French Lentilicious

A Lentil Haiku (sort of)

Busy. Busy. Busy.
Quick lunch hour
(the market calls)

Scanning dry bins
de Puy French lentils here
$3.09/lb.??? Whoa.

Must. Have. Lentils.

Luscious little babies
Good for salad
Good with salmon
Good with grilled things
Good for you!

A recipe in mind
French Lentil Salad

Happiness.

Resting from last long post
more food soon
(wink!)

French Lentilicious Salad
(can be halved, full recipe will feed 8 as side portions)

For cooking the lentils:
2 cups dried green de Puy French lentils, carefully picked through for stones and rinsed (do not soak)
1/2 onion, peeled
1 whole clove garlic, peeled
1 carrot, washed, trimmed and cut into 3 inch chunks
1 stalk celery, washed, trimmed and cut into 3 inch chunks
4 cups low salt chicken broth, or you can use water

For the salad:
1 large carrot, peeled, trimmed and finely diced
1 cup of finely diced celery, preferably hearts with a few leaves
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

For the dressing:
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 generous teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a deep medium sized saucepan, combine the dry lentils, the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer/low boil and allow the lentils to cook until just tender, about 25 minutes, but test them at 20…you don’t want them mushy. When the lentils are done, drain the liquid, remove the solid onion, garlic, carrot and celery, and place the lentils into a bowl to cool a bit.

While the lentils are cooling, make your dressing. Combine the parsley, thyme, vinegar and dijon in a small bowl with a whisk. Add the olive oil in a slow stream, whisking to emulsify. Season with the salt and pepper.

To the warm lentils, add the diced carrot, celery and red pepper, and stir gently to incorporate. Pour the whisked dressing over the salad, and stir gently to coat. You can serve immediately warm, or allow about 30 minutes for the flavors to develop and serve at room temperature, or serve it chilled. This is wonderful with a bit of grilled salmon served over it. We also enjoy it as a side dish to just about anything grilled, and as part of a veggie meal…you can’t go wrong! Will keep in the fridge for a few days.

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Feeling Weenie-Hallow-ish

I have to apologize to my fellow bloggers. I’m still trying to catch up with all of your lovely posts from when I was on vacation, but am enjoying reading them and replying as I get to them. Lots of great posts out there!

Halloween is fast upon us and this weekend I was feeling a bit zombie-like, since the moment I returned from vacation I put in about a 50-hour work week between Monday and Thursday to catch up. Whew.

Oh wait, maybe I meant those other kind of zombies…but I like these better! Ah, the life of the self-employed…but I’m truly fortunate to be busy! Continue reading

Reflections on Fall…and an Award!

I’ve said it before: Fall is my favorite season of the year. It’s a busy time, with holidays each month and the preparation of the home and garden for winter, but such a lovely time for those reasons and so many more. I can’t let this season go by without a moment to reflect on a few of the things that I love about it, so I’ve compiled some thoughts and a little list to share with you.

But before I continue my fall-ish thoughts, one thing I’d like to share is that I’ve just been honored with my first blog award…sweet! Many gracious thanks to Eva from Kitchen Inspirations, who kindly nominated me for the Liebster Blog award. She’s a fellow in the graphic design field, a food lover, cook, and brave croissant maker(!!!) from Canada, whose blog I recently discovered and have really enjoyed following. Do take the time to check her out!  And please scroll down to see more details about this award…as well as find out who my own nominees are, as I pass along the baton!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to recognize your favorite up-and-coming bloggers who have fewer than 200 subscribers, and that you feel deserve more. It’s a cool way to meet more folks and learn some new things…and generally expand your horizons, in my opinion. Continue reading

Italian Sliders

You know you want one of these!

This is what you'll look like if you eat too many of these babies in one sitting!

Okay, so maybe they’re not really Italian, but they are inspired by Italian flavors…a mixture of a little flat leaf Italian parsley, fresh garlic, some Pecorino Romano, Lea&Perrins Worcestershire sauce—not Italian, but it’s good—salt and pepper. Then just shape the meat into slider-sized patties—or regular burger-sized patties if you prefer—bring some grilled balsamic glazed onions, a little Parmigiano Reggiano and tomato sauce to the party, and put it all on the appropriate sized bun. Delicioso! Continue reading

A luscious little soup

The minute it gets cool and fall-ish like last weekend, my mind switches over to soup mode, and although it’s warming up again here where we live, it’s never too early to make a great soup…especially one that’s just as good warm as it is hot.

