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Kat
I am a work-at-home mom.
Interests: gardening, running, going places, cooking, reading, walking, eating good food, canning, talking.
Recent Activity
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Chicken stock is super easy to make, and when you make it on your own, it does not need to have a long list of additives, salt and preservatives to make it taste great. If you have never made chicken stock, you may be pleasantly suprised to find just how easy it is to do on an otherwise busy day. As we go into the fall and winter months, bone broths are readily used in my house to help prevent and nourish sickness. They are any easy, inexpensive way to get the necessary minerals from bones, cartilage, marrow and vegetables... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2014 at The Portland Greens
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Literally translated to mean parent-child rice bowl, the name 'oyakodon' illustrates so perfectly the beauty of the Japanese language. Against American favorites like meatloaf, hamburgers and hot dogs, oyakodon is just as bluntly honest, while still kind of poetic. Oyakodon consists of mother -- chicken -- and child -- egg -- served atop top rice. This classic homestyle dish is comfort food to the max. I first enjoyed this with a good friend at a tiny little shack of a place near his home in Northern Japan's Iwate prefecture nearly 14 years ago. Like many amazing eateries in Japan, the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2014 at The Portland Greens
Kat is now following MetroDad
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When I lived in Japan, I quickly learned how good Japanese curry is. Widely available all over the country in fast-foodish curry restaurants, Japanese curry is the ultimate comfort food. Unlike Indian or African curries, it is rarely ever spicy. Even if it is called "spicy," it barely has any bite. Instead it is warm, slightly sweet and soothing as can be with its thick brown fragrant goodness. Cubes to make Japanese-style curry are available in the Asian food section of most grocery stores, or in Asian food stores themselves. These are realy simple to make and only require that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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Pesto is an inexpensive and quick dinner maker. If you want to put up some pesto for later, make it now while basil is plentiful and save yourself the trouble later. Make a big batch now and have pesto for meals for the entire winter. Grab a bunch of basil from the farmer's market, farm stand or grocery store. I have about 20 basil plants at my community garden plot and they have been helping to fill out my freezer basil section. Otherwise, I find bunches of basil at the farm market for about $2.50 to $3. Add some olive... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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Cold and wet weather is on its way in the Northwest, and I am stocking up on soup. I feel like I have been on the verge of getting sick for weeks with the weather fluctuating from 90s and sun to 60s and rain every few days. Soup has been on the menu for at least one meal a day for nearly a week now. Natural for this time of year, I am completely overrun with tomatoes. And I am beginning to figure out my preserving plan for the even greater number of green tomatoes that will soon have to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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Yeah, I rolled my eyes at that title too. But suprisingly, it is kind of delicious and freakishly addictive. If you are not living in the Northwest where home kombucha production is off the charts and people are always offering you a scoby, you may be wondering what I am talking about. Kombucha is a probiotic drink made by fermenting sweetened tea using a "mother" (scoby) to transform it into a fizzy beverage that tastes very little like the original tea. Lauded as being good for the gut, this is widely sold where I live and now replaces many chilled... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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This past weekend I had a canning marathon with my brother and his girlfriend. We busted out 32 jars of salsa, 10 pints of tomato sauce, 5 quarts of seasoned tomato sauce, 8 pints of tomato jam and 5 quarter pints of tomato paste plus a lot more for the freezer. Once the weekend was over, I made 6 quarts of tomato basil soup from some leftover tomatoes. I still have 20 pounds (and a whole garden of ripening tomatoes) leftover and next up is ketchup. It is a busy season for me right now and I don't have a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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I recently came into a large amount of random kale that I hadn't planned for. With my different gardens busting at the seams with greens, I had to do something with this lovely kale I had sitting in my fridge. That is when I decided to make kale chips. I have been off the dried vegetables since my dehydrator broke last year and had not really given a lot of thought to low-temperature oven cooking until a few weeks ago when said kale landed in my refrigerator. So I revisted kale chips real simple-like in the oven. It worked out... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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We went away for the weekend and came home to a bulging garden of ripeness. The kids were so excited to pick all the tomatoes and peppers that it took them a few minutes to notice the increased size of our zucchini. They literally shrieked when they saw our three whoppers! All in all, we came home with this: I have been back on zucchini bread-making and I also made a dish of the classic zucchini cheese bake I grew up with. This is super easy, real food and filled with cheesy, ricey, beefy goodness. Oh, and there is zucchini... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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We have had a continuous tomatillo harvest this summer and have been making large amounts of green salsa lately. This is so easy to make that I can't believe I haven't done it before now. I generally make loads and loads of tomato salsa and then some canned green salsa made out of unripe tomatoes, but have never made fresh fresh green salsa until a few weeks ago. And wow, is it great! And easy! My boys love taking the husks off the tomatillos, leaving me with very little work. We have been making a double batch at least once... