Category Archives: Vegetables

Report From the Beach House

I kid, I kid (kinda).  We were cooking at a point for 25 people.  Why vacation small? I say go big or go home.  Except then we did go home, so I guess that really doesn’t work here, does it?

Anyhoo, but lots and lots of cousins of different generations had tons of fun.

So what did we eat?   We did these Honey Teriyaki Chicken Legs from Skinnytaste.  Always a hit. But with a large crowd we had to supplement the 25 chicken legs with 38 tacos. 38 TACOS. Yep, you read that right.

Another night we made these Steak and Brie Sandwiches with Chimichurri Sauce from Martha Stewart:

Sorry about the photo.  While this rental house is extremely well stocked for everyday living, it is less so for Instagram-worthy food photos. They didn’t have a drawer of white marble slabs, distressed wood or rumply farmhouse tea towels!

Had plans for another big dish but when the evening came, everyone was tired and over-sunned and a big meal just wasn’t doing it for me.  So we did this DIY BLT bar.

Roasted all the bacon in the ovens.  Also had choice of adding avocado or Israeli Salad (background photo bombers).  Hit the spot.  Of course, that meant the 7 pound pork shoulder had to ride home with us. And the pork should didn’t have a iPad so he whined the whole way.

What do you do besides swim and eat?  Well, games, coloring, puzzles and drinks!

Brought some Aperol with me and made a sparkling Aperol Rosé Spritzer:

1 cup chilled pineapple passion fruit juice (though you could sub in just pineapple or maybe a little grapefruit juice – whatever moves you)
1/4 cup Aperol
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4-5 tsp sugar
1 bottle chilled sparkling rosé
lime wedges

Stir first 4 ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.  Add in the sparkling rosé.  Stir and then serve over ice with a lime wedge.

Also did this Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail again from Grand Maester Stewart.

I was fresh out of edible flowers however, so lime slice it is!

If you’ve got tomatoes coming in from your garden or a basil plant threatening all the other herbs out there, I’d highly suggest a riff on this Tomato Garlic Toast With Whipped Basil Feta from How Sweet It Is.  I say riff because I didn’t exactly make this because I’m not a feta fan.  I KNOW, then why am I reading recipes about feta? Because then, maybe when you change the cheese its just as delicious as the main recipe would be with feta if you were the kind of person that liked feta. FIGHT ME!

Basically, instead of feta I subbed in Ricotta Salata (not the stuff you use for lasagna, the harder ricotta by the other cheeses).  And I added one more ounce of cream cheese and a very full 1/4 cup chopped basil.  Otherwise follow Jessica’s directions. But taste before you salt, because ricotta salata is really salty.  Salata=salt (free Italian lesson – you’re welcome).  I used zero additional salt.

Try to lean back and enjoy the rest of your Sunday as much as D enjoys his sand bed.

Have a great week everyone!

I Hate You Ham

Per my last post, I should have started the ham last week.  How can a 10 pound, spiral sliced, pre-cooked ham take over 4 hours to get to a safe temperature?  Why did it make me not only uncover, but take apart, spread out in the roasting pan, up the oven temp twice just so we could eat by 5.  IT WENT IN THE OVEN AT 12:30!!!

Ugh, stupid ham. So of course Guitar Boy had seconds.

But everything else was good. Went with the Spinach Artichoke Stuffing mentioned in the last post, Carrot Slaw from Once Upon a Chef, asparagus, lots of fruit, and the hit of the day, made by my mother, was Aunt Carol Wetter’s Cheez Whiz Scalloped Potatoes. Yep, you read that right. Cheez Whiz is the secret ingredient.

There was an epic egg hunt. Make them hard to find, they said. Challenge accepted.

And to answer your question, why yes, that is a Death Star bird feeder. #nerdfoiles

It was so hard to find these eggs that they couldn’t even take a group cousins picture without one half of all participants closing their eyes.  But we did get one with GG on her 103rd Easter!

Justifying my large light up bunny purchase at Homegoods were the table favors – white and gold bunnies!!

Guess which favor was Baby D’s?

When GG used to host Easter, she always bought you a ceramic bunny or egg and wrote the year on it, so my favors this year were an homage to GG.  Here’s some of the collection:

You may have seen on Instagram, but my sister sent me a picture of a “joke” centerpiece saying “you should do this”.  Additional challenge accepted!


