Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono Soup

The last few weeks have been a complete blur to me.  Between a quick trip to NYC for a wedding, our cat on the brink of survival (but has come back!), being without a washing machine for almost 3 weeks, and within 48 hours of school ending then taking our kids to overnight camp – all while working like a crazy woman – it is no wonder I feel this way.  Thank goodness that I am finally able to catch up on life.

It is definitely quiet in the house right now – this is the first time the girls have gone to overnight camp, and they will be gone for 10 days.  I remember going to overnight camp for the first time – although my mother had to remind me that as we were arriving, I decided I didn’t want to go anymore – but thank goodness they didn’t fall for that.  I remember having the time of my life.  I also remember coming home and begging to go back…it was certainly one of the highlights of my childhood.

Back then there were no computers, no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – and now I can get updates from all of those places – and even send my kids emails.  Although they don’t allow any electronic devices (how would I survive??) they will scan a handwritten letter and send it to you via email (for a small cost of course) so your kids can reply to the email letters they receive.  Amazing.

I learned that their first meal at camp was grilled cheese and tomato soup – sounds perfect.  Funny that I was thinking about another soup – this delicious lemony rice soup – perfect for summertime.  My trusty market basket came with all the ingredients to make this amazing soup, and I know that makes a big difference – using fresh lemons and farm fresh eggs.

Before I forget – we have a winner in the prAna dress giveaway!!  Congratulations to Mari!  She has been a faithful reader for quite sometime, and am so glad I am able to show her some gratitude curtesy of prAna.  Mari – I will be in touch with the details!


  • 8 cups Farm & Larder chicken stock
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 4 eggs
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Bring stock to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and stir in rice; cook, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Whisk eggs and juice in a bowl until frothy, add 1 cup of the simmering stock and whisk to combine; transfer back to the pot.

Cook, while stirring, about 2 minutes more; season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Avgolemono Soup

Summer Vegetable Frittata

Summer Vegetable Frittatta

What a weekend…all focused on food.  Ok, so maybe most of my weekends are all focused on food – but this was different.  I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference here in Seattle, and not only did we eat (and did we ever), but there were multiple sessions focused on photography, technology and writing.  When I attend a conference like this, I realize how little I actually know – and how little time I actually have to spend on my blog.  I know I could have prioritized it more during my summer sabbatical, but to be honest, I just didn’t want to sit behind a computer when I was in the most glorious food cities in the world.  I am happy with my decision…and maybe someday I will be able to devote more time here.

Aside from eating and learning, I actually met some really great people.  The two blogs I would like to highlight have something in common – these women got their significant other’s involved in their blogs!  I love it!!  The first blog is Dang that’s Delicious – an adorable blog with outstanding photos.  And would you believe they actually met at the food blogger’s conference a couple of year’s ago??  He was not attending, but they met at a bar downtown – what an amazing story.

The next blog is A Tasty Mess – and they travelled all the way from Houston to attend the conference.  They wasted no time at all, and even fit in a UW Husky game!  I loved getting the chance to talk to them, they are young and energetic – and by the look’s of that incredible blog – they have a beautiful life eating, drinking and writing about their adventures.  Next year’s conference is going to be in Sacramento – so if you are a blogger looking for a great way to learn and grow, definitely check it out.

So what do I do after a weekend of eating and drinking?  Turn to vegetables.  Vegetables from my incredible market basket.  The market basket that I look forward to every Thursday.  This week’s basket contained all the ingredients for this delicious frittata (even the eggs!!) – and this recipe below.  It was completely dairy-free, and tasted like summer.  Fresh and delicious.  And next week we get to visit the farm!


  • 8 eggs
  • 8-10 fingerling potatoes, washed and thinly-sliced
  • 2 sweet Bullhorn peppers, washed, seeded and chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced potatoes to the skillet and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, until tender but firm. Remove from skillet. Add another tablespoon oil, then add the peppers, onions and garlic. Sauté for an additional 2 to 4 minutes or until the peppers and onions are softened, and garlic is fragrant. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and thyme with a pinch of salt and pepper. Return the potatoes to the skillet, arranging in an even layer. Top with vegetable mixture and then pour eggs evenly over the vegetables. Drizzle olive oil around the edge of the pan to ensure easy removal.

Transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the eggs have completely set in the center. Serve straight out of the skillet, cut into wedges, or flip onto a serving plate.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Summer Vegetable Frittata

Spring Risotto with Poached Eggs

Spring Risotto with Poached Eggs

Spring is here in full bloom in the Pacific Northwest.  We had a very mild (and somewhat dry winter), when the rest of the country was experiencing record snow fall.  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far (as I knock loudly on wood) our spring has been pretty spectacular.  If the weather can just hold for one more week, it will be a spring miracle.  And it will make my daughter so happy…she is looking at the weather app on her phone daily right now, hoping it stays this way.

