A Week of Dinners in Pictures-Day 1

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me she read this blog and asked, almost incredulously, “Wait, do you cook every day?” I answered, almost as incredulously, “of course.” To me, cooking every day is normal, and I have a hard time conceiving of not doing it.  It’s time I look forward to, because I can engage with my creative side, and after the meal is prepared, I get to sit at a table with loved ones and enjoy wonderful company. 🙂 I realize that this is not how most people spend their days. It takes time, after all, and it’s a daunting task if you’re not familiar with cooking.  I often hear friends say they wish they cooked more, or that they knew what to make on a daily basis. So, this week, I’ve decided that I will post a week-ful of dinners in pictures. Maybe, by making the process transparent and breaking it down into one-day components, the idea of cooking everyday will cease to be daunting and might even become – gasp!- even fun. Or maybe I’ll just have a chance to show you how my week with food breaks down. So, here we go!

Today’s Day 1 and we just came back from shopping for the week. We went to Wards and spent $40. I hope that’s going to last us the week.

Here’s what we had for dinner:


What you’re looking at is spaghetti al pesto (you can find the recipe a few posts back) with a large side of sauteed kale and mission figs along with a little tomato, fresh mozarella, and capers salad. The whole thing, start to finish, took about half an hour.  AND, what made this meal super exciting is that the kale came from our little community garden plot!

Because it’s the first day and I’m probably over-eager , I’m going to break down the kale-fig dish, in case anyone is interested in making it. It’s actually  super easy, super healthy, and super delicious. Also, it’s my little invention of the day and I’m quite proud of how it turned out. Anyhow, here we go!


First off, here is our kale, right after we harvested it! Kale grows ridiculously easily in Florida. You may recalling me saying we’ve had a tough time with gardening–well, kale’s the little vegetable that could. It’s a hardy plant, and  I love it! Anyhow, all I did was take the kale and add these ingredients:



Here we’ve got extra virgin olive oil, organic mission figs, sea salt, and garlic. And here’s what happened: first, I heated up a few teaspoons of olive oil in a pan, then sliced the garlic, and added it, alone, for about 20 seconds. Then I added the kale. You can see here when it had just been added.



It looks like a ton, but after putting a lid on it and waiting a few minutes, this is what it shrunk down to:



Here’s the cooked kale with the mission figs. About half way through the cooking of the kale (when it still had some moisture to let out), I added the dried figs. They plumped up immediately with the moisture from the kale and added this really interesting sweet counterpoint to the bitterness of the kale. I added a little bit of salt and voila’!  It was a total experiment, but it worked. 🙂

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you had a lovely dinner, wherever you are in the world!

— Jessica


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2 Responses to A Week of Dinners in Pictures-Day 1

  1. Wanda says:

    I have been thinking of how to incorporate kale into my diet, since it is such a power house food. I just made a slaw with red cabbage and sunflower seeds that I saw in a magazine, but your recipe sounds delicious. i love figs, so I can not wait to try it. thanks, miss Jess.

  2. Jessica Lancia says:

    Hi Ms. Wanda! It really worked beautifully! I can’t wait to hear how you like it when you try it!

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