Author Archives: Sarah Lemon

Sarah Lemon

Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When she’s not in the kitchen or unearthing the freshest seasonal produce, she dishes on local food trends, products and events. Add your own recipes, tips and ideas to this blog or email thewholedish@gmail.com

Creamy balsamic sauce irresistible to vinegar fans

Two of the condiments — ketchup and mustard — essential to my husband’s culinary enjoyment are predictable enough. Balsamic vinegar, as the third member of his taste trifecta, perhaps pegs him as not exactly “all-American.” Curiously, a man who can’t abide the smell of vinegar cooking will eat just about anything doused in that sweet-tart [...]

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Wet coating locks moisture into chicken breasts

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts — a cut at which I have so often scoffed — proved their worth recently in my kitchen. A sale price justified my purchase of Foster Farms’ organic chicken breasts. Pound for pound, boneless, skinless breasts typically are among the most costly meats, even if not organic, at any grocer. Although [...]

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Festival’s fine cheeses just fine in grilled cheese

Oregon’s finest cheeses, and a few from farther afield, will once again be the star attraction of a weekend festival in Central Point. The 13th annual Oregon Cheese Festival kicks off Friday, with the multicourse Cheese and Winemakers Dinner at Larks Inn at the Commons. A few tickets remained midweek for the perennially popular event. [...]

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Convenience foods make for mealtime ‘cheats’

I’m embarrassed to admit how many cans came into play for a recent weeknight dinner. A change in plans put off the dish I had planned to make — tostadas — with freshly poached chicken breast, fresh-fried tortillas, quick-pickled cabbage and ripe avocado. Between the two mealtimes, we consumed some of the chicken, so I [...]

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Beer-baked macaroni recipe boasts 5 cheeses

Mac-n-cheese topped with crab, shrimp, bacon, mushrooms, chilies — all have become as mainstream as cheese-sauced noodles to accompany craft beer. I usually joke when visiting a new brew pub that the menu must have mac-n-cheese, or it’s not a bona fide brewery. But how about macaroni and cheese baked with the beer? I’m sure [...]

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Indispensable crab cakes celebrate Dungeness

A local, French-inspired bistro’s macaroni and cheese furnished one of my first tastes of this season’s Dungeness crab. Although there were several plump fry legs topping the gratin with plenty more shredded crab and caramelized bacon, I hardly got my fill. Usually this late in the new year, my family already should have spent some [...]

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Fluffy semifreddo lightens up dark chocolate

Chocolate lovers are descending on Ashland this weekend for the 13th annual Oregon Chocolate Festival. The festival has been celebrated in this blog frequently over the years, including the several I served as a judge at the event. As I’ve raved about some of my favorite chocolate products, I’ve also seeded the discussion with some [...]

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Chocolate-mint cookies ooze flavor familiarity

Playing nicely on the same plate comes easier to some foods than others. In the hands of the right chef (or home cook), however, a dish of disparate ingredients can be more than the sum of its parts, or so this week’s A la Carte story ventured. But if the concept falls too far outside [...]

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It’s high time for high-quality Hass avocados

In this in-between season for so many fruits, one at least lends fresh-picked status to produce sections. California’s Hass avocados, widely considered the tastiest, come on strong in March and persist through summer. Fall is time for Florida’s Fuerte before Mexico’s Hass take the helm in midwinter. In the season’s short gaps, Chilean and Peruvian [...]

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Sweet-savory pear bread bridges fruit seasons

The appeal of strawberries arrayed in chocolate for Valentine’s Day is hard to resist. Even when the actual berries are literally pale shadows of their early-summer selves. And their flavor is more of a sour counterpoint to the chocolate rather than sweet complement. Better to wait a few more months for fresh berries, or so [...]

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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