So after all that Cheez Whiz goodness, we need to lighten it up tonight with grilled halibut with purchased pineapple salsa.  As a side, I made Skinnytaste’s Yellow Rice.  Perfect with the fish, I highly recommend it (minus cilantro of course because, blech).  Her cooking method made perfect fluffy rice and I made my own spice blend (minus coriander because CORIANDER IS CILANTRO!). And I didn’t have any.

We had beautiful weather for Easter weekend but not to worry, it will be 40 degrees again by Thursday. That doesn’t mean I didn’t just buy clearance garden markers at Target and started planning. And place cards for next Easter. And gold plastic cutlery. Stupid dollar section.

Have a great week everyone!

Thanksgiving to Christmas in 37 Hours

Well another Thanksgiving in the books. This one with the oven going berserk three (3) times while turkey was in. First, beeping uncontrollably until we had to throw the breaker.  Second, decided to go into Sabbath mode (who knew?!) where it holds only the last temperature so that people don’t have to turn on the ovens during Sabbath.   Except the last temperature was now about 40 degrees lower than it needed to be to finish the turkey.  And finally, one more combo beeping/Sabbath mode until the breaker was thrown again.

Thankfully the turkey was at a safe temperature to remove to rest, so I shoved those stuffings in before my oven taught me any new religious holidays and told everyone NOT to open the oven doors until I was sure the stuffing was cooked. There is clearly a curse on me related to ovens as this is the 4th oven in 16 years in houses. Each one pulling antics like this until we gave up/it stopped working.  Perhaps I should have heeded the warning from the gypsies after all.


Made a cheese turkey. Because we all need a cheese turkey in our lives.


Did the deconstructed turkey again but used the Martha Stewart Bacon Herb Roasted Turkey Breast recipe and just put the butter mixture under the skin of each piece.  Did the Pumpkin Cornbread Sausage stuffing from last year and Pioneer Woman’s Thanksgiving Stuffing for the traditionalists. Made the cranberry sauce from my practice Thanksgiving post, Ina Garten’s Honey Orange Glazed Carrots and mashed and sweet potatoes. And buttered noodles, because my kids still eat no food.


Yep, that’s two can shaped cranberry lumps. That my kids will eat.  And Bobby Flay’s Fall Sangria. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It definitely has a lot of fall flavors and is very pretty.


Did the tables with this cute runner from Kitch Studios,

Lots of fall colors, cute teensy vases from POSH (that’s like Fishs Eddy to you New Yorkers), flowers buried in fresh cranberries, and of course, chocolate turkeys.


A good time was had by all.

DSC_0144Especially this dapper gentleman,


Who Skunk the Cat could not bring himself to acknowledge.


Someone just needs to be the cutest thing in the house all the time. #selfabsorbedcat

For dessert I wimped out (new job people! No time for baking). And besides, when I have the head baker from Pastries So Tasty living next door, I’m not going to do apple and blueberry pies any better. But I can pour cheese and caramel popcorn into a bowl like nobody’s business. Just like the Pilgrims did.


No one complained. Packed up leftovers in these containers I made with Avery labels at their design site.


Super easy to use, I highly recommend it. There’s lots of pre-made designs to choose from or you can design your own (FORESHADOWING!!!).

So that was Thursday.  By Friday at 3:00, this was happening


Theme on this tree (family room) is red, gold and music.

DSC_0176 DSC_0168 DSC_0180Front room skinny tree is decked in green and silver,

And the basement tree is an homage to the upcoming Star Wars VII movie. I assume you all have your tickets already like we do. Right? *crickets*   #Nerdfoiles


We made the garland using Avery labels and silver cord. I’m telling you, it is ridiculously easy. You’ll see this again in upcoming posts (MORE FORESHADOWING!!!!).

And finally, The Simp…..sons Christmas Village.  “Um, Dasher, Dancer….Prancer, Nixon…Comet, Cupid…Donna Dixon?”  “Sit down Simpson”


Jealous, much?

I hope everyone gets to enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. I’ll be back with some treat ideas in the near future. With labels!!


From Halloween Roundup to
Practice Thanksgiving

For those who live in Chicago-land, it was your typical, rainy and cold Halloween. Followed immediately by a week of gorgeous 70 degree days. D’oh!

The rain didn’t stop the intrepid Green Arrow and Coke Can though, joined by their friend the Jawa.

or spooky porch decorations from being up, complete with fog bubbles

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or dads from The Block, providing images that nightmares are made of.

