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Jessica Hansen

About Jessica Hansen

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So far Jessica Hansen has created 11 blog entries.

Shaved Celery Salad Recipe from KATU’s Afternoon Live!

Chef Andrea’s recipe from KATU’s Afternoon Live!

Shaved Celery Salad with Dates and Almonds

Serves 6

1/2 cup raw almonds

8 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal, leaves separated

6 dates, pitted, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt & freshly ground pepper

Parmesan shavings

1/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

fat pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread out almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Toss almonds, celery, celery leaves, dates, and lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add Parmesan, oil and parsley and toss gently; season with red pepper flakes.

Tagliatelle Recipe from KATU’s Afternoon Live

Chef Andrea’s recipe from today’s KATU Afternoon Live!

Tagliatelle with Spring Peas and Lemon


8 oz pasta

1 tbps butter

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 cup fresh or frozen peas (if using fresh, blanch them first)

1 cup heavy cream

2 tbps lemon juice

1/2 cup grated parmesan-reggiano cheese (plus more for serving)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint


Cook the pasta al dente, reserving 1/4 pasta water to thin the sauce if necessary.

Heat butter over medium heat and sauté the chopped shallot with a pinch of salt until it is translucent.

Add garlic and the peas, and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the cream and cook until it starts to bubble and thicken to a sauce consistency, 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to low and gently mix in the cooked pasta. Cook together for 1 to 2 more minutes so the pasta can absorb the sauce.

Remove from heat and mix in the grated parmesan, lemon juice, salt + freshly ground pepper and the chopped herbs. Add the herbs right before serving, as the mint will discolor quickly when in contact with heat.


Chocolate Avocado Mousse Recipe from KATU’s Afternoon Live


Chef Andrea’s recipe from today’s KATU Afternoon Live!

Chocolate Avocado Mousse


½ cup dark chocolate

4 very ripe avocados, peeled and pitted

½ cup agave nectar, or honey

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste

¼ teaspoon salt


Melt dark chocolate on low over double boiler.

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor, including the melted chocolate.

Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Spoon into glasses and refrigerate at least three hours (can be made one day in advance)

Garnish with Whipped Coconut Cream (see recipe below) or fresh berries.


Coconut Whipped Cream


1 each 13.5 oz can coconut milk (not coconut cream)

2 Tablespoons agave nectar, or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste


Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.

Open can and scoop out just the fat cap into a bowl that will be used with a mixer.

Whip on high until the coconut milk is starting to look fluffy.

Add the agave nectar or honey and vanilla product.

Whip until it looks like whipped cream.

Place a dollop of the whipped cream on top of the mousse and garnish with toasted coconut or chocolate shavings if desired.

Foodie Fondness in February



How did the most unsightly part of the farm (that spot between the greenhouse and the hay barn) become our prettiest view today?!?I love these chilly February days on the farm and in The Kitchen.

As our busy holiday season continues to run long into February, I am overwhelmed by gratitude for all of you who continue to spend these afternoons and evenings with us in The Kitchen. You’ve welcomed Chef Andrea with open arms as she brings her expertise to The Kitchen, and you’ve continued to support Chef Kate as she develops into a fantastic instructor. Wait until you see what she is doing in the greenhouse this year as she grows in her role of Chef and Farm Manager. You share our story, laugh at my jokes, and continue to join us at The Kitchen table, sharing another delicious meal! We’ve added plenty of upcoming spring classes to the website, so come back and see us soon!

~ Chef Jessica


We’ve been sharing our space, and our leftovers, with five little lovelies that you may have met in the pig pen. These pigs are a cross between two heritage breeds – Gloucestershire Old Spot and Large Black. They were chosen for their family friendly demeanor, hardiness to live on pasture, and fantastic flavor as pork. But as they always say, all good things must come to an end. As the farm side of Middleground Farms grows, we are starting to offer shares in our farm raised pork. Loved and well fed, these pigs represent exactly why we do what we do – bring great food to our table, knowing exactly what we are eating. If you are interested in purchasing a half-hog now, or in the future, please send Jessica an email.

Speaking of bacon…. Join us for our upcoming Brunch & Bubbles: Lowcountry Brunch class on April 22nd! Register here!



If you have littles, you are already making your spring break plans. Send your kids to The Kitchen for Kids Camp where they will get a taste of farm life AND will learn to create some delicious meals in The Kitchen! Choose one, two, or three days where they will take something off of your plate by learning to put something on the table for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner!



March is Portland Dining Month! If you aren’t cooking with us in The Kitchen, get inspired by all of the great food that Portland has to offer by supporting these small restaurants. Check out Travel Portland’s Picks for the best places to go!

If you don’t have plans for next weekend, February 24th, head to Newberg for the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration. Over 50 of area’s best chardonnays will be poured, while enjoying nibbles from The Allison Inn. One of our favorite’s, Elk Cove Vineyards, will be there – tell them we sent you!

Love Kombucha? On Tuesday, February 27th, you won’t to want to miss our Kombucha and Water Kefir Workshop taught by our Kombucha-loving Chef Kate! You’ll head home with a bottle of Kombucha that you flavored yourself and a Kombucha SCOBY so you can start your own home brew. The night culminates with a delicious meal (as always) enjoyed family style around our beautiful barn wood tables!

