mains meat free recipes

I Am... Grilled Sweet and Savory Miso Glazed Tofu/Tofu Dengaku Recipe

Do you guys every plan things out perfectly only to have a wrench thrown in the plans? What the heck does that saying even mean? Anyway, Mike and I left on Monday for a very long, very exciting trip across Canada! It's Canada's 150th birthday this year and we've always wanted to drive from sea to shining sea, so we figured that this year was the year to do it. Unlike most trips, we're kind of winging this one, so it comes as no surprise that halfway to our first destination, we realized that we forgot one very important thing.

Read More →
breakfast recipes restaurant recipes sandwiches sunday brunch

I Am... Sunday Brunch: Eggslut’s Fairfax Breakfast Sandwich Recipe

The other day I was wearing my I ❤️ BUFFETS sweatshirt (a perfect gift from Mike because, why yes, I do heart buffets) when a bunch of tween girls passed us by. One of them said, "that's a high quality shirt!" and other one said, "I like your hair too, it's really snazzy." I said thanks in a kind of bewildered tone and to be honest, I couldn't tell if they were being mini mean girls or were just being tweens.

Read More →
link love words

I Am... Friday Finds: 6.16.17

Sliding into the weekend like, WHAT? June is just flying by. There are so many things I want/need to do and I just want to figure out a way to make time go just a little bit slower...

Read More →
recipes sweets

I Am... S’More Life: Chocolate Chip Cookie S’mores Recipe

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I took a quick weekend road trip to Seattle. Seattle is the perfect little getaway for us, but the truth is that we think of it as a drive-by kinda city on our way to other destinations. But, this time we took the time to chill out in the city for two nights and we discovered a whole new part to wander around in (Alki Beach) as well as a new cookie to fall in love with.

Read More →
easy entertaining

I Am... Charcuterie at Home

I love weeknight date-nights in. So cozy and romantic. You get to pick the music, or maybe a movie, light some candles and just chill with your boo or friends. My favorite way to do an easy night in is, charcuterie and cheese, of course. Mike and I first discovered our love for charcuterie together. Way back in the day, a hot new restaurant opened in Vancouver, in a literal alley in a very sketchy part of town. It was hipster before being hipster was a thing. They offered flights of meat and cheese for an insane amount of money and we fell in love.

Read More →
breakfast recipes sunday brunch

I Am... Tater Tot Breakfast Bowl

Give me ALL the tots! I love tater tots so much that we hardly ever buy them because if we do, I'll inevitably plow through the whole bag like potatoes are going out of fashion. But, after Mike and I had some exceptionally good tots at a random bar's happy hour and afterwards we picked up a bag while at the grocery store! We had split up, for maximum efficiency and when Mike found me, I was looking longingly at the frozen tot section, my hand pressed against the glass of the freezer. My heart soared when he said with an exasperated sigh, "yes, we can buy the tots." I kind of like to use Mike as my self control because I have none. This means that when we're at the grocery store, I ask myself, WWMD? The ironic part is that Mike's always like, let's PARTY! Which means, let's get drunk and eat a lot of food. But, for the most part, we do a good job of balancing each other out. Except in cases like this where we had a discussion on what would make the ultimate tater tot breakfast bowl. This was SO GOOD. The cheese sauce really made it over the top good. I mean, tots on their own are delicious, but add cheese sauce and you're golden. Plus ketchup. Because I like my tots with ketchup even if there's cheese sauce. What can I say? When I go all out, I go all out. This isn't really so much a recipe as it is a suggestion. Make some tots, extra crispy because extra crisp tots are where it's at. Make a protein — in this case, breakfast sausage and bacon. Add a couple of veggies for health and then top it off with eggs of your choice and a cheese sauce. It's drool-y brunch heaven. Happy Sunday friends! Hope it's tot-filled! cheese sauce and eggs, xoxo steph

Tater Tot Breakfast Bowl Recipe serves 2
  • 2 servings tater tots
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 links sausage
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2-4 eggs
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • microgreens, optional
Start off by preheating your oven to the temperature listed on the tater tot package. Bake tots according to package. While the tots are baking, make the cheese sauce. In the small pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until completely smooth and incorporated. Pour in the milk, in a thin stream while whisking. Bring to a simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cheese, until melted and smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook the sausage and bacon according to your desired crispiness. Scramble, fry, boil, or poach your eggs. I went with scrambled. Assemble your bowls: a bed of tots, with sausage, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, cheese sauce and microgreens. Enjoy!

