Friday, December 27, 2013

The one where we got engaged, started planning a wedding, and stopped writing blog posts...

On August 24, 2013, this happened:

And then this happened:

And then this:

Baked French Toast
"It's A Girl" Krispie Treats

Halloween Latkas

Home Made Radish Leaf Pesto and Marinara 

Cinnamon Apple Rings

Creamy Potato Soup

Kitchen Sink Pasta and Bok Choy

Caramel Apple Cake

The world's greatest egg cooker...

Hanukkah with our Kitchen Chicken

Butternut Squash and Chard Pizza with dough from scratch

The most interesting dogs in the world...

Homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons (with our new immersion blender!)

GingEARbread cookies

Skillet crust-less breakfast pie

And I forgot to mention it to anybody! Can you believe it? To make it up to you, my favorite Spatulettes, how about some breakfast pie? My mom and I made this together on Christmas morning, inspired by THIS with some lactose-intolerant friendly changes, like nixing the crust and using soy cheese.

Here's what you'll need:

4 yukon potatoes
A Trader Joe's (or similar) bag of baby spinach
About a cup of grated soy cheddar cheese (the brand that Ralphs's sells)
4 scallions cut into tiny slices
11 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for the skillet
(We didn't use it, but some crispy chopped up bacon in here would be lovely if you're bacon inclined)

Here's what to do:

Boil the potatoes until they're soft but not mashable. Slice them into 1/4 inch rounds.
Steam the spinach and drain.
Oil your skillet (unless yours is perpetually seasoned which, apparently, is a thing. Do you do this?)
Layer the potatoes on the bottom of the skillet until they fit.
Layer the spinach on top of the potatoes.
Add some cheese and scallions.
Add more potatoes if there are still some leftover.
Add more cheese and scallions.
Scramble the eggs in a big bowl, add a little salt and pepper, and pour over the veggies in the skillet.
Add the rest of the cheese and scallions.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. (Ours took an hour)

Slice it up like a pie, display proudly on your table, and share with people you love.

'til next time Spatulettes! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Carbo Love

I love spaghetti. I am IN love with spaghetti. Love love love. 

As long as I can remember, whenever asked my favorite food I have replied, "Spaghetti and pickles," (not usually together...) One of my greatest culinary woes is that the amount of spaghetti I would gladly consume in a dream world is directly proportional to the amount of jeans sizes I would have to increase in the real world. 

"Welcome to the real world," complex carbohydrates said to me, condescendingly.

But I decided wasn't going to take it anymore. You're probably thinking this is going to be a post about spaghetti squash. You know, the yellow microwavable gourd that turns out spaghetti-like strands that countless people insist on covering in butter and brown sugar (when marinara is most definitely the better choice). Don't get me wrong, I love spaghetti squash. It was my go-to veggie pasta friend for years until I met someone new. And my new friend is pretty amazing. I call him... well actually I hadn't thought of a name yet... so for now we'll just say:

Julienne peeler!

This baby turns ANYTHING into pasta! So far, my favorites are papaya (more on that coming soon after I perfect a recipe...) and zucchini. And it's so fun to use! So here's a different "spaghetti squash" for you to try.  If you aren't lucky enough to have a julienne peeler, I got mine HERE, or you can (carefully) use a cheese grater making long swipes to make long strings. Note: Looking back at that link, the price has gone up a bit since I got my little amazon bundle of joy so hopefully it goes back down again soon.

So pasta lovers rejoice! I bring you Zucchini Spaghetti, two ways:

Numero Uno: Zucchini Puttanesca

The recipe with actual pasta noodles was inspired from something I remembered from, of all things, The Dr. Oz Show. You can see the original here.  The nice thing about it is that I already had everything needed in the fridge!

Here's what you'll need to serve two:
  • Two medium zucchini
  • Handful of spinach
  • Can of diced tomatoes
  • 5 or 6 black olives, sliced (or buy sliced olives but then they aren't as fun to eat off your fingers)
  • 1 can of tuna
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste
Here's how you make it:

  • Put that peeler to work! Make your zucchini look like this:
  • It's actually ok to use the seedy core of the zucchini as long as it stays in spaghetti form.
  • Toss the zucchini and spinach in a pan with some olive oil and garlic. Sautee.

