Spaghetti squash gremolata.

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I think it’s safe to say that anyone reading this blog knows that I am not, and will never be (barring some sort of life-or-death illness) the kind of person who gives up her carbs. I love my sandwiches, and pasta, and dear god, do I love my potatoes. (You’re probably sick of reading about it.) I’m not giving them up for anything. You’d have to pry them from my cold, dead hands. That being said, I’m also not averse to trying low-carb/carb-free substitutes to carbtastic, starchy goodness, because I like having my cholesterol in check, and because I’m open to trying just about any food that isn’t an insect. (Or durian.) A few weeks ago, I tried making a cauliflower pizza crust – and no, I’m not going to tell you that it tasted JUST LIKE PIZZA CRUST OMG 4 REAL because I am not a big fat liar. It tasted…quiche-y? Maybe? It was good, but it was in no way similar to actual pizza crust.

On Friday, I tried my hand this recipe, because my mom, my sister, and apparently everyone on Pinterest, ever, has gone spaghetti squash crazy.

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“It tastes like and has the texture of spaghetti!!!”, the Internet says. (To her credit, this blogger never claimed spaghetti squash tastes like spaghetti. So thank you, A Family Feast.) “I call shenanigans, Internet,” I replied. (Yes, I talk to inanimate objects. You do, too, so stop raising those eyebrows.)

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Beer battered fish and chips.

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To anyone out there who mocks English/Irish fare, I have three words for you: fish. and. chips.

Actually, I have a few more words, such as “oh my god get out you don’t know what you’re even talking about,” and “um, have you HEARD of Sunday roast, you plebe?” It seems like a lazy, uninformed kind of insult, especially since I follow a few British food bloggers on here and easily 98 percent of the time I find myself drooling all over my keyboard at their pictures of amazing-looking food. (Though I have to get this off my chest: Haggis. Admittedly, I’ve never had it, because I can’t wrap my head around it. I just…what. Why. Scottish people, please explain.)

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Fathers Day Dinner 2014, and the root of why I love cooking.

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For Fathers Day, my mom and I made dinner for my dad. It’s a running tradition, as my dad loves food and, although he also loves cooking, probably enjoys having someone else do that (and the dishes!) for him.

There’s an excellent butcher in the next town over from them, so they picked up some beautiful veal chops. Dad wanted something with mushrooms and gorgonzola (which I can never pronounce correctly, because Colin like to call it gorGONZOla, because he is a goober).

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Leftover steak pizza.

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Since I have yet to master the whole cooking for one or two people thing (as opposed to cooking for an entire freaking army thing), I often find myself with leftovers. Like anyone with at least a few brain cells and semblance of a soul, I loathe wasting food, but I also admit that eating the same exact thing two or three days in a row is monotonous. So, I’m always looking for ways to turn my leftovers into something new! different! fancy!

Enter this pizza.

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Chicken flaurentine.

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Yes, yes, I know, that’s not how you spell florentine, but since I made this up, and my name is Lauren, you get flaurentine.

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Okay, I know. That was rather dorky, but that’s what you get when you come ’round here. Recipes with a side of dorkiness and occasional puppy pictures. You should know this by now.

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Ginger-lemongrass rice.

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I don’t make rice all that often – for the most part, I only eat it with Chinese food takeout or in sushi rolls. But the other night, I decided that I wanted to make rice with dinner, but I didn’t want it to be plain. Or slathered in soy sauce. Or cheesy. Not that rice in those forms isn’t delicious, but I was looking for something … lighter. Fresher. Do I sound like a fabric softener commercial?

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Slow cooker Guinness short ribs.

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So, did everyone else at least have a lovely St. Paddy’s Day? I hope so, because I most certainly did not. Mine was just one of “those days” where it snowed all through my morning commute, the design program I use at work crashed on me 12 times in the span of an hour (I mean literally 12, no exaggeration), the yoga class I wanted to take was cancelled because the instructor was sick (probably drinking green beer instead), and my fridge and freezer stopped working. Thankfully, I had some new episodes of Sherlock to comfort me – seriously, if you need to cure a bad day, just watch the scenes where Sherlock and Watson get drunk during a stag night. Aside from these short ribs, it’s my favorite thing this week.

I love short ribs. Love, love, love. I think it was the Pioneer Woman who described them as little pot roasts, and she’s right. I usually make short ribs by braising them in some combination of beef broth, red wine, vegetables and herbs, but I found this recipe, which calls for using Guinness, so I got myself in the St. Paddy’s Day spirit and made a batch for myself and my friend Jess.

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Shrimp tacos with mango salsa.

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I know that complaining about the eight thousand million billion tons of snow makes for pretty dull reading material, but seriously, I’m over it. Everyone who’s wearing their pajamas inside out and dropping ice cubes into the toilet and performing intricate snow dances, or whatever it is you weird winter people do, PLEASESTOP.

But, let’s be honest, it’s winter and it’s going to be miserable for at least another month. Instead of letting The Surly take over your life for the foreseeable future, might I suggest cranking up your heat, cracking open a beer and eating some food that feels like summer?

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Twice-baked potatoes with kale.

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Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, please welcome, for the very first time on this humble little blog … kale!

Kale has become an incredibly popular staple for healthy eaters over the past couple of years, and rightly so. It’s chock full of vitamins and minerals, and can be prepared in any number of ways.

For those of you who haven’t managed to incorporate this superfood into your diet, and are perhaps a little wary of this leafy green with its curly, tough texture, here’s a recipe that might help you open your arms (mouth?) to kale. Sure, it’s not the healthiest thing you could eat, but it is delicious, and it’s tangible proof that, as the great Bob Belcher once said, there’s nothing wrong with kale.

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Pasta with vegetables in a creamy yogurt sauce

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I’m not really one for making new year’s resolutions. Sure, I probably made some when I was younger, because I thought it was the “thing” to do, but it seems to me that more often than not, new year’s resolutions are about eating better, getting in shape, losing weight or something along those lines. Anyone who has ever frequented the gym knows that trying to get a workout in during January is all but impossible – really, it’s better to just wait ’til February, when the herd thins out – and I think that kicking off the longest, coldest, worst month ever (come at me, January fans) with a pledge to purge your diet of all things sweet/salty/carby/boozy is just a form of masochism, and I want no part of it.

In light of my resolution hangups, and as a tip of the hat to all of you who don’t share this mindset, I think I’ve found something that qualifies as both comfort food and a (quasi) healthy alternative. Also, it’s vegetarian-friendly, so, yay for that.

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