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Summer salads: Recipes for lovers of meat and potatoes

Even as I attempt to eat less red meat, I still crave steak. During the summer months, its virtues suit our lifestyles. Steak cooks quickly, is easy to transport to a picnic and tastes great hot, warm and chilled. Leftovers make indulgent sandwiches. Grilled steak, piled on garden-crisp greens topped with a freshly made dressing, ranks as a favorite dinner on a warm evening.
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Vibrant flavors of Peru

My interest in the foods of Peru began with a colleague. Carlos Ayulo has lived in this country since he was young and recently became an American citizen. But he still misses the food of his native Peru.
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Let’s eat: Frozen Margarita Pie perfect for your summer celebrations

Wedding anniversaries, especially when you hit the 30-plus mark, call for special desserts. This frozen citrus pie is a perfect one if like mine, your celebration comes in summer. Super light and cool on the tongue, it surprises with layers of texture — crunchy crust, creamy filling and delicate whipped topping.
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Make your own sauce

You may talk about your barbecue. You may even brag that your barbecue is world-famous.
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Tasty combo: Salad with watermelon, feta and couscous

Here’s a recipe that pairs sweet watermelon with tangy, salty feta cheese and tiny pasta. It’s a great salad to serve with grilled fish or chicken. For a potluck or outdoor barbecue, it’s a nice salad to serve in place of the usual pasta or potato salad.
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Kick up the heat

Celebrate the Fourth with fiery Buffalo-style chicken legs. The heat level is up to you.
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Instant flavor boosts

Consider me a convert to the simple red radish, with all credit going to Paul Berglund, executive chef of the Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis.
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Use a light-bodied wine

A lot of acidity (from orange juice and mustard) goes into the marinade for this fish dish, but not a lot sticks around in the final preparation. That’s a blessing because it allows for a wider range of both white and red wines to accompany it. Salmon is one of the oilier fish, which makes some light-bodied red wines sing with it. Suggestions come along for a dry rose, a light red and a high-acid white. Stay away from big-bodied red wines on this one. Likewise, avoid overly oaky whites.
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Toss it with risotto

Sure, spears of asparagus are great as a side hot off the grill, roasted or broiled — I really never tire of it. But asparagus cut into pieces also is a great addition to leafy green or pasta salads, rice salads or stirred into stir-fries.
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Bayless is back with engaging new cookbook

Mix the passion chef Rick Bayless has for the cuisines of Mexico with his enthusiasm for serving it up at his many restaurants and on his TV series “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” and it’s easy to see how that could never be contained in a handful of books.
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Can bitter be beautiful?

Once upon a time, you may have wrinkled your nose when a plate of (pick one: Brussels sprouts, Belgian endive, mustard greens, radicchio) arrived at the table. You shunned espresso and Campari. You even steered clear of those craft beers with a bitter edge.
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Easy peasy lemon spaghetti

Do you cook your pasta in a big pot of boiling salted water? Me too, always have. That’s the way it’s recommended in many Italian cookbooks and in the directions on packages or boxes of pasta. And that’s the way I’ve answered readers: cook pasta in lots of seasoned boiling water. But could it be we’ve been being wasteful all this time and doing it all wrong? A month or so ago on social media someone shared a video deeming so. It was by Harold McGee, who writes about the ...
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Heavenly Horchata

Refreshing and slightly sweet, horchata is a popular spring and summertime sip in Mexico.
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Stuff it: Chicken Cordon Bleu done healthy

When looking for different ways to prepare chicken breast, stuffing them with cheese and deli meats is a great option. Chicken breasts are pounded thin (or you can slice them in half horizontally), and then a slice of ham and cheese is placed on top. The chicken is rolled up and secured with toothpicks. Once rolled, they are typically dredged in flour, dipped in egg and then rolled in breadcrumbs and pan fried.