Fast App Friday Returns!

When summer hits I have a simultaneous urge to eat LOTS of produce and LOTS of ice cream. Today, I am going to talk about produce.

The fastest app ever is our friend the crudites.

If you have veggies and hummus (or ranch or tadziki or any dip you love) then you have this app. You don’t need to cook anything… AND if you’re really feelin super chill you can buy pre-cut veggies. I generally cut my own because for some reason I feel like carrot sticks taste better when I peel and cut the carrots myself. Maybe it is just because they are from Farmhouse and the carrots just taste better anyways? A true mystery.

There’s so many ways to serve this:

Netflix Snackie

This is the most chillaxed version because it is a little bebe party just for you! Throw some produce on a plate or in a tiny bowl, then put some hummus or other dip in the corner. You can also “elevate” this by putting the dip in the bottom and serving in aesthetically pleasing vessels. Which brings us to option 2…

Fancy Mini Servings for Parties

Remember when everyone was DELIGHTED that mini cupcakes were a thing? Everyone loves things when they are tiny. While charcuterie has been making the Instagram rounds big time, the pandemic invented jar-cuterie (or individual cups if you do not have a dozen little mason jars sitting around). I mean… these little cups were big during covid for obvious reasons.

I am always nervous about double-dippers when there’s a veggie assortment and no plates or spoon for the dip. And while I loathe when I am pulling a George Costanza, I often am (as noted below):

Double dipping is gross- full stop. I won’t with strangers or even family. I also will not share ice cream cones. Get your own, bro.

These individual cups prevent double-dipping from being gross because the dip is in the bottom of your own cup! So fun and so cute and SO sanitary. 🙂

Veggie Board

I would recommend having a little spoon and plates for serving these so the aforementioned double dip grossness does not occur. Speaking of George, if you do not see enough veggies on the menu of the restaurant you’re headed, just pack your own:

That’s it! That’s the post. Fast app and fast post. Thanks for coming to my second round of:


Granola ain’t just for parfaits, y’all.

Okay, before I start I must admit that granola is EXCELLENT for it’s general uses like parfaits. Here are some shots of me using Hunt & Gather Granola on parfaits, yogurt bowls, smoothie bowls, or as cereal:

First off- all of these treats were freaking delightful. When I was recently talking with the mastermind behind H&G we discussed different ways to use granola (other than the perfectly delightful pictures seen above). Here are three uses for granola that aren’t a parfait, smoothie bowl, yogurt bowl, or cereal:

Fruit and Kale Salad

I don’t know about y’all, but I am OBSESSED with the Panera Strawberry Poppyseed salad. It is my jam. I wanted to make something similar to that with ingredients I had on hand. The final product was AMAAAAZING! Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 cups of kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup Hunt & Gather’s Banana Bread Granola
  • 1/4 cup dried pineapple slices
  • Dressing: 1/3 cup maple syrup, splash of apple cider vinegar, splash of lemon juice, tbsp of olive oil

To assemble salad, make dressing in a jar so you can shake it to emulsify. Add all remaining ingredients to the bowl (other than H&G granola and pineapple slices). Let the salad sit for about 5 minutes, then top with the H&G amazingness and serve. 🙂

Banana Pancakes

This recipe came about because we had some WICKED ripe bananas and I had no interest in turning on the oven to make banana bread (Texas summer, y’all). So I mashed a very ripe banana, then added a bit of kodiak cake mix, water, and cinnamon. I kept playing with the ratios until it was a pancake consistency. This made two servings of two pancakes. Then I pan-fried another ripe banana with a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon. The pancakes were topped with the fried banana slices and Hunt & Gather’s Banana Bread Granola.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas (one for mashing one for slicing and frying)
  • 1/3 cup Kodiak cake mix (add more if consistency is too watery)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (half for pancake batter and half for frying banana slices)
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1/3 cup Hunt & Gather’s Banana Bread Granola

To assemble: I put two pancakes on each plate. Then I topped them with the fried banana slices and granola. You can add cool whip or whipped cream on top of you wish. The ripe bananas were so sweet that we didn’t need to add syrup to these.

SO good!!!

