The next few months seem to be the trickiest in keeping meals fresh and exciting. The local root vegetables, squash and potatoes we've been looking at for months are beginning to appear as though, well, we've been looking at them for months. We've still got a decent supply in the freezer and on the pantry shelves from what we put by last summer and fall. But still. It's a time of year when I'm often looking for some kitchen inspiration to keep things moving in interesting directions. Or really, just to get me excited about making dinner each night. (Thankfully, I have a good dose of Laura Ingalls Wilder, not to mention the news, to keep me grounded in gratitude for those potatoes..and whatever else we are fortunate enough to choose to buy).
There are the basics which we never seem to tire of - above is the Tassajara bread that's such a staple for us (from The Tassajara Bread Book, which reminds me to tell you that many of my favorite cookbooks are in the BookShop if you are interested in peeking at that). When all is going well, I make two loaves twice a week (and store it happily in our bread bags!).
And then there are always some new things to add to the mix. Recently, I've been loving making fresh pasta - something I haven't done since before kids. I know there are lots of fancy and not-so-fancy gadgets that we could use, but the kids and I have been having fun just making it together with a rolling pin and a pizza cutter. Simple. Easy. And so yummy (though, last year's small tomato batch means that the sauce is a treasured commodity! Good thing for all that frozen pesto!). We've been using the recipe in The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters (tripling the recipe for my pasta-loving kids). With flour (which we buy in 50 lb bags), eggs and water as the only ingredients, it's so crazy-cheap. Tonight we're trying it with spinach...and I really do want to bump up the whole wheat flour ratio.
Also recently on our table:
Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef's Broccoli Slaw totally tastes like summer...in winter!
101Cookbooks Tempeh Curry for all those potatoes
Bread & Honey's pizza dough might be my new standby
and, I'm really, really excited to try the chana masala from Smitten Kitchen
How about you? Any recent kitchen inspiration to share?