Lazy “Lasagna” and Lemon Broccolini

This meal takes maybe 10-15 minutes of your attention and work, making it a great weeknight choice!

Lazy “Lasagna”
Frozen ravioli of your choice (I used a 4 cheese variety but a meat or veggie filling would be good too)
Your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce (or homemade, but this is supposed to be LAZY)
2-4 cloves garlic, pressed (optional, but that’s no reason to be TOO lazy)
Fresh grated or sliced mozzarella
Fresh grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375.

Pour about half the jar of spaghetti sauce and garlic into a glass baking dish. Arrange still-frozen ravioli on top of the sauce in one layer. Add about half the remaining half of sauce on top (repeat with garlic). Make another layer of ravioli then cover with the rest of the sauce and garlic. Arrange a layer of mozzarella on top of that and then Parmesan to finish it off.

Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving–the cheese will be piping hot!

Lemon Broccolini
1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed
Juice and zest of 1 large or 2 small lemons
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and pepper

Steam broccolini for about 5 minutes.

While that’s going, whisk together remaining ingredients in a small serving bowl.

Use tongs to transfer steamed veggies to bowl and toss to coat.


Lemon-Garlic Fettuccine with Roasted Asparagus

Equal parts EVOO and fresh squeezed lemon juice (I juiced 4 lemons, which was somewhere between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and pepper
Zest of 1-2 lemons
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Your pasta of choice (I used fresh Fettucine)
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed
More EVOO, salt and pepper
However much pine nuts you want, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with EVOO on a rimmed cookie sheet, arrange in a single layer, and season with S & P.

Whisk together the lemon juice, EVOO, garlic, and S & P in a large serving bowl. Stir in the grated cheese and set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the lemon zest and parsley.

Pop the asparagus into the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. When rolling, cook your pasta as needed. When ready, remove pasta with tongs into the serving bowl (don’t worry about a little water getting in as that will help bind the sauce to the pasta). Gently toss to coat with lemon sauce, then add the lemon-parsley mixture and toss a bit more.

Remove asparagus and chop into large bite-sized pieces.

Grab a big helping of pasta with the tongs and plop it on a plate. Top with a good amount of asparagus. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Dig in!


Potato & Onion Tart

I guess I’m into savory tarts right now. Today I made an upside-down potato and onion faux tart, I say faux because there’s no crust other than a crunchy bottom of cheese and potato, but it looks pie-ish enough. Check it out:


Butter + fresh thyme in a cast iron pan, fat slices of onion arranged onto that, cooked for a few minutes over medium-high on the stove. Then a mixture of sliced potatoes, EVOO, salt n pepa, and 3 cheeses go on top of that and the whole kaboodle gets baked for 45 minutes. Let it cool a bit and plop it upside down to serve. I didn’t measure anything and used chèvre instead of feta, but otherwise I followed the recipe! It’s basically a lazy au gratin since you don’t mess with making a bechamel. I think next time it doesn’t need so much cheese and the onion would have caramelized just fine without the brief sauté. Anyhoo: YUMMERS! 20130226-192302.jpg

Catch Up

I’m on a Pinterest Rampage this week as I try to catch up with my one-a-day goal by the end of the month. Prior to this post I had done 16 out of 24 so, uhm, yikes!

Martha’s parsnip fries came out very well. Crispy on the outside and almost buttery on the inside. We ate them with corn dogs for lunch–classy!

This Cinnamon Quinoa Bake seems promising. I tasted a little corner of one and it tasted pretty good and had a nice texture. I look forward to nuking for 15 seconds and slathering with almond butter and a drizzle of honey for weekday breakfasts. I used regular soy milk and doubled the vanilla extract, subbed honey for the maple syrup just because we were out of the good stuff.

And lastly, I tried to make these homemade fruit leathers but uh, they died. They were baking at 170 degrees for many hours and I needed to go out so I left Ian in charge, but he’s sick, as mentioned earlier, and he didn’t tend them so well so they became homemade fruit shards of charcoal. Oh well. I’ll try this again some day when I can commit to the task.

