Bad Manners

I have an awful lot of privilege. I know this. I’m a white woman living in suburban New Jersey with her family. Mid-thirties, house, yard, and even no job losses in our house in the middle of a pandemic. I consider myself “woke” in so many ways, yet I keep finding ways that my privilege shapes how I view the world.

One of these is the cookbook formerly known as Thug Kitchen. It wasn’t until the recent discourse surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement that it even occurred to me that “Thug” was a racial slur. It flitted in and out of my head with no real lasting consideration. I typically call the cookbooks my “sweary cookbooks” and I’ve loved their gimmick from the first time I saw them. Delicious, healthy vegan recipes that taste like comfort food, with recipes peppered with colorful language in ways that I, born and raised in the Garden State, found hilarious.

However, the creators of the cookbooks, who are two white people around my age from LA, have been (rightfully, when I think about it) called to task about their use of the word “thug.” They’ve been shifting their brand to “Bad Manners Kitchen” these days. Many activists in the online cooking community are justifiably angry that it took them so long to shift, or that they even dared to do this in the first place. There’s a lot of suspicion and anger around the fact that the authors kept their identities secret in the first place, maybe proving that they knew what they were doing wasn’t right. Many have called for “canceling” them over all of it.

I’m sticking with the recipes. I’m tentatively supporting their switch. I’m also acknowledging that I’m doing this from a privileged space and am not the authority on what is right. The recipes are still delicious and healthy. These cookbooks have been instrumental in making my cooking “grow up.” I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong way to handle a situation like this, but I wanted to be clear about all of this before posting recipes from this source. They’re particularly a summertime staple for me, so it was a concern.

I choose to believe we’re all growing and learning how to be more respectful.

Bad Manners can now be found here.

Their statement on the name change can be found here.

CSA Share, Week 8 – July 28, 2020

This week, I didn’t have my young helper. Well… he came along, but insisted on remaining in the car. So, we have fewer cute kid pictures than usual.

This week was the first appearance of ground cherries in 2020.

Still more eggplant – going to make some croquettes this week. I went to link to an old post that I swore existed, but somehow I haven’t blogged about croquettes! That will come along shortly. They’re my go-to when I have an abundance of eggplant.

We ate sausage stir-fry last night with some of the onion and bell pepper. The night before was summer squash soup with homemade biscuits. I’ll make an entirely separate post about that recipe, as well – it used five of the vegetables in this week’s share as ingredients!

Happy Friday!


If you’ll allow me to state the obvious for a moment…. it’s hot.

My car thermometer said it was 98 degrees out this afternoon when I was driving to the library with my children. It’s been like this most days for the past week.

It’s hard to get the gumption to really cook when it’s this hot. I’m not saying that I don’t manage to overcome that – I did make Eggplant Parmesan yesterday –  but some days are not worth the extra heat.

A good meal option on those days are “bowls.” If you subscribe to any cooking magazines, especially the ones that bill themselves as being oriented to healthy eating, bowls are not a new concept. They’ve been a fairly major trend for a few years now. I put together the most beautiful, delicious quinoa bowl the other night for dinner, and I wanted to share the methodology.

First, I cooked up some quinoa. I used homemade vegetable stock, which has the benefit of extra vitamins and no added sodium, though you could use packaged stock or water and it’d be fine.

I steamed some summer squash and some peas, rinsed a can of chickpeas, and cut a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half. The ingredients got layered in a large serving dish.

Before adding the cherry tomatoes, I added the dressing. This was partly a choice due to space – I could not have stirred the mixture without making a huge mess after adding the tomatoes – and partly a presentation choice. I used homemade honey mustard dressing. I cannot recommend highly enough this article about making your own salad dressings. It comes with 8 recipes. I’ve tried 2 so far, and both have been winners.

Everything is wonderful about this meal choice. The kitchen isn’t super hot, the meal is a huge protein punch, it’s tasty and colorful, and it’s a kid pleaser! Little Chef currently hates summer squash, so he ate around it, but Littlest Chef gobbled up everything he didn’t end up wearing.

Everything about this recipe is malleable according to your tastes. You could do Italian dressing. You could subtract any of the vegetables and/or add others: red onion, broccoli, cucumbers if you’re serving it cold, etc. Play around; every result manages to look fancy, even though it’s pleasantly simple.

Happy eating!

CSA weeks 5, 6, and 7

I’ve had some technical difficulties getting Dropbox to sync my pictures. I’m excited to say I’ve fixed the problem! Here are the past few weeks of CSA pick ups, told in pictures.

Week 5: July 7


We get an email with the share, but I’ve always preferred to take a picture of the board. Sometimes the specifics vary by site (one might get broccoli while the other gets cauliflower, for example), and the email doesn’t specify amounts. It’s a nice record to keep.
Little Chef has gotten very helpful and independent.

Week 6: July 14

It was so incredibly hot that day. You can see it in my face, ha. No pictures of Little Chef, as he declined to wear shoes and SERIOUSLY REGRETTED his life choices.He ended up spending the time standing on the lawn, because the blacktop was too hot.

Playhouse Zucchini Bread. Made this to take camping with us the next day.
Finished product. Delicious.

Week 7: July 21

“Ugh, it’s really hot again…. and I forgot to take pictures so I’ll take one in the car afterwards.”
Summer has exploded. You might notice a discrepancy between my share and the board I have double the eggplant and no summer squash, because I traded with a fellow member who does not care for eggplant. For those keeping score at home, that means I had 8 eggplants.