How delicious this was this dinner? Butternut tell you now.

My friend, Gina, has this great job where she helps people clear out their homes and sell stuff. When she called to tell me she had a huge stash of one of my favorite china patterns, I was tempted. In the end, I became the proud owner of Franciscan Desert Rose china. And as luck would have it, our new fancy pants dish rack arrived in the mail the very next day. So after an afternoon of washing and admiring my new dishes, I decided to busy myself with a dinner idea I had been planning out all week.

I started off making some Lemony Quinoa with Butternut Squash from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. My version was not completely fat free since I used olive oil instead of cooking with the nonstick pans mentioned in the original recipe (Teflon is dangerous for birds). The butternut squash we had was huge, so I wound up cutting up and roasting the whole thing so that I can make soup later on (I truly hate to waste oven heat). This was my first time trying this recipe, and everyone loved it. This is definitely one I will make again, and I think it’s spectacular enough to make for guests.

While that was cooking, I started in on some kale chips. I don’t really follow a recipe anymore. I just wash and de-stem a bunch of kale, toss it with a small amount of olive oil and sea salt, place in a single layer on two baking sheets, and bake until crispy. Between the kale chips and the squash, I managed to use all four of our extra large baking sheets. Madness!

Lastly, I cut some Field Roast smoked apple sage sausages lengthwise and pan fried them until golden. This stuff is the food of the gods. It goes very well with the kale and the quinoa. Okay, fine…it would also be good with a peanut butter sandwich, a banana, or monkey boogers if those were vegan.

Our dinner was delicious and oh-so pretty on my new plates. And if later in the week Wayne asks for help getting turmeric stains off of fine china, please offer him your loving advice.

Up next: curry!

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