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  • Citrus Buttermilk Cake

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Jul 4, 2024

    Recently, while preparing for a dear friend's birthday celebration, I came across a recipe for an old-fashioned buttermilk cake. After adding orange zest to accentuate the tangy flavor of the buttermilk, the resulting cake was rich and moist with a perfect texture. Topped with an orange infused cream cheese frosting, this cake was a smashing hit with the guests of the party, and most importantly the birthday girl. This week, I plan on making this cake again for another summer birthday of sorts,...

  • Sicilian Orange Cake

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Apr 28, 2022

    It was around this time of year, many moons ago, that I made my first visit to Waitsburg. After the long dusty drive, the bucolic view of vivid green rolling hills surrounding this picturesque little town felt particularly welcoming. The sun was just starting to set as we arrived, the golden light making the abundant spring blooms in the neighborhood glow. Outside, the air was thick with the unmistakable scent of lilacs. The whole town smelled sweet. Years later, during my first spring living...

  • Mexican Spiced Brownies

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Feb 10, 2022

    In preparation for Valentine's Day, my attention naturally turns to food. The kitchen has always been an extension of my heart; cooking is an act of love. While flowers and little trinkets are lovely, in my mind it is homemade edible gifts that have the most meaning. Among the list of romantic bites, sweet treats, and supposed aphrodisiacs, the ingredient most associated with this annual celebration of romance is chocolate. Foiled boxes of dark chocolate truffles, rich chocolate tortes, and...

  • Baking for the birds

    Beka Compton, The Times|Dec 23, 2021

    It's day two of Winter Break here in the Compton household, and it feels like week six of cabin fever for my daughter, Gracie. To combat the boredom, Gracie and I have been busy whipping up treats and cookies for the birds and squirrels of Waitsburg. Each winter, our yard is swarmed by plump little Dark-eyed Juncos. We have a couple of fruit trees in our yard that the birds love. This winter, we decided to give them a little something extra, just in time for the snow. I discovered fat bombs for...

  • Caraway Scalloped Potatoes

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Sep 30, 2021

    The season for sweaters and comfort food has arrived, and I couldn't be happier. While autumn is my favorite season for many reasons, fall cooking is at the top of that list. Few vegetables are more comforting than the humble and versatile potato. Baked, mashed, roasted, or fried, I am always experimenting with ways to elevate the much-loved starchy tuber. One recipe that I have come back to time and time again, is Julia Child's Gratin Dauphinois. Thinly sliced potatoes scalloped with milk,...

  • Kale and Tomato Quiche

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Jul 15, 2021

    For a brief moment, my mother worried that I was a future the age of four. The discovery of a notebook full of drawings featuring a giant knife wielding woman in pearls would alarm any parent. Thankfully, before seeking out a pediatric psychologist my mother caught me in front of the TV, doodling while attentively watching the great Julia Child. Before I knew how to write, drawing was my way of documenting the recipes and techniques. Realizing my PBS viewing went beyond Mr....

  • Behind the recipe, behind the scene

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Jun 24, 2021

    Admittedly, behind the scenes of a perfectly styled food photo can be a little chaotic. While testing my recipe for Linguine Vongole, featured in the April 29th edition of The Times, I managed to use every single dish (and then some) at the family beach cabin. Thankfully, my aunt was more than happy to wash a few dishes in exchange for taste testing the bivalve feast....

  • Spring Onion Pancakes

    Luke Chavez, The Times|May 13, 2021

    During my first spring living in Waitsburg, I quickly fell in love with the vibrant-green rolling hills, the abundance of flowering trees, and the discovery of what the locals simply call “salad onions.” Before moving here, I foolishly thought I knew all there was to know about Walla Walla Sweet Onions, which made my first taste of a fresh local spring sweet onion all-the-more amazing. Delicious cooked or raw and readily available at local farm stands, I look for new ways to enjoy these ear...

  • Pollo Alla Cacciatora

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Mar 4, 2021

    Hunting for a classic Researching recipes often feels like traveling to me, and one of my favorite destinations to explore is Italy. Rich in history, this relatively small country is made up of 107 provinces within 20 political regions, each with distinct culinary traditions. While there is much diversity in Italian cuisine, one commonality is the practice of showcasing a few quality ingredients using simple straightforward preparations. In Italian, this dish translates to Hunter's Style...

