Can someone please transport us back to Japan? We fell in love with the country five years ago when we visited for the first time. It was the height of summer, and even though it was incredibly hot and humid, we didn’t let the weather slow us down. Every day we would walk for miles—never taking a cab—exploring the immaculate cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and Miyajima. We have never felt so welcomed in any new place before, and the people were warm, polite, and always helpful. On several occasions as we stood on the sidewalk looking at our map, strangers approached us and not only asked if we needed assistance, but then walked with us for several blocks to make sure we arrived at the correct destination. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Los Angeles anymore.
Our yard is exploding with color. The thirty-foot native ceanothus shrub that is normally a deep forest green throughout the year is now covered with clusters of intense purple flowers. The bougainvillea vine surrounding our kitchen door which has been bare all winter long has now begun to flaunt its show-stopping red blooms. Spring is in the air, and soon we’ll be enjoying sweet juicy strawberries and farm-fresh crisp roasted asparagus. This also means that Summer is just around the corner, and if we plan to fit in our swimsuits on our Alaskan cruise in July (more on that later), we’d better start thinking ahead! With travel and beauty on our minds, we wanted to create something delicious and healthy to prepare for this summertime celebration at sea. The thing is, these wraps turned out so tasty, that we’ve eaten about four hundred in the past four days, which isn’t helping the situation. Open your hearts and minds, crispy avocado southwest sushi wraps are here to take you on an international voyage around the world.
People always ask, do we ever fight in the kitchen? The short answer is yes. The long answer is that we have been together for fifteen years so any disagreements we have quickly disappear. It is difficult to hold a grudge against your husband for dropping a plate of pancakes on the floor, and ridiculous to be arguing about why the shot works better with the blue napkin next to the sliced apples instead of the green napkin. As silly as it may be, conversations like this happen, but even when it’s more serious we always work it out. We also have a great time in the kitchen, especially when things turn out as successfully as they did today with this new recipe. This creamy roasted butternut squash risotto is pure autumn bliss with not a thing to argue about.
Our trip to New York was unforgettable. We took a red-eye flight and left for the airport right after Ryan’s choir concert on Sunday night. The musical event took place in a historic church in Los Angeles, home to the second largest pipe organ in the world, and known for its dramatic architecture and colorful stained-glass windows. The harmonies were lush, the songs were moving, and a portion of the after-show snacks were provided by none other than yours truly! The night before, in between packing our bags, we somehow found time to make over two hundred triple chocolate fudge brownies (our most-requested recipe!) and one hundred fifty 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies (replacing the caramelized banana with sprinkle of flaky sea salt), and the multiple trays of baked goods barely fit in the car with all our luggage.
One of the first recipes we posted on Husbands that Cook was Thai carrot burgers: tender, juicy patties filled with fresh grated carrots and aromatic spices mixed in a tangy peanut-lime sauce spiked with sautéed garlic, ginger, and handfuls of chopped cilantro. We have been making these zesty and spicy burgers for years, and it always been one of our favorite recipes to prepare, not only because they are delicious, but because they fill the house with the fragrance of fresh herbs and spices as you cook. That wonderful Thai-inspired creation was adapted from Lukas Volger’s Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, and we were thrilled to learn that he just released a new cookbook last week called Bowl. It is beautifully designed and filled with creative one-dish vegetarian recipes for ramen, pho, bibimbap, and dumplings, as well as gorgeous photography and helpful techniques like how to make ramen noodles and potstickers at home. It was difficult to choose which one to make first, but this kimchi fried rice bowl with quick cucumber pickles immediately caught our attention, since we recently made a batch of kimchi and posted a recipe here just a few weeks ago!