Bread and (no) Butter

hey readers but mostly josie because she’s the only one who keeps up with our posts!!

Welcome to a Loose Ends post—aka, Brynne is off somewhere studying for the LSAT so I can’t get her to send me pics of any of the meals we made this past week, so I have to go based off of what I’ve snapped a quick pic of. The futility is pretty embarrassing.

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Cropped out? Coffee mug + my bpa free water bottle.

Something that isn’t embarrassing, though, is the pure, sweet and yet raw talent that one Taylor Lynn Barbera possesses for making FRENCH TOAST. [Brynne’s note: It’s true.] Readers, Lynn LOVES a french toast. In fact, on a recent facetime between the ynn ladies and friend of the blog E Frank, she [she being Lynn] rated french toast as her first choice of sweet breakfast carb, coming in hot before waffles, and then, eventually, pancakes. Honestly, pancakes just aren’t that special. Like, check those ingredients? Flour? Who’s she? Baking soda? You’ve GOT to be kidding me. The shape isn’t even interesting like with a waffle. I have to defend myself here because Ellie and Brynne both SHAT all over my rankings—and I’m pretty sure Brynne ranked f. toast last, so… let us know what you think. [Brynne’s note: Pancakes are just too good to be ranked last. Lynn is wrong.]

Anyway, the above pictured treat was my (Lynn’s—sorry, moving out of the third person here) second FrTo of the summer, and it only happened because Brynne and I have been coming into a lot of dough recently. And by dough I unfortunately mean literal dough in the form of bread. You see, we made an investment on a hunk of sourdough from whole foods (fuk amazon), which turned out to be a sham because it was too thick and hard for our grilled cheese needs. Then, we came back from Chan, as Brynne and her high school friends call it, with a full loaf of nice multigrain from Deirdre! Thanks, Deirdre! That’s the bread I used for the second go-round of french toast. And most recently, another mom blessed us with the miracle of bread. This one was from one Wegman’s, aka my home grocery in New Frickin Jersey. It is called marathon bread because it has so much shit in it that you feel 26.2188 miles better after a bite. Thanks Maura!

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These gals will do anything for a treat

Alright, so we’ve covered the bread. Here’s where I’ll have to cheat a bit on the picture front. If you’ll pan to the left, you’ll see that I’ve in fact used a screenshot of a photo that Brynne took. You’ll have to forgive me. Here we are getting ready to devour two (2) ice creams (one vegan, the other possibly lactose-free, but I don’t really trust that guy) from MN Nice Cream, which is one of those over the top places you see on the gram and think, ‘wow, fuck the people who wait in line for that shit and by doing so make this a *thing.*’ We were those people on this day! I flashed my ankle tattoo (god you people just remember that I m a cool girl) and got my order for half off: it was a veg strawberry w/ veg cookie dough (lol) and sprinkles (unfortunately, the circle kind and not the long kind)—whereas Brynne (a cool girl minus the ink) paid full price for her cone of choc/van swirl with cookie dough (dairy full) + sprinkles + peanut butter drizzle. We were happy. Ask us about our line parters.

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Finally, a meal that courses through my veins even still as I type this: a hummus n veggie platter made by this pictured cutie. We’d just returned from a pretty strenuous trip to the grocery store (Fresh Thymes this time) and wanted to settle down with the following:

  • carrots
  • sweet potato crackers
  • ancient grains
  • cucumbers (ugh)
  • red pepper hummus
  • yogurt (1 cashew, 1 reg) + pb granola + banan + chia seeds
  • episode of broad city

I did have to leave in the middle of the episode because I am a sucker for a facetime call, so I did miss out on some of the snacking—and then Brynne had to LEAVE, but she left me two ancient grains, so I was satiated. Thanks Brynne! [Brynne’s note: You’re welcome. Also, I love cucumbers. Also, I’m not topless in this above pic, it just looks like I am because I’m wearing a shirt with tiny straps.]

and if you think you’re getting more than that, you’re wrong. those are all the pics I have. I get it, Brynne’s better than me. Tell me something I don’t dream about. [Brynne’s note: Flattering but untrue!]

