Festival Pasta – Meatless in 30 Minutes or Less

A photo of tonight's dinner - Festival Pasta
Festival Pasta
A few weeks ago, someone I know vaguely from town said to me, “Oh, I know you, you’re the radical homemaker who makes everything from scratch.” Since then, I’ve gone back and forth a dozen times between been well pleased that my reputation precedes me (I do live in a very small town) and feeling slightly put-off by the label.

I make a lot of things from scratch because cooking is a hobby of mine. But it is not gourmet night every night in my kitchen. Despite my desire to participate in Meatless Monday, I often struggle to come up with anything besides leftovers after a hectic day of school, swim lessons, and the general chaos that accompanies our transition from the weekend back into the week.

Tonight, the thought of coming up with something creative and meat-free for dinner sounded especially daunting because my husband just left for a business trip to Helsinki. But what I came up with–a variation on one of the first recipes I ever invented back in college–is a recipe that is healthy, meat-free, and can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. I call it Festival Pasta not only because of all the different colors in the dish, but because there are so many substitutions you can make that you’re nearly guaranteed to have what you need to make this in your kitchen on any given Monday! Read more

Birthday Cake – Localized

cakeToday is my darling husband’s birthday, so this morning the kids & I baked him a cake. I chose my Grandma’s Fresh Apple Cake recipe in part because I had ingredients on hand and in part because it was one I could adapt so that it used mainly local ingredients. Oh yeah, and also because it’s moist and delicious and one of Matt’s favorites 🙂

I’ll give you both the original recipe and the modified so that you can make it how you like, but also so that you can see how easy it is to modify your favorite recipes so that they use local ingredients. Happy Birthday, Love! Read more

In search of the perfect pancake

Pancakes were probably the first food I learned to make from scratch. In part because my sister has the best darned “Griddle Cake” recipe I’d ever tasted, and in part because I love cooked breakfast–especially when it can include peanut butter and chocolate chips– I became obsessed with pancakes.

Now that I have children of my own, I wanted to take that perfect carb-laden confection of my childhood and make it something that the dentist wouldn’t lecture me for feeding to my kids on a weekly basis. But making something destined to be coated with butter and drizzled with real maple syrup (no, I cannot compromise on those two details) healthy and still tasty is a bit of a challenge, and the pre-made mixes just don’t cut it once you’ve gotten used to scratch cakes. Read more