two skinny jenkins

090715 – zucchini pasta
090715, 10:17 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Zucchini Pasta

Joe is a master at these kind of pasta dishes.  When asparagus is in season, he makes the same thing with that.

  • 1/2 package of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 T evoo
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into coins (or peeled longways)
  • 2 cans petit diced tomatoes
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 t onion powder
  • S + P to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to the box.
  2. Saute garlic in olive oil in a large skillet.  Add zucchini and saute until soft (about 6 minutes).  Add tomatoes and spices and continue simmering for 5-7 minutes.  Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain and add to the skillet and continue cooking for a minute or two.
  3. Serve and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

090715 – watermelon lemonade
090715, 10:07 pm
Filed under: DRINKS | Tags: ,

watermelon lemonade

Okay, so I was set on making this the instant that I saw it on Smitten Kitchen’s site.  Joe bought a somewhat sub-par watermelon whilst I was at the beach, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make lemonade of it.  I made some alterations to taste while putting it together, so I feel okay about posting the recipe.  I guess that’s how recipe blogging works…

  • 2 C watermelon puree (using immersion blender)
  • 1/2 C simple syrup
  • 1 C lemon juice (gasp – from a bottle)
  • 2 C water

Just mix it up and add ice to the serving glasses.  Joe and I added a little gin to ours…

090715 – DARK Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
090715, 9:24 pm
Filed under: DESSERT, SNACK | Tags:

Chocolate Pretzels

I have been baking so much with the BBA challenge lately, that i have ceased all other baking.  I completely forgot that i have not made my Chocolate pretzels since starting this blog.  We finished up our corn muffins pretty quickly, and today, i had a hankering for these.  By the time i finished writing this post, i have had more than my fair share of these cookies.  I’ll run them off tomorrow!

  • 1 1/2 t instant espresso powder
  • 3 T boiling water
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 t  vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 C unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 packets Sugar in the Raw, for sprinkling

1. Stir espresso powder into the boiling water until dissolved; set aside. Meanwhile, put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until creamy. Mix in vanilla and salt. Reduce speed to medium-low. Mix in egg, cocoa and dissolved espresso. Gradually add flour, and mix until a smooth dough forms. Turn out onto a piece of wax paper; pat into a square. Wrap dough, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

2. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Roll into balls. Shape balls into 9 or 12-inch-long ropes. I just rolled them out on the wax paper that they the dough was refrigerated in to save on clean up.  Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Space evenly on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Brush cookies with egg wash; sprinkle with sugar in the raw. Bake cookies until dry, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week (but they won’t be around that long).

090714 – BBQ chicken + summer squash
090714, 8:57 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , ,

dinner 090714

I was still not feeling top notch today after my minor surgery yesterday, so we had a simple dinner.  I copied Joe’s chicken ‘recipe’ form a couple weeks ago and baked it in a 375 F oven covered in Subbs BBQ sauce for 45 minutes.

For the squash, i sauteed two yellow squash and one zuchhini, for 12 minutes in a large pan with one sliced onion, 2 cloves garlic, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.  I sprinkled some parmesan cheese immediately after serving.

With that we had a salad of romaine lettuce, blueberries, and feta cheese.

090713 – corn bread | BBA #10
090713, 8:44 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DINNER | Tags: ,

BBA Corn Muffins

FINALLY!  We had so much food at the beach that there was no need for corn bread.  Now that i am back at home, it seems like the prefect timing.  While i was away, Joe made a huge pot of chili.  Tonight’s meal isn’t very summery, but simple and good.  I think this may be the simplest bread recipe yet.

No offense to the book or anyone in the challenge, but after looking at the pictures online, i really didn’t want to put bacon on the bread.  It just didn’t appeal to me.  I am glad that i didn’t because the sweet corn muffins go so well with our chili.  As you can see in my FLICKR photos, there are a LOT of corn kernels in this recipe.  If i were to make this recipe again, i would use 1 1/2- not 2 1/2 cups of corn.  Also, 30 minutes at 350 was just perfect for the muffins, but i think would not be nearly enough for a pan of bread.  Once they were done, they stuck to their wrappers pretty badly.  I suspect that this is because i used low-fat buttermilk, and maybe a scoch less butter than the recipe called for.  Next time, i would forgo the wrappers and spray the tin.

See (part of) the recipe in googlebooks. Page 151.

090709 – MamMaw’s Cookies
090710, 6:48 am
Filed under: DESSERT, SNACK | Tags: , , ,

White Chocolate Cookie

So, here I stray from my typical (at least somewhat) healthy recipes.

My uncle’s mother is one of the sweetest women i know and she comes to the beach with us nearly every year.  This year she brought some interesting looking cookies with her.  I admit that i was apprehensive at first, but these cookies taste better than they look.  They are super simple to make and serve as a satisfying, crowd pleasing dessert.

  • 2 C mini marshmallows
  • 4 C rice crispies
  • 1 C peanut butter
  • 1 C raisins
  • 1 C crasins (or other dried fruit)
  • 2 lb bar or blocks of white chocolate
  • 2 C dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  1. heat white chocolate in a large bowl in the microwave for approx. 2 minutes, stir, then repeat to melt completely
  2. add peanut butter till mixed
  3. add peanuts, fruit and rice crispies and drop 1/4 cup portions onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Refrigerate to harden for at least 2 hours.

