Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mushroom Love

This article from the New York Times reminded me of how much I love mushrooms. Any meal I can add in mushrooms, I usually do. If you are in the market foe some great new mushroom recipes, check this article out, and enjoy new mushroom exploration!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter Lasagna

During the Winter, I am always trying out new foods to warm me up! This Lasagna recipe is a fun twist on traditional Lasagna, and is a perfect winter dish to share with friends. I think I will make it this week and hope you do the same!  Any food with greens, noodles and cheese usually make me happy and are worth a weekend indulgence.

 By Amy Wisniewski
Wilting the greens with cream and layering them with ricotta and Parmesan makes this a satisfying lasagne that’s both easy (no sauce to prepare) and vegetarian. Even those who don’t usually get excited by cooking greens enjoy the earthy flavors they provide here.
What to buy: Crème fraîche is a naturally thickened fresh cream with a tangy flavor and a rich texture, and it doesn’t curdle or separate when heated. If you can’t find it, sour cream is a decent substitute.
This recipe was featured as part of our Cooking with Winter Ingredients photo gallery.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, medium dice
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pound red kale, washed, tough stems removed, and coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, washed, tough stems removed, and coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups crème fraîche
  • 1 (9-ounce) box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta
  • 2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 5 ounces)
  1. Heat the oven to 400ºF and arrange a rack in the middle. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the cream and a few handfuls of greens and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted. Continue adding greens a little at a time until they all are slightly wilted. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, completely wilted, and coated in cream, about 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and remove from heat.
  3. Spread 1 cup of the crème fraîche evenly over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of 4 noodles, allowing them to overlap slightly. Using a slotted spoon, scoop a third of the greens mixture from the cream and evenly spread it over the noodles, then cover with a third of the ricotta and a quarter of the Parmesan. Repeat to make two more layers, and end with a final layer of noodles on top. Evenly pour 1/4 cup of the warm cream over the noodles. Mix together the remaining crème fraîche and Parmesan and spread it evenly over top.
  4. Cover the lasagne with foil and bake until bubbling and starting to brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned completely and the sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

Beverage pairing: Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Blanc, Italy. The cream and cheese in this dish suggest a white wine with both acid and some heft, while the chard and kale beg for something with earthiness and herbaceousness. Sauvignon Blanc is the answer, especially one from Friuli in northeastern Italy, where it often has great acid structure and fine apple and lime flavors, as well as a high-pitched green streak.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Trust... How much do you have... in yourself... your friends... family... the Earth or the economy...  how much trust do you have for our future?

To me, trust is built and sustained on ones actions; it is valued and developed by honoring ones word...

Trust can be a blessing or a curse, but I will focus on the good and give you a little synopsis of what I trust...
I trust that my friends will always be there to comfort me when I am down, and put me in my place when I need it. I trust that I will always be a glass-full-to-the-brim kind of person, and will  give more hugs than what's normally acceptable on a regular basis. I trust that healthy food will nourish my body.  I trust that my mom will make me laugh, make me yell and make me laugh again all in the same conversation. I also trust that there is a higher power that takes form into energy. And education will always be vital to our future. I trust my boyfriend when he tells me everything is going to be ok. I trust those who give me reason to, and I value them beyond any other.

These are things I trust, because they have withheld the hands of time, and have always ran true.

Oh, one more thing... at the end of the day, I trust my dog will make me smile before I close my eyes to sleep... 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bedroom Lighting

 I have always been a lamp person, rather than one who enjoys over-head lighting. The power of light is wondrous really... there are even diseases attached to not having enough of it. Depending on the time of day, mood, and one's company, your choice of lighting may drastically be different.
 For example, when I am winding down before bedtime, I enjoy a soft light. This helps with relaxation, staying calm, and an overall peaceful mindset.
Usually, I enjoy one small lamp with a frosted (lower watt) bulb, but these colorful lamps have caught my attention! Such a fun way of lighting a room, bringing with it soft color, and a relaxing spirit. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Word From Gandhi

Gandhi's words have always resonated within my soul. Here is one of my favorite quotes to warm your heart and make you reevaluate.  