Peach Cobbler

I wanted to use the busy bee granola on my peach cobbler. Initially I thought about using the granola as part of the crumble I baked in the oven, but I was worried that the BEAUTIFUL flower petals would lose their vibrant color when heated up. Instead, I spooned the warm peach cobbler into bowls, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and put the busy bee granola on top. Delightful!

Thanks for reading. If you haven’t tried Hunt and Gather’s granola yet, here’s where to find it. My favorites right now are the rainbow granola and the red velvet. But even while typing that I’m not sure I can leave out busy bee or Mexican hot chocolate or banana bread… maybe collect them all like Pokemon cards?


Nutritional Yeast… more like delish cheesy sprinkles!

I received a GARGANTUAN bag of Nutritional Yeast from NuNaturals and keep finding new recipes to try out. This bag has 76 servings and I am still holding on to about 60 of those. Mama has some recipes to make! That was weird. Sorry, readers. I don’t normally refer to myself as “mama.”

In any case… I wanted to share a trifecta of recipes with nutritional yeast that you could have as breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. Let’s get cookin!

Breakfast: Cheesy Frittata (hold the cheese)

I used this recipe as inspiration. I subbed olive oil for the coconut oil and used some caramelized onions as well (since I was making those for the dinner recipe). I LOVE a frittata because they heat up so well as leftovers. I also enjoyed how this imparted a cheesy flavor without the drama that comes with cheese (it makes my allergies cray fillet).

Pro Tip: The original recipe author kindly suggested I top this with fresh tomato and avocado. I did not have those things, but it would be an awesome juxtaposition of texture and temperature. Do it up if you can!

Lunch: Corn Chowder

This recipe came in clutch because I had a dentist appointment and for the rest of that day chewing wasn’t very fun for me. I ate this chowder for dinner, but heated up the leftovers for lunch yesterday. Delightful! It is also the first time I cut fresh corn off a cob, which made me feel like a badass.

You can blend this soup (which is what I did because my teeth were being TOTAL divas). You add the nutritional yeast at that point and MAN did it add a nice flavor. The corn was sweet, so this really helped round out the flavor of the soup.

Pro Tip: I kept some fresh corn for garnish. I would suggest you do the same. 🙂

Dinner: Fully-Loaded Cauliflower Gnocchi

I made this as a side for our dinner. We had chicken with garlic paste, a lil bebe kale salad, and this gnocchi as a side. Now this recipe is ALL ME, so let’s discuss how I made it.

First, Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi is life. BUT- as many already know- the way they tell you to cook it? Not so great. So here’s the trick:

  1. Microwave the frozen gnocchi on a plate for 3 minutes.
  2. Add said gnocchi to a hot pan with oil.
  3. Fry the gnocchi in the pan until it is golden brown.
  4. Top with sauce, toss in pesto, etc.

In this case- I let it dance in the pan with some caramelized onions and chopped bacon. Next I added the nutritional yeast to the oil (see step 2) so the cheesy flavor would be evenly distributed. Finally, I topped it with some sea salt and freshly chopped green onion. It is a fully loaded baked potato type situation, y’all.

You can use any veggies that would go well with the Nutritional yeast. I used the leftover bacon and caramelized onions from breakfast and some frozen peas. Here are the ingredients (minus the bacon because I took the picture this morning whilst the bacon was sizzling in the oven):

Pro Tip: make sure you are on or near a fainting couch when you try this bad boy out.

While all three of these recipes were so darn delightful, this gnocchi was the winner. My husband pointed at it while eating several times, then wanted to know how I came up with the recipe. I felt like I was on chopped and the judges were pleased. Ha!

Thanks for getting faux-cheesy with me!



Well, “nooch” is a word I never thought I’d use. It is shorthand for Nutritional Yeast, an ingredient I played with briefly years ago when on the Paleo diet. I used it in a few recipes that called for it, then literally never bought it again. Nothing against the stuff, I just didn’t make too many recipes that called for it. Man, dear readers, how things have changed… 🙂

Nooch Popcorn

When NuNaturals shared they were making their own, I asked for some to try out in recipes. And, per usual, they delivered (I should add that it is also ON SALE right now. No, they don’t pay me. Ha!)

