I just spent the past week in Paris, which is quite possibly my favorite city in the world. I definitely warmed up my appetite for Thanksgiving this week.
My favorite thing about Paris is of course the food. It is pretty hard to have a bad meal there. Although, a true Parisian might disagree, but my experience has always been that the food anywhere you go there is either good, great, or exceptional. I had tons of recommendations from friends and fellow bloggers, and although they led me to many wonderful places, I realized that there was so much good food to discover, you almost didn't need many recommendations. It is sometimes more fun to discover places by chance.
Even though I always enjoy the food in Paris or any country I visit, I do not typically eat the way that I did the last week. Croissants for breakfast, french onion soup and french fries for lunch … and seeking out a pastry and espresso in-between each meal. You will not find kale on any menu in Paris, and part of me likes it that way. I enjoy being places very different from where I live, but now I am ready to get back to my (much healthier) routine .... well ..... after Thanksgiving, of course.
I am sure that potatoes and brussels sprouts will find their way to your table this Thanksgiving and probably a few more times before the end of the year. Originally, I was thinking of making some kind of hash recipe for a side dish that included both sprouts and potatoes, however, it's been a while since I've had a latke and when I brought out all of these ingredient to make a hash, the latke light bulb went off.
Maybe it was also my subconscience telling me to post this recipe this week. By complete chance, I also realized that it is Hanukkah this week, which I do not celebrate, but my friends who do might just be eating latkes. This dish is the perfect hybrid dish for the hybrid holiday this year.
If you're not celebrating anything this week, you can also enjoy these for lunch or dinner maybe with some greens, or over a salad. Or, you can do what I did, and eat these for breakfast with a poached egg on top, since for me, anytime is a fine time for a brussel sprout latke.
Spending time with friends who have known you more than half your life is good for the soul. This past weekend Michael and I hung out with two of my oldest and greatest friends from high school and their families. As expected, it was like no time has past. We had such a great time.
Last night Michael told me his favorite part of the weekend (besides all of the excellent food, drink, and company ... of course) was when we whipped out our yearbooks and laughed about our chubby cheeks and high school crushes. Some memories had us laughing so hard tears were running down our face.
I also leaned that I apparently have the memory of an elephant ... which can be good or bad, depending on what embarrassing story pops into my head.
We were staying at my friend Sarah's mom's house which meant we were able to cook lots over the weekend. One of my favorite thing to do is cook a big meal with good friends.
The first night we got home pretty late so we decided to make a one pot concoction that included some of my favorite ingredients: brussles sprouts, quinoa, and avocado. We also ate the leftovers for breakfast one morning. Yep. And it was just as delicious.
The second night when Michael, Laura, and her family arrived, we made a big dinner for everyone. Michael surprised everyone by taking over as head chef in the kitchen. I love it when he cooks. We made a few different things, one being this sweet potato and red onion recipe. That recipe has become a go-to of mine because of how easy, fool-proof, and tasty it is.
Dinner was delicious and so much fun. A great new memory for my elephant brain.
We did not make this beet tartare recipe, however, Sarah totally made my day when she told me how many recipes she has tried from my blog, and I am hoping that she will be trying this one too soon :)
Back when I worked in the corporate world, things were a little different.
I had to wake up about 30 minutes before my body wanted to every morning.
I wore high heels and starched shirts.
I would have breakfast at my desk, lunch at my desk, and I would prepare both in the little kitchen our office provided (sometimes getting odd glares from my co-workers who usually got take-out or ordered in).
On days that I was busy I would never leave my desk, and on days that I was bored I would find every excuse leave my desk.
In the winter, I would leave the office an hour or two (or three) after the sun went down. Michael and I would often get home at the same time, and on most nights we would cook.
I didn’t have as much time to get creative in the kitchen on the weeknights. Most nights I would stick to one of the several classic recipes that I knew well.
Roasted vegetables were a staple.
When I took a bite of a roasted carrot the other night, it reminded me of something. It took me a minute to pinpoint it. Usually food can take you back to a lovely place, a fond childhood memory, a memory of a beloved family member, but not this roasted carrot. This roasted carrot reminded me of my old job. It was strange. It was not necessarily a bad memory, but not a picturesque one either.
It got me thinking.
Sometimes we cook things because they are simple and easy to make. Sometimes we cook things because they taste good. Sometimes we cook things because they remind us of a person a place or a memory.
I realized, roasted vegetables are all of those things to me.
They are easy to prepare, they taste really good, and now that I've thought about it, they remind me of cold, quite nights at home with Michael when we would change into comfy clothes and catch up on our days. Maybe it is a pretty fond memory after all.
Roasted vegetable in the wintertime are good for the soul.
Kale is good for the soul too.
Marinated kale is just really good period. The marinating breaks the kale down into tender bites that are easier to eat and digest. Massaging the kale helps the process of breaking it down as well. This technique is not only good for this kale salad, but for anytime you want to eat kale raw.
The roasted vegetables make a hearty addition to the raw kale. Winter salads are best with some kind of warm element. Roasted vegetables not only warm up this salad, but they give it that nostalgic roasted taste that hopefully (for you) has a fond winter memory attached to it.