My Favorite Holiday Dessert: Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding


I don’t actually remember how sticky toffee pudding became a Christmas Eve tradition.  My mom had it somewhere and liked it, so my grandmother figured out how to make it as she always did when there was something one of us liked.  From then on we had it every Christmas.  Later, it … Continue reading

A Peek at the Messy Kitchen’s 2nd Annual Friendsgiving for No Kid Hungry


This post comes way belated because, well, I’ve barely had time to catch a breath!  Between cooking for Thanksgiving #2 and #3, cooking with the leftovers from Thanksgiving #1, #2 and #3, trying to burn off a few of the calories from Thanksgiving #1, #2, #3 and said leftovers, a trip to Blacksburg to … Continue reading

A Long Overdue Dinner Party & a Lot of Bacon


Wednesday night, I finally made good on a deal I made 361 days prior. You see, at Friendsgiving last year, these guys went in on an auction item: a three course dinner for six.  However, after several failed scheduling attempts I still hadn’t made good on my end of the … Continue reading

Miso Roasted Acorn Squash, Pomegranate and Avocado Salad, Garnished with a Sharp Cheddar and Apple Grilled Cheese Waffle


Okay, let’s talk about something we can all agree on: grilled cheese waffle sandwiches make salads better. Unless you don’t do cheese or gluten, in which case… well, I’m happy to hear you out on the personal, negative effect these things have on you.  Otherwise, read on. As we head into the … Continue reading

A Taste of Vancouver (Sorry This Post is Past Due)


If you had any question as to which Vancouver I meant, take the apology as a cue: the Canadian one.  And to be clear, it’s soor-ee.  I don’t think I’ve been apologized to so much in my entire life as I was during my four days in Vancouver. “I’m sorry my … Continue reading

One Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs with Harissa Chickpeas


Courtney loved this recipe.  And not just because of the crispy chicken skin, flavorful Indian spices and crunchy baked chickpeas… he loved this dish because it’s made entirely in one pan, meaning the Messy Kitchen wasn’t quite as messy as usual (keep in mind, this is all relative). Sometimes you’ll … Continue reading

Campbell’s Tomato Soup Cake {Bakeolution}


I am innately intrigued by the unusual, especially when it comes to dessert.  Last week, a coworker had to talk me off the cliff as I was about to order foie gras crème brûlée, and really it’s only for my pants sake that I’m grateful (seriously, you can’t tell me you’re … Continue reading

7 Things that Have Happened Since We Last Talked


Oh, hey!  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  And you know, I still don’t have a whole lot of time.  So in true BuzzFeed “I don’t have time to produce a quality piece of writing so I’ll make a list” style, here’s “7 Things That Have Happened Since We Last Talked.” … Continue reading

One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatos, Apples, Bacon and Beets


This may be my new go-to fall recipe.  It’s unbelievably tasty, with crispy herbed chicken thighs alongside the abundantly roastable vegetables that characterize fall.  It’s also incredibly versatile, and lends itself well to the customizability that is so crucial when you have a CSA box delivered each week.  You could easily … Continue reading

We’re Finally Triathletes! A Recap of the Giant Acorn International Triathlon


After much anticipation, we are finally triathletes! A triathlon has been on my fitness bucket list since my Junior year of college, so it feels pretty good to finally have one under my belt.  The great part about doing something for the first time is that no matter how long it … Continue reading

Strawberry Shortcake Cheese Cake {Bakeolution, Ice Cream Truck Edition}


I’ll start by saying this cake really isn’t my style.  I’m more of a cook than a baker, and when I do bake my style tends to be rustic and simple (galettes are just such an easy crowdpleaser!)  Boxed cake mix???  Artificial coloring!  FOUR high maintenance layers?!?  But the whole point of Bakeolution is to … Continue reading

Balsamic Fig Chicken Breasts with Bacon and Creamy Polenta


This recipe is long overdue. I actually made this back in August after excitedly stumbling upon two pound containers of fresh figs at Trader Joe’s.  Thing is, since starting the fall semester our meals have been protein and roasted veggies rather than recipes with any sort of complexity, nor have I had the … Continue reading

Nation’s Tri Recap: the most expensive brick workout ever… and why I’m okay with that.


