What’s Cooking

Join Chef Jon Wirtis each month on The Morning Blend to for expert tips on delicious meals and to learn what’s happening at Germaine’s Kitchen and Café, run by Catholic Charities of Oregon.


July 19, 2022:

Enjoy Chef Jon’s delicious recipe for gluten-free, cinnamon swirl coffeecake bread, plus an update on the success of Germaine’s Kitchen’s culinary training program for people with  disabilities.

Gluten Free Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yields one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

For the Swirl:

  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 TBL of ground cinnamon
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Ingredients for the Bread:

  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of 1:1 Bob’s Red Mill Baking Flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tsp of vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, gluten free flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg. Then add the milk, butter, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Transfer the egg mix to the well of the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan, sprinkle on half the cinnamon mix. Pour over the rest of the bread batter and then sprinkle on rest of cinnamon sugar.
  5. Using a skewer or small knife, poke through the batter and draw lines up and back and side to side
  6. Bake for 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  7. Cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on rack until completely cooled.
  8. Slice and enjoy!


January 25, 2022:

Want to fix a hearty meal to warm your soul and stomach? Chef Jon joins The Morning Blend with tips on making the perfect stew.

Chicken Stew

Tender chicken and vegetables in a savory chicken broth. Makes 12 servings.


  • 1 ½# chicken thighs, diced
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 2 small onion
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 3 cups potatoes peeled and diced
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes peeled & diced
  • 2 cup green beans or peas
  • 1 red pepper finely diced
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 0.5 cup white wine
  • 8 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
  • 10 tablespoons flour divided
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 0.5 teaspoon sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, brown chicken in 1 tablespoon olive oil (it doesn’t have to be cooked through). Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Cook onion, carrot, and celery in remaining olive oil for about 3 minutes or until onion is slightly softened. Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour, seasonings and salt & pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, red pepper, white wine, browned chicken, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove lid and stir in green beans and cream. Thicken if desired (below) and simmer an additional 10 minutes uncovered


November 17, 2021:

We went on location to Germaine’s Kitchen and Café to learn how to prepare and carve a Thanksgiving turkey from Chef Jon!


Here is another view of the carved turkey:


November 9, 2021:

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving Dinner – the turkey, stuffing, or dessert? David and Brenda “Talk Turkey” with Chef Jon Wirtis of Germaine’s Kitchen and Cafe.

Layered Pumpkin and Cranberry Parfait

Makes 16 Parfaits


  • 1 can of Pumpkin Puree (15 ounce)
  • 8 ounce of Cream Cheese
  • 6 ounce of Plain Yogurt
  • .3 Cup of Ginger Syrup
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 quart of Pickled Cranberries (infused with orange zest, optional)
  • 1 quart of Whipped Cream

Prepare the pumpkin layer:

  • Whip the cream cheese until soft and creamed
  • Add pumpkin, yogurt, and mix until well combined.
  • Add ginger syrup and spick, and whip until silky smooth.

Layer in 9 ounce chimney cup or rock glass:

  • .25 cup pumpkin
  • .25 cup whipped cream
  • .25 cup cranberry
  • 2 TBL Pumpkin + Cranberries for garnish


Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Makes one 9” pie

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups Baking Flower (for Gluten Free, use 1-to-1 Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten Free Baking Flour)
  • .5 tsp of Salt
  • 1 tsp Xantham Gum
  • .25 lb. of butter (cold, grated)
  • .25 cup of Milk

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Pumpkin Puree (15 ounce)
  • .5 cup of Half & Half
  • .5 cup of Brown Sugar (packed)
  • 2 Whole Eggs
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Crust Instructions:

  • In mixing bowl with paddle combine all dry ingredients for crust.
  • Add grated butter and blend 30 seconds               .
  • Add milk and mix another 30 seconds until dough has come together.
  • Form into ball and place on parchment. Form into puck and top with parchment.
  • Roll out to 10+ inch circle. Peel top parchment and invert into pie tin. Flute edges.

