Archive for the ‘winter suppers’ Category

Dinner Menu, Week of February 9th:
(Currently, we have a standing Friday night pizza dinner while Jack plays soccer and on Saturdays we get take-out or go out, so these days will be skipped in the dinner planning.)

Monday: Garlic and herb fettuccine with sage butter and topped with crispy prosciutto; green garbanzo beans with lentils, tomatoes, and olive oil
Tuesday: Egg scramble with Boursin herb cheese and scallions; biscuits
Wednesday: Pan-seared polenta cakes topped with marinara; sautéed eggplant and zucchini
Thursday: Pulled pork BBQ sandwiches; baked fries; sautéed greens
Sunday: Ginger tofu stir fry with Brussels sprouts, green onions, and mushrooms; roasted broccoli

Truth be told, I don’t have much of a system in place when it comes to stir-frying. I add whatever vegetables we have on hand and tend not to really measure the spices or sauces. I will attempt the recipe here, but know a bit of interpretation is fair game.

Ginger tofu stir fry with Brussels sprouts, green onions, and mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 package firm tofu

1 pound Brussels sprouts, shaved or cut into very thin slices

1 package crimini mushrooms, sliced

About 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Low sodium soy sauce

4 green onions, chopped

Sesame oil

Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Meanwhile, cut tofu into small pieces and add to skillet. Cook until starting to brown.

Add Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, grated ginger, and a healthy drizzle of soy sauce. Stir fry, turning with spatula every few minutes to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking.

When the vegetables are tender, add the green onions and a light drizzle of sesame oil.

Salt and pepper to taste.

We usually eat this by itself, but it’s also good and more hearty served over brown rice or barley.

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Happy last week of January, y’all! 2015/01/img_2151.jpg *picture of snowy evergreens at Steven’s Pass

I know people have mixed, and sometimes strong, emotions about the month of January. Some people fall into the camp of having the January blues…post holiday let-down, short days, cold, and snow/rain. In other words, not much excitement to follow the long Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s Eve run.
I actually think it’s the lack of excitement that draws me into this month. I love the quiet following all of the festivity. I love the expanse of a clear and open set of 12 new months on the calendar. I love feeling alright about retreating inward, about staying home a little more often. I will admit that I think January might be one of my favorite months. I’m not sure if this is a new feeling or if this feeling has just surfaced with the passage of another trip around the sun. Sometimes age can make you look at things differently.
As we move out of this month and into the next, I hope the feelings of serenity and quiet remain. I hope I can keep finding some time to write and to be reflective. I think this feels especially important to me this year as I sense the change about to descend upon our lives. A change we are thrilled beyond belief to welcome, but a change nonetheless (and one that is sure to bring a little chaos and a little less time for writing and inward reflection).
Wishing you all a peace filled week as we close out January 2015.

Dinner Menu, Week of January 26th:
(Currently, we have a standing Friday night pizza dinner while Jack plays soccer and on Saturdays we get take-out or go out, so these days will be skipped in the dinner planning.)

Monday: Roasted Vegetable Lasagna; simple arugula salad
Tuesday: Veggie burgers; baked fries
Wednesday: Egg and cheese wraps; roasted potatoes with green beans and mushrooms
Thursday: Gnocchi with marinara sauce; roasted Brussels sprouts
Sunday: Cauliflower fried “rice”; edamame 2015/01/img_2179.jpg Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

Admittedly, this dish did not really taste like fried rice, so I would be wrong in claiming that it’s a fair substitution. But it is really quite tasty and feels so light and healthy. You could add whatever vegetables you have on hand, or add an additional protein like tofu or chicken.

1 medium head of cauliflower, cleaned and broken into large florets
large glob of olive oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 cup diced zucchini, about 3 small zucchini
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sliced green onions
2 large handfuls of cleaned and chopped kale
2 large eggs
1 spoonful coconut oil

To make cauliflower “rice”, finely chop the cauliflower florets by hand or in a food processor. You want the cauliflower to look like fairly uniform pieces of couscous or quinoa.

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and toasted sesame oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, zucchini, green onions, ginger, and a pinch of salt, and cook until beginning to brown. Next, add kale.

Once kale has wilted a bit, add cauliflower and sauté for another 3 minutes. Meanwhile, scramble eggs in a separate skillet. Once the eggs are cooked, add to the vegetable skillet along with the coconut oil. Sauté another few minutes until all flavors have had a chance to mingle.