We did not wake up this morning as triathletes, which of course comes as a disappointment.  But at the end of the day, it was out of our control: the water didn’t meet the EPA safety standards for full body contact, so the swim portion was cancelled.  Of course I was … Continue reading

Korean BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Kimchi and Cauliflower Rice


I remember coming back from a week in Korea having literally eaten and drank everything there was to eat or drink in unspeakable quantities and thinking, “how the heck did I lose two pounds?  I often am surprised when I travel to not gain more weight than I do – maybe all … Continue reading

Weekend Recap and This Week in Tri Training

This morning's workout took us through D.C., Maryland and Virginia. We rode 13 miles down the Mt. Vernon trail and across the bridge to National Harbor for the Open Wave sunrise swim, swam ~1,700m and rode home. Thankful to Natalie Kempkey and Carolyn Basista for lending me the gear I've been training in all weekend, and to Jenny for lending me her swim cap. I met Jenny while waiting for Open Wave to start. She is doing the swim portion of the Tri on Sunday as part of the special olympic relay team, and is trying to convince us to sign up for the 1.5 mile swim across the Potomac she does each year. Loving the inspiration, generosity and teamwork in the Tri community!

It may have been Labor Day weekend, but Courtney and I put in some serious work!  It was our last weekend to train before the race, and we were determined to get in a couple more bricks and try out our new gear. Although I worked a half day on … Continue reading

Easy Homemade Fudgsicles… with Avocado! (Vegan, Paleo)


This post probably should have been called “unflattering pictures of my friends eating fudgsicles, but I was worried no one would read it if I called it that.  Or that all the wrong people would read it.  I’m not sure what’s worse. Okay, that was kind of mean.  Here’s a … Continue reading

Weekend Recap & a Tri Training Update


With our race just three weeks a way (!?), this weekend was pretty much dedicated entirely to training.  Well, training and beer (i.e. carb loading!). Saturday we planned to set out early to beat the heat.  Unfortunately, Courtney’s bike had a flat and the bike shop doesn’t open until 10:00am, … Continue reading

Summer on a Cone: Sweet Corn Ice Cream Swirled with Homemade Blackberry Jam


So remember how I told you that in my lament over my bestsummerever coming to an end, I impulsively bought an ice cream maker?  Well, I’ve kept my pledge to make at least one frozen dessert each week.  Actually, I’ve made five in the two weeks since I told you that… but … Continue reading

A Very Special Takeout Tuesday: Food For Life


I can’t believe that the Takeout Tuesday tradition has lasted three years now!   While I haven’t shared one in a while out of fear that you were sick of seeing my takeout and photos of us playing the same game, we’ve consistently gotten together at least every couple of months to … Continue reading

Coconut Crusted Chicken Fingers with Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce

Ever get a craving for chicken McNuggets?  No?  Mmm, yeah… me either.  Technically speaking it was a craving for honey dipping sauce that actually sparked the making of this recipe.  When I was a kid, my Happy Meal go-tos were a cheeseburger or McNuggets.  Now I find nothing less appealing than … Continue reading

Bringing the Piazza to D.C.: Kahlúa Fudge Swirl


I was sad to see the Piazza in Keene closed, as that little corner ice cream shop was a huge part of my childhood.  It may sound strange to call an ice cream parlor a huge part of your childhood, but from the time Piazza opened its window in the spring until … Continue reading

Paleo Veggie Noodle Turkey Lasagna


I’m not so sure what to call this dish.  It was born out of my Hungry Harvest box, that’s for sure.  I guess it’s one part lasagna, one part pastelón, one part veggie casserole… while incorporating turkey chili. Regardless, it’s one part healthy, one part delicious, and a lot of parts … Continue reading

Summertime Sadness and Coconut Chia Seed Popsicles {Paleo, Vegan}


This summer has gone way too fast, and I don’t like it one bit!  This was supposed to be the.most.epic.summer.of.adventure.ever… and it was!  Between April and June, I went to Atlanta, Nashville, Indianapolis and Savannah, and that doesn’t even include all the trips for work. In June, I celebrated my 30th … Continue reading

Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cake with Candied Pistachios.


