The Only Frittata Receipe You May Ever Need.

June 6, 2017



Breakfast has always been taken seriously in our home. We have always used slow mornings to make a big breakfast or to saunter over to one of our favorite breakfast spots. Because of this spring’s weird work schedules  (and mostly because of Mark’s travel schedule), big breakfasts and slow mornings on Friday have recently become a dependable, comforting routine around here. 

Normally I will mix up some waffles (with Miles’ eager assistance). We’ll add fruit and yogurt and pour-over coffee and then we’ll bask in the coziness of our almost-weekend, almost-another-week-in-the-books morning before the day begins to roll. Mark and I will linger over the table and sip our coffee. Miles and Violet will wreak havoc in the living room, wandering back occassionally for another bite of something. 




This past Friday, I added a frittata to the spread. The frittata was perfect. Other things that morning? Not so much. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I burned my hand in an idiotic move trying to style the table for a shot before we sliced in it. Next, the syrup bottle shattered in the microwave. 

Meanwhile, we’ve been painting our kitchen cabinets and so our kitchen around the styled Instagram shots actually looks like a construction zone, with every cabinet at a different stage of priming or painting. 

BUT. After attending to the burn and cleaning up the glass, we sat down to THE MOST DELICIOUS FRITTATA. Seriously, add this one to your arsenal. The salami adds just the right touch of salty crunch to it and the potatoes edge it just a little closer to a satisfying hash. 



The Only Frittata Recipe You’ll Ever Need


4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 a red onion, chopped finely

1 cup frozen chopped potatoes

3 tbs. olive oil (I normally use this kind)

7 eggs

1/2 whole milk

1/2 grated parmesan cheese + a bit of reserve to sprinkle on top.

1 tsp. pepper

5-7 slices of hard salami, chopped

1 tbs. oregano (I use fresh, but 1 tsp. dried can substitute)



Heat up the olive oil in a large oven-proof saucepan . Make sure the pan is coated thoroughly. Add the onions, garlic, and frozen potatoes. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Saute until the potatoes are browning and the onions are transparent.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, milk, 1/2 of cheese, and pepper together. Add the chopped salami and oregano to the pan. Allow it to saute for 1-2 more minutes.

Add the eggs, stir the mixture gently, and let it cook on medium heat until the eggs begin to set at the eggs. Sprinkle the remaining reserved cheese on top and move the pan to the oven.

Cook for 11-13 minutesin the pre-heated oven or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. After removing the frittata from the oven, allow it to sit for 3-4 minutes before serving. 



Potato-Onion Frittata (via Martha Stewart)

This Vegetable Frittata (via Bona Vita)

Greens, Eggs, and Ham Frittata (via this issue of BHG)



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Grain Bowl: The Summer Grilling Version.

June 29, 2015

Summer Grain Bowl Title

   Summer Grain Bowl 1

Summer Grain Bowl 2

One of my favorite rituals, and one that I want to make sure I teach Miles to treasure, is that of eating together.

What better way to spend time with your toddler or small child, to instill healthy habits, and to introduce them to new delicious “real” food than to eat alongside them?

Now that we are starting to introduce Miles to more adult food, one of my favorite things to do with him during the day is to make something that we both like, sit down on the floor with him, and share.

Miles is a little obsessed with avocados and with pesto, so this is a pretty easy game to play. I make toast with avocado, sea salt, and lime juice or slice up some bread to dip in pesto and voila! Miles gets to experience new foods that he loves, I get to eat, and we spend quality time together.

This alternative to me frantically trying to find something to eat while he’s entertaining himself for 30 seconds has made our late mornings/early afternoon routines much richer and far less frantic and it gives me an excuse to introduce Miles to foods that I otherwise forget about.

A few mornings ago, I pulled out the leftovers from our grain bowl/grilled vegetable dinner the night before. (I’m a little obsessed with the grain bowl concept featured several times in my favorite magazine, Bon Appetit. If the idea of cooking bores you, try a subscription. I promise you won’t be disappointed and your life will change forever. Or something.)

I sat down by Miles and started to eat lunch with him while we played. He was SO excited to taste the savory quinoa and grilled butternut squash and I was thrilled to find yet another delicious nutritious adult dish that he would eat.

Whether you’re looking for a healthful summer dish for yourself or trying to find creative ways to introduce your baby to new, wonderful foods, this twist on the grain bowl will definitely be a summer favorite!

