Spicy Sautéed Kale with Tofu


Things are moving quickly around here!  I mean, not around here here (I’m long overdue for a post, sorry), but the regular, on-my-feet, day-to-day?  I mean, WHOOSH.  Moving.  Flying, really.

It always feels this way when summer slides into fall, doesn’t it?  Everything on the move, and days getting shorter.  There are lunches to pack, traffic to navigate and, in my case, a wedding to finish planning.  (I’m trying to sound casual about this, but !!!!!!!!!!!!@%$#^@&%*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is what’s actually happening in my brain).  We’re at T minus six weeks until matrimony, people!  Yeesh.

YEESH.  Let’s look at a tranquil photo of Ross Lake that I took this summer:

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And then let’s eat some kale.  It’ll calm our brains and help our bodies feel good… about our brains and our bodies.

We’ll sauté it in a hot, hot pan.  It’ll get wilty and crisp at the edges, and it’ll soak in all the flavor we throw at it.  Coconut oil for health and sweetness!  Garlic and red pepper flakes for bite!  Baked tofu for heft, scallions and sesame seeds for depth and crunch, and soy sauce and rice vinegar for salt and tang.

It’s a quick and flavorful option for a busy weeknight.  I’ve made it four times in two weeks, and I love it for its imprecise (in an I-don’t-feel-like-measuring-things way) deliciousness (you don’t really need to measure — just trust yourself and, if you need to, taste as you go.  You can’t mess this one up).  Plus it’s just so quick.  You can do it while packing lunches.  Or creating seating charts.  For your wedding.  In less than six weeks.

…Deep breaths.  And more kale.



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Classic BLTs


Summer’s not over!  Stop it with that.  Put your Halloween-candy away, Mr. Drug Store.  See these tomatoes?  SUMMER TOMATOES.


Make no mistake, Fall is my favorite season, but I’m not rush rush rushing to get there.  I don’t want a pumpkin-spice latte just yet, thank you.  Pumpkin-spice lattes mean heavy sweaters and the end of peach season and oh, yeah – that little October wedding thing.  Nooooot ready for that (I need to find shoes first, and also probably write some vows.  …Details).


I’m hanging on to peaches and tomatoes as long as I can, and as long as the calendar says it’s still summer (we’ve got a whole 19 days left until the first day of Fall!), I’m making a damn BLT for dinner.  (With peaches, I make grilled cheese sandwiches.)


The trick to this BLT recipe (if you can really have a “recipe” for bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwiches) is cooking the bacon on a wire rack set over a sheet pan in the oven (holler, sheet pans!).  Have you done this before?  It’s the only way I make bacon, these days.  Oven-baking frees up our hands to do other things (like get into the mayonnaise and shop for shoes online), and eliminates the inevitable bacon grease splatter burn of the stove-top method.


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Posted in Dinner, Sandwiches | 10 Comments

Homemade Oreos (Fauxreos)


It’s Fridaaaaaaaay!  Hallelujah.

And we have OREOS!  On our minds and in our mouths.  It’s going to be a good weekend.


I made these little beauties as a knee-jerk reaction to a few things that happened this week.  First, I ran my credit card through the washing machine, so that was fun for everyone.  Then I made friends with a giant spider crawling up the wall of my bedroom (totally awesome) and, finally, a bunch of the (very lovely, I might add) wedding invitations I sent out last week showed up in my mailbox, all marked-up and ugly-like, because the post office is a big fat idiot.  I’d like to return YOU to sender, post office.  And then shove like 5 homemade Oreos (fauxreos?) in my face.


I’ve been wanting to make my own Oreos for awhile now, but never went for it because it seemed like kind of a hassle.  For the record, it’s totally not.  The simple dough comes together (without the help of an electric mixer, I might add) quickly, and the cream filling is a breeze of butter and sugar.


And the real secret here?  …Salt.  (Kosher salt.)  There’s a generous amount of it in the chocolate cookie dough, and then an extra pinch is whisked into the filling, too.  It really helps balance the sweetness of the cookie and compliment the deep, dark chocolate flavor we’re going for.

So what are you waiting for?  It’s milk’s favorite cookie!  And it’s the weekend!  Homemade Oreos should probably happen.  Dunked then crumbled.  (Heyo.)


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Posted in Cookies & Bars, Recipes, Snacks | 8 Comments

Summer’s Best

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Oh haaaaaaaay.  Hi!  Yeah, I’m still here.  And it’s August!  Welllll into it.  Pretty much the Dog Days, just flying on by.   Where have I been, lately?  Oh, you know — just enjoying summer in Seattle, sweating my face off at the Zoo Tunes concerts, accidentally killing my potted plants (RIP, blueberry bush), trying not to get lapped while jogging around Greenlake, and diving headfirst into the biggest scoop(s) of soft serve you’ve ever seen.  Or else eating peaches.  So mostly just the usual.