Sleepy-time yoga and good morning ginger smoothie

I tried a different set of bedtime stretches last night, this 8 minute yoga routine. It felt nice and I liked that I could do the poses with my sweetie already in bed (the other one I tried takes up basically the whole bed) but I’m not sure I agree with the last pose. It starts as a lay on your back with knees tucked to your chest pose, but then you rock yourself into a sitting position, then back down, repeat for 2 minutes. I may have done it incorrectly because in practice it was a pretty lively action, not the kind of thing you do RIGHT before drifting off to sleep, which is the sequence’s intention. But hey, read the description yourself and give it a whirl.

Then this morning I made this berry beet smoothie, minus the apple and adding a few blackberries. I didn’t make a whole huge batch so I guesstimated on all the quantities. I happened to have a ton of roasted beets in the fridge from yesterday’s beet tart, so I used a couple slices of that instead of raw. The ginger and orange juice cut right through the sweetness of the beets, banana, and strawberries, and it is quite the zesty little pick-me-up. This one will have a spot in my weekday morning smoothie rotation for sure–YUM-YUM!


Beet Tart

Today I made a yummy thang loosely based on this beet tartine.

I had wanted to attempt the homemade crust but I don’t have a tart pan, and I thought a regular sloped pie pan would be too deep, so I thought hey–puff pastry is good!

The filling is a layer of shallots (caramelized in bacon butter!), roasted sliced beets, a light custard (3/4 cup half & half, 2 eggs, about a teaspoon fresh thyme, S&P), walnuts and chèvre. I baked the crust at 400 for 15 minutes, added the filling, then baked for another 20 minutes at 350. I think it looks pretty great! Can’t wait to dig in:


Update: it was indeed delicious! Paired with a salad of butter lettuce, apple, bacon, and a lemon faux vinaigrette.


Cauliflower Soup and Peasant Bread

Months apart, I pinned two cauliflower soup recipes, and since I bought two heads of cauli but used just one for the lemon-tahini recipe, I decided to make a soup. One recipe uses roasted cauliflower, aged cheddar, garlic and fresh thyme, while the other uses carrots, a little bay leaf, and lotsa cream, so I made a hybrid version. Shallot, garlic, carrot, thyme, bay leaf, nice and singed roasted cauliflower, veggie broth, a little roux, milk, heavy cream, sharp cheddar, garnished with bacon! Heck yeah! This turned out AMAZING even though it’s really unphotogenic.


I also baked some bread. Yep, me. It was suuuuper easy, which was the whole gist of the original blog and why I pinned it at all, but it did fall a bit when it cooled. No matter–it was absolutely HEAVENLY. The crust was crispy and buttery and the inside spongy and moist. While I was eating it while it was still warm I had a gut-level wonderment that we eat anything that isn’t bread. I mean, look at this motherfucker:


This soup and bread together made for one decadent homemade meal! Pinterest success! Pinter-cess…Princess? Sure, that’s how I felt manga-ing on this feast! 🙂


Birthday Squash with Sausage

Deciding what to do with a rogue butternut squash is one of the more pleasant Grey Season conundrums. Today was Ian’s birthday and I didn’t want to buy a bunch of groceries since we’re doing the big party thing tomorrow, but I didn’t want to make the poor guy eat from my Frozen Soup Hoard on his big day. So I looked around the kitchen and found the aforementioned squash, some kale, and 2 Link Lab jalapeño pork sausage links in the freezer, and came up with the following deliciousness:


3-4 large leaves kale, big veins removed, chopped
1 butternut squash, halved and scooped
2 large links good pork sausage
1/3 cup (dry) red quinoa
1/3 cup veggie broth
Scant 1/4 cup water
1 large shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon stoneground mustard
Eyeball quantities:
Sherry vinegar
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder and ground cumin
Wildflower honey (clover’s fine!)

Preheat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove papery skins from shallot and garlic, toss into blender or Magic Bullet cup. Chop the kale (well rinsed and dried) and throw into a large mixing/serving bowl.

Place halved squash face down onto cookie sheet and bake for 45 to 60 minutes.

