Lasagna worth blogging about

Yo. Long time, no talk. I did everything I could to find the recipe online and share via FB, but it wasn’t out there anywhere. So here I am. I actually typed it out for you lucky ducks. You’re welcome. I served this lasagna for a little dinner party on Sunday night and I’m eating my second piece for lunch right this second. There is no ricotta or mozzarella in this version, just Parmesan and crème fraiche. It is truly delicious, and pretty to boot. What keeps going through my head is “Happiness is: a big fucking piece of lasagna. Or two.”

This little slice of casserole heaven comes from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I made it back in 2010 when I first bought the cookbook, but haven’t done it since. Well, note to self, don’t be an idiot and wait five more years. It’s that good. I made a couple of very slight tweaks, nothing crazy. He calls for lasagna noodles that require boiling. I see no need for that. The no-boil noodles work great and boiling lasagna noodles is frankly a pain in the ass. Read More

Perfect Pozole

Seattle winter is officially here. Our first snow was last weekend and the temp has been chilly. Perfect weather to make up a batch of this goodness, inspired by Mexican pozole. This is one of my all time faves and has been in my recipe rotation for years. For how quick and easy it is to make, you are getting a super flavorful, healthy and filling meal, with adjustable heat, depending on how many jalapeño seeds you use. Delish winter comfort food and a nice break from traditional chili. Read More

Heirloom Tomato Soup

I love getting my monthly Metropolitan Market coupon in the mail. I get really excited when I actually remember to put it in my purse, use it and save myself some cash! This week’s offer was a free pound of heirloom tomatoes. This coincided with Marin Mama’s Weekly Dinner Menu for August 3rd. She posted a recipe for Heirloom Tomato Soup which she calls her family’s “FAVORITE soup ever!” OK, that’s some persuasive language. Coupon + rave recipe = my Heirloom Tomato Soup fate was sealed.

No joke, this soup is perfection, rave-worthy, and unlike most tomato soups, no cream necessary. Pretty and delish, this little gem would be a lovely starter for your summer dinner party. Heirloom tomatoes are in season from August until early October, so now is the perfect time to make yourself a big batch. I wish I would have doubled this and put some in the freezer (or just gone on a massive soup bender and eaten it all this week). I will definitely be making this again! Another brilliant creation from Marin Mama Jackie!

Heirloom Tomato Soup – courtesy of Marin Mama Cooks

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided – you will use 1/4 cup twice in the recipe
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (Jackie’s recipe calls for the garlic microplaned, but it’s all being puréed, so I didn’t see the need for the microplaning)
  • 5 overripe heirloom tomatoes (any color), cored and large chunked
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

Prep all your ingredients.  Wash your herbs, chop up your onion and core and chop your tomatoes into large chunks.

Take your bunch of basil, your 4 sprigs of thyme and 4 sprigs of oregano or marjoram, and tie them up together with some kitchen twine.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil, the diced onion and herb bunch in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium low heat, until the onion is soft, tender and translucent, but not browned.  You’re basically sweating the onion here.

Stir in the garlic and quickly add the tomatoes and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the tomatoes are broken down.  Make sure you occasionally stir the tomatoes.

Remove the herbs.  Stir in the 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and the in the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Turn off the heat.

Puree the soup either using a hand held immersion blender or a regular blender. If you’re using a blender, return the soup to the pot after your puree it. (Lynne’s Note – I used my immersion blender and found that it wasn’t quite smooth enough, so I threw it in the blender. This worked much better, but I had to do two batches.)

Keep warm until ready to serve.

I served with another seasonal fave, sautéed zucchini with garlic and red pepper flakes. A light, summer dinner, and it’s even vegan! A real shocker for this meat/dairy lover. So, so good.

Summer Dinner

Faves of 2013 – Here’s What Worked for Me

I’m back at work after what seemed like a very long, almost too long, break for Christmas and New Years. Oliver is also back in school this week, my routine is being revived, my weight will hopefully go back down, and I’m ready to conquer 2014. As we kick this year off, I have been doing some deep soul searching and reflecting on 2013, but I’ll save that for my therapist. For you, I present my list of what worked best in 2013!

Books – both on the heavier side, stories that completely immerse you and characters that are deep and layered. My kind of reading.

Songs – Clearly, I like pop music. I swear, I have more depth in my musical repertoire than my selections show. For example, when my collection is on shuffle, you might hear Pearl Jam followed by Miley Cyrus followed by Led Zeppelin. But these are my fave jams of the year. Sorry not sorry.

TV Shows (New) – I know, I know, I had a really hard time narrowing down to 1 here, and this is limited to new shows only! Ray Donovan is really the top of my list, and not just because Liev Schreiber is the hunkiest man I’ve seen in a long time. Jon Voight is amazing, as is the rest of the supporting cast, it’s gritty and violent and funny and dark. Love it. The rest of the list are also must-watches. There is so much good TV to be seen! Get out there and do something about it!

Binge TV ShowI couldn’t not mention this show. If you are a human being with a heart and a family, you should watch this show because you will love it. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t cry every single episode. Note, I do not recommend watching multiple episodes during Christmas when you don’t celebrate and your son is with his dad. Just sayin.

Parenthood

Denim – Jeans are my favorite article of clothing and I never seem to have too many pairs. I am lucky enough to dress casually for work, which only makes my habit worse. These were my fave pair of the year. Love the light rinse after all of my dark denim. Skinny, not too skinny. Can wear with Nikes or booties or heels.

Citizens of Humanity Racer
Citizens of Humanity Racer

Restaurant – I had 2 of my best meals here this year with friends. One sitting outside in the summertime on their lovely patio and one with a larger group of ladies inside. Both fantastic. The Roasted Chicken and the Filet are both musts as entrees, they are staples on the menu.

The Whale Wins

Recipe Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad – I discovered this Bon Appetit salad via my friend Jenny and it has been such a hit, it has been all over Pinterest lately too. I made it for the Pi Phi Christmas party and several of my friends ended up making for their Christmas dinners. This salad impresses and even makes for good leftovers! NOTE – I subbed toasted hazelnuts for the almonds and highly recommend.

DSC00649

Accessory – I’m not gonna lie, this bag has brought me some legitimate happiness and I have no regrets about the splurge.

balenciaga
Balenciaga Giant 12 Velo

Movie – I. loved. this. movie. I watched it twice in 48 hours, it’s that good. It might have something to do with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and that he is ridiculously hot/adorable and talented to boot. He wrote, directed, starred. Impressive. The story ends up being a really sweet love story and it got me.

Don Jon

Beauty – This has been the year of Laura Mercier. Skin, lips, eyes – all my new fave beauty products are Laura.

 

I am so excited to see what works in 2014 and hope you will be coming along for the ride!