Mother’s Day Brunch Menu

Last year, Mr. O and I made brunch for his parents on Mother’s Day weekend, and it turned out well enough that the menu’s worth sharing (even though I didn’t get around to posting it in time for Mother’s Day. Ah well).

Mother's Day Brunch Menu

The Menu:

  • Baked Vegetable Frittata, topped with Bacon and Basil (we make these all the time; one example here)
  • Cucumber and Mint Salad with Olive Oil and Lemon
  • Muffins with Carrot, Pepitas, and Apricots
  • Coconut-Buttermilk Pound Cake (recipe here)

Baked Vegetable Frittata topped with Bacon and Basil

Cucumber and Mint Salad with Olive Oil and Lemon

Muffins with Pepitas, Apricots, and Carrot

Buttermilk Coconut Pound Cake

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Where’d We Go?

The short answer is: the hospital. For ten days.

Yeah, you wouldn’t think the insurance companies would allow that, but, there I was, waiting for my diagnosis so I could get home.

Turns out that I (Mrs. O here) have Crohn’s disease on top of ulcerative colitis, which means, for the short term, at least, a very restricted diet: no fresh fruits or vegetables (unless they’re cooked beyond recognition), no dairy, no whole grains, no caffeine, no alcohol.

No fun.

So we’re eating protein and potatoes over here, in a fashion that does not lend itself to food blogging.

Once I start eating real food again, we’ll be back. In the meantime, though, I welcome any and all suggestions for eating with IBD!

 

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Dinner in Fifteen: Couscous Salad with Grapes, Olives, and Goat Cheese

When it’s hot—and I know my best friend, who lives in San Diego, would not classify eighty degrees as hot, but hey, we live in Boston—I, like other sane people, do not like to turn on the stove to cook. So here’s a salad that takes less than fifteen minutes to make and requires only a microwave (or an electric kettle).

Couscous salad with grapes, olives, and goat cheese

Couscous Salad with Grapes, Olives, and Goat Cheese

  • 1 box plain couscous
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup red grapes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3-4oz. goat cheese (I like Trader Joe’s)
  • dried oregano
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar (or lemon would do nicely)
  • honey
  • salt & pepper

Before you do anything else, put the water on to boil (microwave, kettle, whatever).  While it heats up, pour couscous into serving bowl of your choice, and give that cabbage a quick chop. Sprinkle the cabbage over the couscous, and pour the boiling water over both. Let stand while you slice the olives and grapes and chop the parsley.

After five minutes, toss the couscous and cabbage together with a fork, adding a little salt, pepper, and olive oil as you go. The goal here is to let the couscous cool enough (by exposing most of its surface area to the air) so that it won’t melt the goat cheese on contact. Add balsamic vinegar and honey to taste (start with a couple tablespoons of balsamic and one of honey), along with a sprinkling of oregano. When you’re satisfied with the results, toss in the grapes, olives, and parsley. Taste again. Good? Everyone at the table? Excellent. Add your goat cheese, give the salad one last toss, and serve.

Naturally, I forgot to add the white beans and green onions I bought specifically for this dish (oh coffee, I miss you), but it would be delightful with a can of (drained) chickpeas or cannellini beans added in, and garnished with green onions or chives.

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Spring Salad: Lettuce and Cantaloupe with Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

Largely self-explanatory, I think, but the combination of fresh, crisp green lettuce, sweet cantaloupe, and tangy, creamy dressing is a winner.

For the salad: 

  • One large head of green leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • Half a large cantaloupe, divided into wedges and sliced in 1/4-inch pieces

Cantaloupe and Lettuce Salad with Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

For the dressing, whir up in a blender:

  • One ripe avocado
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • salt
  • splash of olive oil
  • water for thinning, as needed. 

Toss with salad just before serving. Excellent as an accompaniment to spicy rice and beans.

Cantaloupe and Lettuce Salad with Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

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Round Lasagna and Green Salad

On Sunday, we had a delightful time hosting our friends MP and ER, newly engaged, for dinner (made even more delightful by E’s homemade chocolate-chip cookies).

