Not Your Mom’s Roasted Veggies


My friend just popped over to pick something up, and she was like, “Are you just roasting vegetables in the middle of the day?”

Well, yes, because what had happened was that I overbought vegetables. And then today I was like, if I don’t cook these, my veggie drawer is going to spontaneously turn into soup.

So the thing about roasting veggies is that you can do this with almost any of them.

Roasting is a real wonder that ZERO OF OUR MOMS KNEW ABOUT IN THE 80s because our vegetables came out of a can or, like my brother reminded me last night, they were in frozen bags like fancy people use and then boiled within an inch of their lives.

The Cold War dinner table was a real gauntlet and we were warriors for choking down that broccoli mush because our moms wouldn’t let us up from the dinner table until we ate it.

My brother also maintains that mom made him eat chicken pot pie from Sam’s Club one time and he threw it up and could never eat a bite of it again, and mom categorically denies this because she says she never bought chicken pot pie from Sam’s in her life, but this is Drew’s truth and now you know the story of our family chicken pot pie drama.

I did feed him The Pioneer Woman – Ree Drummond’s CPP recipe and he ate two whole servings, so what I am saying is that trauma can be overcome with time and perseverance and homemade food that didn’t come from a bulk store where you get your toilet paper.

Back to the roasted veggies.

Douse them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in a 400 degree oven.

Flip or toss it halfway through, and when is halfway through? How should I know? Smell for them and see when they are turning a delicious, crusty brown on the edges.

Then what do you do with these caramelized delights?

1. Spoon them over leftover rice, potatoes, noodles, zoodles, lettuce. Sprinkle some roasted almonds or pecans or walnuts over the top, maybe some dried cranberries, and drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

2. Fold them into your scrambled eggs or frittata with some sharp cheddar and crumbled bacon.

3. Put them in ramekins, make a quick béchamel (basically butter, flour, and milk) to pour over the veggies, and top with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes and now you’ve made little, individual servings of roasted veggie gratin like a real queen.

4. Wrap them inside a tortilla or big leaf of lettuce with a sharp mustard vinaigrette and a bunch of cilantro or parsley.

5. One of my fave ways to eat roasted veggies is with a low-brow dip: mayo, sriracha, sweet chili sauce, fresh lime juice, squeeze of honey, and salt. Whisk and dip everything within reach.

6. Eat them straight off the sheet pan with your hands like a caveman like someone I know did today. (I roasted carrots, leeks, and radishes. Ina Garten taught me that I could roast radishes and I am out here living in the future now.)

Anyhow, don’t let them turn to soup in your veggie drawer and don’t boil them to mush or your kids will never let you forget it for the rest of your life.

Creamy Tomato and Basil Soup


This is a great soup recipe when you need to clean out your veggie drawer of old celery and carrots and a half-used container of half-and-half.


(^ the amount of these veggies is however much you have. I had half a *checks notes* bunch of celery, five carrots, and the last sad onion.)

Chop and saute in oil in a pot with salt and pepper, celery seed, and fennel seed.

Celery seed and fennel seed are the weird culprits behind delicious flavors in soups. I say yes to them! Yes I say!

When you like how your veggies look and smell, add 6 to 8 cloves of chopped garlic for about one minute. At this juncture, this mix smells good enough to eat as the meal.

Deglaze your pot with maybe 2 to 3 cups of chicken or veggie stock or, if you are feeling saucy, a cup of red wine then add the stock. Scrape any brown bits off the bottom. Those are literally the reason you sautéed the veggies.

Add two 28-oz. cans of whatever tomato products you have: whole, chopped, crushed, sauce, a mix of these.

Yes, I realize that this would be delicious with fresh garden tomatoes. But I honestly cannot imagine a world in which I flash boil 15 tomatoes and peel them. I am unable to envision this step as a part of my journey.

Add salt and pepper and either honey or sugar (just some) to balance out all this acid. Don’t taste it yet. It isn’t right.

Bring to a boil, lower your heat and cover. I like this to simmer away for at least 30 minutes. It needs the time. Just let it live in its time out corner until it is ready to come correct. Then taste it and just see. Add whatever you think it needs. I usually add salt or sugar or both.

Pull it off the heat and use your immersion blender to smooth that baby out (this is one of my favorite kitchen tools and soups are bereft and forlorn without it).

Pour in your half-and-half or… for the very serious among us… heavy whipping cream. This is where the shiz gets real.

If someone put a huge bag of fresh basil from her garden in your fridge, chop a huge handful of it, and toss it in.

