Sitting In Our Hotel RoomSeems like a very strange place to work on recipes and menu suggestions; I feel a bit like a fish out of water.  Although.... I must admit, Nigel and I travel with an electric kettle, our hand grinder + Blue Bottle Coffee + French Press (thank you Caitlin and James!) a portable induction burner, one pot, one pan, plates, utensils and coffee cups.  We bring our own milk, eggs, good bread from Della Fatoria, homemade yogurt and some fruit.  The ability to at least make a truly excellent breakfast before heading out all day to a conference is comforting, makes us feel good and saves a ton of money.  And quite frankly, there is no where to find a breakfast nearly as good as what we enjoy in our hotel room.  Money savings aside, eating 3 meals a day in restaurants wreaks havoc on your system, especially when you are sitting in conference rooms all day!  I am so thankful for our delicious food and a husband who doesn’t think I am crazy carting a mini-kitchen around while traveling!

Recipes and Menu Suggestions Spinach Pie +  Salad with Radishes & Buttermilk Dressing Uses: Pie Spinach or Kale, Leeks, Eatwell Farm Eggs  Salad - Chives, Green Garlic, Radishes, Lettuce Chicken in Tarragon Cream + Carrot & Pea Shoot Salad Uses: Chicken Tarragon, Leeks  Carrot & Pea Shoot Salad Carrots, Pea Shoots, Green Garlic Braised Sausage & Red Cabbage + Good Bread, Butter and or Mustard Uses: Red Cabbage Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets Uses: Kale, Beets and Green Garlic

Salad With Radishes & Buttermilk Dressing From the Real Simple website This salad looks so fresh and yummy!  You can keep it simple and enjoy as a side salad or add a little bit of protein in the form of chicken or fish or tofu and turn it into more of a meal. 4 oz Country Bread, cut into 3/4” pieces 1 TB Olive Oil Salt and Pepper 1/2 cup Buttermilk 3 TB Mayonnaise 2 TB chopped Parsley  I would also add 2 TB of chopped Chives 1 stalk Green Garlic, finely chopped Lettuce 4 Radishes, thinly sliced 1 Shallot, thinly sliced Heat oven to 400F.  On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread with the oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Bake, tossing once, until golden, 7 to 9 minutes.  Let cool.  In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, parsley, chives, garlic 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Add the lettuce, radishes, shallot and croutons and toss to coat.

Spinach or Kale Pie Recipe from my friend Cindy Steffy  Serves 4-6 When I lived in Cotati I had a great group of friends who would get together for dinner almost every Thursday night.  Good food, wine and laughs, it was a night we all looked forward to.  My friend Cindy was part of that crazy group.  Now I mostly see Cindy on FB, sadly Sonoma County seems so far away.  Recently she posted this recipe and it looked really delicious.  You can do this pie with either Spinach or Kale or a combo of the two.  Remember kale will take a bit longer to cook. 1 bag Spinach, washed well or 1 bunch Kale 2 Leeks, washed well, chopped and sautéed in a little butter 5 Eatwell Farm Eggs, beaten 1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese 1 cup grated Jack Cheese A dash of Greek Seasoning, if you don't have any use Oregano and a little Rosemary Salt ad Pepper 1/3 cup Milk 1 Pie Shell Preheat oven to 400F.  Blind bake your crust 6 minutes.  Chop the washed spinach and or kale and cook in the water that is left on the leaves from washing, you might need to add a bit more.  Cook long enough to wilt thoroughly.  Mix all ingredients, fill the pie shell and bake for 45 minutes.  Check to see if it is done by inserting a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean you are good to go!

