There is nothing better than enjoying a hot cup of soup on a cold day. Sometimes you just want to stay home in pajamas, cuddle up under soft blankets and watch old episodes of The Twilight Zone. These grey Monday skies are calling for something warm and comforting as the weather here in Los Angeles is finally changing from summer to a cool, crisp fall. This healthy greek spinach and orzo soup is warm, soothing, and makes a delicious dinner that is tangy and bursting with lemon flavor. It is pleasantly and lightly filling, and ideal after this festive holiday with so many rich dishes, indulgent sweets, and bountiful leftovers. After four days of Thanksgiving stuffing, casseroles, and homemade pies, this hearty bowl of soup will gently calm your soul and satisfy your senses.
When we are not cooking, we love to hike when the weather is not too hot. There are many beautiful places to choose from around the Los Angeles area, and you don’t have to travel too far to escape the city. We can drive fifteen minutes outside of town, and find ourselves on private, serene trails lined with ancient oak trees, with sounds of running streams and fresh scents of sweet California sage filling the air. Some of our favorite spots are in Ventura, about an hour north of here, where the temperatures are cooler and long, winding trails overlook the Pacific ocean. Lately, since it has been way too hot for any of these activities, we have been busy at home working on new recipes for the blog. We have narrowed our list, picked the best of the best, and couldn’t be more excited to share this year’s Thanksgiving ideas with you. Allow us to start with number one: wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions, and emmentaler.
We have met so many wonderful people and bloggers from around the world since launching our site just six months ago. The community is filled with talented home cooks, writers, and photographers that inspire us every day with their creative recipes and entertaining posts. We have learned so much just browsing through all the colorful photos and innovative ideas on Instagram. When we stumbled upon Christine Wong’s photo of this vegetarian Indian entrée on her page, it immediately caught our attention because it was so beautiful, and also because it features one of our favorite vegetables as a “substantial main course.” One of our go-to dishes at Indian restaurants is aloo gobi—tender cauliflower and potatoes simmered in a rich and deliciously spiced sauce—and we are thrilled because now we can duplicate these complex flavors at home!
This is one of the best mac and cheese recipes, and it doesn’t even call for cheese! Instead, it uses a simple combination of bright ingredients, creating a rich and creamy dish that is tangy and delicious. Don’t get us wrong, this is not going to fool anyone into thinking they are eating cheese, but it is incredibly flavorful even without the dairy. Plus the cheese sauce is easy to make as everything is mixed in one pan. Gently sautéed garlic is stirred with aromatic spices and bold savory ingredients, making this as irresistible as traditional mac and cheese, yet light, healthy, and satisfying.
Sometimes the best recipes are also the most simple, like this rustic Italian dish that uses just eight basic ingredients that might be in your kitchen right now. We searched for years trying to get the flavor and texture right, so we were thrilled to find this delicious pasta that turned out to be better than some dishes from our favorite restaurants. In the past, our spaghetti aglio e olio (“garlic and oil” in Italian) would turn out bland and boring no matter what we did. But we learned some simple tricks that make these noodles some of the most flavorful we have ever tasted.