Savory Rice Pudding with Crispy Broccoli

I admit it. I did it. After four nights of mustering the impressive strength to eat real food for dinner despite Gilles being away (which required the difficult tasks of either walking to friends’ houses to eat the dinners they prepared or reheating leftovers), I caved. I ate cereal for dinner. On Thursday. Yes, I did.

Which meant that I couldn’t eat cereal for dinner on Friday. Well, I could, but my self-respect was requesting something more.

Broccoli, crisped. Rice, made into a savory pudding. Together. Here it is.

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A Single Lady’s Picnic: Asparagus, Ham, & Egg

Gilles is traveling for work this week, and my meals have consisted largely of salads, dinners at friends’ houses, and leftovers from before Gilles left (food takes a little longer to disappear when he’s not around). Tonight, finding myself on my own and quite ready for a break from salad, I very nearly went for a dinner of Yogurtland. However, the leftover grilled asparagus in the fridge guilt-tripped me into making something of it. Reluctant to do too much slicing or stirring, I found a few other items knocking around and made a little Single Lady picnic plate.

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Cookout 2: Burgers & Guac

We had a little BBQ at the beach for a friend’s birthday. Of course, we predicted it would be a beautiful & warm sunny day, (which it was, just 3 blocks inland from the coast) but it was fairly foggy and freezing near the beach. Thank goodness the food and company were good!

We started at the market to get some fresh produce and locally-raised meat (yes, it’s good for the planet and is healthier than conventional meat, but it is also WAY TASTIER than conventional meat, and the stuff at the market is cheaper than the grass fed whatnot at the grocery store).

Great news, the first tomatoes have arrived!! I pretty much live off of tomatoes during the summer, so get ready to be sick to death of tomato recipes.

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Choose-your-own-adventure Dinner

Spring is tricky. You wake up one day, and the weather is warm and beautiful and it’s light until late evening, so you pull out your summer clothes and wear a tank top to work, and life is perfect again. You plan a BBQ for the next day because you can’t believe how nice it is to be outside, you find your shorts, you forget you own sweaters, and the next day it’s freezing, foggy, almost… raining, and there you are in your tank top at your BBQ, and everyone is wondering why you invited them to such a mess, but you’re all good sports, because it is at least still light until 7:30, and a person can cook a hamburger for dinner on a grill, even if it isn’t summer yet.

Which is to say, I don’t know what the weather is going to be outside my own house 5 or even 12 hours from now, so I don’t know what kind of recipe YOU’RE looking for at the moment.

So, I offer you two options for dinner, based on your weather du’jour.  Click on the picture that better resembles your day, and it will take you to a recipe.  Happy Spring!

I took these pictures on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, so you can see that things here can change quickly.

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Sweet Potato Cakes with Kale & Lettuce, Topped with Sprouted Mung Bean Salad

You guys, this recipe is really good.  It’s easily adaptable and comes together rather quickly for how complicated it seems at a glance.  It looks kind of fancy in the end, but is relatively painless to serve for company; my favorite kind of dish.  Actually, my favorite kind of dish to serve to company is something challenging I’ve never tried before because I lacked the motivation to cook it for just Gilles and myself, so it’s always a gamble if you’re invited to dinner, folks!  But I digress.

The variation of the recipe for the potato cakes I’ll present here is a rather highly modified version of  a recipe in Nigel Slater’s Tender (vol I).  To illustrate, yet again, how bad I am at sticking to recipes, I remembered that I had made this dish for a dinner party and thought that I had followed the recipe 100%.  Upon re-reading the recipe, I realized I had followed it about 80%.  The good news is, it’s hard to muck it up and easy to have fun with!

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A Light Potato Gratin with Sauteed Spinach & Caramelized Onion

French is a useful language if you want to cast your subject in a more flattering light. Does someone you know have a small chin? They’re not ‘weak-jawed’ in French, but rather they have a ‘fleeting chin,’ a menton fuyant, making them sound like someone who just has a really fun face. It is just as effective to use a French term in English to make something sound like it has more style or class (e.g., cachet) than it does: is something rather unrefined or primitive? Sure, in English you could say it is ‘rustic’ or ‘provincial,’ but if you bust out some French, you could call it ‘rustique’ or ‘provençal,’ which sounds much nicer.

So, enter the remarkably stylish potato casserole gratin. Notably, not potatoes’o’gratin, as I thought they were called when I was young (and thus assumed this was a traditional Irish recipe), but potatoes au gratin.

Take note! A gratin does not have to be heavy with cream, butter, and cheese. Here, I use low-fat milk, just a bit of fat which you could exclude, and only a sprinkling of cheese. Plus, we’re adding spinach. This dish feels luxurious and rich, but is actually rather healthy, depending on how you feel about potatoes!

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A Spring Salad with Peas and Eggs

A Salad for Spring

Crisp green lettuce, perfectly ripe peas, and bright yellow and white eggs are perfect for a spring day that started out a little brisk and has gradually warmed to the perfect temperature.

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