I actually like to let this sit for about 5 to 10 minutes in the pot before serving. It is boiling hot, and as it cools just barely, the flavor becomes perfect. I add a tiny drizzle of olive oil on top like Ina Garten INSISTS WE DO. I don’t disobey the queen.

Obviously, serve it with buttered hot dog buns with garlic salt and Italian seasoning on top and maybe the last dregs of some cheese because you are getting rid of stuff that needs to be eaten. I thought I made that clear.

If you’ve never made “garlic bread” on hot dog buns, are you really a parent?

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People


French dip sandwiches

47370948_1910454519053534_8971473471959728128_nGot a bunch of folks to feed? This is one of my favorite recipes for a crowd: French dip sandwiches!

Get out your handy dandy crock pot, drop in a huge chuck roast heavily salted and peppered, and… just dump a packet of McCormick’s pot roast seasoning right on in and add some water.


If you want to grind your own spice blend sprinkled with the happy tears of mermaid babies, be my guest.

Also, I am aware that the Insta-pot evangelists would say this can all be done in like 12 seconds in the magic cooker. Which is undoubtedly true.

I have one. It is still in its box. Please apply the oxygen mask to your own face before securing your children. I just can’t do everything, you guys.

I like to start my crock pot roast the night before, because it is impossible to cook this too long.

When it is done, put the roast on a big sheet pan and shred it with two forks.

Cook’s note: I am FANATICAL about discarding every tiny bit of fat during this process. If I bite into a chunk of fat inside my sandwich, YOU TELL ‘EM I’M COMIN’ AND HELL IS COMIN’ WITH ME (gratuitous Tombstone quote).

Get some yummy sub rolls from your bakery and slice them almost all the way through. Load up your subs like this:

1. Awesome mayo (I made two choices: garlic and scallion mayo, and horseradish and lemon mayo which is exactly what it sounds like. Dump those things in your mayo  —Duke’s of course — stir, and now your fancy mayo selection is complete. How much of it all? The amount of stuff to add is “some.”)

2. Cheese: Swiss, provolone, cheddar, pepper jack, whatever you want bro

3. Shredded beef void of any trace of fat. You’re welcome.

4. Caramelized onions. And peppers if you like to live dangerously.

5. More cheese. Because ‘Merica.

Load a sheet pan with the sammies and stick them under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese is all melty and the bread gets crusty.

If you want a tangy crunch, add dill pickle slices just before you gobble this up. (This is not traditional, but last time I checked, I am a grown woman who can do what she wants.)

This makes everyone happy.

If you want to get real serious, you can strain the liquid and give the people au jus ramekins. Or you can be trashy like my family and just dip your sandwich straight into the crock pot.

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People


French onion soup

There is not a single reason you should not make French onion soup tonight. It is the most delicious, delightful soup of all the soups. This is not a matter of opinion but fact. Come at me.

Also, it’s the easiest thing.

Heat a big soup pot over medium heat. Slice up 4 to 5 large yellow onions and drop them into the pot in 3 to 4 T of butter.

A word: This will seem like you are cooking a preposterous amount of onions. No one wants this many onions in anything, you will say. That is a lie. Please be patient with the volume of onions. If you skimp on the onions, you will regret it the rest of your life.

Cook these down until they are brown, caramelized beautiful things. Like 45 minutes.

Stir in 2 to 3 cloves of chopped garlic for a minute. Sprinkle in 2 to 3 T of flour for a minute. Deglaze your pot with 1 cup of dry sherry or red wine. Scrape, scrape, scrape. YOU DON’T WORK FOR YOUR ONIONS, THEY WORK FOR YOU.

Pour in 5 to 6 cups of beef stock.

Ina Garten INSISTS that we make our own stock or how are we any different than the animals.

I am here to tell you that I make almost everything from scratch, and *I use grocery store stock* because my freezer is too full of garbage Pepperoni Rolls and frozen waffles, and I am now rethinking my previous “everything from scratch” declaration.

Also in the freezer: frozen breaded fish because I’ve told you before that is my favorite shortcut for fish tacos, and I’m not sorry.

I’m digressing.

Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 2 T chopped fresh thyme and S&P. (I told my sister that thyme was my favorite fresh herb, and she was like “That’s no one’s favorite herb” and I was like “Hello. I just said it was my favorite so now your ‘no one’ theory is blown to crap.”)

This is when it gets exciting.

