Squash Wonton Ravioli

September 27, 2013

Carnival suqash and golden acron squash

Carnival squash and golden acorn squash

I had LOTS of wonton wrappers left after making dessert, so I decided to use the rest in an autumn-inspired ravioli.  For the filling, I used half of a golden acorn squash and half of a carnival squash, baked until soft and then mashed.  I added salt, some leftover sage pesto (from my Three Sisters recipe), sautéed baby bella mushrooms, and sautéed onion and garlic.  I baked the ravioli rather than boil them, as I liked the slightly crispy texture with the soft filling.  Served with tomato sauce garnished with feta cheese.  Delicious!

Baked squash

Baked squash

Baby bella mushrooms, cut small and then sauteed

Baby bella mushrooms, cut small and then sautéed

Squash-mushroom filling with sage pesto

Squash-mushroom filling with sage pesto

Preparing the ravioli with wonton wrappers

Preparing the ravioli with wonton wrappers

Stuffed wonton

Stuffed wonton

I had enough filling for two trays of ravioli

I had enough filling for two trays of ravioli

Squash-mushroom-sage pesto ravioli

Squash-mushroom-sage pesto ravioli

Ink and watercolor sketch of squashes

Ink and watercolor sketch of squashes



“It was the morning of the sixth of May,
And May had painted with her soft showers
A garden full of leaves and flowers.
And man’s hand had arranged it with such sweet craft
There never was a garden of such price
But if it were the very Paradise.”
— Geoffrey Chaucer, from The Canterbury Tales

A man’s hand crafted the lovely grounds of the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, and it has become one of our city’s paradises.  The city of Seattle hired the Olmstead Brothers (successors to Frederick Olmstead, who designed New York City’s Central Park among other famous commissions) to develop the landscaping plans for the Arboretum.  The Olmsteads were proponents of connecting urban dwellers to wild and natural spaces.

Here are some photos of my Spring visit to the park:

Signpost for Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum

The paths are perfect for strolling, jogging, and walking the dog.

Magnificent trees and wild spaces

Mushroom along the path

Bottle-brush plants in a low spot

A bed of ferns



Bench along the path, Washington Park Arboretum


Green foliage





Saturday Farmers’ Market

February 26, 2011

Seattle’s University District Farmers’ Market runs Saturdays year-round.  Here is what the market is like on a winter Saturday in February.  I saw pattern and color everywhere.

“Elegance is natural when you follow the principle of repetition.”
     —  Susan Vreeland, Clara and Mr. Tiffany

Unusual mushrooms for sale

Jams colored like stained-glass windows

Handmade soaps

Carrots and cabbages

Rustic-looking beets

Root vegetables

Early spring daffodils and tulips

Mushrooms: from Rot to Fruit

November 23, 2010

Amanita muscaria

“Mushrooms are our ghosts, our dark side, our miraculous imaginative somersaults from rot to fruit.”
     — David Young, from Seasonings: A Poet’s Year

I saw about 10 of these colorful mushrooms on a lawn near Green Lake last week.  Their umbrella shapes make them the quintessential fairy tale toadstool, don’t you think?

Gills of a tipped mushroom


Watercolor sketch of amanita muscaria

Gills of an inedible amanita muscaria

Foraging for Chanterelles

November 9, 2010

Watercolor sketch of chanterelles

Three bags of wild chanterelle mushrooms

This weekend was the first time I went hunting for wild chanterelle mushrooms.  My sister and brother-in-law took us out into the forest up the hill from the Columbia River in Oregon.  Chanterelles like to grow in thick leaf and needle mulch on the forest floor, near ferns and rotting branches and stumps.  We looked for a tell-tale orangish color, which made them relatively easy to spot in the brown and green ground cover.  We learned to identify edible chanterelles by the long ridges that ran under the cap and onto the long stem.  It seemed like no time before we had three bags full.

Chanterelle poking up from the forest floor

It wasn’t easy walking off trail in the thick underbrush.  And it was very easy to get turned around and lost.  We stayed within calling distance of each other and relied on a compass to find our way back to the road and our car.

Now I have the more difficult job of cleaning our haul.  Right now our kitchen counters are covered with chanterelles drying out a bit, in a single layer, on brown paper.  We had some this morning in our scrambled eggs for breakfast.  They are a real gourmet treat!

Chanterelles drying out on our kitchen counter top

Sliced chanterelles for scrambled eggs


December 14, 2009

My brother-in-law and sister foraged for these chanterelles in Oregon.

Lovely chanterelles (tasty, too)

We had company this weekend, and they came bearing the gift of a sack full of chanterelle mushrooms, which they had foraged in Oregon.  What a lovely present!  We ate some of them scrambled with eggs for breakfast. . . a gourmet treat.

Chanterelles sautéed in butter

Eggs scrambled with chanterelles

Amanita Mushroom

December 7, 2009

Mature Amanita Muscaria

The underside resembles a ballerina's tutu

Gorgeous gills

Amanita muscaria

I found this large mushroom at the base of a birch tree near Green Lake.  It had already fallen over (or been knocked over), so the stem was broken.  I brought it home to photograph.  It is really quite exquisite.

Botanical Plate Amanita Muscaria

I found this botanical print at http://www.meemelink.com/prints%20pages/prints.Fungi.htm.

Minnesota Wild Rice

November 3, 2009


Soup made with Minnesota wild rice and mushrooms

I think that regional food specialties make good souvenirs.  I returned home from Minnesota with three pounds of wild rice in my carry-on luggage.  This week I made Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup by adapting a recipe I found on the Thimbleberries Quilting website http://www.thimbleberries.com/pages?id=278.  I added mushrooms and omitted the bacon, parsley and almonds.

Lynette’s Wild Rice Soup
by Lynette Jensen

2 medium stalks celery, sliced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 c)
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-1/2 c cooked wild rice
2 c chicken broth
1 c whole cream
1/3 c toasted slivered almonds
1/4 c snipped parsley
4 slices thick, lean bacon cooked and crumbled

Cook wild rice following package directions.  Cook and stir celery, carrot, onion and green pepper in butter in 3-quart saucepan until celery is tender (about 5 minutes).  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Add chicken broth slowly, stirring constantly to blend in flour.  Add wild rice.  Heat to boiling.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.  Stir in cream, almonds, parsley, and bacon.  Heat just until hot, but do not boil.

Makes 5 servings, about 1 cup each.


Creamy Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

My oldest sister’s favorite wild rice recipe follows:

Hunter’s Wild Rice Casserole

Brown together: 2 lbs meat (duck, venison, pheasant, elk, or beef)
3/4 c chopped onion
2 c chopped celery

Place browned ingredients in a casserole dish and add:
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 to 2 cans mushrooms
5 or 6 Tbsp soy sauce
1 c wild rice (uncooked)
3-1/2 c boiling water

Stir together and bake, uncovered, for 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  This will look very watery and you will wonder if it will turn out — it does. . . perfect every time.