Category Archives: vegetarian

Roasted Butternut Squash and 10(?) Bean Soup


Last night, as a side dish to our roast, I made butternut squash. I roasted it in the oven with sage, oil, salt, pepper, and then finished it with cheese. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling it last night. Something didn’t quite taste right. Maybe I didn’t salt enough or maybe I was just feeling stressed about the evening and decided to take it out on the poor, unsuspecting squash. Disappointed, I just put it aside, and decided to make soup out of it later.

After the dishes were done and kitchen cleaned, I sauteed onion and garlic, and then added the squash cubes and simmered everything in stock for an hour or so, smashing the orange flesh against the sides of the pot until they were broken up. I seasoned it to taste, simmered it a bit longer, then put it in the fridge to be dealt with today. Today, when I thought about what I was going to do with it, I decided that I wanted to add some protein and substance to it instead of pureeing it and calling it good. I plan to take it for lunch this week to work and I need something more substantial to get me through the day. I hunted through my cabinet, peeked through various mason jars I have on my counter filled with broken pieces of pasta, lentils of all colors, beans, and barley–eventually, I stumbled upon a jar of assorted legumes. It has two types of lentils in it, white beans, garbanzo beans, split peas–so many different types of dried legume.  Definitely too many to count. So I settled on 10(?).


The first thing I did with these legumes was soak them in water for awhile.  Then I added them to my mashed butternut squash mixture with more  stock.  Now it’s simmering on my stove until the beans are tender.

It’s not much to look at, but it’s the perfect soup to take to work this week!





What a(n) (ice) day


Snow and snow and snow and ice and sleet and ice and ice.

But I am wearing clean pajamas and I did do a lot of organizing and cleaning around the apartment today. I have a roast beef in the crockpot that needs about another hour or so. Roasted butternut squash and mashed potatoes. And the best part: sweet potato biscuits. I may never make regular biscuits again. Granted, I did grate an entire stick of frozen butter into these puppies, but I’d like to think that including an entire baked sweet potato into the biscuits counterbalances the butter. Right? Right. (right?)

Over 5300 people in Eugene are without power at the moment and out local electricity company said to expect outages even if we haven’t had any issues so far. So, yeah. Henry went to the store to get beer, candles, and hot cheetos. That’s all we need to be snowed and iced in–and without power.

Please make these biscuits. I didn’t change a thing about the recipe. Some reviewers said that grating frozen butter was difficult, but it was so easy and weird that it was almost a novelty.  Ooh! Grated butter!  Even Henry smiled at it.


On Apple Pies and Boiling Broth


Snow Day Eugene 2014. More snow than this area has seen in decades (Don’t fact check me; I heard that on facebook).  I had a productive day in my pajamas. It felt good to clean, cook, and organize before the kids get here on Sunday.

I made Mongolian Beef for dinner with this recipe. Then I took the chicken carcass I had been saving and made a stock.  Then I even got the inspiration to make an apple pie adapted from this recipe. It was my first apple pie ever. I was on a roll.

Then I got cocky. I may have even gloated a bit when I saw how beautiful and rich my stock had gotten.  I asked Henry to help me strain it so that I could cool it and freeze it. Then, Stupid Jenn decided to process the stock into her large, antique glass bowl. Before I knew it, boiling stock had spilled in a torrent down my feet and the bowl had cracked into several huge pieces. I cried and Henry ushered me to the bathroom to soak my feet in cold water. He then proceeded to clean up the entire kitchen, cutting himself in the process.

Thankfully, the apple pie turned out. I think I need to go to bed now before I hurt myself or anyone else.


Where did this energy come from?



  • We decided we are moving in a month and filled out an application for a new apartment.
  • We went to the pumpkin patch.
  • I made a buffalo chicken casserole, which was amazing. No lie.
  • Fed the kids, played with the kids, bathed them, brushed their teeth, read stories, and put to bed with nary a tear.
  • Made a cold oatmeal parfait for breakfast in the morning.
  • Made rootbeer pulled pork in the crock pot.
  • Made breakfast cookies.
  • Did laundry.

