Fridays in Lent: Meatless One-Pot Meals

Growing up in a big Catholic Italian family, makes the season of Lent as much cultural as it is religious.  Even though I no longer practice faith from the Catholic tradition, lent and the practices around it remain.  This 40 day period begins on Ash Wednesday (which was Wednesday, February 14th this year… Hello, Valentine’s Day!) and continues until Easter.  It commemorates 40 days of prayer and fasting Jesus spent in the dessert. Most of my family members gives up something (usually chocolate, coffee, sweets, or alcohol) individually for the duration of lent.  Outside of a food-motivated Italian family, I know people who have given up gossip, social media, or…

3-Course Valentine’s Day Dinner-IN: 2 Menus!

1-Hour, 3-Course Gourmet Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day is fast approaching!  While I love trying new restaurants and date-nights out with the hubs, I do not love eating out on Valentine’s Day.  I know I’m a crusty-old-married-gal, but I know I’m not alone here.  I hardly know anyone who goes out for Valentine’s honestly, but alas, restaurants are packed so I know young love birds and romantic loyalists are out there.  Maybe I could benefit from fewer romance skeptics and people who reject the notion of greeting card holidays (i.e. 95% of Seattle).  Either way, I’m making a reservation at my own dining room table.  For two, please. The past two…

Middle Eastern Spiced Chicken with Olives, Dates, and Bulgar

This recipe is part of the main course to 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!  We have arrived.   The. Main. Course. The dish all other courses are planned around! The thing the whole meal revolves around! The brain child. The idea for this dish swarmed in my head for ages.  After a while, I knew EXACTLY how I wanted to execute the dish.  The ingredients.  The flavors.  The techniques.  The finishings.  Everything.   Because Middle Eastern cuisine is basically my 2nd love language, I knew it simply must be the star of a Valentine’s…

Roasted Vegetables with Fresh Mint and Lemon Tahini Sauce

This recipe is part of the main course to 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!   As a child of the 80s and 90s, the notion of tahini being a regular on my white-girl-with-Italian-roots shopping list still tickles me.  I grew up with the blandest versions of casseroles, steamed and boiled veggies, lots of potatoes, ground meat in everything, and a way-too-thick bolognese sauce.  Something as simple as veggies roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper never crossed my childhood plate.  This boggles my mind.  Exotic ingredients like tahini and sumac?  Forget about…
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