First, I attempted the cheesy popcorn hack where nooch is the star player:

I guess I should say that the nooch shared the stage with Everything but the Bagel seasoning. This is basically the song where (inexplicably) Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson fought over the same girl. In the end we all win, really.

Tahini Nooch Kale Salad

I also used nutritional yeast as part of a salad dressing! I used kale here because it stands up well to bold dressing choices. This delish dressing concoction was made using lemon juice, tajini, nooch, garlic, soy sauce, and a bit of apple cider vinegar. Because this dressing was SO flavorful, there were only two other ingredients: kale and ribbons of rainbow carrot. Both from Farmhouse Delivery. Obviously. 🙂

Keto Broccoli Fritters

My final recipe using nutritional yeast also provided me an opportunity to use up some broccoli I had laying around. Occasionally, as a CSA box gal, there’s a rando ingredient who needs some friends. This week it was broccoli. So I made these fritters using almond flour, nutritional yeast, egg, and broccoli pulsed in a food processor.

On my next attempt I would replace the almond flour with regular flour or wheat flour. The flavor of these was great, but they were a bit dry. Not your fault, nooch. The dang almonds did us wrong. 🙂

What’s Next?

I would like to make Keto Fried Chicken using nutritional yeast in the future. I’ll report back on how that goes, as well as the decidedly not Keto fitters I make on round 2.


Seasonal Treats

I LOVE a seasonal treat.

There’s something special about making a treat or meal that is tied to a time of year. Peanut butter eggs taste better than peanut butter cups. Pumpkin pie is a key November staple. Peppermint ALL DAY in December, right? These times are special.

I love walking down Target’s seasonal section looking for baking ingredients or serving vessels/bags. When I was scrolling through my Instagram Grid recently I noticed that the Easter vibe was SO present. It made me wonder if other holidays were the same.

They were!

Let’s take a tour of some of the more recent holiday/seasonal times with a look at “the ‘gram,” AKA what my Instragram grid looked like at these time periods.

This is basically a guided tour of The Louvre… but food pics. You’re welcome.


This time was full of pumpkin. Somehow I did not do many Halloween treats. I realized after some investigation that this was because I was having pretty bad depression in October. When my mood stabilized in November (thanks Zoloft!), I hit Turkey Day running.

I made my first pie crust from scratch. It was wicked good, but my pie plate was a little too large so the crust was not substantial.

I am not sure why that recipe was a liar, but I took it personally… just like MJ in basically every 5 minutes of The Last Dance (Bad Boys 4 Life). To redeem myself, I doubled the recipe next time to make a Buttermilk Pie for my Bobcat BFF Jess.

Christmas Time

During Christmas I was hyper-focused on mailable treats. But I also made a Yule Log cake for me and Jon. He is not a “cake person,” but loves a Red Velvet with Cream Cheese frosting. I make holiday cakes in that flavor combo so I am not eating cake alone. This theme will pop up again for Easter.

The pic on the bottom left was the first Panettone we’d ever eaten. I turned it into french toast because of course I did. I also made round foods, pork, and rice for the new year because, as Michael Scott once said “I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious.”

Valentine’s Day

This is easily my favorite baking holiday. I truly do not care about Valentine’s Day (or Sweetest Day for that matter). But I love pink and hearts and sparkles and THIS HOLIDAY HAS EVERYTHING.

I’ve always loved the classic foil heart-shaped box of chocolates, so I made several treats you could create to fill the box. I also recommend eating the chocolates as you make the new stuff because you deserve chocolates, too! The waffle on the top left was for Galentine’s Day, a Leslie Knope tradition.


This is the most recent holiday I baked and make delish foods for. I made cake popcicles for the first time (which Jon dubbed “the personal pan pizza of cakes”). This was made using the red velvet/cream cheese frosting combo so he would share with me. I was going to make carrot cake ones, but he said he didn’t like carrot cake (narrator: but he did).

I have realized while planning this post that there aren’t a lot of good food holidays coming up. Basically the next good one (in my opinion) is Halloween. So what can I celebrate until then?

