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.”


Celebrate your Victories: Gold Stars and Rubber Stamps

Appeal to your inner kid: try using gold stars or rubber stamps to record achievements in your calendar.

Keep a food Diary

A simple pen and paper can dramatically boost your weight loss. Studies show the act of writing down what you eat and drink tends to make you more aware of what, when, and how much you're consuming -- leading you to ultimately take in fewer calories. One study found that people who kept a food diary six days a week lost about twice as much as those who only kept a diary one day a week or less.

Might Lower your Odds of getting Alzheimer’s Disease

The MIND Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s
By Camille Noe Pagán
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD

Want another great reason to eat healthy? The food choices you make daily might lower your odds of getting Alzheimer’s disease, some scientists say.

Researchers have found that people who stuck to a diet that included foods like berries, leafy greens, and fish had a major drop in their risk for the memory-sapping disorder, which affects more than 5 million Americans over age 65.

The eating plan is called the MIND diet. Here’s how it works.

Brain-Friendly Foods

MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It’s similar to two other healthy meal plans: the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.

But the MIND approach “specifically includes foods and nutrients that medical literature and data show to be good for the brain, such as berries,” says Martha Clare Morris, ScD, director of nutrition and nutritional epidemiology at Rush University Medical Center.

You eat things from these 10 food groups:

Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens): At least six servings a week
Other vegetables: At least one a day
Nuts: Five servings a week
Berries: Two or more servings a week
Beans: At least three servings a week
Whole grains: Three or more servings a day
Fish: Once a week
Poultry (like chicken or turkey): Two times a week
Olive oil: Use it as your main cooking oil.
Wine: One glass a day

You avoid:

Red meat: Less than four servings a week
Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon daily
Cheese: Less than one serving a week
Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week
Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week

The Benefits

One study showed that people who stuck to the MIND diet lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 54%. That’s big. But maybe even more importantly, researchers found that adults who followed the diet only part of the time still cut their risk of the disease by about 35%.

On the other hand, people who followed the DASH and Mediterranean diets “moderately” had almost no drop in their Alzheimer’s risk, Morris says.

Scientists need to do more research on the MIND approach, “but it’s a very promising start. It shows that what you eat can make an impact on whether you develop late-onset Alzheimer’s,” which is the most common form of the disease, says Cecilia Rokusek, a registered dietitian at Nova Southeastern University.

“Make a point to drink several glasses of water a day, too.”

Last, understand that even though diet plays a big role, “it’s only one aspect of Alzheimer’s disease,” Fotuhi says. So get regular exercise and manage your stress to lower your risk even more, he says.

Best Bread in the World

I just made the best bread in the world. TRUE!! My secret? The flour, and sourdough starter and 40 years of dough handling.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tomato on Toast with Fresh Basil + Red Onion

August is all about the tomato sandwich.

Vegetable Orgy

Every night I take out my 12" skillet and pour in olive oil and sautee fresh garlic then I add Adobo and all my favorite vegetables. Last night it was green beans, cauliflower, kale, red onions, broccoli and black beans and splash and Teriaki sauce and kosher salt. There isn't a vegetable I don't like so I make my choices based on prices and colors.

Tuna Patties


Brazilian Cheese Bread Pão de Queijo





We have wonderful new neighbors who are from BRAZIL. They invited us over last night for amazing Brazilian food. Read

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Brazilian Butcher Shop Milford Massachusetts Acougue Vale Do Aco

Acougue Vale Do Aco brings a taste of Brazil to Milford. Named after the mid-Atlantic, industrial Brazilian city, this butcher shop's name roughly translates to "Steel Valley Butcher." Customers can find a variety of fresh, choice cut meats and fish. In addition to traditional to-order cuts, owner Azevedo prepares thinly sliced, grill-ready churrasco cuts. The showcase features Acevedo's homemade beef, chicken, pork and mixed sausages. The shop also carries various American dry goods groceries and food products from Brazil and Spain. The menu offers daily butcher specials.

132 Main St Milford MA 01757
(508) 244-4878

FRANKLIN: Feast of Saint Rocco: It's the Food!

Feast of St. Rocco delights

FRANKLIN Massachusetts- Thousands of people descended upon the grounds of St. Mary’s in Franklin Saturday to honor St. Rocco, the patron saint of the sick, at the 37th annual event in his name.

The Feast of St. Rocco, a weekend-long festival with food, games, carnival rides, music and other activities, began with the story of Nick Verna, which is printed each year in the event’s booklet.

According to the story, Verna, as a child, became ill. After the boy failed to show improvement for some time, his mother took him to a shrine of St. Rocco not far from their home.

“After the visit, Nick began to improve and was soon well,” the story tells. “His mother often told him that he owed his life to St. Rocco.”

After recovering, Verna made a promise to St. Rocco that he would erect a statue of the saint in St. Mary’s church and in 1959, he was finally granted permission to do so on the grounds behind the old St. Mary’s School.

By 1979, shrubbery had grown and hid the statue from view, but Father Michael Guarino rediscovered the statue and declared that a feast should be held in honor of the saint and Verna’s story, according to Peter Brunelli, one of the event’s co-chairmen.

Brunelli, escaping the heat with co-chairmen Michael DeGrazia and Tom Olsen in a small office on the grounds, said the event, which takes a year of planning and coordinating, keeps growing.