Cover a sheet tray with foil, and ladle the soup into individual ramekins. French onion soup is literally why ramekins were invented. (Fun fact: ramekins are also the home to my favorite dessert in the entire universe — creme brûlée. Get in my mouth.)

Place thick slices of French bread on top of each ramekin of soup until it covers the whole top.

NOW LOAD AN IRRATIONAL AMOUNT OF SHREDDED GRUYERE CHEESE ON TOP OF EACH SLICE OF BREAD. I’m sorry for the all-caps, but my gosh. This is more exciting than new Royal babies.

Some people put the bread in the ramekin first, pour the soup over, then top with the cheese. My response to this dilemma is this: What a wonderful time to be alive when this is the biggest problem of your day. Delicious surprise bread at the bottom or toasty cheesy bread on top?? This is not a legitimate bone of contention.

Carefully put the sheet tray under the broiler on the bottom rack of your oven. Watch it carefully. When the cheese is a melty, gooey avalanche, it is dinner time. Everyone gets their own ramekin, which makes them feel special and fancy.

Pair it with a bright, crunchy salad and you are now such a culinary hero that even Ina will forgive you for the boxed stock.

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, FEED THESE PEOPLE

The perfect, incorruptible breakfast: Soft-Boiled Eggs on Hot-Buttered Toast

39985348_1774884879277166_8061770510716895232_nDears, allow me to guide you toward the perfect, incorruptible breakfast.

I am obviously a FANCY cook because I once went to Food Camp and made a sauce called espagnole, but it has 10 ingredients and requires a FINE MESH SIEVE and nothing that complicated should be a part of our day before 9:00 a.m. or maybe ever.

Especially when for all that work, it was just sort of okay and I would frankly rather have jarred Alfredo sauce. But I’m getting off track.

This is the breakfast of champions: soft-boiled eggs and hot buttered toast. Can you handle eggs and sliced bread? Like an old-timey farmer? Then this is your breakfast journey.

This method is foolproof: In a small pot, bring water to boil (enough to cover your eggs). When it is boiling, carefully lower your eggs in with a slotted spoon and set your timer for exactly 6.5 minutes. I am sorry to be fussy, but longer than that and you have hard-boiled eggs and your day is ruined.

At the end of the 6.5 minutes, take the eggs out and run them under cold water or dunk them in a bowl of ice water.

While they are cooling down, drop your bread in the toaster. BUTTER GENEROUSLY. With real butter. If you come at me with Country Crock, we are in a fight. I cannot believe we are still talking about this.

I also leave my butter out on the counter in its vintage butter dish at all times because I am not precious about this. If you want to butter your toast with butter bricks from the fridge, please don’t come crying to me when it tears your bread and you have sad feelings.

Peel your beautiful eggs, cut them in half, and salt and pepper them like it is your job. Take a good look at them too, because those belong on a magazine cover.

This is very important: it is imperative that your bread-to-egg ratio is correct. EVERY BITE NEEDS SOME EGG AND SOME BUTTERED TOAST. This is not negotiable, I’m afraid, so if you are a Giant Toast Biter, you will need two pieces of toast for your eggs. And please don’t leave any yolk on the plate. Put your bread to good use and sop that -ish up.

This is all you need to eat for breakfast for the rest of your life. It will never cease to make you happy, and it has three ingredients.

A cup of sweet, creamy coffee with it is implied.

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People


Breakfast, um, casserole? Or maybe frittata.

Hypothetically, let’s say your teenagers have a rolling start to the morning anywhere between 8:30 a.m. and… I want to say… 12:45 p.m., and you want to put some breakfast on the counter that can go the distance, because we are not short-order cooks for ne’er-do-wells who start their day at lunchtime. These dummies need to get jobs.

Here is your breakfast, um, casserole? Or maybe frittata-type dish that can sit on the counter and be eaten at room temp.

IDK what it is, because it is basically your leftovers.

Here is a pic of it, half eaten, like the food bloggers do.106154137_2965197943579181_8053614875987740867_n

Look in your fridge. What do you have? What is in a baggie, in a small Tupperware container, half eaten, or almost gone? Those are your ingredients.

Congratulations for not throwing everything away. If there are three bites of food left, I save them in a container like my Grandma King taught me, who also saved tape off wrapping paper and every square inch of aluminum foil she ever purchased.

Here is one version.

I had a container of leftover cheese grits. Boom. Could also be: mashed potatoes, rice, hash browns, pasta, any kind of “base.”

