Category Archives: Holiday

Super Bowl 46 – Some Appetizers!

I just love the Super Bowl because it is all about football food! It is a great “holiday” to make lots of fun little bites for. Especially out here on the West Coast, where festivities begin at noon, there are many hours of eating that happen. Growing up we always had snacks, but being that in the East the game doesn’t start until dinner time, we focused mostly on a big pot of chili and cornbread muffins. So, I really enjoy this new world of an appetizer “holiday’! In honor of the big game, I came up with these appetizers for this year’s party at a friend’s house. I know I am posting this past the big day, but these are versatile enough for any party.

Buffalo Chicken Cups. Makes 32 mini cups. (Recently I have seen similar recipes around, however, I thought this up on my very own before seeing any others.)


8 large egg roll wrappers

1 12.5 oz can of chicken breast meat, drained

1/4 C Frank Red Hot Sauce, or your favorite wing sauce

4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

2 oz blue cheese crumbles

3 green onions

blue cheese dressing

celery sticks


Preheat oven to 350.

Combine chicken, hot sauce, cream cheese and blue cheese crumbles in a bowl. Cut egg roll wrappers into quarters. Using a mini cupcake tray, grease cups (I use coconut oil, but you can use cooking spray) and line each one with one of the wrapper quarters. Fill each cup with a scoop of chicken mixture. Bake for 15 minutes. sprinkle with green onions. Serve with celery and blue cheese dressing.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip. (Recipe inspired by Healthy Food for Living)


8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 C Greek yogurt

4 T turbinado sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/4 t kosher salt

1/2 C mini chocolate chips


With a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips. Put mixture in a serving dish and serve with dippers of choice, I like to use apple slices and graham crackers.

Go team!

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Filed under Appetizer, Casseroles/Bakes, Cheese, Chicken, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Holiday, Vegetarian

On Why I Blog, My One Year Blogiversary.

When I started this blog a year ago it was out of the sheer need for organization in both the kitchen and the garden. I needed a place to journal my plantings and keep track of what I was doing in the garden and also a place to record recipes. Before the blog I had never made something the same two times in a row, which was becoming challenging as I could never replicate a really good meal exactly. I started by posting recipes on my Facebook page in the notes section, but that was really not doing it for me. That is when the idea of the blog came about. I clearly remember sitting on the couch, brainstorming a name with the hubs.

So, what is The Root Cellar’s Garden? It was a play on words that the hubs came up with that captured all of the things I like to do in the garden and the kitchen. The root cellar must have a garden because it must be stocked from somewhere. That covered the gardening part. The root cellar provides food to the kitchen for the meals that nourish us. That covered the kitchen part. It was a great fit, and since then, I have often been found in the root cellar. The only true problem here is that I don’t actually have a root cellar. It is tragic and we think about options every year. Eventually we will create something. Until then, I use the pantry for my storage, but The Pantry’s Garden just didn’t have the awesome ring that The Root Cellar’s Garden did, and it keeps me motivated to come up with a solution.

To that end, that is why I blog. To have a live journal that enables me to interact with the public. It is not about being right or wrong or making money (I do not intend to monetize this blog, ever), or having the BEST blog. For me it is about just being here. Having an outlet to write and show photos.

The other, and perhaps most amazing thing the blog has done for me is to open my life to a whole world of people via Facebook. I have met the most wonderful people there. I have taught people things I know and learned a world more from the people there. I appreciate the positive interaction, community of learning, and constant flow of information that Facebook has brought to my blogging experience.

I do not know if I will blog forever, surely not here in this space, but I will continue to appreciate the things this experience has brought me. I will strive to make this blog, this space, as good as I can while I am here. Thank you all for being here in the garden or the in the kitchen with me. It has been on helluva time!


Filed under Holiday, Thoughts

Notes from Central Oregon.

We took a quick weekend trip to Sunriver, OR last weekend. It is a resort town just south of Bend. It is nice, too ritzy for my taste, but it has wonderful views and it is a nice place to relax in the winter, especially when there is now snow and therefore, no tourists. We are fortunate enough to have a place to stay there through a very good friend and it was a lovely time relaxing. It even snowed our last night there and we were treated to wonderful sights coming home over the mountain. Here are a few of the photos from the trip.



Filed under Holiday, Photo Series, Pups, Travel

The Capricorn.

While I don’t place much stock in the zodiac, I have always been quite smitten with my sign. I am a Capricorn, in every sense of the word. I understand that horoscopes are written in a very talented way, so that they appeal to the masses and seem true to whomever reads them, but when you boil down the nuts and bolts of the Capricorn sign, it’s me, nearly to a “T”, for better or for worse. I am a Capricorn.

On this day, the anniversary of my birth, as I reflect again upon what it means to be a Capricorn, I am reminded that it is a good thing that my birthday is so close to New Years, a time for resolve and of high hopes for a better me.

