Fall Sentimentality & Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche


Some people lament the end of summer, but not me.  For me, there has always been something sentimental about the Fall.  The crisp air hits, filled with that distinctive smell.  I take a deep breath and feel happy.  It could be explained by the fact that many of the most monumental … Continue reading

Butternut Squash & Salmon Curry (Paleo)


While today was mid-August humid, Fall has been coming and going in spurts.  Rain is plastered across the whole week’s forecast, and it’s bound to break this unseasonably humid weather that hair resembling something from the 1980’s and my mind in a fog.   It’s bound to break into the … Continue reading

Sunday Funday, Foodie Edition! Tasty Things I Ate This Summer

Pak Nam at Thip Khao, my favorite dish of the night.  Crispy watercress with shrimp, tamarind sauce, mango, green apples and cashews.  Not to be missed!

It’s been a while since I kept up Sunday Funday, Foodie Edition where I highlight some of the spectacular things I’ve eaten at restaurants in D.C. and during my travels.  Well, we have some catching up to do!  This round I’m sharing with you not just the tasty things I … Continue reading

Fresh Fig and Pork Loin Ragoût


I promised you another fig recipe, and I always deliver on my promises!  Let me tell you right now, the photos don’t do this one justice.  This was one of our favorite new recipes in quite some time.  In fact, I plan to make it again before fig season ends!  I … Continue reading

Skinny Lime Shrimp & Avocado Salad


The last recipe I brought you was quite complicated.  This one is not!  In fact, this is different from that recipe in just about every way possible.  This isn’t a dessert laden in bacon, chocolate and booze, but instead a light lunch option low in calories and carbohydrates.  Because sometimes … Continue reading

Bourbon Chocolate Mousse Pie in a Pretzel Crust Topped with Candied Bacon and Dark Chocolate Ganache


I’ve got a little collection of recipes I’ve been meaning to share with you, but since I’m in Louisville, Kentucky this week it only seemed appropriate that this one skip to the front of the line.  So it’s from the Bourbon Capital that I bring you this absurdly delicious pie. … Continue reading

Fig, Tahini & Honey Overnight Oats


It’s fig season!  I don’t think I was big on fresh figs until one summer when I was visiting my dad in southern Spain and tried the figs he picked fresh of the tree in their yard. Every afternoon, there’d be a pile on the patio table where later (much … Continue reading

Tahini & Red Curry Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash


I’ll take a break in the series of amazing desserts I have to share with you for this important PSA: spaghetti squash is still amazing!  Seriously.  I think I could sit down with a spaghetti squash and a bottle of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and happily call it dinner. … Continue reading

Macarons: Do Not Try Them At Home

My macarons.  Don't think they will be coming to the bridal shower.

Some things, I’d venture to say most things, are even better when made at home.  Fig Newtons, Shamrock Shakes, Burrito Bowls.  But there are some that should really be left up to the experts (Girl Scout Cookies!)  Yesterday, macarons were added to the list of “don’t try this at home.” Okay, so … Continue reading

Birth Month & Bellini Cupcakes


September has been a very popular birthday month at work.  We’ve had 1-2 birthdays a week, and that’s in my department alone!  Some people like to celebrate birthdays more than others, or at least some people are more willing to admit it.  I frankly don’t really buy it when people say “I … Continue reading

Spinach Salad with Roasted Veggies & Chicken with Smoky Tomato Vinaigrette


This roasted veggie salad is the perfect way to make use of your late summer bounty.  Or your bounty from any part of the summer, really, as what vegetables you roast is totally up to you!  I liked the tomato vinaigrette so much that right after dinner, I made another … Continue reading

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls


Sometimes you just want some sautéed vegetables for dinner.  Wrapped with steak.  Sorry my veggie friends, this recipe is not for you.  Although you kind of want it, don’t you?  This is the kind of steak dish that can seduce a vegetarian.  Trust me, I have this from an inside … Continue reading

Dîner en Blanc D.C. – an Encore!


