Well Dined

27Oct/160

Halloween Recipe Round-up

If you are in need of festive dishes, look no further!  I have collected my most relevant recipes onto one page for you.

Halloween Candy

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Halloween Candy Bark
Candy Corn Jello Shots

Apple Desserts

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Apple Oat Muffins
Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies
Cheddar Apple Hand Pies

Black and Orange
More like green and orange, but you get the idea.

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese
Sweet Potato and Chard Gratin
Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon
Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

17Jun/161

Smoked Salmon Tartines

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Tartines

These started off as peanut butter and jelly, I'm not even kidding.  Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) and I had been having a bit of a rough week and hadn't planned anything for our weekly get together.  So that morning we just wanted to keep things simple and focus on getting our cats to be friends (long story).  We were thinking - let's just make PB&J or store-bought ravioli.

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Tartines

But then - she said she was craving salmon, and I said smoked salmon and goat cheese with crackers was easy and good, she said what about nice bread and an egg.  Then there were herbs and kale and shallot and good lord we can't keep it simple!  And I wouldn't have it any other way.  Fresh, gorgeous ingredients (including some from Mel's garden) turned into a lovely lunch for us, even while wrangling a baby, a toddler, and 2 kitties in an un-childproofed house (mine).

26May/162

Rye Spaetzle with Spring Vegetables and Gruyere

Well Dined | Rye Spaetzle with Spring Vegetables and Gruyere

I love Spring. I love the flowers, and the weather (sometimes), and the resurgence of vegetables.  Spring vegetables are here and gone so quickly (if you are buying seasonally, that is), so take advantage of them while you can!  Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) and I decided to make this Spring vegetable dish because it uses spaetzle, which is a bit more fun than your standard pasta, and gruyere, which pairs so well with these veggies.

Well Dined | Spaetzle with Mushrooms, Herbs, and Duck Egg

Spaetzle is a chewy German egg noodle.  Melissa is familiar with it because she studied German.  I've eaten it in restaurants many times, but only made it once before this past fall.  And by made it, I mean that my friend made it with her Grandmother's (I think) recipe and her spaetzle press.  Meanwhile, I made a vegetarian ragu with mushrooms, butter, onion, thyme, and oregano and poached some duck eggs (thank you, gorgeous Portland farmer's market).

14Mar/140

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Well Dined | Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Happy Pi/Pie Day!  I know that most people are probably celebrating with desserts, but what about a savory pie?  Or rather a savory dish with pie in the name that isn't actually a pie?  Whatever, don't judge me.  It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies.  Be sure to check out her delicious Pi Day Coconut Cream Pie, it is sooooooo good!

Well Dined | Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

This vegetarian version shepard's pie is packed with veggies, topped with creamy goat cheese, and perfect for St Paddy's Day (which is never St Patty's by the way).  I mean, just look  at that gorgeous green topping.

Well Dined | Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

The base is made with roasted beets, eggplant, sundried tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes simmered in vegetable stock with thyme, caraway seeds, and fennel seeds.  I was a little scared that the fennel and caraway would be really strong and take over, but they added just the right amount of depth and a real Irish flavor.

20Feb/141

Miso Creamed Kale

Well Dined | Miso Creamed Kale

Oh my gosh, you guys, I am in kale heaven.  Now I already like kale - raw in salads, in a Tuscan white bean soup, baked into crispy chips.  But this, THIS, is the single most delicious way to eat kale ever.

Well Dined | Miso Creamed Kale

Cooked down with garlic and shallots in butter, then finished with sherry, cream, and miso - swoon.

Well Dined | Miso Creamed Kale

But we don't even stop there, oh no, we add buttery mushrooms with soy on top - oh my gaaaaaaaaaaawd.

Well Dined | Miso Creamed Kale

I served it as a side with teriyaki salmon, which I'm not even going to talk about because the kale totally stole the show.  If you like kale, go make this right now and rejoice.  If you don't like kale, go make this right now and become a believer.  And then invite me over, so that I can eat some too.

3Feb/140

Massaged Kale Salad and Broccoli Pesto

Well Dined | Massaged Kale Salad

Remember last week when I posted about the Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza?  And I told you that I had leftover kale?  Well, here's what became of it.  I massaged with raw kale with a homemade dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, salt and pepper) and let it sit for 15 minutes to break down and lose the bitterness.  Then I topped it with some burrata cheese, more olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.  Simple and delicious.

