eat : kale panzanella salad

Eat_header_edited-1This is my "friday night salad." It's the salad that I most often toss together on a Friday night while catching up on Parenthood, Grey's, or Scandal. This salad makes me ridiculously happy. It's possible that you can hear me saying "this is sooo good" to myself every time that I eat it. 

Kalepanzanella   (love this graphic - turquoise edition extra elements)

Super simple instructions - 

*toss cubes of bread (day old works well) with olive oil & saute until lightly browned

*add cut-up tempeh to the same skillet, and lightly brown (you meat eaters could use bacon)

*tear kale into bite-sized bits (discard the stems) and toss into the skillet - you might want an extra drizzle of olive oil at this point - heat just until kale turns bright green (I don't like to let it wilt)

*toss with avocado, feta, and sea salt

*enjoy (talking to yourself is optional)

**ps. I keep intending to make this with cubed sweet potato or butternut squash...but I get impatient. Someday!

**pps. You should use the word "toss" as much as possible when talking about salad.

foodie friday: w(h)ine & cheese


I don't have any fun foodie friday recipes to share, really, so this is really just going to be a few rambling, possibly incoherent, thoughts that may involve food...

  • I eat a fairly healthy diet. I eat very few processed foods. Some might say that I'm a bit of a food snob. Despite all of this? I am 16lbs heavier than I was at this time last year. I know that this has as much to do with my descreased activity level (thanks to the hip/back injury) as it does the food. Still. I'd like to see a bit more benefit. 
  • Virtually my entire office is currently doing WW. I think it's a fabulous benefit for the company to offer, and I applaud the members' efforts to lose weight. So, for those co-workers reading - this is not about you. I have done WW many times in the past, and had success. However. There is NO way that I could spend my life counting points, AND I have processedfoodsnob issues with the boxes of low-points pseudo food that they sell. That's all that I have to say about that.
  • I need to start bringing more interesting lunches. Any veg ideas? I think that I'm going to see how many different salads I can come up with. Can You Stay for Dinner has a great post on building a 400 calorie salad. 

That's all that I've got for today! 

foodie friday : links

(image source)

I have spent precious little time in my kitchen lately. A combo of travel & lack of motivation, really. When I'm home from NYC, I'll have a 3 day weekend...sans travel. I had been thinking of heading down to Boston for the holiday, but decided that staying home sounds much better. So, today's foodie friday is all about food that I hope to cook soon (if not this weekend, definitely in the next couple of weeks)....

Broccolini Salad 

Lemon Panko Roasted Asparagus

Carrot Cake Cookies

a fruit tart of some sort (recipes welcomed!)

Chocolate Honey Cake (I really adore honey. I'd likely make this into cupcakes.)

something with kale 

what are you cooking these days? 

foodie friday.







The unseasonably warm temps that we've been having lend themselves toward light, summery meals that make us of the grill & outdoor seating. YAY! I tried out a bit of an unusual recipe from Healthy in a Hurry: Grilled shrimp, Watermelon, & Feta Salad.

This was definitely an interesting mix of flavors - a mild citrus marinade, sweet watermelon, mint, and grilled shrimp. I thought it was really refreshing, but wanted it to be a wee bit more substantial. I think the simplest solution would be just to serve the whole thing on a bed of baby spinach. I might also add in some cubed grilled mango. Overall, though - this was a fun dish!

What did you eat this week?

foodie friday (healthy in a hurry)

I think that I've mentioned before that I am a cookbook junkie. Love exploring new titles. So when this cookbook showed up as a NetGalley option, I quickly raised my hand (pick me, pick me!)...


Here's what one of the authors has to say about the book -

"I've discovered that there are just two important tricks to getting delicious, healthy meals on the table. The first is choosing lots of fresh, unprocessed foods, and the second is having a foolproof plan to get you in and out of the kitchen quickly. This book delivers on both."—Karen Ansel

That pretty much sums up my goal for daily meals, so sign me up! The recipes in this book are so approachable, so do-able that you'll really have NO reason to not cook up a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also think that this would be the perfect cookbook to share with your kids - the recipes are really that managable.

