not a substitute.

veggie burger

For a while now, we've toyed with a few different variations of the black bean burger. After making them a few times we still didn't feel like we had it right, the flavor was good but the texture was a bit too mushy.

We finally seemed to get a recipe together we liked, by combining elements from 3 different recipes. The bulgur gives a nice texture, and we tried it without breadcrumbs, but it just was not dry enough to form good patties. I like to make our burgers spicy, with a lot of flavor. I don't think they should be like a burger at all, but something great on their own. I'm sure we'll keep messing with the recipe, but we're happy with it for now.

I like to eat mine without a bun, it can be eaten either way. This is one of Tyler's favorite meals, which if you know him, says a lot. He's not a big fan of "meat substitutes."

black bean burgers
adapted from various martha stewart recipes
makes 4-8 patties, depending on size desired

1/2 cup bulgur
1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
breadcrumbs from 2 slices of bread (I used multigrain)
1/2 cup finely grated carrots (from 2 medium carrots)
1 red pepper finely minced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons hot sauce (to taste)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 buns
Sprouts, for serving
Avocado slices, for serving

In a large bowl, combine bulgur and 1 cup boiling water. Cover tightly and let sit until bulgur is tender, 20-30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to remove liquid, then return bulgur to bowl. In a food processor, pulse black beans until coarsely chopped. Add beans to bulgur, along with cheese, carrots, pepper, scallion, breadcrumbs, and egg. Season with hot sauce, salt and pepper; mix well.

Form into patties (I made about 8), and in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Cook until browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes. Serve on a bun or plain topped with sprouts and avocado slices.


faux film food friday

faux film friday
faux film friday
faux film friday
faux film friday
faux film friday
faux film friday
faux film friday
faux film friday
pics from my instagram this week

I've been eating a lot of koldskål lately, it's the most refreshing thing to have in the summer for breakfast or dessert. We also had a half a watermelon for dinner, which is always fun, and gigi even got to have some.

There are a couple shots of my garden so far, today I fed all my plants a new healthy dose of compost, I've got things blooming and baby fruits brewing. It's so exciting!


indian buffet

indian grilling
indian grilling
indian grilling
indian grilling
Lately when I'm really hungry, I crave the local indian lunch buffet. It's so good, and they bring around all the fresh naan you can eat. Every time I eat indian food I know I will roll out of there, uncomfortable, but not regretting that 6th piece of naan.

I wanted to translate that into our summer of grilling. Grilling pizza has been a favorite so far, so we have some experience with grilling dough on the grill. It worked great for naan. I really just wanted to eat all the naan I wanted in the privacy of my own home so I could just roll over to the couch and not do the walk/waddle of shame to the car.

This turned out really good, I highly suggest it for your next naan feast.

naan + chicken tikka kebabs + grilled veggies with mint raita
from bon appétit

for naan:
store bought (or homemade, if you're really good) pizza dough, rolled out to 6 inch circles

for chicken:
 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plain yogurt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper

for veggies:
red + orange peppers
roasted potatoes (optional)
vegetable oil
1 tablespoon garam masala*

for riata:
1 cup lowfat yogurt
1 heaping teaspoon garam masala*
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
salt to taste

*if you don't have garam masala, like I didn't, use this recipe

Chicken marinade
Combine the lemon juice, chicken, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl, let sit 30 minutes.

Mix 1/4 cup plain yogurt, minced garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon ginger and crushed red pepper in small bowl. Add to chicken and stir until chicken coated and refrigerate at least 3 hours to overnight. 

For veggies, cut each into 1 1/2 inch wedges, and coat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and garam masala. 

skewer chicken and veggies on bamboo or metal skewers and season with salt if needed.

Combine the ingredients for the raita and refrigerate.  

Heat grill to medium-high. Brush grill with oil, and put the dough on the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes, until bubbling, and flip and cool for another 2 minutes. Repeat for the rest of the dough and set aside. 

Put the kebabs on the grill and cook for about 8 minutes, until chicken and veggies are cooked through, rotating throughout. 

Serve with the raita.


One year ago, I got a half-son*

first birthday
first birthday
first birthday
first birthday
first birthday
first birthday
*half son because he's my identical twin's son, I wish I could steal him for my own!

Happy first birthday to my dear nephew Theo! A little summer solstice cherub. I was so sad to miss out on his party this weekend, my sister did such a great job. 

To commemorate the occasion, I made him a little freezer paper stenciled onesie (first picture) that he could wear to his party. I took the other onesies and dyed them a bright turquoise, to match the theme. It's one of my favorite baby gifts, because they live in onesies, but white is so blah. I love making gray ones, or olive green, it just makes them feel a bit more modern.

I got something for my sister that is useful for both of them, a chewbeads necklace. It's a genius idea, and from what I hear, Theo is obsessed with them. I think it's the perfect present for someone with a baby or for a shower gift. I also included my favorite summer coral nail polish, I couldn't resist.

I wrapped it all in a piece of the NYT and added simple labeled card. 

