Roasted Root Vegetables for the Week

Roasted Root Vegetables |

Sunday is cooking day in my house.  Especially through the winter, when I don’t seem to have much energy and whimsy when we all finally stumble through the door after daycare and work, I love knowing that there is a selection of ready-made foods in the fridge awaiting assembly into something delicious.

Remember that week I talked about meal planning?  Well, I’m still a big fan, although nowadays with just me and Ada to feed, it’s a little looser in structure (because both of us love a good dinner of scrambled eggs with spinach, feta, and zataar just as much as anything!).  

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Creamy Oven-Roasted Leeks

Are you starting to plan your Christmas menu yet?  Having people over?  Celebrating small with just family?

I do Christmas dinner pretty traditionally in our house – the way my grandmother and my mom always did, with turkey, cranberries, stuffing, marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole, roasted vegetables, gravy.  Just the essentials, not much more.  Though we’re normally relatively adventurous – and at least inventive – eaters, there’s little appetite in my household for mandarin orange and pine nut-flecked dressing, or anything other than pecan or pumpkin pie for dessert.  I’ve tried; but even I admit that there’s nothing better than the perfect bite of turkey dinner on your fork – first a spear of dressing, anchored there by a gravy-soaked slice of dark meat, and next a fragrant layer of roasted onion and a swipe of tart cranberry sauce across the back of the tines. 

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Butternut Squash, Proscuitto and Kale Lasagna

This lasagna, rich with garlic cream sauce, salty prosciutto, kale for health and heartiness, and sweet butternut squash is for my friend Daina. 

While I have aspirations of quitting my desk job to become a writer/doula/blogger/scuba instructor/yogi/traveler/(mom/wife)/(writer!)/adventurer – and necessarily also to find 16 more hours in the day, an excellent nanny, and a wealthy benefactor – my pal Daina really is doing “it.”  She’s an artist who I met at my local farmer’s market probably three years ago now, and I fell in love with her art in a way I’ve loved no other.

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Eggplant Parmesan

A good while ago now, I took an incredible cooking class.

In the kitchen of one of the province’s premier restaurants on a night when they were closed to the public, I donned an apron and learned how to prepare a work station with a wet dishtowel-steadied cutting board.  Chef Michael Howell taught me how to properly dice an onion, not to mention how to wield a professional kitchen-sharp chef’s knife without losing a fingertip.  He shared with us a selection of recipes from Puglia in Italy, and bravely mentored myself and a handful of other home cooks with high aspirations through the process of preparing the dishes.

Eggplant Parmesan |

The evening was punctuated not just with knife-skill lessons but with the sharing of some fresh, raw cheese procured from Chef’s travels, and a glass of icy Limoncello, to the delight of those of us who had never sipped that simultaneously mouth-puckering but sweet Italian elixir.

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