Sunday, December 27, 2015

Aron E. Carroll

Eat with other people, especially people you care about, as often as possible. This has benefits even outside those of nutrition. It will make you more likely to cook. It will most likely make you eat more slowly. It will also make you happy.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Grilled Lamb

My husband grilled a lamb roast outdoors and it was indescribably delicious.

Granola Bars

The health club gave out granola bars over the holiday. It was adorable. Now I want to make my own.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Vat of Comforting Vegetable Soup

I walked in the house craving vegetables and decided to make a vat of vegetable soup. I dug out the biggest soup pot I own and threw in three heads of rinsed and chopped kale, a quart of tomato juice, a pound of cooked kidney beans, a few quarts of water, frozen corn, Adobo and Cajun spice, olive oil and salt. It is delicious.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Pretty Color Code Measurements

If a Montessori school was teaching baking they'd want these. Cute posters too.

Sinking into Savory

I had such fun making spinach pies last night I even dreamed I was spinach for the spinach pie (the covers were the dough). Today I am thinking of future possibilities using kale and pumpkin or potato. As long as the olive oil garlic and kosher salt are flowing you can't go wrong. I could also use sauerkraut, red onions, pickles, beans (garbanzo or black or kidney or white beans) or bits of sausage or cheese. How about an eggplant and tomato sauce calzone (caponata) with chic peas! Calzone, knish, dumpling, pocket bread, pie, whatever you call them they are all variations on a theme. There are infinite options. Just remember Fleishmann's instant yeast and bread flour are the best for making a happy no-fail dough. Letting the dough rest is a real thing! Just like people the dough stretches easily when it has had a short nap.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Spinach Pie

Spinach pie is one of my favorite foods. I'd love to be able to make them as good as Jeanette's Bakery on Branch Ave in Providence. I am working on it! Here's a recipe I am using as a guide.

My version came out great! I used whole wheat and white bread flour and cornmeal combined and I used Fleishmann's instant yeast. The mounds of spinach were HUGE and the dough was thin just like the spinach pies from Jeanette's bakery.

Broccoli Peanut Ginger Garlic Stir Fry

One of my all time favorite foods is broccoli. I love all green vegetables. Last night I sauteed a bunch of fresh broccoli finely sliced, in olive oil fresh garlic and ginger. I used hot sauce and soy sauce for seasoning. I added peanuts too. It was excellent.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks Article

Fresh Bananas and Apples

Yogurt and Cereal


Half of a Turkey Sandwich

Red Peppers and Hummus

Almonds and Walnuts

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Portion Control

I met a lady at the pool today "I'm terrified of the water. I just float around in the shallow end for my joints. My problem is I eat out every night of the week I hate to cook and I hate vegetables," she said. "Really?" I couldn't imagine it. "What foods do you like?" I asked. "Fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy, and roast beef. And I love sweets especially chocolate. My daughter got me hooked on coming here. I used to wake up at 11 and take a bubble bath and then watch Days of Our Lives and decide on where to go eat. Now I get up and come swim. I live 6 minutes away, so there's no excuse. I can't swim early tomorrow because it's weigh-in day and exercise makes you weigh more," she said. I felt bad for her although she was happy as a clam floating around on her red noodle talking about portion control.

Hot Slaw

Last night I chopped up a cabbage, carrots, garlic, and ginger root and sauteed them in olive oil in my biggest skillet. While they were cooking I added frozen peas and black beans and seasoned everything with soy sauce and Rooster brand hot sauce and leftover red wine. I would have added corn for color (in place of the peas) but I didn't have any. It was delicious! I called it hot slaw.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Relationship of Mind to Body

Kristal says it's not clear just how yoga might help people keep off the pounds, at least from a scientific standpoint. His own opinion is that the effects are subtle, and related to yoga's mind-body aspects.

"The buzzword here is mindfulness -- the ability to observe what is happening internally in a non-reactive fashion," he says. "That is what helps change the relationship of mind to body, and eventually to food and eating."

Adds Edison: "Yoga makes you more susceptible to influence for change – so if you are thinking you want to change your lifestyle, you want to change the way you think about food, you want to get over destructive eating patterns, yoga will help give you the spiritual connection to your body that can help you make those changes."

Another idea is that yoga forges a strong mind-body connection that ultimately helps make you more aware of what you eat and how it feels to be full.

"Essentially, in yoga you learn your body is not your enemy, and the conscious awareness of the body that you gain translates into better appetite control," Edison says.


Prep Chef Meditations

I used to be a prep chef in a restaurant and I loved it. I also learned how to cook. Today while the loaves were baking I prepped a bunch of cabbage and carrots garlic and ginger and got out my wok so I'll be ready to make supper like a chef.

Morning Baking

This morning I mixed up two trays of granola and while they were slowly baking I set up the sourdough to rise in three greased loaf pans. Then I hid them away from the cat. There's something satisfying about morning baking rather than end of the day baking. As the sun is rising the kitchen is filling with delicious aromas. After the granola was done I ran off to swim and when I came back the bread dough had risen and was ready to bake.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


I consider popcorn a mood altering substance, a happiness inducing food.
(Made the old fashioned way in a pot with corn oil.)
(sample a bowl with Cajun spice!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Turkey Soup at Last

Tonight I took the gallon of turkey stock with the fat removed and added it to my biggest soup pot and then I added a gallon of water to dilute it. Then I added frozen corn, frozen peas, freshly chopped celery, freshly chopped carrots, olive oil, Adobo, kosher salt, black pepper and a whole bulb of garlic. It came out great. For variation on a theme I might add pureed tomatoes, egg noodles or rice.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cajun Spice Roasted Potatoes

I bought some Cajun spice last night for roasting a bunch of potatoes. First I rinsed the potatoes. I cut out the eyes and problem spots. I sliced each potato into six wedges and put them in a bucket of cold water and placed it in the fridge. A few hours later I drained them and then dried them with a kitchen towel. Then I put them in a big bowl with olive oil and tossed them to coat each slice. Then I sprinkled the Cajun spice and stirred everything some more. I distributed the slices over two trays trying not to have the slices touch because you want them to dry out. I put them in a 450 degree oven and I placed them on the low oven shelves close to the heating element (otherwise you are baking not roasting). I stirred them every 15 minutes until done. It took about an hour. Smoke alarms went off. They were delicious!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Luciano Pavarotti

One of the very best things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
― Luciano Pavarotti

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Simmering Soup

I had my last smoked turkey and red onion sandwich today and while my bread was toasting I was scavenging the last bits of turkey off the carcass. I felt like a crazy woman poking at all of the hidden crevices finding precious morsels. Now the turkey bones are simmering for soup and the whole house smells like smoked turkey. I love turkey.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Slow Baked Granola

I've discovered that my granola recipe works best baked SLOW and LOW. The flavors come together best this way.

1 cup of corn oil
1 cup of Grandma's Molasses
1 box of Old Fashioned Oats (measured as 42 OZ, or 2 LB 10 OZ or 1.19 kg)
1 teaspoon of real vanilla
1 rounded teaspoon of kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a big pot heat the oil, molasses, vanilla, and salt, stirring gently. When bubbly add the oats, stirring madly. When the goop is distributed over the oats pour the granola onto two trays. I use cast iron frying pans and I bake them at 250 degrees. Once the oats start to toast I stir them every 5-10 minutes. I use a timer because the toasting happens fast. Then, when lightly toasted I let the oats cool off before I store them in sealed jars. Allow an hour and fifteen minutes of baking time.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pepper Biscuits Make a Party

I will make these a few hundred more times. I could have a bakery based on wine and pepper biscotti and my bread.
If you fall in love with these, you will want to double the recipe.
Biscotti Di Pepe - Taralli - Italian Pepper Biscuits

By DeSouter

A great hard biscuit with a twinge of hotness! A staple in Italian delis and "pastosas".

1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast (equals 2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees) (I used 1/2 cup of my liquidy sourdough starter)
2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat and half bread flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used a heaping teaspoon of Kosher salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper (I used twice that, cracking the peppercorns myself)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
(I added a Tablespoon of fennel) thanks to Donna Ruzzano who grew up on Da Hill!


Dissolve yeast in water.
Sift flour salt and pepper onto mixing board.
Make a well in the center and add yeast and oil.
Blend together and gradually incorporate into flour.
The dough will be stiff.
Knead 10 minutes.
Place in oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 375º.
Break off small pieces of dough and roll into ropes about 6 inches long. (I baked mine straight like bread sticks or cigars)
Form a ring and pinch edges together.
Place on baking sheet and let rise 20 minutes.
Brush with oil and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. (I had to double the baking time)
(I turned the pepper biscuits over halfway through the baking time so they could gently brown on the other side)

NOTE: My husband pointed out that the reason why I needed to add salt pepper and increase baking time from the recipe was because I used one cup of whole wheat flour instead of white flour and this increased the oil content and need for more spices and salt.
Don't be afraid to pinch a taste of the raw dough to test seasonings.

