Turkey Broth Soup with Arborio and Lentils!

Inspiration: A few days before Christmas I was seriously craving lentil stew, (with spicy Italian sausage and spinach, mmm… it was going to be delightful) but that plan got waitlisted  by all the holiday chaos and by the time it was all over, had been discarded altogether and replaced with Turkey Soup. 

 Originally, the intention was to make something classic, kind of like chicken noodle, but with turkey. After all, I had a fridge full of turkey leftovers and the house all to myself for the weekend, what better to do with my abundance of spare time and space, than to brood over the perfect Turkey broth? …I’m thinking I need friends. So after basking in the glory of getting to watch Netflix in my undies for most of the day, I decided I would do what I could with that turkey in the fridge. I got to work building flavors for my stock with all the usuals (onions, carrots… I used snap peas because I ran out of celery, and I mean why not right? Peppercorns, bay leaves etc. Pretty much exactly what I would have done with chicken broth, but more rosemary) by the time it was done I had a whole new set of problems, numero uno being . . . what the hell am I supposed to do with this now? Lucky for me, the next day as I was making my way home from work in the dismal rainy grossness that is winter in Vancouver, it dawned on me that I still really wanted lentils (If it’s one thing I’m good for, it’s a strange craving) and the more I  thought about it, the more I was convinced my broth would make the perfect base for earthy lentils, as for the rest, they came in the usual cluttered web of connections between tangy and salty, earthy and sweet; what I like to call culinary epiphanies. 

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#HappyNewYear 

Tuna Salad!

I’m a little late with this post (and by a little I mean a lot), but better late than never right?

That seems like some sort of oxymoron… I’m referring to the title. I mean when has tuna Salad ever deserved an exclamation mark? I believe the answer is (was) never. But as I explained to a friend “it’s not tuna salad, it’s a fiesta” — As in, if I put cilantro in it that makes it exciting –

Inspiration: A combination of sunshine, an abundance of spare time, and (for once) a legitimate source of inspiration. I was scrolling through an app on my phone when I came across a picture that got me thinking. I’ve never been a massive fan of tuna salad, if only because it makes your breath smell, but this particular tuna salad was being cradled by a ripe avocado and I just couldn’t resist. However, due to my apparent love for making things more complicated than they need to be, I couldn’t just make tuna salad. I felt I at least owed the avocado something a little more exciting than tuna, mayo, and lemon juice.

So, once the tuna part was out of the way and I stood there contemplating over produce, it seemed I had some sort of culinary epiphany. In all honesty I don’t know what possessed me to pick up radishes but things seemed to be clicking in my head and that doesn’t happen often so I just went with it. Ill save you all the internal babble, but I will say that there was a method to my madness. Radishes, cucumber, lime, cilantro and a little garlic, plus all your usual tuna salad dress-ups, and let’s not forget to give credit where it’s due, my perfectly ripe avocado.

#goodeats

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Diced Pineapples: Mango Avocado Salad!

Inspiration: A container of spring greens in the fridge, and a grey day in dire need of a little sunshine.

I’d  been tossing around salad ideas in my head for hours, but just couldn’t come up with the right combo, then, as per usual I was hit by a combination of fate and desperation. I rarely crave salad, and when I do it’s usually something like chicken Cesar with way too much dressing for it to even qualify as healthy. However, in as much as I love my store-bought-chicken, hastily-torn-lettuce, and half a box of croutons, that day I was thinking something a little lighter. Well, as fate would have it, there just happened to be an avocado, and two beautiful ripe mangoes sitting in the fruit dish, (which I fully intended to make mango salsa with a few days prior, but lucky for me my plans don’t always work out). Then, I opened the fridge only to see a box of pineapple juice left from the punch we made for my great aunt’s birthday the day before (seriously! Such things never happen to me.) Pineapple vinaigrette it is! Reduced pineapple juice, olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic. Sweet, with a little tang, over spring greens, sliced mangoes, avocado, and fresh feta.

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Talk about being inspired. I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks. Today was beautiful! And while I was relaxing, enjoying the sunshine through the kitchen window and blasting Rick Ross’ “Diced Pineapples” I decided that that day should have felt exactly like this one.

#pineapplevinaigrette #lifeisgood

Garlic Sage Roasted Potatoes!

 

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Inspiration: … More like a lack thereof. I was walking through the grocery the other day when I came across these gorgeous baby-potatoes, (needless to say the purple caught my eye first) and I just had to have them, so I did. I mean, of course I had no idea what I was going to do with them, because in my mind “they’re pretty” was as good a reason as any to buy them, but I felt slightly obligated to actually cook them, and so began my dilemma. To roast or not to roast, that is the question! Unfortunately for me all of my other big plans for these baby potatoes were quickly dismissed for various reasons, as most ideas I have usually are. So they sat in my pantry for a few more days, likely brewing over their own demise into wrinkled, sprouting, spuds.  But eventually, once I had accepted the fact that  for some Godforsaken I couldn’t think to do anything but roast them, I surrendered to this insipid preparation of my beautiful potatoes and pulled out the roasting pan. However,  I must admit that despite feeling that I had committed some irreparably unimaginative wrong against my tri-colored taters, they were pretty good. (At least as far as roasted potatoes go).

#tatertots

Spinach Tomato Baked Friatta!

“Throwback!” unfortunately that slightly annoying phrase is the best way for me describe this picture. The ultimate reminder of summer… is that sad?

Well, me being me, a large part of my summer was spent flipping through the pages of Bon Appetit and obsessing over heirloom tomatoes. Unfortunately, finding heirloom tomatoes proved to be a bit of a challenge (contrary to what reading too much Fine cooking might lead one to believe).

101Nevertheless, this particular breakfast was inspired by a column I came across in a magazine, which frankly I may have only picked up because it displayed a gorgeous picture of an heirloom tomato salad with feta, basil, and a balsamic vinaigrette on the front cover… but (as per usual) I digress. The article detailed the beautifully simplistic masterpieces one woman managed to create with flavors inspired by her summer in Tuscany.

However, since I did not spend my summer in Tuscany, and do not have a cottage on a farm, or know how to raise my own hens. My darling frittata and I had to settle for living vicariously through her pictures and create the dish sans the country charm.

#GoodMorningWorld