Continuing our tale…

We headed over to Griffith Park around 3:00 and Andrew prepped the grill.

There was an obscene amount of food for only about 6 people…

The boys made fire…

The girls looked pretty…

While the grill cooled to the perfect burger temperature, Jeff, Jennie, Andrew and I played some soccer.

Then things got serious. Here’s our first burger hitting the grill. We mixed a package of onion soup mix, a little worcester and some bbq sauce into these patties. With a little more barbecue sauce on top, they were absolutely delicious.

Of course no Jennie/Corelyn cookout is complete without veggie kabobs!

I convinced Andrew to try some pasta salad. He liked it, and I think he even got his own serving.

And after dinner? S’mores! Our friend Ellen models the proper s’more chomping technique.

I like my mallows to literally catch fire so I can eat the burnt part. Unfortunately this sometimes results in mallow emergencies, like this one above. We lit this mallow aflame, dropped it in the charcoal, fished it out again, and finally agreed that a fresh marshmallow was needed.

Our typical Sunday involves the following:

9:00 – Farmer’s Market

10:30-12:30 – Andrew and I head to church

12:30-2:00 – Jennie and I have a late breakfast, usually something delicious involving eggs and a vegetable from the market.

2:00-5:00 – Grocery shopping/some epic cooking adventure

5:00 – rest of the evening – Dinner+some group activity

Our Sunday a couple weeks ago followed this pattern pretty closely. Jennie and I rose early to hit the farmer’s market. When we returned, I roused Andrew and we got in the car to head to church. Unfortunately some indeterminate traffic source popped up about halfway there, and faced with being about 30 minutes late, we turned back. Instead, Andrew got to work on a writing project he needed to turn in the following day, and I headed upstairs to grab breakfast with Jennie and plan phase two of our day. We were hosting a cookout in Griffith park at 3:00 and there were many preparations to be made.

Jennie made us fried egg sandwiches while I made greek dressing for a pasta salad side dish to be eaten at our cookout.

Before enjoying our delicious Tomato, Cheese and Egg Sandwiches, we finished up the pasta salad and stuck it in the fridge.

We mostly made this up as we went along:

1 lb pasta

1 can kidney beans

2-3 stalks celery

2-3 green onion shoots

1 package thawed frozen corn

1 red pepper

homemade greek dressing:


  • 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

The dressing recipe was a definite keeper! Gotta love for doing the serving calculations for you! (imagine our shock when the default amount — 120 servings–called for 1-1/2 QUARTS of olive oil!)

Barbecue pictures up next!

So my Chicago sorella has been telling me I must try Pioneer Woman’s artichoke pasta, as well as her new potatoes and garlic heads in olive oil and wine. The potatoes are in the oven as we speak, but the artichoke pasta we made last week…


This is us getting ready to cook.


The pasta we used for the dinner.


Delicious garlic.


The onion.


These are the two cans of artichokes, tomatoes, and the garbanzo beans that we added for some protein.


We also added mushrooms because we love them, and because the boys weren’t eating with us, and because we could.


All sauteed together. Yum!


Adding the cream. Corelyn said, “Do you want to capture this moment?” And yes, I did, very much so.



We also had to add chicken broth. This lead to a soul searching dicussion about when we opened the said chicken broth. It took us nearly five minutes to recollect when it was opened.

We had opened it for the Crock Pot unveiling, Tuesday night, and this was Friday of the next week. This was 10 days since the open date.


As you can see, it needs to be used within 10 days. What ensued?

“Do you think that we can use it?” Jennie

“Umm…I think so. I don’t know. What do you think? I am sure it’s fine. It’s been 10 days.” Corelyn

“Ok. Well ok.” Jennie

10 minutes later…

“Hey, so did you decide to use the chicken broth?” Corelyn

“Oh, yea, it’s in there already.” Jennie

“Oh…ok.” Corelyn

Needless to say, we didn’t die.




Finished product.



This lasted us days, TWO days as leftovers. So good.

cutting squash

Corelyn and I got Kabocha Squash from the farmer’s market. We followed the directions on the sticker on the squash.




The inside looked liked other squashes we had seen, so we proceeded with glee and excitement.



We decided to keep the seeds to bake later.



Then we took the squash and stuck it in a pan.



These are our seeds. Corelyn is putting them out to dry.



We took this much butter (aka what was left in the stick in the fridge) and melted it.




Then we stuck the lightly buttered squash in the oven. We gave them about 25 minutes, and then Corelyn flipped them.





Meanwhile, our vat of Pasta sides was cooking. There were to be four of us, so we made three boxes with an eye towards leftovers. If we had made the sides according to directions, we would have needed 8 tablespoons of butter. We just used 2, instead.




Then we put some cinnamon on the buttered squash, and left them in the oven for another 25-30 minutes.




And of course, there was enough for leftovers after all.

Last week Jennie and I tried our hand at making pork chops. I don’t think either of us had ever cooked pork chops before, at least not on our own or outside the supervision of the “Shake n’ Bake” box directions. So we turned to Real Simple magazine and found this delicious looking recipe for cranberry stuffed pork chops with roasted carrots. YUM! So, here we go…

The task of purchasing said pork chops fell to me. I learned from that pinker was better and there should be very little liquid in the packaging. Check!



MMM. Delicious looking raw meat. Well…Sorta.

I chopped some carrots while Jennie prepared the cranberry stuffing. It involved dried cranberries, apricot preserves and coriander. And it looked scrumptious…



Next, she cut pockets into the pork chops about 3 inches deep and stuffed with cranberry mixture. I did take pictures of that, but they all look like the raw chops are bleeding, so I’ll spare you those images. Next we fried both sides of the chops for about 3 minutes each side.


Then they went into the oven, along with the roasting carrots, for about 7 minutes. In the end, we actually gave them about 15 minutes, since our oven tends to under cook things.



IMG_0019Experimenting with new meat options is serious business…



While the pork and the veggies roasted in the oven, we decided to open a pomegranate, because it’s pomegranate season and we’re very excited about it!

The finished product was delicious, after we extended the cooking time of the pork chops by a few minutes…

IMG_0032And naturally, we added brussel sprouts, because we’re obsessed with them.