Lots of Lemons

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lemon dill biscuits


Complaining rarely works this well. After grumbling about my lack of a lemon tree, I opened up emails from three different friends offering me lemons the very next day! Since I have yet to incorporate “no” into my vocabulary, piles of lemons now occupy half of my kitchen countertops.


Although lemon cake is probably the most popular dessert in my family, I wanted to use the lemons in a more savory application too. I nixed the traditional option of a marinade for fish—too many picky eaters—and settled on buttery biscuits instead.   Continue reading for recipe.


February 20, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 14 comments.

Bending the Rules

microwave popcorn

I’m not allowed to keep bags of popcorn kernels in the house. It’s a safety-comes-first type of rule. The temptation is just too great to pour them into a pot, heat it uncovered on the stove, and watch as the fluffy white morsels explode out and rain down on the kitchen floor.


Instead, I’m required to have adult supervision whenever I make a popcorn snack. No picking super small pots or hiding all of the lids. (Yes, I’ve tried…)   Continue reading for recipe.

December 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 11 comments.

Pretty Please, With Marshmallows on Top?

maple mashed sweet potatoes

Our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners taste almost exactly the same; we just swap out the platter of turkey for honey-baked ham (much to Grandma’s dismay, who is the only person every year to eat more than two “ceremonial” bites of the bird). We make homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, cranberry salad, pecan pie, and, of course… Sweet potatoes.   Continue reading for recipe.

December 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 8 comments.

Hooked on a Filling

vegetable dumplings

With the last-minute exams and grading just before Thanksgiving, I peddled home with barely enough energy to tear open a cardboard box and microwave a frozen entrée. I selected a chicken-and-vegetable dumpling dinner last Tuesday, and during my first bite, a dangerous idea popped into my head…


I could make these myself!   Continue reading for recipe.

November 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 15 comments.

Daddy’s Thanksgiving Tradition

100% whole wheat rolls

Before I was born, Dad began the tradition of baking bred on Thanksgiving morning. He developed his whole wheat rolls recipe while in grad school, but that sweet moist bread quickly became every person’s favorite dish on the holiday table.   Continue reading for recipe.

November 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 6 comments.

Even Better Than Campbell’s

chicken noodle-less soup

As 9-year-olds in P.E. class in February, my best friend and I convinced the instructor that our queasy stomachs needed a break from running laps to visit the nurse. In the front office, we convinced the nurse that out churching stomachs needed to go home for the day. And at my best friend’s house, we convinced her mom that Disney movies and soup were the best remedies for our upset stomachs.


Her mom rooted around in the pantry and pulled out two tin cans, one of tomato soup and another of chicken noodle. Since I refused to eat any tomato product other than ketchup, I politely declined in favor of option #2.   Continue reading for recipe.

November 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 7 comments.

What’s in Your Salad?

Last month, a close friend of mine flew home to the Midwest to attend her 96-year-old grandmother’s funeral. It was a bittersweet trip; for years she had called her grandma every Wednesday evening to chat, even if she had to skip out on girl’s night to do so.


When she returned, we met up and she told stories of both her memories of her grandma and the week in South Dakota. She explained that at the memorial, at least 13 people brought homemade salads, but none of them contained any leafy greens! After living in sunny and healthy California for so long, she forgot about the potato, pasta, and jello (yes, jello!) salads of her youth.   Continue reading for recipe.

July 3, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. 3 comments.

Hiking Trails and Tuna Tales

Every childhood summer, we piled into our minivan and drove up to the mountains to pitch a tent and escape humanity for a while. Sometimes family friends joined in, and we all swam in the lake, cooked burgers in the fire, and munched on gooey s’mores.


But everyone loved hiking the most. Mom packed a backpack with all sorts of fruit gummies and peanut butter crackers and granola bars, and we stopped in the shade to sit on boulders and enjoy the snacks.


One girl always begged her dad to bring a can of tuna. While the briny fish smell repulsed my brother and me, she peeled back the lid and happily ate the fish plain or with a bit of mayo using her little fold-up spork.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 28, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Satisfying Sides. Leave a comment.

Care for a Condiment?

As a kid, my condiment knowledge was pretty limited. My grandpa told me that people put mustard on hot dogs and ketchup on burgers, but I broke those rules and squeezed both bottles over either grilled meat. Always Heinz ketchup and French’s yellow mustard (none of that fancy Dijon stuff for a five-year-old!).


Somewhere in my teens, I tried barbeque sauce for the first time at the ever-famous Pub downtown. I ordered a barbeque chicken quesadilla, and after the first bite, I immediately became infatuated with its sweet yet subtle tang.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. Leave a comment.

Browsing in the Bakery

Last week, I stopped by a different grocery store on the other side of town. I barely shop there, only about twice a year when I need a more exotic or ethnic ingredient Safeway doesn’t carry.


As I wandered around, I found myself drawn to the bakery section. (Surprise, surprise!) I stared impatiently at the five-year-old boy shyly accepting a free cookie from the friendly lady behind the counter, willing him to walk away so I could press my nose against the glass display case and study the cheesecakes, fruit tarts, and chocolate éclairs taunting me from within.


Realizing I’d start drooling unless I turned away, I took a few steps to my right to look at the artisan loaves of bread. One caught my eye. It appeared that the baker tried his had at modern art by haphazardly gluing several mini baguettes together and sticking it on the shelf to sell.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Baked Bliss, Satisfying Sides. 7 comments.

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