After last year’s inaugural Dîner en Blanc, D.C. I was eager to do it all over again this year.  But this time, I was going to do it right.  I’d already have the essentials, which we’d invested in last year, and I’d start planning way earlier this time and make an … Continue reading

Farro & Spinach Power Bowl with Chicken, Roasted Red Peppers, Feta and Avocado Tahini Cream


The Washington Post recently ran an interesting piece rethinking salad.  They argue that for all the resources that go into growing lettuce, it provides pathetically few nutrients or calories.  Essentially, it uses a significant amount of land, water and fuel while doing very little to feed people. I thought they made a … Continue reading

Mexican Style Cornbread Panzanella


“I like these new beefed up salads you’ve been making.” That was Courtney’s response to panzanella, which would more accurately described as “breaded up.”  Panzanella is a Tuscan dish, traditionally composed of stale bread, tomatoes and onions and dressed in oil and vinegar.  This is a very non-traditional panzanella, incorporating corn … Continue reading

Girls’ Night In: A Tapas Feast at La Casa de Laurita

The resulting tapas feast!

Saturday night I had a craving for Spanish food.  This isn’t particularly unusual, seeing as manchego with olives and a Spanish tortilla are comfort food for me in a way that mac and cheese never has been.  I had a date to catch up with Laura who was happy to eat … Continue reading

Pesto Potato & Green Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Chickpeas


Potatoes are treated like the ugly stepchild in our household.  Hubby won’t touch them with a ten foot pole unless they’re sliced thin and heavily fried and or/covered in cheese… basically, he can’t know it’s potato.  And honestly, I don’t feel much more positively about them.  Sweet potatoes are awesome, … Continue reading

Belga Café Beer Dinner: Het Anker Brewery


Last week, we were excited to finally try Belga Café’s monthly beer dinner.  While I used to be somewhat of a regular, I haven’t been to Belga since they stopped doing the 1/2 priced mussel pot & no corkage fee combo that was clearly too good to be true.  However I’ve … Continue reading

Grainless Tahini & Date Cookies {Vegan}


Oh man, where have I been!  Well, I started a new job last week, which I’m really excited about.  My day job now also involves talking and thinking about food all day, so assuming at least one of my dreams is about food, that puts me at 20 hours of … Continue reading

Paleo Summer Squash Fritters


These summer squash fritters were somewhat of a happy accident.  Perhaps not the recipe itself, but that they came to be in the first place. I’d planned to make shredded sweet potato hash browns to serve with our burgers, but when I went to fetch the sweet potato I found … Continue reading

Cucumber Noodle Greek Salad with Tahini Glazed Chicken


I take a great deal of pride in my ability to make something awesome using only the ingredients on hand.  People have often told me I should go on “Chopped,” but I’m afraid my cooking style involves too much cussing, cutting and burning myself to be appropriate for national T.V.  Regardless, … Continue reading

Lighthouse @ Prequel: Lobster, Burgers and FRIES, oh my!


A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a central spot for a lady friend and I to catch up over a glass of wine and discovered 4th Floor Wine Bar.  We were among only a handful of people there on a Tuesday night, but you can’t beat half-priced … Continue reading

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad with Almonds, Raisins and Bacon in a Maple Tahini Vinaigrette


Believe it or not, sometimes even I struggle to decide what to do with the ingredients in my fridge.  I wrote a whole post on amazing things to do with cauliflower, but this purple cauliflower was so pretty I wanted to use it in a way we’d fully enjoy it’s … Continue reading

Zoodles Alla Puttanesca


First let’s start with a couple of definitions: Zoodles: Zucchini + Noodles.  A healthy, low-carb and gluten-free alternative to spaghetti. Alla puttanesca: Translates roughly to “in the garbage style” or “in the whore’s style” in Italian.  A tangy, salty pasta dish invented in the mid-20th century that incorporates ingredients typical of Southern … Continue reading

