Dinosaur Kale & Ricotta Spread With Chickpeas & Tomatoes

Do you have too much kale? I have a quick recipe for you for Dinosaur Kale & Ricotta Spread inspired by Jamie Oliver.

Dinosaur Kale & Ricotta Spread
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup ricotta

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add kale and garlic, season with salt, and saute until the kale has wilted.
2. Using an immersion blender, puree kale with garlic and the rest of the ingredients in a wide mouth jar.
3. Adjust the seasoning.

Idea #1: Serve the spread with home cooked chickpeas, halved cherry tomatoes and more ricotta.

Idea #2: spread this concoction on toasted challah, top with cold corned beef and sliced avocados. SO good!

What would you do with kale!?


Weekend Inspirations: Ricotta, Cucumber & Hard Boiled Egg Toast

If you, like me, are dreaming of the weekend and a big breakfast with a mug of coffee, and maybe a cactus (because why not?), I have just the idea for you!

Ricotta, Cucumber & Hard Boiled Egg Toast

1) Start with home baked bread
2) Toast the bread and slather it with ricotta
3) Season with truffle salt: why not be fancy?
4) Add sliced Persian cucumbers
5) Add 8 minute hard boiled egg (the center of the egg is not completely cooked)
6) More truffle salt
7) Add halved cherry tomatoes
8) Serve with coffee


Meatless Monday: Raw Beet Salad With Pistachio Butter, Citrus & Dates

Oh hey, it's another Meatless Monday! I'm barely awake after 4 nights of poor sleep, but have a bright and cheerful (and accidentally VEGAN) recipe to share with you today: Raw Beet Salad With Pistachio Butter, Citrus & Dates.

It all started with a broken arm 4 years ago...that led me to start ordering my produce from Washington's Green Grocer and building a great relationship with Lisa, the company's co-owner. In a very sweet gesture, Lisa sent me a copy of Six Seasons and two frozen pizzas to celebrate our anniversary in my latest produce order. I was very touched!

The first recipe I made from the gorgeous book was an adaptation of Beet Slaw With Pistachios and Raisins.

Here are a few things I changed: I used dates instead of raisins and added citrus segments and diced avocado. 

Look at the gorgeous colors! I recommend julienne'ing the beets instead of grating them for a more appealing look and better texture. I'm not sold on the mint in this salad, and would probably leave it out next time.

Pistachio butter was simple to make and would be great on top of challah or spread on a toast and topped with avocado and sprinkled with salt. 

If you've not given beets a chance yet, do it now!!!


Long Weekend in Savannah in 10 Photos

If you are looking for a fun long weekend getaway, I highly recommend going to Savannah, GA. A few weekends ago I flew to Savannah to meet my friends Jenny and Laura whom I've known for 16 years! This was my second time in Savannah, but the first for my friends. Below are ten things to do!

1. Find an AirBnB in the city. We booked a great one near the Forsyth Park (the famous fountain below), and absolutely loved the architectural details of the house, beautiful kitchen, backyard for sipping Puerto Rican coffee each morning, ability to walk to most places, and our host who was very quick at answering all of our questions.

2. Sandfly BBQ: this was our first lunch in Savannah. Luckily we got a table inside where it was air conditioned. Get all the pork, brisket, chicken, and sausage. Mac & cheese and coleslaw were great; the fried okra needed more seasoning or Ranch dressing. The sweet potato fries were perfectly crunchy and not greasy.

We walked some of this off on the way to the grocery store (more on that later).

3. Brunch at The Collins Quarters: brunch is probably my favorite weekend meal. Just like most places in Savannah, The Collins Quarters doesn't take reservations, but we only had to wait about 30 minutes on a late Saturday morning. Not to worry: there are plenty of cafes and parks around to wait.

I ordered a Bloody Mary and a lamb burger; Jenny had smoked salmon toast, and Laura had a quinoa dish. The food was great, and we had the perfect opportunity for people watching because of our outdoor table.