 

xoxoxLYnnand BrynNE

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brynne’s literally never seen a spring roll

[Brynne’s note: Ok right off the bat I just want to ASSERT that I HAVE seen a spring roll. This is an ignorant title.]

hey to the 7 of you poppin in on our little site

Right now you can catch me, Lynn, switching tabs to read Brynne’s last post to gain some sense of what we’ve been eating since then. I’m disoriented, aight? As disoriented as you might expect from a whirlwind trip to the Diggins home—yeah, we went to a lake. yeah, we had family dinner. And surprisingly… no, we didn’t do the infamous three mile loop. [Brynne’s note: Tragic.] Does this sound familiar, dear readers, to last summers’ suburban adventures?

Here’s where it all went haywire. PS, do we know where the term “haywire” comes from? Someone look it up for me. I don’t get it.

Deirdre, Brynne, and myself tried our hands at making Spring Rolls.3757650.jpg

 

This was a bfd (a big fucking deal—not to be confused with the bfg, the big friendly goatee that my dad used to have), so when Deirdre brought home the veggies, Brynne and I rolled up our sleeves (jk, it’s summer! although if you’ve ever been in Brynne’s basement, you’d think winter never ended! [Brynne’s note: I love when the AC is on in the summer bc I can pile on the blankets!!! Bring me that comfort of being weighted down by down (feathers)!) and got chopping. Now, here’s the thing. I’m a gal who’s pretty familiar with a spring roll. You could even venture to say that I’m a gal who knows her way around an Americanized Vietnamese restaurant’s menu. So when I get my hands on that cucumber, I’m slicing that shit in long vertical strips—you know, like in a spring roll. But when my attention drifts for just one moment just oneeeee inch to the right, I see Brynne chopping her cuc in—wait and take a breath before you read these next words—she was cutting this long, long beautiful green vegetable in stubby little squares. LIKE IT WAS THE TOMATO PART OF PICO DE GALLO!!!

[Brynne’s note: Ok wow this is a LIE! They were not STUBBY LITTLE SQUARES I cut them into just thicker than normal strips!!! ok!!!]

Wow. It took all the strength I had to keep my knife pointed toward my cutting board. What I didn’t keep pointed toward my cutting board was the tone of my voice when I shrieked BRYNNE… have you ever seen a springroll? like the effing kitchen monster I am. Brynne defended her decision, though with some hesitation. She knew that she’d been caught, so she moved on to a vegetable that one might find more easy to slice in verticals—the bell pepper.

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An incredible veggie, the bell pepper, in that it is typically served in these thin, long slices that curve at each edge, as picturedin the image. And yet. When again, I couldn’t help but drift my gaze toward my co-chef… sheer and utter disappointment stuck when I saw the tiny squares she was creating with her knife. Had she not learned from our previous lesson? If anything, was she not afraid of my trembling clutch on the knife during the cucumber situation?

[Brynne’s note: Ok Lynn I didn’t realize this was just a post to ruin my life. Remember how I learned and did better as I went along???]

Now, I’ll have to get to the point before I work myself into a tizzy—slash before Brynne’s mom calls her and tells her to move out of our apartment. Eventually, our veggies (a mixture of sizes, as you can imagine) were laid out in bowls: avocado, cabbage, carrots, the cucs and pepps. Yum. Now here’s where some assembly was required: we had a pack of brown rice spring roll wraps (thanks, Whole Foods!), which had to be dipped in warm water to enter their soft, flexible form so familiar to us. tbh they looked like that one rly huge thing that the priest cracks in half in Catholic mass—the eucharist—the body of Christ, if you prefer.

So the Diggins boys plus the chefs of the night tried our hands at this situation—to much chagrin on our parts. The youngest brother decided to double-wrap. The eldest said “what is this!” a lot of times and ate some naan. Deirdre used a fork. I followed suit. And Brynne? Well she did pretty well, didn’t she.

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oh also we used peanut sauce.

oh and also here’s a pic of brynne reading at the lake. [Brynne’s note: Imagine this exact posture and facial expression as I am sitting reading this draft of Lynn’s blog post, except instead of reading feminist queer dystopian short stories, I am reading my friend righteously make fun of me!!]

 

see you soon, y’all

xoxo lynnie & brynnie

 

Authentiqué Prague

What? Brynne, Lynn, you aren’t together! One of you is in Minnesota, the other is in… Europe, somewhere? Right? How could you possibly be dining ynn together?

