Kohlrabi and Celery Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Kohlrabi and Celery Salad with Dijon VinaigretteHello, Team Kohlrabi!  I’m so glad we’re all on the same page about kohlrabi by now. We are, right?  We all agree that we all love, love, love it and it’s one of our favorite, most versatile veggies?  If not, I’m kind of surprised you’re still here, and not completely annoyed by how many kohlrabi recipes I share.  But I can’t help it!  Every time I think I’ve got it all figured out, that I’ve tried kohlrabi every way I would ever really wish to have it… I discover a new way.  I can’t keep that love to myself. [Read more...]

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Split Pea Soup

Split Pea SoupI’ve come out of my major denial that fall is here. I know, it’s about time, seeing as in a few measly days it will be October.  October, for goodness sake.  The month of corn mazes and Halloween and apple cider and tall leather boots and chunky sweaters.  It’s time.  Split Pea Soup

I don’t know what my hesitation is all about- I love autumn.  I’m a sucker for apple orchards and pumpkin patches, loaf cakes filled with spices, warm cocktails, and sitting by bonfires wearing oversized sweatshirts.  It might even be my favorite season, if only it weren’t the harbinger of my foresworn enemy, Winter in Chicago.  Hell hath a name and that’s it.  So for me, fall is like one long Sunday evening… so relaxed and lovely, but still tinged with a fair amount of dread, knowing that Monday is nigh.  But I digress.  It’s still time for fall.Split Pea Soup

Nothing says fall to me like soup- but really, moreso, a certain kind of soup.  Soup that warms you up from the inside out, sticks to your ribs, makes a meal in itself. This split pea soup is the epitome of that kind of soup.  Rich, flavorful, flecked with bits of ham, and a few chunks of vegetables that don’t get whirled into the creamy broth by the immersion blender.  Every time I make it, I’m amazed that it has so much flavor, and so few ingredients.  And it manages to be incredibly creamy, even with a negligible amount of dairy.  I’ve made lots of version of split pea soup, and this simple version is my favorite.  It’s perfect in its simplicity, like all good fall staples should be.  It also freezes well, so even once fall has passed us by and we are in the death grip of winter, a bowl of this pulled from the freezer will remind you of happier days.Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

adapted from Bon Apetit

This is a great use for leftover ham bones after a holiday meal. Smoked hams are the best for this, but any kind will do.

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped peeled carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds leftover ham bone, smoked ham hock, or something pork-y
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 cups green split peas
  • 8 cups chicken broth

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add pork and marjoram; stir 1 minute. Add peas, then broth, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover pot; simmer soup until pork and vegetables are tender peas are falling apart, stirring often, at least an hour and a half.

Transfer ham to cutting board or plate. Puree soup with an immersion blender until it's reached the consistency you like. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender and do this part in batches.) Pull pork off of the bones and shred it at you go. Return pork to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve right away or refrigerate overnight and re-warm to serve the next day.


Pork Chops Adobado

Pork Chops Adobado

The theme today is short and sweet.  Forgive me; it’s a Friday and I don’t feel loquacious, just week-weary.

I don’t typically find grilled pork chops exciting.  Which, upon reflection, seems a bit weird.  I mean, I love pork.  I love other grilled foods, like a good steak. I think the problem with pork chops lies somewhere between the fact that they’re often overcooked, and the fact that they’re also often under-seasoned.  Also… I may have been eating the wrong chops.  After we ordered a half of a pig from a local farm, we’ve been spoiled and it’s easy for me to see why I wasn’t enthused by the chops we were buying at the store. But ALSO… I wasn’t using this marinade.  All of this is basically to say that this recipe basically made a pork chop lover out of me. I’ve made this many, many times now. and it’s always a winner. [Read more...]

Mexican Kohlrabi Salad with Papalo

Kohlrabi Salad with PapaloI hope that by now, most of you know that the only thing I love more than kohlrabi is sharing the kohlrabi love with other people.  So when I come across another way to use it, I can’t help but share.