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And I haven’t really been cooking.  Mostly because it’s pretty hot out, and the idea of turning on the oven sounds lousy.  But also because I just haven’t felt that motivated in the kitchen as of late — I’m not entirely sure why.  What gives?  Is it wedding stress?  Job stress?  Stress stress?

Whatever, I’m kicking it to the curb.  Let’s look to the archives for inspiration!

This time of year is all about the fresh produce.  What about this Sweet Melon, Cucumber & Goat Cheese Salad?  It doesn’t even involve real cooking.  Done!


Open-Faced Summer Sandwiches are the simplest, and are always a hit.  Bread + cheese + fresh fruit is the kind of math I can get behind.


Peaches right now are insane.  It’s almost a shame not to eat them straight-up, standing over the sink while the sweet juice drips down your chin — but this Cornmeal Peach Cobbler makes dessert extra special.


I’m trying to get all of the corn while the gettin’s still good.  The best are the ears so sweet and tender, you can eat the kernels raw.  I like to slice them right off the cob and throw them into this Summer Corn Salad.


White Chocolate Party Figs!  These are just one great big YES.



Are we feeling inspired yet?

I hope the answer is yes!  But just in case, here are some links to a few of my favorite, summer-inspired posts from around the interwebs:

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Marionberry Pie


It’s POTLUCK day!  On the interwebs.  I’m talking about the #SoLetsPigOut Potluck, a virtual get-together hosted by two beautiful and talented women, Em & Gina, who decided it’d be fun to gather their interwebs friends and collect a heap of recipes for one fantastic midsummer celebration.

Have you ever been to a virtual potluck?  It’s the same as a regular potluck, except you can show up pants-less and no one will be the wiser.


Not a bad deal, overall.

My contribution to the party is pie!  Because pie makes friends wherever it goes.  And I like friends.  And pie.


As a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest, marionberries are new to me – have you heard of them?  Or tried one?  They’re a variation of blackberry, indigenous to the state of Oregon, and they’re so, so good.  Plump and juicy and sweet, with some tartness thrown in for good measure.  I’ve seen them popping up in goodies all over the place here (muffins, scones, smoothies, jams, smooth jamz, etc.) which makes sense because they’re in season just now.

But I wanted in on the fun and, after a glimpse at the latest cover of Bon Appetit, I knew a pie was in order.


I used frozen marionberries because I found a reasonably-priced enormo bag of them at Whole Foods, and most of you won’t be able to get your hands on fresh ones, anyway, so let’s embrace the frozen berry!  They make for one fantastic pie.


Happy (virtual) potlucking, friends!  Make sure you check out all of the other pot-lucky posts and recipes, here and here.  It’s a (virtual) feast day.  SO LET’S PIG OUT!


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Posted in Breakfast, Crisps, Crumbles & The Like, Recipes, Snacks | 22 Comments

Watermelon Limesicles


More popsicles!  Because it’s hot and because it’s Friday and just because.  Can’t stop won’t stop, or whatever the cool kids are saying these days.

Watermelon-Limesicles!  They’re made to look like slices of watermelon, see?  With little chocolate chip “seeds” and everything.  How annoying am I??


These are easy peasy, though.  Just fresh fruit, the greenest lime sherbert, and a bit of time in the freezer.  The chocolate chip “seeds” can be optional, even.

I made these with my cousin-to-be, Sophia.  She’s a doll.


We think these treats would go over well at your next bbq, or for a summertime kid’s birthday party, or a summertime adult’s birthday party, preferably on a cool rooftop and maybe dunked in a glass of oh, I don’t know, tequila.  Or gin.  (The booze is my idea, not Sophia’s, because I’m a wizened almost-thirty-something and she’s a high school student with a heart of gold.)


The good news is that it’s watermelon season this very minute, so find a good one and get to popping!  (Do you know how to choose the best watermelon?  I found some good tips over at The Kitchn.)

Watermelon Limesicles for all!


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Posted in Recipes, Smooth & Creamy, Snacks | 4 Comments

Octavia’s Warm Shrimp Salad with Cantaloupe & Feta


Excuse me for a minute while I eat all of the popsicles and forget to blog about it (oops).

I spent last week in Sunriver, Oregon, where the air is hot and dry and the mountains loom quietly on the horizon.  We were there for Ben’s family reunion.  There were some sweaty bike rides, a dip in the pool, a few spirited games of pickle ball (a real game, apparently), lots of empty wine bottles, ample ice cream cones, plenty of deer sightings, and a whole lot of family time.


My niece, Matilda, says hello.



We drove through Portland to get to Sunriver, so we stopped at Lardo for pork meatball bahn mi sandwiches, cucumber salad and french fries.


A good decision.

In Sunriver, we pretended to know how to play croquet.


