Tag Archives: vegetarian

How to chop up a watermelon without mangling it too badly

What with it being summer and all, here’s a good skill to have when you buy a watermelon for a recipe/garden party and then stare at it, noticing that it seems a lot bigger now than when you put it in the cart at the grocery store.


Big watermelon

Big watermelon

Big knife

Big knife

Big buncha paper towels

Big buncha paper towels. You’ll also want to have a pretty large bowl handy for serving/refrigerating.






Hack it into 2 halves.

Hack it into 2 halves.

Turn the halves over, flat-side-down, and start peeling away the pithy green/white parts.

Turn the halves over, flat-side-down, and start peeling away the pithy green/white parts.

It doesn't have to be perfect.

Don’t worry if your slices seem thick- there’s almost 2 inches of the inedible stuff before you get to the tasty red part.

Continue until it looks like something out of Super Mario.

Continue until the watermelon looks like something out of Super Mario, and is wearing a stylish green hat.

Turn it sideways, and slice away the rest of the greeny-whitey bits.

Turn it sideways, and slice away the rest of the greeny-whitey bits.

Almost there!

Almost there!



This is the point where I just wanted to pick it up and eat it. It's also where things start to get a bit messy...

This is the point where I just wanted to pick it up and eat it. It’s also where things start to get a bit messy…

Chop it up into slices, about 1 to 2 inches thick.

Chop it up into slices, about 1 to 2 inches thick.

Chop the flat slices into little spears...

Chop the flat slices into little spears…

...and then cubes!

…and then cubes! This is where the paper towels come in handy. Be extra careful while cutting, since the board/counter can get slippery from all the juices.

This takes a bit of time, and seems endless. Pictured here is ONE FOURTH of the watermelon (and this is not a small cutting board)!

This takes a bit of time, and seems endless. Pictured here is ONE FOURTH of the watermelon (and this is not a small cutting board)!

Woohoo! Ready for summertime tastiness.

Woohoo! Ready for summertime tastiness.



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Hi all-

We went to the finger lakes in New York to visit some family, and took a day trip to a beautiful gorge nearby.

Yes please.

Yes please.


J found some fossils.

We made a tasty dinner one night of roasted pork loin and vegetable tian- we’ve actually been meaning to post this recipe for a while. L likes to make it frequently, and it’s so easy! It makes a nice side dish, but we’ve had it as the main dish before, too.



Vegetable Tian

(Sideways-stacked baked veggies)

100_1209YOU WILL NEED:

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes (Regular Big Lumpy Brown-Type. That’s their actual name. Really.)
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • S&P
  • basil (dried)
  • a good handful of shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Slice all the veggies into 1/4 inch (-ish) slices.
  3. Sploosh some olive oil (or butter/cooking spray) 9×9′ baking dish.
  4. Arrange the sliced veggies into fancy-looking rows. We always have a few veggie slices left over, and just cram them into the sides. (It’s a classic French technique, called Crammez les vegetables dans le sides of le baking dish. Really.)
  5. Drizzle olive oil on top of veggies, and top with salt, pepper and basil.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Uncover, top with cheese, and bake for another 20 minutes.
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Wave-o’s Ranch Arrows

Ever had an extreme craving for Mexican food?


Yeah, us too.

This Huevos Rancheros recipe is our adaptation of the one found at COOKIE+kate.

Because J has never successfully followed a recipe all the way through, and claims that he’s not about to start now.

Before you begin cooking, make sure you know how to fry eggs.

If not, marry someone who does.

That usually works for him.


Huevos Rancheros



  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • half an onion, chopped
  • chili powder, cumin
  • half a lime
  • 1/2 cup of salsa verde
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • handful of cilantro (fresh or dry)
  • 1 clove of garlic (or a teeny spoonful of the jarred stuff)
  • corn tortillas (1 per serving)
  • eggs (1 per serving)
  • Feta cheese
  • hot sauce (we used Sriracha)


1. Saute the beans, onion, chili powder, and cumin with about 1/4 of a cup of water. If the mixture looks a little dry during cooking, you can add some more water.

2. Once the onions are translucent, let the pot simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Mash some of the beans with a spoon (or whatever you’re using to stir) and remove it from the heat, still covered.

J also tossed a couple of Hershey Kisses into the pot. This was probably a bad idea, in retrospect, but everything turned out ok. L didn’t notice 🙂

3. Blend the salsa verde, avocado, garlic and juice from the lime.

4. Heat it on the stove on medium-low heat for a few minutes, and set aside on the stove, covered (you can also microwave it).



5. Fry (or scramble, if you like) the eggs in a large skillet.

The two eggs on the top are going LET'S BE EGG FRIENDS

The two eggs on the top are going LET’S BE EGG FRIENDS

Stack in the following order:

Tortilla  → Beans → Salsa → Egg

Top with feta and however much hot sauce you want!


