Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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Dinner
Barley and Endive Salad with Parsley Pesto PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Thursday, 11 December 2014 15:39

 

 

My father-in-law is vegan, and he eats a decent amount of tofu. In fact, I never really enjoyed tofu until he made me his signature dish.

 

He mixes together a mean stir-fry of tofu, broccoli, onions, chili oil, and he uses garlic so judiciously that I don't even know it's there.

 

How awesome is that?

 

And I like to make him little meals to give him the night off from cooking occasionally.

 

This meal came about when I was craving barley for lunch and I decided to make a huge barley salad with enough leftover to send out to him.

 

Barley may seem like a slightly odd thing to crave, but it's been more and more on my mind - and on my plate. It's ridiculously good for you, and it's filling.

 

Oh, and it's inexpensive.

 

Also because it's December, endive seemed like an appropriate addition. Add some cherry tomatoes for color, a whole lot of herbs – and hello, pretty and healthy salad!

 

My father-in-law is fairly low-key kind of guy, so when my husband came home from the salad delivery and said that his father “loved it,” well, I felt like I'd won a Nobel prize.

 

“So, your Dad liked it?”

 

“No Launie, he loved it.”

 

“Holy macaroni.”

 

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Spinach Stuffed Pork with Horseradish Cream PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 24 November 2014 13:51

 

 

A couple of weeks ago, my mother and I decided that we'd go a little off the beaten path when it came to Thanksgiving this year. We thought we'd mix it up with some new recipes.

 

That was the plan.

 

And then on Tuesday my father said he needed turkey on Thanksgiving. Well, that seemed reasonable. Then my mother and I said that we needed stuffing. My mother asked Jedd what dish he needed for Thanksgiving to feel like Thanksgiving, and he said mashed potatoes.

 

My mother and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.

 

A traditional Thanksgiving, it will be!

 

But way back when – on Monday – when I thought we'd be trying something new, this was going to be my suggestion.

 

Stuffed pork. Mmmm.

 

However, since I couldn't make it for the holiday, I decided to make it just for us. Why not?

 

The most difficult thing about it was pounding the meat out evenly.

 

And any recipe where the most “difficult” thing is pounding out meat – isn't really difficult at all. Also, it's delicious and pretty.

 

I'm a sucker for pretty.

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Pomegranate and Pear Salad with Parmesan Crisps PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 16:11

 

 

I love to cook, my mother loves to cook, so Thanksgiving is our day to play. However, it's only going to be four of us for dinner this year, and Mom and I were talking about how to adjust the menu accordingly.

 

Then I threw out the idea that we jettison tradition and make something different.

 

The menu tentatively stands with a turkey breast stuffed with greens. And stuffing.

 

Because, we have to have stuffing.

 

But I want to make a big and beautiful winter salad, too. So, when I was at the grocery store and saw that pomegranates were only two dollars each – this salad idea popped into my head.

 

 

Bonus: It wasn't expensive either. Two dollars for the pomegranate, three dollars for the greens, a dollar for the pear, and I always have parmesan around.

 

Boom! Big winter salad it is! Serve the salad with some mini-muffins, because why not? They're adorable.

 

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Steak with a Herbed Cutting Board Sauce PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 17:24

 

 

In summer there's nothing more decadent than having a plethora of herbs to play with. In the winter, a bunch of oregano costs $2.00 for an anemic bunch of straggly little greens. In the summer, you can purchase a bunch of oregano the size of your head for $1.50.

 

What's not to love about that?

 

Other herbs are just as lush and inexpensive. However, now we're at the end of October and things aren't quite as bountiful. But I have a very kind mother who gave me a huge bunch of herbs from her garden. I promptly cleaned and froze them, and they sit available whenever I want to brighten up a meal.

 

They also create the base for one of my favorite very, very, very, fast and satisfying meals.

 

Meat with an herb board sauce. This one was steak, but it works really well with pork and chicken.

 

You can't go wrong with this dish.

 

I topped the steak with turnips that had been pickled with baby beets to make them vibrantly pink, and we had one of those meals that still makes you feel like you're eating like August.

 

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Pico de Quinoa PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 25 October 2014 15:37

 

 

Jedd and I went to Maine for a couple of days, and it was amazing.

 

The first day was sunny and the sky was bright blue. The second day we were pummeled with wind and rain and crazy high waves.

 

 

 

It was kind of the best of both worlds.

 

 

But even being out of the kitchen for a couple of days is like a mild form of withdrawal. (Let alone walking into a hotel room and not seeing the furry faces of our cats. On our last really long vacation, we may or may not have called our answering machine while we were tipsy to leave a message for the cats. “Mommy and Daddy lurve you! We'll be home tomorrow!”)

 

So, as much as I love to travel, it's also wonderful to get home.

 

And I really love to get back in the kitchen. For no apparent reason I always crave healthy food once the suitcase is unpacked. Maybe it's using public restrooms while traveling and feeling like Rodney Ruxin's character in The League.

 

“Forever uncleeeeeeen!”

 

However, I surprised both of us with our “Welcome Home” dish.

 

I was craving quinoa.

 

Quinoa isn't something I normally consider “craveable” food, but once I spiced it up with lime, tomatoes, jalapenos, scallions and cilantro – it made an amazing dinner.

 

The dish was healthy, bright, spicy, savory, and completely hit the spot after a four hour car trip.

 

Bonus: It was the first time I dipped into our “winter reserves” of frozen tomatoes, scallions, and jalapenos from summer's bounty. They were great.

 

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