Recipe adapted from Goop

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2015/01/img_2104.jpg I hope everyone is enjoying a long weekend. David and I are off until Thursday, which is such a treat and almost a necessary respite from the hustle and bustle (and long commute) of the work week for this tiring Mama. We have been spending our weekend going to soccer, visiting a museum with friends, eating yummy food, making a short movie with figurines, building fires, and watching football. And, we are looking forward to a day of skiing and a date day this week! We are hoping to spend our date day catching an early movie (any suggestions???), having lunch, and then going out for dinner and to the Mates of State concert (one of my Christmas presents!)!

Here’s the dinner menu for the week. I hope it inspires good meals at your tables.

Dinner Menu, Week of January 19th:
(We have a standing Friday night pizza dinner while Jack plays soccer and on Saturdays we get take-out or go out, so these days will be skipped in the dinner planning.)

Monday: Sautéed eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms in olive oil over linguine; meatless meatballs in marinara sauce
Tuesday: Pinto bean, mushroom, and spinach quesadillas
Wednesday: Crab cakes; arugula, carrot, and radish salad
Thursday: Black-eyed peas with crispy bacon; sweet potatoes
Sunday: Seared Turbot with Lentils, Kale, and Salsa Verde (see recipe below); rice

Seared Turbot with Lentils, Kale, and Salsa Verde
3/4 c uncooked rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large bunch of kale, cleaned, stems removed, and cut into bite sized pieces
3 3. 5 oz. pieces of turbot filets
salt and pepper
1 cup cooked lentils ( we used a canned lentils for this, but almost always have a package of already cooked, fresh lentils in our refrigerator)
Crumbled feta cheese
salsa verde to serve

Cook rice while everything else is cooking.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add cut kale and a pinch of salt. Sauté for just a minute, or until the kale has wilted, then add lentils. Turn down the heat and cook until the lentils are warmed through.

While the lentils are warming, prepare the pan to cook the turbot. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, season the fish with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the turbot and cook for about 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish—just make sure you get a good sear on the first side, and remove from the pan when it feels firm and bounces back when poked.

Plate rice, then top with lentils and kale, then turbot, sprinkle feta, and drizzle with salsa verde.

Recipe adapted from Goop

Happy Eating!

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2015/01/img_2097.jpg I haven’t posted a weekly menu in over 3 years! I honestly could not believe it when I went searching for my last menu post and I had to keep going further and further back. It’s funny how life can move us off our path without us really even noticing. I created this blog to share recipes, to share my passion for being in the kitchen, and to inspire you to make real food for your table. I have also enjoyed using it as an arena for sharing family moments and travel. It’s my online journal and I love all of you for reading it and indulging me. It makes me particularly happy when I receive an email from one of you commenting on a post or telling me that you have made a recipe that I’ve published. I have absolutely loved hearing from all of you over the years! In addition to the family themed posts (precious newborn days and funny and cute kid moments are in our future, so yeah, there will continue to be family posts…how could I not?!), I’m ready to also get back to this blog’s original purpose…food. No promises on frequency, but here’s to a valiant start with a return of a weekly dinner menu post plus recipe.

Dinner Menu, Week of January 12th:

(We have a standing Friday night pizza dinner while Jack plays soccer and on Saturdays we get take-out or go out, so these days will be skipped in the dinner planning.)
Monday: Black and Ranchero bean and cheese burritos with salsa verde
Tuesday: Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce; roasted broccoli
Wednesday: Mojito salmon; garlic herb linguine; power greens salad
Thursday: Egg, spinach, and cheese wraps; Citrus slices
Sunday: Slow roasted salmon with fennel and citrus (see recipe below); roasted fingerling potatoes; arugula salad
Slow Roasted Salmon with Fennel and Citrus

1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 orange, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 lemon, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
1 jalapeño, with seeds, thinly sliced
4 sprigs dill
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2-lb. skinless salmon fillet
¾ cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 275°. Toss fennel, orange slices, lemon slices, jalapeño, and 4 dill sprigs in a shallow 3-qt. baking dish; season with kosher salt and pepper. Season salmon with kosher salt and place on top of fennel and citrus mixture. Pour oil over.
Roast until salmon is just cooked through (the tip of a knife will slide through easily and flesh will be slightly opaque), about 40 minutes in our oven.
Transfer salmon to a platter, breaking it into large pieces with the spoon as you go. Spoon fennel and citrus mixture with oil from baking dish over the fish; discard dill sprigs. Season with a bit more salt and pepper.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2014

Happy Eating this week!

