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.

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!

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.


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


“Graham crackers are just straight up cookies”

Picture this:

Last Sunday, Lynn and I arrive home from a weekend with the family. But now we’re back on our turf (a Dinkytown apartment shared with someone else we can’t help but hope is gone whenever we are there and another person who pays rent but never spends time here, and I guess we’ll never see her again because she came abruptly in the morning last week to pick up her Wii game system [Lynn’s note: we didn’t touch that thing once, but when it was gone, we both… started to miss it?]??).

We take stock of what we gained (spring roll wrappers left over from our minnetonka meal adventure, some berries, and a sparkling cherry drink) and lost (a bra left at home, a prescription not picked up, the opportunity to do a full week’s grocery shopping). [Lynn’s note: Excuse me, but a lot of these things are skewed towards Brynne’s personal losses. When’s the last time you saw me wear a bra or pop a pill?] What’s there left to do next but cook?

I have to admit that I wasn’t able to actually partake in the cooking aspect of this meal, so I’ll have to give you an outsider’s perspective.

As I sat on the couch studying, I heard the sounds of chop-chop-chopping. After doing all of that cutting of veggies for spring rolls the night before, Lynn still had it in her to cut up a bunch of carrots for our enchilada bake! How, I will never know. Such endurance. Such grace. [Lynn’s note: It was my own damn fault for not looking in-depth at our recipe, which—surprise!—called for a food processor that we obviously do not own.]

At the point when I am done studying, the bake is in the oven and cooking away. It smells good and we are confident that it will be done soon. There’s even a little cheese burning to a crisp on the top! So fun! So crispy!


Sure enough, we are able to eat the carrot sofritos enchilada bake. It’s got: cheese, carrots, salsa, whole wheat tortillas. What more could a girl ask for? Put some sriracha on top if you want some spice. You’ll be happy! You’ll finish the last little bit of it as leftovers at the end of the week when you’re babysitting as a supplement to your Annie’s mac and cheese!

I’ll be adding this meal to the list of reasons why Lynn is angelic (list currently includes: she is able to listen to SO many podcasts, she loves to fold laundry, she flexes so many recipes to just go with the flow [Lynn’s note: this is sweet, but I’m still a little insulted that Brynne wouldn’t share headphones with me on the bus yesterday.]).

get up close and PERSONAL with these CARROTS

p.s. the title is just a fun statement I said today, doesn’t have anything to do with carrots, but like and subscribe if you agree



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.


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.



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


Twynn Cities, bb

Listen up, ladies. It’s time to get real.

Some of you asked if we would blog again this summer, to which I say, “Is it July? Wow, look at that, summer’s over!” I blame the big city for the lag of witty blog banter Summer 2018. [Lynn’s note: Brynne has been saying “summer’s over” for literally months.]

Ah, to live in Dacie Moses and be confined to the city limits of Northfield. That’s a blogger’s dream! You work 10am to 4pm, go to yoga, and make a good meal. You’re about to be a junior in college, you don’t have any pressing existential crises to attend to right this minute (you can schedule those for later in your five year plan!), and you have time.

First cooked meal of the summer: sweet potato black bean bowls.

Fast forward a year. You’re further along in your five-year plan [Lynn’s note: one year forward, two steps back], and guess what, those existential crises are arriving right on time! One after the other! Those fatal personality flaws and mildly destructive behaviors you could forget about during a relaxed spring term? They’re back! I’m not trying to be *dramatic*, but a girl can really be her own worst enemy out here. (Don’t worry too much, pals, it’s just a classic case of “Thinking I Can Do it All” and “Not Putting a Priority on Myself When Making Plans.” Totally work-through-able situations, if one had the time to get to ther-ther.)

Anyways, the real culprit? The real thief of blogging?The big city. And not just one, oh no, these are the Twin Cities. Double the city for your girls. As stranded Northfield summer dwellers, we dreamed of the big city and how many opportunities there would be to do “fun things” and “explore.” [Lynn’s note: One might say we didn’t realize we would need a “car.”]

Lynn on a GLOWING Sunday night walk exploration. 

