One of my goals for the New Year is to create more nourishing and invigorating dishes that fuel me and my family. I find lunch a particularly challenging meal to plan. A lot of times I will eat leftovers from the night before or toss together a hodgepodge of items collected from the fridge; but I usually discover the food on my plate uninspiring and unfulfilling. Luckily, I struck gold with this new recipe for farro cakes that had me ready to break out a quill pen and write poetry by the fireside.
Of the grains I have tried, farro is definitely my favorite. It boasts a nutty, chewy, and a slightly sweet flavor that provides a great base to salads and soups. It worked very well as a substitute for quinoa is this dish and the end result was a crispy and earthy patty that reminded me of a new and improved potato pancake. It was positively scrumptious with the addition of a fried egg fresh from our girls out back.
Robert suggested a drizzle of Red Hot on the side and it made our taste buds sing. The man knows how to pair hot sauces with food. There should be a title for this skill. Hot sauceror?
Perhaps what I loved most about it is the fact that it is so quick and easy to make. I made the farro the night before while I was cleaning up the kitchen, and this made things as easy as pie for the following day. These farro cakes are everything I was looking for in a lunch and I know I will be making them again very soon. I hope you do, too.
Yield: About 8 small cakes
- 2 cups farro, cooked
- 3 eggs. lightly beaten
- 1 cup loosely-packed and fresh spinach, chopped
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup finely crushed crackers or 1/2 cup bread crumbs (whichever you have on hand or prefer)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Olive oil, for the pan
- Combine the cooked farro, eggs, spinach, onion, parmesan, crackers, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Use a wooden spoon or your clean hand to combine all ingredients until well-mixed. Form into 3 inch patties The ingredients are delicate so you have to press them together firmly or you can add more bread crumbs or cracker crumbs as a binder, if needed (I didn’t have to).
- Add olive oil to a large, non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Carefully place the patties onto the pan and sear for about 3 mins on each side, or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Pan-fry remaining patties. Serve hot with a sunny-side up egg, if desired.
- These patties can be re-heated the next day by simply searing them briefly in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1-2 mins per side or until warmed).
Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats originally from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day
Our little rump roast recently turned two and we celebrated by hosting a small party with Smith’s grandparents and aunts and uncles. Since he loves all things diggers, trucks, and dirt, I chose a construction theme for this year’s shindig.
The decorations were straightforward. Construction balloons, construction garland, and some bulldozer temporary tattoos.
In a moment of impulse while on a Target trip with my sister, she and I thought a bull piñata would also be a great, albeit completely unrelated, addition to the party. Unfortunately, we never got around to the candy-filled bull; but it was probably a good thing considering the birthday boy is just learning how to successfully shovel food into his mouth independently. Why not give him a stick and tell him to hit a floating object repeatedly? Bert just loved this part of party prep. This picture makes me laugh.
The menu was pretty simple and was mostly a reflection of some of the foods our little engineer of destruction loves most. It included:
- Grilled bratwurst and (uncured) hotdogs with various toppings
- Baked three-cheese macaroni and cheese
- Tippy’s tossed salad
- Grandma’s fruit salad
- Great Aunt Khaki’s birthday cake cookies (recipe coming soon)
- Chocolate cake with fluffy chocolate buttercream icing
- Ice cream
The grill master.
I had so much fun making Smith’s cake this year. The lad loves chocolate. I couldn’t be prouder.
After lunch, Smith opened gifts and I assumed my role as the family creeper by snapping candid pictures of everyone without their consent.
After capturing lots of fun, I whipped out my tripod and forced all of us to take a few group shots. Childhood birthdays make me sentimental and nostalgic and documenting it with pictures of the ones I love the most is a way of keeping those emotions in check.
Smith’s construction-themed second birthday was so much fun. Both for Smith and his family. These past two years have flown by and I am so thankful for the gift of motherhood that I have been given. I would be dishonest if I were to say parenting is all sunshine and lollipops, but it is without a doubt the most fulfilling adventure I have been on. We love you, Smith. Thank you for filling our lives with laughter, joy, and unbridled energy.
It’s not a party until someone brings out the (unfilled) tea kettle.