  • Pretzel Day (yes, office fans that’s on April 26th)
  • Apple Pie Day (May 13th)
  • Donut Day (June 4th)
  • Ice Cream Day (June 7th)
  • Eat Your Vegetables Day (June 17th)
  • Strawberry Sundae Day (July 7th)
  • French Fry Day (July 13th)
  • Milk Chocolate Day (July 28th)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (August 4th)
  • Potato Day (August 19th… and every other day imo)
  • Waffle Day (August 24th)
  • Cheeseburger Day (September 18th)
  • Queso Day (September 20th)
  • Ice Cream Cone Day (September 22nd)
  • Coffee Day (September 29th)
  • Cinnamon Roll Day (October 4th)
  • Pierogi Day (October 8th)
  • Cake Decorating Day (October 10th)
  • Day of the Nacho (October 21st)

These “national holidays” were found on the internet. For all I know someone threw darts at a dartboard then made the site, but damned if I won’t celebrate NATIONAL POTATO DAY.

Which one would you celebrate?


Easter Picnic!

Many moons ago my husband and I had a chill picnic whilst gazing at Lady Bird Lake. It was one of my favorite memories from when we lived on the east side. This year we have decided to have a picnic in Zilker! I am insanely excited to make something rad.

I will share pics of our Zilker picnic next week, but wanted to share some fun ideas BEFORE the holiday in case you’re socially distanced from your fam and looking for something fun to do this weekend.

Deviled Eggs

Fun Fact: In Lancaster County PA these are called “daisy eggs.” I assume this is because of the high Mennonite population. It has been a minute since I dyed eggs for Easter, so naturally I did that first:

After this adorbs photo sesh, I peeled these eggs and used two remaining tablets for dying the egg whites. This particular kit (from Target) had a purple and pink tablet that did not need vinegar to dye eggs. So I saved those to dye the whites without having a weird vinegar taste (also I feel like pickled eggs have a strange texture to them).

Here is my IKEA pictures only explanation of the process:

I made the filling in a food processor. It was the yolks, some Sir Kensington’s special sauce, low fat mayo and a squirt of mustard. I will probably add capers when eating them, but check out this SAVED BY THE BELL REALNESS:

Amazing, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Where my Peeps at?!

I also decided to make peeps. I don’t love peeps. They are not my fave Easter candy. But I do think they are adorable. So I decided to make my own with a twist. I made meringue cookie bird peeps and homemade marshmallow bunny peeps!

The meringue cookies were made using this recipe and watching videos of people pipe peeps. The pink bunnies were made with this recipe (I subbed NuNaturals sweetener for their liquid stevia). I am still perfecting the texture on this one and will make a post on marshmallows with NuNaturals once it is perf. Until then, you can watch this reel of how these were made.

Easter Picnic Amazingness!

As we discussed, dear reader, am planning an Easter Picnic! I decided to have a photo shoot of my dream spread for funzies (and blogzies):

I think my favorite part of this picnic was eating a lunch made from these ingredients afterwards. 🙂

Some of these items will make the Zilker picnic spread, but others will not because of travel purposes. The last picnic we did was on Lady Bird Lake when we lived a 5 minute walk away. This weekend we will walk quite a bit to the location, so it means I have to be more savvy with my menu choices. Stay tuned for that!

I realized that my color combos were pretty 80s…. I’m not sure if I will REQUIRE a 80s themed dress code for the weekend picnic, but it is still on the table at this point….


Party for Two = Leftoverpalooza

So my hubster really wanted nachos last weekend. I was happy to oblige because they are awesome and we never eat them at home. I decided to set up a “nacho bar” since we do not enjoy the same toppings and have different caloric goals. So, we made our own sheet pans of nachos and chowed down!

We had ground beef with onion and taco seasoning, refried beans, and the wheel of amazingness you see above. So. Good. Here’s what our final products looked like:

The bottom right was Jon’s and he was full for like 48 hours.

We had a LOT of leftovers in the wheel. I needed to use that up, so I made a fritatta (the go-to leftover move imo):

I had avocado for the nachos, but once I started assembling that wheel I decided to save it for this frittata brunch instead. However, even after this brunch endeavor, there were many-a-leftovers.

