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!).

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,¬†oregano,¬†sage, 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!

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.

an Old D but a Good D

That’s right, folks. Just like Lizzie McGuire in The Lizzie McGuire movie, we are Outfit* Repeaters!

*By Outfit, we mean recipe. But also outfits.

But, hey, like animated Lizzie McGuire says in The Lizzie McGuire movie:

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So stop remembering our meals! Forget everything you’ve read on this blog so far! And be prepared to fall in love again with our unique, wacky voice and writing style.

This week, for the first time ever, we made an improvised pasta dish (from the combined brains of Brynne, Lynn, and their boss Julia).Here’s the scenario: a potluck dinner. The issue: everyone wanted to bring a dessert. The solution: Lynn begrudgingly sweats over a stove instead of going to barre class (for this, she was eventually thankful) making a main dish. The results: A Full Meal For All including a garden salad (meaning our boss made it from things in our garden), zucchini cakes & dip (made by a coworker who knows her way around her garden veggies–her garden, not ours), pasta with Fun Things (explanation to follow) also from our garden), and a fine dessert of lace cookies & ice cream. What a night. Let’s get to that pasta!

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Spriggin’ delicious

So if you’re looking at these noodles with an “I don’t think they know how to make pasta” look on your face, please bear with us. The pasta we used was gluten free and Lynn was not used to that kind of stickiness! Regardless, it was tasty and available to the intolerant-of-wheat!

For our SAUCE, we heated up a can of diced (& seasoned) tomatoes, a can of chickpeas, some of the tomato-sauce-turned-paste from our Coconut Vegetable “Curry”¬†#galswhouseleftovers, spinach (thanks Mabel), and–get ready for it–some herbs from the garden! Which ones? Let us throw them at you!z596e55023713f.gifz596e5511893ee.gifz596e552ab3c19.gif

Damn! That is the kind of¬†herb¬†I’m talking about! We kind of just rawdogged (copyright Ellie & Friends) the proportions on this one, added some salt and pepper, and topped it off with some fresh & raw basil and a sprig of parsley.

It was a hit.

Next week’s potluck will also involve a last-minute scrambling of ingredients, though this one might prove to be more difficult due to the abundance of pickles and lack of base foods. Wow! See you then!

There She Peels Again

Hey!

It’s been a while!

It’s just been too damn hard to face the blog arena and salivate over our delicious pics of food (and ourselves, bc wow summer sweat looks good on us!) while our fridge slowly runs out of the 3 spinach leaves and runny bottom 1/4th of Chobani yogurt that have been sustaining us. These girls need to get to the grocery store–stat.

Pause to pose a q: If I leave the house and tell you that I am going to get groceries, and I come back with a few bags of like notebooks and maybe some medicine and like tampons, but no food, are those still groceries? What makes a grocery-shopping-event different from “going to the store to pick up a few things?” If I got 3 bags of linens and one avocado, did I go grocery shopping?

This week we made “Easy” Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burrito Bowls

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Woah! Busy kitchen! Who are these people?!

Here’s the thing about being #galsonabudget, besides everything we have already confided about it–when you invite yr friends over for dinner, they’re either bringing their own meal (Levi), or yr putting them to work peeling sweet potatoes (Ellie). Luckily, Levi makes a mean quesadilla and Ellie is a PQ (Peeling Queen).

So–Ellie peeled 2 Yamz, which Brynne then chopped up and¬†roasted (after tossing them in extra virgin olive oil [Lynn’s note: s/o to my friend Emma who unironically calls it EVOO, a habit I think she picked up from Food Network], paprika, and chili powder. They roasted for a little bit, and then we pulled ’em out and threw on some bell peppers [Lynn’s note: omg so that’s why we bought those. there was one yellow one and one red one I think!] and roasted again. These babies were getting¬†tender.

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Now That’s What I Call A Burrito Bowl 5!