Mr. O had the brilliant idea to make our vegetarian lasagna (more on that in a sec) in our round brasier, because, well, why not? It fits perfectly on the table’s lazy susan and the color is so cheerful — perfect for a sunny evening dinner with friends.

Lasagna with Mushrooms, Onions, and Asparagus

 

Now, we didn’t know that E is a vegetarian, so it was lucky indeed that we just happened to be making our tomato-based version of vegetable lasagna (we’ve written before about the bechamel-based lasagna, with squash and greens — a proven winner). I can’t say that I have a real recipe for this one — essentially, it’s an all-mozzarella lasagna with tomato sauce, layered with sauteed mushrooms, onions, and asparagus, with one tiny layer of fresh basil for flavor.

For the salad, we went with a mixture of arugula, green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, and pepitas, topped with Trader Joe’s champagne vinaigrette, since I ran out of time to make a dressing from scratch. I think it’s a perfect match of salad to dressing, though, so I highly recommend it.

Very Green Salad

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Snack Attack: Roasted Chickpeas with Coriander

This is the new house snack here at Chez O.

Roasted Chickpeas with Coriander

Upside: Delicious. Only 4 ingredients.  And not peanuts, which I always feel are unsafe for about fifty percent of the people I know.

Downside: long oven time. So delicious that a batch doesn’t last long.

Roasted Chickpeas with Coriander

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • olive oil
  • salt (I used Penzey’s Grey Sea Salt, since it’s a finishing touch), to taste
  • ground coriander, to taste

After draining the chickpeas, let them dry on paper towels for about fifteen minutes. Toss with olive oil and pop into a preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, give or take a few. Let cool slightly, and toss with salt and coriander. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Great with beer.

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Ratatouille Rotini

A vegetarian dish that freezes well– perfect for dropping off with someone too busy or stressed to make dinner from scratch.

Dice all the ingredients, and even toddlers and Mrs. O will eat zucchini and mushrooms.

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Mediterranean Feast

Mediterranean Feast

No recipes; merely suggestions.

Menu:

  • Green leaf lettuce with kalamata olives, feta cheese, parsley, red grapes, cucumber, and red onion
  • Cilantro-lime chickpea salad, with olive oil and chives
  • Couscous with lemon and parsley
  • Tzatziki served with red bell peppers and cherry tomatoes

Loaded Greek Salad Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad with Chives Lemon Parsley Couscous Tzatziki with Red Vegetables

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All that Remains of an Unbelievably Huge and Delicious Salad

 Arugula, Pear, Walnut, & Goat Cheese Salad with Bacon, Balsamic Syrup, and Honey

Arugula, Pear, Walnut, & Goat Cheese Salad with Bacon, Balsamic Syrup, & Honey

  • 5 cups baby arugula
  • 3 bosc pears, just a tad underripe, very crunchy, sliced
  • 4 oz goat cheese (thanks, Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted until fragrant
  • 6 oz bacon, cooked until crispy and chopped in small pieces
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced to 1/4 cup balsamic syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Swiftly out of the sunshine, off the counter, and into my stomach.

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Better Late than Never: Post-Lockdown Comfort Food

Taken on our porch, which we were very, very happy to get back to.

Pita Chips & Cilantro Tzatziki

Pita Chips and Cilantro Tzatziki

  • 2 pita bread loaves
  • 6oz Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • cumin
  • mint
  • cilantro
  • olive oil
  • zatar seasoning (sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram, salt, sesame seeds)
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut each pita loaf into 8 wedges. Toss with a little olive oil and sprinkle with zatar. Bake in a single layer (try a cookie sheet) for about ten minutes, until golden brown.

While the pita chips bake, grate the cucumber, and finely chop a handful each of mint and cilantro. Combine cucumber, mint, and cilantro with yogurt in a small bowl. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper to taste (other traditional ingredients that you might consider tossing in: olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley).

