Pretty Things: January 2017

Pretty Things:  January 2017

For me, January is about getting back to basics.  The holidays are over, I don’t want to feel bloated.  I want all the cookies, wine, and everything red and green gone.  I want my house to feel neutral and cool again.  And as far as food goes, I want stuff that’s nourishing but light– lots of soups, lots of vegetarian dishes, and some healthy homemade snacks.

1.   Amagamsett sea salt. I confess, I saw this on Barefoot Contessa.  Intrigued, I went to their website to see all the different types of salt.  Whoa!  They have flavored salts of any type you could imagine, from Wasabi to Merlot to Espresso to Herbs de Provence.  They also offer several different sampler packs if you want to try a little before committing to a large bottle.pure_merlot_truffle_sampler-500x500

2.   Goop: Crockpot Moroccan Chicken. Classic Moroccan chicken is made in a tagine, which is  a clay oven with a conical top.  I love specialty tools and ingredients, but Moroccan chicken already requires a few, such as preserved lemons and saffron.  If you’re a first-timer, this is a cool way to try Moroccan chicken without spending $50 on specialty ingredients and tools.  161027_goop_2624.jpg

3.  Karen Page:  The Flavor Bible.  I got this for Christmas, and I already love it.  It’s basically a how-to flavor compatibility guide for cooks.  You can cross reference tons of individual ingredients and figure out what flavors are complementary.  It’s cool because it gives you parameters for your adventurous kitchen nature.  Playing with flavors can be fun, but it’s nice to know which things go together, and why.  the-flavor-bible.jpg

4.   Rose Water.I already have a ton of cooking and ingredient #goals for 2017.  One thing I’m going to make are Turkish Delights…you know, the candy from Narnia?  The traditional recipes for Turkish Delights call for Rose Water.  My big kids are finally enjoying the movies and, even better, the books.  I bought the set a year or so ago with the hopes of them divng into them.  I’ve only read the first 2 1/2, but it’s a series I only like to read in the snowy months.  January and February are pretty frigid here on the east coast, so Narnia with a side of Turkish Delights sound like the perfect antidote for the winter blues.  31SV66VM2RL.jpg

5.   Pinch of Yum:  Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: Every January, getting healthy is kind of a universal goal, isn’t it?   Grain bowls are what actually prompted me to even start a blog.  My first one was way back 2 years ago right before I found out I was having Ben.  I keep meaning to post more, but I think this one looks really delicious.  Mediterranean-Bowl-1-6-600x900.jpg

6.   With Food + Love:  Tagliatelle with Lentil Mushroom Bolognese.In the same vein as the quinoa bowl above, January food to me needs to be comforting and light.  I love making traditional bolognese, but why not try a lightened up version?  This version is gluten-free, but I would probably switch it up and just use a whole wheat pasta, such as fettuccine.lentil-mushroom-bolognese-2-768x512

7.   Williams-Sonoma:  Olivewood Tea and Toast Set.In addition to practical things, I like admiring some more unnecessary, whimsical items.  I like the look of this wood, and while they wouldn’t be everyday pieces, they sure would be pretty (but casual-looking) set out when you have friends come over.img15c.jpg

8.   Cookie + Kate:  Broiled Grapefruit with Honey Yogurt and Granola. Isn’t this cool?  I have never thought to cook grapefruit under a broiler, but why not?  This is another good wintery, New Year’s Resolution-friendly recipe that would be easy to whip up for a quick breakfast, snack, or even lunch.  Here’s my go-to granola recipe if you need a good one.broiled-grapefruit-granola-yogurt.jpg

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