James Agee

A little bit of too much is just enough for me.
- James Agee

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Biscuit Memories

I went to Joblot today (it is a minor addiction and I need a monthly fix). I remember, as a tiny child, eating digestive biscuits and drinking hot chocolate as a treat when we would take to the bomb shelter during the terrible nightly raids over Southern England! Going there is like going on vacation. Then I went to "The Big Bunny" supermarket in the Asian and Latino laden town of Southbridge. They have wonderful veggies at 1/2 the price of the supermarkets in places like Northhampton whose clients also seek out Thai eggplants and 20 different kinds of hot peppers. I also shop at an amazing market (Asian) in Worcester, that would scare the shit out of my Worcester acquaintances just by the pungent smell as you go in the door. It also assuages my wander lust. Very few items have prices and the owners speak little English but the total on the receipt makes me think it is cheap. I miss and mourn Egypt terribly. The Dominican Republic and Egypt are my 2nd and 3rd homes - really deeply rooted.
Oh! Its suddenly dark! And snow due tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Yellow Apple Tree

At noon I walked down the street to the yellow apple tree with Lily and my apple picker and a big canvas bag. John my friend the grounds-keeper came out. "That's cheating," he said when he saw my apple picker. It was fun to use it. It was good to see him. I kept reaching for the challenging apples, the big ones way up high that were the size of grapefruits. "The tree got pruned last year," said John. "I remember, I bet that's why the apples are so big, the tree is happy." I said.
"Come back with your wagon," he said. "I will," I said, standing with the heavy bag, "This was fun." I said, leaving. When I got home I had lunch and took a long walk with Lily. Then I walked back to the tree carrying the picker with the wagon in tow. The first apple I tried to pick was huge and it came right down and bounced off my forehead. Wow, I thought. I couldn't have done that if I tried. I resumed. I listened to the birds and the trucks and cars driving by. Nobody seemed to notice or care what I was doing. I filled all three three bags in my little red wagon. I even rescued the apples that fell and rolled into the street. They got bruised but I figured I'd chop the bruises off first. When I came up the driveway with my overflowing wagon two kids asked to have an apple and I let them pick out a few. They wanted the largest ones they could find. I hope they liked them.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Licensing Effect

Drop a bunch of kale into your cart and you’re more likely to head next to the ice cream or beer section. The more “virtuous” products you have in your basket, the stronger your temptation to succumb to vice.

Such hedonic balancing acts are neither unpredictable — who, after all, hasn’t rewarded themselves with a piece of cake or an extra beer after a killer workout? — nor inherently bad. But an emerging body of research into what psychologists call the “licensing effect” suggests that this tit-for-tat tendency is deeply wired in us, operating even when we’re not aware of it. And in a world where we’re bombarded by pitches for an endless array of health-boosting products of dubious efficacy, that can be a problem.

So how can we maximize our chances of coming out ahead? Psychologists have identified a few tactics.

One is to focus on the process of living healthfully rather than the goal of being healthy. A recent University of Zurich study tracked the progress of 126 dieters and found that, as predicted by licensing theory, the more weight the subjects lost in any given week, the less weight they would lose (or the more they would gain) the following week. But this rebound effect was weakest when the subjects homed in on the process of changing their eating behavior rather than on the outcome of losing weight or improving their appearance.


Susan Olson's Corn Oil Pie Crust

pie crust recipe:

Basic 9 inch pie

3 Cups King Arthur unbleached flour
3/4 Cup Corn oil (I find it should be corn oil)
6 T combination of milk and water - or just cold water if no milk around
Mix lightly and form into two balls
(I'd add a teaspoon of Kosher salt.)

Roll between wax paper, Put in pie pan - if things are off, patching is easy as dough is quite moist and pliable.

Put fruit in crust - add 1/2 C or a little more sugar depending upon desired sweetness. If apples - just sugar - If berries or peaches need to mix sugar with some flour.

Dot with butter
Add top crust - cook at 425 for 40 or so minutes - until brown and bubbly.

Also see KING ARTHUR RECIPE below for one crustsource.

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) vegetable oil
3 to 4 tablespoons (1 1/2 to 2 ounces) water or milk

Eggplant Drama

At the market I bought two gigantic eggplants. When I got home I sliced them as thin as I could and salted them to extract the bitter juices. An hour later I rinsed them and drained them in my colander placing a heavy weight on top. This morning in a panic I remembered the eggplant in the fridge. By seven am I was layering the eggplant slices with my tomato olive chick pea sauce in my glass baking dish. Another dish is layered with my spinach garlic ginger sauce. I still have half a bucket of eggplant.

I can rarely cook at dinner time. I have to bake and cook in the morning or the afternoon when I am hungry and optimistic and then warm it up later, when I am tired, hungry and grouchy.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Beauty Would be So Proud

I just finished reading My Fat Dad, a memoir by Dawn Lerman, and I COMPLETELY loved it. My Fat Dad is a memoir centered on food, the food she grow up with, the food of her relatives. I learned a lot about my own upbringing from Dawn's writing - reading her book was like catching up with a long-lost cousin. In some ways our childhoods were identical. We must be nearly the same age and both of our fathers were in advertising in midtown Manhattan. There were so many parallels. I want my brothers and sisters and cousins to read this book. I was grateful for having read her story, and she told it so well.

I woke up this morning thinking about how important Dawn's grandmother Beauty was to her and how Beauty fostered, inspired, and nurtured a love of cooking in Dawn. She received everything Dawn shared with her with wisdom and compassion. This love was carried from Beauty to Dawn to Dawn's sister April. With Dawn's urging and help April was cast as Orphan Annie in a production that traveled around the country.

I empathized with Dawn's feelings of emptiness and abandonment in an environment of privilege. Dawn's life-saving grandmother Beauty made me think of my own grandmother Sophie. It was heartbreaking to imagine Dawn's distracted parents, the atmosphere of benign neglect. How could one not completely love and adore this child? Dawn described her upbringing with sincerity, clarity, and grace. She grew up in a particular time and place which I recognized completely.

I loved this memoir. Dawn is a warrior telling her truth. She found her voice and she used it beautifully and compassionately. As with the best books I was nourished having read it. Beauty would be so proud.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

King Arthur Pat-In Oil Pie Crust

Many members of our Baking Circle swear by the convenience and quality of their pie crusts made with vegetable oil. They also like the fact that they can have a crisp, tasty crust with no trans fats or cholesterol. If you're intimidated by the idea of getting out the rolling pin, this is the crust for you. Mix it right in the pie plate and pat it into place.

This recipe makes enough for a single deep dish crust; to make a two-crust pie, double the recipe and take out 1 1/4 cups of the mixture; this will become your top crust. You can add cinnamon, sugar, even a bit of chopped crystallized ginger if you like. After you fill the bottom crust, sprinkle the topping evenly over it. It will bake into a crispy, flavorful crumb crust as the pie bakes.

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) vegetable oil
3 to 4 tablespoons (1 1/2 to 2 ounces) water or milk

Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. This can be done right in the pie pan, if you like. Whisk together the oil and water, then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened. Pat the dough across the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides. A flat-bottomed measuring cup can help you make the bottom even. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers, and flute the top. Fill and bake.

Start with the Blend

WICN Worcester FM radio THE BLEND at 6:AM with Michelle Willson. You won't be sorry!

Spicy Garlic Peanut and Vegetable

I love any and all vegetables sauteed with fresh garlic +fresh ginger and red-hot chili peppers sauteed in olive oil.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pickle Jars

Every week I buy the glass gallon jar of pickles. I'm not sure which I like more the jar or the pickles. I do love slicing them thin and making sandwiches with them or chopping them into tuna salad. We hope to perform as our friends pickle band someday but the hitch is he's in Seattle and we are in Rhode Island.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Spicy Peanut Ginger Garlic Broccoli

I just made this Chinese Broccoli improvisation and it was so good. First I trimmed and cut the broccoli florets. Then I took a 2 hour walk. When I came home I heated my 12" cast iron pan with olive oil, small dried red chili peppers, freshly chopped ginger root and freshly chopped garlic. I threw in the broccoli florets and salty peanuts and stirred. Then I splashed some soy sauce on it. I covered the mess for a minute and then splashed some water on it. When the broccoli was bright green but slightly tender I served it. Yum!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Opera on the Radio

I love opera. I used to say to people I must've been adopted because I love opera and sauerkraut.

Baking a Marinara Sauce

I am a lazy cook. I love to throw everything in a pot and bake it slowly at 225. Today it was fresh garlic, celery, tomatoes, onions, black olives, olive oil, garden basil, oregano, and a dash of Adobo. The aroma is amazing especially after walking downtown in the cold dark. The streets were pretty empty because it's a Sunday. I walked around with my dog, with a flashlight dangling from my neck.

Pumpkin Bran Bread

updated recipe October 20th!

1 heaping cup whole wheat flour
2 cups wheat bran
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
cardamom +cloves sprinkled in too, if you want
freshly chopped ginger root!
2 eggs
sugar 1/4 c (or omit!)
molasses 1/2 c
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
2/3 cup corn oil

Preheat oven to 350°F
Bake in Bundt pan for one hour or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Rice and Pickled Vegetables for Breakfast

I think I'm turning Japanese
I really think so


Friday, October 16, 2015

Colorful Pickle: Love the Leftovers

I love leftovers for lunch. I reheated rice with a leftover stew of lentils and chicken scraps, ginger root garlic and corn on top. Ate it with a home made colorful pickle salad: sliced pickles, sliced red onion, sliced roasted red peppers from Job Lot. Colorful and delicious.

My Nose Knows

I leave the kitchen coffee pot on for a comforting scent. Yesterday I smelled alcohol on a lady walking down the street. A man slips by me at an art opening last night, and I smelled Shower to Shower baby powder. Arriving home I smelled a molecule of cat pee in the yellow bath tub. I cleaned it with lemon soap. I can smell a sliced red onion in a sandwich a mile away. I am my Labrador Retriever and she is me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Happy Bakers Day

This morning I baked 4 whole wheat sourdough loaves, and while it was baking I made a batch of molasses granola and while the oven was hot I whipped up a batch of banana bread and baked it in my cast iron Bundt pan. Then I washed my clothes and the dog bed and hung it outside. Then I took out all of the recycling and trash to the curb, and I vacuumed the kitchen. Some days benefit from a good night's sleep.