There were two slight alterations we made to this recipe, apart from adding in a sprinkle of Love– 1) We used regular run-of-the-mill white rice instead of brown basmati rice because we were Hungry and the white rice was already made and we were not about to wait for brown rice to cook! It takes so long!! 2) The recipe calls for a dressing that is essentially spiced mayo? Uh-Uh. No way lady. We just topped this shit off with avocado chunks (not slices) and the last of the aforementioned dwindling spinach leaves.

Update: Brynne’s toes still look beautiful. Will she go professional?

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2 friends enjoying a meal. 1 of them is a robot whose neck can only turn at odd angles. Can you decipher the true friend?

This was a good meal, however rushed it felt because we had to put the peddle to the metal to make it to relaxation yoga on time. We’re aware of the irony of that sentence. Also, we know that the whole farting in yoga thing is a pretty trite/tired/we GET IT joke, but have you ever gone to a very quite room to contort your intestines in wild ways right after scarfing a burrito bowl?

Pfffffft

Anyhow, please wish us well in restocking the fridge–today Lynn’s lunch is a cold plain tortilla with a side of granola crumbs and the salt from the bottom of a Triscuits box.

 

 

Brynne messes up the chickpeas :/

This is the meal where we get creative and free style some pasta toppings. You would think this would go well; it’s pasta, how can it go wrong? Well, if you’re living with Brynne and she tells you to get the dried chickpeas and “we can just soak them for when we need them!” but then leaves them in too long in the water but somehow the chickpeas are still dry, you might start to rethink a few things. (Brynne’s note: I wrote this intro paragraph. I feel very disappointed in myself for how these chickpeas turned out.)

But like any good drama, this story turns out alright in the end. Out of the ashes of some too-crunchy chickpeas comes the opportunity for another meal. We’ll give you the scoop.

Scoop? More like the many-pronged piece of dish ware that you use to scoop out olive oiled pasta. Hang on, getting you a visual:

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This hero right here!

This dish was a smattering of ingredients that we had on-hand, a technique which we can attribute to friend of the blog Mabel, who would probably attribute it to future friend of the blog, her step-mom. We threw a potta water on the stove, popped in some whole wheat penne [Lynn’s note: when I was young, I was a really picky eater and at restaurants I would just order buttered pasta, but to make it sound more sophisticated, I would say “Can I please have penne with butter sauce?], and while that was cooking, we divided and conquered. Lynn spent a long time looking for canned tomatoes while Brynne chopped up some green beans.

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Is it an equal trade of work if one of you keeps pausing to take photos? Also, get a load of Brynne’s “I am the Godfather” look!¬†

When Lynn finally found the tomatoes (we had to go with some already-seasoned ones, which wasn’t ideal), we threw them in a frying pan along with the aforementioned (really, really, strongly aforementioned) chickpeas. After these buds sizzled for a while, Brynne threw the green beans on top and everyone was cooking together. We do recommend putting a lid on the top of the frying pan to give the green beans a chance to steam!

Next up, Bowl That Sweet Stuff! Penne first (hold the butter sauce), top it with the tomato/chickpea/bean combo (the beans are hard to fit into a bowl), and get ready to top it off with some greens.

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WE LOVE ARUGULA 

But greens aren’t ENOUGH? What’s a girl gotta do to get some sharp flavors in her dish?? Oh, you knew the answer before I even asked the question. Get into your fridge, move a lot of leftover stuff that you should be eating instead of making this new meal out of the way (and out of your mind), and find the small pack of mozzarella that is waiting to be sprinkled atop your dish. Lo and behold…

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Needs more cheese tbh. Still good though.

[Lynn’s sign-off: Just want to add that, as I write this on the night of July 1st, I am being intermittently distracted by fireworks. Hey. What’s the deal with that? We are three nights away from firework time. Why are you blowing your load right now? What r ur thoughts on the 4th? Yay/Nay? & if you’re a white person u can’t be like “yay” w/ out giving some reasonable explanation <3]