It’s Na-chyo Birthday
Ginger Rhubarb Compote

skipaheadSo is this post about nachos or ginger rhubarb compote? Well both.

Yesterday was E’s 30th birthday. Old man. (Give me a month, I’ll catch up.) For his birthday he asked for one thing: the best nachos in town. He always does this, folks. Asks for the moon and then expects me to deliver. I mean, who is he to ask for nachos in Minnesota. That’s like asking for cheese in Wisconsin or seafood on the coast. Oh, Wait.

So I found lots of places with the “Best Nachos in Town.” But after a lot of Yelp reviews and some foodie reviews online I found the golden ticket: Salsa A La Salsa. Ooo, yum. The chips were made fresh and they topped them with refried beans, guac, sour cream, taco meat, cheese, lettuce, and pico de gallo. I know, it sounds pretty standard, but I’m confident it was the fresh chips that made them so delectable.

After a lunch of junk food and an afternoon of sweets (courtesy of his many awesome co-workers), E was craving a salad and feeling a bit like Elaine in this episode:

So I scrapped my plans for cake and instead made E something with rhubarb. You really can’t go wrong, in E’s eyes, when you cook with rhubarb. We had this rhubarb compote (I’m calling it Rhubarb Butter at my house though) on bread, but it would be amazing with some creamy cheese or on a cracker. Or even over ice cream!

Ginger Rhubarb Compote

Overall: five-star


This was so incredibly easy to make, I felt ashamed telling E. Hey, honey, here’s how much effort I put into your birthday dessert: 10 minutes. It tastes pretty good too. If you don’t like rhubarb, obviously this won’t be for you, but the ginger and cinnamon take the edge off the sour rhubarb.  (Recipe here.)

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Green French Fries and Why I Blog
Baked Asparagus with Parmesan

skipaheadHave you noticed all the goings on around Krystal cooks.? New follow tools, recent posts information at the end of a post, and fancy schmancy recipe pages for the handful of recipes I have to post here on my site.

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You may have also noticed the slower load times, random error messages, and down time. Well the good and the bad is because of a move I decided to make to Instead of having WordPress host my site, I’m hosting it now. It means I can have more control over my layout and install some pretty awesome widgets (like the Recipe Card plugin I’m using for my recipes. Love it!!) And I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect a completely hiccup-free transition, so we’re grappling with some error messages and load time issues. I sincerely hope you’ll tell me what you like, what’s frustrating you, what you wish the site could do, or if you see anything wonky. I appreciate all your feedback!

I’ve been having so much fun finding new plugins for the site and trying to figure out why Publicize isn’t working anymore, and this post over on Blonde Ambition got me to thinking about why I’m blogging in the first place. Honestly, the blog was conceived and born in a matter of hours. I was making dinner one night – a particularly irritating cookbook recipe – and telling E how much it frustrated me that on paper the recipe looked fast and easy and manageable. Hours later and loads of dishes, we were eating a mediocre meal of spaghetti and meat balls. I said I wished there was a resource that you could go to that would give you a full review of the recipe, done by a real person, so you could trust that the recipe was as true to form as the cookbook and pictures let on. E and I both decided it was an idea worth pursuing and later that night E and I had the site set-up and the concept mapped out. 

Fast forward a few months and we’re still here plugging along. The blog is turning out to be a lot more than a place to share quality recipes. It’s a hobby. It’s a diary. It’s a letter to friends. It’s a way to make friends. It’s a place to connect. I’m so glad you’re here and you’re reading along. I hope you’ll help me out by sharing a page, offering up a comment, trying out a recipe, submitting a recipe for me to review, or letting me know how my site could be more useful. In the meantime, I’ll be here working away at a never-ending list of recipes to try.

Baked Asparagus with Parmesan

Overall: five-star

Ooo, I love asparagus. I didn’t think I did as a kid, but it was mostly because my family liked to cook the hell out of it. Mmm, smooshy. Asparagus is delicious and full of flavor. You can eat it fresh, steam it just enough to cut the crisp, or give it a quick bake to roast and bring out the flavor even more. This recipe is fast and easy, and so delicious. It’s a total package (maybe the first of the month? Yikes!).  (Recipe here, from Simply Recipes.)