Paleo Pizza Frittata (Whole30 Friendly)


Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time… except ditch the bagel.  Who needs those empty calories?  We’re talking pizza frittata here, packed with veggies and topped with pepperoni.  This is a delicious protein-packed way to start or end your day! Paleo Pizza Frittata Adapted from … Continue reading

Braised Apple-Plantain Brussels Sprout Breakfast Skillet


Brussels sprouts are routinely a part of breakfasts around here, but until recently they’d been a side show rather than the main attraction.  This dish changed that.  Cooked with apples, plantains and caramelized red onions, it’s just a little bit sweet.  Top with a fried egg (or two!) and serve with … Continue reading

Garlic Scape Pesto


When I pulled these little green pipes out of my CSA bag a couple weeks back, I honestly wasn’t quite sure what they were. Luckily, the lovely co-worker and pal sitting next to me used to farm and was not only able to tell me what they were (garlic scapes!), but had all … Continue reading

Jamaican Style Greens (Swiss Chard with Bacon)


When I got another bunch of Swiss chard in my CSA bag this week, I summoned all my willpower and refrained from making one of my all time favorites again and decided to seek out another delicious way to prepare the chard.  When I came across these Jamaican style greens, I thought … Continue reading

Zucchini Noodles with Sweet Italian Sausage, Mussels and Cherry Tomatoes


This is one of those recipes I looked at and said “yeah right.”  It just didn’t seem possible that it could be as good as it looked in the photos.  First of all, I have a tumultuous history with spiralizers.  As in, the last one I used ended up in … Continue reading

A Simple Picnic Treat: Rye Crostini with Fresh Radishes & Avocado Mash


I have so many awesome recipes to share with you, but sadly one of the numerous broken things in the Johannasphere is my camera.  Well, the camera seems to be alright, but I can’t attach it to my computer to upload photos.  I’ve ordered a card reader, but for the … Continue reading

Paleo Waffles with Strawberry Chia Jam & Coconut Whipped Cream


So, I had an embarrassing moment this morning when I got to spin class wearing the exact same outfit (a very brightly colored cut off Superman shirt, nonetheless) I wore to boot camp last night, only to find myself next to the very same girl.  Seriously, who would have thought that someone … Continue reading

The Science Behind Asparagus Pee + Asparagus & Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon and Poached Egg


You know those revelations that just totally rock your world and skew your entire perspective of the universe? Like when we learned the world wasn’t flat, the tooth fairy wasn’t real and that planting a Skittle in the garden doesn’t grow a package of Skittles anymore if you don’t live … Continue reading

Third Time’s the Charm: Paleo Banana Walnut Muffins {Leftovers Club}


Remember last month, when I told you about how I had to make a second batch of Leftovers Club treats at the last minute because I didn’t like how the first batch turned out?  Well, this time I’ve got even myself beat.  It took me not one, not two, but three … Continue reading

Ugly But Delicious: Flourless Double Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies


Have you ever made something that you intended to share with a group and had it come out so unpresentable that you decided to hold off, but then when you tasted it discovered that it’s actually really delicious and you’re kind of glad you didn’t have to share it anyways? … Continue reading

Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies filled with Pumpkin Cashew Butter and Drizzled with Dark Chocolate


Before I share with you some of the BEST COOKIES THAT EVER WERE you’re going to listen to me rant about something for a moment.  Can we please talk about the use of the word “slutty” as an adjective describing food? I mean, let’s back things up for a minute… … Continue reading

Paleo Breakfast Lasagna with Sausage, Spinach and Scrambled Eggs


I love breakfast.  I eat it every single day without fail, and usually a hardy one.  In fact, I remember the last time I missed breakfast: it was the day after Super Bowl Sunday and I had food poisoning.  Even then, when I finally could eat (around 7:00pm) I ate breakfast.  I like breakfast … Continue reading