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Post trick-or-treating we came back here for some chili, Smitten Kitchen’s Easy Baked Mac-and-Cheese (I didn’t take a picture, so just imagine….mac and cheese) and of course, pizza.  We had a kids drink station, complete with haunted lamp and Sprite with brain ice-cubes (oh the things you find when you clean up your utility room after eight years!).

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Mbork made spooky deviled egg eyeballs


We made Halloween chocolate covered pretzels with bloody eyes (as one does)


And we also had this Hot Maple Bourbon Cider from Foodie with Family. Delicious. What is wrong with me, why do I suddenly like the hint of bourbon? Oh, no! I’m old!

Ok, that’s done. NEXT!

On to Practice Thanksgiving. Here is what was tried:

The Pioneer Woman’s basic Thanksgiving stuffing.


Food 52’s Andouille and Cornbread Stuffing and Martha’s Bacon and Herb Turkey Breast.


Yep, bacon in your turkey. That’s a thing.

Food and Wine’s Maple Ginger Roasted Vegetables. I only did carrots and Brussel sprouts because that’s what I had. And at the last minute, and because there was clear demand for the can-shaped cranberry relish *now with more can ridges!*  I decided to use the leftover cranberries from the stuffing to make a fresh cranberry sauce. I’ve done all sorts cranberry sauces with a bevy of fancy ingredients over the years: orange zest, Grand Marnier, ginger, citrus, etc. Yet this sauce won over even the most die hard non-cranberry eater next door.

Easy Cranberry Sauce

WHAT YOU NEED (for 5 adults)
2 cups cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a pot.  Cook about 10 minutes until cranberries burst, stirring frequently. Crush the cranberries with your spoon, but leave some whole.  It will thicken naturally.  That’s it.  All in, you’re talking about 15 minutes. No tubular plop sound and it lacks the slicing precision of the canned stuff, but delicious nonetheless.


While some liked the andouille sausage and cornbread stuffing, we didn’t think it was right for the Thanksgiving vibe.  So Pioneer Woman wins that round. The turkey is a keeper, though if I do a deconstructed turkey again, that means putting the bacon butter compound into all the pieces. But, then again, gravy flavored like bacon. Soooo…….yes.

And now, this.

IMG_1798Have a great week everyone.

The I’ll Do it Someday Someday is Now!

Sure, some people might have days off between jobs and go away for a weekend.  A spa day perhaps?  Maybe just lounge about on the porch and read some of those eleven books stacked up on one’s nightstand?  Sure, one COULD do that. Or, presented with 10 days of no kids at home and a husband who can reach things in high places, one COULD also embark on the biggest organizing and cleaning spree since one moved in here eight years ago.  And it was done. So say we all. #Nerdfoiles.

First up, the most significant change was Drummer Boy’s room losing its nursery motif. Because he’s 9.  Yep, 9. I never said I moved with lightning speed.


And changing colors


To a sports/Minecraft/Art theme more suited to a boy of his maturity.

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Next up, our closet.  Before:




Yes, I know the tag is still on it. I’m gonna wear it this fall, I swear.

But oh, it gets worse. Don’t worry, we’re getting there.  Laundry room before:





photoOh dear, now we go down to THE BASEMENT. Actually, it’s been more cluttered. We recently unloaded the baby toys (like play kitchens, small vehicles) so there are lot less large items. I remember buying this house thinking, “Now we have a finished basement, so all the toys will be down there and I won’t have to stare at a mess all day”.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, woo, woo, oh.  Whew!

Anyway, the basement before:

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And after

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Behind the bar, before


Behind the bar, after.  Why yes, we do need more can koozies.  Thank you for asking.


And finally, the utility room. Now, by way of background for those that are new here, at the old house we had a scary, spider-filled, space between the stairs where someone could easily grab you type of basement. Thus, whenever I would accidentally go to Homegoods, I would purchase a festive red platter, enjoy it, and then send that festive red platter down to said basement. Then the next time I accidentally went to Homegoods, I’d think “Hey, I don’t have a red platter” because, you know, object permanence issues. And down to the scary Hell-mouth basement that one would go too. Tablecloths would suffer the same fate. Resulting, as some  might say, in an excess of housewares. Now, however, there is no excuse as our basement is lovely. No excuse for THIS!



Or this tablecloth tower of doooooom:


But, finally all is in order.  With napkins in drawers labeled by season, kitchen and hand towels bagged by holiday:

IMG_1300Tablecloths loaded into a dresser by size of the table:


Often used items put within handy reach:


And platters and assorted dishes organized by color. As any normal person does. Right? Normal people do that, right?!!

