Buttery Beer Bread

I made this to go along with our Pearl Barley Minestrone and it was perfection! When it first comes out of the oven the top is crunchy and the middle is soft. As the bread sits it softens up and becomes less crusty.


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Pearl Barley Minestrone

An astoundingly delicious vegetarian (or even vegan!) soup. My little one loved this and ate everything in her bowl.


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Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with Four Berry Sauce

This was the hit of the catering job I had today. At least for me it was. 


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A Small Pumpkin & Love For Dorie G

One of my long time fan crushes in the food world has been Dorie Greenspan. She’s an amazing cook, and an even better cookbook writer. In my head I always call her Dorie G, and we always have wonderful culinary adventures together. She just seems like a fun person to be around. 

I am also an unmitigated superfan of all things pumpkin. I will NEVER apologize for my pumpkin lust every fall. One of the most followed boards on my Pinterest is the pumpkin themed one. I’ve tried pumpkin in so many different dishes…but this one probably takes the prize for best savory dish with pumpkin. At least thus far.

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Lentilles Dupuy avec du Chou Frisé et Andouille

Sounds fancy, don’t it?

Boy have I got you fooled! It’s totally not fancy at all. Just french. ;)

We don’t eat our lentils around here nearly often enough. But I’ve been attempting to eat down our store of dried goods. These lentils had been hanging around much too long. Not that they ever go bad, but…well, I’d just like to go buy some fresher ones. But first I had to eat the old ones. 

I found this amazing recipe from PBS Food, then I did my usual switch a few things around, and add stuff to it, routine. I hope you like this as much as we did. It was even loved by my five-year-old (except for the sausages, we had to fix her a hot dog to go with this. Must work on that tender tongue of hers!)

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My New #1 “Meat”loaf

A few weeks ago I checked out the new cookbook by our local Food Coop. It’s a great little local to Oklahoma cookbook, and it has some great recipes in it. If you are one of those people that likes to collect local, regular people compiled, cookbooks, I highly recommend it. My only little gripe about it is the sideways layout of the book. The cover and chapters are laid out in portrait style, while the recipes are laid out landscape style. The makes it easy to lay the spiral bound book down on your counter to look at while cooking. But difficult to read through as you have to keep flipping the book back and forth in order to view it in order.

At any rate. There is a most excellent recipe for a Mushroom, Nut & Cheese Loaf in the The Oklahoma Food Cooperative Cookbook. I served it to a vegetarian friend of mine and she actually cried for love of it! My four-year-old inhaled it and asked for more. And my husband, the open-minded carnivore, loved it too! It’s now part of my permanent repertoire (and I’m even getting requests to have it made in bulk for people to purchase).

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Warrior Dash – Raising Money For St. Jude

In May I will be participating in the Warrior Dash in Oklahoma. I will also be collecting sponsorship donations for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Please, if you have the ability, consider donating to this wonderful hospital in my name!

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The Spice Bible

Next up on the book review agenda, The Spice Bible by Jane Lawson.


Oh. My. This is like my dream cookbook about spices everyone. It’s encyclopedic, everything from Ajowan to Wasabi, all broken down by type – seeds and pods, berries and flowers, and roots and bark. It has great recipes, every single spice has at least one matching recipe, often it has two or three to try. It even covers spice pastes, and spice blends, all with recipes for those pastes and blends, as well as recipes using those spice pastes and blends. It’s A-may-zing. (You can tell I’m in love, I sound like a ten-year-old when I talk about it)

It’s on my wishlist. Please buy it for me?

Last night I threw together some Indian food from this book, as well as a side culled from several places online. Butter Chicken is a very common Indian food recipe. It’s relatively easy to make, and tastes very close to what you have in most Indian restaurants under the name Chicken Tikka Masala.

The side dishes were rice, and Saag Paneer. Typically restaurants have Palak Paneer, which is specifically spinach. But I was looking to finish up the kale we had on hand before it went all droopy. So, the word saag just means greens, and it can be any kind of greens – collards, mustard, kale, chard, beet. And this recipe could be used with just plain spinach if that is what you have on hand. Green and leafy? Give it a go in this dish. I ended up changing the dish a bit from most Saag Paneers, since I had used all my yogurt in the Butter Chicken, and didn’t really want to double down on the dairy in our meal anyway, I substituted coconut cream. It was a surprisingly awesome sub! Some vegan saag paneer recipes call for using it instead of yogurt, or cream. Sometimes those vegans are crafty and smart (don’t tell Anthony Bourdain I said that!). I used regular paneer (a type of cheese), since that is what I had on hand, but it could easily be switched out for lightly-fried extra firm tofu, and it would be a full-on vegan dish.


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The Book Of Kale

I hawkishly watch the new cookbook releases feed for my local library system. I’ll admit it, I’m much more addicted to cookbooks than my income or shelf space will allow in new additions. So I borrow, I read, I cook with, I return – occasionally I return them in a fit of angst at not being able to purchase them. But at least they are there for me to peruse at will. I love our library system here. I’ve worked in it before and I hope to work in it again soon.

A couple of weeks ago I happened upon a new book in the system all about kale! The Book of Kale seemed like a great read for someone as fannish about kale as I am.

This is a slightly different cookbook than the usual. Not only does it have 80+ recipes, most involving kale in one way or another, but it also covers everything you could want to know about growing it. Grow it, then eat it. Talk about a well-rounded approach! Sharon Hanna the author goes into great depth in the first section. From the history of kale, to reasons why you should eat it, to growing, to how to get your kids to eat it and love it. She hits all the bases with this one topic cookbook. Ever wonder how many varieties of Brassica oleracea acephala there is? The answer is, a lot. Find out the difference between B. oleracea and the sub-type Brassica napus in the pages of this book. And then maybe you too can grow some dinosaur kale for your kid(s).

The second half of the book is comprised of the recipes. Broken down into seven categories: breakfast, starters & light meals, salads, soups & stews, vegetable dishes & sides, pasta, polenta & risotto, and main dishes. What, no kale ice cream?

Wondering what variety of kale makes the best kale chips? That would be Lactino (otherwise known as dinosaur) kale. Long broad leaves with minimally tough stems make for crunchy green nirvana when dried to a crisp in the oven (or even your food dehydrator, she covers that method also). Or maybe you’d like to make some crunchy crackers with kale? There’s a recipe for that too. Perfect with a smear of goat cheese. Yum.

For my first foray into the recipes in this book I decided to make something light for our Friday dinner. The Ligurian Kale and Potato Torta suited my mood. Simple, rustic, and stuffed full of kale (mostly because I left out the Chard that was in the original recipe). This northern Italian pie was a hit with my husband and my little girl.



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Yellow Split Pea Soup with Garlic Bread Croutons

Yellow Split Pea Soup with Garlic Bread Croutons

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