Sprinkle the pita chips with a bit more zatar when they come out of the oven. Drizzle with more olive oil if you like. Serve with dip immediately.

Pita Chips Cilantro Tzatziki

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On Watertown

On Thursday night, I was up late. As I finished brushing my teeth, I heard a boom, and then another. I texted my neighbors to be sure I wasn’t hearing things, and then, when I heard the third explosion, I woke up my husband: “I think something bad is happening.”

Almost immediately, we heard rapid gunfire. We raced to check that the doors and windows were locked, and my husband smelled something burning as he re-shut the front door.

Over the next few hours, we took turns watching the side windows and comforting our son (not quite two) as the search helicopters flew low over our neighborhood. By 2:00am, state police had cruisers parked across the street, which was a great relief to us.

Still, we knew that even with all the official resources directed at our town, the police couldn’t be on every side street, and so, in the dark hours, we kept an eye on our neighbors’ front doors, and they kept an eye on our garage and back door. Never, ever, have we wanted so badly for the sun to rise. A suspect with explosives at large in the darkness is far more terrifying than one at large in the light of day.

We knew the sun would rise just before six. Friends kept us company online; our friend M, on facebook, encouraged us, reminding us that the sunrise was close, very close. We called our parents, texted with friends who were listening to the scanners for us, and eventually muted the news on TV, following just the headlines and updates on Twitter. We didn’t need to hear the descriptions of the scenes; Watertown is our town.

***

My then-fiance found the listing for what would be our first home together on my mother’s birthday in 2010. Three months later, we moved into our first-floor rental on Mount Auburn street in Watertown, just two weeks before we were married. We were thrilled to bring our little son home to this bright, cheery space the next summer, happy to know he’d grow up close to Boston but far enough away from the concrete to see trees and flowers and little animals whenever we left the house.

Even though we’re renters, we’ve come to love Watertown and the community here; it’s technically a city, but it feels like a small town. Police officers chat on their breaks from construction detail (one kind officer gave H a sticker and a chocolate last fall), and more than once the tricky door at the East Watertown Post Office has been held open for me (and H in the stroller) by Watertown firefighters. Our neighbors have become our friends, people with great advice and interesting stories; even in a crisis, they’re ready to laugh. Our kids play together. We shovel snow together. We talk about our favorite places to go in Watertown.

And there are so may wonderful places here! We have favorite menu items at Red Lentil (Sesame Seitan Strips and the Omelet du Chevre) and the Deluxe Town Diner (the Best Calamari, Grilled Cheese with Tomato), you’ll find us at Russo’s every week (there’s always a new fruit or new vegetable to try — next time we’re thinking about tamarinds), and at Arax when we forget parsley or need a falafel fix. I read for my grad school oral exams at the Watertown Library, which has since loaned us life-saving Elmo DVDs for car trips with H. We walked down to the new frozen yogurt place on Wednesday (verdict: tasty), past the teams practicing on Hosmer field and our neighbors walking their dogs.

And we love Watertown’s cemeteries, which might seem strange. But the Common Street Cemetery is a quiet place to walk and find unexpected historical markers and unusual names (Tryphosa is one of my favorites).  In the opposite direction on Mt. Auburn Street, Mount Auburn Cemetery extends from Watertown into Cambridge.  In every season it’s lovely, but in early spring it’s on the cusp of spectacular. The pale green buds dust the myriad trees chartreuse, and the magnolias and flowering cherries shock pink and white across the ponds; purple and blue flowers are carpets under trees, and stands of daffodils signal spring.

It’s a garden, a reminder of life in the midst of death, a tribute to beauty and remembrance.

***

I thought of Mt. Auburn Cemetery all day on Friday, as we waited, exhausted, for the search to end, fervently hoping that no-one else would be hurt. We imagined how lovely it would look on that day, in the warm sunshine.  Watched the local police, state troopers, ATF and FBI vehicles and SWAT teams from all over (New Hampshire, Barnstable, Cape Cod) race down our street.

