SPONSORED POST: Sweet and Tangy Late Summer Squash Quinoa

quinoa

We just enjoyed a two-week trial of Grammarly for proofreading---because everybody can use an extra pair of eyes. Learn more about this online editing service in the footer! Two days ago on our morning walk, Tim and I put on sweatshirts. Yesterday, I pulled out my boots for the first time since May. Today, the window’s open in the bathroom, and even from the next room over, I can smell the fresh air and feel a cool breeze coming in (the high today in Nashville was 72 degrees). What’s more, down the hall and in the kitchen, the oven is on, and I have a pot filled with root vegetables boiling on the stove. Fall is here, officially and obviously, and I’ve been dressing, eating and, what I’m trying to say, I guess, is enjoying this new season, even when it means summer’s gone. But before we get too deep in changing leaves, could I get one last hurrah for summer? I hate to say it as a lifelong October lover, but sometimes I'm nostalgic for the season that ends (besides … [Read more...]

They Say That Love Shows in the Gestures / Portabella Zucchini Tacos

tacostacos

They say that love shows in the gestures-- A dash to the airport, a big diamond ring; They say that this is what's romance-- All that glitters, All that sparkles, All that's bright and glossy, (You know, those sorts of things). True, you proposed: it was poetry, All of your neat lines of verse, for me, arranged. You made me a picnic and hid it, A cooler packed with food and a ring, Then you asked me, And I said yes, and remember? Right there, how everything changed? It's true, life is beautiful, (We are happy, We are together, And free.) But, also true, life is painful, And we've walked through dark times just the same. What of the times pacing the halls? The nights of long talks? The physical pain, The wounded hearts, The disappointments, The crying out, over and over, To God's name? It makes me think it's love in the small and the hard things, (Maybe the small and the hard things the most). The dishes, the laundry, The trash, … [Read more...]

Radish Panzanella

Telling you I like panzanella is a little like telling you my teenage self liked pizza. I don't like panzanella; I want to eat it every day. In the same way I grew up buying Tombstone and Jack's and, let's be honest, eating any pizza anyone would give me, now I want panzanella, and I want it all the time. Really, the jump from pizza addict to panzanella evangelist isn't a crazy one. The most traditional versions of panzanella are practically pizza, deconstructed: bread, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese. But lately, my panzanella love has pushed me to new combinations of ingredients, ones far stretched from anything resembling a pizza slice. And while sure, I might be biased, I have to say, I think a radish panzanella like this one could make a zealot out of anyone. This salad starts with radishes---and saying radishes are beautiful is kind of like saying I like panzanella. … [Read more...]

Sara Forte’s Buckwheat Harvest Tart + The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

If you haven't already heard of The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook, named for the blog Sara and Hugh Forte keep by the same name, you're probably not a food blogger (nor someone who follows The James Beard Awards, for which it is a recent nominee). Last summer, when the book first launched, I only slightly exaggerate that about nine out of ten food blogs I followed featured the book at one point or another. And it's not hard to see why. Like the blog, the Sprouted Kitchen book is gorgeous, filled with colorful, crisp images on every spread. The recipes are focused on whole foods, from lentil meatballs in lemon pesto (the closest thing to non-meat meatballs I've ever had!) to flourless chocolate-banana pudding cakes (souffle-esque and wonderful). While, true, we've mentioned this book briefly here before, last fall when we had Sara's mashies n' greens (our kale mashed potatoes), we wanted to highlight it again, partly because we love how kind and approachable Sara is---something anyone … [Read more...]

Spicy Sweet Potato Quesadillas

A few Saturdays ago, wearing red lipstick and riding boots, I took a free Mexican cooking class with my old Nashville roommates, Sara and Sarah. We met in a bright, sunny space dubbed the grocery store’s “community room,” where the tall ceiling stretched as high as a church building’s and the kitchen featured two portable stoves. While Sara asked questions and Sarah sipped iced coffee with sunglasses perched atop her head, all three of us leaned forward from our third row seats to get closer looks as a man named Michael flashed through a handful of demonstrations, beginning with tortilla soup and ending with fried avocados on sticks. Michael, who looked a little like a stoic Ron Howard, gave constant tips and tricks to our little, informal group of around 16 as he worked. He explained how to chop an onion (sort of like this), why he likes polenta as a soup thickener (the flavor), when to add spices (to oil, before liquid, as most are fat-soluble). When he completed a dish, we … [Read more...]

Creamy, Comforting Tortilla Soup

Of all the reasons for blogging, there's no contest, the greatest fringe benefit is the people, this amazing community of thoughtful individuals who are interested in other people's stories and find enjoyment in good food (and sometimes even become real-life friends, inviting us into their homes). Does it get old to hear we're so thankful for each of you out there? Because we are. We're so inspired by other bloggers, and we're so blessed by those of you who read here. In fact, just as we get to know certain bloggers by following their sites, we've found we get to know certain readers by their consistent comments---we start to remember so-and-so as the one who likes gluten-free recipes or the one who always has something encouraging to say. One such reader is the ever kind and supportive Marie Matter of the Little Kitchie blog, who inspired today's recipe for creamy, comforting tortilla soup so good, I had tears in my eyes while I ate it yesterday, and not just because of the kick of … [Read more...]