Sweet Spaetzle Kugel

If casseroles are a standard American desperation dish (see here, here or here), then kugels are their European counterpart. That’s not to say that they’re lacking whatsoever, but they do encourage that “use what you have” mentality.

Consider the fact that kugel originally contained bread as the primary starch, and it wasn’t typically a sweet dish until about 400 years ago. (That’s a relatively recent transition- People have been consuming kugel of some variety for over 800 years).


Stacks on stacks of kugel, with a side of apple-cabbage slaw

When times are tough, adjustments must be made. Old trends are adapted; people learn to work with what they have. Many classic recipes have been invented this way: meatloaf, “wacky cake“, several types of chowder, and of course the kugels of late.

Some traditionalists still opt for savory kugel, others swap noodles for potatoes (or rice or veggie noodles).


The beauty of kugel is that it’s customizable. Custom-shit is my shit.

Like those chunky home phones you could decorate with rhinestones and feather boas.*

Or jeans that are made to fit your body.

Or vegan leather journals filled with pages of your choosing. (Get your name emblazoned on there for extra oomph.)

You’re an individual. Why shouldn’t your phone/denim/journal/Euro casserole be too?


In an attempt to cut down on food waste and save cold, hard cash, I resorted to the depths of my pantry for this recipe. On hand, I had spaetzle (stand-in for egg noodles), ricotta (a creamy binder to replace eggs), and spiced rum (for good measure).

I threw it all together and what did I get? An easy meal that my taste-testers raved about for weeks to come.


  • 1 package spaetzle (or vegan spaetzle)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum
  • 3 cups ricotta (or vegan ricotta)
  • 1/4 cup Stevia baking blend or sweetener of choice (adjust amount accordingly)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • Cook spaetzle according to package directions
  • Meanwhile, soak raisins in rum and set aside
  • Combine remaining ingredients in mixing bowl and beat until smooth
  • Drain spaetzle and fold into ricotta mixture
  • Spread evenly into greased baking dish
  • Bake for 45 minutes (or until dish is firm/passes the toothpick test)

Like I said, mix it up if you like. Don’t like Stevia? Use some other sweetener, or omit entirely. Don’t have raisins on hand? Maybe chopped nuts (or chocolate chips?? or crushed potato chips???) would add an interesting texture.

Let me know what you think of the recipe, or how you plan to make it your own.


*P.S. does anyone remember these? I know I have mine laying around somewhere- will post crucial pics when found.

Weirdest (Coolest) Subscription Boxes to Gift this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is no favorite of mine, but I don’t despise it either. How can I resent a day centered around champagne, chocolate and cheese(y rom coms)?

(Already partaken in 3/3, to be honest).

The thought of stuffed drug-store bears and assorted boxes of Russel Stover’s does make me want to puke my guts out… Just a little. But at the same time, V-Day done well is something to celebrate. It’s a fun time to engage in the cliches of young love, and/or #selfcare, and/or Lupercalia. Take your pick!


Considering today is Valentine’s Day, one might assume that any further romantic gestures are for naught. “The day is practically over!” You’re thinking. “It’s too late for gifts and niceties.”

“NOT TRUE,” I’ll argue back- If you use the excuse that the surprise is still in transport. The beauty of buying gifts online is that you have a built-in defense if it’s not available right when you need it.

“Oh, it must have gotten lost in the mail. My postman always brings my packages to the neighbors. I’ll never order from ______ again, such slow service! But don’t worry, something is on it’s way.”

(Little will they know that you placed the order at 2am this morning).

If you’re gifting to yourself- even better! I’m sure you’ll understand that life gets crazy and sometimes the best is all we can do. You still love you.


Subscription boxes are the gift of the moment. What started out as shoeboxes of sample lotions and gluten-free crackers has exploded into a market tapped by every subgroup out there.

Just take a look at any of the subscription services below- You will surely find something to suit most any interest or need.

Abuela Mami– Easier and cheaper than a trip to Cuba… get your lover a box full of assorted Cuban goodies. You don’t even have to work out a non-tourist visa! Rent a vintage car and cruise around smoking stogies for the full experience. ($25.95 per month)


Amyrose758 via DeviantArt

Kawaii Box– Monthly box of Japanese and Korean “kawaii” products for the cutester in your life. Plush animals dressed as food? Inanimate objects with faces? RAINBOW STICKERS? Kawaii box has got it all. You are not too old, stop saying you are. (Starting at $17.30 per per month)


Shalanie Bachiller via Flickr

Mystical Mojo Box– “You can never have enough crystals”, someone wise once said. One must have polished stones for every occasion, and pendulums and incense and essential oils to boot. If your Valentine follows these ethos, this mystical box might be what they’ve always dreamed of. Hint: suggest they use it to work on their sacral chakra (; (Starting at $14 per month)

Quarterly Box (Curated by Pharrell Williams)– Wouldn’t it be cool to have connects, like… say… celebrities you can casually name-drop or introduce your friends to at work affairs? This box is sort of like that. Not only will Mr.Williams hand-pick gift items just for you, he’ll even throw in a “personal letter”. (Black truffle salt- He knows me so well! … How did he know the name of my childhood psychiatrist?) It’s like the “almost-estranged uncle who still sends things out of guilt” that you never had. ($50 per month)


Torben Hansen via Flickr

Cannabox– Nothing says “I love you” like drug paraphernalia and candy. That’s what you’ll find in this monthly compilation of cannabis-themed goods. Cannabox ships to all States (and beyond), but make sure that your recipient knows their rights. (Starting at $16.88 per month)

Spicy Subscriptions– I couldn’t have a V-Day post without including this one. I’m a little suspect of “assorted sex toys in a box”, but all in the name of novelty… right? This is a great gift to salvage a crumbling relationship, as “87% of subscribers feel that their partner is LESS likely to cheat on them after being subscribed to Spicy Subscriptions”. Try it for yourself. (Starting at $10 per month)

If you’ve tried any of these subscription services, let me hear from ya. And have a very sacred and special holiday.





FRINGE Zine/Winter Reading List

I started a project and- unlike many before it- I finished! (Funny how that happens when you impose strict deadlines.)

It’s called FRINGE and it’s a brief publication focused on everything I like- Food, fashion, art, culture. Basically, an extension of this blog, with more room for creative freedom.

I want ensure that I’m covering topics you like too- which is why I’m extending an invitation for suggestions, contributions, criticism.

The plan is for FRINGE to be released bimonthly, with both digital and physical versions.

Physical copies will be limited to used book stores and coffee shops around Greensboro. But if you live out of town (OR want to save paper OR want to see the issue in full color) you can check out the online mag by following THIS LINK.

It takes approximately 10 minutes to read, giving you plenty of extra time to check out my suggested winter reading list. It’s a roundup of the best poignant, surreal, culturally-focused and aesthetically-pleasing publications around right now.


Ugly Girl Gang, Issue #1 – Illustrations by Tuesday Bassen (Los Angeles, CA)


HIGH* – Photos “celebrating weed and the boys who smoke it” by Carlos Santolalla (San Francisco, CA)



The Bag I’m In – “Underground music & fashion in Britain, 1960-1990” by Sam Knee (London, England)



Megahex– Stoner dark comedy-turned-commentary on sexuality/mental illness by Simon Hanselmann (Tasmania, Australia)


Virtual Candle – A collection of comics, drawings and stick & pokes by HTML Flowers (Melbourne, Australia)



Wine & Bowties – Art, music and culture publication (Oakland, CA)