Isn't he the cutest? Breaks my heart every time I see those baby blues.


a need for aid.

a recent thrift find: a vintage first aid kit that included a lot of the original pieces like a tourniquet, smelling salts, and eye pads for days.

I'm having one of those weeks where the internet feels like my worst enemy, making me feel terrible and beating me down. I'm feeling sad that I can't be with my sister as she prepares for my sweet nephew's first birthday party, finding jimmies the perfect shade of blue and baking. I miss the everyday interaction I wish we could have. There are times it really depresses me.

So I'm going to try and recover by throwing myself into things that are tactile, I started a knitting project which always calms me. See you soon.


camping re-do

camping breakfast redo
camping breakfast redo
camping breakfast redo
We went camping this weekend to a new spot. Last time the weather was a bit muggy, this time we were hoping for the best (I still brought my sweatshirt, just in case). We got to our spot, made a simple dinner, with the major meal planned for breakfast.

I wanted to try something I'd heard about, where you make cake batter and put it in a hollowed out orange, wrap it in foil and put it in the coals in the campfire. I made two different cake batters, scented with orange zest, and had high hopes. Well they turned out. . . blah. Our fire maybe was too smoky, and they might have gotten overdone but they just tasted like smoky cake. I hate it when something like that totally strikes out. We still had some smores, and got ready to go to bed.

The weather was nice, but it started to rain. Then the dam burst above the sky. The thunder and lightning were constant and deafening, all night, and even until the sky started to get light. I had my usual crazy thoughts as I laid there awake, "is the campground going to flood?" "why did our campfire start back up in the rain?" I was determined to not to check the time.

When we got up in the morning, I was exhausted, and Tyler started prepping the grill for our big breakfast. I just happened to suggest that maybe we should just go home and get a pancake breakfast, and a half second later he tossed the charcoal and we were back home, eating a big pancake at our favorite place. That's our kind of camping.

But we did have that epic breakfast on Sunday, and it was great. I love camping.


food friday

iphone food
iphone food
iphone food
iphone food
iphone food
iphone food
iphone food
iphone food
iphone food

I sometimes used to post "food friday" posts, like it was a thing, but it kinda wasn't. Just a coincidence that half the time I post about food, and it would happen to be on fridays. But this one might actually stick. I started up on instagram a couple weeks ago, and I happen to take lots of pictures of. . . my food. And gigi. Radical, no?

We really killed it with the grilling this week, made the best pizza yet (no pics), shrimp boil kebabs, and fish tacos with fresh roasted salsa. Not to brag, but they were the shiz.

So maybe I'll keep posting my food round up on fridays, + if you're on instagram, be my friend! (only if you want to).



Here's a bit of a progress report on my garden, things are going well! A couple of my tomato plants are over 3 feet tall. It's thrilling to see flowers blooming, cucumbers clinging to cages, shoots coming up through dirt, and tiny tomatoes.

My only drawback so far have been squirrels. We have so many, and they are terrorizing my pots. They ripped out my carrots, which made me so sad. I put some cayenne pepper around to try and deter them, but I don't think that's a long term solution. I have flashbacks of ground hogs eating everything last year, so I hope they don't touch my produce. Anyone have any tips?


chair hound.

Chairs. We have quite the collection. I am very proud of the fact that we can sit 15 people in comfortable seats in our living room area without bring in extras (and it's not even cluttered). This last weekend Tyler had to go to a nearby campground, and while he was touring the grounds with the owner she showed him a family cabin, and these beauties were inside, dirty and neglected.

He instantly knew they were krueger chairs (a company that was making knock-off Herman Miller fiberglass chairs in the 60's) because we already have 7 of them. 3 armchair (connected laundromat style), we bought off someone's porch, and 4 small children's chairs that are the same style and color as these. The shape of them are just slightly off from the Herman Miller ones, but they still have the same vintage feel for a tiny tiny fraction of the price.

Of course he offered to buy them on the spot, but the woman didn't even like them, so Tyler just has to bring back 7 chairs to replace them. We have quite a few in our basement so that shouldn't be hard.

Tyler cleaned them up and scrubbed off the rust, and they look great as our new dining chairs. We have a few extra, but we don't mind. :)




We picked up a friend's CSA box the other day, and all of a sudden I was faced with fresh local produce that I didn't want to go to waste. I made a shaved asparagus salad with fresh greens and a fried egg for dinner, brewed a batch of mint tea, and I made a strawberry and rhubarb compote. It was my first compote, which to me that word is so loaded. compote. Seems like something really fancy, but maybe also gross? It's not an appetizing word.

I used this recipe, and made a batch, put it in one of my beautiful weck jars, and was pretty proud that I made a compote. Really, it's just a fresh jam that isn't cooked until gelled. Delicious, delicous jam that for some reason doesn't make you feel as guilty when you eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon.

Tyler was a bit scared of the "compote" until he tasted it and realized it was the jam. Right now I'm eating it with plain yogurt, or spread on an english muffin.

It may have been my first, but it won't be my last.
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