For whatever reason, dairy is off the menu. Here are some easy and delicious recipes that do not rely on dairy to give them flavor.


Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake

I ate this entire cake in three days. Six was home but he didn’t want any of it. He was wrong. It is delicious. Applesauce cake sounds weird and you have to break out the food processor (or blender, I don’t have a food processor) to make it but man oh man is it goooooooooood.

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Long Island Iced Tea

Is there anything Contessa Garten can’t do? This Long Island Iced Tea recipe creates a delightful alcohol bomb that is easy to make. We left out the gin because gin makes me crazier than usual.

Felicia also doesn’t drink gin because she says it makes her feel weird but when we did some quick (and sober) research all we found was that gin is flavored vodka and there is no reason for it to make us any weirder. We decided the internet was a disaster of lies and left the gin out, just to be safe. Read more

Spaghetti Puttanesca recipe challenge

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca sounds dirty. Turns out, it is! Not the dish, that is delicious, but the name. There are a bunch of stories about how the dish came about. Every story seems to agree on three things. Naples as the home of the sauce, sometime in the mid-twentieth century for the time frame of invention and prostitutes. Either the ladies made this highly fragrant sauce to lure in customers or the sauce smells like the docks or…well, then the stories get kind of ugly so we’ll stop there. Read more

Supreme Court Nomination

Supreme Court Nomination

I am writing this on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 a day most people probably won’t remember, at least without prompting, a few years from now. Supreme Court Nomination proceedings where Dr. Ford sat before a panel of mostly inconceivably powerful rich white men and told the world a painful portion of her life story.   Read more

Tomato and Avocado Salad

Tomato and Avocado Salad

This week I make Contessa Garten’s Tomato and Avocado Salad mostly because I have a bunch of avocados in the house. Also, this is probably the last hurrah for tomatoes. I changed the onion to shallot since raw onions give me heartburn.

I would say onions give me heartburn because I am old but raw onions have been giving me heartburn since I was in my mid-thirties.

And no, mid thirties is not old. Read more

Tomato Bruschetta

Tomato Bruschetta

Bruschetta is bread rubbed with garlic and oil and then grilled. It doesn’t have to have chopped tomatoes on it. I did not know that. The version I made of Contessa Garten’s Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta is a little altered. I completely forgot to buy the cheese which didn’t matter since I don’t own a food processor so I wasn’t going to be able to whip it up anyway. And I refuse to put cheese in my blender. Read more

Guac with peppers

Monique’s Voice: Raw Vegan Lifestyle

Different people choose to live different lifestyles and one of the ways they express it is through their food choices. I’m pretty sure many of you are familiar with the vegan lifestyle which means to abstain from eating any animal protein or animal by-products, like dairy, butter, and eggs, but a lifestyle referred to as “raw vegan” isn’t as popular. Raw vegans believe that cooking food can destroy its micronutrients and that the cooking process exposes foods to harmful chemicals – which resonated with me. When I began my journey as a raw vegan earlier this year, I really had no idea where to start. This lifestyle means eating uncooked and unprocessed foods – so pasta, rice, bread are all out (noooooooo). So I needed resources and recipe ideas, but I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I chose to listen to Fully Raw Kristina – I absolutely love her energy and she makes everything look and sound incredible. And Yuri Elkaim – although he’s not 100% raw, I love his realistic down-to-earth approach on intermittent fasting, and he has some pretty bomb recipes too. Through this journey, I’ve really discovered that this is a great way to enjoy what you eat in its most natural form while maximizing its health benefits. Read more


Summer Rose Sangria

Okay, full disclosure. Any sangria I drink at home comes in a bottle that I dump in a pitcher, then chop up some plums and throw them in with a bunch of ice and call it good. If the wine is suuuuuper cheap, I add 7up.

This Summer Rose Sangria from Contessa Garten is only as good as the wine you make it with. I bought yummy wine and it was delicious. There is a lot of fruit, that made it fresh and bright. I found these things that are a cross between a plum and a cherry and I bought them to go in the sangria. I ate them all the day before I made the sangria so there were no plums in mine. Older son and his friends did not notice. They drank most of the sangria and said it was delicious. These are young people just starting out after college so they are broke and I gave them free booze. It could have tasted like paint thinner and they would have loved it so I drank some and it was indeed very good. Read more

Whiskey Sours Recipe Challenge

Whiskey Sours

I am beginning to hate the recipe challenge. Even the booze ones are a lot of work. What am I making this week? Whiskey Sours. Okay, let me get in the kitchen and juice a bunch of lemons and I’ll get back to you.

Ready to go? Nope. I need to make simple syrup. Hang on, let me go do that. I’ve never made simple syrup before. What do I store it in? I found a nearly empty wine bottle, drank the wine, rinsed it out then put the syrup in it. Let’s put these things together. Read more

Contessa Gartens lemon chicken with satay dip

Grilled Lemon Chicken Skewers with Satay Dip

This week is Contessa Garten’s lemon chicken with satay dip. I don’t own a bbq so I couldn’t grill the chicken for this recipe. I have a Cuisinart indoor grill thing that I used instead and it worked great. And I didn’t have to work with open flames so that was good. It’s summer and sweltering so I don’t understand why people want to go outside and stand over smoking hot coals to cook food. That seems something to do in Spring and Fall when it is cooler and the bbq could warm you up.

But whatever. Cooking is a mystery. Read more