When we got back to Seattle, it was hot.  Real hot.  Like, sweaty-knee-back hot.  So we picnicked on the patio with cold white wine and this salad, which is plump with shrimp and tangy with arugula and feta.  The cantaloupe is a nice and unexpected addition; it really pulls the whole dish together.  It’s a salad for hot summer evenings, light and flavorful, as delicious at room temperature as it is warm.


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Posted in Dinner, Recipes, Salads | 4 Comments

Dark Chocolate Pudding Pops


Question: what do you do when your wedding rehearsal dinner venue bails on you, just a few short months before said rehearsal dinner is set to go down?


Answer: dark chocolate pudding pops.

I mean first you ball up your fists and let fly a few choice expletives at the computer screen, but then you just eat like twelve popsicles, and suddently the earth doesn’t seem like such an unfair place to be just now.  You know?


Chocolate pudding pops are actually the answer to many of life’s difficult questions.  For example: How can I show my partner that I love him/her?

Chocolate pudding pops!

I’m worried about global warming.  How can I help keep our planet cool?

Chocolate pudding pops!

What’s the meaning of life, anyway?

Chocolate pudding pops!  …Among other things, probably.

Why are my pants so tight?

Chocolate pudding pops, duh.


Whether you’re grappling with one of life’s major issues or just wondering what to serve at your 4th of July BBQ, the answer is clear: just look to the pudding pop.  You’re sure to land on something sweet (and deep and creamy, too) in the end.

Happy #popsicle week, everybody!  I hope you’ve checked out all the amazing pop recipes that went up this week, and have been enjoying them as much as I have.


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Posted in Recipes, Smooth & Creamy, Snacks | 3 Comments

Date Shake Popsicles


Shake your dates!  It’s officially summertime.

Here in Seattle, the days are long and gorgeous.  Everything is green green green, except when the sky turns pink for an almost-10-pm sunset.  People jog around Greenlake in short shorts, shoes crunching the gravel as they mosey or fly.  Groups of friends set up volleyball nets in the park, or spread blankets on the grass for a lazy midday picnic.  They splash in the lake with their little ones, or kick soccer balls or ride bikes.  One group practices some kind of “freestyle frisbee” situation, kicking and flipping and ducking and swooping, almost like they’re playing hacky-sack (remember that?), except with a frisbee instead of a little beanbag.  It’s probably really hard to do but it makes me laugh a lot to watch them.


Summertime rituals!  Easily dusted off and brought back to life.  My favorite rituals of the season are long walks outside, ice cream from a cone, sunblock that smells like coconuts, long cotton dresses, peach picking, new leather sandals, and, of course, popsicles.  Also freestyle frisbee.

Just kidding.

Popsicles!  Of all kinds.  I like the red, white and blue rocket pops.  I love fudgesicles.  I really want to try these smoked peaches and cream pops.  And date shake pops!  These ones happen to be the richest, creamiest pops I’ve ever made.  They’re inspired by the date shake — have you heard of this phenomenon?  Date shakes are basically just milkshakes made with fresh dates and vanilla ice cream.  Instead of going the ice cream route for these pops, I used coconut cream and a whole vanilla bean.  Holy sweet Mariah Carey.  They are good.


The dates bring an almost caramel-y flavor to the pop, and and the coconut cream’s lush, rich texture makes you feel like you’re eating the creamiest of ice creams.  And since they’re both sweet on their own, no added sugar needed!  Just some vanilla bean seeds for that floral aroma and the visual pop of black on white.  Three ingredients.  Boom.  Popsicles.

Do you have a popsicle mold?  They’re inexpensive and kind of the most fun (I own this one).  Don’t be like me and look for popsicle sticks at your local hardware store, though.  They won’t have them and you’ll go to two other places and waste nearly an hour before you realize you could just buy a pack of 100 from Amazon in about three minutes flat.

Let’s make popsicles.  It’s #POPSICLEWEEK!


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Posted in Recipes, Smooth & Creamy, Snacks | 20 Comments



Happy Popsicle Week, Peepsicles!

Billy, the hilarious wit behind Wit & Vinegar, has declared this first week of summer to be Popsicle Week, and so it shall be!  I’ve got not one, but TWO cool new pop recipes for you this week (if I can get my isht together, I mean), but in the meantime check out Billy’s Popsicle Week Page for all the amazing popsiclosity from the 37 other bloggers participating in this magical, brain-freezing, Mariah-Carey-approved week.

To start the week off in the proper spirit, here are two of my favorite past popsicle recipes:


Red Berries & Cream Popsicles.  They’re creamy and dreamy and the perfect color combo for a 4th of July BBQ, or to help you cheer on TEAM USA this Thursday (U-S-A! U-S-A! It’s the World Cup of CONCACAF!) in their match of death vs. Germany.


Whiskeyed Peach Pops!  Peachy sweet and refreshing!  With whiskey, so… POPTAILS!

And, just because… Dreamlover.  Ending this Monday on a (literal) high note.

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