Diane Morgan is not only a mother of two, but an award-wining cookbook author and freelance food writer as well. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a family of good cooks. There were always Grandma Becky’s cookies, Grandma Rose’s sour cream coffee cake, and Grandpa Irving’s “very sour kosher pickles,” and some of the best overcooked chicken and brisket to be found. Her interest in cooking as a profession didn’t really surface until she was at Reed College studying mathematics. She spent two summers working at the Mobil Five-Star FarmHouse restaurant in Port Townsend, Washington (now closed), and she went from reading math books to cookbooks.
After graduating, Diane moved to Chicago to study cooking with Alma Lach, food editor of the Chicago Sun Times and founder of the Alma Lach Cooking School. Diane was her assistant for five years, and was also the chef for an executive dining room. Ready to leave behind Chicago’s blustery, frigid winters, Diane moved back to Portland, and her focus shifted to teaching cooking classes and a career in food writing. These past two years Diane has been in the kitchen developing recipes and glued to her desk writing her forthcoming books (the next one is on salmon).
We were looking for some lighter, summer fare and found it by combing through Diane’s ten cookbooks. Some of her wonderful cookbooks include Delicious Dips, Dressed to Grill, and Cooking for the Week – Leisurely Weekend Cooking for Easy Weekday Meals. We used all three to come up with the menu for the month…we hope you enjoy!
Baked Artichoke-Parmesan Dip
bubbly-hot, with artichokes, shallots, sour cream, fresh oregano & Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, baked with a breadcrumb topping, served with crostini
Grilled Fresh Tuna Salad Nicoise
Vinaigrette-dressed greens topped with grilled tuna, fresh green beans, tomatoes, nicoise olives, potatoes & hardboiled egg
Black & White Sesame-Crusted Wild Salmon with Sesame Pasta Salad
soba noodles tossed with a sesame dressing, green onions & carrots, topped with sesame-crusted salmon
When Penne met Portabella
grilled portabella mushrooms & Walla Walla sweet onions tossed with penne pasta, olive oil & herbs, topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Reason-to-Live Chocolate-Glazed Cheesecake
Chocolate, chocolate & more chocolate—crust, filling & glaze…yum!