090708 – Sandcastle building 101
090708, 9:28 pm
Filed under: FUN

Castle Building

Not to brag, but my dad and i are killer sandcastle makers.  We have been honing our skills for about 5 (?) years now, and each year we seem to attract more and more spectators.

Nearly every person who stops asks us how long we have been working and what our technique is.  We can make a pretty impressive castle in about 2-3 hours, assuming that the pile of sand we made in the beginning of the week is still there.  My dad’s motto on our technique is: ‘pack sand, pack sand, pack sand’.  Once you have a really solid pile of packed sand, you can carve away anything.  Here’s how we make sandcastles step by step:

Tools of the TradeAbove are all our castle making tools.  In the bag, and perhaps most essential, is my dad’s metal spatula used for carving away sand.  I sometimes use the plastic one, but the sharper metal edge makes a much cleaner cut.

Packing sandWe use scrap wood both as scaffolding (to displace our weight and allow us to stand higher up on the sand pile) and for evenly packing down the sand for the base of the castle.   You  can also simply pack the sand with your hands.

Tower construction

Here, my dad adds sand to our mixing bucket then carefully scoops the wet sand into piles to later carve away into a tower.

Castle Carving

Working from the tallest portion out, we continually layer and carve down the wet sand until we are bored or tired.  Lastly, we take down the ‘scaffolding’ and sweep away
a road around the castle base.

090707 – Deviled Eggs
090707, 8:28 pm
Filed under: DINNER, SNACK | Tags:

Deviled Eggs

I am trying to help out in the kitchen here a little bit every night.  We have been not only staying in the same house for 10 years in a row, we have also been eating prettymuch the same foods each year. The ‘grown ups’ honed the meals so that each one has a something for everyone and we eat a good variety of foods throughout the week.  Last night we made about a dozen eggs woth of deviled eggs and by the end of dinnertime they were all gone.

Here is the no longer secret family recipe:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 C light mayo
  • 2 t mustard
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t vinegar (white wine)
  • dash of pepper
  • paprika to garnish
  1. boil eggs in a large pot of salted water for 10 min.
  2. place in cool water for 10 min, or until eggs are room temp.  You can leave them for longer if you want, just don’t let them dry out before peeling the shell off.
  3. Shell eggs, slice in half, and put yolks into a small bowl and mash.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to the yolks and mix.
  5. Re-stuff the eggs and sprinkle with paprika.

090706 – Cinnamon raisin walnut bread | BBA #9
090706, 8:40 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge | Tags: ,

Cinn Rai Wal Swirl Bread

We (my family) have been coming back to the same beach house on the Outer Banks for 10 years now.  The owners have done something new to the house just about every year and this year they have remodeled the kitchen.  The new kitchen has lots of gadgets, but lacking a few basics – no wooden spoon, only one loaf pan, no half cup measure.

I have an aversion to shortening, so i I used regular butter instead.  The recipe makes two loafs, so since i had only one loaf pan, i put one half in the fridge for the a while.  I will make the second loaf later this evening, and probably end up taking it home with me.  by making one a time, i also have the chance to learn a little from mistakes.  To make a cinnamon swirl in the middle of the bread, i pressed the dough out into the 8″x5″ rectangle (roughly 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick) that the book calls for, and rolled it up into loaf form.  It came out with a barely recognizable ‘swirl’.   next time i will make a much thinner rectangle, maybe half or 1/3 as thick to get a real swirl effect.

All in all, the bread is very tasty.  Even though the dough seemed extremely thick while kneading, the resultant bread is surprisingly light and fluffy.  I think it will make great toast, and maybe even french toast.

Check out more photos on FLICKR and the full recipe is on Google Books!


the second loaf with more of a swirl was a success!  more cinnamon sugar and spreading the dough thinner and rolling it up tighter was an improvement .  Here is a shot from Tuesday’s breakfast:

Cin Rai Wal Swirl Toast

090704 – Dad’s foccacia bread
090705, 9:52 pm
Filed under: DINNER, LUNCH | Tags:

dad's foccacia


I think that my dad has a natural knack for making bread.  I remember when i was little, growing up in Vermont, he would bake bread on occasion.  He made this focaccia loaf yesterday, and we had sandwiches on it for dinner tonight.  It is a very tasty recipe, and super quick to make.  I have made the recipes a few times myself, and am anxious to see how Peter Rinehart’s 2 day recipe (Challenge #13) compares.

  • 1 T honey
  • 2 C warm water
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1/2 C coarsely diced onion
  • 5 C all-purpose flour
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 2 T chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T kosher salt to sprinkle
  1. Dissolve honey in the warm water in a large bowl, then sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to foam. Stir in 1 T of salt, 1 T olive oil, onions, and 5 C of flour until the dough comes together. Knead on a well floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F (215 degrees C).
  3. Place dough onto oiled baking sheet, and flatten to cover the whole sheet evenly. Use the tips of your fingers to make indentations all over the dough spaced about 1 inch apart. Drizzle the focaccia with 3 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and remaining 1 tablespoon of kosher salt over the top. Let rise for 10 minutes
  4. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes until golden brown.


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