"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But, when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning" - Gandhi

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cook Books

There is nothing better in this world than a good book, and the time to read it. One of my favorite past times since youth has been reading books, and I tend on keeping it as a life-long past time. Kindles along with I-Pads do have a place in this World, but they can never replace books. For, they will never be able to feel the way a book feels in your hands. Flipping through to see how many pages are left, highlighting inspirational quotes, and feeling the joy of turning to the next page, can not be replaced.

This may seem strange, but one of my favorite types of books to read are Cookbooks... I spend my time flipping through the pages, reading side notes and helpful tips. Cookbooks are the holders of are creations with is meant for nurturing yourself and loved ones...and I can assure you, there is nothing better that that. Here are some cookbooks that are on my list to buy!

Wonderful explains on why to eat local, and how to make the most out of your ingredients.

Great book with wonderful recipes! Highlights the beauty of fresh product and sustainable eating. 

Everything one need to know about why food is so important for our body and our earth.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kitchen Chalkboards

For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with Kitchen Chalkboards!

I mean can you blame me? What a fun way to add some child-like beauty. Chalk can be enjoyed by all ages, and walls can be more than just a place for pictures and windows.  Put your menu in view for everyone to see, write a to do list, send a sweet message...the options are endless. The world is our canvas, and now the kitchen can be our chalk-board. Here are a couple different options for chalking it up kitchen style. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

 As I read in bed, the cold draft from my window reminds me we are stuck in the middle...winter is here, but not ready to leave.... what do we do when we are stuck in the middle?

...I am still trying to figure out that question...

Lately, I have been feeling like that missing puzzle piece that cannot be found. I watch the pieces of life fit together...But the piece that represents me is nowhere to be found. One would think... if it's just a  piece that is missing, the puzzle still works well enough...and in a lot of ways, it still does ...but how wonderful it would be if the missing me was found...

Now that I am stuck in winters middle, I will have to spend some time searching for what's hidden. And hopefully, by the early thaw of spring, I will add my piece to the right part of life's puzzle. Even if you are not feeling lost, winters middle is always a great time for finding....and I promise you, there is always something to find within.

Snow Men

What a fashion forward snowman! Gotta love that hat....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Long Days

Long days have been the root of my current frustration. I  think we have all listened to older generations ask the same question that I have been asking myself for as long as one could remember. That simple question of "where does the time go?", never does find a complete answer...

This leads me to my next thought...why are we always chasing time? Why is it so sought after?

Which brings me to my last thought...

If we never took the time to stop and smell the roses, there would be no purpose for them to have a scent...but they do have a sent, and that alone is enough reason to remember they are worth smelling.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Simple Corn Soup

I miss snow days, and the excitement felt when your schools name went across the ticker of the television screen. During those days, Children would have nothing to do, but play in that beautiful snow that set us free. Laughter would erupt in our yards during neighborhood snowball wars. Snowmen were rolled into life, and given our extra scarves, hats, and gloves. Life was cold, but it was good! 
After our energy finally ran low, we would come inside to warm up. I would usually heat up soup that would warm myself and my brother right up. We would get in our pajamas and watch movies until Mom came in and sent us to bed...
 Snow days may be a part of childhood, but there is still something magical about soup on cold days that warms you from head to toe. Here is a simple recipe shared with me by one of my best friends. Make it with family or friends and let it warm you up together.

Simple Corn Soup
  • Saute a few cloves of garlic(more or less depending upon how much you love garlic) and a half of a diced onion. Cooked through and take off heat
  • After onions and garlic have cooled slightly, place them into a blender with 2 cans of corn (do not drain liquids)
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper to your taste. I suggest adding less and adjusting later so you do not over salt or pepper the soup!Add in enough milk to make it soup-like. I would suggest starting with about a half a cup and moving up gradually in desired. Begin to blend (Mixing milk slowly so you can stop when you are satisfied with a consistency)
  • After the ingredients turn into liquid form, add 2 more cans of well drained corn and heat through on the stove
  • ENJOY!

Monday, January 3, 2011

In Our Hands

When I found this quote, it made me think... thoughts of wisdom... life... sharing... caring... loving... living... holding... helping and growing...

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand; the first is to help yourself, the second is to help others"

                                                                                       - Audrey Hepburn

Not just words or a sentence, but a lesson for life and a message of balance.


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