  • Linda's Skillet Scones

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Feb 25, 2021

    For me, cooking has always been about more than just sustenance alone. The foods we eat tell a story, and I am always listening. Every ingredient and technique used in modern kitchens are a daily retelling of the movement of cultures across time. Individual family histories come to life with the recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Perhaps, this could be another way of interpreting the old saying, "you are what you eat." I can still remember the first time I had...

  • Lentil and Celery Minestra

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Feb 18, 2021

    While it often feels controversial, I have always been a lover of the winter months. Watching the snow gently fall while tending to a simmering pot is one of my favorite simple pleasures. During snow events, like we have had this past week, I turn to recipes that can make magic out of a few pantry staples and keep me from having to leave the house. This hearty soup brings nourishing lentils and bright tomatoes together with one of my favorite overlooked vegetables: celery. The herbaceous and...

  • Steak Au Poivre -

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Feb 11, 2021

    Pepper-crusted love This year, perhaps more than usual, many of us are planning Valentine's date nights at home. Beautifully sauced steaks served with a nice bottle of wine will surely impress while not trapping you in the kitchen. In this classic French recipe, pepper-crusted steaks are pan-seared in butter, then finished with a velvety cognac sauce, which gives a slightly sweet balance to the pepper's robustness. There is much lore behind the origins of this dish, but one version dates back... Full story

  • Linzer Cookie Hearts

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Feb 4, 2021

    Spread the love I have always believed that a heartfelt homemade gift outshines one mass-produced. The childhood joy of cutting and adorning perfect hearts out of brightly colored construction paper was only soured when the fear of actually giving them to my classmates set in. Thankfully, there was always plenty of candy to ease the anxiety. As an adult, my preferred valentine has gone from glued paper to sweet treats from my kitchen. These classic cookies made with raspberries and almonds are...

  • My Recipes – Luke Chavez

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Jan 28, 2021

    Flemish weekend delight After a busy week of making quick afterwork meals, there is nothing I love more than spending some quality time in the kitchen over the weekend. Taking my time creating a meal is both meditative and an outlet for my creative energy. For me, nothing in the world of slow food is as satisfying as the art of braising. A gentle simmering pot filling the house with enticing aromas is my idea of a wild weekend. For many years, one of my holiday traditions has been preparing... Full story

  • My Recipes I Brianna Wray

    Brianna Wray, The Times|Jan 21, 2021

    All sorts of stories aim to explain how this dessert got its name, but we have not come to any consensus (according to Wikipedia, anyway). I’ve heard the pastries were invented by a shoemaker’s wife who stared down the cobblestone lane waiting for her sweet to return. She put together a smattering of sweet and tart fruits for her husband, the cobbler, to gobble. Similar desserts have been and are still called by various names such as tart, pie, etc., with only subtle differences between the...

  • My Recipes, Luke Chavez

    Luke Chavez, The Times|Jan 14, 2021

    While the country I love feels painfully divided, I have been focusing on what unites us, and to my mind, food has always been the great unifier. Our nation's rich diversity makes it hard to define a truly American cuisine, but perhaps nothing has come to represent us quite like the humble Apple Pie. I am sure many of you already have a tried-and-true recipe, possibly passed down over generations, for this quintessential American dessert. So, I thought I would bring you something a little...

  • My Recipes I Thai Coconut Soup (Tom Ka Gai)

    Brianna Wray, The Times|Jan 7, 2021

    We already miss Teeny McMunn, our advertising manager and recipe writer who happily retired at the end of 2020. Her recipes were crowd favorites, not only for the food but for the good company. We've only begun to feel the void in the many ways she filled The Times office with joy. So, while there's a hole in our hearts, I can at least offer something to fill your bowl. New year, new you? Whether you're eating better as a New Year's resolution or just looking for a warm and filling yet light... Full story

