Cranberry, Candied Ginger, Cashew Bark

Daylight savings time is the worst time of year. Every day this week I either woke up at 3 AM rip-roarin’ and ready to go or overslept my alarm and showed up to work looking like I had just been barfed out of a rack at Goodwill. I know it’s just one hour difference, but this is rocking my world, and not in the Michael Jackson way.

My utter repulsion from this whole seasons changing thing has left me with no choice: the only solution I have come up with is to get inappropriately, obsessively excited for the holidays. I am going to use this blog to chronicle my downward spiral, which (I hope) will culminate around the end of the year. January is hopeless and by February I will likely be living on a desert island surviving on nothing but coconuts and pure vitamin D from the sun. Until then, you can follow along for cheery holiday inspiration.



I have always loved chocolate bark. It’s thinly veiled as a creative thing to make when, really, it’s like, “let’s cut to the chase and stuff our faces with chocolate like we all came here to do.” It’s highly customizable and is approved by chocoholics and 100% of grandmothers (sample size: 1).


Cranberries and ginger were naturals to use given the time of year. Cranberry is perfectly tart and the ginger brings a warming zing that will make it difficult to stop eating this stuff. I am just a huge fan of cashews but any nuts could be substituted. Use good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% – it makes a big difference) and you and I just might survive this winter.

Cranberry, Candied Ginger, Cashew Bark 

9-10 ounces chopped dark chocolate

1 cup cashews, loosely chopped

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup candied ginger, sliced thinly

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Set a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have one). Melt the chocolate and add the coconut oil. While the chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Pour the melted chocolate in a large rectangle over the silpat and sprinkle in the cashews, cranberries, and ginger. Place in the fridge or freezer for 1 hour until firm. Slice or break into pieces. Devour.


Shout out to the cool folks at Videri Chocolate! Check out their bean to bar dark chocolate. It makes a great gift (to your mouth). 

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My go-to vegan lentil soup

Halloween was this weekend and everyone is all candy! chocolate! pumpkin spice! and I’m just sitting here like LENTILS, MOTHERFUCKERS.

For some reason* October has been extremely cold this year. I got my mitten collection out on, like, October 2nd and have been shivering… my timbers. My favorite thing to do when it starts getting cold (as I mention just about every goddamn year) is make big batches of really hearty soup. It lasts through the week and is a thing I can eat and feel extremely full (but is healthy enough that I can justify eating multiple courses of dessert).

*it’s the end of days


When I make lentil soup I rarely follow any kind of recipe, but rather the same structure for building flavor and texture. How do I do this?

  • For flavor I always start by sautéing the bejesus out of some onions. They get browned and caramelize and could make a bundle of old sticks taste good.
  • Include a variety of herbs, spices, and tons of garlic (always tons of garlic). Spices and herbs are fat-soluble, so I like to add them at the beginning when there’s just oil in the pan, or just oil + onions.
  • Add something acidic (I often add the juice of half a lemon) and something for umami flavor (soy sauce, sautéing mushrooms along with the onions, or tomato paste do the trick).
  • My secret ingredient in almost all soups is salsa. I keep a few jars of good stuff on hand and add about 1/2 a cup for extra tomatoey spicy flavor.
  • I like using broth as a base (or homemade stock whenever I can make it), but I always have good quality bouillon on hand to make water into broth instantly.
  • Let it simmer forever. Obviously none of us have infinite time, but on a Sunday afternoon put a pot on the stove and let it sit while you do laundry, read, check your MyFace, whatever. Time really is the most important variable in building flavor, so be patient and your soup will reward you for it.

It’s all good and fine to have your soup taste great, but you’ll kill it if you remember to think about the texture. I load mine up with different texture vegetables (something starchy like potato, sweet potato, carrots), different types of beans, squishier stuff like mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers, and greens (kale and chard work great). Adding lots of veg might even keep you healthy all winter. Or you might get the plague.


Those are my go-to methods for pretty much any soup I make. Here’s the recipe for this particular soup:

serves 6

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pobalano pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 small (or 1 large) red potatoes, chopped finely
  • about 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup green lentils (any kind will work)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Heat 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pot) in a large pot on medium heat. Add rosemary and onion and sauté 5-10 minutes, until translucent and lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook them down (5ish minutes), then add the pepper (sauté another 5 minutes). Add potatoes and cook for roughly 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add lentils, tomato paste, and salsa, then cover with veg broth or water + bouillon (about 1 inch above the top of everything else). Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Once the potatoes and lentils are tender, season with salt, pepper and optional hot sauce to taste. Serve with good bread!


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Caramelized onion butternut squash galette

Squashluck  2015 happened last night and I don’t think I’m going to eat another meal for, like, five hours.


What is Squashluck, you ask? Squashluck is an annual potluck where we savor the squashy flavors of the season in a variety of forms (the real goal is to eat a meal almost entirely the same hue as John Boehner’s skin). It is a safe space where it is not only accepted, but encouraged, to get seconds, thirds, and fourths. Hibernation starts now.

