Monday, December 3, 2012

Spagetti with Kale and Lentils

I made this the other day when I didn't have much time but wanted something delicious and healthy. It can really be made with any type of pasta and any leafy vegetable. The lentils add the protein for a complete one dish meal. I loaded up with more kale and lentils than pasta, but you could make it with any proportions you want. 

Spagetti with Kale and Lentils
Serves 2

1/2 bag whole wheat pasta
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 large bunch torn kale
1 cup lentils
1 squeeze lemon juice
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente according to instructions.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add lentils and cook according to instructions.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes until it softens. Add kale and cook until wilted.
Combine pasta, lentils, and kale with any extra oil. Add a few more tablespoons of olive oil if the pasta is dry. Squeeze some lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and finish with the parmesan.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vegetable Roast

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it is officially okay to start thinking about winter, and Christmas! And Hanukkah too! 
I can't wait for there to be snow. It has flurried a bit here in Madison but nothing substantial enough to stick to the ground. Even though there isn't snow, and it actually isn't that cold, I'm pretending like it is. I love wearing all my coats, hats, scarves, and boots, listening to Christmas music all the time, lighting my roland pine candles, and snuggling under blankets to read or watch movies.

Like everyone, after Thanksgiving I wanted something healthy and full of vegetables. For my birthday this summer I got the cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. It has beautiful pictures and delicious recipes, and is definitely vegetable filled.
I made this recipe from it. It has roasted sweet potato, parsnips, garlic, onions, cherry tomatoes, herbs, and a lemon caper dressing. Yum.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sugared Cranberry Brie Bites

Cranberry Sauce with Orange, Pear, and Spices

Roast Turkey with Truffle Butter

Dinner Rolls

Salad with Walnuts, Goat Cheese, and Pomegranite

Sweet Potatoes

Spinach Gratin

Mashed Potatoes

Mushroom and Leek Bread Pudding

Orange Stewed Carrots and Parsnips


Pumpkin and Pecan Pie

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It's only mid-November, but I'm really starting to want it to be winter. Because winter means snow, and snow means cozy pajamas, lighting candles and pretending I'm in front of a fireplace, baking and eating cookies, and drinking lots of hot chocolate. There were some snow flurries the other day, and I got really excited, but unfortunately nothing stuck to the ground. From the way the weather forecast looks I'm probably going to have to wait until after thanksgiving for snow. 
But just because I'm excited for winter doesn't mean I can't enjoy the last bits of fall! 
Last week Richard and I went to a restaurant here in Madison called Nostrano. Like many of the restaurants I love, it has a delicious seasonal menu. I love seasonal menus for many reasons. One is because it means the menu is always changing, which is really exciting for me! Especially if it is a restaurant I like to go to often. Another reason is that I often get to try new and interesting foods that are only in season for a brief amount of time. And, of course, I am always craving foods and flavors of the season so the menus always make me happy!
Everything we had at Nostrano was amazing. The soup was so smooth and creamy, even though there was no cream. The pappardelle was one of the best pastas I have ever had in my life. I love the thick, hand cut noodles cooked al dente which perfectly blended with the deliciously saucy lamb ragu. 
It was obvious to everyone in the restaurant that we enjoyed our meal, especially the dessert, because as we tasted it a woman next to us laughed and said "You guys are smiling a lot, so that must be good." Yes, yes it was.  






Scallops | Cauliflower | Pistachios 









Monday, October 29, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

These last few weeks have been filled with perfect fall days. So chilly in the morning that I don't want to get out from underneath the covers, but perfect crisp afternoons. If I had the time, I would be baking all day everyday. But sadly, as a college student, I don't have that much time. This Sunday though I was able to having a relaxing day, drinking tea and reading a book while I baked this cinnamon swirl bread. It took two and a half hours to rise, and another hour to bake, but it was absolutely worth it. It's about finished now, but I'm having dreams (courtesy of Richard) of making it again and turning it into French toast...

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Yesterday was me and Richard's anniversary. We celebrated by going out to a an amazing dinner at a restaurant here in Madison called L'Etoile, and this morning we went to our favorite place for brunch, Graze :)

Voss Organics heirloom tomato salad, edamame, sweet red onions, La Quercia prosciutto, Thai basil, fresh mozzarella, Thai chili-red wine vinaigrette

Fountain Prairie Farm beef tenderloin carpaccio, Voss Organics celery, quick pickled cucumbers, arugula, buffalo shallots, Dunbarton Blue cheese dressing 

Grilled Ruby Red shrimp, shishito peppers, sweet corn-SarVecchio purée, cornbread crisps    

Housemade pappardelle, pan roasted calamari, pancetta, Niçoise olives, oven dried Black Earth Valley tomato sauce    

John & Dorothy Priske’s Fountain Prairie Farm dry-aged, grass-fed steak, mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, roasted cippolini & mushroom ragoût, broccoli raab, Moody Blue-bone marrow compound butter, cabernet jus 

Alakan halibut, chili braised Maine lobster, sweet corn, polenta cake, sautéed pole beans, Hollandaise    

Gingerbread bread pudding, ground cherries, earl grey ice cream

Cheese plate

Chicken fried steak and sunny side up eggs

Pancakes with door country cherries

Egg scrambler with peppers, yellow onions, spinach, and cheddar cheese

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This stuffed acorn squash is really similar to the sweet potato hash that I just wrote about. Delicious and simple, a great meal or side dish!

Serves 2

1 acorn squash
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 apple, diced
1/2 bag of spinach
2 italian sausages, diced
Olive oil
Brown sugar

Cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 50 minutes, or until squash is cooked through and tender. Scoop out a bit of the inside of the squash.
Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the apple, and cook until softened slightly. Stir in the italian sausage until warmed. Add a bit of brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in spinach until wilted. Place the sauté mixture inside the squash, and return to the oven for 5 or 10 more minutes.

Rack of Lamb and Sweet Potato Hash

Last week Richard and I made this delicious dinner of rack of lamb and sweet potato hash. It might sound complicated, but it is actually pretty simple. We marinated the lamb in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and lots of garlic, and then we roasted it for about 25 minutes at 450 degrees. 
For the hash we first roasted the sweet potato in the oven, and then we sautéed onions and apples, a little garlic, then added the sweet potato and quickly wilted the spinach at the end. The meal was delicious and best of all felt like fall :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quinoa with Brussels Sprouts

This is a really easy and healthy meal that is great for lunch or dinner, and it also would be great as a side dish. 

Quinoa with Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts
Dried cranberries
Olive oil
1/2 a lemon (for the juice)

Cook the quinoa according to the directions (I did mine in a rice cooker which is super easy). Rinse the brussels sprouts and cut them in half the long way. Heat olive oil in a pan, and place the brussels sprouts cut side down. Sauté until the bottoms have browned, and then flip over and cook for a few more minutes until the brussels sprouts are cooked through but still a little crunchy. Add the brussels sprouts and the oil to the quinoa, and then stir in the dried cranberries. Salt and pepper to taste, and add a squeeze of lemon juice for a little extra flavor. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cuban Dinner

Earlier this week Richard and I had a free night so we decided to make dinner. I had bought a flank steak at Whole Foods, so we had a cuban themed dinner. We breaded and fried the steak with onion salt and garlic powder, cooked the black beans with some garlic, onions, and green peppers, and made plantains in a style called "tostones." To make tostones you first fry the plantains on both sides until they are browned, then squish them flat, and fry them again. They turn out soft and crunchy and are delicious with a little bit of salt.