A kitchen photo dump

We had a Kitchen Happenings post just a few weeks ago, but I have more photos, and they must be shared. Because it’s no fun to keep photos to yourself!

I’ve been on a quest to add more and more vegetables to our diet (because they are both cheap and nutritious, which makes Kristen happy.), and so the vegetable section of my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook has been getting a bit of a workout.


The “more vegetables” thing has been met with mixed reactions from my kids, most of whom would prefer to stick with fruit instead of veggies.

(And yes, I know that butternut squash is technically a fruit, but I’m operating with the “If it has seeds and isn’t particularly sweet, then it’s a vegetable.” definition. Because really, who mixes up green peppers and tomatoes and calls it a fruit salad??)

*steps down from the vegetable definition soapbox*

I’ve roasted lots of veggies this winter, but now that warmer weather has arrived, raw vegetables are becoming more appealing.


Grapefruit season is coming to an end for us, as Aldi doesn’t really carry them during the warmer months. But when we do have grapefruits, we like to eat them with a spoon and then squeeze out the remaining juice into a glass. There’s a surprising amount left in there, even when you think you’ve scooped it out pretty well with your spoon.


My table is almost always filled with food made from Cook’s Illustrated recipes. This particular day, I had three at once…Chipotle Lime Chicken Breasts, a tomato-basil salad, and scalloped potatoes (which are an odd thing to have with chipotle chicken breasts, to be sure, but I had to use up my potatoes!)


Speaking of scalloped potatoes…I don’t use my food processor terribly often, but I do adore having it on hand when I need to make scalloped potatoes. It’s so fast and makes such even slices.


I’ve been eating lots of yogurt at breakfast. It is 95% more fabulous when you stir in fresh mango and strawberry and sprinkle granola on top.

(That’s clumpalicious granola, but it was from the bottom of the container, which is why there are no clumps!)


Though I don’t normally buy a lot of jello, the most recent birthday person here at Chez Frugal Girl requested Seven Layer Jello, an old recipe from my side of the family.


That meal was, um, not full of vegetables.

And neither was the dessert.

(Not that dessert generally contains vegetables, but I needed a segue. Work with me here.)

It was an ice cream crunch cake, which I covered with a cereal bag and a rubber band.


It’s not purty, but it works, and I do stuff like this because I hate to use plastic wrap. I actually just finished up a roll that I’ve had for years, and I’m pretty darn pleased it took me years to use it up.


I’ve been experimenting with my bunny-roll shaping technique. Which do you think is best?


Sonia and Zoe and I are continuing to work our way through our Usborne science activity book. Here, we observed how water, unlike most other substances, expands when it freezes.


And we made a fun thermometer using a bottle, dyed water, play-doh, and a straw. Immersed in hot water, the water level rises, and in cold water, it falls.


Photo bomber.


And lastly, I remembered to cut some daffodils and bring them inside. Yay me! I hate it when I forget about this until after the daffodils are done.


Ok! I think I’m all caught up on sharing kitchen photos now (at least, until another few weeks go by. The kitchen, it is a busy and well-photographed place.)

P.S. Until midnight tonight, you can still enter to win the Shabby Apple $50 gift card. The winner is randomly chosen, so you have as good a chance as anyone. Enter yourself!


  1. says

    Butternut squash is a fruit?? Say it ain’t so! (Also in the fruit > veggies camp, but always working not to be. But really, butternut squash is my favorite food on the planet!)

    • Battra92 says

      Squash is a fruit, just like tomatoes, chiles (with an E), peas, cucumbers, pumpkin (a kind of squash, really) and beans.

      I find it interesting that the only vegetables on Veggie Tales are the asparagus.

