It was a pinch myself moment. Yesterday I taught my first class at Elawa Farm, the beloved and beautifully restored gentleman’s farm and garden in the heart of Lake Forest. Elawa’s mission is to enrich our community as a unique center for hands-on learning, and to inspire an appreciation for gardening, healthy living and historic preservation.Continue reading
Gigantic, pillowy snowflakes cartwheeled from Sunday afternoon’s sky, blanketing the landscape with a quiet that reflected my mood. Hours earlier, our Thanksgiving house guests had departed, I’d dropped our children at O’Hare for their return flights to school, and my husband had scooted off for a business trip. The house echoed with emptiness.
Quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients. I frequently make a big pot and use it in different ways throughout the course of a week. A scoop warmed gently with almond milk, a pinch of cinnamon, dried fruit, and a generous dollop of honey and chopped nuts makes a wonderful, nourishing breakfast. A dinner side comes together in no time when you heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a sauté pan, add cooked quinoa, season well, and toss in a generous handful of chopped tender herbs and scallions. My favorite way to enjoy quinoa, though, is in a veggie and protein packed salad like the one below. Continue reading
Sam Beall, the adored California Culinary Academy and French Laundry trained proprietor of Blackberry Farm, died tragically in a skiing accident on February 25th. The 39-year-old father of five was a true visionary, turning his parents’ Walland, Tennessee farm into a world class inn and culinary destination, gathering three James Beard Awards and the designation of Best Hotel for Food Lovers by Bon Appetit magazine along the way. Beall’s cookbooks and his rustic, loving approach to food has provided great inspiration for me over the years. Continue reading
Every year about this time, I begin to tire of heavy winter meals and crave flavors that come with warmer days. Here, cherry tomatoes (which are somehow blissfully exempt from “winter tomato” texture) are broiled to bursting, lending sweet acidity to the quick cooking fish. Lemony basil flecked couscous rounds out the dish with its tender herb brightness. Best of all, this dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes, and will leave you with minimal clean up!
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse, providing loads of vitamins A, C and K as well as folate, lutein, potassium, calcium and zinc. I made this salad with hearty Red Russian Kale, but Tuscan (lacinato) also works well. Creamy chickpeas provide protein and fiber, and the sweet and crunchy honeyed almonds are a perfect counterbalance to warm, smoky paprika vinaigrette. Continue reading
This Greek inspired lentil salad hits all the right notes – crunchy, creamy, light-yet-filling, and bursting with bright flavors. The lemony dressing will seem like too much at first, but the lentils will absorb it over time. French green lentils are worth seeking out – they have a wonderful nutty flavor and do not get mushy like other lentils. I also love French feta if you can find it – it is milder and creamier than other varieties. Continue reading