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Dinner

Cozy Beef Autumnal Stew with Creamy Cauliflower Mash

Dinner, Fall, Healthy, Quick and Easy

I’m shocked to say that I think this might be one of the only stews on this entire blog. When I realized this, I was shook! I grew up eating stews of all kinds because my mother believed in the power of warm food on a cold day. It can turn your mood completely around and feel like you just ate a huge hug.

In film school I was known—and yes, I say this braggingly–to always have the best food on my sets. I would approach local restaurants and ask for a donation, i.e., meals. And they would happily cater our shoots because we were poor college students of the arts and they loved what we created. Panera was one of those places that donated.  And on one of the coldest days in October, we had their broccoli and cheddar soup with sandwiches and bread and salads; it transformed everyone’s mood. It was magical to see what the power of a good meal could do for people working hard.

I’m super happy to be teaming up with Panera for this post to speak about their new six-episode video series called Food Interrupted. Each episode follows leaders in the food world as they meet everyday heroes who have dedicated their lives to changing America’s food system. The fifth episode, Meat Interrupted, follows two chefs learning and showing ways to humanely raise animals. They speak about the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed, And the ways cows should live out their lives in fields of grass. It’s a fun watch, here’s a link!

I admittedly don’t eat an enormous amount of meat. I love vegetables (and cake) but when I do eat meat, I try and eat responsibly-raised meat. It’s not always easy for everyone due to access and budget, I totally understand this. However, Panera is committed to using responsibly-sourced, antibiotic free meat in their establishments and I think that’s really awesome. Continue Reading

Delicata Squash Ricotta Baked Shells

Dinner, Fall, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

I’m currently sipping tea, attempting to heal my sore throat that is feeling all raspy and weary. On Saturday night I went to Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios and screamed like the gigantic baby that I am.

Why is that we know it’s fake but believe it’s real. Lol. Our brains are so complicated.

Monsters and gremlins jumping out at me really drained my energy too because I’m currently a lil’ bit exhausted. Luckily I healed my self with a big Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a batch full of shells I had waiting for me in the freezer.

Let’s talk about shells today. Beautiful, big, glorious shells. I honestly have no idea why I don’t make them more. Whenever I make them,I’m like, why don’t I do this needs to be on a weekly rotation.

They’re also an amazing thing to gift. If you have someone in your life who is having a surgery, is sick, having a baby, etc., this is a great thing to drop off their house. They will love you forever.

You can also make this batch and eat half and freeze half.

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Chickpea Stew (Leblebi) + Berbere Chicken Wings

Dinner

Do you have an autumnal to-do list? And by “to-do list,” I mean a fun to-do list. I wrote a short one at the beginning of the season and at the very top was “invite people over!” I’ve been super slow on putting together some of the rooms and that’s been stopping me but hey, the den is almost done (post coming soon!) so I figured it was time to get my friends together.

For this post, I teamed up with McCormick Gourmet! I wanted to throw a dinner party inspired by Northern Africa and McCormick made this easy with a new seasoning collection that consists of McCormick Gourmet Organic Harissa Seasoning (inspired by the North African paste) and McCormick Gourmet Organic Berbere Seasoning (an Ethiopian spice mixture).

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Brown Butter Scallops with Sautéed Kale, Shishitos Over a Bed of Polenta

Dinner, Fall, Quick and Easy, Summer

Autumn is days away. DAYS! Which is so incredibly exciting but I’m still trying my hardest to hold onto the last bits of summer and maybe even merge them with this new upcoming season. See: this dish!

This meal is inspired by a dish I ate a few weeks ago when I went to Madison, Wisconsin to visit the headquarters of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove. It was such an incredible experience touring the factories where they make their Sub-Zero refrigeration, Wolf cooking, and new Cove dishwashing appliances while learning all about the brand’s commitment to quality. Their appliances are pieces of art. The craftsmanship and artistry that goes into building each product is truly amazing.

Beyond making quality appliances, it was exciting to learn that Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove is also committed to inspiring people to cook and create memorable food experiences. And that’s exactly what happened as we walked through their gorgeous Harvest Haven garden and ate meals in their beautiful barn.

They had everything in that pretty garden. Everything from a 600-pound pumpkin to a greenhouse full of vine-ripe tomatoes—it was truly stunning. It was also sort of magical to eat blackberries off of a vine and then seconds later see the season’s first apples starting to turn red on the tree. Nature is amazing.

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Late-Summer Veggie “Bolognese” with Cauliflower Gnocchi

Dinner, Healthy, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Summer, Vegetarian

I spent my weekend drinking smoothies because I was gigantic idiot and hit myself in the mouth with a medicine ball (I thought it was a sandbag when I slammed it on the ground) and couldn’t eat for a few days. I could speak just fine but chewing wasn’t ok. ANYWAY, I’m back and recovered. Stupidest thing I’ve done in a long time; I’m glad I survived!

I also spent the weekend celebrating my mama’s birthday and took her to see The Waitress—which was SO good. I loved the movie but the play was WAY better so I highly recommend if it comes to your town.

Let’s talk cauliflower gnochhi. I’ve been seeing it all over the internets lately so I wanted to give it a try. I headed to my local Trader Joe’s and followed the cooking directions from Laura’s Insta Stories—not what is on the back of the bag and, to my huge surprise, it tasted pretty good!

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