  • Once it's shrunk down a bit and your zucchini is al dente, remove from the stove.
  • Add in the tuna, canned tomatoes, olives, and some red pepper to taste.
  • Drizzle on some more olive oil for garnish, and top with some actually julienned basil.  I'm still working on julienne-ing basil. The peeler won't do it! 
  • Enjoy with your favorite glass of something delicious!

Numero Dos: Zucchini Spaghetti Quinoa Bowl Extravaganza:

Ok, I don't know if this can actually be considered a recipe because I literally just threw some leftovers in a bowl to make it. You've still got your zucchini and tuna, but added in are seaweed, sesame oil, rice vinegar, some leftover tricolor quinoa, and a Japanese seasoning called Furikake.
If you're a seaweed fan, stay with me. If you're not, well then you have some fancy Italian "pasta" to tide you over.  Basically, what you do is toss together all the ingredients and sprinkle with some sesame oil swapped for the olive oil from before.  Furikake is really good if you haven't tried it and you're ok with your food tasting like the ocean. It's crunchy, salty, and sweet, which complemented the zucchini and fish perfectly.  You can find it at any Asian grocery store. It's also really good on eggs, rice, or even in a tuna sandwich! 

So au revoir until next time, my lovely Spatulettes! 

P.S. If you think of a good name for my Julienne Peeler you will totally win a prize. Tell me your best Julienne Peeler name in the comments!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Broadcasting from new headquarters!

Hello my lovely Spatulettes! (Do you like your new name? I'm trying it out!)

Greetings from new Yellow Spatula headquarters in sunny San Clemente!

We've been here just over a month now but it feels like we've spent about 20 minutes here so far!  We're aaaaaalmost unpacked and once we finish you're all invited over to see the new place :)

Between the unpacking, commuting, yoga-ing, dog walking, discovering Trader Joe's cookie butter (OMG!) and settling in over the past month there hasn't been too much cooking, but when there was it was mostly soupy and salady.  So here we go...

Crab Cake Banana Chip Salad

My lovely cousin Audrey invented/adapted this salad, she tells me, from something she had in an Irish pub!  I don't know much about Irish food so maybe someone can enlighten me as to its origins, but it's unusually delicious.


Crab cake (mine was the frozen kind from Trader Joe's)
Oil (I used coconut in a spray can from TJ's)
Banana Chips
Your fav salad dressing (we used Italian)


Cook the crab cake in some oil according to the package directions
Arrange artfully in a bowl you've just unpacked
Carry your couch in from the U-haul and collapse on it

Kitchen Sink Taco Salad

This was just really, really delicious.  It was mixed greens with some tempeh sauteed in olive oil, leftover grill-fry-pan-sautee'd veggies from a BBQ at my parents' house, avocado, salsa, soy cheese, and corn salsa from TJ's. Quick, easy, yum. And, by the way, my recent purchase of a grill-fry pan will be the topic of an upcoming post. Do you have one? They're so fun!

And here's a repeat!  Remember this Mustard, Potato, and Greenbean Salad? Well this time, I used purple, white, AND red potatoes which was a colorful improvement an an already beautiful recipe.  

And just for fun, here are some pictures of our new home in San Clemente. We love it. Moving was a pain. We're never leaving! Come visit!

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

But it worked!
Our amazing patio! Home of many future BBQ's, hopefully with YOU!

More recipes and apartment pictures to come, but that's all for now!  Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Onion, Kale, and Butternut Squash Farro Salad

I have an announcement to make... I am now the proud owner of a real, live YELLOW SPATULA!

It's so beautiful! Thank you, Clara!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I was just busy getting my doctorate... YAY!!!!

Walking across the stage...

Happy Parents!

A little surprise...

This happened...

My beautiful classmates! Minus the one boy in the class!

And then my parents had a wonderful amazing fun party with LOTS of Katella Deli food in their backyard to celebrate!
I'll post pictures from the party when I get them... but here's a preview. My friend Jessica has good taste in ear-related graduation gifts!

