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Food for Grownups

Breakfast Casserole: The Monte Cristo Edition

Food for Grownups
monte cristo breakfast casserole

The world is full of brilliant people.

Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Sir Issac Newton, Wendell Berry, Edith Wharton, and Stephen Sondheim are a small sampling of the famous names I feel should be included on any list of brilliant individuals. 

But what about the not-so-famous brilliant people? The unsung heroes whose contributions, large and small, make the world better? For example, the person who invented the breakfast casserole? 

monte cristo breakfast casserole

Scoff if you will but, in my opinion, the brilliance of whoever came up with the idea of a hearty and delicious breakfast that can feed a crowd, be prepared the night before, and simply popped in the oven the next morning, borders on genius.  They’re so good and they make entertaining so much easier.

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Easy Weeknight Dinner: My Three Can Pasta

Food for Grownups

At long last, here it is! The recipe intended to share with you two weeks ago (and then one week ago) before the wheels unexpectedly came off the bus of my life. Once, then I borrowed another car and the wheels fell off of that too. But I’ve probably belabored that metaphor so let’s move on.

By the way, I am thrilled and relieved to report that the wheels are, once again, going round and round and my life is a little more settled now. It’s lovely to be tucked up in my office with my coffee at hand and my dog at my feet, getting back to work. However, with all the drama of multiple family crises, cancelled contracts, cancelled flights, lost luggage, and busted cell phones, I have a LOT of catching up to do.

Which means this is the perfect week to make Three Can Pasta.

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Fall Charcuterie Board Ideas for Your Autumn Gatherings

Food for Grownups
fall charcuterie board

A very fierce, red-headed girl once said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” That girl was Anne of Green Gables and that girl was right on the money.

I’d like to build upon her wisdom, if I may. Here’s another true statement, “I’m so glad I live in a world with charcuterie boards.”

There, I said it. Charcuterie boards are amazing entertaining tools. They have transformed my interest and ability to have friends over last minute and to actually enjoy my own parties instead of working myself to the bone. continue reading

One-point Tomato Lentil Soup Recipe with Turmeric & Lemon

Food for Grownups
lentil soup recipe

True story: it snowed here today. Not even October and I’m pulling on my snow boots and stuffing Showgirl into a sweater.

This weather certainly took me by surprise, not just because of general weather trends that I’ve grown to trust, but my body just isn’t quite ready for below freezing temps yet. I needed to be eased into it a little more gently and ceremoniously.  Despite my goosebumps and a chill that I can’t seem to quite kick, I’m thrilled for the snow and the seasons and the winter wonderland that came early. Because it brings two truths to mind: it won’t be hot forever (AMEN!) and the holidays are around the corner (a.k.a. my favorite time of the year). continue reading

Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life: A Few Pumpkin Spice Recipes to Kick off Fall

Food for Grownups

Yesterday morning, I sported a sweater and took the dog for a walk. I reveled in the slight chill in the air and the gold and auburn hues peeping their way through the trees. My Cavalier King Charles, Showgirl, seemed to have an extra pep in her step, too.

We are officially in Fall, or autumn, as some would say. While I know that an arbitrary date on the calendar doesn’t mean much when it’s obvious that temperatures and climates vary greatly throughout the country, it’s certainly feeling cooler where I am in Central Oregon. It brings a feeling of anticipation of the weeks ahead – the vibrant fall foliage, the pumpkins standing guard on the porch, the savory fall flavors and food like sage, apple, cinnamon, and butternut squash. The holidays off in the not so distant future. It’s one of my favorite times of year. Of course, I say that about every season. But the changing of the seasons is one of life’s most profound but simple everyday miracles. Simple or not, miracles should be savored and celebrated, none more so than the arrival Fall. continue reading

The Perfect Fall Salad: Roasted Cauliflower with Honey Tahini Dressing

Food for Grownups
cauliflower salad, fall salad

While I’m not jumping head first into a pumpkin spice latte (there’s a time and a place for that, Fierce friends, and, in my humble opinion, it happens on the first official day of fall), I’ve noticed that the flavors of summer are definitely phasing out. The offerings at the Farmer’s Market are already shifting. The merchandising displays at the grocery store have morphed into shameless autumnal extravaganzas.