Like everyone, we were shocked and horrified by the bombings at the Marathon on Monday, and were hoping that the suspects would be arrested swiftly and without further bloodshed, that the families of those killed and wounded would not need to endure a long pursuit of the suspects.

We simply never imagined that their pursuit would happen in our town. All the cliches are true: it was surreal. It felt, at times, like a movie; we would see the emergency vehicles race past our house, only to see them reappear on tv thirty seconds later.  It was frightening, but as the afternoon wore on, we felt lethargic after all the hours awake and on edge, and then we felt guilty for feeling that way when so many men and women were risking their lives to keep us safe.

We prepared for possible evacuation, and realized just how little things, objects, mattered, in those moments. I put my engagement ring on (it was my great-grandmother’s), and that was it (we keep an archive of family photos on a hard drive outside the house, so that’s one thing we don’t worry about). Our son was sick, running a fever, which meant that he was more than usually willing to cuddle and watch the news (or Sesame Street, when the helicopters returned, louder than ever), but it also meant that we worried how we would get him to a doctor if his fever spiked.

We watched and waited. We did normal-seeming things to keep busy, to give our son a sense of routine: laundry, dishes, lunch. Made grocery lists, hoping we would be able to get out the next day. Read Goodnight Moon ten or twelve times. H arranged his matchbox cars in a single, upside-down layer on the coffee table.

We weren’t alone, really, though we were all confined in our separate houses. We kept in touch with our lovely neighbors and friends, both in Boston and around the country, and felt reassured when we saw the cruisers across the street. Our landlady, who lives upstairs, spent the afternoon cooking and brought us a huge bowl of meatballs and marinara sauce for dinner, and a package of M&Ms, H’s favorite. It was such an act of kindness, and love. She was worried that he was frightened, and knew that he wasn’t well since she hadn’t heard the patter of his little feet during the day; H only ever runs from place to place. He perked up when he saw her (and the “M-Ms”), and from then on, he got better and better, waving to the troopers out front in their “ray-car” (the striped police cars look like his matchbox race cars to him).

At the 6:00 news conference, we were relieved that we’d be able to step out into the fresh air, but worried about another dark night without knowing where the suspect had gone. We were just about to step outside when a neighbor texted, letting us know that she had called police after learning that her neighbors were out of town and had left their doors unlocked. Within minutes, ten officers with very large guns were taking up tactical positions between our house and theirs. The search was fast and efficient, and of course, came up empty.

Drizzle surrounded us as we drank deep breaths of fresh air outside. Our neighborhood came alive as people went out to walk, to buy milk, to just breathe. H was thrilled to finally be able to see the helicopters he’d been so afraid of, following the Blackhawks with his finger pointed toward the sky.

Then Ben and I saw a cruiser speed by doing at least seventy or eighty miles an hour, light flashing, no siren. We looked at each other — that wasn’t right. I checked Twitter and text messages; nothing.

Minutes later, we heard the all-too familiar sound of gunfire. Closer, this time. The evening before the shots had been five or six tenths of a mile away; now they were one-third of a mile away, on Franklin Street. All the vehicles we’d seen before raced down our street toward the shots. As the minutes ticked by, we learned, from Twitter and the local news, that it would be over soon; law enforcement had surrounded the suspect. We knew what to expect, and counted the flash-bangs with our son.

Eventually, H drooped with exhaustion, so we started to put him to bed, taking turns again sitting with him and singing over the sound of the helicopters. He fell asleep during “Edelweiss,” and my husband hugged me when I left the room — it was over. The outstanding men and women of law enforcement, aided by a calm and cooperative citizenry, had arrested the suspect.

***

On Saturday, we went to Russo’s, and never have I been so happy to be there on an (incredibly) crowded morning. We took out the trash, and even that felt good. We ate lunch (homemade pita chips with zatar and tzattziki, for those who remember that this is a food blog) on the porch, chilly as it was, because we could. We drove to Mount Auburn Cemetery, and felt elated to see its familiar trees and stones.

