Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest


Our First Giveaway! Pure Flavor Cookbook


We’re thrilled to have 8 copies of a wonderful cookbook written by local cheese-maker, Kurt Beecher Dammeier, to give away to you — our devoted readers. This book couldn’t be more appropriate for anyone who looks to us to provide suggestions for delicious ways to prepare our local bounty. Not only are there 125 recipes, many of which are destined to become favorites, there’s also a wealth of information about specific ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll also find interesting sidebars on several of the movers & shakers on the local food scene. Kurt Dammeier is the creator of Beecher’s Cheese, owner of Pasta & Co gourmet retail shops and Pure Food Bistro on Mercer Island. I guess you could say he knows a thing or two about local food.

This is how it’s going to work. We want to take this opportunity to get some MixedGreens feedback from all of you. We’re in the process of re-designing our blog in an effort to make it an even more compelling place for you to visit. We want to provide you with helpful information as well as inspire you to incorporate some of our ideas into your daily lives. So….. add a comment to any post, including this one, that includes your name, email address (so if you win, we can contact you for your mailing address) and some useful feedback about what you like, want to see more (or less) of — suggestions about how to improve our blog to fit your needs, and yes, things you don’t like are also welcome. Your name will be put in a hat and we’ll draw 8 names on Wednesday July 1 and will contact the winners by Friday July 3.

Eight lucky people who add a comment that fits this description will be mailed a free copy of Pure Flavor, no strings attached. If you’ve never commented on our blog before, this is a great time to get started. It’s very easy. Just go down to the end of any post and click on “comments.” There will be a box for your name, email address, and of course, your comment. Fill these in, click on “submit” and that’s all you have to do. You may enter as many times as you’d like. If you already own this book, consider getting another copy and gift it to a foodie friend.

mac&cheese5 of 9

I tried the recipe for the “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese from the book and submitted it for approval to some of the most accomplished mac & cheese aficionados I know — Lily & Adrian. Both of them enthusiastically ate bowlful after bowlful. Mom & Dad tested in the background and agreed a little more of the cheesey sauce would make it even better. Other than that, it may not have been the “world’s best” but it was pretty close.

mac&cheese13 of 29

mac&cheese28 of 29

Don’t be shy. Join our conversation. Leave a comment & get a free cookbook.


Serves 4 as a side dish

6 ounces penne pasta

2 cups Beecher’s Flagship Sauce (recipe follows)

1 ounce cheddar, grated ( 1/4 cup)

1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated ( 1/4 cup)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil or butter an 8-inch baking dish.

Cook the penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and set aside.

Combine cooked pasta and Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheeses and then the chile powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

If you double the recipe to make a main dish, bake in a 9-by-13-inch pan for 30 minutes.


Makes about 4 cups

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

14 ounces semihard cheese, such as Beecher’s Flagship, grated (about 3 1/2 cups)

2 ounces grated semisoft cheese, such as Beecher’s Just Jack

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 minutes.

Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.

Add the cheese, salt, chile powder and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to three days.

A single batch makes enough for a double recipe of macaroni and cheese.

Recipes from Pure Flavor: 125 Fresh All-American Recipes from the Pacific Northwest by Kurt Beecher Dammeier with Laura Holmes Haddad

Tagged as: , , , , , ,

38 Responses »

  1. I love your site because I grew up in the NW and am now raising my family in Iowa so I feel like it kind of keeps me connected to home. I really enjoy the posts about produce that I have no idea what to do with – or things I think I dislike just because I’ve only had it boiled – like cauliflower. And the food photos are beautiful!

    Yay for the giveaway!

  2. Darah, this is great. Love hearing that you’re a ways away, but still with us via MixedGreens. Poppy did a great job of describing the book. I’ve had Pure Flavor for a year now – a well-written source of food information, photographs, local lore, and, of course, recipes.

  3. I think I came across your site via the West Seattle blog’s list of other WS Blogs. I like so many aspects of your blog: using local products, in season ideas, creative approaches and new twists. But what really makes a difference is the quality of photos. You want to cook/bake/grow whatever after the inspiring images.

    It would be interesting to see or hear about some of the behind the scenes activity that goes on to create the articles. Everything is so picture perfect, there’s gotta be some good stories about pulling it all together!

