Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Cooking Gifts and Healthy Meals...

I was a very good girl this year because Santa brought me tons of cooking and kitchen gadgets! Below you can see my new pizza stone! and a new baking rack for roasting veggies on, and a Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet! and a lovely large new tea pot. My old tea pot kept scalding me with steam. Bad. 

Below here you will see the Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Cookbook and some beans in the background. My dad thought I was nuts to ask for beans for Christmas, but hey, it's what I wanted. My sweet friend Jessica gave me one of her dad's prized cutting boards, hand made with trimmings from the fruit trees she climbed in the midwest as a child. Such a sweet and pretty gift!

Another shot of the lovely beans....I made some last night simmered simply with garlic and onions. I topped them off with some sea salt and freshly chopped cilantro. Served with a side salad, what a great and healthy dinner! I encourage you to take a look at the Rancho Gordo website. This guy is doing some amazing things with one of the healthiest things you can eat. Thomas Keller even wrote the forward. I found out about this guy due to Heidi Swanson, she is always talking about his beans.

These are the prettiest little measuring spoons Aaron picked out for me at Anthropologie. 

And these are the cutest measuring cups I have ever seen! Aaron picked these out too!

 Aaron also picked out these pretty wooden tea spoons for me. 

Such a lucky chef! To start off January right, I have already made some wonderful food. I cooked a chowder inspired by Vegetarian Times with corn, potatoes, red quinoa, soy milk, veggie broth, and lots of seasonings. It is fabulous and tastes so rich but it's really not and it's great for you. 

Below is a simple pesto I made with a bunch of arugula, and handful of pinenuts, lemon juice and olive oil. It tastes great mixed into soups, eggs, rice, noodles, whatever you want! 

Tonight I mixed it in with some simple steamed green lentils and topped that with a mixture of this pretty purple kale sauteed with some onions, bell peppers, and fresh herbs. You can also see the pretty olive platter that Aaron brother and sister in law gave us for Christmas. 

I am off to eat my veggies! 


  1. Amanda, I love all your new kitchen stuff! I have always admired those cute measuring spoons and cups at Anthro :-) You didn't mention the pound of See's candy I sent, maybe you gave it away? I want to comment on the goodies you sent me, am making my lentil soup tonight, can't wait! The cookies are gone, but blondie mix is waiting.
    Happy cooking, Mom

  2. Finally catching up on your latest posts! Love the measuring spoons and of course that fabulous cutting board! ; ) -Jessica