Tag Archives: food

Vegan Cookies ‘n’ Cream Cupcakes

A couple years ago when I was in college, my vegan friend Debby (as in Debby’s Kale Chips) brought some cupcakes to school. Being an omnivore myself, I was a little skeptical. But who turns down a cupcake covered in fluffy icing with what appears to be an Oreo plopped on top?!

Well, luckily, not me. Because that was the most amazing cupcake I had ever had.

When our 2/3 vegetarian Cincinnati friends from The Seedy Seeds stopped by our apartment this past weekend I jumped at the opportunity to bring these cupcakes into their lives. Now I am bringing them into your life.

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Beef & Vegetable Stir-fry

Earlier this year Jamie Oliver hosted a show on ABC called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution where he spent time in Huntington, West Virginia (apparently one of the unhealthiest communities in the US) and tried to get them to eat better and cook fresh, whole foods at home.

Much of the show involved Oliver trying to get schools to provide better lunches and it was eye-opening to see all of the obstacles that something as good-intentioned as that turned out to be.

When he wasn’t at the schools he was trying to get people to eat healthier at home by doing cooking demonstrations that would show how easy, fun and healthy home cooking could be. One of his go-to dishes was stir-fry. It did indeed look quite tasty and simple so we couldn’t resist trying it ourselves.

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Simple Smoothie Secrets

Everyone seems to agree that Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. My favorite way to address the fruit issue is with a smoothie first thing in the morning.

I buy frozen fruit or freeze cut-up leftover fresh fruit before it gets a chance to go bad and store them in pre-measured portions in the freezer so that in the morning all I have to do is place the fruit in a blender with some almond milk, fruit juice or coconut milk and blend. Using frozen fruit means you don’t have to dilute the flavors down with ice cubes to get that ideal smoothie texture and it’s also an easy way to always have nutritious fruit on hand. I’ll never waste fresh fruit again! Once the bananas start to go I peel them and freeze.

Fruit is deliciously sweet on it’s own but sometimes I’ll add a little bit of honey or agave nectar if I’m craving something extra.

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Chicago Bacon Takedown

It is official: You are reading an award winning blog. (Or, uh, our recipe won the award, but still!) More so, the award is related to a food item we all have a love-hate relationship with because we can never get enough of its salty, fatty, crispy deliciousness.

Oh, bacon.

After we wrote about baking bacon last week, Kendall happened upon an article requesting more competitors in the Chicago Bacon Takedown, a competition of amateur cooks to create the BEST bacon dish for 250 people to sample at Lincoln Hall. After showing the article to me, we both accidentally shrugged the idea off. The next day, with less than twenty-four hours before the Takedown, the prospect of receiving 15 pounds of no-strings-attached bacon to cook with sounded like a great idea. We e-mailed the guy coordinating the event,  promptly started brainstorming while swearing not to get our hopes up and… well, waited.

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Makin’ Bacon (In the Oven)

What can we say about bacon that hasn’t been said before? Nothing. (see Jim Gaffigan video at the end of this post)

I had heard once or twice before that making bacon in the oven was the best way but never tried it before and decided to remedy the situation.

It was super simple, delicious and easy to clean up. One of the nicest things about it is it’s pretty much hands off—once it’s in the oven you just wait 20 minutes and it’s done—freeing you to focus on whatever other food you’re preparing that will soon be improved with the addition of bacon.

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Thai Coconut Curry Scallops

This meal is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss recipe alterations. Yes! This means that if you hate something or you don’t have an ingredient—you have permission from the cooking world to change a recipe to your liking. Just try it. It is fun. It is liberating. And it makes someone else’s recipe seem more like your own!

We have a very (un)organized stack of recipes that have been printed from the internet over the years. Some of them have been tried, tested and perfected while others have remained untouched and when we feel stumped about what to eat we often turn to this trusty stack for inspiration.

For this meal, we were looking for something that differed greatly from the Italian fare we had been eating, so we honed in on this Thai dish. The original dish called for halibut but we opted for scallops because of  a $7 per pound price difference at the sale price of $14.99 per pound. (Also, we just love scallops. I owe my obsession, partially, to watching them getting seared over and over again on  Hell’s Kitchen.)

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Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage

So we made orecchiette yesterday. It was an exciting day. We made the dough, shaped the pasta and then put it in the fridge for about 6 hours, because Rocco’s book told us to: “It is best to make the dough and shape it the night before, letting it dry in the fridge overnight.” Then it came time to cook the pasta and eat it in a meal…

Have you ever picked out a recipe to make and you had no idea what one of the main ingredients was?

Well, if you haven’t then shame on you. No, I’m kidding. I do understand the hesitance most people have when encountering new foods; I used to be this way, myself. There once was a day when I wouldn’t touch feta cheese, onions, olives and even, are you ready for this one?, tomatoes. As I’ve gotten older, however, I have found that the foods I hate usually end up becoming my favorites. This is why I am hesitant to say I hate any food. (Who wants to end up loving brains? I don’t.)  When someone says to me, “Oh, I don’t like _____” it is hard for me to not respond by saying, “I used to hate ______ too, then one day I actually tried it.” Turns out, people don’t like being force-fed.

Like I said, the recipe for the orecchiette we made yesterday came from Rocco’s Italian American and, subsequently, so did the recipe we used the orecchiette in. The exciting part was that this recipe had a mystery ingredient in it: broccoli rabe.

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