Last Wednesday we were Husbands That Hike. Traci York, the talented woman behind Vanilla and Bean, invited us to participate in a campaign where bloggers all over the country would post nature photos on Earth Day to help spread awareness about the sale of public lands to private companies. For our contribution, we made plans to take pictures at Point Mugu State Park in Malibu, one our favorite spots in Southern California. Just over an hour’s drive, we wound through canyons and zipped through tunnels, finally arriving at the vista where your breath is taken away by the spectacular greeting of the Pacific Ocean. Adam’s brother Josh rode with us, and the windows were rolled down as we cruised along Pacific Coast Highway, finally arriving at the Ray Miller Trail. The three of us trekked over eleven miles through the beautiful Santa Monica mountains surrounded by wildflowers that blanketed the hillsides and lined the path with every color of the rainbow. It was a perfect day for a hike with pleasant temperatures, cool breezes, and ocean views nearly the entire time. On the way to the park, we picked up sandwiches from a local Italian deli for our lunch on the trail, but next time… we’re packing these babies. This outstanding recipe is from Lily Diamond’s new cookbook Kale & Caramel, so turn on the oven, and let us all say its glorious title together: burrata artichoke tartines with roasted lemon mint pesto!
Everything is going to be fine. You’re cooking tonight’s Valentine’s dinner, but still haven’t decided what to make. First, take a deep breath, and realize you’re not the only one browsing the web for “romantic home-cooked meals” right now. We’ve gotcha covered, and have definitely been there before. There was the time we waited to buy champagne on our way to a New Year’s party, only to learn the store was sold out of everything bubbly. And the time we tried to buy eggs on Easter morning, finding the dairy case completely empty. Sometimes procrastination works, and sometimes it does not. But no worries: your Valentine will never know you were browsing our site at the last minute on this intimate holiday. In fact, from the very first sip of the evening’s cocktails, it will seem as though you’ve been planning this special night for a long time. And when you bring out this first course, pan-seared artichoke with an aioli trio, and see the smile on your date’s face, it can be our little secret that you just discovered it today.
This week we got to be Uncles That Cook! We took a brief trip to Portland, Oregon to visit Ryan’s family, and while we love living in Southern California, with year-round warm weather and abundant sunshine, we also have a special place in our hearts for the Pacific Northwest. Ryan grew up there, and this beautiful city is truly a magical place. The people are friendly, the air is crisp and clean, and the landscape is lush and verdant green from the seasonal rains. Our two amazing nieces, Stella (10) and Lucia (8) live there and we like to see them as often as we can. This visit, they requested to make a dinner with us, so they browsed through our Index and their eyes lit up when they saw pasta puttanesca, one of the first entrees we posted here, and still an all-time favorite. So together we made a list of fresh ingredients, had a productive expedition to the local grocery store, and spent a lovely evening cooking this zesty and garlicky spaghetti. There is nothing more meaningful than preparing and sharing a meal with family, especially with kids, and we feel so fortunate to spend time with these two smart, sweet, and funny girls! And even though we have been delightedly living off this delicious pasta these past few rainy days, you can never have too much garlic. It adds depth to a variety of recipes, and is a pleasure to cook with as its inviting aroma fills the kitchen with a powerful and comforting fragrance. The recipe we are sharing today calls for plenty of this remarkable herb. Filled with eight cloves of chopped garlic, tangy artichoke hearts, an entire bag of fresh spinach, and three kinds of cheeses, this garlic bread is a perfect side to any dinner, and the showstopper at your next party.
This past weekend we welcomed December with a truly epic winter holiday drink. Kevin Masse posted a recipe on the feedfeed for a double chocolate bourbon milkshake with peppermint bark, and it turned out to be just as amazing as it sounds. We shared a photo of this festive drink on our Instagram page, so be sure to follow us there so you stay up to date with all our posts! In between sipping these wintry milkshakes, we also managed to fit in some recipe testing to mixed results. We tried making a jambalaya which took over three hours, and a kale risotto, but both turned out to be a lot of work with very little payoff. Thankfully, our third contestant was a clear winner: a delicious pasta, with more flavor than the jambalaya and kale risotto combined, that comes together quickly in under 30 minutes. During this holiday season, amidst all the sweet cakes, cookies, and kugels, this simple and light meal is a breath of fresh air.
Any dish that has the word artichoke in the title is sure to capture our attention. It is one of our favorite vegetables, from globe artichokes hearty enough to feature in a meal to bite-sized marinated hearts on a classic Italian deli sandwich. So when we discovered this great recipe we were immediately intrigued, especially since these baked shells are not filled with the usual ricotta, but rather with brighter and more interesting ingredients. With caramelized onions and artichoke hearts sautéed in browned butter, a splash of white wine, and savory parmesan and pecorino cheeses, this delectable filling is complemented by a silky lemon béchamel enhanced with a touch of fresh ricotta, making an elegant baked dish that is unique and delicious.