Featured Food Blog: A Duck’s Oven

Name: Chelsea
Name of blog: A Duck’s Oven
Twitter: @ADucksOven
Location: Eugene, OR

Describe your culinary style.
I grew up in the country outside of Portland, OR with an avid hunter and fisherman for a dad and in my house we ate a lot of meat. I am so not exaggerating when I say that every summer dinner included a hot grill and salmon, steak, or both. My mom regularly prepared elk, venison, fresh fish, and fresh veggies. Oh, how I miss my culinary-spoiled childhood! I take after my mom- most of my dishes are simple but hearty and center around local produce and meat preferably provided by my dad. 

What is the main source of inspiration for your recipes?
When I started this blog, I was a junior at the University of Oregon and had just started cooking as a coping mechanism for studying after banging my head against my desk quit working. I wanted to show students that they can cook good food without emptying their already meager bank accounts. You are so not destined to boxed mac n’ cheese and frozen taquitos! Not that there’s anything wrong with having those things… occasionally. Now I’ve graduated and have my first big-girl job at the university, and the “small budget” thing hasn’t changed. I get inspired by things around me, and in Eugene, OR that means well-crafted beer and beautiful, local produce and meat.

If you could have one food while stranded on a desert island, what would it be? 
A perfectly seasoned, medium-rare steak topped with bleu cheese butter. I have to think if I was stranded on a desert island, I’d be pretty freaked out, and for me, steak is the ultimate comfort food. Good mac and cheese and mashed potatoes come in at a very, very close second and third, though. You didn’t mention drinks- if I can pick one, I’ll take a Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA, please!

For someone new to your blog, which recipe do you recommend they try first?
This is a tough one! I guess I can narrow it down to two must-triers. First, my Burgers with Homemade Buns. I am a huge football fan (Go Ducks!) and everyone knows the ultimate football staple, next to hot wings, is burgers.

Second is my bizarrely delicious Mac and Cheese. Instead of a typical white sauce, I use sour cream, cottage cheese, and cheddar. The result is creamy, tangy, perfect mac and cheese that everyone should try at least once!

What is your ultimate guilty food pleasure? 
Okay, I have two answers for this one. If we’re talkin’ food not made by me, Track Town Pizza, which is any U of O student’s favorite local pizza, takes the cake. Their crust might be the best I’ve ever had, and I love the crispy pepperonis and spicy sauce. So, so good. If I’m cooking, I think it has to be hot wings. I can’t get enough of the feeling of tears streaming down my face and my finger tips on fire while eating a good hot wing. I blame football season for this madness.

Define Yummly.
Yummly: the knock-you-off-your-feet sensation of taking a bite of the best thing you ever made, and knowing no one can do it like you can.