Zucchini is in season all summer.  You’ll find it fresh at your farmers market’s, at your local grocer, in your CSA.  Luckily, there are innumerable ways to use it.  Sub it for noodles (zoodles!), stuff it like enchiladas, grate it for patties, or throw it in your muffins… but it’s also surprisingly good … Continue reading

Vacation Routines: Silver Lake Meals & Workouts


Wherever I go, I find a routine that usually involves cooking and always involves exercise.  Camp is no exception.  Meals at Silver Lake are meant to be simple.  A spread that can be prepared for a crowd with minimal amenities and served family style. Often, they don’t even involve a recipe. … Continue reading

Waste Not, Want Not: Pickled Watermelon Rinds


“She’s eating watermelon rinds?!” You may be thinking I’m taking my “waste not” attitude to a whole new level… but actually, they’re delicious! I’d never heard of pickled watermelon rinds until last week, but when I saw this Huffington Post article on watermelon pickling the same week I planned to … Continue reading

Baking Fails and My Week of Pie (Watermelon Cream Pie)


In cooking, accidentally adding an extra stick of butter is pretty consistently a delicious mistake.  In baking?  Well, it turns out that’s not the case.  Ridiculous that any hobby should be so precise if you ask me… but let’s take a couple of steps back. Last time we chatted, I talked … Continue reading

Second Annual Bourbon & Pie in July Featuring Tahini Mousse Pie with Halva


My Saturday involved four parties, three outfit changes and two showers, clearly a sign that the dog days of summer are upon us.  The tastiest party of the day was the second annual Bourbon & Pie in July, hosted by our good friends Holly and Jason.   I go to an average of … Continue reading

Vegan Golden Milk Overnight Oats {featuring turmeric, ginger, cardamom and honey}


I’ve been on an overnight oats kick lately.  When it’s 90 degrees and humid and your air conditioning unit has decided to completely die, it’s hard to want something warm in the morning. Note to self: chill coffee for tomorrow morning.   There are a thousand ways to make overnight oats, … Continue reading

A Summertime Cocktail Crush: Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz


It’s the freakin’ weekend kids!  And a long one at that.  The perfect time for cocktails.  One of Courtney and my recent resolutions has been to make cocktails at home more often.  Experimenting with mixology really is a lot of fun, and you can make whatever your heart desires for a fraction … Continue reading

Fighting food waste one box at a time: What I made with the veggies from my first Hungry Harvest box


If you’ve spent much time in the Messy Kitchen, you know how I feel about food waste.  If you haven’t spent much time here, I’ll give you the gist: I am vehemently opposed. When one in five children right here in the United States don’t have the food they need … Continue reading

Paleo Peaches & Cream Chicken Salad


I feel I need to confess that when I hear “peaches and cream” the raunchy R&B song from the early 2000’s start’s playing in my head. I need it cause you know that I’m a fiend. Gettin’ freaky in my Bentley limousine. It’s even better when it’s with ice cream. … Continue reading

Savory Oatmeal with Kale, Avocado, Black Beans & Smoky Maple Tempeh Bacon


This savory oatmeal was one of those recipes that I saw and immediately knew I must make.  What I didn’t know is just how much I’d love it.  I’ve only made savory oatmeal once before and honestly, I recall not really caring for it and never making it again.  I’m not too sure … Continue reading

Antipasti Panzanella: A Deconstructed Italian Sandwich


I can’t decide whether this is more appropriately categorized as an antipasti panzanella or a deconstructed Italian sandwich. “Deconstructed” is all the rage it seems, but it’s a bit misleading.  It implies that I at one point had an intact Italian sammy and deconstructed it to make this dish, which of … Continue reading

30 at 30: a bucket list for my thirtieth year on Earth.