And I’ll admit, neither of us bridged this thousands-of-miles gap to physically cook in the same space, but we formed a special bond this summer that essentially means every meal we cook is a Dining Ynn meal. And today is no different–though we do have a guest cook to introduce! More on her later. Because now it’s time to talk about our…

Soup de Potimarron

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Above you’ll see:

a) guest cook Maya

b) what looks like half an entire loaf of bread

c) THE REAL DEAL! THE SOUP!

Here’s the scoop (rhymes with soup) on the Potimarron: it’s Yum. It’s not a pumpkin, but it is a squash. Square/rectangle deal. Our host mother here in Prague has a cottage in the country (no joke) where she grew this particular potimarron and left it for us to make us of, so we found the hyperlinked recipe w/ honestly relative ease after doing some research about what the name for a small misshapen pumpkin might be, and then we made it! First, we chopped up our potimarron, drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled on some s & p (salt & pepper), and popped the slices in the oven for an hour at 190 degrees C (sorry, baby, we’re in Europe now. make your own c to f conversion)! Here’s what they looked like when finished roasting:

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Would be a great pic if that one hadn’t broken in half.

Let me tell you, we could’ve stopped right here. This squash smelled SO GOOD we could barely STAND it–it was this nutty, buttery smell apparently very characteristic of the Potimarron. We wouldn’t know, but we do now. Unf. As these good-smellin’, good lookin’ slices were cooling off, Maya began to sauté a red onion in a soup pot w/ some olive oil. Lynn chopped up 3 small carrots (also probably from the host’s garden!) and threw them in. Then, it was 3/4 cup of milk–HANG ON, we have to stop here to put in a quick note: We chose to use coconut milk because of Lynn’s newfound possible lactose intolerance and Maya’s chronic lactose intolerance. This is important to note because it will come back later. You’ve been warned–and 1/4 cup of water, but we added a teensy bit more water because the coconut milk was a little thick. Foreboding music.

 

 

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Maya stirs away like a SoupPro!

 

As the carrots became more tender (like Maya’s heart & aura), these ladies got scooping! No, not ice cream. Yes, the potimarron. Obviously. We scooped the squash in all its deliciousness out of its skin and into a lil bowl, which we then dumped in the soup bowl. Splash.

And now we’ve come to a first in Dining Ynn history. Don’t worry, Brynne won’t be offended that she wasn’t there for the ceremony–it was a small gathering anyway. She’s just glad she didn’t have to bring a gift. But in all seriousness, it was a big fucking deal when we broke out the soup blender.

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A little phallic, no? That’s right, no. We aren’t phallocentric on this blog or in this life

This tool was a little anticlimactic because when we placed it in the pot, it didn’t seem like much was happening. But much was, on the micro scale! I’m no chem major, but damn I knew that mixture was getting more homogenous with every “buzz” of the blender. We blended it up for like maybe 7 minutes? HOWEVER, it should have really been blended more. Like maybe an additional 5-7 minutes. More on that later.

Actually, more on that now. The soup… wasn’t that great. It seemed to have a chalky feel about it, and the taste seemed like it couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be sweet or savory. Even when we added salt, it wasn’t… right. We think it was the coconut milk! It was too creamy and perhaps not blended well enough to sub for plain old regular milk! And we should’ve blended it more! Damn!

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blendini 

So what did we do? 

We ate most of our soup & planned to fix it the next day–which we did by adding a ladle-full of water and blending, blending, blending! And surprise! It tasted SO MUCH BETTER! It was really, really yummy & had a good buttery flavor. We ate our whole bowls that time AND went back for seconds. Turns out, this is a good soup! Just needed a little bit of love and care. Thank GODDESS we had Maya.

 

That’s all for now, and maybe all you’re gonna get from this side of the pond, because Prague has a lot of pubs to offer, and these gals might not dine ynn too soon.

love ya

ciao

ahoj

 

Lynn Falters, Then Fails

Hey. God, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do this. But… it’s been three days, and I’ve made nothing. Nada. Zilcherino. Pathetic, no? I’m trapped in my AZ home all day and I have nothing better to do than prepare a meal for my mother and myself, no? No. So here’s what I’ve got for you on this fine Friday morn (MST).

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ugh please ignore the rubber band in the upper right quadrant of this photo 

I kind of (but not really) made a fruit salad. A mini one. Like, this is a one-serving fruit salad. I know because I put the remnants in the refrigerator and they were gross the next day. I didn’t use tupperware. Why is this “not really” a fruit salad? Take a look, dummy! I didn’t even toss the “ingredients,” if you can even call them that! I literally filled a bowl with watermelon and thought “huh, this could use something else” and then added grapes, blueberries, and half a banana. A note on the banana: weird thing to mix with the other parts of this salad. Would not recommend.

