the bird. Just let the meat cool a bit, and pull it away making a pulled-turkey meat. This can be put back in the liquid or put into any kind of dish. This meat also freezes well for a fast weeknight dinner.


Right into the stock pot goes the rest of the bird along with the chopped up gizzard. With a few veggies tossed in, you will have an amazing turkey stock in 8-12 hours. Simmer on low heat adding water if desired or let it cook down and you have a concentrate. This freezes well and makes amazing soup and noodles.

BUT IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO COOK THE BIRD WHOLE, especially for a big dinner like Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are some steps you can take to optimize flavor and texture.


WHY BRINE?  A salt brine breaks down proteins allowing them to fill with moisture and trap liquids in the meat helping the meat to stay juicy in the cooking process.

Brining can add all sorts of great flavors, black tea brine, fresh herbs

Super basic is simply water and salt,

1 quart liquid to 1/4 cup salt (multiply as needed to submerge bird)

Add: 1/2-1 cup sugar, granulated onion, granulated garlic (or fresh chopped) Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage… whatever’s in the garden. Even a tablespoon or two of poultry seasoning.

Brine 8-12 hours in the refrigerator or in a cooler with frozen water bottles.


Pat dry, discard all brine.

ADD OTHER FLAVORS TO THE BIRD IN CAVITY AND ON THE OUTSIDE (onion, lemon, herbs, olive oil or butter) – No salt though.

Replace skin – BACON STRIPS ARE EASY… OR there are lots of options, spice paste, sausage, chicken skin, coconut oil and greens. I’ve even coated with a heavily sausaged stuffing.

USE AN OVEN BAG… helps retain moisture, keeps your oven clean, turkey will brown under the bag but if you want a crispier bird you can open up the bag in the last 10 minutes of cooking time.


LOWER TEMPERATURE MEANS LONGER COOKING TIME BUT IT WILL BE A JUCIER BIRD. 300º FOR 10-15 minutes per pound of bird. Wild birds can cook much faster so start checking temperature after an hour to gage where the bird is. You can cook as low as 275º or up to 325º and you will get different results.

I NEVER stuff the bird, especially with a stuffing that has raw egg. If you must stuff a bird, precook the stuffing in the microwave and put it in the cold bird.

Food safety officials recommend cooking wild turkey to an internal temperature of 165º but at home I may only go to 160º (remember the bird is still cooking, especially if you are using some kind of bag or cooking in cast iron). Be sure to check the internal temperature in a few places.


Cooking Game Birds… TIPS

1.  Add fat

2.  Cook in a moist environment or cook quickly: LOW & SLOW or HOT & FAST

-Crock Pot

-Clay Pot

-Dutch Oven

-Oven Bags

-Covered in a spice paste or bacon or sausage (domestic chicken skin)

-Wrapped in some sort of crust – salt crust, flour crust, pie crust, parchment paper

-Be creative… TURKPHEASQUAILTurkpheasquail

-Boning animals out and adding some kind of a moist stuffing also works well.

Plank Cooking Game Birds – Planked Turkey Breastplankedturkeylr

1. Keeps lean meats & fish moist

2. Infuses smokey flavors (more so when grilling with planks)

3. Keeps grill grates clean.

4. Novel & easy serving presentation.

5. Can be done on the grill – direct or indirect heat or in the oven or over a campfire.

Smoking Domestic Turkey sh-smk-turk-14

Cooking Turkey Legs & Thighs

Cooking Game BirdsCGBCoverLR

Ideas for grinding game birds


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Shun & Komachi Sightings

Alaska Sporting Journal Magazine August 2016

Alaska Sporting Journal Magazine August 2016

It’s been a pleasure to work exclusively with KAI USA for the past several years. Using their elite line of Shun knives along with the Komachi brand has made for a positive experience every time I am preparing and serving food. Those who appreciate good knives know what I am talking about. One of my passions is sharing these great knives though my teaching and lecturing at outdoor shows, in the classroom and in private cooking classes. Here are a few highlights of some fantastic knives and some delicious food.screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-4-44-02-pm

Knife Skills Part 2: Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Knife Skills Part 2: Vietnamese Spring Rolls


Knife Skills Class

Knife Skills Class



Washington Sportsman Show


The Great American Outdoor Show, Harrisburg, PA



Portland Sportsman Show


Sporting Chef TV on the Sportsman Channel

Sporting Chef TV on the Sportsman Channel


Butchering my antelope in South Dakota

Butchering my antelope in South Dakota

How To Video for

How To Video for


On the set of Cook With Cabela's

On the set of Cook With Cabela’s: Panfried Venison

Jerky & Sausage Seminar at Cabela's, Lacey, WA

Jerky & Sausage Seminar at Cabela’s, Lacey, WA

Butchering & Cooking Seminar at Cabela's, Portland, OR

Butchering & Cooking Seminar at Cabela’s, Portland, OR (Fajitas)

Canning Kokanee

Canning Kokanee


Smoking Salmon on the set of Cook With Cabela's

Smoking Salmon on the set of Cook With Cabela’s


Tortilla Espanola - Spanish Cooking Class

Tortilla Espanola – Spanish Cooking Class


Microwaving corn in the husk works!

Microwaving corn in the husk works!