Last night’s feast featured a shaved Brussels sprout salad with pickled squash and paprika roasted seeds, smashed potatoes with avocado aioli (not squash but close enough), pumpkin pasta, coconut cinnamon roasted delicata squash, this squash caramelized onion galette (keep scrolling), squash-hued flowers, and tons of pumpkin beer. Not pictured below: squash red lentil soup, pumpkin chocolate chip cake, and even more pumpkin beer.



This was my very first galette, so I turned to two stonecold baking badasses, Smitten Kitchen and Isa Chandra Moskowitz, for guidance. Neither had exactly what I wanted, so I made a mashup and the result was totally delicious. I liked making this recipe because I could have one thing cooking (squash in the oven) and get started on the next thing (onions in the pan) and finish up (make the dough) so all of the pieces were ready at roughly the same time. I LIKE A LITTLE ORDER IN MY LIFE SOMETIMES, OKAY?



Caramelized onion butternut squash galette

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Veganomicon

For the dough:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 cup vegan butter or shortening

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup cold water

For the filling:

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped up into 1/2″ cubes

1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin slices

1 large handful of rosemary, minced

olive oil

pinch of brown sugar



Preheat oven to 400*

1. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spread chopped butternut squash in a single layer and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, or just enough to coat it all. Sprinkle with salt and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the squash is tender when you stick a fork in it. Remove and set aside.

2. While the squash is baking, heat a medium skillet with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the sliced onions. Sauté for 10 minutes or so, stir in a pinch of brown sugar and a teaspoon or so of salt, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 more minutes, until they are lightly browned. Remove from heat.

3. After you place the onions on the stove to simmer, make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the vegan butter in about 1 tablespoon at a time (8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup) and mix it into the flour. The flour should be “pebbly” and crumbly (kind of the consistency of wet sand). In a measuring cup, combine the 1/2 cup cold water and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Add the mixture to the flour in three batches, gently stirring with a fork until it all holds together. Add another teaspoon or so of water if necessary.

4. Gather the dough into a ball and gently knead it for a minute or so. Form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. While you’re waiting, combine the roasted squash with the sautéed onions. Add the chopped rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Lightly flour a surface and place the unwrapped dough on it. Roll out into a roughly 12″ circle. Transfer to a lightly greased (or silpat-lined) baking sheet. Pour the squash and onion mixture into the dough, leaving about 1.5″ border. Fold the border over the squash mixture, pleating it if you are fancy and can manage it. The center will be left open.

6. Bake at 400* for about 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and begins to brown. Remove and serve warm.



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Herbed White Bean Summer Squash Bake + end of summer happs

I’m writing to you from bed with one Kleenex stuffed up each nostril shoving ice cream at my mouth hole straight from the container. It’s 9 AM. #glamour #nyfw

Ben and I have both been sick with this wretched (WRETCHED, I SAY) cold for a couple days that involves a lot of snot and spooning with a roll of toilet paper for middle-of-the-night-sneezing fits. He sheepishly admitted to me that he thinks he contracted it from his coworker, but obviously he healed in, like, 12 hours and I am the one home sick from work today. OBVIOUSLY.

Now that I have time on my hands (and am trying to stay awake to avoid drowning in my own drool) I can bring this blog up to speed. I traveled a lot in the month of August: Maine with Ben and his family; Pittsburgh to help my sister move and get sunburned at a Pirates game; Vermont for a visit to camp with Sarah; Cape Cod with my dad’s whole side of the family; Colorado to visit Liz and Sarah and get sunburned again. Here are a bunch of pictures (mainly to remind myself there is life outside of this bed/bedroom). I promise there is a recipe at the end, so keep scrolling.

Photo 8-28-15, 4 45 49 PM

Ben skipping rocks on Cape Cod. Also, pop lock and dropping it. Is that reference outdated?

Photo 8-22-15, 10 32 59 AM

I want to write something nice about rainbows but all I can think of is that creepy new Snapchat feature

Photo 7-31-15, 8 02 27 PMBoothbay Harbor, ME. You have the right to reMaine in awe of dat sunset (that was bad)

Photo 8-2-15, 3 52 01 PM

I attempt to take a picture and Ben reaches over to remove the food that’s all over my face from lunchPhoto 9-5-15, 4 57 33 PM

hiking a little tiny section of the Colorado Trail. those mountains though.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

a confused selfie moments before almost dropping my phone to a rivery death

Screenshot 2015-09-16 10.20.52

green coconut curry ramen in Denver


Last but not least, a new recipe. This has been a long time coming, but it’s a good one.


Herbed White Bean Summer Squash Bake

  • 2 medium yellow summer squash or zucchini, sliced (roughly 4 cups)
  • 1/2 lb yellow potatoes, sliced thinly (peel if you wish)
  • 3 cups sourdough or other crusty bread ripped into pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • fresh chopped rosemary (about 3 tablespoons or to taste)
  • fresh chopped thyme (about 1 tablespoon or to taste)
  • fresh chopped basil (about 1 tablespoon or to taste)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Combine all of the veggies, herbs, beans, bread chunks, and vegetable stock in an oven-proof casserole dish or pan. Stir it around and season with salt and pepper. The mixture should be moist but not have too much extra liquid (if it’s still very dry, add another 1/4 cup stock). Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the potatoes are tender. Serve hot!

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