So… like… I guess I would describe how I put these things together, but I don’t think I can burden you with those details at this point. I cut the watermelon–that was a step–but the grapes and bloobs just got thrown in. And let’s ignore the banana. All in all, it was pretty tasty??? But like… obviously….???? Ugh. Pray with me that Brynne has something interesting and delicious planned for the next blog post. In the meantime, here are 2 more pictures of this FFS (fake fruit salad):

 

 

PS: while I was writing this blog post, I could have been writing the essay that I desperately need to finish today!!!!!!!!!!

Ruby Rose? More like Maura Rosé!

You know what’s deplorable? My genuine inability to remember the difference between Amber Rose and Ruby Rose. Like, up until this moment when I did some internet research (after having a second thought about this title), I thought that Amber Rose was the striking accented beauty that straight white girls would “go gay for” when she appeared in Orange is the New Black. I know–please stop, Lynn. Please get your act together. A quick Google slapped me in the face with the info that Amber Rose is in actuality a 5’9″ American model and actress (you know her from the racist/misogynistic people who don’t want her to be comfortable with her body).

Try to learn from my mistakes and figure this one out on your own. This is all to say that Brynne isn’t the only gal cookin’ up meals after we’ve gone separate ways! Although I was encouraged to make this meal (instead of eating another bowl of Honey Bunches) by my dearest mama, the titular lady Maura. We decided that we were going to have a gals night in consisting of a game of Quiddler (I won), a bottle of pink drink, a homemade dish, and 60 Minutes (Unfortunately, it was a re-run, so we ended up watching an episode of GLOW instead. Maura didn’t love it [Brynne’s note: Does Ellie know????!!!]). For the homemade portion of our evening, we decided to make Curried Lentils with Coconut Milk!

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“I don’t know how it’ll look in a picture, but the taste is good!” -Maura

We started out with the chopping–Maura chopped an onion because of my sensitive eyes, and I used a fancy mincing tool to mince 2 cloves of garlic (note that my fingers still ended up smelling like garlic) and a tablespoon of fresh ginger. We then used a fancy crock pot (thanks, mom!) to sizzle these babies around with some spices–turmeric, coriander, and cumin–for ten minutes until the spices “were very aromatic.” I will note here that I obviously did not set a timer for ten minutes, as is my way, and when my mom asked how long we should let our spices & veggies simmer, she was incredibly disappointed in my Oscar-like behavior. But guess what? This girl’s nose twitched up a storm and she knew when it was time to add the lentils, etc!

The recipe calls for split red lentils, but we only had brown lentils (#galsonabudget), so we used those in combination with a carton of coconut milk (poured in, then filled with water to be poured in) and 1 tsp of salt because Maura had already put in a tsp salt earlier. That’s just the way she does things. Then we turned the heat to high and waited for that baby to boil, boil, toil, and trouble, bitches! When it did, we noticed that there was like a lot of liquid in there, but not to worry! The recipe assured us that it would cook down. Duh. 20 minutes, some stirring, and 1 game of Quiddler later, we were ready to slather our lentils on top of some rice (we used brown, but jasmine would’ve been better), pop a store-bought piece of naan in the toaster (sacrilegious behavior), and enjoy our ladies meal and wrestling (not really) show!

We loved it! Maura suggested that because we used brown lentils, they were a little tougher and needed a bit longer to cook, but we thought it was fun that they gave a little crunch. We also decided that next time, we would include another veggie, like a carrot or cauliflower. It was so yum though–and I’m not just saying that because in the moment I was high on the glory of my card game win! I just had another bowl for lunch and it was still delicious and ginger-y! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see how Brynne’s going to top this one!

Brynne’s note: Jus

Goodbye Tour USA

Have you read Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood? Because wow, the Lynn and Brynne from our first post about intercoursing squirrels have essentially transported through time to get to this moment, our final meal crafted together (for the time being). I’m now having second thoughts about this time thread being from Cat’s Eye. Shoot. You know what we’re talking about though, right? It’s like all the time in between didn’t even exist–all we have to remember it by are pictures of our dumb faces shoveling malts and certain intense associations with the song “Ticket to Ride” by The Beatles.