Because the food took a while to come out, the manager automatically comped our drinks: a nice touch!

4. Dinner at Atlantic: we were lucky to be able to snag a table for dinner at Atlantic. Make sure to come close to when the restaurant opens. Speaking of open, the open kitchen is beautiful and stopped me in my tracks when I saw a massive carrot cake. Alas, we had other plans for dessert and did not order it. {Make sure to check out their bathrooms with a beautiful blue tiled floor and orange lockers.}

Atlantic was casual and fun, and felt like a neighborhood place you'd visit often. Their romaine wedge salad blew me away: bacon wrapped dates, hazelnuts, and a creamy blue cheese dressing. For the entree, I chose a duck breast and was not disappointed.

5. Dinner at The Grey: located in the old Greyhound terminal, this was a fun way to spend our last night in Savannah. The service and food were superb, and our waitress gave us a great recommendation for breakfast the next day.

I decided to be brave and order a whole roasted fish (head, bone, skin, and all) and loved it! The other highlights were octopus, foie & grits, and farmers cheese cheesecake. Laura loved her chicken with curry, almonds, and currants, and Jenny enjoyed the special of the night (I think it was halibut). The smashed potatoes, were lovely too!

6. Breakfast at B Matthew's: yes, I started with another Bloody Mary. It was a vacation: don't judge. My entree was superb: fried green tomato Benedict on a homemade biscuit with potatoes instead of a fruit salad. The eggs were perfectly cooked, and I loved the fancy little greens on top. Bonus: it fit with Meatless Monday!

7. Forsyth Farmers' Market: such a fun Saturday activity! Yes, I have super white legs. I never get tan. Anyway....I bought a King of Pops blackberry ginger lemonade pop: refreshing, not overly sweet, and thirst quenching.

8. Breakfast at AirBnB: not each meal needs to be at a restaurant. As I mentioned, our first day we went to a nearby grocery store and bought chips and dips and meats and cheeses and wine for a "picnic dinner" at home and also provisions to make breakfast. Below is a turkey/pepper/onion/cheese frittata, baked plantains, toast with Nutella, salsa, tomatoes, strawberries, and a Rose cocktail. Such fun!!

9. Wormsloe Historic Site: only 7 miles away from Savannah is this beautiful nature reserve with massive trees, a hike trail, and water views. So glad my friend Mary's sister Noel recommended we check this out.

10. SCAD: check out The Savannah College of Art and Design museum or some of the buildings scattered around the city. 

Leave a comment to let me know if I missed something ;)


An Ode To Molly Yeh's Scallion Pancake Challah: Meatless Monday

It's the second week of March. How are your New Year resolutions coming along? I'm doing pretty good when it comes to making new recipes. Here's one I made last week: Molly Yeh's Scallion Pancake Challah. I saw this recipe on food52, printed it out, and made it with just a few changes.

This challah was so easy to make: only one rise, no complicated ingredients, AND it has scallions in the middle of each braid part. The toasted sesame seed oil gives the challah a hint of unexpected fragrance, and I used the everything but the bagel Trader Joe's spice mix to round up the flavors.

Look at the texture!! I would add a bit more salt next time I make this recipe. 2/3rds of the loaf are safe in my freezer because I know myself: I would not be able to resist eating the whole thing in just a few days.

Over the weekend, I made breakfast of toasted challah slices with an Israeli inspired salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and white onions; hummus, and a hard boiled egg. And coffee. By the way, shout out to Melissa Maya Pottery who made this gorgeous mug I bought as a Hanukkah present from my parents. LOVE it. 

Here's to more successful recipes!!


Quick & Easy Lunch: Tuna Salad With Chickpeas & Red Pepper

Let's talk about Quick & Easy Lunch: Tuna Salad With Chickpeas & Red Pepper.