IMG_1283Note the number of red dishes. It was a real problem.

Along the way a number of drawers were organized (nightstand, desk), supplies were created for the holiday gift I’m going to give the neighbors (SUSPENSE – it’s only September!) and Halloween Block Party planning/organizing has begun.

But for those who only come here for the food and not the OCD ramblings of a hoarder, what were some of the food highlights I made after seven days of seven straight hours of straight up straightening up?

Made this Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce from Can You Stay for Dinner.  Didn’t have green beans so I used broccoli.  Also, only used half the chili garlic sauce and it was plenty spicy for me. Did I take a picture – no, because I was too tired from all the before and aftering.

Also grilled up some very simple chicken legs.  This is a very simple, fast way to grill chicken legs with lots of flavor.


And, the never fail Ina Garten’s Baked Potato Wedges


The leftovers of which became Two Peas and Their Pod’s Loaded Baked Potato Frittata (fri-ta-ta – that’s a fun word to say) for dinner the following night.



And for dessert during my unemployment period?

Kentucky Butter Cake cookies from Cookies and Cups.


Oh, I may have also watched two entire seasons of Orphan Black at City Cousin’s insistence. Which means I also didn’t sleep very much on certain evenings.

So, ultimately, over the last two weeks we donated/gave away/boxed up for Mom’s garage sale:

  • 13 Hefty bags total of clothing and shoes
  • 4 bags of toys
  • 3 boxes of books
  • 3 boxes of ancient financial records shredded
  • 3 boxes of housewares

Buuuuuuut, nonetheless, I accidentally went to Homegoods because I had something to return (it happens!), and may have bought a new fall pillow and blanket.


Which Skunk the Cat is totally fine with.


Now go get your weekend on. I know I will as I have to go to the new job on Monday. There may be pumpkin bread involved.  Just sayin’

Happy Fall y’all.

Happy Birthday Dodd-Frank Act!

You share a birthday with my husband. However, Dodd-Frank, so far you have not shown me how you are useful or done anything to impress me. So you, Dodd-Frank, do not get a custom can koozie. Kevin, on the other hand, has done all that and more. So he gets one for his birthday:


Step up your game, Dodd-Frank.

My friend receives a monthly box of fair trade food/ingredients, similar to the Hatchery box I get. We’ll call her Mbork to protect her identity. She wasn’t sure what to do with the California peach vinegar she received and Jbork agreed. So they dropped it off over here. Challenge accepted!

20150718_090045What, what?!  That’s right, first up is Pineapple Salsa


1.5 lb fresh pineapple, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 jalapeño pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
1 cup finely diced red pepper
4 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP peach vinegar
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cumin

Whisk last 5 ingredients in a bowl. Add first 5 ingredients and stir. Cover and let chill at least 2 hours for flavors to meld. Serve with tortilla chips when you get to a 9 year old’s birthday party




Or save it as a topping for grilled fish.

What’s that you say? Big deal, so the bottle is missing about two tablespoons worth of vinegar?  Not going to concede? Alllllrighty then.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peach Vinegar Dressing

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP peach vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 heirloom tomatoes
2 TBSP sliced basil
1 ball burrata or mozzarella cheese

Combine first 4 ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Slice tomatoes and place on platter. Slice cheese and place under tomatoes (if burrata – cuz it’s messy) or on top of tomatoes (if mozzarella). Drizzle dressing over and scatter basil on top.


Had enough?! No? Prepare your face.

Pork Tenderloin with Peach and Ginger Sauce
adapted from Epicurious‘ recipe

1 TBSP canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
3/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup PEACH VINEGAR (Bam!)
2 TBSP minced or chopped ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 16 oz pork tenderloin
12 slices frozen peaches, thawed.

Heat vegetable oil in a pot on medium heat. Add onions and sugar and sauté until only slightly golden brown. Add remaining ingredients up to pepper and boil 2 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and cool. Once cool, add about a cup of the sauce to the pork tenderloins in a gallon size bag and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Store remaining sauce in refrigerator.

When ready, heat grill to medium. Remove pork from marinade and grill until done. “Done” is a subject of intense debate here at Lucky Rhino headquarters. Some members would defer to the USDA which lowered the pork safety temperature to 145 degrees with 3 minutes of resting time. Others of us feel that we aren’t going to be tricked by some shadowy government agency who is likely trying to grow a tapeworm army with humans as hosts and insist there not even be a hint of pink. Thus, 155 and 10 minutes of rest time it is.

