Jack and I have a Valentines Day ritual that never ever involves going to a restaurant. We love to stay home, pop open some good wine and tackle a special kitchen project – the messier the better. Check out our pasta-date story (and recipe!) on CamilleStyles.com.
(And special thanks to Kate LeSueur for being the 3rd wheel on our little date while capturing these gorgeous photos!)
You still have tons of zucchini right? Ok, I thought so, just checking. If you don’t (hi, Australia!), you can use this recipe as a template for whatever vegetable you do have (ie. broccoli would be delicious here). It’s a straight-forward simple pasta recipe – perfect for highlighting a special seasonal ingredient.
My zucchini and yellow squash were on the small side, so I sliced them into thin little coins and paired them with orecchiette pasta. I like how the shape of the squash and the shape of the pasta are somewhat similar. It makes for a nice “easy-to-get-it-all-on-your-fork” sort of texture.
Rosemary isn’t super summery, but it’s what I had (my basil didn’t last through the heat). If you’ve been more successful with your herb-growing, feel free to switch it up. If you use leafy herbs, just be sure to add them closer to the end so they stay fresh and bright.
Just a few minutes in the pan and you’re done. I folded in some creamy feta near the end – for a vegan option, add pesto instead.
Growing up, I was made to eat vegetables just as much as the next kid. Broccoli was at the top of my hate list, closely followed by mushy cooked carrots (one of the only veggies I still won’t eat). But I never had to face brussels sprouts. My mom didn’t like them as a child, so she never subjected them to our family. I felt lucky about this… if the adults in my family wouldn’t eat them, they must be that bad.
I don’t know what prompted brussels sprouts to go from America’s most hated veggie to darn near the most loved one, but I’m glad they did. Like most things, I’m sure it has everything to do with the preparation. They’re so great roasted until golden, or flash fried until crisp. Here, I coat them with a little balsamic and pan-roast them, then toss with shells, a little cheese and some bright squeezes of lemon.
I’m not going to lie and tell you that no one will believe this doesn’t have cheese. If you’re vegan, this will taste darn cheesy… if you are a true cheese lover (as my husband Jack is), you won’t be totally fooled but you will devour it anyway.
Jack likes to make fun of me when I make things like this… calls it “mac & sauce” and “vegan velveeta,” In the end he always eats his words. And most of the food on the table.
This one is just as tasty as this recipe… except this time the creaminess comes from coconut milk. The cheesy flavor comes from nutritional yeast and a kick of dijon mustard. But the star ingredient is the smoked paprika which ads a real depth of flavor.
This was my birthday dinner last week. My sister called while we were working on this, and the message she left said “I hope you’re out doing something special, and not at home photographing your dinner.”
Well, what can I say, I was obsessed with my cauliflower mission. Plus, it was a cold and rainy night, and this dinner felt warm and cozy. (well, ok, it was warm when I reheated it after the photos were done… but still).
I’m strange about holidays… I just think celebrations should be random. If I made a list of my favorite life moments, most of them did not happen on Christmas or my birthday, or even on my wedding day (family, pretend I didn’t just say that)… they happened on some random Tuesday, at a time and place that I never expected.
To me, expectation muddles things. I’d rather Jack come home some weeknight and announce that we’re going to Uchiko (hint hint) than watch him stress about what to plan for my birthday.
So a low key birthday it was… with Jack, my dad, myself, and the cauliflower…