Summer Grain Bowl 3


1 cup quinoa

1 butternut squash

1 yellow squash

1 onion

A generous assortment of other fresh vegetables. We used 1/2 purple cabbage, a couple of bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower.

1/4 cup butter

2 garlic cloves

2 bouillon cubes

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup white wine

1 tsp. lemon juice


Olive oil

Chop the vegetables into large pieces, at least 1 x 2 inches. Toss everything in a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few dashes of pepper. Place in a foil baking pan and set aside.

Summer Grain Bowl | The Orange Slate

Prepare the quinoa as follows:

Saute the quinoa in 1/2 a cube of butter and 2 garlic cloves. Dissolve two bouillon cubes in 1 1/2 cups of water and add. Add 1/2 cup of wine. Add fresh herbs, 1 tsp. of pepper, and 1 tsp. lemon juice. Cover and cook on medium heat until the liquid is dissolved.

Grill the vegetables in the foil pan until the squash is soft and the vegetables are well-seared. Combine with the quinoa on a plate. I like to drizzle some creamy balsamic dressing over the whole dish.

*This post contains some affiliate links. Thanks for supporting The Orange Slate!

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DIY Baby Food – Butternut Squash

March 25, 2015

Blog Title DIY Butternut Squash

DIY Baby Food 2

Food is a serious pursuit in this house. I do most of the cooking right now, but Mark can hold his own over the stove. Much of our dating happened in the kitchen. We approach food from different perspectives. I’m sort of an ALL THE CARBS ALL THE TIME girl. When I first met Mark, he was a recovering vegan and subsisted on (what seemed to me like) a diet of salmon, kale, beans, and sweet potatoes.

This was completely baffling to me, especially because I didn’t even really know that kale was an actual option for humans to eat, except that one of my roommates at the time also lived on (what seemed like) only kale and sweet potatoes with some olive oil (budget-friendly, but still baffling to me).

So, surrounded, I began to be a little more daring and started to try foods like kale, sweet potatoes, and quinoa while, subjected to one too many lectures about how fat is good for brain cells, Mark agreed to expand his diet to include things like cinnamon rolls and all of the cheese.

DIY Baby Food 1

This is not a post about how Whole30 changed our life (it didn’t because we haven’t tried it) or how we don’t eat bread and pasta (we eat lots) or how I can make a wedding cake, frosting and all, without using gluten (I can’t and I wouldn’t want to anyway). We take our milk and our Greek yogurt with all of the fat and our grains with all of the butter.

This IS a post about eating intentionally and passing that on to little ones. We don’t eat legalistically, but we do try to eat mindfully. We don’t make rules about what not to eat, but we have some guidelines about where to start eating. We don’t label foods as “bad,” or “poison,” or guilt-trip ourselves, but we do try to focus the majority of our appetites and efforts on food that nourishes us most efficiently.

And so we try use lots of vegetables and fruits in our meals, lots of fresh foods, very little that is pre-packaged or prepared before it gets to our house.

This grand theory of eating doesn’t always work. I basically quit cooking altogether for three months after Miles was born and we ate tacos every other day, trying out every single taco chain in College Station (there are quite a few). But now that we are back into a normal rhythm, I am cooking a lot more and really savoring my time in the kitchen again.

Next to holding Miles for the first time, one of the most exciting things as a mother has been introducing Miles to food. Introducing Miles to those cute tiny containers of baby food was like Christmas. Applesauce! Sweet potatoes! Blueberries! It didn’t take long for me to get a little bored of the containers though and try to branch out into actual vegetables.

I want Miles to love not only good food, but the process of good food too. The labor of planting and growing and harvesting and making and serving is something that should be savored and appreciated, even if we aren’t always the ones doing the planting and growing and harvesting.

And so last weekend, as an early step to help Miles eat well and intentionally, I made my first batch of baby food from fresh vegetables.

It was weirdly thrilling. And weirdly easy. And when Miles downed a bowl of the food that I had made with my own hands with no packaging, my heart hit the ceiling.

Ok. So. This is silly easy and you don’t need directions. But in case you want a little guidance, here are the steps I used to make this first batch of butternut squash:

Purchase a medium-size butternut squash. Wash well. Slice down the middle lengthwise (top to bottom).

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Roast the squash face down for about 50 minutes or until a knife slides in and out easily and the inside is soft.

Scoop into the food processor in tablespoon-size chunks. (Avoid including any of the skin.) Puree until very smooth.

Drop spoonfuls of pureed mixture into muffin tins and freeze immediately.