So back to business!  Tonight, my mom came over to help me start packing up my apartment (thanks, mom!)  so I made us a little something for dinner to reward our packing efforts.

I've made this salad a few times.  It was originally a Smitten Kitchen recipe (surprise, surprise) over the course of making it several different ways, I ended up with this creation:

It's just as delicious as it is colorful! And here's how to make it:


2 cups of farro (I used semi-pearled)
Steamed, cubed butternut squash (mine was the steamer bag from Trader's)
A bunch of kale
Small red onion
Pepitas, to taste
Red wine vinegar
Optional protein source to add in later (I used basil chicken sausage)


  • Cook the farro according to the package directions
  • Dice the red onion. Let it pickle in 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of red wine vinegar (just enough to cover the onion) while you make the rest of the salad
  • Steam your squash and kale using your preferred method
  • When all of these hot ingredients have cooled, pour it all into a bowl
  • Add pepitas and red onion/vinegar mixture. Toss.
  • Serve along with your "protein" to make a meal out of it!
The farro itself is pretty filling.  I added the kale and the sausage this time and they were both excellent complements to the salad.  There are so many amazing flavors combined in here that every bite is just a little bit different and all the colors make it a beautiful dish to eat! 

That's all for now!  I feel so lucky to have such incredible family and friends who help me pack/move/celebrate.  I love you all so much, and i'm so grateful to have you in my life!  And i'm happy to cook anything for you, any time :D

The dinner table wouldn't be complete without the beautiful graduation flowers. Thanks, Jess! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pasta with Non-Artichoke Non-Marsala Sauce

Hi guys!

I'm back from an unintentional blogging hiatus taken due to things like finishing my doctoral research project (YES!!!!), finding a new apartment (can't wait to show you!), eating Native Foods several times per week, and fixing my kitchen sink which exploded in a terrible, terrible way (yep, time for a new apartment!)

Now back to regularly unscheduled programming!

I intended to make this Mushroom and Artichoke Marsala Pasta but what I ended up with was almost entirely unlike it, yet nevertheless, sensationally scrumptious.

You see, when I arrived at the store to buy frozen artichokes and marsala wine, the store was out. But it DID have a conveniently packaged "green bean sautee" full of green beans, red onion, and mushrooms and I knew there was a half-full bottle of cabernet sauvignon on my kitchen counter.

And thus, Green Bean and Mushroom Pasta in a Red Wine Reduction was born!


Green beans, chopped
A few mushrooms, chopped
A small onion, chopped
A bunch of parsley, chopped
Olive Oil
Pasta (I used Rigatoni)
A splash of "cream" (or soy milk)
Red, red wiiiiiiiine (stay close to meeeee) (ok maybe I had a glass before writing this post)


Start cooking the pasta until al dente
Heat olive oil in a large pan
Add onion and sautee until almost translucent
Then add the green beans and mushrooms
Once everything looks nice and sautee-ey, add 1 cup of wine
Turn down the heat and simmer until almost gone
Drain the pasta, add to the veggies
Add the chopped parsley
Add a splash of soy milk and stir it all together

One of my dinner rules I try to stick to is to always include at least 1 green thing and some protein.  This dish was missing the protein so I crumbled up and sauteed a little tempeh in the pasta pot to mix in with the pasta.  If tempeh doesn't sound tempting, you could do the same thing with chicken (mmm cooked in the wine sauce) or serve the dish with some grilled salmon. I think i'll have to make it several more times and try it with all of the above!

Pasta with Tempeh

Happy Cooking!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sesame Kale Macro Bowl

I have a little confession to make.  I'm a LOT obsessed with Native Foods!  Everything is so delicious that Matt and I have been known to go twice in a weekend!  And the carrot cake cupcakes are incredibleeeeeeee!!!!!  But my favorite part is how good I feel after eating there!

Part of my passion for cooking comes from having a stomach that makes things that are wonderful (eg. macaroni and cheese or chocolate chip cookies or a super burrito with sour cream and cheese) sound like a bad, bad, very bad day!  When I cook for myself, I get to use ingredients that make me feel maaaaahvelous!  And most things at Native Foods fit that description too (hence the few too many carrot cake cupcakes).