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, toast quinoa for a few minutes, tossing to do so evenly. Add veggie broth, water, and a few shakes of garlic powder and cumin and stir. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Leave covered until water is absorbed, then remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Transfer quinoa to bowl of kale.

Attend to the blender or MB cup of shallot and garlic. Add 1 part sherry vinegar, 1 part lemon juice, and 2 parts olive oil. Add mustard and a short stream of honey, season with salt and pepper. Blend for a good minute. If the shallot and garlic are being chunky stinkers try doing short pulses. Transfer to bowl of kale and quinoa and toss well.

Remove squash from oven and let cool just enough to handle.

Remove casing from sausage. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add a dash of oil if it’s not super seasoned. Plop down the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon. Brown meat and crumble it down as you cook. Once cooked through, set aside.

Remove skin from squash. Sometimes you can hand peel it off but others you may need to use a vegetable peeler. Chop into roughly 1-1.5″ chunks and transfer to the bowl of kale, etc. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Add sausage to the party in the big bowl and toss to combine. Enjoy with your favorite crusty bread!

We paired this with a nice green salad of butter lettuce, arugula, gooey ripe persimmons, toasted hazelnuts and a light hazelnut oil dressing. Didn’t keep the meager leftovers so sadly no picture.

Blackberry Lemonade

This is maybe the yummiest, easiest treat ever. The main barrier is the cost of blackberries, but the ones I used today were courtesy of a scantily ravaged chunk of abandoned railroad, a plucky last-gasp heat wave, and determination, with the small extra cost of minor abrasions and sweaty-helmet hair.

Anyhoo, get yer paws on some juicy sweet blackberries!

Throw ’em in your blender for a while. Add puree directly to your favorite tart, and already-chilled, lemonade and stir briefly to combine. I went with about a 1:2 ratio for outrageous berry goodness. If you’re feeling fancy, strain the seeds out before mixing with lemonade. Either way the taste is magical. And that color! What a great way to celebrate summer’s last hurrah and toast to the coming season of darkness and death. 🙂


Hippie Harvest Salad

1 butternut squash, halved “hotdog style”
3 sweet potatoes, peeled diced
1 Walla Walla (or other sweet yellow) onion, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 bunch kale, veins removed, chopped into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup white quinoa and 3/4 cup red quinoa (dry measurement)
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped
1 chunk of semi-hard (slightly aged) sheep’s milk cheese, thinly sliced, then cut into bite-sized pieces

Dressing: juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard, 2 cloves pressed garlic, 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil, eyeball EVOO, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.

Add water and veggie broth to a medium sized pot with a fitted lid, and bring to a boil.

While you wait for the above liquids to heat up, dump both the red and white quinoa into a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir frequently to toast evenly. As soon as a few white grains appear toasted (and you’ll smell a nice warm nutty scent) transfer quinoa to the broth-water mixture. Stir well and cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the liquids have been absorbed. Remove lid, fluff cooked quinoa with a fork, remove from heat, and set aside for later.

While quinoa is cooking, take the halved butternut squash, drizzle with EVOO, season with S&P, and place face-up on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take out and set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove skin, chop up, and place finished squash in a mixing bowl.

Make dressing by whisking all ingredients together.

Carefully rinse and dry kale before chopping. Place in very large serving bowl and add dressing, tossing to coat evenly. Let sit/marinate while you finish the veggies, this will soften the kale a bit and make the nutrients more available.

Add sweet potatoes, onion and apple to the same parchment-lined baking sheet as above, toss with olive oil, and bake about 25 minutes. When potatoes are soft with slightly crispy/wrinkly edges, remove from oven and add to the bowl with the squash. Season the lot liberally with sea salt and toss to combine.

Add all veggies to the serving bowl of dressed kale. Add however much quinoa looks good to you. Add the sliced cheese to that, and top it off with the hazelnuts. Toss gently to combine and enjoy!

This makes surprisingly good leftovers and would be a great make-ahead potluck contribution.

Locavore Note: butternut squash, potatoes, kale, onion, apple, hazelnuts, garlic, and sheep’s milk cheese can all be easily sourced from PNW farmers in early fall. Olive oil, S&P, quinoa, mustard, lemon are always imports.