To store, once the squash puree has frozen, remove the squash from the tins by running hot water over the back of the pan. Store the squash “cups” in Pyrex containers. Defrost individuals “cups” as needed.

What baby food have you made from scratch? Did you enjoy it? Was it a pain? Share with me!

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Bon Appetit’s Dream Grain Bowl: My Take

February 25, 2015

Bon Appetit's Dream Grain Bowl

Bon Appetit's Grain Bowl 1

As part of my word of the year, CREATE, I am intentionally working to create memories with my family this year. I have so many memories of wonderful food from my childhood and I want to make sure and give that same gift to Miles. This winter, I am making a concerted effort to try new recipes and to expand our table and tastes a bit.

My mom gave me a subscription to Bon Appetit Magazine and the afternoon when I check the mailbox and see the magazine peeking out of our mailbox at me is one of the most exciting of each month.

When I saw this recipe, I immediately knew I had to try it. It was the perfect combination of open-ended options (pick a grain! pick a green!) and precise directions (“do not toss”) on which I thrive. Also, it didn’t hurt that it was both incredibly delicious and satisfying and the most healthful meal we’d eaten that week. I have no idea if it’s Whole30 or pale or whatever, but it seems like quinoa + sweet potatoes + kale can’t help but be pretty good for you, right?

Here’s how I modified the recipe:

The recipe walked me through picking a base, greens, “crunch”, “upgrades”, a roast, and the dressing. I used my mixed quinoa (from Sam’s! Don’t judge!) for the base and kale for the greens. I sautéed almonds in some butter until they just barely started to turn a toasty brown – the crunch. I tossed sweet potatoes in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, pepper, and hefty sea salt and then roasted them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (until they were well-done).

I just tossed some parmesan on the salad in place of the Halloumi cheese.

The recipe called for this dressing, but I didn’t have either turmeric or tahini on hand. (What is turmeric??) No worries. This is why Google was invented. I used peanut butter instead of tahini and just skipped the turmeric (lame, I know – patient precision is not my strongest virtue).

Folks, it took a few minutes more in terms of hands-on time than our average weeknight dinner. But it was so worth it. This grain bowl permanently changed my salad game.

Try it! And let me know what you modify (or maybe you actually follow directions?).

*This post contains some affiliate links. Thanks for supporting The Orange Slate!

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Eating In (And a Recipe for Silver Dollar-Fried Potatoes)

January 27, 2014

Dollar Fried Potatoes      


For some, dining out is an experience, a journey of exploration, a fun way to experience the local atmosphere. Mark and I tend to eat out only when we’re desperate, when schedules are crunched and food is frozen and we are both too exhausted to think. Restaurants, by association or otherwise, have simply become an occasional necessity for us. Mark gets annoyed by the service or the wait times and I grumble over paying for a recipe that I am pretty certain I could create myself.


When we really want to indulge, when we really want to relax and de-stress, when we need time and space, conversation and some very good food, we cook at home. There is really nothing that quite compares to savoring a meal with wine or beer (or in my present state, juice) in the warmth of our dining room after we’ve gathered, chopped, combined, and watched with bated breath. For us, cooking is the best kind of magic.


Poor Mark has also been essentially meat- deprived for weeks in the wake of my morning sickness*. So on Friday, we held a phone conference while I rattled off options from the seafood department of Costco. We settled on lobster tails and met at home promptly at 6:00, ready to tackle our dinner of lobster.


I’ve been dying to try to make my grandfather’s dollar-fried potatoes for ages and they seemed like the perfect side-dish to pair with lobster. So I prepped the butter sauce and lobster while Mark worked on slicing the potatoes.


I used red wine for the steaming instead of white and skipped the green onions and the meat was none the worse for the wear. Frying the potatoes was a process a bit more involved than I had bargained for, but the result was beyond worth it.

We happily munched our moist lobster dripping with garlic butter (I had approximately 4 bites of mine before handing it off to Mark…baby nausea is a beast) and thinly shaved, fried-and-lighty-salted-to-perfection potatoes (I stole most of Mark’s), paired with ice-cold Blue Moon (at least for the one of us who is not currently pregnant).


For that little space of time on Friday night, it might as well have been a warm night in July. Summer is coming, friends. But since it’s taking it’s sweet time, might I encourage you to usher in some of your own warmth?

Go buy something that you would never buy at the grocery store, prepare some time-consuming colorful extravagant dish, and indulge for a little while. We spend far too much time tracking and counting and weighing and assessing and criticizing our food. Let’s spend some time rejoicing over our tables.