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I love coming home to an already cooked dinner. I’ve always used my slow cooker on a regular basis, but I’ve been pretty diligent to use it for two dinners a week these days. I’ve made some mediocre things that sounded good but executed sub-par. I think one of the issues is that I have to leave it cooking for so long since we are away from the house for so many hours in a row on the week days. If I could cook it for only four hours or so and then be ready to sit down to dinner (in other words, work half days!) some of those sub-par dinners would have probably been pretty good- swiss chard lasagna, I’m talking about you ;)

Beans and chilis tend to be fool proof when it comes to slow cooking and I make them both on a regular basis. But, I’m always looking for new things to have in the rotation. This soup that I made earlier this week will be added to said rotation. It’s simple, easy to prep for on a week night, and was enjoyed by the whole family. Truth be told, I could easily enjoy food with a Mexican twist any night of the week- tostadas , nachos , bean bowls, soft tacos , chimichangas, and huevos rancheros, for a few examples! ;)

The amount of ingredients in the recipe below made enough for the three of us for dinner and 2 bowls for leftover lunches.


Chicken Chili Verde Soup

olive oil
1/4 large onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
2, 4-ounce cans roasted green chilies
pinch of Kosher salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth, divided
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, then sauté onions, shallot, green chilies, and a pinch of salt for 5-6 minutes until onions become translucent. Add in red pepper flakes and garlic, and cook for a few more minutes. Put the onion, chili, and garlic mix into a blender with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Puree until smooth. Then, pour into slow cooker. Add remaining broth, beans, and spices to slow cooker and stir to combine. Put the chicken breasts in last. Cook on low heat for 8-9 hours. Before you sit down to eat, shred chicken breasts with a fork and then give the soup a good stir to combine all ingredients.
Top with your favorite Mexican food toppings–avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips, a squeeze of lime, and pepper jack cheese to name a few.

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Baked Chicken Tenders
adapted from Chicken Recipe Box

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breast tenders
1 cup bread crumbs (I use 3 slices of whole grain bread which I pulse into bread crumbs in the mini food processor.)
3/4 cup of white whole wheat flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut chicken thighs into thin strips. The thinner they are, the quicker they will cook in the oven. Make sure to keep cuts about the same size for even cooking. If you use chicken breast tenders, you can use them as they come if all the tenders are approximately the same size (this choice is healthier since it’s white meat and, therefore, leaner and it’s a time saver=double bonus!).
In one small bowl, combine flour, salt and black pepper. In a second small bowl, beat 2 eggs. In a third small bowl, add bread crumbs.


Dredge each strip of chicken in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Repeat for all chicken strips. If you have children, let them help with this step- they love to get their hands messy and participate in meal prep, just make sure you are able to get them to a sink with soap and warm water quickly after finishing.
Lay coated chicken strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (for less sticking and easier clean-up).
Bake chicken strips in oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked and crisp. Turn the chicken strips about 1/2 way through cooking.


Serve with ketchup, mustard, or your favorite dip. I prefer a Siracha ketchup or Ranch.

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Well, hello. Did you think I had completely forgotten what I use to do over here on these pages? That I no longer remembered how wonderful it is to share food with all of you? That I forgot how to type out a recipe?

Well, almost. It was back in March of 2013, after all, when I shared my last recipe- rustic blueberry biscuits! What??!!! And, while I’m not quite certain how much it’s actually going to happen, here’s a start to the return of recipe sharing. This one…it’s a good one too. Yummy and simple- the adjectives that I hope you use to describe the food I share here.


Chicken and Four Bean Chili

4 cups chicken broth
1 can black eyed peas
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can cannellini beans
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 medium onion
5 garlic cloves
2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)

Open all 4 cans of beans, pour into a colander, and rinse under cold water. Dump the beans along with the chicken broth, tomato sauce, spices, onion, and garlic into your slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Place chicken breasts on top of bean mixture. Cook on low heat setting for 8 hours.

When cooking is complete, shred the chicken with a fork and stir into chili.
Top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and serve over quinoa or brown rice, or alone aside some tortilla chips or a crusty sourdough bread.

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