Week 3: Mushroom-Barley Soup

Oh my!  I was planning on posting every Sunday…  I guess I have already had a little bump in the road.  I made this recipe last Monday and was just planning to write about it on the following Sunday, but it seems that life got in the way.  I visited a college on Saturday and had a big interview, (fingers crossed it was a good one!) but that meant all homework was to be done on Sunday, not to mention the fact that I was super tired.  Anyways, I’ll stop trying to make excuses and get on with the recipe.  This week I made a delicious mushroom-barley soup out of the Moosewood Cookbook. IMG_4367.JPG From what I can tell this is a totally vegetarian cookbook, so I’m sure there will be more recipes included from it in the following weeks.  (Also as a side note this book was published in 1977.. #retro)  Just as a little extra, I decided to make homemade bread.  It was a relatively easy to cook, the recipe is as follows:

6-8 Servings

1 1/4 hours to prepare

1/2 cup raw pearled barley

6 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water (we used store bought stock)

1/2-1 teaspoon salt

3-4 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)

3-4 tablespoons dry sherry

3 tablespoons butter

2 cloves minced garlic

1 heaping cup chopped onion

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

freshly ground pepper

1.  Cook the barley in 1 1/2 cups of the stock or water until tender (cook it right in the soup kettle.)  Add the remaining stock or water, tamari, and sherry.

2.  Sauté the onions and garlic in butter.  When they soften add mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  When all is tender add to barley, being sure to include the liquid the vegetables expressed while cooking.

3.  Give it a generous grinding of black pepper and simmer 20 minutes, covered, over the lowest possible heat.  Taste to correct seasoning.


The biggest criticism my family gave is that it could use more barley HOWEVER the barley does sink to the bottom of the pan, so make sure that when scooping you get all the way to the bottom to really pick that barley up and you might find that the 1/2 cup is more than enough.  Additionally, something that made this recipe go really smoothly for me was that I located and double checked all of my ingredients before cooking, and while the barley was cooking I prepped everything.  By this, I mean that I put chopped onion and garlic in its own little bowl, the sliced mushrooms in a bowl, etc. just so that everything was nice and organized and I could easily progress the recipe quickly.


Everybody really liked it!  My younger sister doesn’t really like mushrooms all that much, so she probably ate the least of it.  Everybody else seemed pretty pleased with my creation, and I even put it in a thermos and brought leftovers for lunch on Tuesday :).  All in all, another successful recipe has been added to the inventory, and we will definitely try cooking this again!



Setup before I started cooking




Barley Cooking


Mushrooms, garlic and onion cooking


Soup in the pot


Not really part of any recipe, but this is the bread I created 😉

Let me know if you try this recipe!

Happy cooking,



Week 2: Hibachi Style Fried Rice

Hey fellow food blog readers!  I’m still getting the hang of this website, but I think that eventually I will be a pro at writing these posts.  I’m a little awkward when it comes to starting off these posts, any tips?  Anyways, I’ll get to my recipe.  This week I decided to make some fried rice.  I had never made anything like it before, but I was really craving fried rice like the kind you get when you go to a Japanese steakhouse.  This recipe tasted very similar (and it was a portion of the price ;))  Here is the recipe I used from food.com, added by Darla Emerson:


The finished product!

2 cups cooked rice, cooled (I used more than this and just adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly.)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup onion , chopped

1/4 cup peas and carrots, frozen

1 egg

2 tablespoons margarine

2 tablespoons soy sauce


  1. Cook the rice.  When I let it “cool” I just removed the pan from the heat, left it in the pan and placed it on a wooden cutting board with no lid on.  It was still fairly warm when I cooked it, I just tried to make sure that I wasn’t steaming or anything.
  2. Sauté onion, peas and carrots in olive.
  3. Move vegetables to the side of pan and lightly scramble egg.  I used a fork.
  4. Add rice and margarine and sauté for 5 minutes.
  5. Add soy sauce and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Enjoy!!


Everything moves pretty quickly after you start sautéing the vegetables, so just make sure everything is in order and organized before you begin cooking.


This recipe was a hit!  My older sister did not like the peas and picked them all out, but other than that even my mom (who hates egg) really enjoyed it.  It tasted really authentic, and is definitely a recipe that my family will make again.  I can already envision myself next year in college cooking this on the regular…



Kelly picking out all the peas


Finished dish in the pan


A natural pose before my first bite


My real reaction of how it tasted (I was telling my mom that it was really good)












Let me know if this recipe works for you!

Happy cooking!


Week 1: Parmesan Roasted Zucchini

For the first recipe my mom and I created we decided to use an Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) recipe out of her cookbook Cooking for Jeffrey.  This was an insanely simple and delicious recipe.  It’s a nice main dish if you do not eat meat but can double as a side dish.  The recipe is as follows:

6 medium zuchinni (we used 5)

Good olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic or 3 cloves (we used big cloves and it was probably more than a tablespoon but I am a garlic addict and didn’t mind)

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (I minced these as trying to julienne them was too difficult for me)

1/2 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese (I also used more than this because I LOVE parmesan)

3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Trim stem end of zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds with a regular teaspoon.
  3. Line zucchini on a sheet pan and brush with lots of olive oil
  4. Turn zucchini cut side down, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and roast 12-15 minutes. (until just tender but still firm when tested with the tip of a small paring knife)
  5. Mix all of the other ingredients together (1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper…I just eyeballed it)
  6. When zucchini is finished cooking, flip and spoon the mixture into the zucchini.
  7. Bake another 8-10 minutes, until panko is crispy.



My mom and I used smaller zucchini and ended up cooking them a little too long (they got kinda mushy), so just make sure to check them periodically in order to avoid overcooking.


Very delicious!!  This recipe combined all of my favorite flavors.  Zucchini is one of those vegetables that is a little gross alone so it’s important to combine it with flavors that make it taste better and a little more intense (this recipe accomplished that).  The recipe was really quick and easy to do and also pretty filling.  All of my family enjoyed the dish, even my picky younger sister ate a little of hers!

PICTURES: (just one)

I have to admit we did not decide to make this blog until after we were finished eating so I do not have any pictures of the process but I do have one of the final product.   You can tell it’s not quite as firm as we would have liked, but in general it still tasted fine.  Also I am sorry, I am definitely not a food photographer ;).unnamed-6.jpg

Let us know if you try this recipe out!

Happy cooking,


Our First Post

Hi, Krissy here.  On New Years Eve of 2016, my family and I were discussing our various resolutions we wanted to accomplish for the new year.  Weight loss, reading more often, among others, were thrown into the mix.  While all mentioned are honorable resolutions, I wanted to try something more fun and attainable this coming year.  That’s when I remembered the Pioneer Woman cookbook I had purchased for my mom as a Christmas present, as well as the Ina Garten cookbook my cousin had gifted (among the other various cookbooks that lay stagnant in our house).  I asked my mom if she’d be interested in making one new recipe a week.  We are always struggling to find good ideas for dinner, so by doing a new recipe a week we are not only challenging ourselves but also finding recipes that could potentially become staples in the household.  Me being a vegetarian, I am always up to try new recipes that could potentially be used to substitute what would be meat in a meal, and my mom is too (one of my older sisters is also a vegetarian 🙂 ).  I will be updating once a week pictures, recipes, tips, and reviews of all the recipes that my mom and I attempt this upcoming year.  Hope you enjoy, and happy cooking!