Dollar-Fried Potatoes


Vegetable Oil

5 (or 10 or 15) Russet potatoes



Wash the potatoes and slice them as thinly as possible. Pour 1/3 a cup of vegetable oil into a frying pan and warm the pan.

Fill the bottom of the pan with sliced potatoes and lightly salt. When the potatoes are a deep golden-brown and crispy on the bottom, flip them over.

Remove the potatoes as they finish frying (potatoes may fry at different speeds) and stack on a plate.

Continue to fry until all of the potatoes are done, adding oil as necessary and lightly salting each new batch. Potatoes may be kept warm in the oven as they cook. 

*Yes, you did read that correctly. We are so absolutely ecstatic to welcome a new member to our little family next summer. I have struggled with deciding exactly how to handle this delightful news in the sphere of  social media and am still figuring that out. But I felt that it was only fair to share the good news with my dear readers. More about this in posts to come.

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Tarragon Chicken Salad (With a Cayenne Kick) – And Four Tasty Variations

January 21, 2014


Somehow I made it to my mid-20’s without ever assembling a chicken salad. But our (now regular) Sunday lunches, an increasingly busy schedule that has forced me to think ahead about our meals, and my growing boredom with my go-to chicken recipes sent me on a quest to find a delicious and easy chicken salad recipe.

Much as I love cozy winter cooking, I’m also ready for something fresh, crunchy, and light – something to remind me that spring may actually come someday.

When I was little, Mom would make a yummy tarragon-chicken salad for luncheons and baby showers, so I knew that tarragon needed to be a key ingredient in my recipe. Last week, when I set out on my quest to find a good recipe, I quickly realized that a lot of chicken salads (Martha Stewart, Pioneer Woman, Simply Recipes) were all quite similar, with only slight variations. Apparently chicken salad is not an exact science. So enjoy this recipe, but be brave. Play around with it and make it your own!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Tarragon Chicken Salad (with a Cayenne Kick)

2 lbs chicken breasts

2 onions

3 tbl. pepper

1 tbl. salt

1/2 cup fresh tarragon, loosely packed or 1/4 cup dried tarragon flakes

6 stalks of celery

3/4 cup of sliced or chopped almonds

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 sour cream

1 tbl. lemon juice

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the onions. then layer them on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking pan. Blend the pepper and salt together into a small bowl. Butterfly and or cut the chicken pieces to ensure that the pieces are similar and bake evenly. Pat the chicken breasts dry and rub the pepper/salt mixture into each breast until the breasts are covered generously. Place the chicken breasts on top of the onion layer. Spread the tarragon evenly on top of the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is slightly over-done.

While the chicken bakes, chop the celery into fine small pieces. In a large measuring glass, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.  In a bowl, blend the celery, almonds, and cherries into the creamy mixture until the ingredients are well-mixed. 

When the chicken is done, allow it to cool completely. Chop all of the ingredients of the pan (onions and chicken) into fine pieces (about 1/4 inch square). Blend the chopped chicken and onions into the creamy mixture in the bowl. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before serving. 


4 Tasty Variations to Try

#1 – Replace the cherries with tart, crisp chopped apples. I did this on the second try and can attest that the apples were equally delicious.

#2 – Replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt for a healthier option.

#3 – Instead of almonds, use chopped pecans or walnuts.

#4 – Replace the tarragon with rosemary for a deeper flavor.

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Easy Perfect French Toast

January 6, 2014

   easy french toast

Remember last week when we brought back Sunday lunch? Well, one of the great bonuses to Sunday lunch is that you can serve fancy sugary breakfast foods and no one complains. At our last Sunday Lunch gathering, we ate a lot of salad and fruit, half of a lemon meringue pie, and some scrumptious French toast.

French toast is one of those breakfasts that is a bit deceptive . . . it looks easy when you watch an expert whip it up. But when I first made it a few years ago it turned out soggy and gooey instead of cinnamon-y, crisp, and golden-brown and I began to wonder if I was missing some kind of insider information.

It turns out that I was indeed. A few years and a lot of batches have taught me the tricks of the trade. But I’ll save you the time and provide you with a quick, classic recipe that will carry you safely past any amateur mistakes.


Fabulous French Toast

A loaf (or half a loaf) of very dense, heavy bread. None of the sandwich bread stuff.

