New-s

This week brought with it lots of notable new things. 

1. I adopted two new kittens. Well, actually my boyfriend, David, and I adopted them three weeks ago, but the honeymoon phase is still going strong. There names are Bella (left) and Bowie (right) and are way too cute for me to handle most days. They love gazing out onto our street through the bedside window, playing with their Yoda & Chewbacca toys, climbing up into pockets of scratched up fabric on the underside of the boxspring. And, sleeping. So much sleeping. 

2. David and I moved in together--cue big grown-up moment--and its going splendidly thus far. 

3. My mom took me to see Beautiful: The Carol King Musical last Saturday which blew me away. I've been a big Tapestry fan since I can remember, but the show gave me a whole new appreciation. And reignited an album listening spree that's now somewhere in the thirty-forty times over range. 

4. Finally caught up on my favorite new show, Younger. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a light, Millennially referential show with lots of pretty people and fashion. Also, why am I just finding out about Sutton Foster now? What a boss! 

5. New. Beyonce. Single. Ahhhhhhh!! Can't stop watching this video. And this one where she 100% steals the Super Bowl halftime show from Coldplay.

6. I discovered an unexpectedly beautiful and thoughtful new cookbook (by new I mean new to me as it came out this past March). Good Food Good Life is the latest title from Curtis Stone, who I've been a fan (or rather on ogler of) since the era of his now cancelled TLC show Take Home Chef. I haven't followed much of his work since but was introduced to his book at my January cookbook club dinner (another new thing!). Good Food Good Life won as the selected cookbook this month which allowed me to try 15+ recipes from the book prepared by other group members. On the whole, everything proved super tasty. Really simple and elegant dishes that pack in bold flavor and, surprisingly, a lot of nutrition. The book also had gorgeous, unfussy photography to boot, which, I hate to say, is not something I've come to expect from most celebrity cookbooks. 

Two standout recipes for me personally were the Bircher muesli and Roasted Romanesco and Carrots with Tarragon sauce. Both dishes take hardly any effort to prepare and have both been made subsequent times since cookbook club. 

What new things have made your week? 

Few dishes have ever come close to replacing oatmeal as my everyday breakfast fixture, but this muesli is inching its way there. I love waking up and not having to do anything but scoop a serving into a bowl and sprinkle on a few toppings. It also holds up in the fridge for 3 days which is ideal for early mornings when you don't have a ton of time to eat before work. I went with a topping combination of toasted pecans, clementines, and orange blossom honey here, but feel free to decorate your muesli with anything you'd like.

Bircher Muesli

Adapted slightly from Good Food Good Life by: Curtis Stone 

2 Gala apples, quartered and cored, not peeled

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

1 cup apple juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toppings of your choice (honey, toasted pecans, and clementines pictured above) 

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the apples into a large bowl. Mix in the oats, yogurt, apple juice, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Scoop a hefty portion of muesli into a bowl. Top with your chosen toppings and serve.

Serves 4

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Roasted vegetables are considered a primary food group in my house. But, as much as I love them, they can become pretty boring after a while. The addition of the punchy, fragrant tarragon sauce in Curtis' Roasted Romanesco and Carrots dish gives the veggies just enough umph to turn them into an entirely new dish. Also, don't feel limited to carrots and cauliflower here. Other options like bell peppers, broccoli, fennel, leeks, potatoes, red onions, and squash would all work beautifully. 

Roasted Romanesco and Carrots with Tarragon Sauce

Adapted slightly from Good Food Good Life by: Curtis Stone 

12oz  medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and halved lengthwise

12oz romanesco or cauliflower (about 1 small head), separated into 2-inch florets (with 1-inch-long stems)

6 small shallots, peeled and halved 

1/4 cup olive oil 

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette or Italian bread, crusts removed 

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Position a rack in the center of the oven and place a large heavy baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, romanesco, and shallots with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables out on the preheated baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes, or until tender and deeply browned all over.

Meanwhile, put the bread in a small bowl, pour the vinegar over it, and soak for 5 minutes. 

Squeeze the excess vinegar out of the bread and discard the vinegar, then return the bread to the bowl and break it up as finely as possible. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, tarragon, parsley, and garlic and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. 

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a platter. Drizzle the tarragon sauce over and serve immediately. 

Serves 4