Filling and Baking Instructions:

  • In mixing bowl with whisk attachment, add all pie filling ingredients and mix well
  • Pour filling into crust and lightly tap on counter to release air bubbles
  • Cover the top of the pie with aluminum to prevent from browning too soon.
  • Bake at 350* covered for first 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 25 more minutes
  • Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.


October 8, 2021:

Fall bring a full harvest of foods that will warm your heart and stomach. Chef Jon shares a sweet fall treat and recipe for his version of Bread Pudding. And find out what students at Germaine’s Kitchen and Café are up to.


Chocolate – Cranberry Biscuit Bread Pudding

From Germaine’s Kitchen & Café Served with a Taste of Social Goodness


  • Day Old Biscuits 10 each
  • Milk 7 cups
  • Sugar ¾ cup
  • Eggs 6 each
  • Orange, zest & juice 1 each
  • Crasins 1 cup
  • Cinnamon 2 TBL
  • Vanilla 2 TBL
  • Chocolate Chips ¾ cups


  • Generously spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with oil.
  • In a mixing bowl beat eggs well. Then add milk, sugar, orange juice, zest, cinnamon, and vanilla.
  • Break up biscuits into roughly 1” squares and place in baking pan.
  • Pour egg mixture over bread. Add in chocolate chips and craisins, then lightly stir.
  • Allow biscuits to soak in cooler for 30 – 45 minutes to absorb some of the flavorful egg/milk mixture.
  • Bake covered with parchment and foil in 325 degree oven for 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Test to make sure a skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy with whipped cream or your favorite sauce.


September 1, 2021:

Chef Jon gives us an update on how the new class is progressing at Germaine’s Kitchen, an amazing idea for a sloppy joes, and what you can do with leftover fruit salad! Plus, get the recipe for Chef Jon’s delicious gluten-free dinner rolls.

Gluten-Free Soft Dinner Rolls

 Prep Time 10 minutes

 Cook Time 25 minutes

 Rising Time 1 hour

 Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

 Servings 12 Rolls


  • 1/4 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F.
  • 1 packet instant dry yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm whole milk, about 110 degrees F. 
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter 
  • ½ cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

For Finishing

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Kosher salt


  1. Combine water and yeast in the bowl of stand mixer. Stir to combine. Allow to stand for five minutes. 
  2. While the yeast dissolves, combine the gluten-free flour, granulated sugar, xanthan gum, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk. 
  3. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Add the milk, egg, melted butter, scallions and black pepper. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about three minutes. The dough will be very thick.
  4. Scoop dough, about 1/3 cup each, onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Smooth the top of each roll with your fingers. Dip your fingers in cool water before smoothing. Cover pan with greased plastic wrap. Allow rolls to rise until double in size. 
  5. When rolls have almost doubled in size, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap from pan. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 20 minutes. 
  6. Remove pan from oven. Brush rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with Kosher salt, if desired. (see note) Allow rolls to cool for about 15 minutes before serving. 
  7. Rolls are best enjoyed the day they are made. Store leftover rolls wrapped on the counter or place cooled rolls in a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months. Thaw rolls at room temperature overnight. 


July 28, 2021:

 In this episode, hear the latest on a new class of students at Germaine’s Kitchen and summer farmer’s markets. You’ll also get Chef Jon’s recipe for beet salad and kale chips!

Beet Salad

Prepare the beets:

  • Use a mix of chioggia (candy-striped), golden, and red
  • Remove the leaves and set aside to use later
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil
  • Add a sprig or two of thyme
  • A couple cloves of peeled garlic
  • Add all ingredients together in a foil pouch
  • Roast in oven for 45 minutes
  • Let beets cool and set used oil aside
  • Use a paper towel to remove skins
  • Slice and dice beets

Mix the dressing:

  • Used olive oil that you used to roast the beets
  • Cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Whole grain mustard

Prepare the salad:

  • Prepare the bed of dinosaur kale slaw by cutting into fine threads (chiffonade)
  • Toss in some beet leaves
  • Add roasted beets and dressing
  • Add pickled onions, feta cheese, and toasted almonds

Kale Chips

  • Wash and massage leaves a little bit (helps break down the flavor)
  • Place leaves on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add any spices you would like
  • 275 for about 25-30 minutes, begin sure to rotate pan