Just in time for the first official day of summer, we’re so delighted to share today’s Southern Newlywed post! Few people inspire me to cook up fresh, colorful, seasonal meals quite like Jeanine from Love & Lemons, who, with the help of her husband, Jack, is truly gifted at creating (and photographing!) meals that are both beautiful and delicious. I’m already excited to see what summer dishes she comes up with that I can add to my repertoire! Jeanine is as sweet as can be, and was so kind of give us a peek into her completely amazing kitchen and share her favorite recipes with us.
By day: Jeanine blogs at Love & Lemons full time and does freelance recipe development. Jack is a video game engineer (with a side job of helping Jeanine with food photography).
How they met: While living in Chicago, I went to Austin to visit a friend. Jack happened to be a friend of that friend, and we hit it off right away. We dated long distance for a year before I moved to Austin…to be with Jack, but also to escape the cold winters (kidding! Well, sort of).
Their wedding: We walked down the aisle, and just as our officiant began with “We’re here today to celebrate Jack and Jeanine,” a car in the distance let out the loudest brake-screeching sound you’ve ever heard. (As it turns out, it was a couple of our guests who were running late–we’re grateful that no accident ever took place!) Our wedding was beautiful, but that moment really sums up what our relationship is about–beautiful, but far from perfect. We’re able to laugh when tensions rise, which I think is the key to a good marriage.
Meal planning: Technically, I do, as the food blogger, but I’m still terrible at meal “planning,” per se. I’m more of a “hey, I got this pretty vegetable at the market and I think I’ll make something with it” kind of cook.
The cooking: I cook and Jack is the taste tester–he has it good.
Favorite meal-related memory: Since I do most of the cooking, the most memorable meals are probably the ones that Jack cooks. The fire department often shows up after he’s set off all the smoke alarms.
Top ten favorite recipes:
1. Migas breakfast tacos: We both love breakfast tacos (after all, we live in Austin, home of the breakfast taco). I make this healthier version at home.
2. Quinoa, Apricot, and Arugula Salad: Chickpea salads are one of my easiest go-to meals (for lunch or dinner) because it’s easy to keep a few cans of chickpeas on hand.
3. Shiitake and Napa Cabbage Gyoza: We often make gyoza (Japanese dumplings) together. They take a little time to assemble and it goes faster with four hands.
4. Spicy Watermelon and Avocado Salad: Now that it’s summer, I can’t get stop putting watermelon in salads with feta cheese. It’s so juicy and refreshing, yet wonderfully sweet and salty.
5. Mexican Street Corn Salad: This Mexican corn salad is also perfect for summer and ridiculously easy to make.
6. Brussels Sprout and Avocado Salad: We love anything with green vegetables, avocado, lime, and sriracha, so this brussels sprout and avocado salad is a favorite.
7. Any recipe from an Ottolenghi cookbook is always a win!
8. Walnut Miso Noodles: I’ve made this Walnut Miso sauce recipe from 101 Cookbooks more times than I can count.
9. Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels: Right now Jack is obsessed with soft baked pretzels. He enjoys making this recipe for parties because it’s easy, but impressive.
10. Avocado Almondaise Tartines: And of course, avocado on toast–I can’t get enough.