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Fall foods!

We decided to spend what turned into a rather rainy day as a fall feast day. As our first full weekend home in about 2 months, we had missed cooking together, and decided it was time to break out the fall foods.

First thing made? Pumpkin Nutella poke cake.

Recipe found at Something Swanky, a great blog to find tasty desserts. This morning we had decided to go ahead and make the pumpkin poke cake, but happened across her pumpkin Nutella poke cake and fell in love.


*yellow boxed cake mix

*pumpkin puree

*sweetened condensed milk

*whipped topping

*Nutella spread

*heath bits (hers called for chocolate hazelnut candies, but we decided to go with the toffee bits-yum!)

*chocolate syrup

1. Mix pumpkin and cake mix (we added some cinnamon and ginger, because we never follow the instructions anyway…)

2. Bake the cake at 375 for 35 minutes.

3. After cooling, poke it a whole lot with the end of a wooden spoon.

4.  Pour the milk over the cake, letting it soak in.

5. Mix whipped topping and Nutella, and spread on top.

6. Top with chocolate syrup and heath bits.

7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or, if you are like us and are in a time crunch for someone’s birthday tonight, freeze for two!)

Currently, we don’t have pictures of the cake, as it is cooling. However, we cannot wait until we share it tonight! Our first friend to join the quarter century life club- so exciting!

Dinner was also fall themed.

Photo on 10-5-13 at 5.48 PM

I have thoroughly impressed myself, as well as J, with my lack of instruction reading (say, for how much pasta this recipe was going to make- more on that in a minute), but also with my skill for making things after I see it done on TV multiple times.

Today, we give you: sweet potato-ricotta gnocchi with brown butter-sage sauce.


If this dinner doesn’t scream fall, I am not sure what does.

*5 sweet potatoes

*container of ricotta

*salt and pepper

*sage (needed twice)

*5 tablespoons butter

*3 cups of flour

*pinch of red pepper flakes

*some ginger

*some garlic

*lemon juice

1. Boil sweet potatoes (bringing cold water to a boil) until soft.

2. Mash together with salt, ginger, sage and ricotta.

3. Mix in flour, one cup at a time.

4. Roll out on floured surface and realize how much pasta you have just made…six pounds to be exact. We ended up freezing them in pound increments to auction off to family members later.

5. Cut into bite size pieces and roll over the tines of a fork.

6. Boil in water in batches, until they float (about 4-5 minutes).

7. While J cooked the pasta, I made the brown butter sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter with sage, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes. Whisk over medium heat until golden brown.

8. Toss gnocchi in the brown butter sauce.

9. Eat.

-L and J

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…is here.

We have been waiting for fall…cool weather, decorations, all things pumpkin and apple cider related. Yum.

To welcome the season that shall arrive quickly, we made a wreath on our door this afternoon.

Photo on 9-14-13 at 5.01 PM

How we made this:

*one foam wreath

*roll of burlap (ours was about 3 in. wide)

*bunch of fake flowers (whatever you like- we liked the size and color of these)

*a wooden letter (and perhaps some paint, if you like the chevron look we made)

*wide ribbon (again, whatever you like- we chose orange wire ribbon with gold polka dots and and brown/white patterned ribbon)

….we also made some warm, hearty foods. Well, food…but made in TWO ways.

FOOD(s) 1:

Ratatouille over Baked Potatoes

Photo on 9-7-13 at 1.16 PM

You will need:

*2 baby eggplant

*2 baby zucchini

*a red and a yellow bell pepper

*2 onions

*can of diced tomatoes

*2-3 stalks celery

*olive oil

*salt and pepper

*oregano, parsley and basil

*potatoes (baked in the oven)

1. Chop all the vegetables into about the same size pieces (diced-ish)

2. Drizzle olive oil into crock pot.

3. Dump in everything else, with an extra drizzle of olive oil.

4. Go to the farmers’ market for 5 hours while this cooks on high.

5. Serve over baked potato (we paired a lovely red wine with this for lunch).

FOOD(s) 2:

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Photo on 9-8-13 at 6.52 PM

You’ll Need:

*leftover ratatouille (no potatoes necessary)

*chicken stock (1 cup)

*provolone cheese (or whatever type you may want on top)

1. Purée ingredients 1 and 2 in a blender.

2. Heat in pan.

3. Serve with cheese on top.

We enjoyed both of these this weekend, and they were each great in their own way!


-j and l

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*And even if we don’t, for some reason. Shout-out to our pastor who mentioned Young Poor and Strangely Happy in the sermon at our ceremony! It was perfect…

So we’ve been married a week, and it’s AWESOME. Please excuse our CRAZY LOVEBIRD HAPPINESS but I think we’re allowed to have some at this point.

We’ll put together a full spread of wedding stuff eventually, but we’re enjoying spending time together- the internet can hear from us later.