  2. Battra92 says

    When I was a kid we made that thermometer experiment using a 35mm film canister. I don’t know that most kids would know what that is. :P

  3. says

    I’m a little bit confused about the Jello – are you saying it was the meal and then you had cake? Was the Jello savoury? I’ve never ever seen it as a meal before, so am curious :)

    Thanks for the tip about the grapefruits – I will be trying that one out. Also you can include veggies in dessert – tonight I had a very yummy sticky rice with butternut pumpkin (squash). But I think the butternut pumpkin we get here is sweeter than in the rest of the world.

    • Kristen says

      Oh, no, we DID eat things other than the jello. But our birthday meals aren’t known for being especially healthy. We eat all sorts of things we don’t generally eat.

  4. Sydney says

    Your blog always has such wonderful photos. I especially love the daffodils! My favorite bunny is the one on the far right. Will you post/have you posted your recipe for seven layer jello? I would like to try that out.

  5. Emily says

    Why does water expand when it freezes, but with your homemade thermometer the water rises when warm but falls when cold?

    • Battra92 says

      Water expands and contracts like normal until around 39F which is just above the freezing point. As there is now less heat there is less motion of atoms and molecules and thus hydrogen can create bonds with other hydrogen atoms and the water molecules create a crystalline structure that is less dense than plain old water which is why it expands.

  6. says

    I LOVE your vegetable definition! Nobody has broccoli & cabbage for dinner and says “We’re having flowers tonight!” or celery & asparagus and proclaims, “It’s stems for dinner!” Of course tomatoes, peppers & squash are veggies : ) (This all started because of a Supreme Court case decades ago when Tomato growers didn’t want to pay a tax on vegetables, BTW).

    And I think I might try your thermometer thing with my daughter – that looks so fun : )

  7. says

    I do the same with my grapefruit.
    I like the middle bunny best but it is a tough call.
    Pheasant eye narcissus are my all time favorite flower, they won’t be blooming here for at least two more weeks so its nice to get to look at yours.

  8. Kris says

    I love it that rhubarb is technically a vegetable but we eat it as a fruit. Bonus! Too bad ours doesn’t grow better.

    Battra92 has a point about the veggies on VeggieTales … never thought of it like that before. Hmmm.

  9. janknitz says

    Thanks for the memories! Grapefruits are one of my favorite (but I don’t eat them anymore). Somehow they taste better when you eat them halved like that, with a real authentic grapefruit spoon (pointy end, serrated edges). I love scraping out every last bit and then squeezing the juice, sticky hands and all!

    My mom did precut each grapefruit piece along the segments to help little hands, and we ate our grapefruits with lots of table sugar sprinkled on top. I learned how to pick out the sweet grapefruits as an adult, and I would never sprinkle sugar on them any more!

  10. Diane says

    Three cheers for the bunny on the left.

    Also, here’s one of my favorite quotes. Not 100% positive about the source, I have seen it attributed to others or even the famous author “Unknown”.

    Miles Kington – “Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting in your fruit salad.”

  11. Jenny says

    You can grate carrots into green jello to get veggies with dessert. My mom made this as a kid, and I loved it then. I’m not sure if I’d like it anymore.

    The bunny on the left looks more like a cat to me, but it’s cute. The way the dough is curled around reminds me of a cat with its tail curled around it. The one in the center just needs a little puff of dough for a bunny tail.

  12. Dori says

    Hey there, I think it’s really awesome that you’re trying to use less plastic wrap. I’m trying to do the same. Thought your use of an old cereal bag cut open instead of plastic wrap is brilliant! I never would have thought of that. Any chance you would be willing to do a post with tips on what you do to utilize so much less plastic wrap?

  13. Jessica says

    I would love to see or get a link to the Sever Layer Jello Cake. Looks super cute and I want to try it out!

  14. says

    Those bunny rolls are adorable! But I have to ask you, how old is that Hires root beer bottle? I didn’t think that was sold anymore! I remember not too long ago, I asked my parents, who live up north to bring me some down here in the South, but they couldn’t find it. I used to LOVE Hires root beer!!!!!! :)

    • Kristen says

      They do sell it here, but just in a few grocery stores. You have to look pretty hard for it.

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