food from this week that tasted yummy

I go in spurts. Greek spurts, Middle Eastern spurts, Indian spurts, Mexican spurts, classic French spurts, totally made up spurts — any kind of spurt.*

This week was a bit Italian inspired, and that’s probably Ryan’s favorite spurt. (Well, he does love a Greek salad and hummus, too. But the kima is definitely for me!)

I made two things that he loved, and so I’m putting them here so I can remember them when the “I don’t know what to make!” dilemma strikes.

*Most popular is the “huh, blank stare into the fridge” spurt. Just in case anyone thinks Ryan lucked out and married Ina Garten II.

Roasted Broccoli on Lemon-Garlic Penne

(Yup, that’s pretty much it. My recipes aren’t too deep!)

1 head broccoli — cut crown into bite-sized florets (think penne!). Toss with generous glug of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast on rimmed baking sheet at 425 for about 15 minutes, tossing and checking a few times along the way. (You want some brown edges. Brown = carmelization = super yum.) Remove from hot pan (add to saucepan with garlic/lemon mixture; see below.) Scatter about 1/2 cup of sliced almonds on pan and put in hot oven for 3-6 minutes till toasted, stirring occasionally.

1 lb whole wheat penne, boiled till al dente in salted water.

3 T butter and 2 T olive oil heated in saucepan; add 4 minced cloves of garlic. Cook till fragrant, about one minute. Off heat, add juice of 2 lemons, s+p. Add roasted broccoli and stir.

When pasta is cooked, drain. Put in large mixing/serving bowl. Pour garlic, lemon, and broccoli mixture over pasta. Add the toasted almonds and 1/4 cup pecorino romano (or whatever is your Italian hard cheese of choice). Stir. Eat!


Kale and Ricotta Pizza

Wash and de-stem one bunch of kale (any kale). Chop roughly.

Mince 3 cloves of garlic and saute in large pan in 2 T olive oil till fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chopped kale, s+p. Stir and cook over high heat until bright green. Add 1-2 T water and cover (kale needs a bit of steaming in order to get truly soft.) Cook a few minutes covered until green and tender. Drain if necessary and set aside.

Saute 2-3 cloves minced garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Add 14 oz petite diced tomatoes, 1 1/2 T dried basil, 1 T dried oregano, pinch of red pepper flakes, s+p. Bring to gentle boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.

6 oz whole milk mozzarella, grated

8 oz whole milk ricotta

dough for 2 pizzas

Preheat oven to 500. Roll out dough for 2 pizzas. Rub with 1-2 T olive oil. Spread sauce, scatter kale, sprinkle mozzarella, and drop spoonfuls of ricotta (about 6 1-T blobs around the edge of the pizza, another in the center.) Bake for 6-10 minutes until brown and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes before diving in — the flavor is much better.

What did you make this week that was a home run?

two books, and a recipe

Remember when I used to post links to books that we’ve really enjoyed? Maybe you don’t, but I do. I also used to clean my bathroom before it got totally gross. Boy. There are a lot of things I used to do. Ha!

For the mamas:

If you’re friends with me on facebook (or friends with someone I’m friends with on facebook), you probably already saw me or someone raving about this book.

Loving The Little Years — Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic

This book kept popping up in the “If you like that, you’ll like this” suggestions from Amazon, and finally, I just bought it.

You should, too.

It’s easy to read. The chapters are only a few pages long. You just may love it. There are some great ideas, perhaps some new thoughts, but most of all, it’s the attitude check and kick in the pants and “go, girl, go!” that you need. (Every single morning, if you’re like me.) It’s not fluffy. It is edifying.

I’m going to read it again, soon.

And for the kiddos:

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers

This was our first special winter book purchase when we moved back to northern New York, and the magic of both words and illustrations delight me every time we read it — which is every time I ask William to pick a book! The dust jacket is vellum, and the beautiful cover illustration, which is perfectly lovely on its own, is transformed into a winter blizzard when viewed through the vellum. The boys love it! (And I love looking out my window and seeing the inspiration for such illustrations in our fields and woods. What a Master Artist!)

And for the tummies:

I threw dinner together a few nights ago, and it turned out to be such a yummy meal that I thought I’d record it here for my future reference. I sort of pictured a Whole Foods salad we used to buy, and headed in that direction.

Kale, Butternut Squash, and Quinoa
Serves 4 as a main dish

For the squash:
Peel and dice one large butternut squash. Toss on foil-lined rimmed pan with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Roast at 425 for about 40 minutes or until camelized, tossing every 15 minutes. Drizzle with a bit of maple syrup, and set aside.

For the quinoa:
While squash is roasting, bring 1 cup of quinoa, 2 cups of water, and 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp of thyme to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

For the kale:
In large pan, saute one chopped onion in olive oil until soft (or beginning to brown, if you’re like me and lose track of things like onions.) Add 4 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tsp of thyme; saute till fragrant. Add one bunch of kale — stems removed and chopped. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of salt, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a splash of water. Stir, then cover over medium-low heat, till kale is cooked.

Stir squash, quinoa, and 1/2 cup of dried cranberries into the kale mixture. Squeeze half a lemon over the whole thing, and ta-da! A meal fit for an Whole Foods fan.