I have many positive traits. I am loyal and motivated. I get the job done with confidence. I am dedicated and have passion for things. But, I can also be bossy and pessimistic. I can be difficult to work with or even argumentative.

So in 2012, during this new year of my life, I will again resolve to continue to grow and improve myself. I will also reflect back on 2011. I feel that 2011 was a huge year of growth for me. A renewal of many of my interests and a new found group of passions. I have the blog and my loyal readers, I have the support of my family and my Facebook community, and I have the support and interest of my husband in my gardening and cooking ventures. We have several new friends to show for 2011 and we have more to make in 2012. We have the Portland Timbers MLS team which is not only totally amazing; it is a great door of opportunity for personal growth and a large part of our social life.

I am looking to the next year of my life, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready for what it has in store for me. I am ready to leave the less positive and less successful parts of 2011 behind, and to take with me the life lessons and personal improvement I have gained from them. I am ready to take this year head on, so watch out!

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Favorite Garden Photos of 2011.

Some absolute favorites, equally by myself and the hubs. P.S. This is the biggest photo post ever.



Filed under Holiday, Photo Series, Thoughts

Happy New Years!!

Yay! Amazing. And another year flies by. I love you all. I love my family. I LOVE my hubs. I love my drive and my hobbies, the garden and the kitchen. I love my 2012 goals and motivations. I LOVE!

These are my *fireworks*, ok, fine, my Christmas tree, but think bubbly and fireworks :)


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A-Photo-A-Day: The Pioneer Well.

This well is located near the property that the hubs grew up on. He takes me to visit it whenever we are in Northern California. It is so mysterious. The property was once on the stagecoach and we speculate the pioneers dug it. It is also on Wintu Indian land, so we are not entirely sure of the true origin. Either way, I think it is awesome and it makes my brain go wild with ideas. Tragically, the land has been purchased to be subdivided and developed. There may come a day when this piece of history is lost forever.



Filed under Holiday, Photo Series, Thoughts

I am coming back, I swear.

I will post again, I promise, about the garden, about planting and about food. Not just a fake promise but a real one. I have not abandoned my blog. The two weeks between Christmas eve and my birthday are tough, and this is my first time blogging through it. It goes like this: December 24: Christmas Eve. One week later, December 31: New Years Eve. One week later, My Birthday. Erg. Makes for a strange dichotomy. That is my personal life. This is yours, and a blog. The bottom line, my motivation and inspiration are waning. I will be back, just give me a minute.


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Grandma’s Snickerdoodle Cookies.

Growing up I used to make cookies with grandma, and as we got older with my little sister and my grandma. Grandma had a wonderful collection of cookie recipes, but there are three in particular that I remember making, peanut butter, sour cream, and these snickerdoodles.

We would go over to grandma’s house and she would outfit us in the cutest little aprons, pull the doughs out of the refrigerator, and off we would go. Cutting fantastic shapes out of sour cream dough, flattening peanut butter cookies with forks, and smashing snickerdoodle balls with juice glasses. It is such a wonderful memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life and just recently my sister passed this joy onto her daughter and reminded me that I needed to make this as well.

Grandma’s Snickerdoodle Cookies. Makes 48.


1 C soft shortening, like Crisco (not something I generally use, unless making tamales, but this is after all grandma’s recipe, and it does make a difference)

1 1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 C flour

2 t cream of tarter

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt (I used kosher, but I am sure grandma used iodized)

4 T sugar

1 t cinnamon


Combine flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside. Cream together shortening, sugar, and eggs with a stand or hand mixer. Then slowly mix in flour. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or more.

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.  Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts (this was the word my grandmother used!). Roll each ball in sugar and cinnamon mixtures. Flatten on un-greased cookie sheet (we always used a juice glass to do this).

Bake for 8 minutes or until set (it will take longer depending on how big your walnuts are). Allow to cool a moment on the pan as they will be very soft when you first remove them from the oven.

Note: Be sure to cover the dough and put it back in the refrigerator between pans unless you roll them all and sugar them ahead.


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Filed under Dessert, Holiday, Vegetarian

Trimming the Tree.

This year we waited to put up our tree until my mom came to town. I like to do it Thanksgiving weekend, but I thought it would be special to wait, so we did, and it was. It was lovely with egg nog, Irish cream, holiday music, and cheer. It reminded me of growing up. We pulled out all of the ornaments and talked about their history, which ones came from mom’s house, which ones grandma got me, which ones were the hubs. We looked at our antique glass balls, from the hubs great grandma, and we reminisced. It was absolutely worth waiting for. Do you have holiday traditions from your childhood that you just can’t live without as an adult? Trimming the tree is definitely one of mine.

Photo credit to the hubs, using his iPhone.


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