On Monday I decided we would have Mexican Pizzas, my beloved food Taco Bell ripped from my grasp (much like the Enchirito, but don’t get me started). Mondays are meatless, so I seasoned up some Quorn crumbles and made the Mexican pizzas, which used up the leftover refried beans and black beans (I put those in the Quorn). I made a “Mexican rice,” which was literally everything else: remaining black beans, chopped bell pepper, diced tomatoes, cilantro, the enchilada sauce leftover from the Mexican Pizza assembly. I tossed this with cauliflower rice and it was DELISH. My man does not like cauliflower rice that much but has requested this more than once since Monday.

I feel like those two items require a full-size picture because I NAILED the Mexican Pizza aesthetic (though somehow I think it would taste better in those paper trays). I also wanted you to see how amazing the cauliflower rice was. The trick to good cauliflower rice is leaving it alone in the pan until crispy bits form. Then flip over and repeat. Trust me on this.

Somehow, the leftovers still taunt us. I have a leftover bag of taco meat in the freezer (since I could not use it for the Mexican Pizzas on meatless Monday). I’ll be thawing that on Sunday for taco salads and that amazing cauliflower rice.


Freezer Clean-Out

The holidays were great because I was able to bake and send treats to some friends and family. I am not going to tell you how much flour, butter, and sugar came and went and eventually ended up across the country. This is partially because I did not count it. But also because the amount of unsalted butter I purchase from HEB is unsettling.

Before the holidays, when baking for just me and my hubster, things would end up in the freezer. I could not eat all of the baked goods in time. Or perhaps I made sauce for two meals but did not have noodles for two meals. Because of many “let’s freeze this” moments over the past two months, my freezer has become the COOLEST club in Austin. There’s no room in there, y’all. As a result, I have started cleaning out the freezer by using these items and rando veggies, etc. so I can inevitably do this all over again in a few months. 🙂

I have posted a few meals using leftover or frozen ingredients below. While I am a talker, these pictures have the leftover/frozen elements written on them. So, I’ll let the pictures do the talking for the most part. I did include links when I thought you’d find them helpful.


Veggie Soup

This was served with a sourdough pretzel because a) they are delicious b) they were taking up freezer space and c) THERE ARE NO RULES.

Two-Ingredient Tostada

If you haven’t made two ingredient dough, you should. This is how we use it the most but it is also good as pretzels, garlic bread, naan, etc.

Chicken Stock

Souper cubes are life. If you do not have one, they are worth it. There’s 1/2 cup and cup measurements and the frozen soups/sauces/etc pop right out! I do not get paid when you click that link because I am not in this for the benjamins. 🙂

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Pesto

The pesto was from Farmhouse Delivery. While I have made my own pesto, they make a damn good one and I did not want to waste a drop (so I froze it).

Thank you for reading! I have a group of snail mail packages headed to some unsuspecting peeps. I will share those treasures next week when they are received/consumed.


2021 is here… I hope it is nicer than 2020 was (total jerk, am I right?).

We are officially THREE days into 2021 and so far so good! I suppose one could assume this is because I haven’t done much or expected anything. I counter that it MIGHT be because of the lucky foods I prepared for myself and my *hubster the past few days.

There are three categories of lucky foods we consumed in hopes of a thrilling (or at least less crappy) new year:

  1. Round Foods- circular foods represent continuity, unity, and the year coming full circle. I went a bit overboard with this one because it was so easy to do. Stay tuned- there are pictures below.
  2. Rice and Noodles- starches symbolize abundance because they swell when they are cooked! We had rice pudding and ramen… on different days because we have health goals. 🙂 Oh- it is also lucky to find an almond in rice pudding over the holidays. So I put an almond in both of our dishes. You cannot be TOO lucky in 2021…
  3. Pork- Germans and Pennsylvania Dutch (shout out to Lancaster County, PA) believe pork brings progress because they are always moving forward. I cannot help but think of the Samuel L. Jackson scene in Pulp Fiction where he describes pigs as “filthy animals.” So I don’t. Team Vincent Vega over here.
    1. Marzipan Pig- not technically pork, but also lucky. So I threw one of those bad boys on top of our rice pudding. As you’ll see below, it looked like a decapitated pig head. Perhaps I was trying to scare 2021 with a “come at me, bro” vibe. Or maybe I knew it was too sweet for us and a whole marzipan pig would be overkill. One will never know (because I am mysterious and will NEVER tell).

