our recipes

Favorite Recipes

Grilled Pineapple Salsa


Great served with fresh fish- especially Alaskan halibut, cod or rockfish!


1 pineapple, peeled. Cut into about 1” slices
1 red bell pepper, small dice
1 small red onion, small dice
1 jalapeno, minced (Remove seeds and white ribs inside)
Cilantro, minced
Lime juice
Olive oil

  • 1. Spray grill grates with non-stick grilling spray or lightly rub pineapple slices with olive oil. Grill until soft and grill marks appear.
  • 2. Cut pineapple in to small chunks.
  • 3. Mix pineapple, red bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and a generous handful of cilantro in a bowl.
  • 4. Splash with lime juice and some olive oil, season to taste with salt.

Grandma Sandford’s (Edna Johnson’s) Buttermilk Pancakes (Norwegian Pancakes)

My Grandmas’s pancakes were legendary. You could count on her making them for breakfast any time we slept over at her house or dropped by for brunch. Thin, tender and the size of a silver dollar, they were either eaten unadorned or with a touch of real maple syrup. Her only measuring cup was her hand and she cooked beautifully by feel and keen observation. She just knew when it was right. I will be forever grateful that my mother (Edna’s daughter-in-law) made the effort to convert what my grandma did in the kitchen to make pancakes into something measured and reproducible. This is the basic recipe. As written, it makes enough pancakes for one hungry person or two people with small appetites. It’s easy to scale up. For my family of five, I usually go with four cups of buttermilk and 4 eggs.

1 cup Buttermilk
½ Cup All-purpose flour
1 Egg
2 TBSP Oil
Dash Salt
½ TSP Baking Soda

Blend the wet ingredients together. I use my mixer. Of course, my grandma worked by hand.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.

Add the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. My batter almost always has little lumps in it. These don’t seem to affect the finished product but I’d prefer a method that makes a lump free batter. So, if any one has any insights on how to make this batter lump free, let me know.

Cook on a griddle set on high as you would any other pancake. When the edges start to set and you have nice bubbles, its time. Each pancake should be small, about the size of a silver dollar or the diameter of a standard soda can. I use a non-stick electric griddle just like my grandma did. However, there are concerns about heat and Teflon. I keep the temperature a little bit lower than my mom and grandma before me (I use 350 to 375 rather than 400). A well-seasoned cast iron pan is another way to go and you could then cook at 400 degrees without the concern about the Teflon. My mother would always say that there was no need to add grease to the pan as there is enough oil in the recipe to keep these from sticking.

Braised Fennel and White Beans

This recipe came from Martha Stewart. I usually serve it over brown rice or quinoa. Just add a green salad for a great meal.


  • 2 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 Fennel bulb, trimmed lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices (about 3 cups)
  • 1 Onion, cut in ¼ inch slices
  • 1 can White beans (15.5.oz)
  • 1 Cup Stock – chicken or vegetable (I use Swanson Chicken Broth because I can but it by the flat at Costco
  • 2 TSP Fresh oregano coarsely chopped (I usually substitute dried)
  • 2 TBSP Red wine Vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Butter (unsalted)
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • ¼ TSP Pepper

Heat the oil in a large heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add fennel and onion: cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and edges are brown.

Add beans, stock, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has reduced by about half. 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in vinegar and butter, remove from heat.

Garnish with some fresh oregano leaves.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

I love the Hungarian mushroom soup at The Moose’s Tooth. I have not been able to duplicate their recipe. This one is a little less rich but still just as good.


  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 2 Cups Chopped onions (or one big chopped onion)
  • 1 pound Fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 TSP Dried dill weed (use fresh if you have it)
  • 1 TBSP Paprika
  • 1 TBSP Soy Sauce
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth – a 14.5 oz standard can is close enough.
  • 1 Cup Milk (skim is what we have on hand so it is what I’ve used. A hgher fat milk might more closely approximate the richer soup from Moose’s Tooth
  • 3 TBSP All-purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 2 TSP Lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream

1. Saute onions in the butter. (To make this lighter, you can “saute” in water)
2. Add mushrooms and saute for ~ 5 more minutes
3. Add soy sauce, broth and paprika. Cover and simmer for ~15 minutes
4. In a small bowl whisk together milk and flour. Add this to the soup and simmer for another 15 minutes.
5. Add pepper to taste, lemon juice, parsley, and sour cream. Mix. Heat for 3 to 5 minutes but don’t boil. Serve.