My 20’s are officially over, and I’m okay with that.  It was a wonderful decade filled with more milestones and memories than I ever could have imagined – and I’m grateful.  But I can honestly say that other than the fact that I’m really not so fond of even numbers, turning … Continue reading

Hello Summer! Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup with Charred Corn {Vegan}


A lot has happened since we last talked!  I took whirlwind trips to Indianapolis and Omaha, went to the 100th running of the Indy 500, ate some ridiculously good food, got a couple unfortunate sunburns, started biking to work every day, completed the sprint triathlon equivalent that was my “first” goal for … Continue reading

Curried Tahini Carrot Slaw with Smoky Maple Tempeh


Lately every time I come here I have writers block.  The Messy Kitchen is more than five years old now, which is pretty old in blog years.  I guess it makes sense that regurgitating my adaptations to recipes that pretty much already exist for a small handful of people to … Continue reading

Raw Vegan Key Lime Pie


The weather in D.C. this spring has been straight up dreary.  I’m sitting here with a space heater blowing on me IN LATE MAY. And I think I could count the truly sunny days we’ve had since March on one hand.  When the sun came through the clouds Friday afternoon, … Continue reading

A Burger Salad You’ll Be Eating All Summer


A great bun can make a burger, but more often than not it’s just a filler, doing little more than serving as a vehicle to get the burger to your mouth without the use of a fork… and taking up valuable stomach space.   When out for dinner, I’ll sometimes … Continue reading

Oops, it’s Soup! Roasted Red Pepper Tahini Soup with Roasted Tomatoes, Pan Fried Mushrooms and Grilled Chicken

Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned, but they still turn our really, really, really good.  This soup is one of them.  It was actually intended to be a spaghetti squash dish with roasted red pepper sauce.  Courtney couldn’t resist buying a massive spaghetti squash (seriously, this thing was the size of … Continue reading

Paleo Shrimp and Grits {Whole30}


While sitting on the bank of the Mississippi River eating beignets, I recently texted my husband “I could live here.”  I’m talking about New Orleans of course, and I really do think it’s a place I could call home.  My pants however?  They’d probably not survive long in the Crescent … Continue reading

Bacon Wrapped Guacamole Stuffed Chicken Breasts


I have a pet peeve that involves bacon.  You’re at the store, and you pick a package up.  You look at it and think, “hey, this bacon looks pretty good – look at all that meat!” But then you get home and open the package, only to find the strips have been carefully … Continue reading

On My First Race Win, and the Importance of Showing Up Rain or Shine

I’ve never thought of myself as a competitive athlete.  In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever won anything more athletic than a round of mini golf.  Even if you go back to my school days, I’m quite certain I never even came in first in a gym class scrimmage (if I even got … Continue reading

A Taste of Brazil with Chef Bia

The finished product

One of the best things about having gained a reputation among friends as a total foodie is when friends want to teach you their specialty,or their family’s specialty.  Why YES I want you to show me how your Italian Grandma made her famous tomato sauce! And the dumplings your mom used to make. … Continue reading

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Buns with Cereal Milk Icing


When I was a little girl I used to love the Pillsbury cinnamon buns that came in a tube.  I only ever ate them at my Grandparent’s house, but sometimes I would eat two or three with dinner.  I never questioned why we were eating cinnamon rolls with dinner, but I’m pretty … Continue reading

Sweet Potato Crusted Quiche with Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and Herbed Ricotta

This quiche came out of a failed first attempt at perfection.  Those of you with an older sibling have probably used that line before.  But really, all chefs know that some of the best discoveries come out of misread instructions, innovative replacements for missing ingredients and failed first attempts. One … Continue reading