I had forgotten about the perils of insomnia during pregnancy until recently. Last week had some of the worst strikes yet. I found myself lying awake for hours on end, tossing and turning, while the baby kicked and kneaded my side. I fear this might be a foreshadowing of this little person’s sleep habits to come. On one particularly harrowing night (I’m looking at you Tuesday), I finally turned on the light at 4:30am and pulled out Annia Ciezadlo’s Day of Honey. It was so delicious, I read the following passage three times:

“The waiter brought us Bolani Kashalu, crisp oily little turnovers packed with soft potatoes and herbs and blistered brown on the outside. Next came banjan burani, charred buttery eggplant slices buried under yogurt sprinkled with dried mint. Finally the kebab arrived, tender and smoky, flanked by light brown basmati rice, grilled Afghan flatbread, and salad drowned in creamy white dressing flecked with herbs.”

I fell back to sleep with visions of Middle Eastern cuisine swirling through my head and promptly awoke to revise the menu to include our favorite riff on chicken shawarma.

The Menu


Leftovers + Movie Night (The Incredibles) after an afternoon walk along the Rice Creek North Regional Trail.


Beef, Leek and Barley Soup (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

Adapted from Laurie Colwin, this is a simple- no frills soup. It tastes mildly of leek and pure boiled beef. We liked it for what it was, a classic preparation of simple ingredients. The recipe doesn’t tell you to add salt, but I found myself adding quite a bit.

Roasted Delicata, Arugula and Raddichio Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing (recipe from Pinch and Swirl)

This salad was delicious, although I must admit I made a couple of changes. First, I wanted a sweeter salad, so I added maple syrup to the dressing. I also used green leaf lettuce in place of the radicchio and arugula. This is one of those salads where the sum of all parts, eaten together, is best. Be sure to toast those walnuts. It makes a difference.


No-Boil Stuffed Shells (recipe from Food Network Kitchen)

This recipe for stuffed shells was a family pleaser and it was so easy! I knew I had to try it as soon as I read “no-boil.”

Sides: Roasted broccoli and asparagus, which I slid into the oven during the last 20 minutes of the pasta’s baking time, sprinkled with extra salt and a squeeze of lemon juice after it emerged from the oven.


Sheet Pan Chicken and Cauliflower Shawarma (recipe from Alexandra’s kitchen)

Roasted and spiced chicken and cauliflower, wrapped in soft pillow-y naan, and dunked in a lemony yogurt sauce. I dream about this recipe. It’s perfection, always disappearing quickly from our table.

Sides: Roasted Beets


Family Pictures (39 degrees!!) + leftovers

Thank you Katie!!


Nachos (Chips + taco meat + refried beans + cheese + sour cream + lettuce + guacamole + hot sauce). Happy weekend to us!


Leftovers after spending the day in Stillwater. Not only did Bear get to jump around to her hearts delight in a bounce house at the Stillwater fall festival, but we also got to drop off more Cubles at Valley Bookseller!! Check out Joel’s business at and think about what great Christmas gifts/stocking stuffers Cubles might make for those little one’s in your life this year 🙂

(Oct 7th, 2018 – Oct 13th, 2018)

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