Anyhoo, boil remaining sauce (don’t use the marinade) until reduced by half, about 5 minutes or so. Add the peaches and cook another two minutes. Slice pork and serve sauce over pork.

Sorry, pork simply doesn’t photograph well.

And, since today is National Ice Cream Day (yep!) I also made this S’mores Ice Cream Pie from Two Peas and Their Pod. Don’t worry, I didn’t put vinegar in it.


The only thing I changed, albeit inadvertently, is that I forgot to mix the cracker crumbs into the ice cream, but I don’t think anyone noticed.


And I also drizzled the top with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Because, why not?

And of course, then we went next door to Fake Sister’s house to make actual s’mores. Because, why not?


Have a great week everyone.

A Perfect Summer Sunday

Finally, a perfect summer day.  Hot but not too hot. No rain, no hail, no 50 degrees (hello, it’s July). Just a great day to play outside.  And The Block did just that.

But what to eat on this fine day? I subscribe to the Hatchery Box which sends a monthly box of various ingredients and sauces made by American businesses.  Here was July’s selection:


So tonight I used the 4 Rivers Smokehouse All Purpose Rub on grilled chicken  – delish, but spicy.


And made Cucumber Dill Potato Salad with the cucumber vinegar from Olivelle.


Cucumber Dill Potato Salad

3 lbs. small potatoes (either red or Yukon gold), scrubbed, cut in half or quarters depending on size
2 TBSP cucumber vinegar
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup thinly sliced, diced red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 heaping cup of fresh chopped dill
1 tsp kosher salt
ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water 1 inch above potatoes. Bring potatoes to a boil and boil 9-12 minutes until potatoes can be pierce with a fork. Drain and rinse potatoes.

Whisk the remaining ingredients in bowl in which you intend to serve the salad. Add potatoes and toss gently with rubber spatula to distribute the dressing. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Back outside.  You know what is even better that neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use? Neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use when they put up a big, jumpy water slide.


And you know what is better than that?  Neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use when they put up a big, jumpy water slide and serve Bourbon Slush Punch from Smitten Kitchen.


Here are some of my other favorite things this week:

Pixi Endless Silky Glide on Eye Pen


I was in Target and as I was on my knees, sobbing and cursing almighty Odin that Neutrogena had discontinued my bronzer/powder (I’m fun to shop with!), a beauty consultant suggested the Pixi by Petra line as a similar type product.  She also offered me a free sample of their eye pencil which she said would not come off until I took it off.  Challenge accepted.

Pixi Pencil 1, me 0.  Seriously, put it on at 7:00 a.m. on an 85 degree/90% humidity day.  Power-shopped the Nordstrom anniversary sale, cleaned the kitchen, put together appetizers, went to my step-nephew’s going away to the Navy party, dealt with my mother’s definition of air-conditioning vs my definition of air-conditioning, sat outside in the rain, binge-watched Bloodline until 11 p.m (do it, DO IT!) and consarnit if I didn’t need to get out the make-up remover. Target beauty consultant, I  salute you.

You need to watch this video by Studio C right now. And you need to do so on either a TV or at least a computer (i.e., not your phone).  This has become required viewing at our house. If you walk in, even if only for 5 minutes after dropping your college car off on return from South Bend before you catch the train to the city,


you will be shown this video by one of the boys. It is made by BYU students and is pretty hilarious.  Who knew BYU had such a high production budget? Scott Sterling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week everyone.  I’m off to NY for meetings for a couple of days, so nothing cookin’ on the horizon.  So you’re on your own.  Unless you want pasta with jarred marinara, in which case, I will ask Kevin to guest post.

Weather – Please Make up Your Mind I’ve Got Things to Do

And pick up your toys and dirty socks from the family room! Oh, no, wait, that’s the boys, not the weather.


Do you have tomatoes that are not up to par on the summer tomato bliss meter?  No problem, just slow roast them.  Yep, that’s right, I went right from pictures of dirty socks to food.  No time for segues.


And add them to my new favorite Summer Pasta Salad just as Smitten Kitchen predicted it would be.  She never steers me wrong. Do not fear the oregano amount.  She’s right, she’s always right. I used white wine vinegar for a lighter taste and ricotta sallata as I sometimes find feta overwhelming.


Also did Garlic Roasted Potatoes from Ina Garten.  With two luminaries of cookbooks like that, it can’t go wrong.  And since we were straddling between spring and summer over the weekend, we grilled steaks but then sautéed some asparagus.