*My husband does not like the term “hubster,” but it has become less of an issue in nearly a decade of wedded bliss.

Round Foods

Rice and Noodles


So, if we are billionaires with 8-pack abs at the end of 2021, you might want to watch this video where I made a terrifying marzipan pig head. Because CLEARLY that’s the key to this whole dang thing…

Also, shout out to these melting potatoes:

While this picture didn’t fit the aesthetic of my Instagram account, it is SOOOOOO pretty and the potatoes taste even better than they look. OMG.

Happy 2021!

Quick Dinners

As previously noted, I am a professor who started this blog and Instagram (and now YouTube) account to chronicle my culinary adventures. Mondays were the BUSIEST day of my week during the Fall semester. I taught multiple classes, held two blocks of office hours, then had one hour in between my office hours and our Monday night zoom calls with my partner’s family. This has meant quick Monday dinners. I literally spend 80% of Monday looking adorbs in this home office. It is hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Quick dinners for me are not frozen meals or take out. I like to make food because it helps ground me after a long day. However, this does not mean I would like to spend FOREVER making a beef wellington or something. I am hungry. Ha!

“Bag Salad”

My partner and I generally have “bag salad” on Monday evenings. This is a salad kit from HEB- usually the Asian Sesame but occasionally the Chipotle Ranch one. Then I bake and chop air fried chicken nuggets from Tyson to put on top. Preheating the oven takes longer than assembly. But while the oven preheats I usually look at mail or change into sweats (I am teaching online so I dress cute for work even though it is from home). Below you can see how these humble ingredients become a delightful Monday meal: 

Soup & Salad

As I have shared in many-a-posts, we get Farmhouse Delivery. I’m obsessed. The produce is amazing and I plan my meals around whatever arrives in their medium sized Best Sellers box. I’ve also dabbled in their ready made items from local small businesses. Below you can see Tomato Bisque from the Steeping Room, paired with a salad full of Farmhouse Delivery delights. I like chopping up their spiced pecans (a holiday addition) and using their dressings. I added some chopped rotisserie chicken I had leftover in the fridge. It could not be any easier- I assemble the salad as the soup heats up on the stove! Check it out:

Pork Sliders

This quick meal is another Farmhouse delight, enhanced by HEB pickles and munster cheese. I purchase pulled pork and ciabatta rolls from them. I warm up the buns, put munster cheese on them, then put the warm pork on top to melt the cheese. I serve us two sliders each with slaw and pickles. My partner eats the leftover pork with a slice of cheese on top and I freeze the remaining buns for bread pudding or future sliders. I have a picture of my set up, but decided to show how the kit from Farmhouse turns out with the finished product (the right picture is from their website). I did not realize they made this a kit until this week. Great minds, man.

Bowties e fagioli

This is a recipe from Damn Delicious, which I modify by using less beans and ground turkey. I also used bowtie pasta because it is cuter, damn it. Ha!

I would add this tip if you choose to make this recipe: do not cook the noodles in the soup. Cook them separately, then store them in a container with a bit of olive oil so they don’t dry out. The reason I suggest this is two-fold: 

1- I usually freeze half. You don’t want frozen, then thawed, already cooked noodles. Gross.

2- If you are game to finish this batch without freezing (we cannot because there’s just two of us and we get bored of repeat meals) the noodles suck up the broth as it sits in the fridge. No bueno. Listen to me, kids.  

We had this for dinner and one serving of leftovers a few weeks ago (where we added bowtie noodles before reheating it). I froze the rest and we are having it for dinner tomorrow. We aren’t even adding noodles to the leftovers- which I guess makes it just fagioli? Either way- easy peasy. 

I hope you enjoyed this post! What are your quick dinners?