Have you heard of Farmlandia? We are proud to be part of the Farmlandia Farm Loop, a self-guided tour through 20 farms in the Milwaukie, West Linn, and Wilsonville area. This loop includes a variety of farm stops, including farmstands with fruits and vegetables, amazing local wines, and friendly farm animals. One of our favorite neighbors is Pete’s Mountain Vineyard & Winery. They are open every Sunday for tastings from 1-4 pm. It’s a great destination after our Spring Pies & Tarts class at The Kitchen!

Delicious Thai on KATU’s Afternoon Live!

Chef Jessica’s recipe from today’s KATU Afternoon Live. Mmmm, delicious!

Green Apple Salad with Thai Chili Dressing & Roasted Peanuts


Serves 6 


3 tablespoon fish sauce

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoon brown sugar, or more to taste

1 to 2 teaspoon Thai chili sauce


1/4 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut

2 green apples

2 cups bean sprouts

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 to 4 spring onions, sliced

1 fresh-cut red chili, optional

A handful of peanuts or cashews, left whole or roughly chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil

Mix together all the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl or cup. The dressing should be a mingling of sweet, sour, spicy and salty, but more sweet than sour. Set aside.

Place coconut in a dry frying pan or wok. “Dry-fry” the coconut, as if you were stir-frying it, 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, or until it turns a light golden-brown and is fragrant. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Put 2-3 cups of iced water in a bowl; keep it handy.  Core the apple and cut it in half. Slice each half lengthwise into thin slices. Make stacks of 4-5 apple slices and cut them lengthwise again into thin matchsticks. Soak the apple matchsticks in the prepared iced water.  Drain apples.  Add the bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions, the fresh-cut chili (if using), plus half the toasted coconut. Toss well to combine.

Add the dressing and toss again. Do a taste-test – add more fish sauce if needed. If you prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar (honey works too). If you prefer more spice, add more chili sauce. If too salty or sweet, add more lime juice.

Place on a serving platter. Sprinkle the nuts, basil and remaining toasted coconut over the top.


Adding more veggies to your weeknight meals with KATU!

Chef Jessica from The Kitchen was sharing with KATU Afternoon Live’s Tra’ Renee some great weeknight meals that pump up the vegetables! Here’s a quick go to recipe that uses cauliflower rice as a great vegetable substitute for regular rice!

Thai Style Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower Rice

Serves 4

1 head of cauliflower

½ – ¾ cup of coconut milk (or more)


4 chicken thighs

2-3 red thai chilis, deseeded

8 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon oyster sauce (or coconut aminos if you are Paleo)

4 tablespoon soy Sauce (or tamari if you are gluten free)

1 tablespoon honey

handful of fresh thai basil/regular basil leaves (no stalks)


For the Rice:

In a blender, pulse cauliflower florets till you get something that resembles breadcrumbs.

Heat a dry non-stick pan over medium heat. Add your cauliflower rice. This is simply to toast and soften the cauliflower. Stir occasionally.


After 2-3 minutes, add in the coconut milk. Keep mixing.  Once the cauliflower is cooked through and soft, take out and dish onto a plate.

For the Thai Basil Chicken:

Heat your wok over medium-high while you prep your ingredients.

Slice your chicken into bite sized pieces.

Add your chili and garlic into the hot pan. Stir-fry for 20 seconds.

Add your chicken in in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd or else the chicken starts to steam more than brown. The pan should be hot enough so the chicken starts to brown almost immediately.

After 30-60 seconds, flip the chicken pieces individually to brown the other side.

After all the sides are nicely brown and slightly charred (2 minutes), add in the sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.

When the chicken is just cooked through, toss in the thai basil. Mix. Scoop over cauliflower rice. Place your prepared egg. Sprinkle on garnishes of basil, peanuts, chili and serve!


Apple Crusted Salmon with Prosciutto

From our time with Tra’Renee on KATU’s Afternoon Live – a great go-to dinner entree for your holiday dinner party!

Apple Crusted Salmon with Prosciutto

Serves 6

1 1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup orange juice

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Salt and black pepper, to taste

2 apples, thinly sliced

6 6-ounce salmon portions, skin removed

6 slices prosciutto

Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pan

1/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar


Prepare marinade by whisking together apple juice, orange juice, honey, mint, chives, salt and pepper until well combined. Set aside.

Slice the apples into rings as thin as possible. Place sliced apples into marinade and let them marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of two hours.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Sprinkle entire surface of salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Remove apples from marinade and place them carefully on salmon, shingling them from one end to the other. Sprinkle brown sugar over apples and wrap a slice of prosciutto around each piece of salmon.

Roast for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. When finished, pour juices from the roasting pan over fish before serving.


Thankful for Thanksgiving with Wesleigh Ogle from KATU

Here are a few notes from our morning with Wesleigh Ogle from KATU that will make your Thanksgiving dinner just a touch more fabulous…..

