January 29, 2014

Try-A-New-Green (Fennell, Raddiccio and Endive) Salad

As I exited college, I journaled about a life vision: "Live simply (little "stuff") and naturally (eat local). Be deeply invested in serving my community and pouring into people using my gifts. A home (in the city?) that welcomes guests and friends for homemade food, fellowship, refuge, discipleship and learning..."

What does this have to do with a bowl of funky lettuces? Everything.

Five years later, these hands are a piece of my community, the produce selection a sign of knowing a friend's special diet and her desire to turn it into an adventure.

They are in my home (in the city!), the place of warmth and invitation I once dreamed of.

Texture experimentation: Success!
My ellipsis (fancy word for "...") cut off another part of that vision: some mushy words about a husband and children. Five years ago, that's what I envisioned as the ultimate in home life. What I didn't realize then is the degree to which I could so beautifully realize my hopes of everyday companionship and community through a wider body of people, especially its (insert "Single Ladies" chorus here).

The mushy part is still part of the life vision. But for now, I rest in the gift of the present. This night, it's crisp and colorful with a hint of licorice-tasting fennell. (Oh, and there was salmon to go with it. It was not local. Minor life vision fail.)
Slicing this babe resulted in oooing and ahhing over how beautiful its layers of innards are

January 11, 2014

Mini Frittatas with Feta, Swiss Chard, Mushrooms and Shallots

This is what happens when you fancify eggs for brunch with friends. I have yet to perfect a giant frittata, but making little ones in muffin tins turn out just fine. It was also easy to pull out servings for a few of us and save the rest for fast meals later that week.

Also, what are eggs without bacon?
Why cook spinach when you can get your hands on something as pretty as red-veined Swiss Chard? Like spinach, it also goes from a giant pile of leaves to a small ball of wilted green, and has a similar taste. Cooking is really quite fascinating.

Making these also reminded me I need to purchase silicone cupcake tins. Cleaning eggs out of metal ones is treacherous.

January 1, 2014

Best of 2013

My 2014 kicked off with a round of catch-ups with old friends, one of whom was baking the number one cupcake beauty below for a party tonight (and raved about the cake!). That reminded me to publish this post of my most trafficked (and coincidentally, my personal favorite) kitchen projects from the year.

Cheers to all the tastes of the past and future!

 Not a recipe, but my most-trafficked, most beloved post of the year: