Announcement: About
Feb 12th, 2022 by Alex

Welcome to a website we (Max and Alex) started in 2015.* Originally we posted about kids’ cooking (usually dinner, but not always) and tried to draw attention to the fact that a lot of people don’t have enough to eat.  Along the way, we won a prize for our domain name, donated over $17,000 to Action Against Hunger, and competed against each other on Chopped Junior on Food Network.  

Max and Alex Cooking in 2015

We have had a lot of fun but recently we’ve become really concerned about climate change and its relationship to food. We’ve learned about food’s carbon foodprint (the greenhouse emissions produced by the growing, harvesting, processing, transporting, cooking, and disposing of the food we eat).

We’ve realized the way we eat (and most Americans eat) may have a negative impact on climate change. The mass production of food, especially of animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs generates a really big foodprint. For example, commercially produced beef has a really high carbon footprint because of the methane produced by the animals themselves and the methane from manure lagoons and pits. (Methane is a greenhouse gas linked to global warming.)

We also learned that food waste is an enormous hidden contributor to climate change. The United States wastes roughly 40% of its food, and when it goes to landfills, it breaks down and produces methane. Finally, the warming global temperatures and increasingly violent weather linked to climate change are negatively affecting communities’ ability to grow sustainable crops–resulting in more global hunger. (If you want to learn more about food’s foodprint, we recommend these two sites: and )

Given all that, we decided we wanted to try to change the way we eat and also use this website to encourage others to be more mindful about the food they eat (and the food we waste). We are trying to be more mindful about the amount of meat and dairy we eat as well as try out more plant-based recipes. And, we want to try to be more conscious of food leftovers. We want to try to find ways to use them in new recipes, and when we do have compostable waste, actually compost it! We used to compost vegetable scraps every week at the local farmers’ market but we stopped during COVID. Now, we’ve started doing it again and want to work with local organizations to raise awareness of the availability of compost drop-off containers in the neighborhood. For example, here’s one close to the dog park where we take our dog to play!

*For those of you who want to learn more about the story of our website, we created it when my mom said we couldn’t keep posting food and cooking pictures on her Facebook page. When we registered the domain, we checked a box to register it in Verisign’s national domain name contest and then had to make a video about the website.  Amazingly enough, we won the contest and $35,000!  Click HERE for more about the story of our domain name. Since we have enough to eat, we decided to donate $17,000 to Action Against Hunger–a charity dedicated to saving the lives of malnourished children and helping vulnerable communities become self-sufficient. We were lucky enough to get to visit the Action Against Hunger office in New York and meet some of their amazing staff. (Below we are sitting with Alex Cottin, Director of External Affairs, and Andrea Tamburini, CEO of AAH-USA, in August 2015)

Max and Alex with Alex Cottin, Director of External Affairs and Andrea Tamburini, CEO, of AAH-USA

Wednesday, May 10, 2023: Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
May 14th, 2023 by Alex

Today I wanted to make something sweet but sort-of healthy (it has oats!) and I discovered this recipe for brown butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that looked delicious on the fresh bean bakery website. I also like that this makes a relatively small batch — about 8-10 large cookies. You can always double or triple the recipe if you want more. The ingredients, most of which are pantry basics, are as follows:

  • 113 g unsalted butter (½ c.)
  • 100 g light brown sugar (½ c.)
  • 50 g granulated sugar (¼ c.)
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 130 g all-purpose flour (1 c. + 1 ⅓ tbsp.)
  • 60 g rolled oats (⅔ c.)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 130 g semi-sweet chocolate chips (¾ c.)
  • Start by preheating the oven to 350°F, then brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Definitely keep an eye on it because you do not want it to burn. When the butter is amber with small brown specks pour into a mixing bowl and cool in the freezer. (Now is a good time to weigh ingredients)
  • Once the butter has cooled, whisk in both sugars.
  • Whisk in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
  • Add in the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and fold the mixture together until a few flour streaks remain.
  • Add in the chopped chocolate and fold just until no flour streaks remain.

Scoop dough on to a lined cooking sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes, until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown.

If you want perfectly circular cookies, immediately after taking the cookies out of the oven, take a bowl and swirl it around over them to make them a little more uniform and circular. Allow the cookies to rest on the hot baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack…enjoy!

February 26, 2023: Sustainable Sunday (Meal Prep for the Week)
Mar 13th, 2023 by Alex

This weekend my mom and I tried to be organized about preparing food ahead of time for lunches and dinners so that we would eat healthier, waste less food and save some money. (Buying lunch every day can be expensive!) So we cooked and prepped: fruit, vegetables, and a bunch of protein-based dishes. We used up some ingredients we already had (cooked rice, a jar of tomato sauce, for example) and bought some additional items. Below is a photo of some of the food we bought on Saturday:

From these ingredients, we ended up making ground turkey and rice (for dinner and lunch), grilled chicken for sandwiches or to eat with tomato sauce, loaded baked potatoes (for lunch), steamed broccoli to go on the potatoes as well as a side for lunch and dinner–and of course eggs!

One of the easiest things to make is hard-boiled eggs: you can eat them plain as a snack, add a little mayo for an egg salad sandwich, or slice and add to a green salad to give it some protein.

I’m sure you don’t need instructions on how to boil eggs, but two tips on getting their shells off are 1) immediately plunge them into ice water once they are done cooking and 2) take the shell off in the water. The water helps loosen the eggshell.

To make the ground turkey, I chopped up half an onion that we had left over, sauteed it, and then added the ground turkey and cooked until it was no longer pink. Then I added 3 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and salt and pepper and brought it to a boil. (This both makes sure the turkey is cooked through and helps the cumin taste spread throughout the turkey). We ate this with leftover rice and broccoli (and mom took some to lunch). (No photos of the grilled chicken, but we grilled it with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and then used it in sandwiches or mixed with tomato sauce for a quick dinner.)

One of my favorite sustainable hacks is to buy a whole pineapple instead of pre-cut pineapple. It seems like we end up throwing away at least 1/3 of the pre-cut pineapple because it’s too hard to eat. And it doesn’t seem to stay fresh. It definitely takes a bit more time to cut up a whole pineapple but it’s definitely worth it.

Once you’ve done it a couple of times, it’s pretty easy. First, you chop off the top spiky leaves and the bottom green stuff. Make sure the bottom of the pineapple is level and then slice off the green skins from top to bottom (with a sharp knife). There will probably be a few brown seeds you need to slice off as well. Then slice the cylinder into quarters vertically, and each quarter in half one more time. Then it’s easy to remove the core from each of those eight pieces and chop the pineapple into bite-size pieces.

The food we made was delicious — the only problem is that we probably should have made more. We had eaten everything by Tuesday night!

February 5, 2023: More “Green” Recipes: Egg Cups
Feb 21st, 2023 by Alex

So, as you know, I’m trying to cook in a more “sustainable” fashion, so after I made BBQ mushroom pizza yesterday, I had a fair amount of leftovers, including sliced onions, grated Gouda cheese, and sliced mushrooms. We also had steamed broccoli, 1/2 an orange bell pepper, and a few grape tomatoes in the fridge. I decided to put everything together in a tasty, protein-filled snack by combining everything with eggs (so it’s a snack that’s also good for breakfast on the run). The recipe below is based on what we had on the fridge, but feel free to improvise/substitute — use whatever you have or prefer

  • 4 Jumbo eggs (or 5 large eggs)
  • 1/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • 6-8 grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 6-8 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 of an orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • Grated Gouda Cheese (use whatever cheese you have, or like–feta, goat, cheddar would all be good)

First, preheat the oven to 350. Then prep all the vegetables, if they aren’t already sliced. (I slightly sauteed the mushrooms because I prefer them more cooked, but that’s my personal preference.) And if you don’t have, or don’t like, some of the ingredients listed above, use more of the ones you like. I also found some prosciutto in the fridge so I added that to a few of the cups.

Then beat the eggs in a small bowl and add salt and pepper. Spray a 6-muffin cooking tin with cooking oil and put your desired fillings in each muffin cup.

Pour the beaten eggs into each muffin cup until the liquid almost reaches the top. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, until set — and enjoy!

February 4, 2023: Sustainable Saturday: BBQ Mushroom Pizza
Feb 12th, 2023 by Alex

This weekend I wanted to be mindful of using up what we had in the pantry or freezer and of the type of ingredients I chose. On Friday, I noticed we had a bag of frozen pizza dough and decided to defrost it to make one of my favorite pizzas–barbecue chicken pizza. However, I wanted to find a more environmentally friendly recipe, and we also had mushrooms in the fridge, so I found this recipe from Bon Appetit. I did have to go and buy smoked Gouda cheese and fresh mozzarella but other than that, we had all the other ingredients. Plus I made sure to use up the leftover ingredients in some delicious Egg Cups — post to come!

Here’s what you’ll need for the pizza:

  • 6 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce (or more to taste)
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella torn into pieces
  • 2 oz shredded low-fat mozzarella
  • 2 oz smoked Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for serving)
  • Cooking spray

The first step is to preheat the oven to 475 degrees (or the temperature at which the pizza dough label recommends). Then drizzle the mushrooms with the olive oil in a large bowl and toss.

Next, spray a 12-inch cast iron skillet or griddle pan, including the sides, with the cooking spray. Work the pizza dough into a flat disk and then stretch and press it so it fits the pan, with a little edge around the rim.

Bake the crust for approximately 5 minutes. The crust should be starting to set but not brown at all. Remove from the oven and spread the barbecue sauce over the entire surface. Top with the three cheeses, followed by the onions and then the mushrooms. It’s important to put the mushrooms on top of the onions, otherwise, the onions may get too brown. Also, try to use all of the mushrooms–it will look like a lot but they really cook down. Finish with salt and pepper.

Return the cast iron pan and pizza to the oven and cook until the crust is golden brown underneath, the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are golden brown–16 to 20 minutes or so.

If you have a broiler, broil the pizza for approximately 2 minutes (our broiler doesn’t work, so we skipped this step and it turned out fine)

To serve, drizzle with more barbecue sauce and crushed red pepper flakes.

Delicious, healthy and pretty sustainable.

January 22, 2023: Lunar New Year Dessert
Feb 1st, 2023 by Alex

Happy Lunar New Year! What better way to celebrate the year of the rabbit than with dessert? So I decided to make a Chinese New Year’s treat: Coconut Sticky Cakes with this recipe from Christine’s Recipes.

Ingredients are as follows:

  • 5 eggs
  • 250 g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 50 g white sugar

Start by preheating the oven to 350F. Beat the eggs with sugar and add the coconut milk and glutinous flour, stir until very smooth.
Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray, bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Test it with a needle. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

Cut into squares, dust with powdered sugar and you have a simple and delicious treat!

Sunday, January 15, 2023: Sustainability Sunday!
Jan 20th, 2023 by Alex

Even though I love to try new foods and search grocery stores for new ingredients, it’s also really important for me to think about food sustainability (and reducing my family’s food waste). That’s why at least once a week I try to make a dinner that uses up anything fresh that’s about to go bad, as well as using non-perishables that we have around. This is more than just reheating leftovers, and it’s fun to use your imagination.

Typically I do this on Sundays when I have more free time to check out the fridge, the produce drawer, the freezer, and the cupboards, and this Sunday, everything came together to make Easy Fried Rice. The ingredients I used are listed below but this meal definitely depends on what you find in your fridge. Try to make this a weekly habit: you’ll save food and money.

As a reminder, feel free to substitute whatever you have in your fridge or freezer (frozen carrots? green onions? shrimp? red pepper). The point is to use up what you already have but also make it tasty.

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked, cooled rice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (but olive oil ok, if no sesame)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 egg
  • Leftover chicken from a rotisserie chicken (about 3/4 cup) (optional)
  • 1 to 1-1/s tablespoons soy sauce

Veggies: Chop the onion and thaw your vegetables (and drain excess water from the vegetables). Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat and add your cooking oil. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent and then add your thawed veggies (peas and corn for me) and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender. If you are using fresh vegetables — like broccoli — you may need to pre-cook.

Egg: slide the onion and vegetables to the side of the pan and break the egg into the pan. Quickly scramble it with your spatula and once cooked, mix into the vegetables.

Rice and chicken: Add the rice to the pan (and chicken or other protein, if using). Pour the soy sauce on top and stir until everything is heated through and nicely mixed. You made need to break up clumps of rice with the spatula.

Serve with more sauce sauce, hot sauce or whatever else you like.

January 7, 2023: Pastina + Turtles
Jan 15th, 2023 by Alex

For a while now I have been seeing the cutest star-shaped pasta called Pastina all over social media and after grocery store hunting I finally found a box! I decided to make it in the traditional manner and used Alex Santos’s recipe from (this recipe) which was super easy and really fast.

The ingredients you will need are:

  • 3 cups chicken broth, total
  • 1 cup Pastina pasts
  • 1/ 3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt & pepper

Reserve 1 cup of the chicken broth. Then boil the remaining 2 cups of your chicken broth with the Pastina pasta for about 6 minutes, stirring from time to time. Remove the pasta from the heat and add in the cheese, egg, and pepper. If it’s too thick add more of the broth. Serve with more cheese, salt, and pepper and enjoy!

Healthy Chocolate Turtles

For dessert, I made healthy (or at least healthier) chocolate turtles. The recipe is quick and easy and only you can probably make it with the ingredients you have on hand.

Melt the dark chocolate and let cool slightly. Pit and flatten the dates, then layer on your nut butter and pecans. Coat in melted chocolate and salt then place in the freezer to harden and enjoy! These were a perfect quick dessert and disappeared fast!

  • Medjool dates
  • Any type of nut butter (I used peanut)
  • Pecans
  • Dark chocolate
  • Salt

Sunday, December 17, 2022: World Cup Xmas Cookies
Jan 1st, 2023 by Alex

Today two important events coincided: our family’s annual Xmas Cookie Decorating tradition occurred on the same day as the World Cup finals. Since we are big Lionel Messi supporters and were rooting for Argentina, we decided to combine the two events. Also, since the final was so good (and so nerve-wracking), it was good to have something else to focus on. Pre-game was devoted to making the batter (which then had to chill). During the game, we cut out the sugar cookies, and post-game we decorated the cookies. (There was always the chance we would have had to decorate the soccer jersey shapes with French colors, but luckily Argentina prevailed in PKs.)

For the sugar cookie recipe, we use Nigella Lawson’s classic (and very simple) sugar cookie recipe.

  • 12 tablespoons soft, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

The first step is to cream the soft butter with the sugar. Once combined and pale yellow in color, add the eggs and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (mix with a whisk or fork) and then add to the butter-egg mixture. Form into two balls and then two disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

When you are ready to cut out the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Leave one dough disc in the refrigerator while you roll out the other to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out into your desired shapes. (We cut out traditional holiday shapes as well as soccer jersey shapes). I like to let the cut-out cookies rest again in the fridge for 10 minutes before baking. You should also gather up the leftover scraps of dough, shape them into a ball and then a disk, and place in the fridge to rest while you roll out the other disk of dough.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes (until the edges are just turning golden brown) and then let them cool completely before frosting. While we have made frosting from scratch in the past, due to our other occupation today (watching the World Cup), we used store-bought white frosting which we colored with food coloring paste. (Paste is better than liquid coloring, which changes the consistency too much).

Add sprinkles and other (edible) decorations as you like. And enjoy! Especially if you are a Messi fan.

Thursday, November 24, 2022: Traditional Thanksgiving Feast
Dec 10th, 2022 by Alex

For Thanksgiving, our family is very dedicated to traditional Thanksgiving foods: roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and something green–like a fresh green salad (maybe with cranberries thrown in for good measure). When mom tries to change things up, like she did this year by adding brussels sprouts, it usually doesn’t go over well. But, despite the brussels sprouts, it was a delicious meal.

The day started with baking: pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie. We made the pumpkin bread so no one would nibble on the pumpkin pie before dinner. And, while I’d like to say I made the pumpkin bread from scratch, I have to admit that I used Trader Joe’s box mix–and it was really good. For the pie, we always use Libby’s canned pumpkin and follow Libby’s recipe.

Once the bread and pie were out of the way, we started on the turkey. We bought a pre-brined, organic turkey that we rinsed, dried, salted and peppered, and put in the oven. In past years, we’ve tucked pieces of butter under the skin to keep the meat moist, but that mainly just seemed to add to the oil in the pan so this year we went with the brined option.

We had a big bird that needed to cook for at least four hours so we knew we had some time before we needed to think about the sides. I took a break to watch World Cup soccer (strange not to be watching American football, but I loved it).

Once we were within 60 minutes of Turkey time, we got to work on the sides. We peeled and chopped Yukon gold potatoes for the mashed potatoes, chopped the celery and onions for the Pepperidge Farm stuffing, and (alas) prepped the brussels sprouts.

Ultimately it was a great, and delicious, thanksgiving… It was so nice to have Max back in the kitchen to help out again!

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