Chicken in Tarragon Cream The Herbfarm Cookbook  Serves 4 1 1/2 lbs Chicken - recipe calls for skinless, boneless breast but I personally hate chicken that has been stripped of all the goodness that comes with the bones and the skin, that's me, so please use whatever chicken you prefer! Salt and freshly ground Pepper 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 Leek, finely chopped 1/4 cup dry Vermouth or dry White Wine 3/4 cup Heavy Cream 2 to 3 TB Tarragon, coarsely chopped 1 tsp Lemon Juice Brown the chicken. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, carefully lower the chicken  into the pan and cook them for about 1 minute on each side just until they begin to brown slightly. Transfer the still-raw chicken to a plate.  Poaching in cream. Reduce the heat under the skillet to low. Add the shallot or leek and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not browned, less than 1 minute. Add the vermouth and cook for 30 seconds, then add the cream and half the tarragon. Return the chicken breasts to the pan and adjust the heat so that the cream gently simmers. Cover and cook until the chicken is firm and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. To check for doneness, cut into the thickest part of a breast with a pairing knife — there should be no sign of pink or translucence.  Finishing. Transfer the chicken breasts to a warmed serving platter or individual dinner plates. The sauce should be thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. If it is too thin, continue to simmer it for about 1 minute and it will thicken. Stir in the remaining tarragon and the lemon juice, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve right away with buttered egg noodles. Ginger Glazed Carrot & Pea Shoot Salad Adapted Recipe From the “Not Eating Out in NY”  Serves 3 to 4 I had this in last week’s recipes, but we have pea shoots again and it was just too delicious not to include it one more time! 1/2 lb Carrots, peeled, halved and chopped into 1 - 2” pieces About 1 1/2 cups fresh Pea Shoots 1 clove Garlic or 1 stalk Green Garlic, minced or chopped if using green garlic use the greens too 1 TB grated fresh Ginger 2 TB Light Brown Sugar Juice of 1 Lime Salt and Pepper 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil Combine the carrot pieces with the garlic, ginger, half the lime juice, brown sugar, 1 TB of the olive and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl and toss well.  Let marinade for 30 minutes or over night.  This recipe is done on a hot grill but I am going to try it in a hot oven at 425F cooking on my grill pan for about 13 minutes.  Meanwhile toss the pea shoots with the remaining TB of olive oil and lime juice.  Add salt and pepper.  When the carrots are done let cool a bit then toss in the bowl with the pea shoots and serve immediately. Warm Kale Quinoa & Roasted Beets Salad Inspired by Donna Hay Magazine, found on  Serves 4 Beets 1 bunch of Beets, scrubbed and trimmed - if they are large quarter them before roasting 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar 1 TB Demerara Sugar 1 TB Grape Seed Oil Salt and Pepper Kale Salad 1/4 cup Quinoa, rinsed 1 bunch Kale or use some Beet Greens, stems chopped small, leaves torn 2 TB Grape Seed Oil 1 Stalk Green Garlic, finely sliced 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika Salt and Pepper Handful of Pecorino shavings Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the trimmed beets in a 2 inch deep ceramic or glass dish. Pour the balsamic vinegar and grape seed oil in. Sprinkle the sugar, salt and pepper around the beets. Cover dish with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, stir the beets up a bit and continue to roast, uncovered, for 20 more minutes. They should be quite tender. Remove from the oven and allow dish to cool.  In a small saucepan, place the rinsed quinoa, 1 cup water and a pinch of salt.  On medium heat bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is mostly cooked and the little tails start to pop out. Remove from the heat, set aside.  In a large soup pot, heat the 1 tbsp of grape seed oil over medium heat. Add the green garlic and smoked paprika. Stir around until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa, a splash of water and half of the kale. Stir around until kale begins to wilt a bit. Add the remaining kale, season with salt and pepper and keep stirring. The kale should all be slightly wilted, but still firm. Take off the heat and transfer kale and quinoa mixture to your serving bowl.  Arrange roasted beets on top of the greens and quinoa. Drizzle salad with the balsamic cooking liquid in the pan. Scatter  the pecorino shavings on top and serve.

Braised Sausage and Red Cabbage Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Simple Suppers, by Melanie Barnard - Serves 4 2 Tbs Olive Oil 4 large or 8 small German Sausages, about 1 lb. total 1 Onion, thinly sliced 2 tsp Caraway Seeds 1/2 head Red Cabbage, cored and shredded 1 cup Amber Ale 2 Tbs Malt Vinegar 2 Tbs chopped fresh Dill (optional) In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.  Add the sausages and brown, turning once or twice, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a plate.  Add the onion to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and sauté until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the caraway seeds and then the cabbage. Return the sausages and any juices from the plate to the pan.  Stir in the ale and vinegar and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low simmer until the cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the dill. Divide the cabbage and sausages among individual plates and serve immediately.