Turkey Basics

1 gallon vegetable stock
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon peppercorns
6 bay leaves
1 ½ teaspoons all spice berries
1 gallon ice/water

Combine 1/2 gallon vegetable stock with salt, brown sugar and spices and stir until dissolved. Add remainder of vegetable stock and allow to cool until at least lukewarm. Add the ice/water combo and pour over turkey in a large enough container to allow the turkey to submerge. You may need to do this in an insulated cooler if weather isn’t cold enough to keep outside overnight. I put a plate over the turkey to weight it down and keep it submerged. After at least 12 hours I remove the bird, drain it and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour before baking. I also make sure the skin on the top is dry. I then…

Stuff inside cavity:
1 apple
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 lemon, halved
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
Sprig of rosemary
Sprig of sage
Parsley stems

I then baste the bird with a this….

Lemon, parsley and garlic butter:
1/2 lb butter, at room temperature
finely grated zest and juice of 2 small lemons
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped

Process in food process or mix by hand. Rub all over the outside of the bird, and do your best to get it between the skin and the breast meat as well. This REALLY helps to brown the turkey evenly.

Put turkey in the oven legs first, if available. Roast for 500 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown, then foil cover and reduce oven to 350 until meat thermometer registers 161 degrees. For a 14 lbs bird, it will take around 2 – 2/12 hrs in total). At 350 degrees you’ll expect the turkey to take an additional 13 minutes per pound for larger birds.

Always use a meat thermometer, and make sure you put it in the thickest part of the thigh, entering the chicken at the crease between the breast and thigh. And don’t hit the bone, as the reading will be inaccurate.

When the turkey has come to temperature, let it rest for AT LEAST 30 minutes to let the juices settle. That is it. Your bird will be beautiful.

My favorite go-to recipe for the holidays….

Harvest Brie

1 firm apple, small dice

1 firm pear, small dice

2 tablespoon butter

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

1⁄4 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

1⁄4 cup sliced almonds, or nut of choice

1⁄2 cup white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 brie wheel (16 oz – size depends on group size)

assorted crackers or bread

*on all of the above ingredients, measurements are not crucial, it can be “thrown” together

Preheat oven to 375F. Heat butter in ovenproof sauté pan over medium high heat until melted. Add apple and pear and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add nuts to toast. Add brown sugar and continue to cook until sugar melts and becomes saucy. Add raisins and wine and cook until slightly reduced. Place brie wheel on mixture in pan and place in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until brie is soft to touch. Remove from oven and invert on a plate. Serve at once with bread and crackers.

Happy holidays!




KATU Afternoon Live – Quick Mediterranean Chicken

Looking for easy and healthy weeknight meals? Try this recipe we showcased on KATU’s Afternoon Live! Learn more recipes like this at one of our upcoming Simple Seasonal Suppers classes, Pressure Cooker class, or Sheetpan Meals class!

Quick Mediterranean Chicken

The Kitchen at Middleground FarmsServes 4

for the spice rub
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon turmeric
¾ teaspoon paprika, more for later
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
freshly ground pepper
7 large garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, sliced or roughly chopped
1 large lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (alternatively, chicken breast or thighs)
1 tablespoon za’atar, optional
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
½ cup pitted green olives
½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a small bowl, prepare the spice rub by combining first 8 ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the lemon in half and set one half aside.  Cut the remaining half into thin slices, then arrange the slices onto a foil lined sheet pan.  Scatter red onions on the lemon slices.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & freshly ground pepper.

Place the chicken on the onions & lemons on a sheet pan (or alternatively in a cast iron pan) and spread the rub on each piece. To ensure good flavor, work some of the marinade underneath the skin of the meat. Sprinkle with za’atar.

Place the chicken in the 400 degrees F heated-oven; roast for 40-45 minutes

Remove from heat, and squeeze with remaining lemon juice. Garnish with the olives, toasted nuts, and fresh parsley.


Farm Crush

The Kitchen at Middleground Farms

“Get in your kitchens, buy unprocessed foods, turn off the tv, and prepare your own meals. This is liberating.” ~ Joel Salatin

You can see from the quote, why I’d have a farmer crush on this guy. In 2008, three years before we purchased the property that has become Middleground Farms, I devoured a book called YOU CAN FARM: The entrepreneur’s Guide to Start and $ucceed in a Farming Enterprise. 

It was written by farmer Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, to show people how a person can raise organic food, with the utmost respect for the land and the animals, and make a profit.  The opening line to the book is “Do you have a dream of living on a farm?” and when I read that I knew he was writing to me.  Since his books have sold over 80,000 copies, I guess I wasn’t the only one.

Over labor day weekend, the team from The Kitchen at Middleground Farms got to spend the day with Joel as he continued his evangelism about the successes available to farmers when they are left alone to do what is right. Charlotte and her family at Champoeg Creamery hosted the event, a benefit for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and we were lucky enough to feed the collection of farmers with produce from our farm, tomatoes from seed genius Evan Gregoire of Portland Seedhouse, and grass fed beef from Champoeg Creamery.  It was an inspirational day for all of us. We were thrilled to be a part of it!