So far, I'm a fan of the Egg Sandwhiches with Wilted Spinach, the Spinach, Pear, and Pomegranate Salad, and the Broccoli Rabe & Ricotta Crostini. I've got a dozen other recipes bookmarked to try. I'll be ordering a copy of this book when it's released in April - everything about it is just straight up inspiring. Lovely photography, great styling, and even a spunky font. Love, love, and love.

Healthy in a Hurry (aff) is available on Amazon in April, but you can pre-order it now!

A digital copy of this book was provided by Weldon Owen Publishing, through NetGalley. I haven't been compensated for this review. Opinions expressed are my own.

foodie friday.


A super quick Foodie Friday post! I saw this sweet potato "burger" on Pinterest recently, and really wanted to try it. I threw together an ad-hoc version of it on Thursday night. The simplest recipe ever - one microwaved & scooped out sweet potato, mashed with one can of drained cannelli beans, mixed with a dash of garlic salt and diced scallions. The mixture formed into patties, then dipped in panko bread crumbs and sauteed in olive oil. 

Austin declared this "pretty much sweet potato fritters on bread" - but said it was tasty. I think that I needed to sway the ratio of potato to beans just a tad more toward potato. That being said? Super quick and super tasty. 

foodie friday : sushi

This Foodie Friday is about good food AND good friends...

I've known "of" Melanie for years. She was a Simple Gal, and I was almost a Simple Gal. We were both on the American Crafts team. We traveled in the same scrapbooking circles. And all the while? We lived a mere 2 hrs from each other, but never managed to meet. Yes, we're in different countries...but it's only a 2 hour drive. This past Monday, I had to drive up to Montreal to pick up Hope for reading break. It seemed like the perfect time to FINALLY meet a fabulous scrapbooking superstar whose work I have long admired...


I realize that it appears that I am molesting Mel in this pic. In reality, I am merely trying to ensure that she doesn't run away from the camera b/c she was refusing to let the waiter take our picture. HA!

Melanie is, in a word - FABULOUS. I felt like we'd been friends for years. She's funny and real and honest. I am giddy that she's in our Traveling Smash group. I'd predict that we'll be spending many a lunch/weekend/daytrip together in the coming months. (I also predict that I'll convince her to start blogging again. Mel! Mel! Mel!)

After a bit of scrapbook shopping, Melanie took me to Maiko Sushi. Oh MY. I have to say that it was probably the best sushi that I've ever had.


I'd love to tell you what we ate...but I honestly don't remember what everything was! Melanie was a terrific sushi guide. Every single one of her choices was delicious. (and DRAT! about forgetting to grab an extra sushi list for my PL!)


Another fun Foodie Friday thing - I'm participating in The Meal today. I honestly forgot all about it, so I'm thankful that they sent a reminder. I brought my lunch, so it won't be terribly exciting, but it will still be fun.

What did you eat/cook/bake this week? Link up your Foodie Friday posts in the comments!

foodie friday (the grocery cart edition)


I'm in Ohio today, and neglected to upload any recipe/foodie photos in preparation for Foodie Friday. Just didn't quite make it that far down the list of things to do. This week has been at "stress level orange" - a rather sudden crush of things that must be done that has left me a bit breathless & frantic. My plans for blog planning were hastily set aside. So. As I drink my hotel room coffee out of a styrofoam cup (never fear, they serve Starbucks downstairs!), I thought I'd write about what was in my grocery cart this week. I think it's an interesting snapshot of life, don't you? 10 years ago my cart would have looked much different - likely piled with Lean Cuisines, blue boxes of mac & cheese, plastic wrapped 2% slices, and diet soda. I have no always been a member of the eat real food club. These days, there are a number of "staples" that make a weekly appearance -

1. baby arugula - is it weird to say that I have a favorite green? I do - arugula. I eat simple arugula salads for lunch most days. I also like to cook with arugula - tossing it with pasta & parmesan, or stirring it in to risotto.

