Membrillo in Eugene is the kind of place I could eat at several times a week and not get bored--ever!  I had THE most memorable meal there recently---was going to order an entree but decided to jump right in and went for the Chef's Tasting Menu Deluxe.  It did NOT disappoint!! OMG--10 courses, 10 sublime, soul-satisfying, beautifully presented courses that filled my belly and soul like none have in a while!  My friends were thoroughly impressed as well and we 'rolled' out of there totally sated!  I didn't take a single pic--too busy taking it all in w my eyes--and mouth.  You're going to have to go for yourself and enjoy the experience.  So nice to have this caliber of eatery in Eugene.  Slowly, but surely, we're getting there.  Thanks for your passion and vision, Corey.

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Those of us who cook for a living rarely get the opportunity to eat food cooked by someone else but when we do and it's off-the chart amazing, praise must be given.  I try to get around as often as I can to see, to taste, to be inspired, to fill my soul and a few recent meals deserve high praise indeed.  The Blind Sparrow is this new eatery in Vancouver, BC that creates out-of-the-box dishes and cocktails.  Tapas-style menu, lively atmosphere, alfresco dining (much quieter and cozy). Their hamburger sliders are the bomb! Ordered some garlic mashed potatoes as a side--yummy comfort food!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Spent all day yesterday putting my garden to bed.  Why is it that just when you think it's time, the weather decides to grace you with more sun and warmth? There was still stuff on the vines but not ripe and now with cooler nights, who knows if or when it will be?? So I capture what I can and the rest goes to compost.  At least it will be returned to the earth and provide amazing nutrients for next year's plantings. Of course, it also means that summer is over but Fall is my favorite season so I'm not crying too much about losing 90+degree weather.  I LOVE the colors, smells, textures of Fall and am PSYCHED to create dishes using seasonal ingredients!!!  Hope your garden provided you with an abundance of bounty, some of which we will be eating over winter (if you're one of 'those' kind who actually took the time to preserve your harvest).  In the past, I was one of 'those' but this year my catering was soooo busy that I had to pass.  Such is life; I'll eat someone else's efforts.  HAPPY FALL!!!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Been honing my sausage-making skills lately and am loving the end results!  Love trying new ways of producing good quality products from scratch and up till recently, I'd been using the attachments I bought for my Cuisinart.  Happen to mention to a friend about my efforts and damn if he didn't 'just happen to have' a commercial sausage stuffer he wanted to sell...I went, I saw, I bought.  I had no idea about the quality of an 'F DICK' but it was definitely built to last!! Turns out,upon research, that it was designed by a Frederic Dick and is considered top-of-the-line in sausage making machines!  Thing weighs about 50# and makes 24# of sausage; my friend swears he's made some kick-ass sausage using it so I was sold.  Easy to operate, he said, easy to clean, he said...sold, sold, sold. I plan on infusing my sausage with the 3 flavors of PDS and I'll certainly let you know how it all turns out.  Might even YOUtube the process! For now, here's what it looks like....

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Catered a private event recently that was a pool party on one of our HOTTEST days ever!! Great for a pool party--not so great for cooking chicken, especially if you want it crispy.  Luckily, the commercial kitchen I use has great ventilation so that when you have 4 ovens going, it's not so bad...

This Crispy Oven Baked Chicken was a hit; combination of panko bread crumbs and cornflakes and herbs for the coating.  The glaze was a mix of maple syrup, hot sauce. & butter drizzled over--buffalo style.  Yummylicious--even on a 90 degree+ day!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Here's another 'necessity breeds invention' dish--Meatball Tostada.  It's Friday night, it's been a WICKED week, and all you want to do is NOT have to think---about what to eat, what to cook, what to wear, etc....Scan contents of fridge and freezer, grab a cocktail and come up with some creation from what you have on hand.  That's how my Meatball Tostada was born.  You know what kills me?  I spend HOURS! DAYS! sometimes creating menus that turn out great but take a LOT of work.  Ten minutes and 2 beers later, I have a meal that not only was easy to prep but damn it was tasty!  Spicy meatballs on a crisp base with a creamy sauce and goat/provolone cheese.  Booya!!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Who doesn't want more adventure in their life? We live in a destination state---people actually save up their hard-earned dollars to come and vacation right here in our backyard!  There's a well-kept secret in town that will keep you busy for many months by supplying you with info on things to do, state-wide:  the Eugene Cascades & Coast Adventure Center.  They're really tucked away in the corner out in Springfield in the same parking lot as Best Buy, 2 doors down from Michael's Craft Store.  They've got maps, books, info about local events and businesses, and amazing Oregon-made products (including our 'PDS' line) for tourists and locals to indulge or give as gifts to others in other parts of the country! There are future events coming like wine/beer tastings, food sampling, fun games to win prizes....Check them out and get out and take big bites out of this mecca we live in!  Live fully!

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

Attended a great seminar this past weekend on living an authentic life.  One question posed to the audience was, "What does it mean to you to be your authentic self?"  My response was, a quote from one of my favorite speakers, Wayne Dyer, 'to live my life independent of the good opinion of others'.  I now pose that same question to you.....

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

There are times, when you have the kind of pristine weather we had this past weekend, that you don't want to do ANYTHING indoors; ANY excuse to be out even if it's 'yard work'.  I did do a bit of that but mainly, I just reveled in the fact that life couldn't be better---I have my health, a roof over my head, food in my pantry, friends and familly who love me and this amazing gift of LIFE!! Plus, a husband who is as grateful for the same things I am so right now--IT'S ALL GOOD!

I have to tell you about the BEST Kale Salad in Eugene---in my humble opinion.  The Cannery on E11th is my 'go to' when I have a hankering for a Kale Salad, which is often, when I can't think of what I want to eat.  They hand rub each and every leaf of kale w avoacado and evoo and the toasted croutons are house made and the right amount of crunch and seasoning.  I always add some protein like grilled chicken but this time I added blackened snapper. HURT ME!!!! I had to go to the ktichen and tell the chef how much I appreciated him 'giving me my fix' and that he is NEVER to remove that salad from the menu!!  He laughed and assured me that would not happen and thought it was strange how people in the PNW eat so much kale/avocado and in CA, where he cooked, he never saw either item on menus down there! Go figure!  RUN to The Cannery and don't even look at the menu---ORDER THE KALE SALAD!! Food for the body--and soul.....

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood

I have been discovering, and loving recipes from Nigella Lawson's various cookbooks.  I knew of her talents but had never cooked any of her recipes.  My friend is a HUGE fan of Nigella and had sent me a Fig/Olive Tapenade recipe of hers to make.  Damn tasty and so versatile! Love dishes like this because they have a long shelf-life and you can have them on hand for last minute entertaining.  

Recently, I scored one of Nigella's cookbooks at an estate sale, her "Nigellisima". Flipping through, I found a recipe for Roasted Brussels and since I had a bag to use up, voila, there was my dish!  Trim the brussels, cut in half, drizzle w olive oil, sprinkle grated lemon peel and some fresh, chopped rosemary over all and roast in a 425degree oven for about 25 minutes, or till done...Now the pic you see will show yams; that's MY addition to the recipe because I had some yams to use up...a LOT of my cooking involves sponatneous creations from stuff I 'have to use up'.  Not only do the yams look pretty but the sweetness from roasting mingled with the earthiness of the brussels is such a fabulous side dish!  I even used this mix in some scrambled eggs for breakfast the next day--off the chart yummylicious!  Thank you Ms Lawson--you've got another fan here!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts (w Yams)

Roasted Brussel Sprouts (w Yams)

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AuthorRobin Brown-Wood