For those of you who know me well, you know that I have 100 things on my mind right now, not one of them pertaining to what we are going to eat for dinner.  Oh, and cooking and baking on the weekends?  That has gone out the window completely for the past several weeks.  I am hoping to get back to it soon.  In fact, I know I will be able to get back to it soon.  Just after this major milestone, that family and friends will be coming out to celebrate with us.  No pressure at all – particularly for my older daughter.  None.

So – if you are wondering how I had time to make this delicious Spring Risotto with Poached Eggs – this has been sitting in the queue for quite some time.  About a year to be honest with you – it was just about a year ago when I made this, and just never had time to post it.  Once summer came, I decided to wait until spring came again, knowing that I would be a little consumed this year.  This recipe from Farm & Larder was the perfect spring meal – and whenever I have an excuse to make some poached eggs, I am a happy girl.  Happy spring everyone!


  • 2 cups shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) fava beans or peas (from about 2 pounds pods)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4-5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 pound chanterelles, morels or crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, whites and pale greens only, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (if desired)
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated Vecchio or Romano (about 2.5 ounces) plus more for shaving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Cook fava beans or peas in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool.

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add vinegar. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water. Repeat with 2 more eggs. Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs.

Bring broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large, wide heavy pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with favas.

Heat oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.

Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add wine (or chicken broth) and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup broth. Cook, stirring often (no need to stir constantly), until broth is almost absorbed. Add remaining broth by cupfuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and mixture is creamy, about 15 minutes total.

Add cheese and reserved beans and mushrooms to risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Season risotto with salt.

A few minutes before risotto is done, reheat poached eggs in a large skillet of simmering water, about 1 minute. Divide risotto among bowls and top with eggs, shaved cheese, parsley and pepper.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:   Spring Risotto with Poached Eggs

Cheesy Sausage Balls

Cheesy Sausage Balls

My younger daughter was looking over my shoulder as I was loading up this picture…and I could tell she had something to say about this.  So, today’s post will be done by her.  Enjoy!

Yummy!  I am in 3rd grade, and I loved these cheesy sausage balls – they even had quinoa in them, and I couldn’t even tell.  The minute I saw those cheesy sausage balls, I couldn’t wait to eat them.  My mom sometimes gets a little crazy about making food – and so I never know if it is going to have too many vegetables for me.  But these cheesy sausage balls were on the spot.  But I shouldn’t be surprised, because my mom does make pretty good food.  In the picture it looked like we had a big party – but actually it was just me and my sister.  When we were done though, it looked like we did have a party since they were pretty much all gone.  She didn’t let us use the pretty napkins, although we wanted to.  She let us use the fancy toothpicks though, and I just loved them.  Everything tastes better when you use a fancy toothpick.

Well, there you have it – I couldn’t have written it better myself…thanks Cooking Light for another great healthy and delicious recipe!


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pound reduced-fat pork sausage (such as Jimmy Dean)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Shape mixture into 40 (1 1/2-inch) balls. Place balls on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 18 minutes or until lightly browned and done.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Cheesy Sausage Balls

Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

I am trying to convince myself that there are really only 5 work days that stand between another weekend.  For some reason, I know that doesn’t mean anything.  These days the weekend doesn’t mean no work – it just means that I am not at work, and I guess if I think back to 16 years ago, before I had a laptop, when I had work to do – I actually had to drive to work.  It was a different world back then.  In a way, even though work never stops anymore, at least I am not wasting hours away sitting in the car.

When I think back to those times, I remember what I used to do about meal planning.  This was before kids – and my husband worked just as much as I did.  We would usually make it home around 8pm most nights, sometimes even later – and at that time, I couldn’t start making dinner from scratch. So – Sundays was my “cooking day.”  I would make 2-3 meals that I could put in the refrigerator and just stick in the oven when I got home.  In about 30 minutes, I would have a delicious meal for us – while I was sitting on the coach watching TV.  It was awesome.  This was also before the Big Green Egg.  We ate a lot of one dish meals back then – and we loved them.  I would usually make one casserole with rice, and one with pasta.  If I had enough time, I would also make a hearty soup.  When we ran out of the meals I had prepared, then we would order take out…but some weeks we had plenty to last until the weekend.

One of the dishes I used to make was a chicken-noodle casserole.  Each week it was slightly different – but always healthy, and always with fresh vegetables.  When I saw this recipe in Cooking Light – it reminded me of those days.  Now I am just too busy on the weekends to prepare meals for the week – and my husband actually does it for me – he will smoke up some extra chicken breasts or pork, that I will use in my recipes during the week.  It is definitely a huge time saver.

