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 Labor Day weekend we flew to Portland to visit Ryan’s family. His cousins David and Ana were in town all the way from Spain, so we kissed Sylvia goodbye and headed north to see them. Aside from the thick smoke caused by forest fires looming over the entire state of Oregon, we had a wonderful time: cooking meals together, jumping on trampolines with our nieces, meeting their guinea pigs Pepe and Nick, swimming in the pool—including a few rounds of Marco Polo, sampling fresh crispy churros con chocolate in a boutique shop near downtown, taking long walks through the lush Durham Park just steps away from the house where Ryan grew up, all the while practicing our Spanish with the relatives. One night for dinner, Ana prepared a pastel, a savory quiche-like dish with eggs, potatoes, and white asparagus, topped with a tangy red sauce made from roasted pimentos, raw garlic, and cream. We will definitely be posting about it here soon, but until then, this simple appetizer we are sharing today reminds us of when we visited them in Spain—hopping from bar to bar and sampling the few vegetarian tapas options we could find. Say hola to blistered shishito peppers with garlic and ginger.
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.
This post was created in partnership with Kroger. All opinions are our own.
We both came out to our parents soon after we started dating. Three months after our first kiss, Ryan flew to Oregon to visit family for Christmas. He had just turned twenty and still hadn’t revealed his secret to anyone back home, but he had met someone special and wanted to share the excitement with his parents. After days of anxiously waiting for the right moment to tell them, it finally presented itself: they were sitting quietly in the family room, reading after dinner. He paced outside the door rehearsing the words he had practiced a hundred times in his head. After one last deep breath, he walked in and took a seat on the couch.
“I have something to tell you.”
They both looked up from their newspapers and said nothing, waiting for what was coming next.
“I met someone at school this semester.”
Silence. His heart was racing.
“…and his name is Adam.”
His mom just smiled. “We’ve always known, we were just waiting for you to tell us.”
The entire family was supportive from day one—even Ryan’s grandmother, a devout Catholic in her 80’s, loved and accepted Adam like a grandson, greeting him every time with huge hugs and home-cooked tortilla con papas. We both feel fortunate to come from such loving and accepting homes, but for many people, this is not the case. So in honor of National Pride Month, we created a rainbow recipe to spread awareness about a campaign that is helping LGBT kids around the country.