Read More →
recipes sides snacks

I Am... The easiest way to make french fries at home

There’s nothing more satisfying than effortlessly turning raw ingredients into a simple, iconic dish; like taking a handful of flour, eggs, water and turning it into fresh hand shaped pasta. It’s the kind of easy skill that comes with long practice and it always shows, and it’s always awesome to achieve. That’s why I’ll go to immense effort to achieve that effortless skill. And for me, there is nothing more out of reach than getting french fries right at home. There’s just something about them that, especially in shoestring form, are better done on a commercial factory scale: In-n-out’s fries famously suck, Shake Shack had to walk back their fresh in-store french fries. Heston Blumenthal seemingly has it figured out, as long as its British chip sized, but what we’re looking for here is something more classic, something closer to shoestring. When I saw this post on Quora, I jumped at it. It seemed almost too simple and good to be true, just a few easy steps, although it involved two overnight rests and lots of drying in the fridge. The basic idea was pretty obvious: dry cold fries will explode in hot oil, and if you do it twice, you should get perfectly crispy fries. I had to try it, but more to the point, I wanted to pit it against other simple home recipes. My selection process for the other challengers was emotional, not scientific. I chose the best fries we had ever eaten: Heston’s perfect pommes frites, along with our nemesis recipe, Kenji Lopez Alt’s similarly named recipe. The first time Steph ever made fries, she used Kenji’s recipe. An experienced deep fryer, she was confident in her abilities, but somehow, possibly because the fries were too wet from the brine, the hot oil overflowed the pot and almost scalded her. Luckily, we didn’t have a gas range at the time; I shudder to think what might have ensued if we did. I modified these recipes to fit shoestring fries, this usually just meant any hard boils were closer to simmers and cooking times were shortened. I felt it was a fair test of what was the best method for getting shoestring fries at home. So, without further ado, the results: [caption id="attachment_19123" align="alignnone" width="1450"] Heston's Perfect Triple Cooked Chips[/caption] Heston’s perfect chips took 5 hours. I boiled the potatoes on a low simmer for 10 minutes instead of his original 30, but they still came out completely broken. Not his fault; his original recipe was for inch thick chips, not 1/4” shoestrings. They came out very crispy and quite similar in taste, if not in looks, to the fries Steph and I had at Dinner in London. [caption id="attachment_19121" align="alignnone" width="1450"] Kenji's Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries[/caption] Kenji’s fries take 2 days and are specified to be shoestring sized, so I followed his recipe to a tee. His came out more intact than Heston’s but still broken, I’m not sure how he managed to avoid the broken ones on a high heat boil, but I suspect that’s why his lead photo is only of 12 intact french fries. In the end, the recipe was about twice as involved as Heston’s, with vinegar and agitation needed, but looked and tasted better with more intact fries (marginally more intact). [caption id="attachment_19124" align="alignnone" width="1450"] Random Quora Dude's Method[/caption] The Quora recipe took 3 days but mostly zero effort. The post was short on details, so I invented them as I went along. The first thing I noticed was that they discolored while drying in the fridge. After frying, they recolored themselves but seemed to be the least crispy, and therefore, most disappointing of the bunch. As I ate more and more of them however, it ended up that they had the best, most potatoey flavor and satisfying crisp (as opposed to the boom-in-your-face crunch of the other two). I felt like I could eat endless amounts of these guys, and that made them the winner for me. Thinking that I could optimize on this recipe, I tried condensing the process into one long day. By 10pm that night, I ended up with soggy fries that couldn't hold a candle to their 3 day brethren. Something magical seems to happen on the third day. Was this easier than just throwing some Ore-Ida or McCains fries in the oven? No, but it was far, far more satisfying, and I’m guessing either (or both) Steph or I will be improving this recipe as time goes by, until one day we’ll just effortlessly be able to throw together an easy batch of french fries that can rival the best french restaurants, or McDonalds. Do you guys have a good french fry recipe? I'm all ears. Potato love -Mike

How to Make French Fries at Home 1 potato per person
  • Large russet potatoes, cut into 1/4" shoestrings
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt
Soak your potatoes for 30 mins to 1hr. Blot dry with a paper towel and arrange on rack. Dry in refrigerator overnight. The next day, heat your oil to 375°F. Ensure your potatoes are completely dry (dry with paper towels if needed). Fry your potatoes for exactly 1 minute. Drain and place back on rack, and dry in fridge overnight. On the final day, heat your oil back up to 375°F. Blot dry any excess oil on your potatoes with a paper towel, then fry for exactly two minutes. Drain on a rack, salt immediately, and enjoy as soon as possible.