Well Dined | Broccoli Pesto

I served the salad as an appetizer, and for dinner we had steak (here's my method) and orzo with broccoli pesto.  I actually like this version of broccoli pasta sauce better than the other version I've made, and it has a lot less fat!

27Jan/140

Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

This is a perfect winter weeknight meal.  Buy some pizza dough from the store, throw on some delicious winter veggies, finish with smokey bacon and mozzarella.  Done.  Awesome.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

Remember how I only needed a little bit of squash for last week's Carbonara?  Well, this is what I did with the rest of it - cubed it up and roasted it with shallots, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  I only used about half of this squash for the pizza - the rest of it?  Stay tuned.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

Ugh, blurry picture.  Sorry.  Anyway, top some rolled out dough with slices of smoked mozzarella, the roasted squash, some kale rubbed with olive oil, and some halfway cooked bacon.  I bought some fresh dough from Whole Foods because I really didn't feel like making my own, but I wish they sold wheat dough.  That would make things easy AND healthy.  Also, I really should have split this into 2 pizzas.  It was almost too big for my stone and I ended up with a lot of crust.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon

In the super hot oven, the bacon finishes cooking, the kale becomes crispy, and the cheese gets all melty and golden.  Yum.  The smoked mozzarella is really key here, it goes so well with the bacon and the kale - so don't skip it!

3Dec/130

Thanksgiving 2013

Well Dined | Thanksgiving

We alternate our Thanksgivings each year between our families in Texas and Oregon.  This year was an Oregon year!  (Read here for our last visit.)  My in-laws live in beautiful Bend, OR - which is such a nice town.  Check out the gorgeous mountain view from our hotel room!  We stay at the Oxford hotel when we visit, and I definitely recommend it.

Well Dined | FamilyWe hadn't seen most of the family in 2 years, and 3 years for sister Kailey!  So it was really nice to be all together again.

Well Dined | Thanksgiving

We had quite the spread, as usual.  We were so excited to see each other that we spent all of Wednesday talking and didn't get any prep work done!  So we didn't end up eating Thanksgiving dinner until actual dinner time, which was fine by us!

Well Dined | Thanksgiving

Here's Mom carving up that beautiful turkey!  They made sure to get one that was humanely raised.

Well Dined | Thanksgiving

I'd like to give a special shout-out to this gorgeous salad made by my Chef sister-in-law.  It was in keeping with her gluten- and dairy-free lifestyle and it was AWESOME.  It had two kinds of raw kale (massaged to remove bitterness), roasted beets, fennel, toasted walnuts, and pomegranate seeds.  I need to get the recipe from her for the yummy cashew dressing.

What was your favorite dish this year?  Leave a link or recipe in the comments!

30Oct/131

Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

So I actually made this a year ago and didn't manage to post it before it was way past butternut squash season, doh!  I figured I would just hold off and post about it the next Fall, which is what I am doing now.  The problem is, my photography has improved leaps and bounds since then so these photos look really awful.  I am so sorry in advance, but the mac and cheese is really good.  I promise.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

I saw this recipe on an episode of The Chew, and the idea was that it was orange and black for Halloween.  Orange from the squash, black from the kale.  Except that kale is green, even when it's wilted...  Whatever - it uses Fall produce and it's delicious, so let's pretend it works.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese

Cook up some bacon (I used pancetta because stuff and things), add some butter, sweat some onions and garlic, wilt some kale - awesome.  So here's where the original recipe gets weird (The Chew website is notoriously bad at reviewing their recipes) - it says to have 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced, and to saute the squash in the pan.  Then later it says to add in the butternut squash puree.  What butternut squash puree?  There is no butternut squash puree in the ingredient list.  Huh?  Also - sauteed squash?  Meh.  So here's what I did (as you can see in the previous picture) - tossed that cubed squash with olive, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; then roasted it.  Yummy.  Then I took half the roasted squash and mashed it.  Ah-ha!  Now there is butternut squash puree, sort of.

30Sep/130

Kale and Corn Galette with Shrimp and Feta

Well Dined | Kale and Corn Galette with Feta and Shrimp

This is one of those transitional dishes that takes you from one season into another - the last of the summer corn, combined with dark leafy greens in a warm tart.  The original recipe didn't have any protein, but it did use feta and dill, so I thought shrimp would be perfect.

Well Dined | Kale and Corn Galette with Feta and Shrimp

If you don't eat shrimp, then no problem - leave them off.  The veggies and cheese are hearty enough on their own.