2. baby spinach - for smoothies and a frittata this week.

3. cheese - I love cheese. This week involved gouda, grafton village smoked cheddar, feta, and parmesan. I normally buy a few blocks of extra-sharp cheddar as well - Austin's favorite.

4. european butter - first discovered during Barb & Kat's Excellent Adventure: Chicago. I find myself baking with plain ole Cabot butter - but using european butter for bread, toast, and pasta.

5. organic eggs - remember my inner critic's rant about organic eggs? That one stayed in my head, so I've been buying organic, cage-free eggs. Silly, but - I feel better about it. I would actually love to buy more local eggs, but can't bring myself to pay $7 a dozen.

6. wine - most of my everyday wine is purchased at the grocery store. The Dreaming Tree Crush was on sale this week, so I bought 3 bottles.

7. smoked salmon - this definitely falls on the list of "things that I never thought that I'd like" - but it's lovely with eggs (and the aforementioned frittata)

8. fruits & veggies - arugula, spinach, radishes, broccoli, lemons, apples, pears, avocado, green onions, kiwi, sweet potatoes, and bananas.

9. ice cream - a weekly treat for Austin. I honestly rarely eat it - I loooove ice cream, so I have to set a high "gourmet ice cream" standard for myself so that I have the willpower to avoid a daily scoop.

Various other things for specific recipes/meals - but these 9 are "eat often" purchases. I did end up stopping at the natural foods market for seitan, eggplant fries, milk, and manchego cheese.

What's in your cart? (doesn't that sound like a really bad pickup line??)

foodie friday.

I didn't manage to upload any photos this am, so you'll have to use your imagination. Two things to share today -

1. Kale & Quinoa "greek" salad - this has been a lunch favorite this week. Saute kale with olive oil over medium heat for just a few minutes. Toss with cooked quinoa - I just made a bunch in my rice cooker one morning & used it throughout the week. Throw in a few kalamata olives & feta cheese. YUM! (I also wanted a bit of crunch, so I added a tablespoon or so of pumpkin seeds - not greek, but good!)

2. Gorgonzola, Pear, & Walnut Risotto - Barb & I made this in Chicago, and I decided to wing it last night. Tons of recipes online (go google. I'll wait) One change that I made - I sauted the walnuts & pears in a bit of butter before adding them. The pears were looking a bit sad, so basically used the butter to compensate!

Oh, and a *bonus* - my fave smoothie from the week - almond/coconut milk blend, banana, peanut butter, oatmeal, and maca powder.

Happy (foodie) Friday!

foodie friday.

I have a weekly update meeting on thursdays that reviews all current projects with one specific account. It's a spin-off meeting, really - we already have a project update meeting on wednesdays. Since this adds yet another meeting to people's calendar, I bribe attendees with food. Assigning someone to bring "snack" has become a tradition of the meeting. I like traditions! This week, I neglected to assign snack, so I had to scramble a bit - I'm the default snack-bringer. In honor of a recent project with a honey theme, I baked these: 


Vanilla Cupcakes with Honey Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. 

The cupcake - I used this recipe from Annie's Eats. A tasty recipe, for sure - but I think that I overbaked them a bit. They ended up on the dry side (easily solved by making a large cup of coffee to accompany them).

The frosting - I have never met a buttercream that I didn't like. The basics are always the same - 2 sticks of unsalted butter, 4-5 cups of powdered sugar - and then I just kinda play with the additions. I started this one with 1/4 cup raw honey, but kept pouring more in until I liked the level of honey taste. Then I added about 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Loooved this frosting.

Overall? I think that the frosting deserved a more interesting cupcake. I think I'll pair it with a green tea or lavendar recipe next time. (Although the meeting attendees gave this combo a thumbs up)