10 Recent Favorite Recipes

As a new mom, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my ability or desire to continue cooking as much as I have in the past. I’ve always loved to cook, but I was ready for my time in the kitchen to take a back seat to the needs of my baby daughter. And no doubt, it has. While I’m certainly still learning how to juggle everything in this new chapter of life, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that there is still time—not much, but a little—to do the things I love. And so I cook when I can. Maybe just once or twice a week now. It’s important to me to continue doing the things I love, and to nourish my family with good, fresh and healthy food. It’s also brought me so much joy to begin introducing my daughter to new flavors and to share with her my love of food.

For a while, I’ve wanted to share some of my recent favorite recipes. To keep it simple, I’m sharing a top 10 list—with pictures, links to recipes (when applicable) and quick notes. This sums up the last eight months—which has gone by way too fast.

Pasture-raised pork with couscous and vegetablesDSC06696

This is one of the most beautiful meals I’ve ever made. I purchased the pork from Jordandal Farms at the farmers’ market. It’s a great meal for a special occasion or when you’re really looking for that “wow” factor. It’s also a recipe that you need to commit to for the long haul—even the harissa paste is made from scratch. But it is amazing.

Autumn Kale Salad with Fennel, Honeycrisp and Goat Cheese

DSC08112

I made this recipe just last week and it’s a new favorite. This was my first time using the massage technique in a kale salad—a technique that truly opens a whole new world of possibilities. I love the dressing and the fall flavors. The recipe is from Cookie and Kate, one of my favorite food blogs. I don’t think I’ve been disappointed with a recipe from the site yet. And thankfully, Kate is releasing a cookbook soon.

Pork Belly Kimchi TacosDSC07039

These Korean-style tacos are an interesting take on a Mexican classic. They’re sweet, spicy and delicious. Sometimes I cook the pork belly, other times I buy pre-cooked pork belly from Trader Joe’s.

Wild Rice Maple Cake DSC08015

I found the recipe for this cake while vacationing in Door County earlier this fall. When I needed to bring a sweet dish to a friend’s house for brunch, it’s the first recipe that came to mind. This cake is super dense and flavorful, and has the most unique texture from the wild rice. It screams fall. And it’s perfect for breakfast and dessert. The recipe was developed by the baker and pastry chef at Hotel Washington.

Pumpkin SnickerdoodlesDSC08153

Honestly, at first I wanted to scream while I was making these cookies because the dough was very hard to work with and I wasn’t able to roll it into balls like the recipe directed. But I pressed on and did the best I could, and the cookies turned out much better than I expected. Crunchy on the outside, cakey and fluffy on the inside, they’re truly an autumn delight.

Crispy Millet and Peanut Butter BuckeyesDSC06164

I’m all about cookies, but I’m also all about making cookies as healthy as they can be. Sure, you can only make a buckeye so healthy, but these are a big improvement over the original. I made these buckeyes shortly after my daughter was born, and it was a great to be able to reach into the freezer and grab a little treat whenever the craving struck (often). I especially love the crunchiness from the millet. This recipe is from the Thug Kitchen cookbook. When I was totally sleep deprived (who am I kidding, I’m still totally sleep deprived), the cookbook also provided much-needed comic relief. These will be great to make for the holidays.

Poblano Chili Mac & CheeseDSC08105When my husband and I picked up poblano peppers at the farmers’ market earlier this fall—just because they were beautiful, I did a quick search online for recipes, and was inspired to try poblano chili mac & cheese. I loved the creamy pasta with just the right amount of heat beneath a top crunchy, baked layer.

Spiced Chickpea Wraps with Tahini DressingDSC06131This recipe became a standby for me last spring. It’s also from the Thug Kitchen cookbook. I especially like the tahini dressing. The wrap is very filling, and full of ingredients¬† you can feel great about.

Minnesota Winter Chili (no picture)

I recently finished reading Eat & Run, an autobiography by world-renowned ultramarathon runner and proud vegan Scott Jurek. Each chapter includes one of Scott’s favorite recipes. He talks about how this particular recipe changed him—how he realized he didn’t miss meat at all in this vegan chili. I’d have to agree.

Three-Greens Soup with Sausage and Potatoes (no picture)

This is another great warm-weather soup that is hearty enough for a meal. I usually omit the escarole and serve with a crusty baguette.

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