Fall in Iowa

I have been living in Iowa for 3 months now. Here are a few pictures of things I've done since I got here.

I went to Nauvoo, IL in September. I would like to dedicate this photo to my Mom. Thanks Mom for helping me refurbish this dress I thrifted into an awesome skirt. It turned out perfect and it looks great blowing in Mississippi wind.

In late September, I went on a field trip for work to the botanical garden in Minneapolis. One of the displays was this house of sticks. I thought it was pretty nifty and now I have a harebrained idea to someday make a summer home out of sticks. This house was made of willow, which I am not crazy about since they tend to have a nitrogenous aroma.

I started working at Seed Savers Exchange during the harvest season, which has it's perks. Mainly, coming home with garden booty multiple times a week. I've come home with garlic garlic, kale, collard greens, leeks, rutabaga, turnips, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and all manner of squash. My freezer is full of apple sauce, pumpkin butter, blanched kale and collards, spicy tomato sauce and squash guts. I have also lacto-fermented sauerkraut, garlic, rutabaga. The small little kitchen in my apartment is being pushed to it's limits. I am making due with what I've got but dreaming of the day when I have not only counter space, but functional counter space!

In this picture you can see the casualties from my apple orchard taste test and a few batches of sauerkraut I started fermenting.

Stuffed tomatoes with quinoa, bell pepper, and onion. Topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Fried zucchini using coconut flour and seasoned with five spice


Thai Inspired Squash Dip

This is latest recipe to come out of my kitchen. I’ve been making it a lot lately because I’ve gleaned way too much winter squash from work and corn chips have been on sale down at the co-op. A few of my coworkers asked to try some of my dip when I brought it to have for lunch last week. They gave me the thumbs up, so I decided to make the recipe my next post.


  • Sweet winter Squash (butternut, pumpkin, or acorn)
  • Red curry paste
  • Dried hot pepper
  • Peanut or Almond butter
  • Garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Blue Corn chips (because they look pretty with the squash)

Cook squash in the oven or steam it on the stove top. Place cooked squash in a pot and blend it with a hand blender until the texture is smooth. If the squash seems like it is on the wet side, add heat to help evaporate some of the water out. Add in garlic, dried pepper, and red curry paste (in ratios suited to your own personal preference) to squash and blend. Remove pot from heat and stir in sea salt and a few scoops of peanut or almond butter. You can serve dip either hot or cold.

Blending the squash

Adding the spices

Healthy dose of peanut butter

Put it in your face while wearing the cool Monty Python hat your sister made you.
"Bring out your dead!"


Fried French Toast

I came up with this recipe sometime during my second year of grad school and it became a part of my weekly Saturday morning ritual. The ritual involved me watching a movie while I sat on my bedroom floor eating my fried French toast, washing it down of course with a tall glass of cold raw milk. Then I would eventually face the inevitable and go back to campus and work in the lab.

The invention of Fried French Toast was initially triggered by my never ending quest for increasing functionality while fostering laziness without sacrificing yumminess. It’s a very fine line to walk, but one I find worth walking. One morning I had been using homemade bread to make French toast and it was taking forever to soak up the egg mixture. To remedy this, I ripped up the bread to increase the surface area, thus speeding the egg soaking phase. Since I use a cast iron pan, I needed to increasing the amount of oil in the pan to prevent sticking. The combination of increasing the surface area of the bread and adding more oil inadvertently satisfied my love for crispy fried food. One time I was feeling frisky so I added a ripe banana to the mixture before I fried up and I was not sorry.


  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Milk or Cream
  • Vanilla
  • Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Butter and/or Coconut oil
  • Banana (optional)
  • Roasted almonds or pecans (optional)

Beat eggs and add in milk, vanilla, spices and salt (just a quick reference I probably use about 1-2 tablespoons of milk for every egg and slice of bread). Tear up or slice bread into pieces then add them to the egg mixture and let it soak for about 2-5 minutes. Heat cast iron pan slowly to med-high. Coat the pan generously with coconut oil or butter to prevent sticking and to get everything nice and crispy. Then add the soaked bread mixture to the pan and start frying. I like to top with real maple syrup and some roasted almonds or pecans.