Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Green Air

We like to open windows at night and then in the morning close them to trap the cooler air inside. We use fans to push the cooler air around, trying for a greener version of air conditioning.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Take two ripe bananas, orange juice, and plain yogurt and buzz in blender. Then pour into popsicle molds and enjoy when frozen. Try making a few with lemonade, fresh mint leaves, and black or green tea.

Spicy Popcorn

I love to pop my popcorn in corn oil. Then I add kosher salt and chili powder for a spicy bite and I enjoy it with sweet tea.

Sweet Tea Season

It's 88 degrees today. I am barefoot with my fan blowing at my feet while sipping Georgia style sweet tea. To make the tea brew strong black tea cool and then poured into a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Enjoy!

Anne Raver

My sister, Martha, who lives in New Hampshire, likes to torture me with stories of canoeing on crystal-clear lakes, where the wild high-bush blueberries hang down over the water and you scoop them into your mouth until your lips turn purple.
-Anne Raver, NYT

Susan Dominus

I just enjoyed a fabulous article in the New York Times today called Looking Past the Children's Menu written by Susan Dominus. Check it out!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Roasted Sunfower Seeds

This is a shortcut method to achieve home-roasted sunflower seeds. Pour some raw sunflower seeds into cast iron skillet (but not too full!) and stir over medium heat while the seeds gently toast. Then, pour a splash of soy sauce or tamari over the hot toasting seeds and stir. Continue roasting and stirring until toasted and dry. These are delicious, crunchy and nutritious. I love to eat them in salads or just enjoy as a portable snack.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Justin Richardson

About asparagus my only quip
Is that, though dear, it does include the tip.
-Justin Richardson

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Love Candy Corn

I love candy corn,
once a year, at Halloween,
delicious colorful witches fangs;
it can go stale, you know.

I once kept it
in a square squat
glass jar
on my shelf,
for color.

Years later I took a bite;
a rock that could break your teeth!

I love People magazine
once a year at the dentist.
Dramas of peoples' lives,
with glossy photographs.
The stories always pull me in

away from my own pain,
while in the other room
my dentist is mending teeth.

-Emily Lisker 10/21/09

I Love Cauliflower

I love cauliflower
more than whipped cream!

Poor abandoned misunderstood
vegetables, always being upstaged
by other foods.

I'd love to lay down
on a bed of shiny black

I'd gladly walk down the aisle
with a bouquet of purple kale.

I'd wear a bodice
made of cabbage leaves,
and toss bean sprouts to the crowd.

-Emily Lisker 1/5/06

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pesto Tortilla

I made flour tortillas tonight and used a few tablespoons of leftover cilantro pesto in the dough. I pressed them in the tortilla press and then cooked them in a cast iron skillet on both sides. They came out great. Then I made a simple marinara sauce with wine olive oil and garlic and poured on the tortilla and topped it with some freshly grated cheese and splashes of hot sauce. It was delicious. It was like a plate of spaghetti run over by a truck.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flour Tortillas by Sarah Pachev

I love tortillas but don't always have masa harina on hand but I always have whole wheat flour. We buy it wholesale at JAR Baker's Supply in Lincoln RI, 100 pounds at a time in 50 pound bags.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup warm tap water

Combine flour, Baking powder and salt. Add olive oil and stir until well combined. Put in warm tap water 1 T at a time until dough can be gathered into a ball. Add more water if needed 1 T at a time. Knead on floured surface 15-20 times. Let dough rest for 15 minutes (when I'm pregnant and making it I rest too!!) Divide dough into 10-12 equal portions and shape into balls. On floured surface roll out ball from center into a circle. Cook on ungreased skillet over medium-high heat on each side about 30 seconds or until puffy. You can cook them longer until they are crisp like a big chip. My daughter loves the crispy ones. Wrap them in a towel to stay warm. Great with Refried Beans and Spanish Rice. I also love them as a dessert with honey and butter on them...yum I want some right now.
-Sarah Pachev

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mom and Popsicles

Popsicle molds 2.99 at Walmart! Perfect for making fudgicles, creamsicles, rhubarbsicles, and peanut butter + yogurt dogcicles!

Raspberries and Rhubarb

This morning I made a raisin rhubarb cardamom cake from Robert's rhubarb. While it was baking I transplanted raspberry bushes, dill weed, cilantro, lemon balm, and tarragon, all gifts from Armand's garden.


I met Robert the rhubarb farmer last night when walking by his garden with Lily on the way to Cass Park. His family has lived in the same house for three generations. He told me it was built before any of the neighborhood houses were built. He picked 33 stalks of red ripe rhubarb for me! I carried it home, chopped it up and boiled it. It's delicious with a bit of sugar.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Quoted From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant drug. Caffeine was discovered by a German chemist, Friedrich Ferdinand Runge, in 1819. He coined the term kaffein, a chemical compound in coffee (the German word for which is Kaffee), which in English became caffeine.

Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants. It is most commonly consumed by humans in infusions extracted from the cherries of the coffee plant and the leaves of the tea bush, as well as from various foods and drinks containing products derived from the kola nut. Other sources include yerba mate, guarana berries, and the Yaupon Holly.

In humans, caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, enjoy great popularity. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but, unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions. In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists caffeine as a "multiple purpose generally recognized as safe food substance".