  4. I love reading your blog especially being a homegrown pacific nw gal. My parents always gardened when I was growing up as a way to feed us sustainably and to have healthy fresh food. My love of gardening stemmed from this experience and while I may not be the gretest gardener it is fun trying and learning new things. Your blog has inspired me to experiment with new things and learn to enjoy them.
    I would love to learn more about your creative process and how you decide to write about specific topics and foods and what inspires you to do what you are doing.

  5. Oh, I don’t know how you could possibly make this site any better. I subscribe to your blog via google feed reader, and when I downsized my subscription list awhile back, there was no question about MixedGreens staying on the list. I used your instructions last summer to make awesome pickles, I’ve used several of your recipies, and I when I have a question about my garden, you are one of my go-to sources for info. And to top it all off, you report about my neighborhood farmer’s market! If I had to make a suggestion, a more thorough keyword search would be helpful — I know I’ve used the search function before, looking for a specific post, and not finding it very easily. But I truly appreciate this blog, and I wish you (and it) the very best. Cheers!

  6. Your blog is so refreshingly clean and simple, with amusing and helpful information, and stunning photographs. When I start to cook again, after I get my Masters, I plan on using your blog a lot to cook up new recipes for my family. Mixed Greens has inspired me to start a new raised bed garden where I am growing courgettes and basil and pattypan squash. Thanks for all your good work!

  7. Pat & Seana, Great to know that you’re interested in our process– behind the scenes and in our heads.
    Andrea, Amen to a new Search function. I can’t even use it. We also have plans for a recipe index.
    Stephanie, thank you for your encouraging words. We’ll try to have some squash recipes for you.

  8. Great giveaway!
    My favorite part of this blog has been the “didn’t immediately think of that as being able to prepare it with local ingredients” recipes — like the pho!

  9. I have been subscribing to your blog for a few months. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have lived in Seattle for about three years but have only really turned on to the idea of eating locally for the past year or so. I love that you cover so many interesting veggies…it makes the huge array at the Farmer’s Market less overwhelming.

    I would love to see more about local seafood though. When it’s in season, good combinations with fresh herbs and veggies and so on. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for a great site!!

  10. I came across this site while looking for blogs related to Tacoma and Seattle. My husband and I are relocating there in about 6 weeks now (Yay! Can’t wait!) and I’ve been loving this blog. We are very into cooking with local ingredients, and I love learning more about what is “local” in the Northwest since I’ve lived in the midwest for my entire life.

    I’m not sure there is much I would change about the site. I love how you talk about whats growing in your garden, what farmer’s markets and other local vendors you frequent, and how to put it all together into a delicious meal. Your photography skills aren’t half bad either. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The beautiful photos always entice me to try to make what you’re eating! This site is one of my favs!

  11. My comments may not be very helpful because I love the site as is. It is simple, beautiful, useful, pertinent and I am not bombarded with a lot of distracting options. That said, an index of recipes could be useful. And maybe even a searchable index of local sustainable products and services that are mentioned. Thanks for all the effort, thought and inspiration.

  12. Chris, that’s a fun part of the challenge for me – making whatever it is local.
    Meia, More about seafood is an excellent idea.
    Laura, Welcome to the Northwest. I hope we can help make you feel at home once you get here.
    Sharon, yes, yes, yes– a recipe index is in the works and other lists too. Thanks for your ongoing support.

  13. This is my first time visiting your site and I think it’s beautiful!
    Please keep it up with the recipes. I think a recipe index list may be helpful, with categories for gluten free, dairy free, vegan, etc. Gluten, dairy, egg, and soy free recipes are much appreciated in our household (lots of allergies). Veggie recipes are a favorite. Thanks for the chance to win a great cookbook too!

  14. I love reading the in-season recipes that feature an ingredient in different ways.

  15. I especially love the recipes using local ingredients and the garden tips. The garden tips and photos inspired me to plant some veggies and herbs last year on the front stoop (I’m a townhouse dweller wtih no yard). I got a late start so only herbs growing this year. Maybe some more tips for us container gardeners.

  16. I love your site! What is most important to me are fairly easy recipes for food found in season at local markets. I find myself standing in the market looking at garlic scapes and passing them up because I’m afraid they’ll go straight from the fridge to the garbage due to my ignorance. (Thanks for the scape pesto recipe!) Sometimes it’s hard to always know what to do with the PNW bounty but it’s great to be able to come here and get good information on local products and producers. Thank you for your commitment. One suggestion: recipe index!