I almost always have canned tuna in my refrigerator (solid white), and it makes for an incredibly quick lunch or dinner. You can keep it simple by only adding mayonnaise and maybe some white onions, or go all out with fun ingredients such as avocado, corn, herbs, olives, etc. Here's my latest concoction ;)

Quick & Easy Lunch: Tuna Salad With Chickpeas & Red Pepper
Serves 2-3

1 can of solid white tuna, drained
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 red pepper, chopped
mayonnaise: the more the merrier
salt & pepper to taste
2 scallions, sliced
potato chips on the side

This salad keeps well in the refrigerator and is great for leftovers.

Tell me your favorite tuna salad combination!


Eggplant Fetteh: Syria Recipes From Home Cookbook

Love eggplant? Then I highly recommend you make Eggplant Fetteh from Syria Recipes From Home Cookbook. That's the latest cookbook featured in the Washington Green Grocer's Cookbook Club.

I made this recipe last week by roasting sliced eggplant in the oven and topping it with yogurt/lemon juice dressing (and adding sumac to it), pomegranate, broken pita chips, cilantro, and pistachios instead of pine nuts.

You really don't need the exact amounts: use as much of each ingredient as you like. Instead of mixing everything in a bowl, I made a big ass plated salad and consumed it in its entirety.


Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies: New Year, New Recipes

Remember my resolution to make more new recipes this year!? Well, Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies is the latest one I tried. I literally baked these cookies this morning before going to work.

Here's what happened:
1) I saw a link for Tahini Chocolate Chunk Cookies on The Nosher Facebook which led me to 
2) Hey Alma website and to 
3) Sonya Michelle Sanford's website and instagram.

I already knew I love tahini cookies, so adding chocolate chunks and salt to them made perfect sense!

The recipe was incredibly easy: I made the dough last night after eating steak/potatoes/asparagus/Prosecco dinner I made for myself for Valentine's day. The dough needed to be refrigerated for 24 hours, but overnight worked out just fine.

I scooped the dough this morning as I was getting ready for work and brewing coffee, and putting on makeup, and attempting to straighten my hair.

These cookies are so good!!! Please use chocolate chunks as the recipe mentions and not chocolate chips. Next time I'll add pecans.

I love when I make a new recipe and it works!!! I brought some to work to share ;)


Winter Salad

Winter salads can be as colorful, flavorful, and delicious as spring or summer salads.

Over the weekend I combined a few random ingredients from my refrigerator and pantry in a large bowl and liked it so much, I decided to remake it, plate it nicely and photograph it in order to share with you. You are welcome.

Winter Salad
baby spinach
Cara Cara orange segments
red pepper, thinly sliced
pecans, toasted
dressing: whole grain mustard, remaining juice from segmenting the orange, olive oil, salt & pepper


Roasted Butternut Squash & Avocado Toast on Le Creuset Dutch Oven Bread

Think bread baking is hard!? Think again! Le Creuset Dutch Oven Bread is something you can easily make on a lazy Sunday with very little effort. In fact, that's exactly what I did last Sunday as most of you were getting ready for Superbowl. 

I used this recipe from Le Creuset but added about a tablespoon of za'atar during the last rise and baked it for 10 extra minutes, and then finished it under the broiler to get the top crust really crispy.

Yes, that's my attempt at a football design ;)

Using a stand mixer made kneading this bread a breeze. The dough was super smooth, doubled in size in only 2 hours, and wasn't sticky to work with.

I'm still trying to figure out how to make the bread itself more flavorful: it needed a lot more salt in the dough itself, but that could have jeopardized the work of the yeast. I did love adding za'atar, but thought it would have gotten inside the bread itself and not just the crust.

Here's a slice of the bread toasted, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with plenty of truffle salt: I'm fancy like that.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Avocado Toast on Le Creuset Dutch Oven Bread

thick slice of bread, toasted
avocado, sliced
roasted butternut squash cubes
sour cream mixed with sriracha to taste
fresh cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

Assemble all ingredients.
Dig in with a knife and fork.

I had to slice and freeze most of this loaf so that I would not inhale all the calories at once.

Happy bread baking!