2 tbls butter

1 1/2 cup of milk

1 egg

A sprinkle of cinnamon

A dash of vanilla (1/4 tsp)

REAL old-fashioned maple syrup, like this

Powdered sugar

Thinly sliced strawberries


Slice the bread into thick slices, about 3/4 inch each. Select a large frying pan or panini pan. Turn the stove on to a medium-low flame and allow the butter to melt and spread over the pan while you whisk the egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a bowl. When the pan is warm and the pan surface is thoroughly buttered, douse a piece of sliced bread into the milk-and-egg mixture and place it on the pan. Repeat until the pan surface is covered in bread slices. Turn the flame up to a strong medium.

Sear each side of each bread slice until the bread is a deep golden brown. Arrange on plates and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Top with sliced strawberries.


For expert tips on your next Sunday Lunch of French Toast, check out the following:

7 Most Common French Toast Mistakes from Bon Appetit

4 Tips from Mountain Mama

And a multitude of varieties from Food52.

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How To Host A Simple Sunday Lunch.

January 3, 2014



Remember that part on the 2014 bucket list about starting a new tradition? One of my goals this year is to start a few. Sunday Lunch is our first foray into Household-Tradition-Setting.

Sunday Lunch is a sacred tradition in the South, where I went to college. When I was in school, after church services, we would pile into cars and head to the house of some kind couple who had taken pity on the poor cafeteria-fed home-starved college students in the congregation and generously opened their doors. If pity and open doors were short that Sunday, we would head to McAlister’s Deli for soup and absurd quantities of sweet tea.

Fast-forward a few years. I moved to D.C. and starting attending a church that only met in the evenings and promptly forgot about Sunday lunches, those glamorous, relaxed affairs that were now only a vague memory. And then suddenly, things changed again. Mark and I found ourselves once again at a morning service. Home by 12:30, we would bask in the luxury of a long Sunday afternoon with no place to be. And suddenly one day it occurred to me. “Sunday Lunch! We can bring it back!”


And so we squeezed 8 people around our dining room table one Sunday and ate eggs and sausage and mimosas and cupcakes. It’s now officially my favorite way to have people over. It is low-stress because I don’t have time to fret or plan before people show up at our house immediately after church. It is less frantic than dinner because it is the middle of the day and nobody is actually dying of hunger.

It is relaxed because it’s Sunday afternoon and nobody has anywhere else to be. It gives me lots of room to be creative since there aren’t a lot of rules about what one can and can’t eat for a weekend lunch (carrot cake cupcakes, anyone?). Our Sunday lunch have been fun and cozy and full of ridiculous stories and lots of laughter. And now it’s a thing. Sunday Lunch is back.


Here’s some tips for hosting your own glamorous, relaxed Sunday lunch.

1.The goal of this endeavor is low stress. Relax. Nobody expects your house to be perfect on a weekend. They all know you were at church before lunch, not slaving in the kitchen. Your guests don’t expect a Baked Alaska or some complex homemade pastry. (True story: last weekend I fed my lunch guests half of a leftover lemon meringue pie. It was utterly consumed and nobody complained.)

2. Serve breakfast foods. Sausage, eggs, rolls . . these can be cooked and re-warmed quickly while you’re chatting and distracted. The cooking of eggs and sausage can also be easily delegated.

3. Share the love. Be willing to ask friends to contribute. Your guests will be happy to participate by bringing the fruit or the juice and your life will be easier.

4. Simplicity is the key to success. It’s lunch, not a 7-day feast. Don’t try to create 10 complicated courses. A simple salad, generous fruit, some yummy bread, some version of eggs, and cookies for dessert will set you up for success.

5. Make whatever you can ahead of time. I normally make the dessert on Saturday afternoon or evening. I also try to prepare the salad before we head out the door to church. If you are especially ambitious, cinnamon rolls or coffee-cake can easily be made Saturday evening and re-heated at lunch-time.

6. Delegate. As guests arrive, ask one to scramble the eggs (everyone is better at scrambling eggs than me anyway). Ask someone to set the table and someone else to toss the salad. Everyone will have fun assembling the meal together in the kitchen.

7. If you are limited on space or unless you have a lot of extra help, limit your numbers. Our table size limits us to between 2 and 6 guests in addition to Mark and me. Ask a few friends or two other couples over at a time. The small number of guests will make the atmosphere cozy. The beauty of Sunday Lunch is in the simplicity and ease. If a lot of guests stress you out, don’t feel guilty about limiting your numbers. It’s far better to host 2 people every weekend than to try to host 15 people one week while totally overwhelming yourself out of ever hosting Sunday lunch again.