Kale Salad Fixin's

Kale Salad Fixin’s

The beginnings of Bear Stew.

The beginnings of Bear Stew.


Elk Jerky coming right up!

Elk Jerky coming right up!



Teaching Tourne Technique

Teaching Tourne Technique

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-4-40-12-pmscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-4-40-02-pmFor more information go to the Shun, KAIUSA, website.

Kai Shun on Facebook.

Shun Cutlery on Twitter.

shuncutlery on Instagram.

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Cranberry Loaf Cake

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-11-13-01-amWhen my husband and his dad returned from the Egegik River in Alaska a few weeks ago, I expected boxes full of frozen fish. What a surprise to find a large bag of low-bush cranberries! It was a labor of love from my father-in-law as he rarely has his fishing pole out of the water. These tiny little berries were in full swing and he couldn’t help but collect several handfuls around camp. screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-11-11-41-amAs soon as I saw the berries I knew what I wanted to do, Cranberry Loaf Cake, from the cookbook, Savor the Flavor of Oregon.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-11-20-18-amscreen-shot-2016-09-14-at-11-11-51-am

This cookbook was a wedding gift from my friend Cara, given to us over 26 years ago. It was one of the few cookbooks I took to the Arctic of Alaska when we moved there as newlyweds. Picking these tiny cranberries was one of the first excursions I went on with my students in the village and Cranberry Loaf Cake was the first recipe I ever made with them. This recipe worked out particularly well, as we had no access to eggs or fresh milk in the tiny village of Point Lay.screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-11-20-30-am

With a short list of ingredients, this cake can be made with basic pantry staples.

With a short list of ingredients, this cake can be made with basic pantry staples.

The loaf takes the longest to bake. Use any size cake pan or mini-pan but adjust baking time accordingly.

The loaf takes the longest to bake. Use any size cake pan or mini-pan but adjust baking time accordingly.

These tiny cakes only took 12-15 minutes.

These tiny cakes only took 12-15 minutes.


Sauce can be poured over the cake in the pan or when you serve.

Sauce can be poured over the cake in the pan or when you serve. To intensify the vanilla flavor, I sometimes add a vanilla bean to the sauce.


It was a delight to see my sons enjoy this sentimental treat and my father-in-law enjoyed his payoff with a large slice. The buttery sweetness of the sauce balances with the tartness of the cranberries making each bite a flavor explosion. In the past 26 years, I have enjoyed many variations of this recipe. Diced rhubarb is a great substitute for the cranberries and a teaspoon of orange or lemon zest is a nice addition. The sauce is amazing and can be drizzled over everything from bread pudding to pancakes. To lower the fat content a bit, use 1/2 the amount of butter, it’s not as rich but is still delicious. 

The cookbook, Savor the Flavor or Oregon, contains several family favorites and is a cookbook I still use often.

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Salsa Leather and Letters

It’s salsa season!Salsa 1Looking for a way to add the fresh taste of summer salsa to your food all year long? Salsa Leather is the way to go! Salsa leather can be made with store bought or fresh salsa. Here’s my favorite recipe. Simply blend in a blender until smooth and pour on to fruit leather or silicone mats and dehydrate 8-12 hours at 135º-140º or until no longer tacky. Salsa Leather is as easy as Fruit Leather, make a little or make a lot. If I end up with an empty tray or two in the dehydrator while drying other fruits and vegetables, I will blend a few cups of salsa to dehydrate. Salsa 3Salsa 2Dry until it is still pliable for an easy to tear leather or dry until it is crispy and crunch up for “Salsa Powder”. This flavorful powder is amazing sprinkled over anything from Mexican food to eggs or salad.Salsa 4 Take your creative skills in the kitchen to a new level with salsa letters! These can be cut and vacuum sealed to use later or simply cut out of already preserved salsa leather. Works great with fruit leather as well.Salsa 6

Easy Bean Dip

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2-1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/2-1 cup grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

In a medium bowl, mix beans and all spices. Microwave 3-5 minutes on high, stirring at each minute until mixture is hot. Scoop bean mixture into an oven safe casserole dish. Spread yogurt or sour cream over beans, top with cheese. Place salsa letters over cheese. Cook in a preheated 400º oven 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with chips and Fresh Salsa.Salsa 7Salsa leather, if completely dry to the touch, can be vacuum sealed and remains shelf-stable for months. It can also be kept refrigerated or frozen for longer term storage.Salsa 5

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Fresh Salsa

Fresh SalsaWhen I make fresh salsa, I usually make it with what I find in the garden or from our local produce stand. This recipe is one I have been making (and modifying) for years. One of the things I love about salsa is how different it can taste depending on the type of tomato, onion and peppers used. You can heat it up with more jalapeños or cool it down with more tomatoes or a bit more sugar. If you aren’t a fan of strong onions, seek out Maui’s or Walla Walla sweets and marinate them a bit in the lemon or lime juice before adding them to the salsa.

Fresh Salsa

  • 3 cups chopped roma-style tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell or sweet banana pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Hot pepper sauce to taste, optional

In a medium bowl, gently mix all ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

If for some strange reason, you have any leftover salsa, dehydrate it and make Salsa Leather!Salsa 5

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