This spicy peanut and sweet potato soup checks a lot of boxes for me: 1. it’s savory,  2. it’s spicy,  3. it’s a teensy bit sweet, but in a savory sort of way (does that make sense?),  4. it has a teensy bit of Asian flair to it, too  5. also a teensy bit of an African flair to it,  6. I’ve used the word “teensy” too many times, haven’t I?,  7. leftovers freeze and reheat well, if you have any leftover,  8. it’s healthy, but it doesn’t necessarily taste “healthy,”  9. it’s easy to make,  10. it’s great for a light lunch or dinner,  11. it uses up a lot of items I have in my pantry and from my CSA box.
Need I say more? Continue reading

King of the Smoothie

A Pineapple-Orange-Banana Smoothie made by the King.

My husband is usually the grill master and sous chef around here, but in addition to that he does make some mean breakfast items on his own, and amongst the best of the best are his smoothies. There’s been a strawberry-banana-orange, a blueberry-orange with cinnamon, and a peach with cinnamon, just to name a few. But he’s outdone himself with the latest one: Pineapple-Orange-Banana. All hail to the King of Smoothies! Continue reading

Virginia really is for Lovers…of Life, Food, Wine and Nature

A pastoral setting, to say the least.

First, forgive me for the lack of posting for a while. This is truly the longest I’ve gone between posts since I started this blog. Work deadlines are the main culprit, and being out of town…and more work deadlines. Reality sets in, folks, but I am back! And I have lots to share with you. So sit back and read my story about taking a little trip to Virginia.

A dear girlfriend of mine and her husband have a lovely home on a farm in Afton, Virginia, and last weekend I flew up for my first visit and a girls’ weekend. Little did I know what a fun, tasty, adventurous and beautiful interlude lay ahead. Continue reading

This, that and the other…

Smiling eggs make better brownies.

I could get with this…or I could get with that… (You’re envisioning the Kia Soul Hamster Rap commercial, aren’t you?) Basically, this sums up my thoughts on my pantry and fridge contents last night as I faced making dinner. We’re finally getting some rain here, and I was happy to stay in and make a meal. But, what to make? I had no real plan, and I had bits of this and bits of that for ingredients. When in doubt, make a salad and some pasta! Continue reading

D-Con, D-Book Festival and Some De-licious Sliders

A sailing machine of some sort...anyone know what this is, besides amazing?

Not sure, but I think these folks may have just come from a dip in the pool after walking the 1/2 mile parade in the heat!

It’s D-weekend (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) and a lot is going on in the big city. We decided to try something new and headed downtown to see the Dragon Con Parade, which kicks off the world’s largest fantasy/SF convention, held annually in Atlanta, GA, on Labor Day weekend. Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans come from everywhere, donned in their finest Star Wars, Star Trek, Road Warrior, Alien, Thunder Dome, Ghost Busters, Harry Potter (or at least we saw Snape there), Dr. Who, and any and all other related costumes you can possibly think of, and some you couldn’t imagine. We saw a working replica of a truck from Thunder Dome that some 10 people were riding, and a time machine. There’s some serious money laid down for this, people! Continue reading

Confessions of a Cookbook Addict

I am a cookbook-a-holic.

There, I’ve said it out loud…well, sort of. I know many of us have lots of cookbooks and/or love to read them, but I’ve kind of taken it to the extreme. In fact, they are running me out of the house.

My unorganized reading table of cookbooks, food mags and Ree Drummond's new book.

Sure, I have my favorites, and they rotate sometimes. I have some very old ones, hand me down ones and some found at yard sales. I have some by famous chefs, some by famous cooks, some from other countries and some from little churches, schools and Junior Leagues. And In addition to the ones I own, I’ve read a bunch that I checked out from the library. It’s like some kind of a jones or something, every now and then…mostly now…I have cravings to read a new cookbook, essay or magazine about food like others have cravings to eat some chocolate. What can I say? I’m kinda weird that way. Continue reading