On Saturday we hiked Fish Canyon Falls, over five miles of breathtaking trails lined with shady oaks, blue agaves, and multi-colored wildflowers carpeting the hillsides glowing with fragrant white sage, located in the Angeles National Forest just thirty minutes from our home. The winding path follows a clear stream, and because of the recent winter rains, it was rushing through the bottom of the canyon, creating a peaceful soundtrack of flowing water nearly the entire time. At the end of the trail, we were greeted by a majestic 3-tiered, 80-foot waterfall that was cascading in full force. It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to discover yet another hidden area of natural beauty so close to the city. After spending the morning hiking through the woods, stumbling upon abandoned cabins, and adventuring in the hills, we came home to find a package waiting for us on our doorstep that we had been anticipating for several months. Our friend Emilie (theclevercarrot.com) just wrote her first cookbook and we were so excited for its arrival, especially after seeing so many other bloggers making beautiful creations from it and posting photos and rave reviews online. Epicurious named The Clever Cookbook as one of “spring’s best cookbooks” and after browsing through this gem and making one dish so far, we clearly understand why. It is filled with inspiring recipes that we can’t wait to try: cauliflower bolognese, chai pancakes with cinnamon butter, banana cloud cake, and the list goes on! Today we are so excited to share this easy zucchini and brown rice gratin from her book that has graced our kitchen twice this week and has already become one of our new favorite dinners.
We have made this burst tomato galette with corn and zucchini from Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen site three times this month and have loved it every time. The first one was made using freshly-picked sungold tomatoes from our garden, and when this beautiful pastry emerged sizzling and fragrant from the oven and we tasted it, we knew it had to be featured on our blog as soon as possible. So we were happy to prepare it again, this time to take pictures. Well, the dish turned out perfectly, but a few of the photos weren’t quite up to our standards… so we made it again!
This is one of our favorite summer recipes for several reasons. First of all, it’s delicious. Secondly, it is incredibly easy to make: everything for the sauce is simply combined in a blender without ever being cooked. And what really makes this dish special is that these fresh, seasonal ingredients are only available for a few weeks, making it a rare treat that we look forward to all year long!
This past December, we were visiting family in Portland and happened to find this newspaper clipping laying on the kitchen counter. Ryan’s mom is always cutting out new recipes, and she was excited to try this one with us. What’s really great about this pasta is that it’s made up of ingredients that may be in your kitchen right now, just waiting to be made into a delicious meal. This dinner has quickly become one of our favorites, especially since the entire dish uses just one pot and can be made in under 30 minutes.