Japchae (Korean Sweet Potato Noodle Stir Fry with Beef)


Last year at this time I was in South Korea eating my weight in kimchi and bulgogi washed down with generous amounts of soju.  While you can never recreate the food to taste as good as did did in its home country (let’s be honest, half of a meal is its environment) that never … Continue reading

Tahini & Date Milkshake {Vegan}


This holiday weekend has been about balance.  After a fun night out on Friday, Saturday was spent on cleaning and (unfinished) home improvement projects.  Yesterday we got up just after 6:00am so I could run my first half marathon of the year.  It was slow (1:50:20) and exceedingly painful, but … Continue reading

Steak & Kimchi Summer Rolls


From a long string of vegan recipes to bacon followed by steak.  That’s how it goes here in the Messy Kitchen because, well… that’s how we eat!  Don’t these Summer rolls look delectable?  I’ve been wanting to make them for some time now, but just now made the plunge.  Let’s be … Continue reading

Cuban Frittata with Bacon & Plantains {Paleo}


It’s always nice to have ideas on hand of things you can make when you find out last minute you’re going to be serving a crowd.  In this particular instance, I needed something I could make that wouldn’t require a store trip beyond our corner market.  After a quick assessment … Continue reading

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Cake


Last week I volunteered to make a birthday treat to celebrate one of my coworkers.  I’m still getting to know folks, but I was tipped off that she likes peanut butter and chocolate.  “And she’s a vegan?” you’re probably assuming.  Well, actually no, and obviously neither am I.  This just happened … Continue reading

Jerk Shrimp with Crispy Plantain Noodles {Paleo}


After eating beautiful paleo meals for five days, I was feeling extremely good by the end of the week.  My tummy was feeling happy (and flat). Then Saturday happened. I’m pretty sure the healthiest thing I ate all day was a plate of shredded lettuce topped with taco meat and a few pieces … Continue reading

Chocolate Covered Coffee Cream Bars {Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo)


I have always been a sucker for frozen desserts.  In my memory, the summers of my youth were spent making daily trips to Piazza with my grandparents and walking around the lake to the market to pick up a pint of sorbet after a couple of goes on the rope swing. … Continue reading

Hummus Gazpacho: a New Twist on an Old Classic


Gazpacho is a refreshing and healthy summer treat that pleases most palettes, as it’s vegan and gluten-free (unless you throw bread in it, Analucian style!)  When made with fresh ingredients and seasoned just right, gazpacho really hits the spot.  However, there are other times when I think it needs a little sumthin’ … Continue reading

In true passed-down-from-Ethiopian-mamas fashion


I must admit I had absolutely no knowledge of Ethiopian food before moving to D.C.  To be completely honest, back then when I thought about food in the context of Ethiopia, it was hunger that first came to mind not cuisine (and I think it’s important not to forget that hunger and … Continue reading

Not a Vegan But I Cook Like One: Raw Vegan Collard Green Wraps


The best part about raw food is that it won’t get cold while I take a zillion pictures of it.  Well, I suppose that’s just one of many perks. It also makes my belly happy, as my four year old cousin Patrick would say.  Although to be fair, I think … Continue reading

The Annual Mother’s Day Feast Tradition Continues


Aside from Thanksgiving, I think Mother’s Day has been the holiday that I’ve most consistently cooked a special, multi-course meal.  Or I should say prepared, rather, as this Mother’s Day the meal was all raw and vegan (with the exception of some toasted chickpeas) in honor of all the animal mamas … Continue reading

Strawberry Rhubarb Coconut Dream Bars {Leftovers Club}


What percent of Americans do you think know what rhubarb is?  Judging by husband and the clerk at the grocery store, that number is low.  (Scientific method at work right there, folks). To be fair, you don’t see rhubarb all too often.  The long red stalks are a seasonal and sometimes rare find … Continue reading