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A Fish with Feathers
Prairie Sushi Tortilla Rolls

skipaheadLast weekend we had a couple of friends and their little ones over. The kiddos (Little K, Keagan, and Jordan) were such little angels the whole time; it was a small miracle. We didn’t have any breakdowns, blow outs, or brawls. Although Little K did put Keagan in a head lock momentarily. Keagan made use of his time to check out Little K’s kicks though, so I guess no harm no foul.


I decided that I’d keep things easy and just do a bunch of appetizers, that way we could just graze and chat and not have to worry about pulling something out of the oven or manning the grill. I made a ham and cheese ring, fruit pizza, and prairie sushi. You do know what prairie sushi is, right? Prairie sushi is made with the only kind of fish you can catch on the prairie. The kind that have wings, feathers, and beaks. Which I guess makes it a bird and not a fish. Small technicality.

Prairie Sushi Tortilla Rolls

Overall: four-star

Such an easy recipe to prepare and it was a crowd pleaser! I am going to keep this one in mind for larger family gatherings and serving picky eaters. The flavor isn’t going to rock your world, but it’s safe, easy, and affordable.  (Recipe here, from Pioneer Woman.) Continue reading

Egg Wars!
Creamy Herb Deviled Eggs Recipe

skipaheadFor Easter this year we went down to Southern Wisconsin, where my parents live. It is a long drive, compounded by traveling with a baby and two dogs. It was definitely worth it though. We had a blast seeing all of my family and catching up.

Great Grandma (Gigi) and Little K

Though Little K ended up getting two top teeth (yay for balancing out his smile!) and a terrible fever along with them, we did come home with some pretty fun goodies. Little K got some fun toys from the Easter Bunny and his very own adirondack chair.

Silly bunny hid Little K’s basket under his pack and play!

Mmm, Peeps! (For mommy and daddy…)

I fared ok too. First of all my mom gave me this beautiful deviled eggs plate that she had gotten as a wedding gift:

Ooo, shiny. And secondly, purdy eggs:

Do you decorate your eggs as intricately as this? That’s Little K’s egg (Rachel’s handiwork) with the big red tractor. We decorate eggs every year. And we’re serious about this project. This year we decorated seven dozen eggs. Don’t worry, only a mild cholesterol spike for us, each family only took about a dozen home.

What does any sane person do with all those eggs? Well, first you have an egg war.

After a couple eggs have sparred one another and been defeated, you make deviled eggs. What other option did I have?!

Creamy Herb Deviled Eggs Recipe

Overall: three-star

I made these as the main recipe calls for, and I made some that I “greek-ifyed.” The magazine has a bonus tip that says to add lemon, mint, and cucumber to give a Greek flair (I didn’t have cucumbers, so I used kalamata olives). Either way, I didn’t like them. E would give them a better rating than I would, but in my book I’d pick the traditional deviled eggs with mayo and mustard 99 times out of 100. However, if you’re looking for something a little healthier, this is the way to go! (Recipe here, from Taste of Home.) Continue reading

Day-old Guac will Rock your Sock

Last week I mentioned how E went out to the grocery store and picked up the essentials, not realizing I had just done the same. We ended up with half a dozen avocados. (Before you ask, yes avocados count as “essentials.” You can eat them for every meal – even Little K loves him some avocados.) I did the only thing that makes sense. I cut one in half and mashed it for Little K, eating the other half myself with a little sea salt (anyone else love sliced avocados with sea salt? Mmm.). Then I grabbed three more and made this guacamole from Budget Savvy Diva.

If you’re wondering where you’ve seen this recipe before, it might be Pinterest.

There are a few recipes I see over and over again on Pinterest. Mug brownies and this guac are probably the top two.

Chipotle Copycat Guac

Overall: four-star

I made this about a half hour before I served it and the onions and peppers were just way too dominant. Wait a couple hours and it’s amazing! Is it the secret twin of Chipotle guac? Not exactly, but it’s so close!

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