Middle Eastern Green Salad with Dukkah Olive Oil

This recipe is the first course on a 1-Hour Middle Eastern inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!   My favorite salads are topped with all of the things!!  If you can barely see the greens below? Even better. Great salads follow an equation.  Its not exactly mathematics, but its still an important formula.  Salads need at least one sweet, tart, salty, and crunchy component!  THAT is the equation for the perfect salad.  This formula has limitless combinations! Once you have your sweet, tart, salty, and crunchy sorted out, you can go to town on the flavor and texture…

8 One-Pot Winter Soups, Chilis, and Curries

Until our recent move, our house was fairly small.  Big kitchen, but small otherwise.  We had a massive back deck and patio perfect for the summer months, but since this is Seattle, we have essentially 3 seasons: rainy, rainy and cold, and summer! But, since we aren’t big on limiting the our number “Come on over!” invitations.  Not to mention the sheer size of my Italian family.  Our little bungalow wasn’t exactly built for massive numbers.  Forget about obvious dilemmas like seating; we are talking sheer spacial scarcity.  Woah, that sounded overly scientific, but you get the picture.  Lots of people crammed into a small space can be um….(What’s a…

Top Healthy Meal Recipes

The “New Year – New You!” health kick every January is certainly nothing revolutionary.  People throw around trendy of-the-moment diets. Or boldly state, “I’m cutting out _______.”  Or “I’m going to exercise ____ times per week.”  Goals are great!  Structure is great!  And, if having a set diet, number, or system helps you achieve your health goals, feel better, have more energy, or accomplish whatever you set out to achieve, then more power to you! I tend to avoid strict limitations and overt rules when it comes to my diet or the foods I feed our family.  Instead, I find thoughtful meal planning of healthful meals works best for us.…

Sea Salt Caramels

My husband waits all year for christmas cookies.  Specifically “sugar cookies with thick buttercream frosting.”  One year I made them with a thin glaze.  Clearly he hasn’t forgotten my error in judgment, since he will forever and always specifies the desired thickness of the frosting.  Sea salt caramels are my sugar cookie equivalent.  They are my favorite nostalgic christmas treat.  My Nonna used to make them, but now standing and stirring for that long proves difficult so I carry on the tradition. We are a caramel loving house.  I think they were the first thing the hubs and I ever mastered the recipe for together.  I still have to pinch…

Christmas Morning Breakfast Round-Up

There are few mornings I look forward too as much as Christmas morning.  I’m not a 5 year old at heart.  In fact, I’m probably more like 80 years old at heart. Allow me to paint a little visual for you…. A morning that is forced into slow motion is a rarity in our house.  Work schedules, early morning conference calls and dogs that do not know how to take a day off from running pretty much kill our slow mornings at home most of the time.  Nothing sounds more wonderful on a cold winter morning than freely pouring cup after cup of tea or french press around the Christmas…
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