Cranberry and Vanilla-Yogurt Scones

adapted by Emily

, no-butter, sweet Scones made with a delicious vanilla yogurt and ruby red cranberries.
Author: Katerina Petrovska
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: English
Serves: Makes 8 Large Scones

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup milk + more for brushing the tops
1 5.3-ounces yogurt + ½ teasp real vanilla
½ cup dried cranberries or raisins (you can use fresh cranberries, too, but cut them in half)
½ tablespoon turbinado sugar, optional


Preheat oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt; whisk until combined.
Make a well in the center of the flour-mixture and add milk into the well; add olive oil and yogurt.
Using a wooden spoon, stir all the ingredients just until the dough comes together.
Using your hands, add cranberries and knead the dough around about 4 to 5 times.
Transfer dough to previously prepared baking sheet.
Flatten ball into a disk; using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 wedges.
Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Separate each wedge, leaving about an inch in between each scone.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes or until cool enough to handle.

Bon Appetit: Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Butter

Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Butter
There is no holiday house guest in the world who wouldn’t want these for brunch.

Cinnamon Butter

¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt


½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
¾ cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter
½ cup chopped fresh (or frozen, thawed) cranberries
1 large egg
½ cup canned pure pumpkin
¼ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
2 tablespoons raw sugar

Recipe Tips

Important: A Scone Is Not a Biscuit

Mix butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
Do Ahead: Cinnamon butter can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.


Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, cloves, baking soda, and 2 cups flour in a large bowl. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate in butter, tossing to coat in dry ingredients as you go; toss in cranberries. Mix in egg, pumpkin, and ¼ cup buttermilk.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a 1½”-thick disk. Cut into 8 wedges; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, 25–30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°. Brush scones with buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Serve with cinnamon butter.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Everything Stew

Everything leftover combined has made a perfect slow cooking stew: potatoes, onions, leftover tomato sauce made with green bell peppers and onions, home made chicken broth, carrots, olives, plums, and beef.

Baking Banana Bread Bundt Cake

The house smells fantastic. The City is alive with AUTUMNFEST and perfect October weather! Leftover pot roast for lunch.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Kitchen Zen

I told my neighbor everything I cook tells the story of everything I have ever cooked.

Home Made Granola and Trail Mix

This is the perfect portable band food for guys on the run.

Top Round Tsimmes

I walked by the butcher shop and bought a special top round roast on sale today while my dog waited eagerly outside. When I got home I looked at 5 different recipes and then I cut loose. I browned the roast on all sides in olive oil in my dutch oven on the stove top. I opened the windows and shared the aroma with my neighbors. Then I got out a larger Dutch oven and filled it with chopped onions and carrots and potatoes prunes and olives placing the browned roast on top. I added a quart of homemade chicken stock covered her up and set her in a 325 oven. Who knows! I just want good food and good smells in my house. The wind is blowing and doors are opening and closing on their own. Rain is expected tonight so I'd better put out the buckets and towels.

It was delicious!

Tsimmes: Big Fuss

I have the urge to make Tsimmes
Tsimmes means a "big fuss" in Yiddish and there are many versions; some contain beef. This one is meatless, with lots of carrots, sweet potatoes, pears, and dried fruits baked with orange juice and honey, meant as a side dish. You can add a beef brisket to the pot to turn it into a main course.

1/2 cup pitted prunes, halved
1/3 cup dried pitted dates, halved
1/3 cup figs, quartered
1/4 cup each dark and golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup dried apricots, halved
About 1 cup riesling wine (mixed with a little brandy, if you like), or more if needed
Vegetable oil (for the baking dish)
6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
6 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 Bosc pears, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, combine the prunes, dates, figs, dark and golden raisins, cherries, and apricots. Add the riesling and brandy, if using. Add more wine so the liquid covers the fruits. Set aside for at least 1 hour.

2. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place the carrots, sweet potatoes, and pears in the dish and toss gently.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the orange juice and honey. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add the dried fruits and their soaking liquid. Toss again.

4. Bake for 1 hour, spooning the cooking juices over the mixture several times. If the pan seems dry, add more orange juice. If the vegetables are not tender, continue cooking up to 1 hour more.

Adapted from Dawn LaRochelle

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lynne Leroux and Michelle Marcotte: Woonsocket's Winning Dynamite Recipe 2008

Woonsocket's Winning Dynamite Recipe 2008

By Lynne Leroux and Michelle Marcotte

Brown: 5 lbs. of Hamburger (70/30); drain fat

Add: 12 cups of diced green peppers
12 cups diced onions

Cook: 15 minutes

Add: 1/8 cup oregano
1/8 cup basil
1/8 cup Italian seasoning
¼ cup granulated garlic powder
1½ tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
¾ tablespoon crushed red pepper
1½ tablespoon of hot sauce
2½ cups tomato sauce
2½ cups tomato paste
2½ cups crushed and concentrate tomatoes
½ cup of sugar

Simmer until peppers are tender
(Do not cover)

I found this recipe for Woonsocket's most famous food and used it as a guide for making a smaller quantity. I added celery because I had some on hand, and skipped the sugar and added leftover red wine in it's place. I also added more red chili flakes. You can't go wrong with this universal soul food. Make a pot of pinto beans to add mid week and turn the leftovers into a chili. Enjoy and consider sharing with your neighbors. World peace happens one meal, one song and one story at a time.

Simmering Sauce

I decided to chop up six green bell peppers and saute them in olive oil and onions and then I added crushed red tomatoes. The whole mess is simmering and the aroma is intoxicating.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Giraffe Bananas

When the bananas are ripe and look like giraffe's it's time to bake banana breads. I have two loaves baking now. They are not overly sweet or gooey. They are like pancakes in the form of a loaf.

2 eggs
3/4 cup corn oil
2 cups of buttermilk
3/4 cup of sugar
three ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups of whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of raisins

Mix wet and dry separately and then combine.

preheat oven:
bake at 350 in two greased loaf pans for 55 minutes


Friday, October 2, 2015

Simple Baked Apple

Core an apple and bake it in a small dish at 350 for 35 minutes. I used Paula Red ed and left the skin on and it didn't need anything!
Enjoy warm!


Reposted from
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Taste Memory
I just realized that my molasses granola is triggering a taste memory from childhood; Cracker Jax. Cracker Jax had molasses.

My granola recipe:

1 cup of corn oil
1 cup of Grandma's Molasses,
1 container of Old Fashioned Oats (measured as 42 OZ, or 2 LB 10 OZ or 1.19 kg)
1 teaspoon of real vanilla
1 teaspoon of kosher salt.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a big pot heat the oil, molasses, vanilla, and salt, stirring gently. When bubbly add the oats, stirring madly. When the goop is distributed over the oats pour the granola onto two trays. I use cast iron frying pans and I bake them at 300 degrees. Once the oats start to toast I stir them every 5-10 minutes. I use a timer because the browning happens fast. Then, when lightly toasted I let the oats cool off before I store them in sealed jars. Allow 35 minutes to an hour of baking time.

The Comforting Noodle

When I am flipped out I tend to crave the egg noodle eaten with just salt and pepper. When I worked at Leo's in the 80's there was a waitress named Tara that lived on pot roast and egg noodles. She was pencil and pale. All I want is an egg noodle with salt and pepper and olive oil.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Story of a Chicken

I roasted a chicken Saturday night but I fell asleep during the 2 hour baking time. Luckily my husband was able to take over and rescue and refrigerate it.

I just made a chicken salad with celery and red onion and the chicken breast white meat using my home made favorite coleslaw dressing; mustard salt sugar vinegar mayo and buttermilk.

I watched a Chef Michael Smith video on Moroccan lentils and I got inspired to make my own lentils. I used the other leftover chicken dark meat and leftover skin and chopped it fine with chopped fresh ginger root and fresh garlic and three heads of kale chopped, and leftover chicken broth, cumin, Adobo, salt and olive oil. A fabulous stew.

Coffee, Franzen, Paris Review Inteview

FRANZEN: The writing process for that flashback was different from any process before or since, and it really changed my idea of what I was doing as a novelist. I’d quit cigarettes a month earlier, and as a result I was drinking tons of coffee. I’d get up in the morning and drink so much coffee that I made myself almost sick. Then I’d have to lie down and take a hard nap, which I could suddenly do because I was in better contact with my natural body rhythms. Instead of having a cigarette when I was feeling sleepy, why not just lie down and sleep? For the first time in my life, I could take these wonderful, intense twenty-minute naps. But then, because I was so loaded up with caffeine, I would come surging back up to the surface and go straight to the desk and write a page. And that was it for the day.

INTERVIEWER: Just one page?

FRANZEN: A page was enough, by then. If you read the biographies of people who have written good books, you often see the point where they suddenly come into themselves, and those weeks in the spring of 1997 were when I came into myself as a writer. They feel like some of the best weeks of writing I’ll ever have. The discovery that I could write better about something as trivial as an ordinary family dinner than I could about the exploding prison population of the United States, and the corporatization of American life, and all the other things I’d been trying to do, was a real revelation.

-Paris Review

A Sweet Potato, A Prune and a Green Olive

A sweet potato, a prune and a green olive walk into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a joke. I baked baby sweet potatoes Sunday night and they are excellent eaten cold with a prune and a green olive.

Culturing Buttermilk

My new thing is culturing buttermilk because all I do is place milk and live buttermilk starter from the last batch in a mason jar above the oven (like Oblomov* who sleeps on the shelf above the oven) and it thickens overnight!

Oblomov is a great name for our cat that sleeps in the sun.

*Oblomov (Russian: Обломов; [ɐˈbloməf]) is the second novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Oblomov is the central character of the novel, portrayed as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed and just manages to move from his bed to a chair in the first 50 pages. The book was considered a satire of Russian nobility whose social and economic function was increasingly questioned in mid-nineteenth century Russia.
The novel was popular when it came out, and some of its characters and devices have imprinted on Russian culture and language.