We share the sorrow of our city and pride in our town.

We are grateful, grateful, grateful:

for the friends and family who kept us and our whole community in their thoughts on Friday,

for our neighbors who made us feel like part of an extended family,

for the people of goodwill, of faith and no-faith, who prayed and hoped for Boston and Watertown,

for the reporters and camera operators who stayed at their posts to help us know what was happening around us,

for the police officers, state troopers, ATF and FBI agents, emergency dispatchers, firefighters, EMS teams, nurses, and doctors who stood at the ready, for hours upon hours, to keep us safe from harm.

Thank you all, so much.

To donate to The One Fund, which will provide help to those most affected by the tragic events of April 15, please click here.

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Vegetarian Banh Mi

For our Sunday lunch, Mr. O and I used this recipe from Vegetarian Times as our jumping-off point.  As usual, we fiddled and fussed, and this was the result:

Os At Home Vegetarian Banh Mi

We weren’t precise enough to write out a real recipe, but here are the components for a tasty sandwich:

  • Baguette
  • Stir-fried tofu, finished with soy sauce
  • Thinly shredded carrot and radish, quickly pickled in rice vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes
  • Baby kale (our market was out of regular kale) 
  • Cucumber, cut into long, wide slices
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Mayo 
  • Siracha

We found that the our variation on the original recipe made enough for two sandwiches, and we made a little salad on the side of each (baby kale leaves, extra pickled vegetables, cucumber, blackberries, and a splash of olive oil).

Also: Siracha, where have you been all my life?

Os At Home Vegetarian Banh Mi and Salad

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A Real-Life Finished Knitting Project!

Knit Infinity Scarf IMG_3276

A knitted infinity scarf the color of Maine pines for my dear friend J.

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Early Spring Radiatore with Kale, Butternut Squash, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Syrup

Early Spring Radiatore with Kale, Butternut Squash, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Syrup

Early Spring Radiatore with Kale, Butternut Squash, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Syrup

Mr. O’s second culinary find this week was Claire Thomas’s Orecchiette Cacio e Pepe with Kale, Butternut Squash, and Burrata, which you can read about on her blog, The Kitchy Kitchen. We love her vegetable lasagna, so this seemed like a surefire recipe.

Until we got to Wegmans — yes, we occasionally truck 35 miles west to get to the happiest place on earth — and they didn’t have orecchiette.  We forgave them, though, since they kindly provided incredibly cheap pre-cut, pre-cleaned kale and butternut squash, and contented ourselves with radiatore.

Other departures from the original recipe:

  • I don’t care for pepper or Romano in large quantities, so I made a sauce with just a bit of freshly ground pepper — maybe two teaspoons? — about a half cup of pasta water, about a half cup of Parmesan, and olive oil. 
  • I didn’t remember to look for burrata, so I substituted fresh mozzarella, and more of it. 
  • I love Tuscan kale, but not the price, so I substituted regular kale.
  • I wanted to use up some spring onions, so I left out the roasted onion. 
  • I shifted some of the quantities (ok, most of them)
  • And I made a balsamic syrup to top the dish. 

I think this turned out to be the perfect dish for the cool beginning of spring: it’s warm and hearty, but the crisp spring onion and sweet/sour balsamic syrup are refreshing.

Early Spring Radiatore with Kale, Butternut Squash, Mozzarella and Balsamic Syrup

  • 1 lb radiatore (and reserve about a cup of the starchy pasta water)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 6 cups chopped or torn standard kale 
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • salt 
  • olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar

How To: 

Roast the squash (tossed in olive oil with salt and pepper) in a single layer on a baking sheet. I had enough lead time, so I roasted it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, but you could hike up the heat to cut the cooking time.

Boil the pasta according to the directions (err on the al dente side).  Toast the pepper in a pot with a wide diameter; after a couple minutes, turn to low heat, add the olive oil and kale, and cook gently. The kale should remain bright green.

