When we traveled in Provence several years ago, we bought herbes de provence with the Label Rouge designation.  The Label Rouge program is used by the French Ministry of Agriculture to designate products that have met extremely high standards of quality.  We enjoyed these herbs with roasted chicken and potatoes, and a family favorite meal was born!  Now, when we want to be transported back to Provence and that gentler pace of life, I roast a chicken with some potatoes, carrots, and serve them with either steamed green veggies or a green salad with a lemon-dijon vinaigrette.


Let There Be (Light) Lasagne!

I have an idea in my head of what classic lasagne is like.  Not surprisingly, it is how I remember my mother making it.  But there are a lot of lasagne recipes out there.  I reviewed several on before making this one, and I got a kick out of reading the comments on the recipes.  This one for a Sausage Lasagne was described by some recipe reviewers as a delightful departure from the norm.  This intrigued me, because it just about exactly how I would make lasagne if I were not consulting a recipe.

sausage lasagne

I made it a little lighter, by reducing the amount of cheese between the layers and using a pretty lean sausage, and we sure didn’t miss those extra fat grams.¬† I also used some amazing fresh rosemary & roasted garlic pasta that I had picked up at our local Italian market. We never figured out why reviewers thought it was nontraditional, but I’d make this recipe again in a heartbeat!

Appetizers & Snacks Soups & Stews

Something Old and Something New

We have started to see signs of fall, and summer officially ended this week, so I’ve had some of our favorite fall recipes on my mind.¬† Monday night’s dinner brought an old favorite with a seriously new twist:

butternut squash soup

crostini with blue cheese compound butter

I discovered this recipe for Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons last winter when I was trying to find new ways to use the squash that we were getting in our weekly produce delivery.¬† I typically omit the cream, and we don’t miss it at all.¬† This soup is great with the gruyere croutons described in the recipe,¬†but I was inspired to pair the soup with blue cheese last year¬†after I read this recipe for Butternut Squash an Apple Soup with Melted Blue Cheese.¬† Hence, our riff on the gruyere croutons.¬†Since I typically¬†don’t have apple cider in the house, I find the first squash soup recipe¬†less complicated to make.¬† In this case, I made it the day before, and I only had to heat it up when I got home from work.

kale chips

These Tuscan Kale Chips were interesting.¬† In the words of my daughter, they were “the oddest thing I’d ever served!”¬† That said, we liked them quite a bit.¬† This recipe struck me as one of the many instances where cooking and chemistry really are one and the same.¬† Even if you don’t think you like greens like kale and chard, this one is worth a try!¬† It’s one of those recipes that I’ll pull out from time to time when I want to serve something novel to guests that can also serve as a conversation piece!