Roasted Beet Salad

I didn’t acquire a taste for beets until well into adulthood- a few years after I learned to appreciate sprouts and avocado.  I’m not sure what happened to me; I was roaming the salad bar at the hospital cafeteria (must have forgotten to bring my lunch that day) and decided to give those beautiful slices of burgundy a try.  It was a pleasant surprise, like discovering that grumpy co-worker is actually a really cool person and a good friend, you just have to be brave enough to try.

Roasted Beet Salad
Continue reading “Roasted Beet Salad”

Israeli Salad

Israeli Salad

I don’t remember when I began making this cucumber concoction, but I fondly recall serving it in my tiny Kona kitchen to my Jewish friend, Anoushka, and listening to her become very animated with excitement over the memories these flavors resurrected. She lived many years on a kubbitz in Israel where they often ate a similar salad.  Turns out, it’s actually called Israeli salad!  I especially like to eat it with grilled salmon (back in the days when we were blessed to dip net and fill our freezers with Alaskan reds, silvers and kings), but these hot Tennessee summer days my daughter in law requests it with everything  (and I do my best to make her happy:)  As with most of my recipes, it’s super flexible and you can add/delete as you wish (our family has a love affair with cilantro and garlic, so we tend to go heavy handed with those ingredients.)  It’s really good after a day or two in the fridge, so we always make enough for a few rounds (if Erin is around it won’t last that long though.) The trick is to chop/dice as small and evenly as possible and carefully add the salt (for some reason it’s easy to overdo the salt on this one.)  I usually double or triple this recipe.

Continue reading “Israeli Salad”

The Best Fluffy Pancakes

I wonder how many pancakes I’ve flipped- it must be in the thousands by now!  Pancakes were a quick, inexpensive way to feed five hungry kids, usually for breakfast, but they also served well for dinner on nights I was tight on time, energy or procrastinated grocery shopping.  Many times we fed large crowds piles of pancakes; it was the simplest and cheapest way to feed lots of visitors we spontaneously invited for lunch after church.   No one ever complained!  Pancakes allowed us to offer hospitality without preplanning and a big budget.  

Continue reading “The Best Fluffy Pancakes”

Flourless Chocolate Cake

flourless chocolate cake baked in 9 inch cake pan and flipped upside down onto plate for serving

Many years ago my exotically beautiful (inside and out) friend, Jennifer, caught the attention of the baker at the fancy California restaurant where she waited tables.  He taught her how to make their signature crème brulee and flourless chocolate cake.  She was kind enough to come to my house and endure five crazy little kids running around (probably naked – they loved to strip as soon as I was distracted) and taught me to make my newfound love- crème brulee (I was about thirty the first time I had crème brulee and I had to forgive the previoius generation for never introducing me to that little cup of wonder.)  On the other side of the recipe card she wrote out the baker’s flourless chocolate cake recipe.  I have since lost that card and she doesn’t remember the recipe, but I’ve “suffered” through several practice runs (my family thanks you!) and came up with something pretty darn close.  

Continue reading “Flourless Chocolate Cake”

Good for You Granola

As a young mom I stumbled upon a discovery that practically ruined childhood for the Leigh tribe (or so they say); breakfast cereal is not only a fake food, it’s downright unhealthy.  This was a bummer, as Cheerios were practically a staple for our mornings- and who doesn’t love a sloppy bowl of Golden Grahams or Lucky Charms?  (I still love cereal and once in a blue moon I’ll buy a box for dessert- figure it’s probably about the same as eating cake.  I also bought each child one box every Christmas, so they can’t really claim I ruined their lives!)  When I read how the grains were processed with high heat and incredible pressure, to the point of making them anti nutrients, and the amount of food processing leftovers that went into the breakfast cereal market, we quit cold turkey.  I switched to cooking a large pot of oatmeal (and later learned to soak it ahead of time to make it even more digestible) for most mornings, and when I had time we’d enjoy pancakes (would usually make big batches and freeze some for easy breakfasts later in the week) or waffles.  Sandy’s baked oatmeal recipe quickly became a breakfast staple along with crustless, vegetable packed quiches; both could be baked in a 9×13 pan and we’d have several mornings of food already made.

Continue reading “Good for You Granola”

Super Simple Zucchini Fritters

I typically made these as a side dish with grilled salmon- those were the glory days of Alaskan gardens over producing zucchini and a freezer full of salmon from glorious dipnetting trips to Chitna with my amazing fishing buddies (thanks for Fritz for inviting me along, even it if was only to have a token female to harass!) They have also been dinner all by themselves- super quick to make and low carb.

Continue reading “Super Simple Zucchini Fritters”

Thai Green Curry


Just in case you aren’t sure what this picture is- it’s a snapshot of love.  At Thirsty Goose Farm, love is often spoken tangibly, and Thai green curry is a favorite act of affection.  When any of my people need some TLC, they ask for curry.  I keep the ingredients on hand like a box of band aides- always ready to fix a boo-boo, or at least serve up some gastronomic tenderness.  Just this weekend I got “the call” and immediately dropped my pruning shears and sautéd a batch of green curry comfort.

Continue reading “Thai Green Curry”

Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins

I love autumn- it’s my favorite time of year. And I’m bananas over pumpkin anything. Living in the arctic was frustrating because we were shivering in monochrome white by the time everyone else was decorating in beautiful fall colors. We still faithfully carved pumpkins and placed them on the snow covered porch to promptly freeze and later feed the scavenging neighborhood moose who contorted themselves into crazy shapes in order to get low enough to reach their frozen solid pumpkin pops. Now I’m in South Carolina and we just have to pretend it’s fall and eat pumpkin pancakes (click here to see recipe) in the air conditioning. It will eventually cool down and act like autumn- probably about the time we are decorating the Christmas tree.

Continue reading “Best Ever Pumpkin Muffins”

Garden Inspired Carrot Soup

Last week I cleaned out as much garden space as possible for our fall planting. Along with several sweaty hours of weeding (and a few days of lower back pain lol), this involved pulling up the rest the carrots and beets we have been slowly harvesting over the summer. The powerful smell of sweet, fresh carrots immediately dictated my dinner plans and as soon as the dirt and sweat from a rewarding day in the garden was showered off, I had carrot soup simmering on the stove. It was so good, we repeated the menu today- but added fresh garlic naan on the side. What a winner! This is a simple soup (my favorite kind) and the variations are plentiful. Makes about 10 cups.

Garnished with fresh basil and chili powder

Continue reading “Garden Inspired Carrot Soup”

Zucchini Bread

PC Abigail Leigh

Growing up in Alaska, we were taught to keep our car doors locked in the summer, and it had nothing to do with thieves or kidnappers.  This special evasion training began early in childhood and was all about avoiding a neighbor’s dreaded gift of giant zucchini (if your doors were unlocked they could pile up the back seat with squash the size of toddlers and you’d be forced to drive home and deal with it.)  So you can imagine my surprise and shame in South Carolina when I couldn’t manage to keep a simple zucchini plant alive (nasty squash bugs!)

Continue reading “Zucchini Bread”