Tomato and White Bean Stew with Ditalini

Tomato and White Bean Stew with Ditalini | Fork Knife Swoon

I’m ready for Winter to be over. Or at least ready for North Carolina’s weather system to make up its mind about which season we’re in. It’s currently a day by day decision.

Over the course of the last two weeks, we’ve experienced snowstorms, freezing ice rain, wind storms, vaguely-named “wintery mixes,” and a torrential thunder and lightning storm that included a tornado watch. Smack dab in the middle of all that, we had a handful of perfectly-clear, sunny days with temperatures in the high-seventies. Maybe even eighty. Like it was nothing.

Not that I’m complaining about those gorgeous, warm and breezy, summer-like days, but come on. We had back-to-back days with temperature swings of close to forty degrees. Ridiculous.

My sense of eating seasonally is now completely thrown off. I’m suddenly craving all kinds of warm weather produce. Berries. Tomatoes. Corn. I’m about five seconds away from buying a pack of Chilean strawberries and declaring it Spring. Officially.

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Creamy Coconut and Blood Orange Popsicles

Creamy Coconut and Blood Orange Popsicles | Fork Knife Swoon

We’ve been snowed in for three days, cooped up, with nothing but ice and snow outside, and here I am, sharing a popsicle recipe. I know.

But look at that color! It is Valentine’s Day after all…

More importantly, we’re also in the midst of Winter citrus season and I just can’t get enough. I’m buying citrus like it’s going out of style. Lovely Meyer lemons, tart tangerines and dark-fleshed moro oranges are taking over our kitchen counters.

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One Bowl Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins

Dark Chocolate Banana Muffins | Fork Knife Swoon

I can be a bit of a tornado in the kitchen. Okay, almost always. I have a habit of using every spoon in the drawer. Every spatula and whisk. Teetering piles of dirty dishes and measuring cups sit, precariously stacked, in the sink and on counter edges, left in my wake as I cook and bake and generally wreak havoc on our kitchen. I know I should tidy up as I go, but rarely do, distracted by the whole wonderful process of stirring and measuring and tasting.

So the fact that these muffins require only one mixing bowl to whip up means that I have no excuse; Even I have a hard time creating an enormous mess with this recipe. The dishwasher gets a brief reprieve.

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30 Minute Garlic, Sage and Brown Butter Pasta

Garlic, Sage & Brown Butter Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

I woke up this morning with a serious hankering for pasta. Something simple and flavorful. Before my first sips of coffee, I set a big pot on the stove to boil. The kitchen windows steamed against the grey, rainy mist outside. The pup scampered about as I looked through the pantry. Linguine. Garlic. Maybe some breadcrumbs? In the fridge I found butter, some herbs to use up. Parmesan. Definitely Parmesan.

The breadcrumbs toasted away in a big skillet. I stared at the remaining stick of butter. A brown butter sauce would be perfect…
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Triple Dark Chocolate Whole Grain Brownies

Chewy Triple Dark Chocolate Brownies | Fork Knife Swoon

You guys, I’ve done it. I’ve just checked off a maaaajor item from my baking to-do list. Chewy, fudgy, box-like, dark chocolate whole grain brownies are finally a reality in the Swoon kitchen. Triple dark chocolate whole grain brownies to be exact. And they are so. unbelievably. good.

Let me back up. I’ve been working on this recipe in earnest for months (years even!), on a quest to make the perfect homemade, from-scratch brownie. Okay, what I really mean is, the perfect homemade, from-scratch brownie to rival (and top) store-bought box-mix brownies. Growing up, my Mama baked from scratch. Birthday cakes, cookies, muffins, quick breads. Always and wonderfully.

…except for brownies. Those nearly without fail, came from a box-mix. They were perfect every time. A shiny, crackly top. A dense, moist, fudgy center. A satisfying, chewy texture. I was looking for that elusive combination of textural qualities, but with a bolder, deeper dark chocolate flavor. No small task, it turns out, to recreate in a home-kitchen.

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Weeknight Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta

Kale, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pasta | Fork Knife Swoon

Okay, real talk. As much as I love the idea of starting out the new year as a clean-eating goddess of healthy salads, superfood smoothies and raw, vegan goodness, let’s be honest: it’s the middle of Winter. Winter with the occasional Polar Vortex, and whatever unusually-cold, unnamed weather system this latest snow storm is part of. It’s cold here. Single-digit, wish-I-could-hide-all-day-in-bed, cold.

When dinner comes around, all I want is a big, warm bowl of… comfort. Like steaming, hot bowls of pasta and hearty, savory soups and stews. However, I also would like to still fit in my Spring wardrobe once the weather does warm up, so I’m getting sneaky with my superfoods, and adding them to my favorite comfort food dishes.

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