Pasta to lift the spirits


When life careens out of control and it’s all I can do to get dinner on the table, I always count on pasta.

There’s nothing like a big plate of carbohydrates and fresh veggies to lift the spirits.  If its quick, easy and packed with bold flavors, I leave the table refreshed and ready to take on the world again.

This recipe for fusilli with arugula and pine nuts has been my salvation in recent weeks.  I’ve needed a lot of help in the dinner department since our house sold in just three days last month.  We were stunned and had only 30 days to pack up, move out and find a new place in Portland. Continue reading Pasta to lift the spirits

Asparagus gets a shave

By now, you may have had your fill of simply steamed or roasted asparagus.  I haven’t yet, but I can see that day coming.

Every spring, I gorge on plump asparagus spears from the farmers markets.  I adore the grassy freshness and pure green flavor of just-cut stalks.  Nothing tastes quite so much like spring.

But somewhere along the line, I always begin thinking of the other things I might do with those beautiful spears.  This year, my thoughts turned to shaved asparagus salad. Continue reading Asparagus gets a shave

Brownies with a chile kick

With Cinco de Mayo just over the horizon, I can’t think of a better time to celebrate the pleasures of chile paired with chocolate.

I’ve long been drawn to the mysteriously spicy undercurrents that some chiles bring to rich, dark chocolate.  The mild, fruity taste of ancho chile in particular brings out unexpected layers of flavor in even ordinary unsweetened chocolate. Here, it spices up homey brownies inspired by Mexican ingredients. Continue reading Brownies with a chile kick