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Lynne would have approved of relays cancer-preventive foods

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: ERIC SAMUELSON - A tradition of Relay for Life is to light luminarias in honor of those who have cancer, died of cancer or are survivors of cancer. The luminarias lined the track at Lake Oswego High School.

I knew if my dear friend Lynne Maginnis had had the opportunity, she would have volunteered to be the food chair for the Lake Oswego Relay for Life. And more than likely she would have coaxed me into helping her.

Lynne and I cooked together often. Along with our friend Eleanor Suman, we were known as Les Trois Gourmands, and over the past 15 or more years we had built a reputation for hosting delightful and extraordinary dinner parties, many of which came with hefty price tags at hotly contested local charity auctions. The three of us instinctively knew each other’s strengths in the kitchen and capitalized on these to produce truly out-of-this-world events.

Lynne is the whole reason I got involved with Relay for Life in the first place. She started the Christ Church Episcopal team in 2011; her cancer was in remission and she was as strong, beautiful and confident as she ever was. She asked Eleanor and I, plus others, to relay with her. The three of us camped out at the relay — I can’t remember attending a gigglier slumber party.

When it was time to get a team together for the 2012 relay, I stepped up to be captain of our team, as Lynne was focused on treatments. Sadly she died before the 2012 relay — our laps around the track were made with heavy feet and heavier hearts.

When Rhonda Cohen, co-chairwoman of the 2013 LO Relay for Life, announced she needed someone to head up the food committee, I hesitated just long enough to feel Lynne nudge me into action. Lynne and I had talked at length about teaching others about cancer-preventive foods, and this was an opportunity to showcase them to an audience that was receptive to the message.

Thanks to many members of our community, we were able to serve a variety of delicious and nutritious foods. Chicken Caesar salads, blueberries and peaches, hummus with carrots and cucumbers. Albertsons, Zupan’s Markets, New Seasons, Palisades Market, Kind Bars and Walmart were all more than generous with donations. Nodaway Blues provided flats of blueberries, and 47th Street Farm shared lettuces and carrots. Lilly’s Hummus shared hummus to fuel afternoon snacks. Deno’s Pizza and Flying Pie Pizza provided the traditional midnight pizzas and Dave’s Killer Bread provided its healthful loaves for the 3 a.m. Toast and Tea snack. In the morning, relayers woke up to fresh-baked goods from Kyra’s Bake Shop, Miffy’s Muffins and The Oilerie. I know Lynne would have been proud of our efforts and next year will be even better.

Yes, there are sad moments during Relay for Life that may make you uncomfortable, but overall the event is focused on hope and healthfulness. You can learn more about the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life program at relay.ascevents.org. It’s not too late to donate to this year’s relay. Donate online or mail a check to the American Cancer Society, 0330 SW Curry St., Portland, OR 97239.

If you would like to get involved in the 2014 relay, email Rhonda Cohen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Lynne was the ultimate hostess, and every dish she presented was a work of art. This salad, with its herb-crusted goat cheese rounds, would be the sort of dish she might serve, along with a tall glass of sangria.

Bon appetit! Eat something wonderful!

Farmers Market Salad With Spiced Goat Cheese Rounds

Servings: 4 main courses

Goat cheese rounds:

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

16 (1/3-inch thick) rounds chilled soft, fresh goat cheese (from one 11-ounce log)

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 shallot, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Coarse kosher salt

Salad:

1 pound baby new potatoes, cut in half

1 pound green beans (or mixed yellow and green) trimmed

8 cups (loosely packed) mixed salad greens

1/3 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves

12 ounces assorted small tomatoes, such as cherry, grape or teardrop

1/2 cup black olives, such as Nicoise

For the goat cheese rounds line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Mix first 6 ingredients in shallow bowl. Dip cut sides of goat cheese rounds into spice mixture, pressing to coat. Place on prepared baking sheet. Chill until ready to serve.

Do-ahead tip: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

For vinaigrette, whisk first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Do-ahead tip: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Re-whisk before using.

For salad, steam potatoes until just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool. Steam green beans until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water then drain. Pat dry with paper towels. Do-ahead tip: Potatoes and green beans can be made 6 hours ahead. Wrap separately in paper towels. Place in resealable plastic bag and chill.

Combine greens and basil in large bowl. Add enough vinaigrette to coat lightly; toss. Arrange on large platter. Add potatoes and green beans to same large bowl, add remaining dressing and toss. Arrange potatoes and beans atop greens. Scatter tomatoes and olives over. Surround with goat cheese rounds.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2007.)

Lynne would have served the salad with a robust and refreshing sangria similar to this recipe.

Best Party Sangria

Servings: Makes enough to accompany a nice dinner and lively conversation

1 bottle red wine of choice: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, roija, zinfandel or shiraz

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1 orange, cut into wedges

1 lime, cut into wedges

2 tablespoons sugar

Splash of orange juice or lemonade

2 shots of gin or triple sec (optional)

1 cup raspberries or strawberries

1 cup fresh pineapple

4 cups ginger ale

Pour with wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the lemon, orange and lime wedges into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges, leaving out seeds if possible, and add pineapple, sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. Cook’s note: If you want to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice. The best sangrias are chilled for about 24 hours, to allow the flavors to marry.

—BR

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281, ext. 100, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




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