Just for now, here’s what L made me for dinner:

Photo on 5-4-13 at 7.10 PM

Roasted Vegetable Risotto


-Rice (of some kind, fluffy, long-grain, white, brown, martian, whatever)

-a thing of asparagus

-2 carrots

-2 celery stalks

-1 small onion

-2 cups of chicken stock

-salt und pepper

-olive oil

-parmesan cheese

-lemon juice (opt.)


Preheat the oven to 350, or if it’s our oven, 15,000,000,000. But I’d go with 350.

Chop the vegetables into small pieces.

Toss them on a foil-lined baking sheet with some olive oil, salt, et pepper.

Put the vegetables in the oven for 15 minutes, or until they’re soft-ish and tasty-looking.

Put the 2 cups of stock in a pot and heat until boiling.

Dump 2 cups of rice into the stock, let it cook until it looks like, well, rice.

Toss the vegetables into the rice, with a healthy dose of the parmesan.

If you like, squirt a few drops of lemon juice in- it gives it a nice brightness, and counteracts the saltiness from the salt και pepper if need be OK BYE


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Tikka of redemption

Well, it looks like I’m forgiven for the Great Chicken Taco Scare of 2013. In fact, L and I made enchiladas out of the end result, which were pretty good. I got up this morning and made this:

Vegetarian Tikka Masala


a crock pot

3 small potatoes

an onion

half a bag or so of frozen peas

couple of shakes of coriander (weird little spherical spice, which are actually cilantro seeds)

1/2 a teaspoon of curry (spicy spice)

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

rice (optional)


Chop up the potatoes, skins and all. Peel and chop the onion. Toss them deftly into the crock pot, then put in everything else. Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours. If it gets a bit dry, you can add a little water to it. If you like, you can put the rice in at about hour 4. This can be served with naan, if you’ve got some handy.



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Ok, no, we’re not.

But kind of.

Just looked at how many different countries our readers and subscribers come from, and it felt kind of cool.



Now that I’ve moved home, L and I are planning a New Year’s party, our first big-time entertaining attempt in our home together. We’re being a bit ridiculous- as I sit here next to her on the couch, we fist pump every time someone responds to our facebook event. I am going to marry this woman.

Here are a couple things we’re thinking of having at said party:

-Pigs in a blanket, arranged into a wreath

-Champagne (I believe it’s pronounced Shamm-pag-in) cut-out cookies (kind of awesome)

Shamm-pag-in jello with pop rocks (really awesome)

Mini-vegetarian-tacomuffin-type-deals (remember those?)

Any other ideas? Leave comments and let us know!


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Fall is…sweet potatoes?


Tonight’s dinner. Success.

So, I have been looking for new, yummy dinners. Of course, I like my diet to consist of lots of veggies. This meal is not only yummy, but is all veggie.

Sweet potato burgers:

  • 1 sweet potato (large)
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 2 tsp. Agave syrup (I used blue Agave)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • “seasonings”: I threw in a random bunch of spices, including salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and dried minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • bread crumbs
  • avocado
  1. Bake sweet potato (I did this in the microwave b/c I wasn’t patient enough to wait 45-50 minutes to bake)
  2. mash potato with rinsed/drained beans
  3. add agave, flour and “seasonings”-mix
  4. form into patties (7-8)
  5. heat oil in pan, place patties in pan
  6. brown on both sides (5 minutes tops)
  7. serve with sliced avocado

Seriously, so delicious.


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Adventures in the tiny ’50s kitchen

We have a tiny kitchen. Built in the ’50s. It uses gas. It probably worked quite well when it was new.

It is no longer new.

But, L and I (but mostly L) still manage to create some excellent dishes. The stove’s burners are each labeled with a gradual level of heat, ranging from “low” to “medium” to “high”. A more accurate set of labels would read “High”, “Scorching”, and “A heat rivaling only that of the sun’s surface” (about 5778° K, or 5505° C). Nonetheless, we’ll deal with it until we find a new place, hopefully sometime by next May.

Here’s what we cooked on it:


Yummy taco babies with corn.


  • a package of corn tortillas (be careful, they’re a bit more fragile than flour tortillas)
  • bag of frozen corn
  • a can of refried beans
  • cilantro
  • cheese (whatever you put on tacos)
  • chili powder

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease up a muffin pan. cut the tortillas into fourths. Slap one into each muffin space. IN A BOWL: Mix together the beans, about half the corn, and a good shake of chili powder. Scoop a spoonful of that into each tortilla. Put some cilantro and cheese on top. Bake for 15 mins. Serve with the rest of the corn. YUM.


The smudgy bit is barbecue sauce. L eats hers with honey mustard.

Recipes from Skinnytaste.


L made a thing out of another thing.

Upcycled cocoa mix can becomes useful utensil-holder thingy!

She made the monogram herself, and painted it on with a sponge, reminding us that we should get her paintbrushes back the next time we visit our parents.


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