The Feast Day of Saint Michael

It's the Feast Day of Saint Michael in the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches, which was a very important day in times past, falling near the equinox and so marking the fast darkening of the days in the northern world - the boundary of what was and what is to be. Today was the end of the harvest and the time for farm folk to calculate how many animals they could afford to feed through the winter and which would be sold or slaughtered. It was the end of the fishing season, the beginning of hunting, the time to pick apples and make cider.

Folks in central Pennsylvania make it a point to have their annual goose dinner tonight; a local tradition that grew out of the old English proverb: "If you eat goose on Michaelmas Day, you will never want money all the year round."

-Writer's Almanac

Monday, September 28, 2015

Anthony Bourdain's New Marketplace

“It will be all transparent and authentic,” he said, “not sterile, but chaotic in a good way, with hawkers and vendors and places to eat. Where in this city can you have that?”

A Savory Rice Pudding

I took 6 cups of cooked leftover rice and placed it in the 6 by 9 Pyrex dish with frozen spinach, frozen corn and 2 cups of home made buttermilk, 4 beaten eggs, Adobo and leftover pasta sauce. I'm baking it at 350 degree F. We'll see what happens.
It's fabulous and it's a cross between savory rice pudding, shepherds pie, and lasagna.

Local Summer: Block Island

“We call it local summer,” says Shannon McCabe, who was raised on Block Island and works at Rustic Rides Farm, her family’s guided horse ride business.

Bill Greene/Globe staff

“We call it local summer,” says Shannon McCabe, who was raised on Block Island and works at Rustic Rides Farm, her family’s guided horse ride business.
By Bella English Globe Staff September 21, 2013

BLOCK ISLAND — In mid-September last year, Howard LeFevre and his wife, Donis Tatro, stayed here a couple of nights, their first trip to the island. The days were warm and the traffic light, great for biking and hiking. Sure, fewer restaurants and hotels were open than during the height of the summer, but there were still plenty to choose from.

As they were checking out of their inn, they rebooked, a year in advance, for late September this year.

“Fall is the best time of the year to go,” says LeFevre, a house painter who lives in Milton. “There aren’t many people there, and it’s cheaper.”

Though “the season” on Block Island is, like in many New England resort areas, Memorial Day through Labor Day, autumn here is ideal for tourists, with good weather and good deals.

Gone are the cars and the crowds, and the vibe on this scenic spit of land 13 miles off the Rhode Island coast is decidedly more relaxed.
If you go to Block Island. . .

If you go to Block Island. . .

“We call it local summer,” says Shannon McCabe, who was raised here and works at Rustic Rides Farm, her family’s guided horse ride business. “I always tell people it’s the best time to be out here. Hotels are usually flexible on rates, and it’s the best time to do nature walks and hiking because it’s less congested. It’s much, much more peaceful in the fall.”

About that flexibility: LeFevre got a special fall deal at the Avonlea bed-and-breakfast, where he stayed last year. If he booked for two nights, he’d get a third one free. The inn is right on Crescent Beach, with a big porch overlooking the ocean.
Moderated by the Atlantic, the island’s temperatures can indeed edge into the 70s into October.

Block Island Tourism Council

Moderated by the Atlantic, the island’s temperatures can indeed edge into the 70s into October.

Few locals know Block Island as well as Howard Rice does. In the 1920s, his grandparents bought land here, and Rice moved to the island as a kid in 1945. He’s the school-bus driver; the island, with a year-round population of about 1,000, has one school, which graduated seven students last year.

“It can be in the mid to upper 70s in the fall,” says Rice. “I know people who have swum up until Christmas time. All the kids wear shorts till then. They go bike riding on New Year’s Day.”

Moderated by the Atlantic, the island’s temperatures can indeed edge into the 70s into October. Nearly half the island is conservation land, and there are 27 miles of meandering greenway trails, 17 miles of beaches and dozens of ponds. The island, with its flat, paved roads, is also beloved by bicyclists.

On a recent visit, we took our dog, Gumbo, and stayed at the Darius Inn just down the street from the ferry terminal in the Old Harbor historic district. The cedar shake inn, built in 1803 as a pharmacy, was recently bought by two sisters from Philadelphia who have worked at other inns on the island. In the attic, they found leather invoice books for prescriptions written in beautiful, old-fashioned hand and costing just pennies.
The South East Light on Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island.

Paul E. Kandarian for the Boston Globe

The South East Light on Mohegan Bluffs on Block Island.

Becca Zendt, who is 26, laughs at one prescription. “It said, ‘If your wife is still bothering you, give her the whole bottle.’ ” Her sister Christy is 28 and responsible for the happy-hour wine and nibbles and the breakfasts served to guests who don’t rent a suite with a kitchenette.

When traveling, it’s never easy to find a decent place to stay with a dog, but Darius fills the bill for a $50 dog fee. Dogs are only allowed in the five suites that include a kitchenette and porch; there are also five motel rooms. The sisters provided us with a “dog towel” for wiping Gumbo off when we returned from Crescent Beach, just across the street.

Most places that will accept dogs require that Fido leave the room whenever you do. Not the Darius. They’ll even walk him if he’s barking and you’re at the beach; just leave them your cellphone number.

The Block Island beaches are mostly dog-friendly, and Gumbo loved wading in the water and digging for whatever it is that dogs dig for. An added bonus in the fall: There are fewer dogs, which is good news for both dog lovers and those other people.

The Darius, like many of the hotels and inns here, will decide its closing date depending on demand. “We’ll close either Halloween or Thanksgiving,” says Becca Zendt. “We’re not winterized. But the season is getting pushed further and further into the fall every year.”

Don’t come here looking for fall foliage, though. The island doesn’t have the leaf-peeping colors that many associate with New England. Elizabeth Connor, who oversees nine properties, including the iconic 1661 Inn and Hotel Manisses, says she has regular customers who swear by the off-season.

“September, October, and early November are a nice compromise,” she says. “It’s my favorite time of year. Our spring may come a little later than the mainland, but the flip side is that fall extends a little later.” The rates all go down after Labor Day, and a few of her properties are open year-round.

Old Block Island was a fishing and farming community without a good harbor until one was dug in 1875, ushering in tourists — and the stunning Victorian homes and hotels that remain today. At the Block Island Historical Society Museum, Ben Hruska shows short videos about the Victorian years when horses and buggies carted people around, and sun bathers posed on the beach, the ladies in long dresses, the men in long pants. The Block Island Ferry, which runs from Point Judith and Newport, celebrated its 100th anniversary this summer. Ferries run every day of the year except Christmas Day.

No trip to Block Island is complete without a visit to the Southeast Lighthouse, built in 1873 atop a 150-foot cliff. Due to erosion, the lighthouse was poised to fall into the sea when a group of volunteers raised the money to have it moved several yards back in 1993. We walked down the road from the lighthouse to Mohegan Bluffs, and more than 150 wooden stair steps down to the ocean. It is a stunning vista, good for both your soul and your calves.

Food, in particular sweets, is good for the soul, too, and my soul soared once I wandered into Blocks of Fudge, a charming candy shop run by Sheila Fowler. She’s open through Thanksgiving, with a warning: “I might not have the Creamsicle or the Amaretto Chocolate Swirl after Columbus Day.”

Not to worry. Fowler makes 20 kinds of fudge, and it’s creamy and creative. (“I came up with Chocolate Fluffernutter Fudge during a 2 a.m. hot flash in February,” she says.)

September is her favorite month, October a close second. “In September, the weather’s gorgeous, not so humid. You can stand on Front Street and see the lights of the Newport Bridge. We don’t usually get a frost until November.”

Fortified by my fudge fix, I wandered into Block Market, a cool clothing boutique run by Sean Dugan, who grew up in Lenox, Mass., and summered here as a child. An island resident for 16 years now, Dugan travels to Indonesia where he buys fabric and jewelry and has his signature logo — the shape of the island — embroidered on clothing. His own Block Island Brand has men’s shorts bearing the logo, sort of a play on the whales that adorn those preppy Nantucket threads. Block Island Market is open until Columbus Day and on weekends until Christmas. It’s the place with the colorful batik sarongs hanging outside.

Nearby is the fantastic Farmers’ Market, where arts and crafts — all made on the island — are sold, along with organic flowers and produce from farmers, and honey and beeswax candles from Littlefield Bee Farm. The market is open Wednesday and Sunday mornings until Columbus Day.

The Glass Onion is another great shop that has been around a long time, selling clothing and gifts. Owner Mary Anderson keeps it open until December, but only on weekends in October and November. She loves autumn on the island. “You can walk the beach and see 10 people,” says Anderson. “It’s also better for biking, and the ocean is still warm.”

Fall is the high season for one population: birds, which of course attract bird-watchers. Block Island is on the Atlantic Flyway, the “avian superhighway” for migratory birds, and 150 species stop here on their way south. “In October and November, the Audubon Society people go to conservation land and set up nets to trap and band birds, and check those that have already been banded,” says Rice.

Life on the island slows down markedly after Columbus Day, though the annual Christmas Stroll on Thanksgiving weekend still attracts tourists. The stores are decorated and offer deals, hot chocolate, and cider. There’s the Christmas tree lighting, and as of last year a new tradition: the building of a towering Christmas tree made out of lobster traps in a local park.

After that, the island gets some hard-earned sleep for the winter.