I can’t take the credit for this recipe, I got the idea from a farmer at the market a couple weeks ago, who was handing out samples of a simple kohlrabi salad- basically chopped kohlrabi and lime juice with a sprinkle of salt.  I loved the idea as a topping for tacos or a simple side dish for grilling out.  I was about to walk about from his stall when something caught my eye- a bunch of light green herbs that I’d never seen before.  I asked him what they were, and he replied, “Papalo!” Apparently it has a similar flavor to cilantro, but a bit spicier and more peppery.  It’s used a lot in Mexico, because it’s also easier to grow in the heat, whereas cilantro bolts quickly when it gets hot.  I honestly had never heard of it before, but after tasting it, I was already wondering how I could get some seeds to plant in my garden next year.  It’s really tasty and would be the perfect addition to pretty much any Mexican dish. [Read more...]

Chicken BLT Salad with Fresh Ranch Dressing

Chicken BLT SaladI know this sounds like something you’d buy at McDonalds.  But I swear, it’s nowhere near that.  How many of us have been duped into buying something that sounded as good as this and wound up with a head of lettuce, a piece of anemic tomato, like four fake bacon bits, and a packet of ranch-flavored corn syrup? And if you pay another dollar, they’ll throw some chopped and formed chicken on top!  Do I sound as bitter about this as I am?  It’s downright mean to promise someone BLT and deliver absolutely nothing of the sort.  I take BLTs very seriously. [Read more...]

Creamy Sautéed Beet Greens

Creamy Sautéed Beet Greens I fully expected this recipe to be a disaster.   After buying a gorgeous bunch of freshly picked (that morning!) beets from the farmers’ market, I was once again reminded by my sainted husband that he doesn’t like beets.  After trying to tuck a few gorgeous, ruby red slices into his salad, only to have them plucked out and fed to our child (who wasn’t exactly thrilled, either) I decided to quit wasting my lovely beets and keep them to myself.  However, I still had these greens to deal with. [Read more...]

Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

Fruit and Nut Chewy Granola Bars

Over two years ago, soon after I had my first little peanut, I wrote a post for chicken lettuce wraps that were quick and easy and could basically be eaten with one hand.  That’s what was necessary in my house at the time.  Now I find that a little funny.  With the arrival of peanut #2, even lettuce wraps seem a little challenging.  You have to chop things and eat them on a plate.  Granola bars are more our pace lately. It’s a stir, bake, and shove in your mouth thing.  None of that pesky fork or plate business.  But it has enough healthy stuff in there that I can in all good conscience pass one out to everyone and call it breakfast.  [Read more...]

Hibiscus Tea Punch (or… Natural Cool-Aid!)

Hibiscus Tea PunchYep, I’m still in baby-land over here.  (And toddler-land.  And laundry-pile-growing land.)  But I’m just dropping in real quick to share this yummy little tidbit with you.  It seems summer is sneakily creeping in, and this is an awesome new discovery that I’d thought everyone would enjoy before the heat really kicks up.

So… the first thing you should know is that this drink has two names.  If you serve it to guests, it’s hibiscus tea punch.  Ooh, fancy!  If you serve it to your kids, it’s Cool-aid.  It looks like cool-aid, and has that familiar tang and fruity flavor.  Just minus all the sugar, articial flavors, and food dyes.  So it’s actually yummy. And something you’d be happy to give your kids.  Win-win!  But seriously, in case you’re not familiar with the toddler and small child psyche, don’t try to tell them it’s hibiscus tea punch.  It’s cool-aid.  Period. [Read more...]

Southfork Chili

Southfork ChiliIt may seem strange to you that I’m making chili at the beginning of May.  Chili is one of those quintessential fall and winter type things that seem to go perfectly with football, beer, and cold toes.  But I just really like chili.  Especially this chili.  And as lovely as the idea of spring is, the past week of rain, clouds, and damp has me craving a big bowl of the stuff.  And this version of chili isn’t heavy and dense- it’s filled with beans, veggies, and plenty of tomatoes.

And before one or another of you starts in on the “If it has beans, it’s not chili!” or “Blah blah blah, CORN?!, blah blah blah…”, can you just cool it?  I know many, many people have pretty serious feelings about what chili should and should not be.  That’s ok with me.  It’s good to have a stance.  But your stance on what chili should be doesn’t make this one any less delicious.Southfork Chili

[Read more...]