 

We had a ticket to ride on Wednesday night. A ticket to ride all the way to Italy with our Kale Pesto Pizza. [Brynne’s note: insert a 5 second pause before saying the following] Beep beep beep beep, nuh-yeah! If you follow that hyperlink (does anyone? you all are basing your summer meal plans off of ours like in Julie & Julia, right?), you’ll note that this particular meal is advertised as being vegan and gluten free. Would’ve been a super interesting recipe to make, but these ladies don’t own a vegetable spiralizer (and couldn’t find one at Cub [Lynn’s note: @brynnec my local grocer, Fry’s Food & Drug, would definitely carry vegetable spiralizers, so what do you think of your precious Cub now? You still love it? Oh, okay.]) and didn’t want to spend money anyway #galsonabudget, so we instead made this a non-vegan, gluten-full pizza and used the above recipe only for the pesto–which was yummy!

While Brynne took a shower, Lynn prepped the pizza dough. Mind you, we’d stopped halfway through an episode of Grey’s Anatomy to partake in these competing activities, so tensions were running high. This lead Lynn to look for an easy way to get pizza dough, quick! 

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Quickly making dough, blurry lady!

From a combination of online recipes, she scrounged together that she’d need 2-ish cups of flour, 1-ish tablespoons of yeast, less than a cup of warm-ish water, and maybe some salt and sugar. She experimented a little, then finally had a ball of something to let rise in the oven. While the dough rose, so did the happiness of one Brynne as she spoke to her mom (and the first-ever Dining Ynn subscriber!) on the phone. Lynn, with the help of Brynne’s taste-testing, pesto-d it up with kale, walnuts, garlic, evoo, and lemon juice. “It’s too salty” said Lynn. “It’s pretty lemony” said Brynne. Brynne was right. More kale in the food processor!

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Pesto! Kale Pesto!

At this point, we excitedly took out the eggplant we had bought as a “substitute” vegetable for the zucchini called for in the OG recipe–we’ve been eating a lot of zucc this summer, you should know–but when we cut into the purple demon, we found that it had gone bad! Strike two for Cub Foods!!! [Brynne’s note: I don’t think we can completely blame Cub on this one. I think we just don’t know what a good eggplant looks like??] So with some quick thinking, we pulled out a potato (interestingly enough, the potato we had been planning on using for the GF crust of this pizza pre-spiralizer dilemma) and sliced it up real thin (to the effect of a French Meadow flatbread we had shared some days earlier). We took out some yellow tomatoes and grape tomatoes from the garden #galswithagarden and sliced those up too. Brynne was aiming for a rainbow-inspired ‘za.

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Rainbow!

After the pizza dough had risen and the veggies had been sliced, we rolled out our dough on a lightly greased & floured cookie sheet (#thecookiehouse), spread on some kale pesto, then a layer of veggies, then sprinkled the top with some goat cheese (leftover from our yummy Summer Salad #galswhouseleftovers), a layer of spinach and garden basil, then more cheese. Wow. Spectacular. We had some leftover slices of potato that we threw on the pan and seasoned with rosemary–and then Lynn got excited about spices and put some oregano on top of the pizza for shits & giggles. We baked it at 375 for 20 minutes while we went on the porch to admire some roses!

When it came out of the oven, Lynn brought it out to her porch ladies to inspect/show off, rightly so. It looked like this:

 

After that, we dug in. Big time. Hard core. All out. There were leftover slices of potato in the oven and yeah, we forgot about them! Whatever. Our pizza was delicious.

What happened next? We stayed parked on that porch until Brynne said, “It’s time for something sweet! Cake balls, babies!!!” [She didn’t really say that but that’s what she thought.] These were a last-dinner extravagance we knew we needed, and a good activity for us to divert our minds and stress during our Grey’s Anatomy watching.

We created these by making a cake mix from a Valentine’s day red velvet heart-shaped situation. The dye was very intense. Turned everything pink. Yeesh. Baked it up, cooled it, crumbled it, combined with Deirdre’s secret recipe for delicious frosting. Nice! Next up: cover it in chocolate and sprinkles.

 

The chocolate situation should be noted: Don’t just melt hot chocolate in a microwave. Put some butter in that baby and melt it in a pan, you freak. Just don’t mess with the radiation!! It won’t work!! Drizzle chocolate on top of the cake ball creations and shake sprinkles on top, then pop them into the fridge to cool off!