Caffeine has diuretic properties when administered in sufficient doses to subjects that do not have a tolerance for it. Regular users, however, develop a strong tolerance to this effect, and studies have generally failed to support the common notion that ordinary consumption of caffeinated beverages contributes significantly to dehydration.


Take plain yogurt and natural peanut butter and buzz in blender. Pour into a designated ice cube tray and freeze. You can also use a small paper cup or plastic container. Pop them out one at a time as a treat for your puppy on a hot day.

Iced Coffee

This is the season of iced coffee! I had my first one of the year yesterday afternoon when I broke out my purple flip-flops. The secret to great iced coffee is making coffee ice cubes. It's best to have a designated ice cube tray exclusively for coffee cubes. With coffee ice cubes, if you sip the coffee slowly like I do, it doesn't get watery, it tastes good all the way through.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Try This

Take a slice of raisin bran banana cake (recipe below) and spread a melted square of bittersweet chocolate on top. Fabulous!

Spring Sandwich

This is the season of backyard asparagus, Vidalia onion, and roasted red pepper on my bread, toasted. It's the perfect spring sandwich!

For dessert I want to eat homemade ice cream bars: fudgicles made with local chocolate milk, and creamsicles made with yogurt and orange juice. I'll need to get paper cups and popsicle sticks!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

John Thorne

Traditionally, Matt and I get Chinese takeout for Thanksgiving, a holiday I actively dislike. Despite its name, Thanksgiving is really the Family Holiday. Even Christmas pales beside it: that day's focus is on giving and receiving even more than togetherness. Strangely though, being alone on Christmas is to be almost hauntingly empty; you feel like a ghost. But being alone on Thanksgiving is rather wonderful, like not attending a party that you didn't want to go to and where no one will realize you're not there. At Thanksgiving, you gather with your family and stuff yourself with food as if it were love—or the next best thing —then stagger back to your regular life, oversatiated and wrung out. Christmas, however, creates expectations that are never met, so you leave hungry and depressed, with an armload of things you didn't want and can't imagine why anyone would think you did.
-John Thorne

Midnight Biscotti

Last night at midnight I made wine biscotti. There's nothing like 'em with a mug of hot tea! My wine biscotti recipe is from Nancy Verde Barr's book We Called It Macaroni. This is a must have cookbook; it's part history, part photo album and the best Italian-American Cookbook around.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Traveling By Dog

I love to do my chores on foot, traveling by dog. Today I walked to the butcher shop and tied Lily up and ran in and bought a half-pound of Provolone. Then I walked to the produce market but they were closed. So I walked a few miles to the Bellingham Shop 'n' Save and tied Lily up outside in front of the service desk window. I pointed Lily out to the woman at the desk and then ran in quick and got a package of spinach. I thanked the lady for keeping an eye on Lily and then I walked home, admiring the colorful gardens and historic and ornate homes of Woonsocket's North End. As we walked down East School Street Lily pulled me towards the pollywog pond. There were no sticks but I found a wooden board and she dove in after it a few times, attached to the extra long leash. Having had her swim and her drink of water, Lily was fully satisfied. Now she's tired, lying on the floor of the kitchen, and I am baking the spinach and provolone into "spinach brownies". The recipe is a few posts below.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I passed my favorite garden off of Cass Avenue that has freshly-planted vegetables and a row of rhubarb growing. This family grows so many vegetables it looks like a small farm nestled into the packed-in city neighborhood. I am tempted to leave a note asking if they would trade their rhubarb stalks for my fresh bread. Steamed rhubarb with honey is so good and it makes your teeth itch like spinach does from the oxalic acid.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Banana Bran Muffin Cake

Adapted from a recipe for bran muffins in the Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham.


1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup honey
2 ripe bananas
2/3 buttermilk or yogurt or mixture of yogurt and milk
2 eggs

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups wheat bran
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup raisins

Add more milk to moisten batter if necessary. You can also substitute pumpkin puree for bananas and add cinnamon and ginger.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt pan.
Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Beat until creamy and smooth.
Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold carefully with a rubber spatula until just blended. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 or until cake tester comes out clean.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Green Food Bank

Next Saturday, May 15th, 9 AM until 2 PM, people will be planting at the community garden in Woonsocket (located next to the Woonsocket Harris Public Library). Vegetables are being grown for the RI Community Food Bank.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spinach & Cheese Brownie or Burgers

I love spinach, corn, egg, and onion together with garlic and wine. This recipe has it all.

1 (10 ounce) package of fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk or leftover red wine
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped (optional)
1/2 cup chopped black olives (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package of mozzarella cheese grated or blend of Romano, Parmesan, Asiago Provolone or mozzarella.
some crushed red chili pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Rinse spinach and then steam for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Stir in eggs, milk (or wine) and olive oil. Mix in spinach, onion, garlic, olives and grated cheeses.
Pour into baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Cut into brownie size squares and eat them cold or have them warmed as square burgers between toast with Cholula Mexican hot sauce. Great party food.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Grow Your Own Soufflé

Mike the locksmith on my street just gave me a dozen eggs. He has 12 chickens and they lay a dozen eggs a day. I can see why people are growing their own soufflés.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chocolate Covered Raisins

I have always loved chocolate-covered raisins. Now I make them at home and they are even better than the kind you buy. First melt three or four one-inch squares of your favorite dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler. When the chocolate is just melted and still hot add a cup of room-temperature raisins and stir to completely coat them. Let the raisins cool off, then transfer to a glass jar. They are a delicious snack and they keep well.