DIY Cardboard Solar Oven

DIY Solar Stove (out of cardboard!)

Yesterday, I posted the upcoming weather forecast for Northern California on Facebook, showing we’d be 105°-108°F (40.5° – 42°C) degrees all week long.

One of my high school classmate made a joke that I should bake cookies in my car or on my forehead. I was inspired…but I may have let things get a little out of hand…

And, well …long story short… I baked a cake inside a cardboard box…

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Cooking Outside the Box: Nutella-Stuffed Pancakes

Nutella Stuffed PancakesIt’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything for my Cooking Outside the Box series. Cooking Outside the Box is a recipe series that takes boxed or ready-made meals and gives them a bit of a spin. I thought I’d hop back in with a few sweet dishes. First up, stuffed pancakes.

This seemingly chic dish is very just-add water with just a hint of pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain ease. You can stuff your pancakes with anything… caramels, snickers, carrot halwa, pie filling, whipped cream cheese with strawberries. It’s a choose your own culinary adventure dish.

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Cooking Outside of the Box: Spring Rolls

Spring Roll

Ok, so there aren’t too many boxes with this recipe–but there is zero cooking, so I think that qualifies this recipe as a “Cooking Outside the Box” recipe.

This recipe is a great side, or a light snack. The most exotic ingredients are “rice paper” and “hoisin sauce”–both of which any Asian or Chinese grocery store usually carries (and even many standard grocery stores–though it would be more expensive). Continue reading

Cooking outside the Box: Mussels and Parmesan Pasta + Sundried Tomato, Basil and Artichoke Orzo Salad


I was feeling as though I might be giving the impression that I cook everything from scratch. That is certainly not true; however, I also don’t enjoy boxed meals. So, if I do use them, I feel it’s necessary to spruce them up. They do create quick and easy meals, and I thought I would start sharing a few of them. This particular line-up creates two meals, one nice pasta dinner and one nice pasta salad for a lunch side-dish. Continue reading