8. Enjoy the process. At Sunday Lunch, half of the joy is in setting up and cooking together. Enjoy simply being together and don’t worry about rushing . . . . the afternoon is before you!

Be bold. Bring your own Sunday Lunch back. You won’t regret it.


Here is a list of a few recipes to get you started as you plan your first Sunday lunch:

Craving some more inspiration for new family traditions? Sally Clarkson’s The Life-Giving Home and Dinner: A Love Story are both full of ideas for home traditions.

Curious about how simplicity and celebration can be part of your home? Send me an email! There are few things I love talking about more. 

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Possibly “The Best Soup I Have Ever Made” or Sweet Potato Soup with Cardamom

November 9, 2013

11-9-13 title

When my family came to visit back in August for Kyle’s wedding, I took everyone on a field trip to Union Market. My mom – being someone who knows about fancy spices like saffron and cardamom – bought me some at one of Union Market’s cute spice stands.

I was scared to use them for months (precious spices? What is that? Can I break it? Will I wreck them?) ad kept them in my gadget drawer for 2 months, content to sniff them occasionally, or about three times a day. But let’s be real. The packages of goodness were meant to be used in a recipe.


And finally, I found the perfect recipe for the cardamom. During my weekly trek to the grocery mecca that is Costco, I bought a huge bag of sweet potatoes. I love potato soup but I was convinced that sweet potato soup would be even better than my usual jaunts down Soup Lane. If sweet potatoes are healthier and tastier than regular potatoes, then it stands to reason that the soup will be equally better. Right?


I was pretty ecstatic with the result. The soup has a cinnamony, spicy flavor that is so unique and perfect for cozy late fall/early winter dinners. It also only took about an hour of simmering, which makes this a perfect meal for cozy lazy weekend nights.

Mark even declared that this soup was the best I had ever made. Bonus: now you have an excuse to go and buy cardamom. I still don’t know what to do with the saffron but I’ll keep you posted! Any suggestions?


Sweet Potato Soup with Cardamom

4 large sweet potatoes

2 cups milk

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup white wine

2 tbl. olive oil

4 stalks chopped celery

1 chopped onion

3 garlic cloves or 2 tbl. granulated garlic

1/2 tsp. cardamom

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

Saute the chopped onions, garlic cloves, and celery in the olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add  chicken broth, wine wine, and milk. bring the mixture to a low simmer. Meanwhile, chop the potatoes into 1-inch chunks (leave the skin on). Just when the mixture begins to simmer, add the potatoes, cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer for an hour before serving.

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Fall Days, Colds, and Navy Beans

October 30, 2013


Today started out as one of those scratchy-throated dark wet mornings when you just want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over your head.

It was wet and rainy and cold in the city and the only thing visible through the morning rain was the glow of the red brake-lights of all of the other grumpy drivers.


It was one of those mornings when all of my students did well – everyone worked hard and played their sonatinas and minuets and Happy Clowns and scales beautifully and focused during their lessons. I was so proud of them all. . . but I still just wanted to curl up somewhere and go to sleep until this head cold decides to go visit another house.


It was one of those days where I knew exactly what I needed to do when I got home, because this same thing happened last weekend when Mark came home from work grumpy and sick and scratchy-throated. Sometimes, folks, you just need to make a pot of beans.

The rainclouds blew away and now the sun has come out to make a beautiful light-filled afternoon. The world is happy because we get to hold on to warmth for a few more minutes.



And now the day is truly complete because – in addition to students remembering their B flats and F sharps – now I have my yoga pants and am drinking warm coffee; now a pot of beans is simmering happily on the stove and Mark and I can smell it from the dining room/bike room where we are studying and writing.

Maybe your day is just a little awry, a little chilly, a little headachy or grumpy? Make this pot of beans. I promise it will be better.


Fall-ish Navy Beans

1 lb of navy beans

4 cups of water

2 cups of chicken broth

1 cup of wine

1/2 bacon, bacon bits,or ham

3 stalks of celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cups of kale, chopped

2 tbls. butter

1 tsp. pepper

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

Chopped walnuts

Grated Parmesan cheese

Saute the onions until transparent; add the kale and continue to saute until the kale wilts. Meanwhile, rinse the beans. Add beans, water, broth, wine, and bacon or ham to sauteed onions and kale. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add chopped celery, pepper, oregano, and basil. Simmer for another 45 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese and chopped walnuts on top.

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