Archive for Recipes


Last week made my heart sad.  Unexpected, tragic events have the ability to make you focus on all of the negative in the world – sort of that “when it rains, it pours” mentality.  There are so many questions and there is a struggle to understand why, but there will always be unanswered questions.

I think Patton Oswalt said it best when he said “The good outnumber you, and we always will” (If you haven’t already, you can read his whole response to Boston here).  This is something I whole-heartedly believe: that good will always win.

In the hopes of keeping things light today while I get back into the swing of things, I thought I would share something delicious with you all.  This isn’t so much a recipe as something you should try.  I only tried this a few weeks ago at my in-laws’ house but since then, I’ve been hooked.  I come home with strawberries whenever I find a good batch at the grocery store.


So… about once a week.

Now that it’s sort of strawberry season, I think this would be the perfect time to share this ‘recipe’.



1)  Cut up strawberries into quarters (or smaller if they are large strawberries).
2)  Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of sugar on top of the strawberries and then drizzle a little bit of water over them.
3)  Place the strawberries in a sealed container.
4)  Wait two days before eating.


You can eat them the next day, but it’s definitely worth waiting until the second day.  By that second day, there will be some wonderful strawberry juices at the bottom of the container.  If you can make it to the third day then you’re pretty much golden (and you’ve totally impressed me because we cannot make it that long, although I bet it’s worth it).


The great thing about this is that it makes a great snack or dessert – and it’s something everyone can enjoy.  It’s also a wonderful treat to bring when you’re going over someone’s house.  We usually eat it right out of the container or drizzled over chocolate cake.  I believe this would also be delicious with some homemade whipped cream.  One day, I intend to have it as an ice cream (so, probably this weekend seeing as it’s finally sort of warm out).

So, let’s hear it: how do you prefer to eat your strawberries?  With chocolate?  Ice cream?  Do you hate strawberries but love strawberry flavored treats?  Anyone contemplating giving this ‘recipe’ ago with other fruits?

Posted in Food, Recipes, Vegan | 10 Comments

Updating an Old Favorite

Before I went away to college, I was fairly hopeless when it came to cooking.  No joke, I had to ask my mom how to boil an egg.  Safe to say that the kitchen was not my domain.

For my Junior year, I moved off campus and into an apartment with an actual kitchen.  Gone were my days of dining hall food, only to be replaced by my concoctions.  Not everything was a success, which is weird since the majority of my meals were pre-made items that you only had to add a few ingredients (like pancakes or those Knorr (Lipton) side dishes).  Like I said, I was not a natural-born chef.

The year I moved off campus was also the year Joe and I got together.  He and I ended up cooking together often (which is one reason why I ended up being a decent cook).  This was also the year I got my first cookbook: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis (which is the other reason why I got it together in the kitchen).

One of our favorite recipes from the book was the farfalle with turkey sausage, peas, and mushrooms – which you can check out here.  I highly recommend it.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s a quick and easy meal to make that’ll give you plenty of leftovers.

Sadly, I won’t eat this anymore since I don’t eat turkey but the other night, Joe was able to create something very similar.  Instead of using sausage, he used tofu ricotta (recipe found here).  I loved it so much that I ate it for dinner, brought some in for lunch, and ate the rest at dinner.


If you’re interested in making the vegan version, it’s pretty simple.  All you need to do is chop the mushrooms and cook them in olive oil until the water has evaporated, add the frozen peas and let them cook together.  When that’s done, add the tofu ricotta mix in and then mix it in with the cooked pasta.

Next time, Joe and I are going to play around with different seasonings, like fennel, in hopes of giving it the same flavor as the original recipe.  Either way, it’s nice being able to add a new updated recipe to our repertoire.

Have you played around with recipes as your tastes change?  And when did you learn your way around the kitchen??

Posted in Food, Recipes, Vegan | 13 Comments

Joe’s Chili

I’m fairly confident that this is the first beef recipe I’ve ever shared with you all.

Yep – I just checked.  This is the first one, and it’s not even mine… it’s Joe’s.  Clearly, I have never tried this, but it smells so good that I asked him to make me a meatless version (which he did because he is an awesome husband).

Joe’s Chili


Note from Joe: I make no claims of this being a traditional chili recipe. Just something to cook low and slow, and that comes out delicious in the end and is warm and hearty on a winter weekend. Since Kristen doesn’t eat meat, I’ll save this in the fridge and have it for lunch a couple of days during the week, or late at night after getting back from class.  It’s good stuff. Feel free to mess around and try your own combinations. If it’s well seasoned, chili is really hard to screw up.


  • I lb of ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 ground beef is best but feel free to substitute ground turkey and make sure there’s a decently high fat content. Ground turkey breast will dry out and not taste good).
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (you can substitute with fresh chopped tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, tomato puree, and even tomato paste for a deeper, darker chili).
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced or chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced or chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced or chopped
  • A little olive oil
  • Half a bottle of beer (Note from Joe: I’ve been using a Russian Imperial Stout I brewed with a friend of mine, and it’s fantastic in chili. Any beer will do, but I prefer a darker, less carbonated, and less hoppy. A Guinness is a really great choice).
  • Seasoning to taste (there are no measurements)
    • Cumin
    • Chili powder (adds a nice dark red color)
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic powder
    • Paprika (for smokiness)
  • A bit of cornstarch for thickening


1)  Oil your pot (Joe uses our Le Creuset) with a some olive oil. Let it get nice and hot.

