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It was time for a break from the soups and stews, for something a little lighter. Husband found this delicous recipe and it was very much enjoyed.

sesame chicken with toasted quinoa

Sesame Chicken Toasted Quinoa
adapted from how sweet eats

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
6 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

Heat a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add chicken and cook through, about 5-10 mins per side. Remove and let cool. Shred or chop into small bites, set aside. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of sesame and olive oil. Add in garlic and quinoa and stir to coat, then toast for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken stock and increase heat to high, bringing the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa can be fluffed with a fork. Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside. Add in chicken, green onions and dressing, tossing well to coat. Add in sesame seeds and toss once more. Serve!

Cookies & Cups made these amazing peanut butter honey oat squares (which I tried too, and they are absolutely delicious!). I decided to jazz them up a bit with a few of the things left on hand from hubs’s yearly macaroons. Chocolate and coconut, and wow! did they turn out amazing. Trying not to make them my new daily breakfast (although I think they’re pretty healthy, right??).

chocolate honey almond butter oat bars_ raudette

No Bake Coconut & Chocolate Almond Butter Oat Bars
adapted from cupcakes & cups

1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter!)
1/2 cup honey
2oz bakers chocolate
2/3 cup coconut flakes
2 cups rolled oats

Line a 9×9 pan with foil (or 8×8 if you want thicker bars). Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
Melt the chcolate, almond butter and honey together until smooth, either in the microwave or stove top. Combine mixture with oats.
Press into prepared pan. Place in refrigerator until set. Cut into squares.

It’s that time of the year again, soup and stews almost every week! Any my favorite flavor boost – a little beer! Check out this amazingly simple cabbage stir fry, packed with flavor and warmth.

Cabbage-Roll-Rice_simply_stacie

Cabbage Roll Rice
adapted from simply stacie

2 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp italian seasoning
28oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup beer
1 cup Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice

Add ground beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt and paprika to a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the ground beef is browned (about 10 minutes). Stir in italian seasonings, cabbage, diced tomatoes, water, beer and rice and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Stir before serving. Serve hot.

This summer is too hot for cooking. But a quick chop of veggies roasted for a few minutes in the oven, seasoned just right? Perfectly easy and delicious on a hot night.

roasted chickpea ratatouille _ raudette

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille
via love and lemons

1 small eggplant (about 1.5 cups, cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 roma tomatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
2 cups chopped zucchini/yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
a few leaves of basil, sliced
(optional): cous cous, cooked millet or crusty bread on the side

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, onions and chickpeas on a baking sheet (it’s ok if it’s a little crowded). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven. Drizzle the vinegar over the veggies and toss them with the minced garlic and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Bake 5-10 minutes longer (or broil 1-2 minutes)… until the veggies are golden brown on the edges but still have somewhat of a bite (you don’t want them completely mushy). Remove from the oven and toss with sliced basil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, if you like. Serve with a grain or protein (pictured with cous cous).

I’m really really bad about making myself breakfast. Even when I’m home on the weekend. Suddenly it’s 1pm and I’m starving and… argh. I need to get better at this. One thing that’s really helped is overnight oats! It’s just one cup of oatmeal, one cup of your choice of milk, any mix-ins you want, time, and voilà!

raudette overnight oats

I’ve tried and seen a million great options. Here’s a roundup of a few of my favorites:

The first one I tried: Coconut with Coconut Milk (simple and perfect)
Peanut Butter & Banana

Peach Pie
Cinnamon Apple
Raspberry Almond

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla

And my own personal favorite:

Maple & Brown Sugar Overnight Oats
1 cup whole grain oats
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Mix well. Put into an airtight container (mason jars work well!). In the morning, stir and eat!
(sometimes if it’s a chilly morning, I’ll pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or so).

Well, that hiatus ended up being a bit longer than expected, but I did forget to mention that summer can last well into early October here in Seattle. I’ve also been working too much, but here are a couple of recipes we tried recently and really loved! I’m just starting to get back in the swing of cooking again, it’s been a long, wonderful, busy, crazy summer.

The second the weather starts to turn, I’m ready for soup season! This one is hearty and delicious, but still bright enough to feel good on a warmish day.

lemon-chicken-soup

Lemony Chicken & Spring Vegetable Soup
View the full recipe here via The Cozy Apron.

Also this fabulous potato salad, which was so packed with flavor and so filling, we ate it as a meal all on it’s own.

potato salad with sausage and fennel

Potato Salad with Italian Sausage and Fennel
View the full recipe here via Cook the Story.