Read More →
mains noodles recipes

I Am... Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Give me ALL the cheesy baked spaghetti ALL the time. Something magical happens when you bake spaghetti. I feel like it turns into a whole other dish with flavors that are completely different from just regular bolognese. I think it has something to do with the fact that there's a huge amount of cheese. Or maybe it's just that it reminds me of lasagna. Or maybe it's a nostalgia thing because baked spaghetti used to be my go-to dish when I was a kid.

Read More →
how to quickie recipes snacks sunday brunch

I Am... Pizza Toast Recipe

Give me ALL the pizza toasts! Was there any after-school snack that was better than pizza toast? Wait, don't answer that because asking me to choose between after-school snacks is just too cruel – they're all so good. But, pizza toast holds a special spot in my heart because it was one of my small repertoire of recipes that I could make on my own, at seven years old. Other recipes included: regular toast, butter and sugar toast, instant noodles, and scrambled eggs.

Read More →
link love words

I Am... Friday Finds: 6.2.2017

Happy June! Do you guys have big plans? Mike and I are planning something HUGE but it's still up in the air so I'm not going to say anything about it yet. But aside from our secret plan, we've been camping and brunching and enjoying the unusually early warm summer-like weather we've been blessed with. Webstuff:

  1. Why this tech-run grilled cheese fast food joint isn't a home run.
  2. A sweet real life love story.
  3. The self-esteem craze: all hype, no heart.
  4. Addiction in America.
  5. On food and cultural appropriation.
  6. I've had the gelato at Otto and it is everything they say – the gelato master is a genius.
  7. A look into self publishing, from the dudes at Alinea.
  8. Um, I kind of want this sushi ferris wheel/rollercoaster.
  9. I just learned how to skip stones on our last camping trip (I could only do a pitiful 2) so this article about a stone skipping competition put a smile on my face.
Link Love:
  1. Portugal looks dreamy.
  2. I'm a fan of funfetti!
  3. These salmon caprese skewers look amazing.
  4. I wish all my mornings could start with this french toast.
I've got my eyes on you:
  1. Tempted to try these all natural anti-mosquito patches when we go camping but I'm also kind of skeptical.
  2. These coffee filters are perfect for camp pourover!
  3. I went on a massive reading spree and sped through Marlena, The Handmaid's Tale (again), and The Whole Thing Together.
Lately on I am a Food Blog:
  1. Rice-free paella! I riced up some cauliflower and it tasted just as good as traditional.
  2. Mike and I went on a Cannon Beach adventure.
  3. In-N-Out double doubles because the nearest one is entirely too far away.
  4. I love tamagoyaki. Who knew it would make the most ultimate breakfast sandwich?
  5. Make sausage, at home!
Have a wonderful weekend full of grilled meats and veggies! xoxo steph

Read More →
noodles recipes

I Am... Mi Kho: The best vietnamese noodles you never had

I made this traditional Vietnamese noodle dish for Steph and she loved it. I know because she a)went back for seconds and thirds b)said it was better than our restaurant's version and c)asked for the recipe. Little known fact: she never asks for the recipe unless it's good, so if she's asking you for the recipe, you done good. There are three secrets to making really authentic tasting Vietnamese food: how many of the herbs you can find, the brand of fish sauce you use, and a mortar and pestle. In this recipe, there are no herbs, so we're covered for one, but I'm going to cover the other two. There are maybe as many brands of fish sauce as fish in the ocean. Every Vietnamese family has their own preferred brand, and the right brand can make or break the way your food tastes. In our little family of two, we prefer Red Boat, but my parents much prefer Golden Boy. Growing up, I would hear the regular cadence of my mom's mortar and pestle going thump thump thump every night as she prepared dinner. My dad never used it, and even he would admit his food didn't taste as good. He never knew why, but I did; the mortar and pestle is arguably the cornerstone of Vietnamese cuisine. It releases the oils in the aromatics and makes a fresh uncooked-yet-homogenous seasoning paste that you can't achieve otherwise. You can make this recipe without a mortar and pestle, but you're losing an easy 20% boost in taste right there. Some more recipe notes: Mi Kho is traditionally served with soup on the side, so I've included that optional step here, but feel free to omit - my mom never served soup. This recipe looks like the longest recipe on earth but it's actually three recipes in one. Traditionally you make mi kho with Chinese BBQ pork, so this is my take on it where I've replaced the BBQ pork with an ambitious homemade nem nuong (most Vietnamese people would say you're nuts for trying this at home). If you happen to have a source of Chinese BBQ pork nearby and don't make the soup, this recipe can be made in about 15 minutes. In fact, you can replace the pork with any roast pork of your liking, it'll probably taste great. Finally, you'll notice this recipe is very garlic heavy and it's all crushed. A garlic press is your friend here. -Mike PS - I've made this dish twice now and am planning to again tonight! xo steph

