Quinoa Kale Salad

I woke up at 6am on Halloween to make a bunch of things in the kitchen. A cheesecake, a banana bread, and this kale salad. I make Lee a birthday cheesecake every single year. I got up early to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature for an hour, zested the oranges and lemons by hand, made the crust, mixed everything together and put it in the oven. Only to see that 15 minutes later it was brown. By 9 am I had a black cheesecake cooling on my countertop, with white cracks showing though. Read More

Truly Classic Basil Pesto

We had a wedding shower for some good friends in our backyard last weekend. The weather had just started to cool down a little, right in time for the gathering in our backyard. That was extremely lucky, seeing as it is now reaching 95°F again during the days and I sweat just walking from my front door to my car. But Lee and I worked to get the backyard just right – mowed the lawn (twice), cleaned up the brush around the edges, and of course had to get my herb garden all ready for their debut! I watered them and trimmed them, all the while thinking “geez there is so much stuff here I need to use it before fall hits (if it ever does…).” So the next day I made a big batch of basil pesto. What better way to use up loads and loads of fresh basil? Read More

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Let’s talk about the easiest appetizer ever: blistered shishito peppers. We had some friends over the night and one of them grabbed a couple of bags of these beautiful, vibrant peppers from the produce section and we were so thrilled. You see, the fun thing about shishito peppers is that they are mostly mild, but every 1 in 10 is spicy. It’s so fun watching everyone pick one up, waiting to see if they got the spicy pepper in the batch. (But fear not, even the spicy ones are pretty manageable). Read More