Asparagus with Pancetta

1 tsp olive oil
1 lb asparagus, sliced on diagonal in 1 inch pieces
1/4 lb pancetta sliced thick and then diced

Heat olive oil in pan.   Add pancetta and stir until crisp.  Remove pancetta to a paper towel lined plate.  Add asparagus to the oil in pan.  Stir about 4 minutes.  Add 1 Tablespoon of water, stir and cover loosely and steam for about 3-5 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and tender.

Remove from pan with slotted spoon and sprinkle crispy pancetta over the asparagus.


What’s up for dessert.  How about giant Pretzel M&M Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod via What’s Gaby Cooking?  I really flattened them and thought that was better than when they puffed up.  But to each their own.


Now it is June so hopefully we’ll see some solid summer grilling weather. I made some teacher gifts of candle holders with 150 sharpened pencils and tucked in Gerber daisies in their own test tube vials.


Fake Sister had her very last day at grade school.

So after today, she and Drummer Boy will no longer be in school together.  Hang on, this computer keeps getting dust in my eyes. *misty*


Happy Last Day of School everyone!


We Had Pasta, Some Pasta, and Finished with Pasta

I promise you all, not in the same week.  Well, mostly not all in the same week. Somehow in the last week these recipes all rose to the tops of their various lists, so, armed with a loaf of rustic bread, I took on the challenge to see if the family would eat pasta three times in 7 days. Disclaimer:  Drummer Boy eats plain pasta every day, but that doesn’t mean pasta with actual sauce of any kind on it will skew the results here.

First up was Spaghetti All’Amatriciana from Blogging over Thyme.


I didn’t have the thick pancetta only thin in my refrigerator, but it still worked and was delicious. It’s a keeper.

Rating from the boys:  It didn’t make me gag (so 4 forks)

Next up was this lovely Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Bake from Bev Cooks.


This was really good, though a bit much to do on a weekday.  I happened to have roasted garlic cloves that I had put in the freezer which was my original inspiration. If I were to do this again on a weekday I would precook and chop the chicken and the roasted garlic.

Rating from the boys:  Dad already fed us before practice so we don’t have to try that, right? (So 3 forks it is).

And from Oh She Glows, Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto, a vegan pasta sauce that you really have to try.


As she notes in the recipe, it may not be the prettiest sauce, but it is good and rich.  I would recommend using the nutritional yeast, it gives it that pesto-heft.

Rating from the boys:  It was ok (call the MIchelin folks)

But sure, those are all carbs, but what if one needs more carbs with their carbs (to balance out all the vegan eating)?  Well, if one is lured by the siren song of free samples at Whole Foods, one might walk away having purchased this:


Might spread it on some rustic bread add some fresh chopped parsley.  Might even throw it under the broiler for a minute or two if one is feeling so inclined.  And then:


Need coconut water and celery, stat!

Volleyball, Spiderman and the Twilight Zone

I introduce these recipes without meaning any offense to the first two.  The first two were delicious.  Had we made only these two, the post-volleyball tournament, post-re-doing her son’s room, post-Religious-Ed mass with the dead grandmother movie (Grandma’s Bread – look it up) crowd would have been very pleased.

But then came the green beans.

First the Korean Style Bulgogi Steak, inspired by thekitchn.  Thekitchn tells you how to make your own gochujang sauce but requires gochujang paste.  Neither Jewel nor Whole Foods sought fit to provide me with this, but Jewel had pre-made gochujang sweet and spicy sauce.


So I looked at the ingredients, added what seemed to be missing (a little rice wine vinegar and neutral oil) and used it as a marinade for the steak and drizzled some extra on top.  Wonderful.

Then, having only one usable avocado, I made Smitten Kitchen’s Obsessively Good Avocado and Cucumber Salad.  It was, as advertised, obsessively good.  So much so, we didn’t take a picture, so here’s one of Guitar Boy before the oral report he had to give on Spiderman creator Stan Lee.**


Presented for your consideration. A humble pound of green beans. Trimmed. Fresh. But what happens next can only be explained in..the Delicious Zone.


These Roasted Ginger Sesame Green Beans from Foodie with Family come from another planet.   A planet where everyone finishes their green beans.   Where children (not mine!) willingly take them from their father’s plate. Fantastic. Thanks Foodie with Family.


** Our excellent friend Jeremy Manier commented on Facebook that if Guitar Boy wanted to make his Stan Lee oral report authentic, he should make brief cameos in other kids oral reports.  Genius.