Now that the excessive eating is done, let’s talk about salads.

The type of salads that count as entrees. The type you want to eat after gorging yourself for a week and feeling the waistband of your jeans a little bit tighter than you remembered.

Watermelon Radish and Spinach Salad with Barley | Things I Made Today

This is when a grain-heavy salad becomes your best friend. Our winter CSA brought us amazing frost sweetened spinach and a beautiful watermelon radish.

Watermelon Radish and Spinach Salad with Barley | Things I Made Today

I added some barley, feta, and a couple basil leaves from a plant that refuses to stop growing, even in November.

Watermelon Radish and Spinach Salad with Barley | Things I Made Today

A simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. And in addition to being healthy, filling, and restorative, it really is a beauty to look at too.

Watermelon Radish and Spinach Salad with Barley | Things I Made Today

Watermelon Radish and Spinach Salad with Barley
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 cup barley, dry
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • juice from 1 small lemon
  • zest from ½ small lemon
  • 2 large handfuls spinach leaves
  • 1 medium watermelon radish, trimmed and sliced thin on a mandolin
  • 5-6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  1. Cook barley according to packaging instructions. Let cool completely.
  2. In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  3. Combine spinach and barley in a large bowl. Pour dressing on top and toss. Add watermelon radishes, basil leaves, and feta. Toss well and serve.


Thanksgiving may be over, but I’m guessing you’re still munching on creative leftover variations.

As you should be. Before we jump into the Volvovski Family Thanksgiving menu from this year, let’s take a look at year’s past—specifically 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Every year, we change things up, keeping only a few extra special dishes from previous years.

Menu planning for our holiday starts about a week before the actual event, with a video conference. Due to scheduling conflicts, this year’s conference involved only the women in the family.

Theo's First Thanksgiving | Things I Made Today

This year, the celebration was going to be small. Other than the immediate family, we were only going to have three more people over for Thanksgiving, so we wanted to keep the cooking under control. We succeeded: this was by far the least stressful prep and cooking of any Thanksgiving we’ve ever had. Nothing went awry, everything tasted delicious, and even Theo approved. read the rest »

There is something special about a beautiful jar of jam.

A raspberry jam is nice. So is strawberry. And I have a total soft spot for citrus marmalades spread onto buttery croissants. But while all of these are undoubtedly delicious, they’re also predictable.

Mascarpone, Peach, and Chamomile Stuffed French Toast | Things I Made Today

But then there is Quince & Apple, a Madison-based producer of small batch preserves whose flavors consistently surprise me. Fig and black tea, shallot confit with red wine, pear with honey and ginger—all packaged in small jars with their signature handwritten labels. While Quince & Apple has a deep bench of popular flavors, they’re continuously experimenting with new ingredients, and that’s how we get to here, today, on the blog. read the rest »