Bella English can be reached at

Canadian Thanksgiving: Action de grâce

Thanksgiving (Canada)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shopping for pumpkins for Thanksgiving in Ottawa's Byward Market
Observed by Canada
Type Cultural
Significance A celebration of being thankful for what one has and the bounty of the previous year.
Celebrations Spending Time with Family, feasting, religious practice
Date Second Monday in October
2014 date October 13
2015 date October 12
2016 date October 10
2017 date October 9
Frequency annual

Thanksgiving (French: Action de grâce), or Thanksgiving Day (Jour de l'action de grâce) is an annual Canadian holiday, occurring on the second Monday in October, which celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. On January 31, 1957, a proclamation was issued stating Thanksgiving was to be "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed."[1]

Brookfield Orchard's Apple Chart

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thanksgiving is Today

At my house.

Sunday Morning Cornbread

Cornbread baked in 10 inch cast iron skillet. Wakes up the sleeping guests.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Simple Fun: Caramel from Sweetened Condensed Milk

Everything Omelet

We had all of our leftover green vegetables made into a rice and bean omelet. Delicious.

Apples, Peaches, Pears, Eggs, Tomatoes, and cans of Beans

A feast given to us while out walking Lily.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Whey Cool: I just made farmer's cheese

I just made farmer's cheese! By Accident! by culturing buttermilk
Whey cool!
I'll save the whey for "water" in my next bread dough!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Indoor Farmer of Fermentation

2 tablespoons buttermilk (store-bought or activated dried starter)
2 cups milk (whole, 2%, or skim, depending on your nutritional needs and preferences)


1. In a mason jar or other glass container, thoroughly mix the starter and milk. Cover with a coffee filter or piece of cheese cloth (do not seal tightly with a lid) and leave to culture out of drafts at a warm room temperature (between 70-78°F is recommended) until milk has clabbered (10-24 hours).

2. To test if the milk has thickened, tip the jar slightly. It should move away from the wall of the jar as a single mass. Just as with yogurt making, once the milk sets, it will get more tart the longer you allow the culturing to continue.

3. Refrigerate to halt culturing for at least six hours. Stir before using.

Multicultural Festival in the Neighborhood

My dream is to have a home-cooked food and live music festival celebrating the ethnic diversity in our beloved URBAN WOONSOCKET neighborhood.

German Rye Bread

The recipe uses sauerkraut!
Brother Juniper's bread book

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Join the World and Live on Rice and Beans

We buy the gigantic bags of rice and beans to feel food-secure in my house and gigantic everything, for that matter.

Man Cannot Live On Rice And Beans Alone (But Many Do)

by Sarah Zielinski NPR

Rice and beans seem to be made for each other. Jazz great Louis Armstrong paid homage to his favorite dish by signing off with the phrase, "red beans and ricely yours." Vegetarians love them because together they form a complete protein. Plus, they're fairly inexpensive and feed much of the world.

But after conservative TV personality Sean Hannity recently suggested on his radio show that people wouldn't go to bed hungry if they just made a big pot of rice and beans once a week, we thought we needed to check out just how good for you they are.

Turns out, they're pretty healthy in the right combination and style, but that's not the whole story.

Rice and beans have a long history together, and trace their roots back to many corners of the world, from Brazil to West Africa. "[The dish] was probably invented many times because it makes sense to put them together," says Indiana University cultural anthropologist Richard Wilk, co-author of the upcoming book Rice and Beans: A Unique Dish in a Hundred Places.

Their path to the Americas likely came through slaves brought here from West Africa, where the pairing was common. "But rice was expensive until the 18th century," Wilk says, "so it did not become a kind of cheap everyday food for poor people until well into the 20th century."

Of course, rice and beans are now a staple in many parts of the world — but thanks to rising global food prices, the combo may not be as healthful as it could be. That's because beans tend to be more expensive than rice. As a result, the poorest tend to increase the amount of rice they eat and decrease their bean consumption, says Hannia Campos, a nutrition professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The trend is to deteriorate the basic meal," she says.

This is bad because beans are the more nutritious part of the pair. Campos and her colleagues have found that increasing the ratio of beans to rice may decrease the risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. After all, beans are a low-glycemic-index food that makes a person feel full, so they eat less of other things. Beans are also full of fiber, potassium, folate, iron, manganese and magnesium, and they are cholesterol- and fat-free. They're a superfood.

Another nutritional worry is the rice itself, which most often is polished, white rice. The processing that turns brown rice into white removes the bran and germ layers, along with much of the healthy oils, iron, magnesium and vitamins B1 and B3. What's left behind is a starchy grain with a high glycemic index, meaning that it raises a person's blood sugar level after eating and doesn't fill them up for very long.

A recent study in the British Medical Journal even found that eating white rice is associated with a higher risk of Type II diabetes, and diabetes rates are rising worldwide. Brown rice would be better, Campos says.

Still, if rice and beans is all you've got, it's a pretty decent choice.

But "you're not going to have a complete diet," she says. The combo lacks Vitamin C and other essential nutrients. "It's extremely important that you eat meat and vegetables," Campos says.

To some extent, Hannity acknowledges this later in the show: "Look, you should have vegetables and fruit in there as well, but if you need to survive you can survive off it," he tells a caller.

French Women Eat Drink and Enjoy Life


Clo Says:
Hello ! I’m French and it looks like you mistake the traditional French meal with what French people USUALLY eat. Whereas the traditional french meal includes starter, main course with starch, cheese, dessert and wine, all the people I know who stay thin do so by eating the “traditional” meal once a week max and in moderation. The rest of the time, they eat not to much, avoid alcohol, usually skip starter and/or cheese and/or dessert… and if you’ve eaten too much the day before, you eat less the day after or skip a meal… A bit like everywhere else I think ! I agree with Mme Bonnal about moderation, that’s the key.

Frozen Spinach

In a pinch frozen spinach is not a bad thing to have in the freezer to green up some onions garlic and olive oil. It's a fast spinach pie! Dip bread in it, or top noodles or rice with it. I am all about quick and delicious.

I Love Oat Groats: Irish Oatmeal

Get ready for winter. We might special order a fifty pound bag of oat groats from JAR baker's Supply Lincoln on Crow point Road. I love to drop in the raisins while the oats are simmering so they puff up. Sprinkle on home made GORP: cranberries, sunflowers, almonds, peanuts and raisins.

Steel Cut Oats are simply whole oat groats that have been cut into neat little pieces on a steel buhr mill. We use high protein, whole grain oats that have been lightly toasted to create our hearty steel cut oats. Also known as Irish oats or pinhead oats, steel cut oats create a chewy, full-bodied hot cereal.

Steel Cut Oats have always been a universal customer favorite at Bob’s Red Mill. Their robust oat flavor, texture and ease of preparation plus proven nutritious benefits and cholesterol reduction make them a perfect breakfast. A few years back we learned of the World Championship Porridge Competition in Scotland called the “Golden Spurtle.” At that point we had yet to discover the spurtle – a centuries-old Scottish wooden porridge stirring implement.

The Bob’s Red Mill team traveled to Carrbridge, Scotland to compete in the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championship. We competed against fourteen other teams from around the globe. Our team’s belief in our porridge skills and our consistently superior oats never wavered. That crisp October morning all teams paraded through town behind a bagpipe band. After three heats of competition, we remained one of five finalists. All five finalists prepared their traditional recipe – oats, salt and water – for the judges. Finally, the announcement: “Bob’s Red Mill, is the new Golden Spurtle World Porridge Champion.”

The Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats we knew to be superior were now proven the “WORLD’S BEST”. The simple, winning recipe using oats, salt and water is on our package so you can make the World’s Best Oatmeal® at home.

We had so much fun at the Golden Spurtle, that we began The Spar for the Spurtle™: the ultimate oatmeal throw down so we could share the fun with our customers. Spar for the Spurtle™ asks customers to submit their recipes using steel cut oats for a chance to win a trip to Scotland to compete in the Golden Spurtle Championship on our behalf. Learn more about this fun competition at and throw your hat in the ring!

Oats are a notoriously healthy breakfast choice, being high in soluble fiber and protein. They are also incredibly versatile. Steel cut oats can be used to make risotto, pilaf, dumplings, arancini and more! Browse our extensive collection of recipes using our steel cut oats here.

Pollen from Grasses

The pollen from grasses affects my histamine tummy. It helps me to drink acidic things; orange juice, seltzer, black coffee, black tea. Others folks require antacids.

Baking Corn Muffins

What is it about corn muffins and black coffee? I baked the muffins and then chased down my husband when I forgot to put them in his lunchbox.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Yummy Black Beans and Kale

Simmering black beans with kale, coffee, ginger, garlic, olive oil, Adobo, Teryaki sauce, olive oil, cranberries, and salt. Simmering rice in leftover cherry tea.

Edge of Uncertainty: Chef's Table

Published on Apr 16, 2015

From isolated Patagonian islands to French Michelin three-star restaurants, chef Francis Mallmann celebrates his wild, open-fire cooking style.

Histamine Guts & Sinus Agony

Spring and Fall are histamine and sinus hell seasons. Thank god for the public pool and Excedrin, antihistamine and decongestant. Hang in there!

Autumn Foods

Simmering black beans to bake with corn tortillas. First bowl of groats with GORP this morning. I love bumpy food. It was nice and cold out at 4 AM. I just discovered Jazz albums COLTRAINE on youtube.

I Love a Good Tailgate Party

Without the car.

Smoked Sausage Scented Dryer Sheets

This would be better for the neighborhood noses than what exists.


Starving Themselves, Cocktail in Hand

Published: March 2, 2008

MANOREXIA. Orthorexia. Diabulimia. Binge Eating Disorder.

A NEW PATH Judy Van De Veen, 36, with her daughter, Cheyenne. She has struggled for years with an eating disorder and alcohol abuse.
Laura Pedrick for The New York Times

Trish has checked into a treatment center.

