Archive for August, 2011


Baked Potatoes with Chèvre & Zucchini “Tagliatelle”

Zucchini “Tagliatelle”  with Mint, Cucumber and Lemon

(adapted from Aug. 2008 Bon Appetit)
Serves 2 adults and 3 small kids

  • 3 small to medium zucchini, trimmed
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 a large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • a good handful of fresh mint, coarsely chopped* and divided.
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon peel,
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ground fennel, salt and pepper to taste

Using a mandoline, v-slicer (or in my case vegetable peeler) and working lengthwise, discarding the first strip (ie skin). Slice up to seeded core; turn zucchini and continue to slice until only rectangle of seeded core remains; discard core. Place slices in medium bowl.

Add cucumber, onion, 1/2 of mint and lemon peel. Whisk lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl, then pour over zucchini mixture; toss to coat. Season generously to taste. Cover salad and refrigerate at least 1 hour (but 3 hours is better!).

Sprinkle remaining mint over the salad and toss to coat.

Mira helping me with the Zucchini. Thank you, Arricks and Jones’ for the fresh zucchini!!

* The more you mess with mint, the more bitter it will taste. Chop through once or twice and call it good.

Baked Potatoes with Chèvre

I made this one up, and I always eyeball my measurements,  but it tastes amazing so bear with me.

  • 4 Red potatoes, skinned, chopped, boiled in salt until tender, drained
  • 4oz Chèvre
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 3 springs of thyme, leaves removed
  • 1/4 c butter (softened)
  • creamed horseradish
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Garam Marsala (you can make your own or buy it premade)
  • Fennel (ground)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg

In your kitchenaid, whip up potatoes, cheese, sour cream and butter. Season to taste with spices and horseradish. Once it has cooled somewhat, while the mixer is on, crack an egg into the batter (being careful not to get any shell in it). Then spoon the mixture onto a greased cookie sheet or cupcake pan, although I’m sure there are much more artistic ways to present it (cake decorating tools, maybe?). I baked it in a preheated oven at 350′ for about  40-60 minutes, until the batter started to pull away from the cupcake pan sides and was slightly browned. Turned my pan upside down and let them cool.

(my 8 month old son, Jude, two fisting the taters :-))

I served a white riesling from the Camas Prairie Winery for you local folks.

This was perfect for a light meal, if you wanted something a bit heavier,
I was thinking salmon would be fantastic with this!


I can’t believe it has taken me this long..

to realize that all those scraps I usually throw away (or compost if you’re awesome like that, I am not…yet) could just be chopped up, fried up in olive oil and spices to be added to breakfast scrambled eggs! It just occurred to me while I was making dinner tonight.  The immediate application meant red potato skins, extra onion, zucchini skins, and cucumber seeds. I added garlic, salt, pepper and fennel. That should get some extra mileage out of fewer eggs!



Rinse it off and refrigerate it in a mason jar to keep it fresh longer.
(Picked just hours ago at the Jones Farm! Thank you!)

Amara Christian Becker

I wrote this memorial story about 6 weeks ago for our family blog, but I wanted to put it here as well because I’ve had some follow-up/miscarriage related posts running through my head that I wanted to put here and I thought I’d start with the story of our miscarriage.

“Could we hear our children speaking to us out of heaven, they would say, ‘Weep not for us who are happy; we lie upon a soft pillow, even in the bosom of Christ. The Prince of Peace is embracing us and kissing us with the kisses of His lips. Be not troubled at our preferment… You are in the valley of tears, but we are on the mountain of spices. We have gotten to our harbor, but you are still tossing on the waves of inconsistency.’ ” -Thomas Watson, The Art of Divine Contentment

Yesterday we began to grieve the death of our third child, Amara Christian Becker. He was with us for a seemingly short while, but the impact of his death will remain with us forever. We do not grieve a loss, because we have not lost her. Rather, we grieve a delay in the day when we will be able to hold her and rejoice with her. We will never hover over him as he works to take his first steps next winter, but we rest in the comfort that he is already walking with God in heaven, and for this we are endlessly grateful. We will never get to hear her first words, but she is already singing praises in heaven that put Handel’s Hallelujah chorus to shame. I will never get to hold him in my arms and smell his sweet baby skin, but he is being cradled by the arms of our Father, whose love is perfect and far surpasses what our own could ever be. We named our child Amara, which means unfading and eternal, and Christian, which means follower of Christ and is also a family name.

This is not a private loss to us. This is not “retained products of conception”. This is the loss of our son or daughter, a Child of God, made in His image. We invite our friends, family, and church body to grieve with us, as we have grieved with you in your losses and rejoiced with you in your blessings. Our eyes are red and puffy, but we do not despair. We do not weep for our baby, because our baby has been blessed. We weep for our own loss, the end of the dreams that we had for our child here on Earth. We weep because we just have to wait that much longer to see our precious little one. God has not abandoned us, but rather He is drawing us closer to Him in this.

I went in for my first appointment and after getting reacquainted with my doctor, he began the ultrasound to confirm that everything was going well. As he began to sweep the wand across my belly, I caught my first glimpse of our baby. I had been nervous already about the appointment, so seeing the baby was comforting. Then he took a measurement of the baby, and she was small. She was smaller than Eva had been at her 8 week appointment, and this one was supposed to be 9 1/2 weeks. He spent a few more minutes in silence looking around, and I could tell that the baby was small and wasn’t moving. He then asked when I had gotten my first positive pregnancy test, and at that point my worst fears were confirmed. Our baby was measuring two weeks behind, and he could not find a heartbeat. He spent about 20 minutes with me talking about it, going over our options, answering questions, and giving comforting advice. I was very thankful to have the same doctor who had delivered Eva and who is a Christian and could share in our grief and our comfort.

I would like to take a second to thank our family and close friends who have stood by us and prayed with us over the past two days, but particularly my amazing husband. Andrew’s attitude, sacrifice, and constant attention have always served to make my post-partum period an absolute dream for me, and he has been an incredible blessing in this situation as well. While some husbands would hide their pain and pretend to brush it off, leaving me to grieve alone, Andrew has supported me and grieved with me and prayed with me. After all, Amara was his child just as much as she was mine. I am so thankful to God for providing me with a husband who so wonderfully models the unconditional love and care of our Heavenly Father.

Our sweet baby was greeted by aunts and uncles, great grandparents, and other children who would have been friends and classmates in heaven who have gone before us. Our child is surrounded by family and resting in the arms of God.