cooking and baking - the art of making something great from simple things

There was a day a few weeks ago that was hard. Really really hard. I had to watch two friends go through some of the hardest experiences a parent can go through. It was especially hard since I felt impotent to help in any way. I couldn't take their pain, nor could make their situations right.

I found myself in the kitchen a lot that day. I find cooking and baking to be a soothing process. You get to take simple - often boring - ingredients and combine them to make something spectacular. It didn't make everything better, but it did help me feel productive at least.

I started with a salad that Trav and I adore. Its a Spinach, Roasted Potato, and Parmesan Salad with a quick Lemony Dressing (recipe from Redbook, though I can't find it there anymore).

To start you have to roast the potatoes. Now if anything shows how something rather ordinary can be turned into extraordinary with the addition of some heat, it is potatoes. This is going to sound a little crazy, but damn did it feel apropos to roast those potatoes, knowing what they'd become afterwards. If I could I would take away this experience from my friend, but watching her strength emerge... man, well she is just extraordinary!  [I know, metaphors abound here lately. But the side of me that derives comfort from nature and its symbols had been in overdrive this spring.]


Heat oven to 450ºF. 
  1. On a large baking sheet, toss 2 lbs sliced potatoes with 2 1/2 tsp olive oil, 3/4 tsp rosemary, and 3/4 tsp kosher salt until potatoes are evenly coated. 
  2. Roast 40 minutes, tossing once, until potatoes are golden and tender. Cool on baking sheet.
  3. In a large salad bowl, whisk 1/2 c mayonnaise, 1 tsp lemon zest (I do a little more) and 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 Tbsp water, and 1 clove crushed garlic until blended. 
  4. Add cooled potatoes, 6 cups spinach, and 1/2 c shaved Parmesan; toss until dressed.
    Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.
Picture Source

This salad really is divine. Lemony and flavorful, light but still so filling. I never feel deprived after eating it, and I never feel guilty either.

Almost gone...
(hello Dave)

The next thing I made was Irish Soda Bread... but I want to tweak that recipe, so we'll save it for another day.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This looks very good. I would not have thought to add potatoes to spinach or is it spinach to potatoes, but it looks like it really works. Pinned it for use very soon!

    1. I wouldn't have either Carol, but man am I glad we tried it! :-)

  3. Mm just tried it out, very tasty!


Leave me some love!
~ Meegs