DSC_0294We eat so many things that it is extremely difficult to keep up! I’ve had to recognize the blog is no longer a top-three priority in my life, but that’s okay! I still will do my best to share recipes as we try them and still try to share those we love and those we don’t. We are cooking up plenty of new recipes still and specifically, are really delving into our vegetarianism/vegan foods. We have been cooking a lot recently from a vegan Indian cookbook and our Southern vegetarian cookbook just arrived this week – so excited!! I’d almost say we’re going through more of a cookbook phase than blog phase these days, but that wouldn’t be entirely true…we still love looking at blogs, but our main resource has pretty much just become The Kitchn. We’ve been having a lot of fun though and I’ve been better about helping Will out in the kitchen, particularly with making breakfasts and at least a couple dinners a week. Cooking has finally started to become a shared effort, which is only fair since my self-prescribed dietary restrictions are controlling what we consume!

DSC_0195I strongly believe that all areas of life should be inspired by art. Maybe not in the traditional sense when you think of it, but anything with an artistic and creative base. This roots from my upbringing in a household of artists, exposing me to original oils and watercolors on the walls by my grandmother and mother, art classes and innovative summer art camps led by my mother, and photography sessions with my dad to perfect the observant eye. Will also grew up in an artistic family, tracing back to his great-grandparents who all met in art school and went on to do marketing design for the auto industry, to his grandmother who has her own original art displayed around her charming home in Santa Barbara, to his aunt who is a professional artist (and I think some of you may actually have some of her coloring books – her current professional medium; her son is also a professional artist), his other aunt who’s art was done through jewelry and purse-making from kimonos which one of her daughters has now adopted, to his own mother who produces art in several mediums, most recently through felting and watercolor.

What a long weekend it has been! We feel like we’ve barely seen each other, since I’ve been out of the house for seemingly the entire time. I began my weekend on Saturday morning with a conference call for an alumni affinity group I’m president of, which was quickly followed by heading to a Williamsburg Symphonia concert that I had served on the planning committee for. When I got to the performance location, we were trying to pull off all set-up/rehearsal/concert in one day, between 8AM and the start of the concert at 8PM. The staging/sound/lights was probably the most challenging part and thankfully I didn’t have much to do with that – I got to set tables,  tend to musicians needs and then sit back and enjoy the show! The committee did a great job and the whole thing was wonderful-start to finish.

Once upon a time, we had a bunch of random leftover items in our refrigerator. And when that happens, Will usually throws it together and hopes for the best. After unearthing some photos we realized that while this may not be the most exciting or 100% blog-worthy recipe, it sure was pretty and it can serve as an inspiration for when you have a bunch of stuff that needs to be thrown together. Sure, shredded cabbage isn’t that thrilling, but you know what is? Sun-dried tomatoes. Also, chia seeds are the bomb dot com. So I can see where his inspiration for this “salad” came from. Mix it up on your own and definitely toss in some dressing, if you’re feeling inspired by this one.

What a busy week it’s been and for no particular reason! I’m excited to announce that our new World Market finally opened in Williamsburg, which I of course, am thrilled about! I’ve already been twice and am debating a third trip before heading off to celebrate Amanda’s first bridal shower this weekend! This is simultaneously a very happy store opening for me, but very sad for my wallet. The new store is laid out so nicely and it’s just as cute as can be. As I texted Will today, I think every Prius in Williamsburg came out for the grand opening weekend! I just love their decor, kitchen items, gift cards/wrapping/notecards, etc. It’s just the best!

I love making this recipe for lunch! Originally derived from a smattering of foods I would purchase while studying abroad in Ireland, I have adapted this for the more health-conscious Megan. This fits right in with my obsession with sweet corn, developed during that same time spent in Ireland, and my penchant for adding it to everything. Back in the day, I didn’t know how to grocery shop properly and would just wander around the Dunnes (or Tesco) picking up things I liked, here and there. That ranged from peanut butter, to kid’s chicken nuggets, to canned sweet corn and Kerrygold butter, just to top it all off. I now know the value of selecting fresh vegetables and fruits, in addition to making a game plan before wandering into a grocery store (more on that in another post, later). When I would get back to our apartment on campus, I would be left with who knows what and would try to pull it together.

Few things signify summertime like get-togethers where friends and family feast on BBQ, burgers, salads and frozen treats. This macaroni salad fits the bill for those types of events and is an old favorite I turn to over and over again for these occasions. I stole the recipe from my mom, who got it from what appears to be either a magazine or a jar of Hellman’s (not sure which). It’s been a backyard picnic standard for so many years in my life that I’m not really sure how to have a summer party without it! So when I was invited to a little summery get-together at some friends, I knew exactly what I was going to make. I knew I had never blogged about this recipe and I knew it was always a hit, so I decided to whip it up and take it along. Plus, how easy of an ingredient list is this? The only thing I don’t typically have in my fridge is the celery, but I happened to have it on hand that week for some reason, so it worked out perfectly.

The time has finally come to when I have run out of “Will” recipes. You are now stuck with whatever I’m making in the kitchen, which will inevitably be less creative, bold and experimental. This recipe is the perfect “starter” one for the extent of my creativity – hah! However, what it lacks in imagination, it makes up for in practicality. While Will is gone, you will get to experience what I feel like is a little bit more average for the kitchen of a 20-something. Sorry Will, but you’re just too good of a cook for someone our age! Know that we recognize some of the impracticalities of recipes we cook, if you’re not as into cooking as Will is – trust us, we’re aware!

Ham Salad

Posted by Megan | Lunch, Meat, Pork, Salad

This is an oldie recipe that I just dug out of the doldrums of my photo collection. Talk about being a procrastinator! We made this one back in November with some leftover Thanksgiving ham and it’s based off of Becky’s Chicken Salad, since we discovered that recipe around the same timeframe. Inspired by the use of dill and having plenty leftover from our chicken salad, Will decided to design a similar recipe with just as much dill. This comes with the warning though that you really need to like dill to enjoy this salad. Dill with chicken? Excellent and not overwhelming. Dill with egg, ham or anything else? Potentially overwhelming. Just be prepared to have something sweet on hand after eating this for lunch! But if you’re a dill fan and want a little variety in your life, this would be a good recipe for you to try. We rarely eat ham, so it was a bit of a treat for us to have it for lunch for an entire week, dill overload or not. And if you’re not a huge ham person, this would be a good basis for a dill egg salad or you can always just check out the original recipe. Serve this over a bed of fresh baby spinach or on a Wasa cracker and you’ll be good to go!

Are you poor or on a budget? This is a great lunch for you, then. This is one of those lunches that Will came up with based on what was in our cupboards, but it’s probably one of my favorites that we’ve had in a long time. But then again, I’m a total sucker for cashews, sun-dried tomatoes, and lentils, so that’s probably why I enjoy it so much. No matter how little money you may have, this is a recipe where if you don’t already have everything on hand, it won’t hurt to buy the few ingredients it takes to make this, and then just hold onto them for other recipes. Generally speaking, the majority of these ingredients are probably in your cupboards already (especially if you are a regular follower of this blog, I’d imagine you probably have a similarly stocked kitchen to us), which makes throwing it together easy. Probably the biggest pain is to remember to cook the quinoa and lentils, before you actually want to eat it. There have been several nights where this has been intended to be made and Will realizes it’s 11 PM and the quinoa and lentils haven’t been cooked! (This always results in sadfaces all around). So give this recipe a shot for a flavorful new way to have a grain lunch salad!