green bean, potato and corn salad

These kinds of salads have been on our table a lot lately. I’ve been craving vegetables with dijon dressing, capers… mediterranean¬†sorts of flavors with vegetables I happen to have around. Bonus points if I don’t have to go to the store…

That’s the kind of lazy summer we’ve been having. So I’m going to keep this short. Get off the internet, go do something fun outside (or not if you live where I do and it’s way too hot). And make salad.

bbq portobello sliders

bbq portabello sliders // loveandlemons.com

Summer makes me happy… long sunny days, warm nights, flip flops, juicy watermelons, waffle cones… and food with ketchup. Or in this case, bbq sauce.

A few weeks ago, I was drooling over this post. So last weekend, for my dad and Jack, I decided to made a mushroom version. The only change I really made to the sauce was adding dijon mustard… I love ketchup… Jack hates it… so the mustard added a nice kick and kept the overall tomato-ey-factor in balance.

peanut soba noodles

I admit, this is minimal, even for us… I mean, is there even a bowl here? Modern art was not exactly what we were going for… we were just hungry. Sometimes we spend a lot of time on our photos, other times, it’s “got it? look good? is it clear? yes. great, lets eat…”

In front of my computer the next morning is when I sit alone with my head and go “if only we woulda… next time we should really…” and then I take a break and enviously pin¬†other people’s photos. But really, I’d rather spend time figuring out new recipes than tediously trying to figure out… “with the fork? without the fork? with the napkin? that napkin is really wrinkled… ditch the napkin.” I’m sure our photos, over time, will evolve… but in the meantime, we’ve gotta eat…

Styling (or lackthereof) aside, this a super delicious bowl of peanut-y green food. And feel free to throw in whatever vegetables you like or happen to have on hand. The sauce is completely versatile. I was just in a green mood that day.

Sweet miso udon

Jack has been requesting udon ever since we got back from Japan (over a year ago), so finally, tonight, udon he got. This is not traditional udon – and that’s my disclaimer. I would love to be able to say that we went to Japan and came home able to share something remotely authentic. The truth is that we pointed to things on menus and just hoped that no one would put something in front of me that was still moving. (Jack on the other hand is ok with food that still moves).

One day we’ll hopefully become more diligent ingredient-notating travelers. Until then, next time we’re at game night and “no tentacles or squiggly legs” comes up on a charades card, we’ve got that one in the bag.

This dish was inspired by a foggy distant memory of a dish we ate on a dark, cold, rainy night in Tokyo. We were at this restaurant where their entire menu was based around Japanese leeks (neat concept right?). They served an udon dish that I remember to be one of my favorites of the trip – it was sweet and salty, and a light glistening golden brown. And that’s about all I can remember about it except for how quickly I polished it off.

I should also mention that I added a few extras that were not part of the memory… tofu to make it a full meal with protein, these neat hon shimeji mushrooms that popped up at my store, and some chopped nori because I just like it.