We are two and a half weeks into a full-gut kitchen and mud room remodel, and it feels like it’s been two and a half months. The above video was taken just after the demo crew tore out the sheet rock ceiling in one fell swoop, rumbling the entire house with such force that I thought the second floor was going to collapse. Though the builder and project manager have been incredible, there is no escaping the dust and acoustic hell. I now understand why my ballerina daughter goes completely stir-crazy when she has too much time out of the studio! I miss the smell of garlic and onions sputtering on the stove, the feel of a chef’s knife in my hand, the satisfaction of putting a meal on the table. Yes, we are throwing things on the grill from time to time, but anything that requires rinsing (vegetables and fruit) or washing (dishes) needs to be done in our bathroom sink. So that “This will be fun! Just like camping!” feeling disappeared after three days, then spiraled into total misery. At this point I am (a) worried we may die of scurvy and (b) certain no one in this family will ever have peanut butter toast again. I have no doubt, however, that it will all be worth it. And I cannot wait to share the pictures with you. Continue reading
When most people think of pesto, the traditional version made with basil and pine nuts comes to mind. Did you know you can make pesto with many herb and nut combinations? You can even use blanched spinach, kale or arugula instead of, or in combination with, fresh herbs. Mixed herb pesto is one of my favorites, and it’s a great way to use up any leftover tender herbs in your fridge. I used a combination of basil, parsley and chives, but a handful of fresh mint or a smidge of tarragon would be wonderful additions as well.
Here the pesto is served over bucatini, but it’s also a delicious accompaniment to grilled vegetables, meats, fish, and shellfish. Everyone in my family loves a dollop stirred into mayonnaise for sandwiches (especially roast beef), and I love it in place of tomato sauce on homemade pizza. So versatile! Continue reading
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