This mac-n-cheese was a huge hit – and it covered all the food groups.  For less than 400 calories a serving, you cannot go wrong.  And hey, it was awesome warmed up the next day.  So – even if you don’t have your act together to make your meals ahead of time – this one will feed a crowd…so enjoy the leftovers – particularly when it is warming up in the oven, and you are sitting on the couch recovering from the day, instead of slaving over a hot stove…


  • 6 ounces uncooked large or regular elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 3 bacon slices, coarsely chopped
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)


Preheat broiler to high.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli to pan during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain.

While pasta cooks, place bacon in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add chicken to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes. Sprinkle with garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with turmeric; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently.

Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, milk, stock, and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add pasta mixture and 2 ounces cheese; toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 3 ounces cheese and bacon. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and just begins to brown.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbreads


Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

Less is more.  I keep trying to remind myself of that – although it is truly not the motto that normally I would quote.  Normally what goes through my mind comes from a very wise man in my life – my father-in-law – if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over doing…  Yes, unfortunately those are usually the words that describe my crazy life.  What can’t I just adopt less is more?  Maybe then I wouldn’t be so ridiculously exhausted.

It’s funny – eating is probably the only place in my life where that cute little three word saying makes absolute sense.  I have always subscribed to the everything in moderation theory.  I have never dieted in my life – I eat healthy, and I eat everything in moderation.  A little of this, a little of that – and I never deprive myself.  It seems to work for me, but I also exercise – I love being active, and then if I want to eat something, I do it – I just don’t overdo it.  I save that for everything in my life besides eating.

The other month I found this recipe in Cooking Light – it looked so fresh and simple, and it was on a piece of…wait for it…YES…NAAN!!!  I was immediately intrigued.  It seemed so obvious and simple, yet I never thought of it myself.  Isn’t that always the way?  Now that zucchini is in abundance, and fresh corn is easy to come by, I gave it a try.  It was super easy to make, and seriously, it was amazing.  My older daughter loved it almost as much as I did.  It really was the perfect lunch.  And look at it – with just a handful of ingredients – less really is more.  Less time, more substance.  What could be better?  I’ll tell you – if I could just adopt that technique everywhere.


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (8.8-ounce) package whole-wheat tandoori naan bread
  • 8 green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (7-ounce) yellow squash, thinly sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2.5 ounces vegetarian part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 ounces vegetarian fontina cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves


Place rack in upper third of oven. Preheat to 400°.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add naan; grill 1 minute on each side or until grill marks appear. Place naan on a baking sheet. Add onions to pan; grill 2 minutes, turning once.

Rub cut sides of garlic over top side of naan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Layer squash over naan, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle corn over squash; top with onions. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt; top with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. Turn broiler on (do not remove flatbreads from oven); broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and thyme. Cut each flatbread into 4 pieces.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbreads

Bacon and Leek Risotto


Bacon and Leek Risotto

It is hard to be on a treadmill day after day, not feeling like you are actually getting anywhere.  There is so much going on at work these days, I take one step forward, and two steps back.  I told my team a little secret yesterday…sometimes I go home and make myself a list of things to do – just so I can check things off and feel like I have accomplished something.  Yep, I have a problem.

Fortunately I finally figured out my blog problem.  I have to say, I love WordPress, I have had very little issues with them.  Super easy to use, very easy to get help – but this one really baffled me.  For some reason when I looked at my post, I was looking at the code – not what it looks like on the other side.  Well, once I actually was coherent and spent a few minutes thinking about it – I realized there were two tabs on the upper right hand side – “Visual” and “Text”.  It somehow switched to “Text” and when I switched it to “Visual” the code disappeared.  The menu bars were still not the same, and either was the picture, but I figured out I had to click the “Toolbar Toggle” – and then edit the picture and make it bigger.  Whew.  I felt a whole lot better afterwards – like I really had accomplished a lot.  I love that feeling.

So I have mentioned the market basket that we started getting on Thursdays – it seriously is one of the highlights of my week.  Not only am I amazed at what they stick in there week after week, it gives me another opportunity to feel like I am accomplishing something.  If I can use up everything in that basket every week – that is quite a feat.  I am finding myself thinking creatively about cooking again, and I love it.  The leeks have been beautiful lately – nice and big, and bursting with flavor.  I found this recipe in Cooking Light and decided that it was a risotto night – I needed to use up the leeks, and the sweet and smoky bacon that they had put in the basket – from my absolute favorite farm.  Maybe it was the ingredients that I used, but this risotto was over the top delicious.  For a weeknight dinner, it certainly felt special.  Like I had finally gotten off the treadmill and actually ran a mile.  For once, it felt good to run back…


  • 5 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups thinly sliced leek (about 4 large)
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Bring stock and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add leek, shallots, thyme, and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice; cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup stock mixture; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/3 cup stock mixture. Add remaining stock mixture, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed before adding more (about 25 minutes total). Stir in lemon juice, butter, pepper, salt, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Remove pan from heat. Stir in reserved 1/3 cup stock mixture. Sprinkle with reserved bacon and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Bacon and Leek Risotto