Recipes: tried & true.

Last weekend, it was cupcakes, mojitos, and a summer stew... a reflection of our attempt to savor the remains of summer.  This weekend's meals were based primarily on function and ease.  A weekend of back-to-school preparation, bedroom overhauls, Good Will, moody kids, and weary parents.  I still managed to get a couple of WINNER recipes that fit the bill of function and ease- but at the same time, brightened spirits and provided little pockets of 'end-of-summer reprieve.' 
Ryan and I actually made this Buttermilk Farro Salad during the week, on a night that the kids were away.  What drew me to this recipe was the large amount of dill, the idea of a buttermilk vinaigrette, and the combination of zucchini and radishes- which I've never paired in a dish.  Despite the fact that I got distracted and let the farro soak for far too long, I loved the combination of flavors going on in this salad- sweet zucchini, peppery radishes, and tangy dressing.  I'd definitely make it again, using either farro (cooked right) or another grain, as well as fresh corn.
More than sharing the recipe, I'd like to share just how much I adore Heidi's cooking philosophy, her focus on natural, whole foods and ingredients, her fascination with cookbooks, her detailed articulation of her creative process in writing and cooking each dish (from the moment that the dish was inspired, all the way through to it's completion), and her "no-holding-back" mentality when it comes to dishing out tipsideas, techniques, and tweaks/substitutions/adaptations for every recipe... truly allowing you to get in the mind of the chef and inspiring you to be the chef in your own kitchen.
On Saturday, the stars were aligned (+ the ingredients in our refrigerator) for us to make this wonderful dish of Spanish Style Chicken with Saffron Rice, found at an enriching and motivating blog, Live and Enliven.  I had not yet tried Ana's recipes, but in light of her many talents, her clear and simple priorities, her raw passion of life and food, and her generosity and willingness to share her heart and talent, I knew any recipe of hers would taste incredible.
And believe me, this was.  This meal will create such wonderful aromas in your kitchen, that it is impossible to remain in a sour mood (not that I would know from experience, or anything).  Literally, the spirit (and appetite) rises with the addition of each ingredient.  An incredible combination of flavors.  And Ryan, although not picky or ungrateful in regards to eating, is not usually one to rave about a dish.  But this was another story... a  clear request for it to be made again. 
*Cooks Note:  As the recipe states, you can use saffron or turmeric.  I used turmeric, since I had it on hand.  Also, I used parboiled brown rice- prepared earlier in the day and set in the fridge on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and covered (to let the kernels dry out a little bit, ensuring that it didn't get mushy when fully cooked).
Last recipe of the weekend, prepared bright and early on Sunday morning, was Kim's Homemade Granola.  Last year, I began making my own granola, using Katie's recipe.  A perfect staple to use as cereal, a topping, or snack- and much healthier than store-bought.  Yet, I've gotten a little behind as of late, in the 'homemade' department.  Last week, I saw Kim's lovely post [and gorgeous picture] and put it at the top of my 'to-make-this-week' list.  It was a very simple recipe, tasted great, stocked us up for a busy week ahead, and served as a great hostess gift for my mom this past Sunday. 
But of course, I could not write about one of Kim's fantastic recipes without writing about Kim, and her fantastic blog- 180 | 360.   This was one of the first blogs that I discovered, prior to having my own.  I was drawn in immediately by her stunning photography, and then lured to stay longer [and learn more] by her poetic, witty, deliberate, deep- yet light, writing style... what I like to call 'down-to-earth sophistication.'  I have only been reading for a few months and every time I read a new post, I get stuck in her corner of the web- 'back-reading' stories of nature, health, life, family- being entertained, made aware, and inspired. 
I did go a little "link crazy" on you in this post, but I do hope that you look into these recipes and blogs further, as- I assure you- it will be well worth your time. 


  1. You are so sweet. I'm blushing and smiling to be described in that way. Truth be told, I'm sort of scared at the thought of anyone reading all my old posts, but I'm trying to go with it. :) I was definitely funnier back then! Thanks again for making another day. xo

    PS. Excited to check out these other recipes and bloggers. They both sound awesome!

  2. Okay...I guess it would help if I could read! I love Heidi and 101 Cookbooks, but I've never tried this recipe. Looks delicious! :)

  3. Ok yes jam packed post w/lots of links but they all look great. Food is certainly on my mind right now. I need a good recipe to try tonight! Good luck with Hailey's room...what a fun project to decorate and make it feel like her own personal space!

  4. Torrie, every single thing you made looks spectacular. But that granola is on a different level! I've never tried making it, but I love granola and can only imagine how delicious it would be if it were homemade. Sounds like a really great weekend.

    Yes, I love reading too but reading at night is like taking a sleeping pill for me! Sometimes that's actually a good thing and I read in bed in order to fall asleep. And your red dress sounds amazing!



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