All are dangerous variations on the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia, and have become buzzwords that are popping up on Web sites and blogs, on television and in newspaper articles. As celebrity magazines chronicle the glamorous and the suffering, therapists and a growing number of researchers are trying to treat and understand the conditions.

The latest entry in the lexicon of food-related ills is drunkorexia, shorthand for a disturbing blend of behaviors: self-imposed starvation or bingeing and purging, combined with alcohol abuse.

Drunkorexia is not an official medical term. But it hints at a troubling phenomenon in addiction and eating disorders. Among those who are described as drunkorexics are college-age binge drinkers, typically women, who starve all day to offset the calories in the alcohol they consume. The term is also associated with serious eating disorders, particularly bulimia, which often involve behavior like bingeing on food — and alcohol — and then purging.

Anorexics, because they severely restrict their calorie intake, tend to avoid alcohol. But some drink to calm down before eating or to ease the anxiety of having indulged in a meal. Others consume alcohol as their only sustenance. Still others use drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine to suppress their appetites.

“There are women who are afraid to put a grape in their mouth but have no problem drinking a beer,” said Douglas Bunnell, the director of outpatient clinical services for the Renfrew Center, based in Philadelphia.

The center, like a small but growing number of eating-disorder and addiction-treatment facilities, most on the West Coast, offers a dual focus on substance abuse and eating disorders.

Dr. Bunnell, the past president of the National Eating Disorders Association, said the obsession with being skinny and the social acceptance of drinking and using drugs — along with the sense, lately, that among celebrities, checking into rehab is almost a given, if not downright chic — are partly to blame.

“Both disorders are behaviors that are glorified and reinforced,” Dr. Bunnell said. “Binge drinking is almost cool and hip, and losing weight and being thin is a cultural imperative for young women in America. Mixing both is not surprising, and it has reached a tipping point in terms of public awareness.”

Psychologists say that eating disorders, like other addictions, are often rooted in the need to numb emotional pain with substances or the rush provided by bingeing and purging. The disorders are often driven by childhood trauma like sexual abuse, neglect and other sources of mental anguish.

Manorexia is the male version of anorexia. Orthorexia is an obsession with what is perceived as healthy food — eliminating fats and preservatives, for example. But people with this condition can dangerously deprive themselves of needed nutrients.

Diabulimia refers to diabetics who avoid taking insulin, which can cause weight gain, in order to control their weight. Despite the name, the disorder does not typically involve purging.

Binge Eating Disorder refers to obsessive overeating, especially of foods high in salt and sugar, that does not involve excessive exercise or purging to compensate for the high caloric intake.

Judy Van De Veen, 36, who lives in Gillette, N.J., became anorexic at 24. She said she starved herself, meting out small bites of low-calorie food for two months. Then she began bingeing and purging, throwing up entire boxes of cereal, whole pizzas and fast food from drive-throughs that sometimes cost her $80 a day.

She went into treatment, both inpatient and outpatient, for her eating disorder for several years in the late 1990s, with mixed results. In 2001, still struggling with bulimia, she took up drinking. If she ate while drinking, she said, she would purge, but then consume more alcohol to make up for the loss, because she wanted to remain drunk.

Many bulimics who drink use alcohol to vomit, experts on eating disorders say, because liquid is easier to purge. They also tend to vomit because they often drink on empty stomachs.

“In the beginning of my eating disorder I wouldn’t touch alcohol because it is so high in calories,” said Ms. Van De Veen, who later found herself regularly hospitalized for dehydration. “But I have the disease of more: I just want more no matter what it is.”

Two years into her drinking problem, she joined a 12-step program. She spent the next two years in and out of six residential rehab programs, spending about $25,000 of her own money because she didn’t have health insurance. But none of the programs were equipped to address eating disorders, so she binged and purged and her eating disorder raged.

Ms. Van De Veen said she has been sober for three years, but is still struggling with bulimia. She now has a 14-month-old daughter, Cheyenne, and she said that her pregnancy and support groups had helped her make progress on her eating disorder.

“I had an excuse to eat,” she said of being pregnant. “I didn’t care and I loved it.”

But she said the temptation to binge and purge is haunting her again.

Trish, 27, who has had an eating disorder for the last 10 years, recently checked into Renfrew, her fifth stint in a treatment center or hospital.

Like Ms. Van De Veen, Trish, who agreed to be interviewed on the condition that only her first name be used to protect her privacy, struggled with anorexia first and then found alcohol. Before she was admitted to Renfrew, she said she was blacking out from lack of food and suffering from excruciating stomach pain.

Trish, a nurse who lives in Ohio and works with cardiac patients, said she would starve herself through her 8- or 12-hour shifts, staring at the clock and fixating on when she could have her first drink. Drinking, she said, relaxed her when she had to eat in front of other people, a huge source of stress.

“The alcohol is probably what kept any weight on me,” she said in an interview late last month at the Renfrew Center, which she entered on New Year’s Eve for eight weeks of treatment.

“Drinking helped me be less anxious,” she said. “It helped me be more of Trish. The two go together: If I drink more, I’m more into my eating disorder and vice versa.”

Studies show that binge drinking and alcohol abuse are on the rise among women, who are also more prone than men to eating disorders.

About 25 to 33 percent of bulimics also struggle with alcohol or drugs, according to a study published last year in the journal Biological Psychiatry. Between 20 and 25 percent of anorexics have substance abuse problems, the study found.

A growing number of researchers are examining the psychological and neurological links between eating disorders and substance abuse: Does eating a chocolate bar, or bingeing and purging, stimulate the same pleasure centers in the brain as drugs or alcohol?

Suzette M. Evans, a professor of clinical neuroscience at Columbia, recently began a study of the connection between bulimia and substance abuse, a field she said has been neglected.

“People are finally beginning to realize that food can function in the same way as drugs and alcohol,” Dr. Evans said.

As more patients seek treatment for both eating disorders and substance abuse, a complicated set of mixed messages can arise. The response to addiction is abstinence; but quitting food is not an option.

“We’re trying to get our patients to find effective behaviors and life skills,” said Dr. Kevin Wandler, the vice president for medical services at Remuda Ranch, which addresses both eating disorders and addiction at its facilities in Arizona and Virginia.

“Eating normally would be an effective behavior, but it’s easier to give up alcohol and drugs because you never need it again,” Dr. Wandler said. “If your drug is food, that’s a challenge.”

Trish left Renfrew on Feb. 22, after her second time in treatment there. She was determined, she said, to break her obsessions with weight, food and alcohol. Before she checked in, “I didn’t even have the energy to laugh,” she said. But as she prepared to go home, she had more hope than she has had in years.

“I will not live my life like this,” she said. “I’ve learned this time not to be ashamed. I want to love myself and I want to forgive myself.”

Best Food Blog: She Wears Many Hats

Wasabi Cucumber Sesame Salad

Prep time
20 mins
Total time
20 mins

A flavorful crunchy that is light and easy to make.
Author: ©Amy Johnson | She Wears Many Hats
Recipe type: side dish
Serves: 6

3 medium sized cucumbers, sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons prepared wasabi
¼ teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar


In a colander spread sliced cucumbers out and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand and drain for about 15 minutes. Gently squeeze out any excess water and add to bowl.
While cucumbers are draining, toast sesame seeds in dry pan over medium, until browned, stir/toss occasionally. About 5 minutes.
Mix together vinegar, wasabi, soy sauce and sugar.
Toss cucumber, sesame seeds and wasabi mixture until combined well.

Oat Groats

Hot oat groats for a cool morning.

Cool Hot Breakfast

Banana orange juice with ice cubes and home made yogurt is a perfect hot flash breakfast.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Trail Mix: Delicious Fast Energy

Made my own trail mix today: raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, and peanuts. Delicious fast energy.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Trail mix is a type of snack mix, specifically a combination of dried fruit, nuts, and sometimes chocolate, developed as a food to be taken along on hikes. Trail mix is considered an ideal snack food for hikes, because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick energy boost from the carbohydrates in the dried fruit or granola, and sustained energy from fats in nuts.

The combination of nuts, raisins and chocolate as a trail snack dates at least to the 1910s, when outdoorsman Horace Kephart recommended it in his popular camping guide.[1]

In Denmark the mix is known as Studenterhavre or student oats. It is mentioned in the book Dramatiske scener (Dramatic Scenes) from 1833 where the story teller buys Studenterhavre for a skilling (Danish coin like a pence).[2] Studenterhavre consist of mainly raisins and almonds but at Christmas candy in the form of chocolate pieces were added. The word "studenterhavre" is probably related to the Dutch word Studentenhaver, which is found in writing as early as 1658.[3]

In New Zealand, trail mix is known as "scroggin" or "schmogle".[4] The term is also used in some places in Australia but usage has only been traced back to the 1970s.[5][6][7][8] Some claim that the name stands for Sultanas, Carob, Raisins, Orange peel, Grains, Glucose, Imagination, Nuts or alternatively Sultanas, Chocolate, Raisins and Other Goody-Goodies Including Nuts; but this may be a false etymology.[9]

The word gorp, a term for trail mix often used by hikers, is typically said to be an acronym for "good old raisins and peanuts"[10] or its common ingredients "granola, oats, raisins, peanuts." The Oxford English Dictionary cites a 1913 reference to the verb gorp, meaning "to eat greedily".

