Kale and Potato Gratin

Big disappointment.  We had some previous success with gratins, so we had high expectations.  Gratin is French for "cover it with cheese," and how could you get that wrong?  Well, they managed.
I think the real problem is they tried to be healthy, and when your raison d'etre is "cover it with cheese," it's hard to make that healthy while maintaining the integrity of the thing.  And by 'hard" I mean "probably not going to happen."  The bread crumbs didn't help either; just made the whole thing grainy.

Collard and Leeks

Farm Fresh To You is the name of our weekly local organic box.  They have a newsletter they include with each box, telling us what's new on the farm.  It's a deliciously old school way to blog (pun intended), and always includes at least a couple recipes.  One was for collard & leeks (guess what was in the box that week).  The collard greens are blanched and the leeks are pan fried, then combined at the very end with the veggie stock.  The result is a rich flavor and smooth texture.

Roman Spiced Squash

This recipe is from another source that is unspeakably awesome: Inn at the Crossroads.  These people make food based on the phenomenal fantasy series by George RR Martin, recently made into an HBO TV series.  I don't know how I didn't notice this while I was reading the books, but they are redolent with descriptions of food.  Turns out that all these foods are pretty authentic for the early medieval period.  (Concidence?  You'd have to ask GRRM.)  Something else I never knew: we have Roman recipes.  I mean recipes that were used during the time of the Roman Empire.

Ginger Bok Choy

I love bok choy, dijon mustard, and ginger, so this ought to be a great combination right?  The problem: Yelena doesn't like mustard or ginger.  But guess what: she liked this recipe anyway.  She called it "good not great," but considering the ingredients, I call this a win.
Bottom line: Great combination of flavors = another great way to prepare bok choy.  I'll be making this again.

Swiss chard

I love swiss chard and our local organic box always sends us some in the winter.  My standby is to steam it with butter and garlic, but that's what I do with all green leafy vegetables, and it does get boring after a while.  Enter this recipe from Simply Recipes (courtesy of Punchfork).  It's basically the same, but pan fried instead of steamed.  Gives it a nicer texture.  I kept the crushed peppers on the side because Yelena hates 'em but I love 'em.
Not a spectacular recipe, but I'm definitely going to keep this one in my back pocket for the next time I get chard.

Cauliflower, Leek & Garlic Soup

This one gets a split vote: I loved it but Yelena hated it.  This is the kind of ultra-gourmet thing you'd see served at Gather (which is also a love/hate kind of place).
I actually hate cauliflower, but I loved this soup.  It's got a fantastic combination of flavors that work perfectly together.  I served it with the radicchio & goat cheese bruschetta and a chilled petite voigner.  Add some candles and mood music, and you've got an at-home date at an upscale restaurant.

Sauteed Radicchio and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

It's hard to find a recipe for radicchio that doesn't involve "put it in a salad."  This is a phenomenal exception.  It's sophisticated, gourmet, perfect for when you have company over.  I recommend pairing it with a dry wine.
As always, I left out the salt & pepper.  I also didn't have chevre, so I used Laughing Cow cheese.  It's a creamy soft-spread cow cheese from France and went perfectly on the lightly toasted bread.
I am definitely keeping this in my entertainment repertoire.

Easiest Pasta and Broccoli

This one is fast, easy, and tasty.  The trick: you cook the broccoli with the pasta.  I recommend fresh pasta; the broccoli were only in the pot for three minutes so they were blanched rather than boiled.  As usual, I left out the salt & pepper, but I added crushed red pepper flakes (the way I usually do with noodles).
The only critique I can make is that it isn't thrilling - I'd call it "good not great."  But if you're looking for a quick and easy dinner, it's a great way of making plain pasta more interesting.

Homemade Applesauce

I got this recipe from The Kosher Palette, but it's pretty much the same as every other homemade applesauce recipe out there.  Here's the gist:
Peel, core, and slice apples.  Cook 'em in a pot with a little water - just enough to keep 'em from burning.  When they're soft, mash 'em a little.  Eat.  Wonder at God's creation.

Potato Leek Soup

Soul food.  Not a desert island dish, but darn close.  Our local organic basket kept sending us potatoes and leeks, so I decided to go with a classic.  Glad I did.  This recipe is everything you want potato leek soup to be.


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