Simmer the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan (or, if you’re like us and don’t have one, try a small nonstick skillet) until it’s reduced by half; it should be thick and syrupy.

Slice the green onions (white and light green parts) and cut the mozzarella into small pieces (I use kitchen scissors).

Just before the pasta’s ready, stir the Parmesan and about a half cup of pasta water into the kale and pepper mixture (reserve the other half cup of water in case you need to thin out the sauce).  Drain the pasta and add to the kale, along with the squash and mozzarella.  Add salt to taste and toss to combine.

Top with the warm syrup and sprinkle with the green onions.  Serve immediately.

Early Spring Radiatore with Kale, Butternut Squash, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Syrup

Early Spring Radiatore with Kale, Butternut Squash, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Syrup

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Barley, Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad

Mr. O helped plan our dinners this week, and he found this recipe on BuffChickpea, which is the basis for our salad.  We made a few changes to the recipe we found, which was itself adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe. The result: tasty, filling, and (dare we say it), healthy. Bonus: our 22-month-old ate a few spoonfuls of barley and a “leaf” (a piece of basil).

Barley, Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad

Barley, Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad

Barley, Tomato, Basil, and Feta Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups barley (we used organic pearl barley from Wegmans, and it was excellent)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes 
  • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves
  • 4 green onions
  • 4 oz block feta, crumbled into chunks
  • salt, pepper, and dried oregano, to taste

Vinaigrette:

  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Soaking time: 1 hr // Active prep: 15 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of cooling time.

The Nitty-Gritty:

Rinse barley and soak for an hour or so in cold water while you go about your business (we took our son to the playground).

Back? Ok.

Bring 4 1/2 cups of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the barley, reduce the heat, and cover. Cook about twenty minutes. While it’s cooking, halve the tomatoes, snip the green onions (white and light green bits) into small chunks, crumble the feta, and chiffonade the basil.  Shake up the vinaigrette in a jar, or whisk it, if that’s how you roll.

Drain the barley and allow to cool. We just let the barley rest in thin layer on wide plates while we folded a load of laundry, but feel free to toss it around a while if you’re in a rush.  We ate this salad at slightly-higher-than-room temperature, and I think that’s best.

Toss the barley with the vinaigrette, green onions, and feta. Spoon onto plates and top with basil and tomato (I like leaving the basil and tomato unmixed so that they retain their structural integrity, but go ahead and mix it all together if you like). Season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano to your taste.

Notes:

  • the original recipe calls for cooking the barley in vegetable broth. I’m sure that’s delicious, but we didn’t have any at home this week, and the salad was (we thought) perfectly seasoned with the vinaigrette.
  • The oregano wasn’t in the recipe we found, but we liked it so much in a tomato sauce last night that we had to have it again. 
  • The original recipe calls for grape tomatoes. I don’t like them (too sweet) but you might. 
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A Very Green St. Patrick’s Day Brunch

A vegetarian feast inaugurating our new dining room table and benches:

Mimosas and coffee
Cucumber with lemon and olive oil, garnished with dill
Honeydew melon and halved green grapes
Roasted potatoes
Frittata with mushrooms, onions, sun-dried tomato, and Swiss chard

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Rice Noodles and Tofu in Peanut Sauce

Topped with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime.

My peanut sauce:

Smooth peanut butter
Rice vinegar
Garlic clove
Thai red chili, or red pepper flakes in a pinch
Brown sugar
Fresh ginger, grated
Fresh lime juice
Soy sauce (check for gluten content)

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Quinoa Casserole

Quinoa baked with mushrooms, kale, and Parmesan cheese.

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Kale, Black Bean, Tomato, and Romaine Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

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Labor Day Brunch Fixings

. . . which the Os were fixing to eat (ahahaha) before Mr. Baby woke up. Of course, he woke up one bite into our bagels, and we subsequently learned, again, not to underestimate the toddler palate: he ate half a package of nova lox. And two capers.

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