Make This Now

I go through phases where I love every recipe we make and phases where everything is “meh” and most of January felt like the latter, but things turned around at the end of the month and I was back in that “this is all delicious!” mindset.  I like it better here 😛

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Warm Chickpea Bowls with Lemony Yogurt

I made this for Joey one night but didn’t eat it myself until the following day and when I dug in, I was wowed!  I’m also a sucker for chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, full fat Greek yogurt and fennel, so I guess this recipe was made just for me.  It might have a lot going on, but it all works so beautifully together.  Swiping a bite of roasted cauliflower through that creamy yogurt was truly a wonderful moment in my life.

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Oven-Roasted Salmon with Feta, Asparagus & Cranberry Farro

We pan-seared this salmon because, in my opinon, it’s the best method but if you make this and you want to oven-roast, you do you.  The farro mixture was SO GOOD!  Cooking the grains in broth means they are really flavorful and then all the mix-in just make it even better.  Our grocery deliverer accidentally brought us two extra pieces of salmon, so I got to eat this meal twice and was NOT mad about it.

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Southwestern Tempeh Taco Salad with Chipotle-Tahini

Wow, this was good!  And made for one of those healthy filling lunches that gives you a burst of energy and happiness.  As I write this, this salad is waiting for me in the fridge for lunch and I feel very very excited about that.  I love how tempeh is much more permeable than tofu so the chipotle sauce you cook it in, really transforms it.  Plus everything topped with avocado is fine more than fine by me!

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Black Bean Plantain Enchilada Bake

It’s probably not recommended to have your groceries delivered if you need perfectly ripe plantains, but even though a couple of them were not quite there, this meal still turned out so so good.  This is the second time we’ve made this enchilada bake and we’ve loved it both times!  It’s saucy and hearty and doused in a “cheesy” sauce that makes use of Joey’s favorite ingredient: nutritional yeast.  It does take some time, but the result is more than worth it.  I highly recommend topping it with avocado and maybe eating some tortilla chips on the side.

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Ricotta Gnocchi with Zucchini & Pesto

It’s probably cruel to share this meal with you, without linking the recipe but it’s from a cookbook, so I guess you can’t really “make this now”… SORRY!  One Thursday night, I whipped myself up a dinner for one and not only was this gnocchi easy and quick (key when you’re cooking solo) but it tasted so dang good.  One slipped out of the pan as I crisped them up and I was all too happy to eat it off the stove.  Special mention to freezer pesto, making this extra easy to cook and bursting with good basil flavor.

Please tell me what you’ve been cooking and loving lately!

Thanksgiving Weekend Things

I want to be honest and tell you I was not in the mood I wanted to be in for much of this holiday weekend.  Sometimes the makings of a perfect weekend are there — extra time, family traditions, good food, fun plans — but my emotions and attitude just don’t line up with it all.  Or, more likely, it’s BECAUSE of all these good parts that I just set my expectations too high.  I really have been working on that habit this year, but I maybe didn’t do my best this Thanksgiving and found myself in a funk I couldn’t fully shake.

But it’s okay because even when you think things are bad, there’s always good stuff mixed in too!

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We left work a bit early on Wednesday, prepped a few things for Thanksgiving — please give me props for allowing Joey to handle the sweet potato casserole I make every year, thus giving up the opportunity to take credit for its deliciousness — before heading to Uncle for our traditional Thanksgiving Eve ramen dinner.  We are four for four on snagging chef’s counter seats and watching the hustle and bustle of the kitchen does not get old.

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We’ve been doing this double Thanksgiving thing for many years now and while I’m mostly glad I get to spend time with everyone, I also can’t wait to just have one Thanksgiving some day when I win the lottery and can afford a bigger house.  Thanksgiving #1 highlights were Lori somehow being able to get everything to the table while it was still hot, this year’s Christmas ornament and trying to talk Chad into cooking the turkey “whole hog-style” next year. Thanksgiving #2 highlights were STUFFING, Mom handing us each a piece of turkey skin and having our little pup with us all night.

Sometimes I get real impatient like “can we sit down and eat already?!” but as we were all crowded in the kitchen — Joey carving the turkey, my sister mixing the cocktail, me re-heating the Brussels and my mom conducting the whole symphony — I realized this (slightly chaotic, sort of loud, maybe disorganized) part, where we are all doing something to help get the meal on the table, is actually the best ♥

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I just realized I have ZERO pictures from Friday.  Did that day even happen??  I guess I was too caught up in a slow morning, a quick trip to the gym, grocery shopping and a double date night with Wayne and my sister and I’m totally fine with that.  We hit Cart-Driver for pizza — it’s official, this is my favorite pizza place in all of Denver — then saw Widows and look, all the performances were amazing — Viola Davis performs grief like nobody’s business — and it’s shot beautifully, but why make a heist movie if you’re not going to put a lot of detail into the heist??

Saturday started with gingerbread waffles (SO GOOD!) and progressed into cookie baking and Christmas decorating before I headed into Louisville to visit my favorite small businesses 🙂 and when I got back, I came through the back door and straight out the front so Joey and I could have a coffee date.  We ate Thanksgiving leftovers (thanks, Mom!!!) before heading to the Avs game.  The walk to and from the car were MISERABLY COLD but the game was seriously so fun!

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What day are we on??  Oh yes, Sunday 😛  We took ourselves to breakfast at Stowaway — there was brief moment of panic when their front door said “NOPE” but turns out the N was just on the wrong end and they really were open.  Lots of coffee, a chocolate pomegranate doughnut and my beloved mushroom tartine perked me up long enough to make lunch salads, mix up Dorsey Bars and clean the bathroom and despite momentarily falling asleep on the couch, I did make it to Sunday yoga.  My teacher kept reminding us to stay in the moment — “anxiety is what happens when we try to predict the future, depression comes from dwelling on the past” — and that hit me hard.

Back at home, Joey had already started dinner (the best!) so I helped finish it all up and we were awarded with a dinner feast of salmon burgers and sweet potato fries that I LOVED.  The fennel slaw was out of this world and please know that I’ve been waiting for these sweet potato fries since 2016, when Chrissy Teigan first teased a picture of them.  Whoa!  They were worth the wait because they were truly crispy and delicious.

This post is already way too long but also know that we started Atlanta and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel this weekend and I’m enjoying both!  Please tell me how your holiday weekend was, I’d love to hear ♥