Sunday, February 17, 2013

Smorgasbord of Recommendations

You might assume I've not been in the kitchen much these last few weeks, and you'd be forgiven that assumption, but I've actually spent a considerable amount of time cooking and baking. Some of the results haven't been all that inspired, some I've thought, 'I should make this again soon and blog about it!,' and some I've started to do just that, only to take a photo and sadly admit that though the food was delicious, I wouldn't want to eat it (much less make it) based on the sad, sorry evidence I just produced. Alas.

So instead, I'll share some of the great things I've been making from other bloggers. Maybe they're old news to you, but maybe you're searching for something new and delicious, in which case, I offer you the following:

  • Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbook's Winter Kale Pasta. I almost always use more kale, slightly more chèvre, I never bother with the thyme, and I nearly always allow my husband one measly bowl of it. Holy Moses, this is great stuff. It's fast (Heidi says it's ten minutes of prep, but I must mosey my way through because it takes me longer to trim and wash the kale alone-- but it's worth it), it's healthy, and the leftovers are fantastic (just add a bit of water when you reheat). I'm making it again tonight. I cannot get enough.
  • Nealey Dozier of Dixie Caviar's ... Dixie Caviar. Where I come from, we make a very similar "caviar" with black beans and call it Texas Caviar. No matter, though, because I love me some black eyed peas and don't think we use them near enough. This dip is tasty, is easy to throw together, is a crowd pleaser, and it keeps well. Loved making it for our Super Bowl party!
  • Katie of The Muffin Myth's No Sugar Banana Branners. Seriously, y'all, as much as a muffin can be life changing, this one is. I don't want to get hyperbolic and breathless, but ... they may not alter the course of the universe, but they have altered the course of my mornings. I make a batch most weekends, eat one because I can't resist them right out of the oven, freeze the rest, and eat them for breakfast throughout week. They're packed with good stuff, and I LOVE being able to quickly grab one and reheat when the baby goes down for his morning nap, so I can move onto other things. Like a shower. Ahh, yes, the glamour... choosing between eating breakfast or showering is a key decision. Now I get to do both! Lucky me!
  • food52's Quinoa Coconut Porridge. I'm trying to get rid of our quinoa so I can use the canister for dark brown sugar because I'm weaning us off of the grain, and this was a super way to chip away at what we've got left. It's quick to throw together for a weekend breakfast, not so indulgent that you feel heavy or guilty for eating it first thing, and an easy way to get those with a picky palate to try something slightly exotic (Quinoa? Coconut milk? Ack!). I like the flavor combination and may try something similar with Scottish oats or barley someday.
  • Bridget from The Way the Cookie Crumbles' Rice Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing. I have stopped following the recipe and now generally make the sauce for whatever I'd like. We've eaten it as written, as well as with rice, with a myriad of different veggies, without the tofu, and I can't wait to try it with tempeh. It's basically the perfect peanut sauce and it's a great dish to prep during naptime and use hours later.

I've been cooking more from my cookbooks lately, and for that I cannot recommend Eat Your Books enough. If it were not for this service, I am certain I would fall into a pattern of making just a few dishes from an even fewer number of cookbooks. EYB is an indexing service and has helped me branch out and try loads of new recipes, many of which have been absolute winners.

I've also made two cakes, which is a real rarity here; one, from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, was for book club and was well-received, and the other was from the Joy the Baker Cookbook for The Physicists birthday and was very well-received. I'm not big on cakes, but I've also baked hundreds of cookies lately and maybe will recommend some later.

Now I leave you with a picture of my baby bear enjoying beets for the first time. He looks like he's howling because we were listening to some classic rock, and Led Zeppelin can do that to you.


  1. OMG, Leanne. Best. Picture. Ever. That is all.

    ps - I am abandoning the half written email to you that has been in draft for MONTHS, and am working on something new. Worst friend ever, I know.

    1. Ha ha, thanks! I love it, too! And not worst friend ever ... you are crazy busy! I love hearing from you anytime : )

  2. Just FYI, that is the picture I use for my iPad wallpaper. Very inspirational. And cute!



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