Slow-cooked Beef and Plantain Arepas | @thefauxmartha

This recipe came about because of a food truck turned tiny restaurant in Minneapolis—Hola Arepa. When we go out to dinner, it’s the only place I ever want to go. Kev likes a little more variety in his life. But I’m a minimalist. So I go on repeat with Steph and Lindsay because they feel the same way. I order an El Diablo cocktail followed by the Shredded Beef and Plantain Arepa. Every single time.  Read more

Peppery White Wine Pasta | @thefauxmartha

It’s strange how relationships go. When you first start dating, it works because it’s easy and spontaneous. And if it’s anything but, you end things real fast. Eight years into marriage—three of those years with a tiny human—it works because we work at it and because we add a weekly event to the calendar. “Hang out.” And in the event notes: “No iPhones allowed.” We’re officially old not young. Read more

Italian Cream Cake | @thefauxmartha

I’ve written this post before in different words. Around the very same subject—cake. Making cake is a religious experience for me. Why, I’m not exactly sure. But it takes me to a place in my mind that dinner can never touch. It reminds me that we’re more alike than we think. Which is really important when things feel mostly polarized. Read more

Walking Bánh Mì | @thefauxmartha

I’m going to rename this blog Mel’s Food Truck. Because most of our dinners are composed as if they were just grabbed from the window of a food truck. You know the kind. Familiar with a modern flair. Casual but flavorful. Saucy with ten thousand toppings. We have a new item on our food truck dinner menu—a Walking Bánh Mì.  Read more

Sturdy Cream Cheese Frosting | @thefauxmartha

We just got back from Texas. From the hottest place on earth. From my brother’s wedding, where my sister and I made enough cake to feed 230 people. 230 people! We pulled it off. Just barely. With enough time to put on makeup, dresses, and knot our hair up in an up-do. We pulled it off mostly thanks to this sturdy cream cheese frosting recipe. It sounds like an oxymoron, I know. Sturdy and cream cheese frosting in the same sentence. But it’s real. Read more

Kristin's Chinese Cashew Salad | @thefauxmartha

Kristin, author of Modern Potluck, blogger at Eat Better Drink Better, and former editor at Food & Wine, might disown me after she reads the accidental adaptation of her Chinese Chicken Salad from her new book. Forgive me, Kristin? You see, I didn’t set out to make this salad vegetarian, even though two posts back I waxed on about falling out of love with meat. But a vegetarian Chinese Chicken-less Salad is what happened. Read more

Quinoa Burger | @thefauxmartha

Kev leaves for work and comes home to find a more grown up version of Hal. At least that’s what he says 2.5 days out of the week. Of course, I can’t see it because I’m with her half the day. We don’t live near our extended family. Mostly because we’ve yet to convince them to trade in the south for the north. But Summer’s let us enjoy their company. From each appendage of our extended family, usually on the first day of our visit, I get the same question. “Are you a vegetarian now?”
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Italian Salad Sandwich | @thefauxmartha

When Kev decided he wanted to become a psychologist, before he took any classes or practiced therapy, he wanted to work in the prison system. This didn’t come as much of a surprise to me. He volunteered at a nearby prison throughout college. He told me he wanted to reduce recidivism. “Recidi-what?” I said. Recidivism is the relapse of criminal behavior after previously serving time. It’s the boomerang effect. Like poverty. Like a lot of touchy subjects that seem too messy to touch. Read more