One of my favorite dishes is the Sesame Kale Macro Bowl.  It sounds so... healthy... and it is!  But it's also delicious. I have a love of all things pickled, so  I think the sauerkraut is the key.  I decided to make my own version and got the idea for the tahini sauce here!  Voila!


1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup quinoa
A bunch of kale chopped into bite size pieces
1 clove garlic, microplaned tiny (probably not a real word but you get it, right?)
The same amount of fresh ginger, also microplaned (tiny)
4 tablespoons of Tahini
A splash of apple cider vinegar
Tempeh cut up into bite-size pieces
Sesame oil
Soy sauce


  • Cook the quinoa/rice according to your usual method. (I do twice as much water as rice and add more if needed while simmering)
  • Steam the kale
  • Cook the tempeh in a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil until browned
  • Mix the ginger, garlic, tahini, vinegar, and some water to thin it out
  • Assemble your bowl!
  • Rice on the bottom, kale on the next layer, sauerkraut next, tempeh, and drizzle your tahini sauce on top!
Easy and yummy. And nice to look at!  Drink it with a nice glass of wine and then, because you've been so very healthy, maaaaaybe some ice cream for dessert :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Asparagus and Almond Pesto

I discovered this recipe on the cover of Fine Cooking Magazine while in line at the grocery store and it was just so beautiful, I had to get out of line and go back into the store to get the ingredients to make it!

I'm glad I did because it was just as pretty and delicious as it looked!

The magazine called for Parmesan in the pesto (left it out), grape tomatoes (I used a mix of grape and yellow heirloom), and the original recipe was made with linguine instead of spaghetti squash.

If you haven't tried spaghetti squash, you absolutely must!  You're bound to see a lot of squashy posts on here due to my fervent passion for the vegetable in any color, shape, size, or season! I have to say that squash in spaghetti form is one of the most easy and fun ways to eat it.

Here we go!


1 spaghetti squash
3/4 pound of asparagus
2 cups of the prettiest tiny tomatoes you can find
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Sea salt 
Olive Oil

Spaghetti Squash:

I'm not kidding... it's really REALLY easy!
  • Pick out a nice spaghetti squash (bright yellow and heavier-than-it-looks means it's a good one)
  • Bring it home.
  • Stab your nice spaghetti squash with a fork several times on all sides (it won't mind)
  • Microwave it for 5 minutes.
  • CAREFULLY turn it over and microwave another 5 minutes.
  • Turn it again and another 3-5 minutes in the micro.
  • You'll know it is done when it gives a little when you poke it.
  • Wait for it to cool a bit and carefully cut it in half
  • Scoop out the seeds and mushy stuff in the middle
  • (Here's the fun part) Rake a fork through the squash and you'll see magical spaghetti squash strands appear!  
  • Set your spaghetti aside for later

Pesto and Veggies:

  • Preheat your oven to 425
  • Cut the bottom half-inch or so off of the asparagus (in my picture below, I cut it into chunks too early and later had to separate the stems and tips by hand!)
  • Place the asparagus and tomatoes on a baking sheet with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt
  • Bake for approximately 18 minutes until the tomatoes are nice and wrinkly and the asparagus is bright green and a little toasty
  • Toast your almonds for about 10 minutes on another baking sheet
  • Set aside the tomatoes
  • Set aside the asparagus tips. Chop up the asparagus stems
  • Set aside 2 tablespoons of toasted almonds
  • Grind up the rest of the almonds in the magic bullet
  • Add the following into your magic bullet along with your ground almonds:
    • Asparagus stems
    • Basil
    • Olive oil to taste and consistency
    • A little salt
    • (if you're a cheese person, you can add 2 tablespoons of grated parm here)
  • Blend it up!  I had to stop, shake it, and add olive oil a few times.

Finishing Touches:

  • Mix the pesto with the spaghetti squash.
  • Add some water if the pesto is more paste-y than saucy. (Rachael Ray would tell you to add starchy pasta water but since we don't have any, regular water works just fine!)
  • Garnish with the asparagus tips, tomatoes, and the rest of the toasted almonds
Enjoy your masterpiece with some vino and keep up the good cooking, good looking!