Here’s what I thought Big City Living would be like:

  • Grocery stores so close you could spit on them! (No more driving down Highway 19 to get to Cub!)
  • Lake time
  • Going to Trader Joe’s
  • More interaction with other humans??
  • Overall feeling like you live in the hustle and bustle of human life

Here’s what Big City Living actually is:

  • You pay $2 to take the bus 10-20 minutes away to get your groceries
    • Admittedly, you can shop at Whole Foods or Fresh Thyme or Lund’s and Byerly’s, but I weeped about the lack of a Cub Foods in the vicinity. I love my Cub.
    • There’s no Trader Joe’s close enough to justify the trip there yet, but wait until late July when a new one opens in a gentrified part of Minneapolis
  • You bike to your internship in the morning
    • Haven’t gotten too sweaty yet! Stay tuned!
    • Lynn’s bullet point: I get sweaty every single time I bike to my internship. I actually bring a second shirt, AND a second pair of undies. I’m not about to get a UTI like Brynne’s dog!!
  • You take the bus an hour to work, and an hour back later
    • Pros: Time to read, listen to podcasts, observe the hustle and bustle of human life [Lynn’s note: Not if you get motion sickness, bb!! Please do something about your Dramamine-Privilege.]
    • Cons: Bus shaking and rumbling turns bumps ya all around, when you’re on the phone with Lynn she asks if you’re crying because your voice is vibrating from all the shaking (you’re not, but if she asked again you probably *could* cry)
  • You sleep in queen-sized bunk beds
    • Truly hilarious
  • Lynn makes you din, or you make you din! We’re European now (that’s ignorant of me to say) and eat at 8pm.
    • If someone says me eating scrambled eggs for dinner is “sad” once more I will not stop doing it but I will be “sad.”

So, maybe you can sense that cooking up delicious meals and sharing them with you has fallen to the wayside a bit in the big city. Maybe it’s making us more rushed? More callous? More bitter?

Who can say. (I’d say, no, we’re just more tired!) What I can say is: we’re having a good time. We’re cooking. We’re watching Grey’s Anatomy. We’re buying reusable produce bags. We’re taking the big city day by day.

One day we took on: Sebastian Joe’s ice cream. @heirwhoallegedlygoestoCarleton, wya? where’s the Carleton discount? 

I hope you enjoyed the collection of  a smattering of what we’ve cooked and consumed so far. Maybe this will give you some inspiration. Maybe you too are a gal on the go and are scrapin’ by this summer. We’re here for it all.



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


Above you’ll see:

a) guest cook Maya

b) what looks like half an entire loaf of bread


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:

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.



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.

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!

IMG_6367 (1)

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




Ina Garten’s lies

So the solar eclipse is happening today. Which is special, if you’re into stars and stuff. I’m more worried about people damaging their eyesight. If you’re going to stare at the sun today, use protection, people! Eyes are the windows to the soul, and they’re the only ones you’ve got! Lynn, are you going to look at the eclipse today?

This is the documentation of the last true meal at Dacie Moses in the summer of 2017. Ellie said “I have some spinach we need to eat.” I said, “I have some pasta we should cook up and eat.” Upon looking in the fridge, Brynne happened upon the carrots that always seem to appear in our fridge for no apparent reason and the parmesan cheese she hadn’t used once this summer. From there, a dinner was born.


Need I tell you how to cook pasta? I hope not. I went rogue/Felix and went without a timer. Lynn has taught me so much, like how to guess when your pasta is done!

We didn’t want to have just some ordinary carrots. No, sir, we wanted our carrots to be cooked! Tender and flavorful! So we turned to the internet. And the internet gave us Ina Garten’s recipe for roasting carrots.

Now, we only chopped up two carrots to roast because we are just two gals making a two serving meal. We followed Ina’s recipe to the T, except when we added rosemary to the carrots because YUM, and thought all would be fine. It would not be!!! Luckily we thought to check on the carrots as soon as our pasta was done, because some of the carrots had turned into un-munchable, blackened-to-a-crisp pieces. Never trust a recipe, ladies. (jk trust a recipe but just know when you are roasting smaller quantities of vegetables you should account for less cooking time!!)

hmmmmm…. can we trust her? this corn-holding woman? 