2)  Add a third of your ground beef. Let it brown and take it out. Do the same for the rest.  By splitting the meat up, it browns rather than steams (if you put too much ground beef in at once it will be more grey than brown).

3)  Chop the garlic, pepper, and onion. Add them to the pan and sauté them for a couple of minutes until they smell delicious. Add all of the beef back in, and mix it all together.

4)  Add the tomatoes. Bring it to a boil, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot. That’s the good stuff.

5)  Add the beans, liquid and all. Bring it back to a boil.

6)  Add your spices and mix generously. The chili should turn from a lighter red to a deep red, This is good.

7)  Let this simmer for about an hour, top on or off, depending on how thick you want your chili. Stir every now and then.

8)  Bring the pot back up to a boil and add half of the bottle of beer. Drink the rest because beer is delicious when you’re cooking in a hot kitchen.

9)  If you like a spicier chili, and don’t care much for tradition, add a squirt of sriracha. I honestly put this stuff on almost everything.

10)  Let this simmer for as long as you prefer (Note from Joe: If I’m hungry I sometimes eat it half an hour or so after adding the beer. If I have time and start cooking early enough, I’ll let it cook down for a couple of hours. It’s delicious either way).

11)  Enjoy!  It’s great plain, with a sliced avocado, guacamole, sour cream, and even hummus.

 Psst – You can check out more recipes here!

Posted in Food, Recipes | 10 Comments

Shrimp & Broccoli Over Quinoa

The weeks before Joe and I moved, we made an effort to do as little grocery shopping as possible.  Instead of buying more, we tried to use what we had and clean out the pantry.  It was a win-win for us because not only were we spending less but we also had less to move.

Granted, this plan was not always possible (sometimes you have to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things) but we did our best and used up a lot of the staples in our refrigerator and pantry.  A large part of this approach meant eating a lot of cereal and veggie burgers (not together), but we were able to come up with some delicious meals.

In our freezer, next to a box of veggie burgers, was a half a bag of shrimp and a big bag of frozen broccoli.  Clearly, Chinese food came to mind but we didn’t have rice… and we only had a little bit of soy sauce.  This was the time to get creative.

shrimp & broccoli

Shrimp & Broccoli over Quinoa


  • 1/2 bag of shrimp
  • 1/2 bag of broccoli
  • 1 ½ cup quinoa, 3 cups water
  • soy sauce
  • rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp sugar


1)  Begin by preparing the quinoa (go by what the package says).
2)  As the quinoa cooks, begin to defrost the shrimp.  Once it has defrosted, do any necessary cleaning (we make sure they’re clean and remove the tails).
3)  While the shrimp is defrosting, put the broccoli in a covered microwave safe bowl with a little bit of water for three minutes.
4)  Combine the soy sauce (to taste), rice wine vinegar (to taste), diced garlic, and teaspoon of sugar.  Mix well and put off to the side.
5)  When you’re finished cleaning the shrimp, drizzle a little olive oil in a non-stick pan.  Once the oil has heated, add the shrimp.  When the shrimp is almost done, add in the broccoli and pour the soy sauce mixture into the pan.  Stir everything up until the shrimp and broccoli is coated.
6)  When you’re ready to serve, scoop a serving of the quinoa into a plate and add the broccoli and shrimp mixture.  Be sure to get some of the extra sauce in the pan!
7)  Enjoy!

Shrimp & Broccoli

Psst – you can check out more recipes here!

Posted in Food, Recipes | 6 Comments

Veggie Chili

It’s not really a secret that the only meat I eat is from the sea, but I am able to admit that I am always jealous of the beef chili Joe makes every week.  It makes the entire apartment smell wonderful and looks delicious.  Unfortunately, I cannot bring myself to eat it.

Thankfully, I don’t have to because Joe is a wonderful husband and made me a vegetarian version of his chili!  I can honestly say that this is the best bean chili I have ever eaten.  To make it even better, I’ve been serving it over brown rice – which is great touch!

I highly recommend giving this recipe a go, especially if you’re not sure what to do for a meatless Monday… or you’re looking for a way to warm up during this cold spell!


Veggie Chili


  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Chili powder to taste


1)  Add a little bit of olive oil in a pot.  Once it’s heated, throw in the diced onions, garlic, and pepper.  Cook until it’s fragrant and softened a bit.

2)  Add the cans of crushed tomato, followed by the beans, and the spices (I would recommend adding less first, because you can add more later).  Stir everything together.

3)  Allow the chili to come to a boil for five minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for at least an hour.  If you would like to add more spices, do so now.

4)  Enjoy!

PS – You can see more of our recipes here.

Posted in Food, Recipes, Vegan | 6 Comments
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