Mi Kho with Nem Nuong Recipe Serves 4

Nem Nuong

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons rice (preferably jasmine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 small head of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oil

Side Soup

  • 1 lb of pork or 2 lbs of pork bones
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Mi Kho Sauce

  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 thai chili
  • black pepper

Mi Kho Assembly

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 lb egg noodles
  • 1/2 lb squid
  • 6-8 large shrimp
  • fried shallots
  • nem (from above)
  • chives or green onions
Note: this recipe makes a lot of nem patties. Feel free to quarter, but you'll be missing out. Make the Nem Nuong In a small pan, toast rice over medium heat. Once it has turned golden brown (about 3 mins), crush it into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Transfer to a small prep bowl and set aside. In another small prep bowl, mix the baking powder and water together until it foams a little. Add the crushed garlic paste, sugar, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of your roasted rice powder to your mortar and pestle and crush until your mixture becomes a paste, then add fish sauce and continue crushing until well mixed (this is done to minimize fish sauce splashage). Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Finally, add oil and baking powder mixture and mix well. In a medium bowl, mix together ground pork and the seasoning paste in your mortar. Using the pestle, gently crush the ground pork and seasoning together for about 2 minutes, or until it becomes a smooth, evenly mixed texture. Wrap the bowl with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You can leave this overnight as well. Make soup (optional) Fill a medium pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. If using bones, blanch your bones for 2 minutes, then remove, drain water, and wash your pot. Fill and bring up to a boil again, and add your blanched bones back in. If using a cut of pork instead of bones, cut your pork into 1" cubes. Add your pork to the boiling water. Add extra water to cover the pork as needed, and allow to boil for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Skim any scum from the surface of your soup with a spoon or soup skimmer. Try to keep your water temperature between 170F and 190F, or just below a simmer (no bubbles) if you don't have a thermometer. Using as fine a dice as you can (we're going for a fine brunoise), dice your shallots. Add shallots, garlic, pepper, and sugar to a mortar and pestle and crush into a paste, then add fish sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, then cover and refrigerate. After 1-2 hours, your soup should be a very clear lightly golden brown color. Add your seasoning paste one tablespoon at a time until seasoned to your taste. Make patties and sauce After your nem mixture has been in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, take it out and form into patties. If you are using another roast pork, skip this step and just add about 2 tablespoons of whatever liquid your pork comes with. Heat a large pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry the meat over medium high heat until dark brown on both sides (or internal temp reaches 170F). Remove the patties and set aside on a cutting board or plate. Reduce the heat to medium and fry garlic and sugar until the garlic turns a light golden brown. Add remaining ingredients and deglaze the pan. Cook for one minute, then reserve sauce into a small bowl. Final assembly Prep your squid if needed, as desired. Peel your shrimp, if desired. Set both aside. Slice your nem patties into 1/2" strips. Slice chives into 3" lengths. Heat your oil up in a large pan or wok. Add your nem and fry lightly, then add squid and shrimp. Cook until lightly tender, then add Mi Kho sauce. Remove from heat and add noodles and chives, then toss well. Serve topped with fried shallots. If you made the optional side soup, add a few sprigs of cilantro with the stems removed into some small bowls, and ladle the soup over them. Serve with the noodles.

Read More →
features meat round up

I Am... 8 Chicken Thigh Recipes

I'm a huge fan of chicken thighs. I love how easy they are to cook and how they're juicy and more flavorful than all other parts of chicken. Except maybe wings, because wings are also the bomb. But, if I had to choose, I'd definitely choose thighs over everything else. It's always my go-to piece when there's a bucket of fried chicken, so it's no surprise that it's the cut of chicken I choose to cook the most. Here are 8 chicken thigh recipes for some chicken thigh love!

Read More →