Vegetarian Chili Verde

This recipe is from Giada De Lurentiis. Foodnetwork.com is a go-to site for me, and her recipes always turn out delicious!

  • Ingredients:
  • ¼ Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 8-oz Yukon gold potato, cut in to 1/3 inch cubes
  • 1 8-oz yam- peeled and cut in to 1/3 inch cubes
  • 4 large cloves garlic; flattened, peeled, and chopped
  • 4 large tomatillos (8-9 oz); husked, rinsed, cored, and chopped
  • 2 large poblano chiles (8-9 oz); stemmed, seeded. Dice one, cut one in to 4 strips
  • 2 tablespoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 28-oz can hominy with juices (preferably golden)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 7-oz can diced mild green chiles
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Garnishes, like crumbled feta, chopped green onion, sliced avocado, and lime wedges

Heat the oil in a heave, large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes, yams, garlic, tomatillos, and poblanos. Cover and sweat for about 8 minutes until the onions are tender, stirring often to prevent browning. Mix in the oregano, flower, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the corn kernels, hominy with the juices, and the broth, and bring the chili to a simmer.

Place the canned green chiles in to a processer. Using tongs, transfer the strips of poblano chile from the pot to the processor. Blend just until smooth. Scrape the chile sauce in to the pot.

Cover and simmer the chili about 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 20-25 minutes longer until the potatoes and yams are tender and the chili is reduced to desired consistency, stirring often. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Ladle the chili in to bowls and serve with desired garnishes.

Favorite Weeknight Fish and Rice

I found this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine about 10 years ago. I probably make this about once a week! It’s easier than it looks and we’re still not tired of this.

    Fish Ingredients:
  • 4-5 Tilapia filets
  • ¾ Cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ Cup lemon juice
  • About ½ Cup flour
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp brined green peppercorns (lightly smashed) OR capers
  • 4 Tbsp butter

Note: Brined green peppercorns come in a jar and can be hard to find. You cannot substitute regular peppercorns. These are soft and spicy.

    Fish Directions:
  • 1. Season fish with salt, then dredge through the flour to coat well.
  • 2. Combine stock, lemon juice, and peppercorns or capers. Set aside.
  • 3. Heat 2 Tbsp of butter in a sauté pan until nice and hot.
  • 4. Put fish in pan (do not crowd or they will steam instead of brown). Sauté until nice and brown, then flip and brown the other side. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  • 5. Pour stock and lemon juice mixture in to the pan. Careful! You’ll get a swoosh of steam. I keep the pan lid handy.
  • 6. Add remaining 2 Tbps butter and mix well to make a sauce
  • 7. Return fish to pan and coat with sauce. Serve over rice.

    Rice Ingredients:
  • Angel Hair Pasta, broken in to short pieces
  • ¼ Cup pine nuts
  • Jasmine or Basmati Rice
  • Olive oil

Rice Directions:
Heat a little olive oil in a small sauté pan and toast the pasta and pine nuts until lightly browned. Add to rice and either cook the traditional way or in a rice cooker (Nancy uses a rice cooker). Toss to mix thoroughly after cooked. Add a little butter to taste if you’d like.

Tofu Vindaloo

Alaska Sprouts makes a wonderful tofu that Nancy first found at the South Anchorage Farmers’ Market. She found this recipe while looking for something to make with it. You can find the same tofu at New Sagaya.

  • Ingredients:
  • ½ large head or whole small cauliflower, cut in to small pieces
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, cut in to 1 inch cubes
  • 1 15 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp vindaloo curry paste (can be found at New Sagaya- comes in a jar)
  • 6 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste

  • Directions:
  • 1. Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the ginger and cook until fragrant and just beginning to brown- about 2 minutes.
  • 2. Stir in the onions, cauliflower, and carrots. Cook and stir until the vegetables have softened- about 5 minutes.
  • 3. Stir in the vindaloo and tomato pastes until no lumps remain.
  • 4. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, and garbanzo beans. Then gently fold in the tofu, mushrooms, and season to taste with salt.
  • 5. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender- about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • 6. Serve over rice with naan bread.

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