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We were literally gleeful to discover that hardlikearmour had yet to be featured in Cook Spotlight. Cue the trumpets: with a contest winner, two runners-up, and 16, that's right, 16 Editors' Picks in her recipe box, hardlikearmour is a home cook of the cleverest sort, whose kitchen instincts seem innate -- after all, she grew up at the stove and at the family supper table. As she writes in her Winners' Q&A, "[Cooking] just seemed like a normal skill to have." Are you surprised? We're not.

Hardlikearmour is a veritable melting pot of crafty and delicious ideas. From her tasty small bites of Pickled Prunes and Marinated Mushrooms to her award-winning Chocolate Cajeta Fondue and EP-tested and adored Pan-fried Dandelion Flowers, she has a knack for tricky ingredients (let's face it, it ain't that easy to make these simple suckers sing.) And, while her recipe repertoire is, dare we say, stacked, she is also an eager community tester and compositeur of truly beautiful headnotes (ah, the beauty of reading all EPs for a living). Deft simplicity coupled with culinary curiosity are hallmarks of her style -- and her native Portland's food scene, too. Creamy Raw Asparagus Pesto and Smoked Tea Caramels, blowing east as if brought to us by a breath of Pacific Northwestern air. And we're thrilled to have a taste.

p.s. What's in a name? We've been dying to ask ...

See more of of hardlikearmour's recipes and fan her here and read her profile Q&A below:

  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    Witches butter (aka Tremella mesenterica) - I ate a big glob of it in an attempt to disgust my brother. 

  • What do you cook when home alone?
    Soft scrambled eggs and toast. Salerno-style spaghetti with eggs.

  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    My Kitchen Aid mixer.

  • Your ideal meal:
    Wood oven or grilled pizza with a bottle of wine or beer.

  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    I'd love to eat at Alinea in Chicago.

  • The number of bottles of wine you own:

  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
    4 to 8 depending on the party

  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    There is never enough counter or cupboard space.

  • Your favorite cookbook:
    I love the Cooks Illustrated series and the Cake Bible.

💬 View Comments ()

Comments (38)


almost 4 years ago Summer of Eggplant

Congratulations! I always enjoy your advice and great ideas. I hope you get to Alinea!


about 4 years ago Burnt Offerings

Was traveling this week and missed this! Congrats! So nice to see you and your absolutely wonderful recipes highlighted here. VERY well deserved. I adore the Portland area and love to read your posts about it. Piper and Ben Davis of Grand Central Bakery are the niece and nephew of my neighbor. We get regular shipments of their wonderful products.


about 4 years ago cookinginvictoria

Congrats, hla! So happy to see you in the spotlight. I love reading your inventive recipes, your lovely headnotes and your warm comments to fellow cooks. You are a great cooking ambassador of the PNW. Hope that we can organize a gathering soon -- it would be great to meet you in person!


about 4 years ago alliecooks

Congrats! It was such a pleasure to test your luxurious and delicious avocado shake recipe this week (I actually ruined my appetite for dinner one night because I tested it in the afternoon and couldn't stop drinking it). Props well deserved!


about 4 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congratulations - oh and so with you on the lack of table top space!


about 4 years ago Sasha (Global Table Adventure)

Great to see you in the spotlight and loved learning about the origins of your name (in your comment below). Off to listen to the song :)


about 4 years ago Midge

So happy to see you featured, HLA! Your recipes are always so clever and inspired. And lucky me, It was so fun to meet you in person last week!


about 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm the lucky one!


about 4 years ago lapadia

Congrats on the well deserved spotlight!


about 4 years ago thirschfeld

Oh yeah, great to see this. So happy to see you in the spotlight. Congratulations


about 4 years ago Fairmount_market

Congratulations fellow Oregonian! I love your recipes.


about 4 years ago betteirene

Will you, ummm, marry me?


about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

Finally! Great to see you n the spotlight. You're amazing!


about 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks to everyone for such lovely comments - it really made my day. I feel like I'm amongst friends here. ? ? ?


about 4 years ago Lizthechef

I like everything I read about you, all your recipes, comments - everything. Brava.


about 4 years ago TiggyBee

Yay, hardlikearmour! <3 you and your recipes! xox


about 4 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

Congratulations hla! I love reading your recipes and comments, and I love your cake photos, I'm so happy to see you in the spotlight.


about 4 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Well done HLA! You are going to love that stick blender. I've become a convert.


about 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Woo woo, yeah, yeah! Hardlikearmour armour! Such a fan! I'm so happy to see you spotlighted.


about 4 years ago Sagegreen

Yay! So nice to see you in the spotlight, too.


about 4 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations on the spotlight! Well deserved!