Brown Butter Potatoes au Gratin with Gruyere and Caramelized Onions

Oh man. I just started going to spin class. WHAT did I get myself into. Everything from my belly button down is just sore. I get out of class and from 54th to 68th street and my cheeks are bulbous and puffy red like a chipmunk with hives.

Clearly I am not very attractive when I exercise. But it feels great knowing the strength of your body and what it is capable of. And lately when I’ve come home from my 45-minute intensive class I’ve had myself to thank for making this yummy dishes and saving lots and lots of leftovers to fill my guilty post-workout carb cravings.

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As with pretty much ALL of my dishes, let’s start with the herbs. Other than the Simon & Garfunkel song, there are other reasons why I fell in love with rosemary and thyme. I mean would it be awful if I named my two daughters after them? “Thyme dear, could you help your old mother open up this pickle jar?” I don’t know I think it works.

But other than the salty taste that most gratins have, I love adding these two herbs because I feel it gives the potatoes and cheese and really wonderful aroma and more of a distinctive taste.

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Spaghetti with Pesto and Fresh Herbs

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In my family, we call this dish ‘oink, oink.’ I know, we are a pretty weird bunch of Germans. And yes you guessed it. The name came from the noise we made with our mouths/nasal area at the very mention that my mother will be making this for dinner that night. This dish is so tasty to the point where pig sounds need to be made.

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But pig noises aside, let’s talk about what this simple yet deliciously wholesome recipe is really all about: the herbs, baby. And boy, do I LOVE herbs.

I will admit, it did take me a while to get used to having all that green and leafiness in my pasta. Coming from someone who in their childhood insisted on only eating their spaghetti drenched in ketchup, it was a pretty important step in my life when I finally went green, and I mean literally from all the herbs I am eating.

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My Favorite Roasted Vegetables

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I have literally made these roasted vegetables five times this past week. I made them once and then next thing I knew I was getting requests here and there.

Roasting vegetables is just the easiest and healthiest thing to cook and I am so surprised that not that many people do it. It is so much fun preparing all the vegetables and their vibrant colors. It is almost like playing with play-doh but the adult version and you do get to eat it.

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Lately I just can’t get enough of beets. I was always that person who loved beets but only ate them at restaurants and then was too intimidated to buy them in the store (like so many other awesome vegetables I need to get the guts to buy).

Beets actually have nutritional properties that really help your digestive system. They are a great way of testing how much acid is in your stomach. Just eat some beets and if you pee red, great! If you don’t your precious tummy is a bit acidic.

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