Glazed Pear Donuts with Salted Caramel Drizzle

Glazed Pear Donuts with Salted Caramel Drizzle

Throughout the week, I stick to a pretty consistent, healthy breakfast routine.  Yogurt and granola, oatmeal, fresh fruit, or a breakfast smoothie…something along those lines.  And then, Saturday rolls around…and…DONUTS.  It’s really quite simple.  Weekends were made for donuts.  And donuts always make weekends better.  They’re the type of breakfast food that says, JUST CHILL.  Enjoy the morning, stay in your pajamas a little longer, linger at the table with your steamy cup of coffee, favorite magazine, and eat that second (third?) donut.  Just because.  It’s the weekend.  Besides, they’re baked donuts, soooooo it’s ok.

Some baked donuts can be rather dry or too dense, but these donuts are fluffy and super moist from the finely diced pears.  Spiced up a bit with cinnamon and ginger, then dunked into a pear-cream cheese glaze and topped off with decadent gooey salted caramel sauce.

Salad Greens with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Tempeh Sticks and Balsamic-BBQ Dressing

Salad Greens with Roasted Sweet Potato, Tempeh Sticks and Balsamic BBQ Dressing
This salad was born from a glorious idea a friend gave me.  Something so simple, so quick it’s really a non-recipe recipe:  slice up some tempeh, saute it, then dip it in barbecue sauce.  I think that little idea changed my life.  Who doesn’t need one more option of something to dip into barbecue sauce?  After that, I realized it was my duty as a citizen of this earth to pass along that gem.  You’re welcome.

But what else can I do with that?  I needed to find it a veggie companion, without dismissing the barbecue sauce.  I have a box of sweet potatoes in the basement, so they were destined to enter the picture.  At the end of the farmers market last season, I purchased a 25 lb. box of sweet potatoes for $25 to last me through the winter.  That was the end of October and I’m just now starting to see the bottom of the box.  The farmers don’t clean the dirt off the potatoes so they’ll keep longer, and they have!  I highly recommend it if you have that option.  So, sweet potatoes, check!  I had a golden beet in the fridge along with some red onion and goat cheese.  And the BBQ sauce?  Let’s turn that into a dressing!  Hows about a salad?  Let’s do it!

Golden Beet Soup with Cumin and Lime Sour Cream

Golden Beet Soup with cumin and lime sour cream

This is sunshine soup.  It’s the the kind of soup that will cheer you up in the dead of winter.  In fact, just peeling and dicing the beets, exposing their brilliantly yellow flesh, put a great big smile on a my face.  There’s just something about that color – sunny, warm, cheerful – that will wash away all the gray, stuck-indoors feelings of a frigid January.  Smokey cumin and spicy red pepper flakes evoke the cradling heat of a dry Mexican desert while a burst of lime leaves you resting on the white beaches of a tropical getaway.  Daydream.  Forget about winter for just a moment and brighten your day with this sunshine soup!

golden beets

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion Pizza

Sweet Potato & Caramelized Onion Pizza

The truth of this recipe is…I just wanted to put caramelized onions on something.  Anything.  I think about them all the time.  Some (normal) folks think about where to plan their summer vacation or what book they’d like to read next.  Me?  I daydream about crisp, robust onions cooked so slowly and softly that their internal sugars give up and melt down into a sweetened, intensely aromatic, amber-colored puddle of savory fascination.  I might be in love with them.  The problem is, I’m always wanting to make them but can’t seem to commit to the hour it takes to develop their insanely sweet-savory flavor combo.  That’s some precious daylight, if you know what I mean.  So, here’s the deal.  Just do it.  Make a double batch.  They’re worth it.  So, so worth it.  You can spread it like a jam onto sourdough, stir it into pasta, load it on a baked potato, or even mix it with cream cheese for a dip.  But first, try it on pizza.  While the onions are doing their thing, you can roast the sweet potatoes, make the sage brown butter and get the dough ready.  Then, it all comes together like one happy, cheesy family.  And your house will smell like a dream.