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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Hand pies are easy to make and a great way to preserve some of your garden greens for later eating. I like to make them in conjunction with a pickling session, as the greens from kohlrabi and radishes are some of my favorite to include. They are a perfect vehicle for random greens you may otherwise throw away or compost. They are also great for greens grown a bit too big and fibrous in your home garden. Mustard greens, collard greens and turnip greens all work great in this rustic greens hand pie filling. As do kohlrabi greens, radish greens,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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I love the summer. I wait for the heat all year and bask in it while it is here. We spend much of the summer at random fields and farms picking everything under the sun, swimming here and there, walking lots, biking lots, camping and doing other summerlike stuff. Needless to say, we are generally quite busy. Enter the giant zucchini plant. This is the cute little plant we added to our garden a couple months ago thinking that it would be a perfect fit in that leftover corner of our already cramped garden. And then summer hits and we... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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I am just going to come out and say it. I hate brown rice. I know, I know. A lot of people think that is crazy. It is so good for you. It is so this and that. Whatever. I will tell you one thing it is not - delicious. And it definitely is dry. I think I somehow missed the brown rice propoganda wave. I spent the year where the millenium switched in Japan. I ate at least one, two and oftentimes three bowls of white rice daily and at 5'9" weighed my lowest weight ever on record post-puberty... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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I infused some blackberries into vinegar awhile back and came away with a large jar of sweet and delightful blackberry vinegar. However, finding something to do with all this vinegar has been troublesome. I bought some portobellos for the grill a few weeks ago and figured it was a great opportunity to put some of this vinegar to use. I scored the mushrooms on the caps so that the marinade would penetrate them. I mixed some blackberry vinegar, salt, pepper and coconut oil to marinate the mushroom and left them alone for about an hour, flipping a couple times as... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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I am a big fan of making cookies. While everyone knows that cookies are not the healthiest thing in the world, most people do agree that they sure do taste good. If you make cookies from scratch you can incorporate some healthy ingredients that would be overlooked in their store-bought counterparts and make eating cookies slightly better for you. Now I am not proposing that eating healthier cookies is a thing you should do all the time, because realistically, you don't need to be eating cookies every day whether they are healthier or not. But some days, you just want... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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**Sadly, I have been away from my blog for way too long. Happily, I am coming back and have lots of things planned to kick it all off and get back to regular blogging. Life has taken many turns (as it always does) and I have spent most of my last few months writing for money. And frankly, after writing for work, I just don't feel like writing for fun. While I haven't been writing on my blog, I still have been obsessively talking with people about food and cooking daily for my family. What I have learned is that... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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Planning is an important part of canning. It is also something that I am not super skilled at doing. For this reason, I am often left with multiple random jars of preserves, chutneys and pickles at the end of each year that I dole off on unsuspecting visitors to my house. In my absense writing here, I have been working on improving my planning skills. I have turned a new leaf in life and discovered a myriad of awesome recipes that I love making in my slow cooker (more on that later). I have also, thankfully, found a way to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2013 at The Portland Greens
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For those of you that don't know, I run a small jam company, Mama Green's Jam, that I started this past year selling CSA-style jam shares. I am now selling jam online too and wanted to kick it all off with a couple of free giveaways! I am giving away two gift packages each containing 1 - 16 ounce jar of Raspberry Jam and a brand new Thai sarong. To enter, simply like my Portland Greens Facebook Page and leave a comment on this entry or the same one on Facebook and you are entered! The giveaway ends on Thursday,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2012 at The Portland Greens
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Many people give me the side eye when I suggest making bonito and kelp stock. So for those that aren't convinced that sounds good (or those that have some spare chicken stock), I bring to you, hot Asian-style noodle soup. This is basically the same as its more traditional fishy cousin, kakejiru, however it is made with chicken stock. Kakejiru is made with dashi stock and would normally be served with udon noodles. Any Japanese food purists would surely balk at this chicken stock substitution, however, this is a perfectly satisfying, comforting and simple meal for me. My family all... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2012 at The Portland Greens
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It has been one year since Portland started collecting food waste as part of its recycling program. While I have enjoyed new composting program, it has brought to my attention in greater detail how much food my family wastes. The effects of the citywide program here have reduced residential garbage collection by 38% and tripled the compostable waste to 85,400 tons, both pretty sizable achievements in terms of reducing waste. A lot of attention is paid to stories about food waste in the media here, but when you literally can see all your food scraps piled together in a lump... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2012 at The Portland Greens