I’m going to put this out there – I really enjoy winter. I love how the world slows down just a little bit, I love cross country skiing, and I love curling up under a blanket – cat in lap – with a good book or some Netflix. But, what I really love is this – all the hearty and warming soups and stews. This is the best time of year for a big bowl of spicy curry or some aromatic pho or a rustic classic like beef stew. This is literally one of my husband’s favorite dishes. He told me that he has dreamt about about this beef stew on more than one occasion and he stands looking over my shoulder every time I make it. He’s right there as the garlic, onions, and red wine are added to the pan. Then he kind of turns into the kid on his way to the amusement park – ‘Is it done yet? Is it done yet?’ I really can’t blame him, though. There’s nothing quite like a pot of slowly simmered meat and vegetables.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – tacos are one of the most versatile recipes out there. The variety of ingredients you can stuff inside a tortilla is endless. Tacos can be filled with slow-cooked meat like carnitas, topped with tons of gooey cheese, or adorned with super spicy peppers. Tacos can also be vegetarian and full of nothing but healthy ingredients that rank right up there on the flavor meter. These Sweet Potato Tacos with Avocado Salsa are perfect for those of us trying to lighten up our post-holiday eating habits. They’re fresh and easy to prepare. I mean it – this is a super easy recipe. Plus, they’re fun to prepare and eat. Because let’s face it – tacos are just a fun food.
It’s officially the new year and for a lot of folks that means eating healthier. Maybe you hit the cheese, cookies, and dips a little hard this holiday season? That’s OK – it happens to all of us. January is the perfect time to get back on track. Admittedly, I love the healthy eating trend. Mostly because I just love vegetables. One of the best ways to incorporate more vegetables into your life is to make soups. The variety of soup recipes available to us is virtually endless. You can stick nearly anything in a soup, let it simmer for awhile, and it will most likely end up delicious. You can experiment with the vegetables you put in there – this Cannellini Bean, Carrot, and Kale Soup was one such experiment. It was a ‘clean out the fridge’ recipe concocted a few winters ago. A lot of people have the misconception that soups are difficult and take a long time to make. I am here to tell you this is not true. Soups are incredibly easy to make and many of them don’t take much time at all! A good chopping knife, a cutting board, and a solid soup kettle is all you need.
I’ve been on a bit of an appetizer kick lately. Normally, I’m the type of person who would just rather eat a whole sandwich than dawdle around with tiny bites of food but I kind of got into it after experimenting with a few recipes this holiday season. It turns out that appetizers can be pretty enjoyable to make (and to eat, of course). Creating food using only a few ingredients can be a challenge in itself. It’s fun to see how much flavor you can pack into a few bites. What better example of a simple ingredient that packs a lot of flavor than smoked salmon? Smoked salmon in pretty incredible – it’s smooth, salty, and smoky. It’s kind of like a lightened up version of bacon. Pair it with classic flavors like lemon and dill and you’ve got a super simple tasty treat for your party guests.