After chilling for a few hours, they were delicious. The chocolate tasted rich and buttery. The perfect end to a perfect dinner and summer.

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Cheers, ladies.

Brynne’s note: Thank you, Lynn. Thanks for being my co-chef and an inspiration to innovate in the kitchen, among many, many other things. Miss ya much, roomie/friend/love/co-worker/did I mention friend?. Can’t wait to keep blogging and chatting with you “Call Your Girlfriend”-style.

Lynn’s note: Lady B, you are the joy of my world. Thanks for enduring a summer of my bullshit and bringing me along many walking and some pastry-inspired journeys. You’re my favorite face to look at underneath my armpit a la “thread the needle,” and my favorite little bitch (in the feminist sense!).

Every Day Is A Flaming Shine

So picture this: you get back from traversing a waterfall and burying a corpse, and you’ve worked up quite an appetite. Yeah, you shared slivers of apple dipped in peanut butter and chunks of the walnut date bread that Lynn wouldn’t stop talking about, but hey! That was more than a 0.8 mile loop! You did some jumping! You need something to satiate the void your husband left!

You make Brown Butter Brussel Sprouts Pasta with Hazelnuts

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She looks so Young and Hip! The sign behind her says “DONT MESS UP OUR KITCHEN” 

We had a brief debate over whether to make this recipe with or without the pasta–we’ve been on a pasta heavy diet this week–and decided that to make the best of our leftover situation, we would use some spaghetti from our VEG spaghetti and meatballs situation as our /noodle of choice/ #galswhouseleftovers.

Three ladies get to work: Lynn browns the butter, Ellie roasts the hazelnuts, and Brynne chops the brussels sprouts and garlic. When the hazelnuts became FRAGRANT (i.e. Brynne said “It smells like hazelnuts!”), Ellie took them aside in a towel to begin shelling them (“Their skins are not coming off!!”).

 

 

 

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Ellie sheds her non-cook skin

While Ellie cranked away, so did Brynne and Lynn. We olive-oiled up the hazelnut pan and made it into a brussels sprout & garlic pan. We then realized for the nth time this summer that we had not learned from our past mistakes (check the archive), and our pan was too small to accommodate our large number of sprouts AND all that spag(hetti). So Brynne wok’d it up and we tossed together all of our ingredients to tenderness, smothered the whole thing in the brown butter (or what was left of it… the recipe says to skim the foam off, but it all looked like foam! ah!) then served it up.

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Honestly she was much happier than she looks.

Truly this meal was one for the books. As Brynne noted “I think it’s the brown butter” that made it so, so delicious (Brynne Says Things, 4). The combo of tender, cooked sprouts and crisp, skinned hazelnuts was unbelievable–and the spaghetti was there to give your hand something to do while your taste buds exploded. Would recommend making this recipe. Would recommend listening to Sheryl Crow’s “Every Day Is A Winding Road” while making it. Would recommend exchanging these lyrics for the ones in our title.

With luv,

Brynne & Lynn (and Ellynn)

Oh Neptune.

So lyk whats the deal with a whole song being written about a meatball? You know the one–“On top of spaghetti, all covered in cheese…”–essentially someone sneezes, and the meatball rolls off of this mound of spaghetti and out the door. It’s gone/lost forever/not forgotten/memorialized in song. We’re all for a song being written about pasta. We’re all for a song being written about cheese. But one singular meatball? Hmm. Not impressed.

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How we feel about this song

[Lynn’s note: Something I realized in my research to find that particular .gif was that meatballs are kind of iconic in pop culture. They come up again and again–there are a lot of really freaky parts of the internet devoted to armed and legged meatballs walking around places. Look it up.]

If we had to write a song about a meatball, though, it would be a quinoa meatball, like the ones we made last night to deliciously top of our own spaghetti.

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YUM CITY

If you’re thinking “Hey girl, where’s the meatball?” please direct your attention down and to the left, and open up your mind to wider conditions under which you might describe a “ball” shape. See it? Yeah. That’s it. Let us explain: If you’ll recall from Lynn’s Diary Entry the other day, this recipe was pretty made-up. Free-balled, if you will. Brynne was about to return home from her WILD family VAYCAY, and Lynn thought–we need something romantic, yet vegetarian, yet hearty, yet able to incorporate leftovers. Thus the idea was born: quinoa meatballs crafted from the quinoa/black bean/corn/tomato/mozz cheese filling from Lynn’s solo stuffed pepper!

