lemony leek meatballs

Sami Tomimi and Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Jerusalem” is a smash hit, and rightfully deserved. The book is full of the brightest, most beautiful photographs of the colorful food of Israel. I have a list of dishes I want to make from it, but this was the first one I attempted– primarily, it used ingredients available at Trader Joe’s (no need to drive far and wide looking for a particular spice that would make or break a dish) and secondly, because it sounded delicious.

I first started to love leeks over the summer, when I first tried the leek quiche at the bakery I work at. When my stomach rumbled during my seven hour shift and I couldn’t bring myself to eat another croissant (the only way this sentence is not blasphemous is if you ate the amount of croissants I did), I would stealthily go for the leek quiche. It’s an insanely delicious quiche. But that’s another story.

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These meatballs are quite the lengthy production, but they made for a pleasant Saturday project in my kitchen. They are a bright and citrusy version of an old favorite- more leek than meat, actually. I’ve stowed the whole batch in my freezer and will whip it out to make more of these naan meatball subs- garlic naan (thanks Trader Joe’s), plain Greek yogurt, parsley garnish. Yum.

-Sophie

gooey cinnamon squares

I made this dessert mostly as an apology to my sister after I served her gross gnudi for dinner. These cinnamon squares came from Smitten Kitchen, and I’ve been eyeing them for a while. They’re sort of a mix between gooey butter cake and a snickerdoodle.

I baked them towards the longer end of the suggested baking time, so mine came out more cakey. I will definitely make these again but bake them for a little less time so they’re a little more gooey! The cinnamon-sugar crunch on the top just makes it.

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-Sophie

quinoa bowl

I’m not a huge fan of eating healthy. My general eating philosophy is “this isn’t that bad,” having little to no regrets when I actually do eat something that bad, and working out frequently. I just find healthy food incredibly boring and I don’t like most vegetables. But I decided to try something actually healthy tonight, and made a quinoa bowl. In it was avocado, sweet potato, garlic, scallions, and a poached egg, topped with lime juice and lots of pepper and flaky salt.

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As far as healthy things go, it was pretty good, except for there was just A LOT of it and it made it kind of tedious to keep eating something I wasn’t totally stoked about eating in the first place. This was a half cup of quinoa and cooked into a HUGE amount of quinoa, so I’ll probably halve it next time I make it.

I sound like I’m talking a lot of smack about this quinoa bowl, but it was really quite good. It’s just out of the comfort zone, you know. Until next time, healthy things!

-Sophie

marcella hazan/spaghetti pangrattatto

Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce smells like my mom. Not that she smells like tomato sauce, but I always associate the smell of it with dinners she makes. I remember that sauce all the time but I’ve never made it. Honestly, why do I bother with any other sauce? It’s so simple, so rich, so complex with only 3 ingredients. For those unfamiliar, it is nothing more than a can of whole tomatoes, a halved onion, and butter simmered for 45 minutes. In my opinion, this sauce is nothing short of an incredible culinary feat.

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I also have been wanting to make Smitten Kitchen’s spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs, but that spaghetti does not technically have a sauce. I worried whether or not adding these flavored breadcrumbs to this perfect, simple sauce would distract from the sauce’s simplicity or soften the crispy breadcrumbs. But I just decided to go for it. It was very very good, but this sauce’s richness truly doesn’t need anything else. I’ll make Deb’s normal crispy egg pangrattato very soon!

Though I may need to pump the brakes on the pasta.

-Sophie