The only explanation I have is that I won’t do any more chores or feats of amazing-ness for the rest of the week. Oh, yeah. I have to work tomorrow and teach. Maybe I should go to bed…

Breakfast cookies:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup peanutbutter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • large handful of dried apricots, diced
  • large handful of mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Mix and bake at 325 until slightly brown.

Cold Oatmeal Parfait:

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1.5 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup peach pie filling I made this summer with my dear friend Katie

Shake until combined in a mason jar. Leave in the fridge until morning.

Rootbeer Pulled Pork

  • Pork Butt, a large one
  • 2 onions, halved
  • 4 or 5 chipotles in adobo
  • 20 ounces of rootbeer
  • 1 cup-ish chicken stock

Low and slow in the crock pot all night.


Crazy Rainy Day


Birthday party at a skating rink.

Braving Fred Meyer twice on a Sunday in a downpour.

Reveling in the fact that I don’t start a new class until next, next Monday.

Pizza grilled cheese sandwiches.

A few tears.

Bath time.

Cherry Walnut Muffins.



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 stick butter melted

Mix the wet. Mix the dry. Combine and bake in muffin tins at 425 degrees until slightly golden.

Gotta go. Someone is either crying or drinking bath water.

Sick and Tired (but hopeful)


Because I was sick, I had a four day weekend. But a “four day weekend” in name only. There is no resting and recuperating with small children around.

Sleeping in did not happen. Showering did not happen. Cleaning and working also fell by the wayside. But, as with every time I get sick, this was a way for my body to force me to chill out and stop doing. I am behind on everything, but feeling better today. It’s rainy and cold. I have the backdoor open and the front window open, and as I sit typing this, I can feel the damp, chilled breeze sweep through the apartment.

We went grocery shopping for the week today, and planned on doing laundry, but our neighbors aren’t using the community machines appropriately, so it’ll have to wait another day.

So with some pent up energy, latent frustration, and a lingering head cold, I decided to make some breakfast cookies. We both need something to throw down our maws first thing before we head to work, so we’ll see if this recipe starts to make a regular rotation.


  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 banana, smashed
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce, no sugar added
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Mix well. Bake at 325 until edges are a little golden.


Orange Autumnal Stew


Henry got up this morning at 6:30.

We went round and round before bed last night–one of those arguments that never go away, but just need to be accepted. In those moments, when our backs are against the wall, we are so incredibly similar. Stressed. Tired. Defensive. But sleep always smooths over the rough edges of the night and circumstances really do seem a bit brighter in the morning.

He got up at 6:30 and didn’t say anything. I was awake, too. I stayed in bed and tried to listen to what he was doing. I heard the rustle of coffee filters. The water from the tap ran. A pan scraped against the stove’s heating element. I got up and stood in the kitchen, watching him with bleary, puffy eyes. He was at the stove, making me eggs in a basket. He said: I was going to bring it to you in bed, but you got up. He handed me a cup of coffee and we started our day better than we ended it.

The kids got back today and it’s our week with them. We cleaned and shopped today and by the time lunch rolled around, we were starving. This is what I rustled up.


  • one onion, diced
  • two cloves of garlic, minced
  • a handful of baby carrots, chopped
  • one stalk of celery, diced
  • 4 cups of chicken stock or veggie stock
  • 1/2-2/3 of a cup of red lentils…estimation…I just poured “some” in
  • 2 cups of rotini whole wheat pasta…more estimation
  • tsp of fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • bay leaf
  • 8 ounces no salt added tomato sauce


Saute veggies until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Add rosemary. Add lentils, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils soften and thicken the soup. Add the pasta. I am not certain how much I added. The pasta absorbs a lot of liquid, so if you want it soupier, add less. Boil until the pasta is al dente. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Delicious, quick, healthy, and a beautiful color. Perfect for a chilly September day.