A note from Lynn: My dad cooks meatballs (IRL meatballs) by placing them in a giant vat of homemade sauce for like 6 hours because a Guido (in the feminist sense), and I think that that is the way to do it, so I started off by attempting to craft my own pasta sauce loosely based on this recipe. Only thing was, we didn’t have a can of crushed tomatoes #galswithoutcannedgoods, so I decided to use a tub of grape tomatoes from our #BOGO deal a while back. The thing is that you’re supposed to *skin* tomatoes before you make them into sauce, but I thought NAH!

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The tomat sauce shrouded in steam

So the sauce was pretty thick–it was essentially all onions and tomato chunks. Not ideal for cookin’ meatballs, even if they are made of quinoa. So here’s the save: I took a can of generic “tomato sauce” and put it in it’s own pot to heat up. That’s when my attn turned to the meatball-making. In true Felix Freeballing, I decided to make the filling into balls by mixing it with 1 egg and some pasta-y spices, like rosemary, oreganosage, and cinnamon (that one wasn’t very pasta-y, but that’s something that goes into meatballs). If your name is Maya, please let us know whether you think any of these spices are good ones to bring to Europe. Mixing these things together made a pretty sticky, solid masterpiece, which I rolled into ballz and then plopped in the pan with the sauce.

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This is what it looked like (above).

Things were going pretty well at this point! So I thought, let’s shake it up a bit! And dumped the OG sauce (you remember) on top of this new pot that contained the quinoa balls. Then, to mix it all up, I moved the whole shebang into one big pot–and this is the part where the quinoa balls started breaking up a bit. It was not quite a TSwift level break up, but it was a Lynn writes a song on her ukulele about someone she never dated level break up. I should’ve used a bigger pot.

At this point, Brynne ARRIVES HOME AND STICKS HER CUTE LITTLE FACE IN THE KITCHEN AND WE REUNITE AND ARE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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WHY IS SHE READING WHEN SHE COULD BE TALKING TO ME????

So we plop the now meat-y (veggie, of course) sauce and some meatballs on top of a thin whole wheat spaghetti (not for nothing, but whole wheat spaghetti is SO MUCH better than REG because it has a flavor! The impromptu combo was actually really good and I can’t wait to eat it for the rest of the week.

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Serve it up hot, bitches!

Lynn’s Diary 8/5/17

Dear Diary,

I’ve been withholding my emotions till now–and I’ve just learned that withholding has two h’s. Seems unnecessary. Well, Brynne has been gone since Tuesdeh, and my meals have been few and far-between. That’s actually not true–my eating has increased in her absence, but the meals I’ve made have been what you might consider compiled of “scrounging” and “sloppiness.”

Let’s begin.

In a sort of ends-of-a-cirlce-coming-together (a circle has no ends), the night that Brynne left, I stirred up a broccoli/carrot/tofu fry with some soy sauce. How does this resemble a circle, diary? Flip yourself back to the first night Mabel and I stayed here together at this house. What did I have for dinner? That’s right: A broccoli/carrot/tofu stir fry with some soy sauce.

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Here she is. Mostly tofu, not enough rice. 

Wednesday was a blur of broken stares down broken staircases, but at least I had one thing to look forward to–that night’s meal. A classic, taken from the books of mine own shared food blog–Stuffed Peppers. Or rather, stuffed pepper–I’ll say to emphasize the fact that I was alone. I took what I could remember from the recipe we previously used (actually, if you’ll recall, Brynne did most of the work on that one, so I was at a disadvantage) and poured it in–No roommate, No recipe.

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Loose Cannon Cook 

Unfortunately, while I remembered the quinoa, black beans, corn, cheese, and tomatoes, I forgot a key element to this delicious din–the SPICES, God DAMNIT!! Upon bite #1 I thought, Well this is too hot. But upon bite #2, I was like Oh NO this doesn’t taste like much!!! Failure, she is alone.

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It looked damn good though

Suffice it to say, I did not learn my lesson (AND NEVER WILL) as evidenced by the meal I am currently attempting to make, which was taken from fleeting memories of things my dad sometimes did in the kitchen. You’ll see how that one turns out in a few posts.