  • Teeny McMunn: My Recipe Box

    Teeny McMunn, The Times|Dec 31, 2020

    I thought I’d do something different this week. I started a post in my home town about old sayings. We have about 650 responses, some sayings inviting conversation. Perhaps it’s a generation thing, but many I still say. I have copied and pasted a few. Excuse some of the descriptive words, but that is the way they are remembered!! I am retiring Thursday, the 31st, and turning 70 on Friday. I am looking forward to a new chapter. I once read, When you retire, you own the day instead of the day owning you. January will be the month to complete yea... Full story

  • Teeny McMunn: My Recipe Box

    Teeny McMunn, The Times|Dec 24, 2020

    This came into my email. I had not thought of the spinach dip for a while and, truth be told, I hadn’t thought of it period, because it has sour cream, like most dips. But I do know it is popular and it might be a nice addition to the snacks while waiting for Christmas dinner, or during a football game. It had a 5-star rating. Recently I found small round sourdough breads, which might be another idea of several placed around, rather than a large one. Side note: I was given a recipe for V... Full story

  • Teeny McMunn: My Recipe Box

    Teeny McMunn, The Times|Dec 17, 2020

    This is one of many overnight breakfast recipes. I have used this one several times. My thought is to share it this week in case you wanted to use it maybe for Christmas morning and needed to get a few of the ingredients. It would make the holiday morning easier if you had something ready to go into the oven. It could be used for lunch or even dinner. Blueberry muffins, I think, would complement it, though it does have bread in it. Perhaps some fresh fruit. For me, baking is all about sharing....

  • Teeny McMunn: My Recipe Box

    Teeny McMunn, The Times|Dec 10, 2020

    Sigh! This is what I do instead of dusting.  This caught my eye because I had plenty of cranberries from the sweet potato recipe, plenty of walnuts, and a half-gallon of orange juice. The only thing I didn’t have was fresh orange zest so I used dried orange zest. I wish I had gone to the store to get oranges because in my opinion, fresh orange zest would have brought out the orange flavor more. This recipe made 4 loaves. I made 3 in the aluminum loaf pans with lids, ready for gift-giving, and...

  • Teeny McMunn: My Recipe Box

    Teeny McMunn, The Times|Dec 3, 2020

    A recipe from England This recipe is shared by Susan Jensen. In our delightful conversation, it turned to recipes. I asked her if she had any to share. She shared several, which will be fun to try. She sent this one for shortbread and it reminded me I used to make it around Christmas. There are many shapes one can do. Susan said it is called Petticoat Tails as it baked in the round with the ends looking like petticoats. The recipe is in grams so I looked up the conversion. I like watching...

  • Teeny McMunn: My Recipe Box

    Teeny McMunn, The Times|Nov 26, 2020

    If this sounds familiar, it is. I used this recipe last year (and the year before) about this time. It’s worth repeating. I used to make this after Thanksgiving when I had a family and trying to stretch all the leftovers I could. It’s very good and would be handy if there is still “leftover” company. Review received on Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash-Zenoby sent a message saying she made the recipe but used what she had handy, changing the bread crumbs to rice, no celery and Parmesan, but added yellow raisins and sharp cheddar cheese. She said it...

  • Teeny McMunn: My Recipe Box

    Teeny McMunn, The Times|Nov 19, 2020

    I put this in last year about this time. At the time I had not made it, but it is very good!! Wes L. my friend who is always encouraging, said even the kids liked this when they made it for Thanksgiving. So this is a repost of last year’s recipe. Does your Thanksgiving always include sweet potatoes? Is it the recipe with the marshmallows on top? This sounds really good. I read the reviews and I’m glad I did. It was given a 5 star rating which is as good as it gets. First, the recipe says to bak...

  • Mexican Chicken Soup

    Teeny McMunn, Waitsburg Times|Nov 12, 2020

    This came into my email so I thought I’d share. I didn’t make it. I’m not a big fan of Mexican food. I am trying not to put in only those recipes that appeal to me, which is why not many with sour cream or cream cheese get into the paper. And I like when readers send me their recipes. So if you make it or tweak it, let me know please. It does have 5 stars, if that helps. I appreciate those who let me know they tried a recipe and those who share what they did differently. INGREDIENTS: 2 tsp olive oil ½ c. onion, diced 2 stalks celery, sliced...

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