  17. Oh yes! I also love the gardening tips for urban dwellers… so helpful!

  18. What I enjoy about your blog is keying in on what is REALLY in season in the NW. I would love if you had a database or list of various farms/businesses that you support and find useful. Your reviews on these would be well received I am sure.

  19. Thanks for featuring a local cookbook – looks really great! Now all of my friends and family know what they will be getting for their birthdays this year ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I really enjoy your blog entries (esp the recipes using local ingredients that list the source of the featured food & the pictures of the foods)
    We’re pretty new to the PNW and the one thing I would recommend would be a link/list to favorite local farmers/vendors with phone numbers, addresses, webpage links, etc. It would be great to use your blog as an easy reference to find local CSAs, sources for grass fed beef, raw milk, strawberry picking, etc.
    Please keep up the good work – I love coming here for inspiration!

  20. this sounds like i can have a lot of experimenting going on thanks

  21. JUST found this site- love the review– easy to mange and find things- love it so far though mrs.mommyyatgmaildotcom

  22. I ,too, would also like to see a recipe index apart from the posts about them where we could reference and/or print the exact recipe that you have shared with us. Thanks

  23. This mac and cheese is still the hit here. Even after we ran out of the first batch, Adrian and Lily had me cook up some more noodles and use the extra sauce for lunch for camp and snack the past couple of days! PS-we don’t need to be in the running for the book, already have it.

  24. Since one of my lifelong dreams is to travel to your area of the country, what I would like to see is some type of section, perhaps, with travel tips for the best places to eat, especially out of the way, and locally favorite ones. Thanks for the chance to win.

  25. I think one thing I would like to see more is some feedback from the readers that try any of the different combinations or recipes and how well they worked for them


  26. I live in the Pacific NW and this book looks fantastic. I am new to your site and have saved it to my list of sites. You have great recepies on your site and I love that they are sorted by type, it would also be great to be able to search them by main ingredients.

  27. That mac and cheese looks great!
    I really love this blog because everything is so nice and colorful. It gives me inspiration as I am starting my own garden.

  28. I’m down in Portland, but of course we have similar growing seasons and I appreciate the relative timeliness of your posts, but I’m lousy about remembering to check my reader and would love to be able to get an email when you add a new post!

  29. I love your site. It would be really cool if you featured a farmers market in different areas each week. Feature a few pictures, and what makes that market stand out. What items are the biggest hits and what vendors have the longest lines?


  30. Please enter me in your giveaway. I would love to put the mac and cheese recipe up against mine. I also like to try new dishes so any new cookbooks are always welcome. Thank you.

  31. I would love to have this book, the first recipe I’m making will be the โ€œWorldโ€™s Bestโ€ Mac & Cheese that you posted about. Thank-you.

  32. This is the first time I’ve visited your site. I used to live in the NW, and I loved the local flavors when there. Just because I don’t live there anymore, doesn’t mean I can’t cook like I’m there sometimes!

    I’m a cookbook addict, and love cooking in general. I like the simplicity of your blog (love the name!). I might just make the ability to “follow” your blog a little clearer and bolder.

    Thank you!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  33. I also love the simplicty of the blog. It’s easy to find recipes by category. The pictures of the food are phenomenal! Each one makes me want to run out and get the ingredients and start making it right away. I am from Northern Idaho, still considered the Northwest. And I am a regional cookbook collector so this is really exciting!
    (I agree with nfmgirl–how DO you subscribe/follow your blog?)

  34. I love trying new cookbooks. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  35. I love cookbooks and cooking websites this looks like a great prize to win thanks for hosting such a great website

  36. That mac n cheese looks great – its a family favorite in our house. I’ll have to give the recipe a try!

  37. Is it the cheese sauce that makes it #1 mac and cheese in the world?? mmm…enough curiosities to give it a try.

  38. I missed the cookbook giveaway but thought I would take a moment to comment anyway! Your site is one of my top five favorite food/etc. blogs. You post frequently, your photography is beautiful and you have fresh ideas about seasonal locally grown food, which has been great inspiration for me as wonder what to do with my farmer’s market finds. I am dairy intolerant and notice that you take good advantage of all the amazing local cheeses, etc. in your recipes (and why shouldn’t you!), which is good for the dairy lovers, not so good for me. I agree with “M” that a recipe index with categories for those with food sensitivities would be a lovely addition! Love your site anyways! ๐Ÿ™‚