For now, though, I’m afraid to admit that no more recipes did come from my hands during this hiatus. On Thursday, I was whisked away by my boss and her friends (an adult family, actually) for some tacos by maria. I got a burrito, and it was the best taco I ever had. And–I struggled with whether to confess this–yesterday, I wrapped up some of the ample filling from my stuffed pepper creation, put it into a tortilla, and smothered it with salsa. Bon appetite.

Thanks for listening, Diary.

Love, Your Lynn

Stir Fly on the Wall

Are you ever writing a short phrase–for something as important as the title of a blog that 10 people will read (5 of them being your mom)–and get to thinking about capitalization? I mean, as far as prepositions and articles go, those poor souls don’t get capitalized… unless they’re at the beginning of the phrase. Which doesn’t make sense–because that’s not a sentence! You can’t just pick and choose which normal conventions of grammar you get to apply–have you ever seen a proper sentence in which every single word (apart from the prepz and articz, ugh) is capitalized? That’s too many proper nouns, Lady!

Sometimes, words look better capitalized–and isn’t the aesthetic appeal of a phrase more important than the “rules” of grammar? Lynn Truss, my namesake and grammar aficionado, would disagree and write a scathing review of this idea–and my overuse of the dash.

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this Is The book she Wrote;

[Brynne’s note: that caption for the image above HURTS me]

I used to be really into this book and grammar, but then I realized that Grammar is a tool of The Man and the concept of “proper” English & language in general is dumb and also racist. Haven’t re-read this baby in a while but it would probably make my face do the thing. disgust.png

It’s not that I’m advocating for random capitalization of Letters, like some mAniC chIXiE PeeN GirL from a J. Green novel (u know the one I’m talking about. Nat Wolf starred opposite her in the movie), but I was just feeling anguish about the title of this post–and not because I’ve been singing Miley Cyrus nonstop since I typed it.

Before we split ways for our different Food Pathways, these ladies went shopping and picked up some goods for our Vegan Pad Thai–and we hope you’re expecting what’s coming next (maybe with the above look on your face)–this recipe was put together by another white lady. Her name is Cassie. Read the following description of ingredients and hear the words “pad thai” accordingly.

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a pretty pic brynne took of the thing we made

Here’s the story: Lynn (not Truss, unfortunately, though maybe this work would be good for her) got started slicing zucchini into long strands (we were supposed to “spiralize” them, but that sounded silly and we didn’t have a spiralizer #galsonabudget) [Brynne’s note: I oh-so badly want a spiralizer!!!!!] while Brynne began chopping some small broccoli florets [Lynn’s note: I luv that word]. Then, in a panic because they hadn’t quite started the way they were supposed to, they squeezed some liquids out of their Extra Firm tofu, cut it into some triangles, and began browning it in a pan. Lynn also got their rice noodles a’cookin (Brynne said “No instructions on how to cook them? Ahh!”–classic Oscar. Or Felix. Still haven’t looked up who is who in The Odd Couple), stirring occasionally.

They then threw all the veggies (did we mention 2 bb red peppers?) into a pan to fry. It should be noted that their pan was pitifully small, and Brynne would later get a new, larger instrument (a wok, actually) to dump everything in. Thanks, Brynne! As Brynne added garlic to the wok, Lynn mixed up the sauce–a classic pad thai combo of tomato paste (ketchup essentially), soy sauce, garlic powder (she couldn’t find it and Brynne again came to the rescue), rice vinegar, and probably some other stuff, look it up ya’selves.

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Caution: Melonhead stirring

Then it was time for the big combo–the very reason we needed a wok in the first place–the two protagonists of this post and blog entity put the tofu and rice noodles (cooked to timeless perfection, I might add) right in with the SF (stir fry) veggies! After a bit of swishing this way in that, we topped it off with that sauce and were ready to chow (not chow mein, though, because that is a different dish)!

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Brynne made up these two bowls by delicately topping them with sesame seeds, cilantro, and peanuts*

*note: we used honey-roasted because when we were at the store, Lynn practically begged Brynne to get them because they are so tasty and nostalgic. [Brynne’s note: I was into it. Love me some honey-roasted peanuts]

This dish has raised Brynne’s vegetarian bar up to 98% vegetarian, just in case you were curious. Tofu is scary in block form but delicious in pad thai form.