Hope you enjoy these! More recipes and fun stuff to come soon!
I hope your summer has been fabulous too! xoxo.

I’m pretty proud of the job I did cooking this year! I pushed myself and my tastebuds (and my husband’s!). I had some wins and some losses, but overall it was definitely a success!
Here are my favorites meals from the year:

Comforting and Warm:

best of 2013 comforting and warm
The Best Ever Turkey Chili / Sweet Onions with Lentil Stew

Quick and Chicken-y:

best of 2013 quick and chicken
Roasted Chicken & Beets with Couscous and Yogurt SauceOne Pot Lemon Chicken & Zucchini

Summer Magic:

best 2013 summer magic
Grilled Poblano & Corn Quinoa with LimeGrilled Chicken & Asparagus Salad with Parsley Pesto

Meatless: 

best of 2013 meatless
One Pan Farro with TomatoesAsparagus Carbonara

For the slow cooker:

best of 2013 slow cooker
Sunday Night Italian Meatballs / Slow Cook Corned Beef & Cabbage

Yum! What were your favorite things you made this year? I’d love to hear your best recipes.
Here’s to new flavors and challenges in the new year!

There are two things I crave for breakfast, salt and eggs. While most days I’m terrible about making time for it, the weekends are made for brunching. Here are a few of my favorites and some I’m dying to try: salty and cheesy, herb-y and peppery, creamy, egg-filled savory goodness. Yum!

savory breakfast 01
Sharp Cheddar & Mustardy Greens Breakfast Sandwich / Oatmeal With Fried Egg and Avocado

savory breakfast 02
Breakfast Salad / Savory French Toast

savory breakfast 03
Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bowl / Crustless Quiche

When we got home from Chicago, we were overflowing with tomatoes. Our plants had exploded in the best kind of way! I’d had this recipe on our tomato to-do list for a few weeks now, and was incredibly pleased at how easily (and deliciously) it came together! Side note on the farro cooking: ours wasn’t semi-pearled, so it took about an hour to cook, but still came out perfect.

One Pan Farro with Tomatoes

One Pan Farro with Tomatoes
via smitten kitchen

2 cups water
1 cup semi-pearled farro
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
9 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
Up to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak (I find just 5 to 10 minutes sufficient) while you prepare the other ingredients. Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well. Halve or quarter tomatoes. Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and set a timer for 30 minutes (or as long as is directed on your farro). Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. When the timer rings, the farro should be perfectly cooked (tender but with a meaty chew), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, though I’ve never found it necessary, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until farro is more tender.
Transfer to a wide serving bowl. If there’s enough leftover cooking liquid to be bothersome, simply use a slotted spoon to leave the amount you wish to behind. Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil and parmesan.

I love a one pot meal! This is the first thing I made after we got home from vacation, and it was so good! It was rich and hearty and hit the spot. I’d never made a purloo before, but I’m sure I’ll be making one again. The hint of southern flavor with the corn and ham (and okra, of course!) was an amazing combo. It was so good I forgot to take a photo before we scarfed it all down, but here’s the lovely one from food52:

foodquarterly

Okra and Sweet Corn Purloo
via food52

3/4 cups yellow onion, small dice
1/3 cup green pepper, small dice
1/3 cup celery, small dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 cups okra, cut crosswise into stars
2 cups smoked turkey thigh or smoked ham
1 cup sweet corn, removed from the cob
1 cup short grain rice (we used brown)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

Heat the oven to 400˚ F. Place a heavy bottomed 3-quart pot over medium heat. Add enough oil to the pot to barely coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot add the onion, pepper, and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Add the thyme, basil, marjoram, and garlic. Saute, being careful not to brown the garlic, until they become fragrant. Add the okra, turkey, and corn. Season the purloo again with salt and freshly ground pepper. Taste and adjust any seasoning necessary. If the pan seems dry add a little more oil. Then add the rice and stir it around to coat the grains with the oil. Add the broth. Grab the pot by the handle and give it a sharp shake so everything evens out and is distributed evenly. Bring the broth to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the pot with a lid and slide the whole thing into the oven. Immediately turn the heat to 325˚ F. Set a timer for 35 minutes. At the end of thirty five minutes remove the pot from the oven, remove the lid and using a tasting spoon check the rice to see if it is done. If it is not done, cover the pot and return it to the oven for 10 more minutes. If the rice is tender, serve.