Caramelization…the process.

caramelizing onions

Kale Dust

Kale dust on popcorn

Kale is controversial in my household…I could eat it for days (and do)  but my husband and son can’t stand it, which is a real bummer, maaaan.  [channeling the Dude]  It’s packed with incredible nutrition, is absolutely beautiful to look at, and is so versatile:  salad, slaw, soup, chips, juice, pesto…and now dust.  Whaaa??  Usually I try to keep my house dust-free, but this is one kind of dust you’ll want to keep around!  It’s quick, easy, and adds a healthy punch to whatever you sprinkle it on.  Hello popcorn! Or stir it into yogurt and cream cheese for a veggie dip, top off your garlic bread or pasta, add a spoonful to potato soup, or sprinkle it onto a cheese quesadilla.

Kale it, don’t kill it!  Hmmm, a new vegetarian slogan?  Oh, I kale me!  {…just stop}

Potato Leek Buttermilk Soup with Smokey-spiced Croutons and Chive Oil

potato leek buttermilk soup

Winter.  It’s here.  In a big way.  We just got an inch of ice, 8 inches of snow, and my son’s school is cancelled again…for the FOURTH day in a row!  Snow-soaked coats, gloves, hats and boots have lined our entryway for the past few days as neighbor kids come in and out from the blindingly white wonderland that is our front yard.  I love times like this when there’s nowhere I need to go, nowhere I CAN go.  I am literally stuck in my house, forced to peer out at the beautiful North Pole-esque scenery and spend my days cooking and watching movies.  I can deal.

It’s moments like this when one needs soup.  Comforting.  Soul-warming.  Even nostalgic.  And this velvety-smooth potato soup is just that.  Plus it’s really easy and there are only 7 ingredients in the recipe, and that includes water and salt.  The short ingredient list allows the simple flavors to shine:  potatoes, leeks, and garlic.   The buttermilk adds rich silkiness and just a bit of tang.  Spice it up with homemade seasoned croutons and chive oil and call it a day.  Game over.   {christmas} Lights out.

Red Lentil & Butternut Squash Chili

Red lentil butternut squash chili

Feeling lazy?  Too cold outside to do anything?  Want to curl up on the couch and watch a movie with something warm and comforting to nosh on?  Don’t worry, I got ya covered.  Spicy.  Sweet.  Savory.  And loaded with veggies.  It’s chili time!

Make a big pot of this over the weekend and save the leftovers for those busy Monday nights.  Your Monday night self will give you a high five!

Roasted Carrot Risotto


I was recently given a huge amount of carrots (we’re talking about the size of a small toddler) from a couple farmer friends of mine.  The carrots had surprisingly survived the winter and I got to be one of the lucky recipients.  My family loves carrots…in a major Bugs Bunny sort of way.  So aside from packing them in lunches, I’ve been coming up with recipes that feature these lovely, orange-gold vitamin A-packed veggies.  I’ve made a Spinach, Carrot and Brussels Sprout Pizza, Indian-spiced Carrot and Black Bean Stew, and Carrots and Brussels Sprouts with Penne and Peanut Sauce.  We might be starting to turn orange at this point…I guess we’d fit in with the tanning-for-spring-break crowd.  And yet, we just can’t get enough.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Squares w/ Cinnamon Whipped Cream & Petita Praline



My son surprised me the other morning.  He came to the table during breakfast carrying three Everyday Food magazines and said, “Mom, I was looking through these and picked out three recipes I’d like you to make.”  What?  My 10-year old son was looking at cooking magazines?  And actually found it interesting enough to pick out some recipes?  I turned giddy.  I instantly had visions of us spending hours cooking together, watching cooking shows together, talking about recipe ideas and interesting ingredients.  I said, “Sure, of course!  We can make them together!”  He showed me the recipes, we tagged the pages, and the plan was set in motion.