Trail mix, apart from being a food for hikers, is served as a cheap snack to accompany drinks. It bears sometimes humorous names in certain countries, however, e.g., in Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland and Germany it can actually be purchased under these names:

Studentenfutter ("student feed") in Germany and Austria
Studenterhavre ("student oats", in analogy of horse oats) in Denmark
Studentenhaver (id.) in the Netherlands and Flanders
Mieszanka studencka ("students' mix") in Poland
Studentų maistas ("students' food") in Lithuania
Tudengieine (Student snack) in Estonia
Diákcsemege ("students' delicacy") in Hungary
Študentska hrana ("students' food") in Slovenia
Studentski miks ("Student mix") in Serbia
Bwyd Dewey ("beloved food") in Wales


Common ingredients may include:

Nuts, such as almonds
Legumes, such as peanuts or baked soybeans.
Dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, apricots, apples, or candied orange peel
Chocolate: chips, chunks, or M&M's
Breakfast cereals, such as Granola

Seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, or sunflower seeds
Carob chips
Banana chips
Shredded coconut
Ginger (crystallised)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bread Pasta and Sauce

Tonight I made homemade pasta. This time I didn't roll it super thin to #7 but I rolled it to #4 and I loved it. I draped slabs of pasta on objects around the house, finding a few after the meal. I'm laughing. I made a red sauce with tomatoes, cubanelle peppers, onions, celery, and,fresh garlic. I sliced cucumbers and we ate ate my leftover home made coleslaw. I baked multi grain sourdough bread at noon and it came out great. Sweet dreams.

Skinny in Italy


Baking while FLYING

When I'm flying (like I am today) I lose track of basic things like the fact that the bread is rising. When I came home from my walk the dough had risen, overflowing and then it fell back down. So I started over reshaping it while preheating the oven and all was fine. I did forget to put on the timer and then I forgot I was baking. My office is above my kitchen so usually my nose snaps me back to reality. Today it was the smoke alarm that alerted me that my 4 loaves were done. They are black bottomed (loaves of toast!) but delicious nonetheless.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Loretta LaRoche

Take a spin. Twirl around in a circle and say what's bothering you out loud. You'll feel silly and may even laugh. "It's hard to laugh and be stressed at the same time," says Loretta LaRoche, a stress-management consultant and the author of Life Is Short—Wear Your Party Pants.

Get outdoors. "When you go outside, you realize that you're not the center of the universe but just a part of it," says LaRoche. So your problems don't seem as big. To turn your stroll into a walking meditation, say "Peace" each time you take a step. Five minutes a day keeps stress at bay.

Give thanks. Keep a running appreciation list on your phone, suggests LaRoche. Being thankful every day—not only on Thanksgiving—puts frustrations in perspective.

Deck out your desk. Place a photo of a loved one or some fresh flowers near your computer. "It'll remind you that your world is not simply about paperwork, computers and deadlines—there is more to life than your desk," she says.

Cut the clutter. Straighten up your drawers or clean out the closet. Rifling through things takes up time and creates frustration. "These are mindful things that bring order to your life," she explains.

Find a new hobby. "New endeavors enrich our lives and give our minds a rest from our daily to-do list," she says. LaRoche suggests taking a new art class, hiking, singing, or getting involved in a book club.

Ahh. Admit it: You feel better already.



The Mini Mart sells home made limber. The neighborhood kids buy it for 25 cents. I tried my first one and now I want to make it for my friends.

Emotional Eating By Kelly James-Enger

Snack attack? Fight back!
Using food to manage your moods and feelings is a short term fix at best. We’ve got ways to get emotional eating under control.

Emotional Eating By Kelly James-Enger

Carl Davis first started comforting himself with food as a child.

“I think whenever I felt stress, or whenever I felt unloved, which I often did, I would eat because that would make me feel good,” says the California resident. “I discovered cookies early on and we loved each other for a long time. And M&Ms—I still have a problem with M&Ms.”

The habit continued into adulthood.

“I’ve eaten whole packages of cookies and entire extra-large pizzas by myself,” says Davis, the author of Bipolar Bare: My Life’s Journey with Mental Disorder.

While he’s become much more conscious of his food intake since having bariatric surgery, he still struggles sometimes. After he was rear-ended on the freeway recently, he bought chips and salsa and, of course, M&Ms to soothe himself.

“I was like, ‘I don’t care—I just want to feel good,’” he admits.

Davis’s story isn’t unusual. Many people turn to food to try to manage feelings like anger, boredom, anxiety, and loneliness. However, the short-term pleasure is often offset by long-term results like shame, weight gain, and worse overall health.

When Food=Love

Many people with bipolar deal with cravings and weight gain associated with their psychotropic medications. That’s a separate issue from emotional eating, which has roots in psychological rather than physical causes.

Understanding why we use food to manage uncomfortable feelings is the first step to breaking free from the emotional eating cycle.

“Emotional eating is eating in response to an emotional need as opposed to a physiological need,” says Carol Milstone, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Ottawa, Ontario. “In general, it provides a form of distraction. It takes away the emotional pain that people are feeling.”

But that distraction is only temporary—and illusory. “The emotional pain is compounded because afterwards, they feel guilt … and they feel out of control,” Milstone says.

Yet it’s a normal reaction to reach for food when we’re unhappy or stressed, says nutritionist Elyse Resch, a registered dietitian and co-author of the influential guidebook Intuitive Eating. …

“We learn from the moment we’re born that food is comforting,” says Resch. “It’s an inborn thing to know that food is going to be soothing, and food is a socially acceptable way to soothe ourselves.” The pattern of “feel bad, eat to feel better” is often learned during childhood, says Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, an integrative medicine specialist for eating disorders and author of The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook.

Bipolar-Forgiveness“A lot of it goes back to issues in childhood, which can be anything from poor relationships with parents … to a history of trauma, abuse, or neglect,” she says. “Foods high in sugar and fat light up the brain’s reward centers and give you a feeling of calmness or comfort that people long for.”

That’s what the Rev. Katie Norris was looking for as a child. When she felt lonely or upset, she would eat.

“I would come home from school and eat a lot of sugar,” says the El Cerrito, California, resident. “If I had a really bad day and there were no cookies or candy around, I would eat sugar out of the bag with a spoon.” Feeling physically or emotionally trapped, sad, or depressed still triggers the urge to eat. And she finds it hard to cut herself off from the “sweet stuff” once she starts indulging.

“There are ‘binge foods’ that make me feel worse, but in the moment make me feel better,” she says.


Anderson’s emotional eating also tends to worsen during a depressive phase. Yet she says anxiety is actually her biggest trigger.

“If I’m very anxious about something I definitely eat,” says Anderson, who lives in The Villages, Florida. “It’s like I cannot cram enough food into my mouth. Sometimes it’s actually good food, a bowl of scallop potatoes with ham cut up in it; other times it’s chips and sometimes sweets.”

Some emotional eaters binge in secret, adding to the shame. Kresic of Toronto only gives in to her cravings for sweets at night, when she’s alone. Despite having made a healthy, balanced dinner for her family, sometimes in the late hours all she can think about is food.

“I’m a very giving person, and I guess I’m a people pleaser—giving, giving, giving, and not getting back recognition,” she reflects. When she reaches for sugary treats, “I think, ‘It’s a reward for all the work I’ve done.’”

Sometimes she manages to overcome the cravings. Other nights, she winds up in her kitchen, unable to stop eating whatever sweet things she can find.

Depression doesn’t necessarily trigger her urge to binge. “But in a hypermanic stage, that’s when it’s really at its worst,” she says. “It feels good to feel good.”

Breaking the habit of reaching for food when you’re feeling uncomfortable, or sad, or anxious, or simply bored takes a two pronged effort—dealing with root causes and substituting alternate behaviors. Here are five strategies that can help:

1 Face those feelings

The expression “stuffing your feelings” perfectly describes the attempt to bury emotions under an avalanche of food. To break the pattern, you have to be willing to recognize and experience unpleasant emotions, to “sit with” those emotions instead of trying to sublimate them.

One way to do that is by becoming more mindful about identifying your mental state, says Milstone—perhaps anger, or loneliness, or feeling overwhelmed. “The first step is identifying when the stress [or emotion] is starting,” she explains.

Being mindful helps you recognize what is happening inside—and what feelings you’re trying to escape from. That may involve looking at the bigger picture of what troubles you, whether that’s things that happened in your past or something in the current state of affairs.

“The biggest thing I push is to help people identify issues that need to be dealt with—childhood issues that they haven’t dealt with, or lives that are out of control,” says Ross. When you address these, she says, you’ll find that the urge to “eat your feelings” dissipates.

2 Tap into true hunger

Emotional eating patterns often short-circuit the body’s natural sense of hunger and satiation. For Norris, added weight from overeating would send her too far in the other direction.

“I would under-eat to try to make up for eating all the sugar and then I would crave protein and fat, and I think that started me binging on other foods as well, because I was out of balance,” says Norris. “When you yo-yo diet, you get totally out of sync of when you’re hungry.”

One solution: intuitive eating. That means paying close attention to your physical sensations so that you’re eating only when you’re physically hungry—and not eating when you’re not. By tuning in to your body, you also learn to put down the fork (or the bag of chips) when you’re full, says Resch.

Ideally, over time you will default to a more healthful diet as you come to recognize how different foods affect you.

“Intuitive eating is the ability to trust your body to tell you when you’re hungry and when you’re full, and which foods feel good and comfortable in your body,” says Resch. “Intuitive eating means you honor the signals your body gives you. It’s inside out, instead of outside-in.”

It also means that when you’re not hungry and you want to eat, you ask yourself what you really need. Maybe it’s soothing yourself with reassuring words instead of what’s in your refrigerator. Maybe it’s talking to another sympathetic soul, or journaling about what’s going on. Maybe it’s turning on a good comedy show as a way to lift your spirits. Unless you’re physically hungry, food will not fill that void.

3 Distract yourself

When you are tempted to eat, it helps to find a way to keep your mind off your cravings. This is especially useful when food becomes a form of entertainment to stave off boredom.

