Most of our meal inspiration comes from a combination of three places:

1. We ate something at a restaurant that we loved so much that we want to recreate it at home.
2. We have something in our kitchen that needs to be used up because it is going bad or because we are trying to clean out our cupboards.
3. A blog posted an interesting recipe that we think looks yummy. I tend to stalk foodgawker; it’s a bit of an obsession.

For dinner tonight, our inspiration was a combination of number 2 and 3. One of my favorite things to do when I get to my parents’ house is go through all of their cabinets to see if their is any food that I know that they won’t use.

The second my dad hears me rumbling around in the kitchen he always asks, “What are you stealing now?”

That is how I recently acquired this:A tub of instant polenta. While we had a few ideas of what to do with this, we found some perfect inspiration from The Healthy Everythingtarian (a fellow Madisonite wooo!). She recently made a polenta pie that we wanted to try our hand at.

We lined our cast iron skillet (that I compulsively bought after nearly setting off the fire alarm in our entire dorm building last year while trying to make pancakes in a pan that had seen better days) with a layer of polenta.This was followed by a layer of black beans, spinach, and onions.We sauteed them first, which meant our spinach went from this heaping pile……to this.After another layer of polenta, we piled on the tomatoes and freshly grated cheese and placed the whole thing in the oven.We finally pulled our cast iron out of the oven after thirty minutes.Serving this was a bit of failure, but with some giant bowls and chipotle ranch on top, it still tasted delicious!After dinner Jasmine and I headed out on a walk and spontaneously ended up at Nostrano for dessert.While all foods don’t have to look pretty to taste good, we definitely do appreciate some good looking (and tasting!!) desserts!