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!).

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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,¬†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!

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!

Are We Going To Become Extreme Couponers?

As Lynn puts our thoughts to type, Brynne is snipping coupons from the Northfield Newspaper, which she¬†hid in our room before brunch¬†so that no one else would take them. Because, you know, when you come to brunch, you’re really coming to steal coupons.

For this fresh meal, we didn’t actually use any coupons at all–most of our ingredients came right from this house. Hearing that, I bet you’d be surprised to know that we made Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi, bitch.

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“I feel like Aziz Ansari!” –Brynne

Sidebar to ask whether y’all are tired of the fact that making pasta is now more associated with our boy Aziz than with this boot full of flowers that people sometimes talk about: [Brynne’s note: I had to ask Lynn to show me where the flowers are. I see it now.]
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We have a friend who told us he learned how to make pasta while he was abroad, and when Brynne said “Oh my god, you’re like Aziz!” he practically flipped us over in a batter of egg and flour because he’d heard that so much from everyone he’d spoken to in the states. We don’t care. We love Aziz.

Gnocchi’s actually way easier than you’d think!

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Including this picture because this is the face we make when someone suggests that they are easier than you might think.

Really, it wasn’t super easy, but like, we got better as we went along! Flour was key. Lynn was afraid that we were messing it up, but it turned out ok. I’m impressed. Definitely cook your gnocci for more than 4 minutes, because some of ours turned out a little too raw-ish, but was still: yummy.

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Bowl ‘o gnocc dough

We ate this meal in the heat of an early July day, and boy, it was a fill-up-you-tum-and-complain-about-men-and-the-problems-of-society night. (A meme I recently saw said [and I’m paraphrasing here]: Notice how anytime something bad happens you say “aw man/boy”? It’s because men are the worst. I liked it.) Omg forgot to include that we also had an app (appetizer) of cher (cherries), and a side dish of exactly 4 string beans and some chopped carrots #galswhouseleftovers.

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Check our spread (and toenails!)

We finished up the meal with some lovely chocolate mint ice cream to Cool Off. Good purchase, us.

TTFN,

Lynn & Brynne