Every few years, Ryan’s parents invite the entire family on an adventure sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands. They rent a large catamaran, comfortable enough to sleep eight of us—including Ryan’s oldest brother David, his wife Jenny, and their two daughters, Stella and Lucia. The boat has four cozy bedrooms and four bathrooms on the lower level, while the living space is located upstairs, along with a tiny kitchen equipped with a small propane stove. It never felt cramped, except for the brisk navy showers before bedtime, where we would quickly scrub off the layers of sunscreen and salt from our daily snorkeling adventures, using as little water as humanly possible in a space about the size of a phone booth.
Tomorrow is the first day of summer, and we are diving right in. In less than 48 hours, we’ll be sailing on crystal clear waters 3500 miles from Los Angeles, sipping on dark and stormys, passion coladas, and soaking up Caribbean sunshine in the tropical British Virgin Islands. Ryan’s parents are experienced sailors, and every few years, they invite the family to explore the seas in a 45-foot catamaran that will be our floating home for the week. Stocked with a full kitchen complete with an oven and stove, the eight of us will be cruising in the water—with laughing gulls tagging along, waiting for our nieces Stella and Lucia, who will throw them a treat. With four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a sound system which will have Bob Marley and Harry Belafonte on repeat, our crew will be adventuring around the neighboring islands that make up this picture-perfect region—sampling fresh local fruit, snorkeling in 80-degree waters teeming with coral reefs and rainbow-colored fish, and enjoying some much-needed relaxation after this past year and a half of writing the cookbook! But before we embark, we’d like to leave you with a brand new recipe and a refreshing drink to go with it.
Please excuse our dancing. We do have a good reason: it’s now the middle of autumn and we haven’t seen a drop of rain for months… so we figured we’d try something—anything—to bring forth some much-needed water from the sky for our poor dehydrated city. Hopefully this rain dance will work, and our plants will finally be restored from their pathetically drooping, shriveled state to plump green leaves, bursting with moisture. While we await that day, we’ve been pretending like it’s autumn by playing rainfall sounds as our background music, keeping the air conditioning below 55, and closing all the shades to make the house dark and wintry. We will get our autumn one way or another, and this simulation method seems to be working. We may look peculiar wearing snow hats and sweaters inside our kitchen as we cook, but with the gentle sounds of raindrops from our speakers and frosty air blowing from our A/C, we are now ceremonially set for soup season. Bring on the hoppin’ john, bring on the hot nutella, and let’s get this party started.
This post was created in partnership with Taylor Farms. All opinions are our own.
One question we are often asked is how we stay so skinny. We may share lots of desserts here on the blog, but we also try to keep the recipes balanced between the sweet autumnal cocktails and cookies that continue to make appearances in our somewhat-balanced household. All kidding aside, it is a combination of factors: heredity (you should see how thin our moms are), hiking, and taking time to eat healthy. Our dinners for the past few months have consisted of mountains of roasted vegetables, sautéed greens, quinoa, and tofu prepared a hundred and sixteen ways. We have been extra creative in the kitchen, experimenting with different techniques to prepare our produce and we have been thrilled with the results. The only downside is it can take a while: when you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to cut and peel loads of sweet potatoes and beets then wait a half-hour while they cook in the oven, you need a quicker—but still healthy—alternative. So we created a delicious and easy weeknight dinner that takes less than fifteen minutes from start to finish, and we’re excited to share it with you today.
This post was created in partnership with Wild Garden. All opinions are our own.
First we grab the ladder from the garage. It only gets used once a year; always on the same day, and for the same reason every time. We prop it against the front of our house, then Ryan climbs onto the roof, reaching his arms down so Adam can hand him the treats we’ve picked out for this year’s annual spectacle.