Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Picnic Sandwich | @thefauxmartha

With the rest of the world, I’ve always been a little smitten with Ina Garten. Mostly for her ability to pack up everything she’s just made into those perfect plastic containers before meeting Jeffrey at the beach. That’s where she cloaks the sand with a beautiful blanket and speckles it with the prepared food that’s somehow still warm. Is it the magic of TV or Ina? Ina does picnics like no one else.
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Fluffy Yogurt Pancakes | @thefauxmartha

He washes our clothes and shrinks my shirts. Not on purpose, of course. He works all week and teaches at night. He’s determined to payoff his grad school loans faster than he accrued them. His work socks leave dents in his legs which can only be seen as he mows the lawn after work. He’s the CEO (Chief Email Officer) of this site because I’m so debilitatingly right brained. In the words of Hallie, “He’s the best daddy.” Because he is. His fatherly intuition is stronger than mine. He wakes up first and goes to bed last. He forces me to talk when I’m mad. He knows the bitter conversations are the only way to get to the sweeter ones. So in honor of Father’s Day, we’ve worked just as hard to perfect our fluffy pancake recipe. For him. Because he’s been eating my thin whole wheat pancakes all these years without a complaint. Or without much of one. Read more

Chimichurri Aioli | @thefauxmartha

The best things in life are usually accidents first. Like the time I went out for arepas, and they gave me aioli instead of chimichurri for dunking my yucca fries. “No worries,” I said as they brought out the other. And because the aioli was still on my plate, I decided to take the fries in a dip of each. That’s when I landed on the best sauce of my life—Chimichurri Aioli. Herby, zesty, tangy, creamy. All the right things in one vessel instead of two. Read more

Quick Mudroom Makeover | @thefauxmartha

If you have kids or if you live in a state with blustery winters, you know the importance of a mudroom. It’s a place to catch the mess before scattering throughout the house. The purses and backpacks, the shoes and snow boots, the gloves and mittens, the wine bottles and cleaning supplies. It’s hard to invest money on seemingly trivial square footage. But a room acting as the gatekeeper of the house, well, you can’t put a value on that. It’s invaluable. It’ll make or break you. Read more

Lemon Chia Scones | @thefauxmartha

Last month, I went on a blogger retreat (Eat Sea Retreat) to sunny southern California where avocados and lemons grow on trees, where jasmine perfumes the sidewalks, and where the Pacific blows an air conditioned breeze along the coast. It’s as dreamy as it sounds, unless you live in California and then it’s your normal. The hue of my legs rivaled that of Edward Cullen, without the sparkles. My friend Amanda, also from Minnesota, and I sat at lunch in silence the first day, mostly speechless. Where were we? Definitely not in Minnesota. People sparkled here. I could have used those Cullen sparkles right about now. Later in the day I shrieked at the site of whales. Whales! Someone must have said it in the background. “She’s not from here.” Read more

Lentil Tahini Bowls | @thefauxmartha

I like to talk about food in the context of the dinner table. Because that’s where we eat it night after night. It’s so routine, it’s expected. It’s commonplace. So common that Hallie, my two year old, couldn’t fathom eating dinner in another context. In fact, she couldn’t even fathom real hunger outside of the occasional stomach bug. Honestly, neither can I. I think Katie, founder of Katie’s Krops, would say the same thing too. Yet somehow, after growing a 40 lb. cabbage in 3rd grade for a school project, it propelled her to become a major player in the fight against hunger. Read more

Modern Farmhouse Painting | @thefauxmartha

We have this wall in our dining room that separates the kitchen. On the dining room side, it’s shiplap. On the kitchen side, it’s a functioning pantry and cookbook shelf. Mike, our builder, designed it. It’s brilliant. And, as I always say, it’s the perfect marriage of form and function. As soon as it was installed, we knew it needed art. And since our house is a blank slate of mostly white, it needed something with a hefty pop of color too. It took over two weeks to get the internet installed at the house, so I decided to tackle this pop of color myself. I dug out my brushes from high school and college. (Before I studied design, I studied painting.) It took two rusty weeks of layering in color and texture. And it took this cake too. Afterwards I called it “Two Weeks without Internet.”  Read more

Bakery Style Chocolate Cookies | @thefauxmartha

Do you remember when this blog was strictly about baking with a side of soup? A couple years in and my pants got tight, so I shifted my focus to healthier (that’s a loaded word), wholesome eats. And then I got pregnant with Hal, ate ice cream every night, and baked liked it was my job. After she arrived, I was certain I’d have to majorly cool it. But for the first time in my entire life, I had trouble keeping on weight. I guess nursing can do that to you. Of course, that luck eventually ran out. Hard. I went back to my healthier, more balanced ways. That’s when Kev started asking, “Where’s the dessert?” To which I responded, “Did you shrink my jeans in the dryer?” My favorite skit on Whose Line Is It Anyway? was always “Questions Only”. It’s exactly as it sounds: you can only respond with questions.  Read more