With summer coming to a close, I’m thankful that I enjoyed a lion’s share of fresh tomato sauce, summer salads like this cherry tomato couscous number or my summer’s bounty quinoa salad or my farmer’s market carrot salad. I really got the most out of summer.

And I’m also looking forward to the impending butternut squash, cozy sweaters, crisp mornings, juicy apples, hot soups, and even the humble chicken stews.

But that’s a few weeks off yet. Right now, we are in that weird transitional season just before full-blown pumpkin everything. When I made this cauliflower salad the other day, I realized that it’s a great salad year round. You can easily substitute different herbs based on what’s at the store and cauliflower is a year long delight. The roasted and caramelized cauliflower brings a hint of autumn and spice while the lemon and herbs keeps it just a little bit summery.

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Broccoli Salad, Made Healthy

Food for Grownups
broccoli salad
Broccoli salad seems like it should be healthy, right? After all the main ingredient is broccoli! The vegetable mothers have been trying to convince children to eat since the beginning of time!
I’m sure those moms were the ones who came up with the classic preparation of broccoli salad, the delicious concoction that is a staple of deli counters and picnic tables everywhere. And I’m clearly on a kick with summer salads lately. Have you see the watermelon feta or the vegetable quinoa salad or the tomato couscous? I think I might have a problem…but that’s a topic for a different post.

Back to Broccoli

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but our mother’s and grandmother’s broccoli salad is the farthest thing from healthy. In fact, with a cup of nuts, a cup of mayo, and dried cranberries loaded with sugar, the classic preparation clocks in at 17 Weight Watchers points!

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Quinoa Salad: A Summer’s Bounty Of Vegetables

Food for Grownups
summer quinoa salad vegetables eggplant cucumber tomatoes

There’s an old joke about August being the month when folks who live in the country lock their cars when they go to church to prevent people from leaving zucchini on seats.

Where I’m living, it’s actually not a joke. The vegetables are coming on hard and fast right now and the harvest is almost too bountiful.

When I went to pick up my farm share at the market a few days before I left for my trip to Europe, Sarahlee, the adorable organic farmer, ordered me to go back to my car for a second bag. She had bin after bin of additional vegetables that CSA members could have for free and urged me to take as much as I could possibly use. I didn’t want to see those beautiful eggplants, zucchini, tomatoes, or cucumbers go to waste so I filled my bag to the brim. My refrigerator was stuffed!

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Downton Abbey Recipe: Tea Cake with Blueberries and Lemon

Food for Grownups
Downton Abbey recipe

I have a bucket list trip coming up! I have convinced my husband that we absolutely need to do a walking tour of the Cotswolds and visit the Holy Grail. And by that I mean attend a picnic tea at Highclere Castle, otherwise known as Downton Abbey.

Something else on my bucket list is figuring out how to make afternoon tea parties part of my daily life. I am not sure my husband will be into it, but my fancy dog, Showgirl, most certainly would. She’s a very attractive, slightly spoiled, somewhat prissy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a penchant for the finer things in life. Showgirl has very high standards. And why not?  She’s basically the Dowager Countess of dogs.

While I count down the days for the movie to be released, I’m going to try and re-read the book that inspired the show, practise my British spelling, and peruse through my favorite Dowager Countess quotes. Because really, is there anyone funnier than Maggie Smith?

And here’s why you’re desperately in need of Downton Abbey recipes

Just in case you have been living under a rock, I want to let you know that Downton Abbey THE MOVIE is coming out September 19th. And the King and Queen are coming to Downtown!

Lord, calm my fluttering, Anglophile heart!

Here’s a link to the trailer and all kinds of Downton details.

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Lemon Herb Sous Vide Chicken

Food for Grownups
chicken recipe

A couple of months ago I had some very exciting news.  The Oliso company offered to send me a Smart Hub Combo to see how I liked it!!

Hmm…the crickets I’m hearing after my announcement tell me that some of you may not know what a Smart Hub is.

Allow me to enlighten you.

The Oliso Smart Hub Combo (brought to you by the same people who make those marvelous irons) is a countertop cooking system that combines a single induction burner  topped with an enclosed, cordless sous vide water bath cooker.  It also includes an Oliso Vacuum Sealer with heavy duty, reusable bags. continue reading