Physical activity can be effective—a walk around the block instead of into the kitchen, for example. Norris listens to music. (In fact, she has customized playlists for when she’s feeling manic or depressed.) Kresic uses deep-breathing techniques.

For Davis, meditation is the key.

“You get a kind of equilibrium … if you can get your mind in balance, or equilibrium, you can resist those things generally speaking—except when you get nailed on the highway and then you just want to feel better,” he adds with a laugh.

Anderson volunteers for charities and knits and crochets everything from baby items to skull caps for military service members to winter hats for schoolchildren.

“My hands are so busy I don’t have the time to eat!” she says.

A distraction won’t address your underlying emotional issues, but it can divert you from using food as a stopgap.

4 Find other joys

The urge to use food to make yourself feel better may lessen if you add more pleasure of other kinds to your life.

Bipolar-CreativityStart a list of activities that make you happy and give you satisfaction, then look for ways to incorporate them into your routine. It can be as simple as a relaxing stroll in the park or spending time with someone whose company you enjoy.

Doing things that leave a positive afterglow will help you modulate your mood overall—and make you less likely to turn to food when you’re not truly hungry.

5 Eat right

Foods we turn to for comfort tend to be high in carbohydrates and the unholy trinity of poor diet: saturated fats, salt and sugar. Apparently our brains are wired to desire foods loaded with fat and calories because those foods were most efficient at keeping our ancestors alive during times when food was scarce—which is rarely the case nowadays.

Yet according to Resch, eating well is especially important when taking psychiatric medications.

“For medications to work well, you need the precursors for making the neurotransmitter receptors,” she says. “Eating balanced meals regularly will help the medications work better.”

We all know the drill: Aim for a diet that contains lean protein, whole grains, healthy fat, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, the connection between a nutrient-rich diet and better mental (and physical) health is strongly established—as is the association between junk food and depression. The better you eat, the more you strengthen your defenses against stress and the low moods that can tip you into emotional eating.

Tagged with: emotional eating, Fall 2014, feelings, food, weight gain

Friends: Come for Supper

I have basil semolina dough waiting for me to roll out.

String Bean Meditations

Yesterday morning I got in a swim before our SLATER PARK PAWTUCKET PARADE performance and I even had a few moments to rinse and decapitate my big bag of string beans so I could make a garlic stir fry when we came home hungry. As I was doing this chore I realized it was a perfect calming and meditative activity. My friend Sally was occupying my thoughts. Sally Larrick is an excellent cook weaver musician photographer and a Buddhist. She has the ultimate meditations in the kitchen approach to making food. She one made a pecan pie starting with picking and shelling the pecans, and making the crust from scratch. She also makes etouffe a French New Orleans shrimp butter sauce that she fed me over brown rice. Her husband made their gorgeous oak kitchen table. She is a weaver by trade and she dyes the wool before threading the loom. She may even chase down and shear the sheep. She can sing and play upright bass and she can sew anything from a bolt of fabric. She once made a fold up foam rubber couch-chair-bed. I slept in when I visited. She's made a bathrobe a dress shirt and a gorgeous blouse.

The String beans cooked with my simmered all day garbanzo beans and sauteed garlic were amazing over rice for supper at ten PM. Food is healing.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pasta Tango

Last night I prepared the semolina and egg dough with fresh basil, salt, black pepper and Adobo and had it waiting when my husband got home. I fed the dough through the hand cranked pasta machine while turning the crank and my husband caught the paper-thin sheets of pasta so they didn't stick together. It was an intricate kitchen tango requiring focus, concentration and patience. My husband hung the noodles on our clothes rack and separated and dried the macaroni while fending off the cat and dog. I told my husband, "this is so romantic and now we get to cook it and eat it. People should do this as a form of marriage counseling." I made a simple marinara sauce with fresh garlic olive oil crushed tomato, salt and oregano. Next time I will just have the pasta plain with butter and salt to really taste it. I was amazed at how much pasta came out of a cup of semolina and one egg.

The Science of the Best Fresh Pasta


Now's the really easy part. Boil up some salted water and toss those noodles in. They'll cook quickly—I'm talking 60-seconds quickly—so be ready to taste and drain them almost immediately. That said, while fresh pasta cooks rapidly, it's important to make sure that it's thoroughly cooked. Unlike dry pasta, it actually gets slightly firmer during the first phase of cooking. If you don't cook it long enough, the egg and flour proteins won't set, your starch won't fully hydrate, and you'll end up with a kinda pasty pasta. Personally,I like my pasta cooked for around 90 seconds, but you may find that you prefer a shorter or longer boiling time. Just don't exceed two minutes—that's when it starts to get mushy.

Tah dah!
Here's another article worth reading.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Playing with Dough

We've been all excited about the rain expected today after a hot and dry summer. I baked bread today and while it was baking I mixed up a batch of pasta dough for home made macaroni. I've been dreaming about egg noodles and I found Federal Hill semolina in my freezer. Read more about how simple and fun pasta making is here.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Susan Olson's Magnificent Corn Oil Pie Crust

pie crust recipe:

Basic 9 inch pie

3 Cups King Arthur unbleached flour
3/4 Cup Corn oil (I find it should be corn oil)
6 T combination of milk and water - or just cold water if no milk around
Mix lightly and form into two balls
(I'd add a teaspoon of Kosher salt.)

Roll between wax paper, Put in pie pan - if things are off, patching is easy as dough is quite moist and pliable.

Put fruit in crust - add 1/2 C or a little more sugar depending upon desired sweetness. If apples - just sugar - If berries or peaches need to mix sugar with some flour.

Dot with butter
Add top crust - cook at 425 for 40 or so minutes - until brown and bubbly.

Also see KING ARTHUR RECIPE below for one pie crustsource.

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) vegetable oil
3 to 4 tablespoons (1 1/2 to 2 ounces) water or milk

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I LOVE Anne Lamott

This is the Anne Lamott Anti-Diet that I usually post right before New Year's Eve, when you may feel vulnerable and somewhat battered after the last few days/weeks/years of festive family get-togethers, or estrangement, and have decided that you are going on a diet. Your life will improve beyond measure and everyone will like you more! Plus, in an act of Christian charity, you will help bail out the ever-struggling 80 billion dollar diet industry.
But summer is just as much a nightmare as the holidays, in terms of assaults on one's sense of self and beauty, so I am going to run it now, for those of you--ie me--who need a tiny reminder:
We need to talk.
I know you are planning to start a diet next Thursday, January 1st. I used to start diets, too. I hated to mention this to my then-therapist. She would say cheerfully, " Oh, that's great, honey. How much weight are you hoping to gain?"
I got rid of her sorry ass. No one talks to ME that way.
Well, okay, maybe it was ten years later, after she had helped lead me back home, to myself, to radical self-care, to friendship with my own heart, to a jungly glade that had always existed deep inside me, to mostly healthy eating, but that I'd avoided all those years by achieving, dieting, binging, people-pleasing, multi-talking, and so on
Now when I decide to go on a diet, I say it to myself: "Great, honey. How much weight are you hoping to gain?"
I was able to successfully put on weight during my last book tour by eating room service meals in a gobbly trance in 13 different cities. So that was exhilarating, as I may have mentioned several hundred times that I have had the tiniest, tiniest struggle with food and body image for the last--well, life time. Hardly worth mentioning.
And then, after book tour, I accidentally forgot to starve myself in December, or to go back to the gym, which I've been meaning to do since I had a child, 24 years ago.
So I am at least five pounds up--but thankfully, I do not currently have a scale, because as I've said before, getting on a scale is like asking Dick Cheney to give you a sense of your own self-worth every morning.
I can still get my jeans on, for one reason: I wear forgiving pants. The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act, volunteering random thoughts about my butt.
By the same token, it feels great to be healthy. Some of you need to be under a doctor's care. None of you need to join Jenny Craig. It won't work. You will lose tons of weight quickly, and gain it all back, plus five. Some of you need to get outside and walk for half an hour a day. I do love walking, so that is not a problem for me, but I have a serious sickness with sugar: if I start eating it, I can't stop. I don't have an off switch, any more than I do with alcohol. Given a choice, I will eat candy corn and Raisinets until the cows come home--and then those cows will be tense, and bitter, because I will have gotten lipstick on the straps of their feed bags.
But you crave what you eat, so if I go for 3 or 4 days with no sugar, the craving is gone. That is not dieting. If you are allergic to peanuts, don't eat peanuts.
So please join me in not starting a diet January 1st.
It's really okay, though, to have (or pray for) an awakening around your body. It's okay to stop hitting the snooze button, and to pay attention to what makes you feel great about yourself, one meal at a time. Horribly, it's yet another inside job. If you are not okay with yourself at 185, you will not be okay at 150, or even 135. The self-respect and peace of mind you long for is not out there. It's within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it's true.
Maybe some of us can try to eat a bit less, and walk a bit more, and make sure to wear pants that do not hurt our thighs or our feelings. Drinking more water is the solution to all problems.
I'll leave you with this: I've helped some of the sturdier women at my church get healthy, by suggesting they prepare each meal as if they had asked our beloved pastor to lunch or dinner. They wouldn't say, "Here Pastor--let's eat standing up in the kitchen. This tube of barbecue Pringles is all for you. i have my own" And then stand there gobbling from their own tubular container. No, they'd get out pretty dishes, and arrange wonderful foods on the plates, and set one plate before Veronica at the table, a plate filled with love, pride and connection. That's what we have longed for, our whole lives, and get to create, now. Wow! And God bless you all real good, as my pastor always says.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Letting Go

Love, in fact, is the art of letting go.

Thomas Merton, in The Way of Chuang Tzu, wrote, “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves.”

Howard Thurman articulated the relationship between letting go and love this way:

“I have always wanted to be me without making it difficult for you to be you.”