When all was thrown together, it was a very respectable meal to go out on. The carrots were a good touch and brought out the crisp, green nature of the spinach, even if we lost some of them to the flame. Still skeptical about Ina.

a vision

In lynnbo

Just as a precursor: the next post will be significantly more put together and aesthetically  pleasing than this one. I know Lynn kind of put the presh on me to make this interesting, and I won’t make excuses, but here’s the deal.

It was a Tuesday night. I had been baking/cleaning/emailing up a storm all day, and was semi-confined to the DM. I had the foresight to pick up a sweet potato at Cub the other day, because I had a plan in mind: loaded sweet potato for dinner, bb.

I was excited for this meal because 1. i LOVE sweet potatoes, and 2. I haven’t had a baked potato in years (hyperbole? not sure how to fact check this one but I feel like it’s true, I never opt in to the LDC/Burton baked potato bars). What better way to get back in the game than with my college-awakened love, sweet potato?

I poked some holes with a fork into my precious potat, then let it sit in the oven for a long while. As the potato was getting toasty, I sautéed some kale and black beans. As a note, don’t start this step until there are about 15 minutes left in your potato baking time. The greens were really, really tender by the time the potato was done. Which was fine! But I would hold off on the sautéing time if I were me next time.

“plz could you be tender”–me @ Kale// Lorde’s 3rd greatest lyric

I retrieved the potato from the oven after the longest 45 minutes of my life (hyperbole//time is a social construct) and sliced it down the middle, topped it with the sautéed kale and black beans, and finished it all off with the leftover kale guacamole I had in the fridge. Press play on 30 Rock and laugh at Liz Lemon (which the show needs more of, by the way! Not super interested in the other characters.). Queen for a day!

Mhmm. Yup! Ok. 


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).

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!!!!!!!!!!

Cook your beans

Looks like a lesson has been learned! Pull up your chairs, open a can of honey roasted peanuts, and let’s get to the bottom of this.

On Sunday morning, I, Brynne, awoke at 8am to check on the black beans I had soaking overnight for a pasta salad for the LAST BRUNCH of the summer. It was a solo brunch, so a lot was riding on my shoulders: the coffee (I don’t drink it! How do I brew it!), the baked goods (bake more scones! worry about scone count!), and the protein source: black beans.

These friendly creatures had been soaked and now it was time to get to a low simmer. The bag said it would take an hour. I was disappointed. I wanted these beans, and I wanted them now!

I waited the simmering out for a good while as I was preparing other parts of brunch and the other elements of the pasta salad (chard, tomatoes, the pasta itself). Finally, I checked them. Not done yet. Waited a while, checked again. Still no cigar. The third check I got two beans that were pretty soft, so I said, “hey, let’s go with it!”

Overall, these beans could have used a few more minutes in the simmering pot. In the pasta salad, they were fine, but problems occurred when I made dinner that night, carrot and black bean veggie burgers, a great innovation you can replicate if you also have lots of carrots and leftover beans in your fridge.

carrots were better participants than the beans, tbh

The beans were too tough to mash up, but I did my best. I used the masher, but it wasn’t mashing, so I got my hands in these beans and tried to make them see reason: becoming a black bean burger was their next calling! Loosen up a little!

the final product, somewhat smothered by its toppings!

They kind of listened. I was able to assemble the patties, made with everything just like the recipe, but sub a red onion for yellow or white. Turns out the yellow onions were rotting and juicy in their plastic bag in the cupboard. Eep!

Freezing the patties for thirty minutes was key. Without having that step, we would have been in real trouble. We being me and these patties. If the beans had been fully mashed, I probably wouldn’t have had the spillage I experience. But you live, you learn.

the spillage. still yummy. 

Topped with some yellow tomatoes, spinach, and avocado, these were a good Sunday meal. Levi came over to partake, and Joey even got to eat the leftovers. Dacie Moses truly is all about generosity these days.