In my cast iron, I browned up half a package of breakfast sausage, half an onion, half a yellow bell pepper, and a few sprigs of thyme.

Meanwhile, mix six eggs and a boatload of milk or half-and-half (or heavy cream for the most aggressive among us).

Please do not forget the salt and pepper. Eggs without S&P are such a tragedy. I also stirred in a leftover baggie of shredded cheddar.

I took out my nicely browned sausage/veg mixture, threw waaaaaaay too much butter into all those drippings because butter is delicious and makes things taste good (I don’t know why I have to explain this), and pressed the leftover grits into my cast iron. Then dumped the sausage mix on top. Then poured my creamy egg mix over the whole thing.

Let it sit on the stove for two to three minutes until the edges just start to set, then into a 400-degree oven for maybe 15 minutes or so, until a knife comes out clean in the center.

This is scrumptious.

Eat it with sour cream and GOOD SALSA (I feel like Ina here being bossy about GOOD OLIVE OIL).

Here are other things that can go into this situation: Anything.

Get you a carb-y base, get you a meaty/veggish/savory sauté, get you some eggs and cream with any sort of cheese.

Got a container of leftover brisket? Boom. Bacon, ham, leftover meatballs, roasted veggies of any kind, mushrooms, literally leftover anything.

For some reason, when you pour creamy eggs over something and bake it, now it is breakfast. I don’t make the rules.

Leave this on the counter and eat it all day. When your kids come downstairs at 1:15 p.m. for the first time, tell them it is lunch.

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People


Roast Chicken

I am going to save dinner when your kids are melting down and you don’t have time for tomfoolery.

Author’s note: Kids on Fridays are like miniature psychotics. With no shame, they will pitch a blazing fit over the “bossy way” you asked about their day. Do not fall for this. We don’t negotiate with terrorists.

Back to dinner:

1. One whole chicken.
2. A lemon
3. Fresh thyme
4. One whole head of garlic

That is literally it because I am assuming you have butter and onions.

Rinse your chick and pat it dry. Salt and pepper its insides a bunch. I know this is weird.

This is a good time to realize that we eat real animals, not just magical, boneless breasts from some mythical creature who died of natural causes before its parts mysteriously shrink-wrapped themselves and landed in our produce department.

I once thought watermelons grew underground, so I am not judging.

Cut the lemon in half; cut crosswise through the head of garlic (don’t even worry about taking the skin off); grab however many sprigs of thyme — and shove all that up the chicken’s keister. Melt 2 to 3 T of butter; brush all over the outside; then liberally salt and pepper.

Scatter big slices of onions all around your buttered, stuffed chicken in a roasting pan, and throw it in a 425 degree oven for around an hour and a half. Check it at 45 minutes or so and add a bit of water if your onions are starting to get too burny.

I realize this is a lot of words, but if you *edit the author’s superfluous thoughts,* you’ll see this prep is like four minutes.

There isn’t proper language to describe what this starts smelling like after around 30 minutes. Anyhow, if you waste the pan drippings, I will never speak to you again, so take the chicken out when it is done and cover it with foil. Throw some butter and flour into a pan and whisk, then add all the pan drippings and onions.

Some people strain this, but that hurts my feelings. Add some heavy cream and whisk and now you are a bona-fide star.

Serve your roast chicken and onion gravy with rice or potatoes — or maybe just chips because when it is Friday night, we don’t have energy for a proper side.

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People.


Killer Hot Garlic Wings


No matter what team you cheer for, these killer hot garlic wings are a touchdown. Trust me on this — and make them stat.

3 lbs chicken wings
4 T melted butter
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika (however much idk)

2 T high temp oil (canola, grapeseed, whatev)
2-3 T chopped garlic
1 T crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp black sesame seeds
2 T barbecue sauce (whatever kind you like, man)
2 T hot sauce (I like Frank’s for this)

Blue cheese dressing for dipping — unless you are not spiritually mature in this area and need Ranch.

[I don’t even know about these measurements. Do what you want. You’re grown.]

Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the seasonings to the melted butter in a large bowl and toss all the wings until they are coated. YUM.

Throw a wire rack into your baking sheet (might need two pans). Be your own hero and line the baking sheet with foil first and now you don’t have to clean them. We are out here living in the future.

Bake for 40 minutes or so until they are brown and sizzling and crispy.

Meanwhile in a large hot skillet, throw in the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce. Stir until bubbly and glazy, around 2 minutes. Add the crispy wings and toss until totally coated.

These wings are proof that God loves us and is on his throne.

