Thursday, May 1, 2014

this week in my kitchen

Hello, friends! Joining the fun with Heather of Beauty That Moves This Week in My Kitchen blog hop.
Here's a peek...

My, I spent a lot of time in my kitchen this week. Lots of good things happening.

We had a little dinner party for three of my daughter's friends visiting from Taiwan. (Jane has been serving as a missionary there for a year now, and comes home in October.)  Even though they were strangers to us and two of them didn't speak English, we felt such a warmth and connection. It truly brought me so much joy to prepare a beautiful table and meal for them, and I hope that they felt welcome as part of their first experience in the United States.

I was so pleased (and relieved!) with how everything turned out. Table set with linens, fresh flowers, and my Portuguese dishes. All the planning and preparing almost seems like play to me. The menu: the most delicious salmon I think I've ever prepared (marinated in soy sauce, maple syrup, fresh ginger, and brown sugar, then broiled with a soy-apricot jam glaze), homemade crusty rolls, green salad, rice, lemony-garlic asparagus, and a simple dessert of sliced mango (coconut sprinkled on top), whole strawberries, and a few cookies for sweet. We loved their little pineapple cakes they brought us from Taiwan.

I spent most of Saturday painting my kitchen and part of the adjoining living room. Changing from the dark red to deep forest-olive green. It seems fresher, more calming, and change is always fun.

Giving and receiving always seems to play a part in my kitchen. It seems like every week, a friend or a neighbor are always bringing by something that brightens our kitchen-- my friend Mane's wonderful soup, a basket of fruit and homegrown tulip bouquet when Phyllis and Dennis came by to visit a few weeks ago, and yesterday, the sweet surprise to see Melanie on my doorstep with her beautiful smile and the most glorious arrangement of lilacs. (Center stage on the kitchen table. I often go over to them for a whiff. Ahhh,  I drink them in...) Today, I took a loaf and a little cellophane bag of cookies to some of my neighbors. Sharing always makes me happy.

Here's some of the other culinary highlights from the week:

:: loaves, crusty rolls, and Indian Naan all from the same basic dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. My go-to recipe for baking bread these days.

:: rice noodles with marinara.

:: veggie burgers (my own made-up version) with homemade whole grain buns. Oven baked fries to go with.

:: Peanut Butter Cup Granola (I switched the peanut butter with almond butter, and used coconut oil for half of the applesauce.)

::Chewy Chocolate Chunk Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

:: veg fajitas and black beans (stir fried onions, sweet bell peppers, zucchini, tomato, and garlic. Dumped in a can of rinsed black beans and seasoned it up with taco seasoning, lime juice, and soy sauce. Filled in corn tortillas with lettuce and a spicy "sour cream" dressing we like made from Vegenaise, lime juice, cumin, dried oregano, and cayenne.)

:: Vegan Vegetable Korma (so good with the naan I made. Indian food... I can't get enough.)

:: Cheezy Broccoli-Potato soup (dairy free made creamy and cheesy by blending cashews and a little nutritional yeast.)



  1. I love you photos Emily, they are just so lovely.

    I love Indian food too and now think I will have to prepare a dish for dinner.

    Happy May Day.

  2. As always Emily, it looks amazing, You make me wish I had more time in my kitchen.

  3. Your photos are beautiful Emily. I'm jealous that your lilacs are already in bloom. We won't see any for a few weeks.

  4. Beautiful - everything looks fantastic.

  5. Emily, your photos are just beautiful. The dinner party sounds like a special meal too. What a treat! I might have to try the Naan and the crusty rolls from that book. I make a loaf from that book too that everyone loves and so fun to share.
    But your homemade buns? Wow... everything looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing the making in your kitchen, this week, again.

  6. How beautiful to connect over plates of food, prepared with love. It all looks so good and tasty!

  7. I just LOVE seeing this little glimpse into your kitchen every Thursday! I was so inspired this morning by it that I went ahead a signed up for Heather's 30 Day Vegan, again! Nicely done... j

  8. Gorgeous food! I would like to be a dinner guest in your house :) beautiful lilacs as well!

  9. Oh, how i would have loved to attend that dinner party! Everything looks lovely and delicious.

  10. *Everything* looks just right. So delicious, Emily. :)

  11. ... also, how is jane recovering? I have had her in my prayers, it must be awful being so far away from her while she is sick...

  12. look delicious...the happy faces tell the whole story...want to get on the invite list!

  13. What a wonderful week of food and company it looks like you had. Thanks for sharing, and as usual for sharing some delicious-looking recipes.