And also the reason Jesus invented blue cheese.

If you get your ass to the store, you can have these tonight in time for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff.

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People.


Barbecue Braised Beans and Chicken


I made up a recipe for Barbecue Braised Beans and Chicken because the big kids were coming for dinner and when Sydney is here, bacon and delicious pork things are forbidden.

I forgot to take a photo, so this is all I have to show for it. So please enjoy this pic of my dutch oven in the sink this morning like the food bloggers post. Am I doing this right?

It tastes a lot better than this dirty pan looks.


8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (salt and peppered)
High temp oil
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1-2 jalapeños, diced (don’t fuss)
6 cloves of garlic, chopped (no, it is not too much)
1 cup of BBQ sauce
1 cup of mustardy BBQ sauce
1 can chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
2 T brown sugar
2 T Worcestershire (I had to look that up to spell)
3 cups chicken stock
4 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (whatever beans: pinto, black, butter, combo)


Grab your big dutch oven, pour a glug of oil over high heat, and brown your chicken, maybe 5 or 7 minutes per side.

Remove the chicken to a plate, turn the heat down a bit, and into all that oil and chicken juice add the onion, green pepper, jalapeños, and salt & pepper.

Stir until coated in all that mess, and let these cook until they are, I don’t know, cooked. Maybe 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir just one more minute. Burned garlic is an American tragedy.

Add the BBQ sauce, mustard sauce, brown sugar, chipotles in adobo, Worcestershire, and chicken stock and stir it all up. Look at that! That is what your chicken and beans are going to taste like!

That shit is delicious and you know it!

Pour in all the beans and stir, then nestle your browned chicken in all of it.

Pour whatever chicken juice is on the plate in too, because that is flavor, not salmonella. Bring this up to a boil, put a lid on, and slide it into a 300-degree oven for 4 hours or so.

Turn it up and cook quicker. Turn it down and cook longer. Braising can take however long you want. You can’t get it wrong.

I served this with cast iron skillet cornbread, sour cream, and fresh parsley and it was so damn delish.

Sydney took home all the leftovers because adult kids will walk out the door with every container of leftovers in your fridge plus whatever else they steal (Caleb once took all my frozen waffles and laundry detergent),



Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People. And I promise all recipes come with an actual photo you want to see.


Down and Dirty Fried Rice


I make a down and dirty fried rice at least three nights a week, and I’ll put *literally* anything in my veggie drawer in it.

The last handful of spinach? Sure. Half a leftover onion, red pepper, and poblano? In you go. Tupperware of leftover corn off the cob from six days ago? Get in the pan.

What is the easiest protein? Leftover whatever (Jeff Chu throws in leftover brisket). Or a handful of frozen shrimp I ran under hot water, dried, and tossed in seasoning.

Or dear lord, the egg. Thank you Mary Mother of Jesus for the incorruptible egg.

None of it matters because you are also going to use:

*Ginger (I JUST discovered squeezable ginger and I am out here living in 3022)
*Rice wine vinegar
*Spicy mayo

This is also why I put all this over cauliflower rice which is inarguably UNINSPIRED but who cares when you have all the sauces?

So here’s what you do:

  • Dice up your veggies, whatever the hell they are.
  • Heat some high-temp oil over high heat, and in they all go. Sizzzzzlllllle.
  • Toss with S&P (or use @nomnompaleo’s spice blend!) and let them get a little charred which they WILL GET if you don’t stir them too damn much. I swear the number of times I pushed Ben Hatmaker off my pans because he just stands there and stirs.
  • Push all your veggies to the side, add some butter, and fry up your cauliflower rice for a few minutes.
  • Turn down the heat and add the garlic and ginger and toss it all together like fried rice for a minute. Add a few splashes of soy and rice wine vinegar and toss.
  • Warming through leftover meat? Throw it in and toss.
  • Doing a quick saute on shrimp or frying some eggs? Scootch everything to the side and cook those up in butter. Toss it all together (take the eggs out first if you fried those OVER EASY).
  • Plate it up with a drizzle of sriracha and spicy mayo (just mix together mayo and sriracha and a squeeze of lime).

Spicy mayo is my live-in boyfriend.

Want to be fancy? Top with diced scallions or cilantro or basil.

The quantities are whatever you have and however much you want, so just go with God on that.

Speaking of food, you can find more recipe goodness in my debut cookbook, Feed These People. There’s still plenty of cooking irreverence here, although I promise all recipes are SLIGHTLY more exact.ftp-final-cover