Planning for the event never ends, and even during the event Saturday, Brunelli said a band has already been hired for next year and he was keeping tabs on how much food was sold so far so they can prepare for next year’s event.

“It gets bigger every year,” he said, adding that the event typically draws about 6,000, mainly due to the 900 pounds of sausages, 650 pounds of dough and 6,000 cannoli and other homemade Italian food on hand at the feast.

“Everybody tells us – it’s the food,” he said.

Zachary Comeau can be reached at 508-634-7556 and Follow him on Twitter @ZComeau_MDN.

Casa de Carnes Framingham

Casa De Carnes is a family run and managed store in Framingham which was started 13 years ago by Edson Marinho and now being efficiently managed by Elisa Marinho and Edson Marinho Jr. The Marinho's pride themselves on the freshness of their meats, which includes all cuts of meats, chicken breasts and wings. They buy their meats almost every day.

Casa De Carnes, Framingham has been serving the metrowest area with fresh meat cut to order and the best brazilian food. The family run store caters to the needs of clients who require their meat cut to perfection. Our unbeatable products, convenient processing service, and our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee allows us to provide our customers the very best in Framingham!

We carry the best meat, Brazilian Grocery, Vegetables, Drinks, Milk, Egg, Fish, Beans, Rice, Plantains, Beauty Products, Tropical Juices, Cookies and Chocolates.Here
located at 125 Howard Street, Framingham, MA 01702

508-626-0811 Hours: Mon - Sat: 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sun: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Food Violence

I know there's a lot of discussion about violence in the media especially violence towards women but have you ever noticed how much violence towards food is depicted?

Stay Home

I have so many food horror stories I am downright phobic about entertaining and parties. I'd rather stay home and have supper in my garden with my husband and dog.


When I was a child my mother hated everything related to parenting. It was all a chore. For dinner she made one of two things for us every night: hamburger or cheese ravioli. "Your favorite foods!" she said. "Not every night" I replied. She hired a live-in Barbados maid to clean the house and serve us lunch and dinner so she could stay away at lunch and have date night with my father, every night. We were not happy. My siblings and I fought like hell during meal time. When my step-father came home I was so excited to tell him about my day at school. He would snap at me "What about MY DAY? Why don't you ask me about MY DAY?" When it was vacation time my mother drugged us with Dramamine so we'd pass out in the back of the station wagon so she'd have peace and quiet in the car to chat with my dad, uninterrupted. And people ask me why I don't have kids.

Frederic Patenaude: European Eating

Eating Habits of Americans vs. French People and Europeans

Ted Kooser

Splitting an Order

by Ted Kooser

I like to watch an old man cutting a sandwich in half,
maybe an ordinary cold roast beef on whole wheat bread,
no pickles or onion, keeping his shaky hands steady
by placing his forearms firm on the edge of the table
and using both hands, the left to hold the sandwich in place,
and the right to cut it surely, corner to corner,
observing his progress through glasses that moments before
he wiped with his napkin, and then to see him lift half
onto the extra plate that he had asked the server to bring,
and then to wait, offering the plate to his wife
while she slowly unrolls her napkin and places her spoon,
her knife and her fork in their proper places,
then smoothes the starched white napkin over her knees
and meets his eyes and holds out both old hands to him.

- Ted Kooser from Splitting an Order © Copper Canyon Press, 2014.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Honey Shop Winthrop Street Woonsocket

Open Tuesday -Friday 12:00-6:00
Saturday 10:00-4:00
Sunday 12:00-4:00

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I LOVE VEGETABLES more than dessert!

Another article readers respond here.
We just went to THE BIG APPLE in WRENTHAM and bought locally grown apples, broccoli, cukes, and tomatoes. Then we went to Price Rite and bought more vegetables. We had tomato sandwiches: mustard on toast with tomato on top and garden basil. We made a carrot cukes and red onion salad with the black oil cured olives. Summer food!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Broiled Cheese of Childhood

Last night I threw together corn tortillas layered with black beans and pepper jack cheese on top and put it under the broiler, and then on the burner to warm the bottom. The cheese browned and tasted like childhood when we had open faced grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch all the time.

Cherry Tomatoes

by Anne Higgins

Suddenly it is August again, so hot,
breathless heat.
I sit on the ground
in the garden of Carmel,
picking ripe cherry tomatoes
and eating them.
They are so ripe that the skin is split,
so warm and sweet
from the attentions of the sun,
the juice bursts in my mouth,
an ecstatic taste,
I feel that I am in the mouth of summer

excerpt, Cherry Tomatoes by Anne Higgins

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat Pancakes – Our Gang Loved Them

Ingredient for 8-10 small buckwheat pancakes:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (always shake the container first)
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
unsalted butter to grease pan, and top pancakes

Fast Slow Bread

We ran out of bread today so I mixed up blended wheat flour with rolled oats, coarse cornmeal, sourdough starter, Fleishmann's instant yeast, kosher salt and water. It rose fast and yet it had gluten from the starter. I shaped the dough into small loaves and baked them at 450 in greased loaf pans.

Hunger Brings me to the Stove

When I was a child my mother was always in a perpetual state of panic and distraction. This really showed up in the kitchen and our walk in pantry. She would shop almost daily and perpetually overbuy. I remember once coming home from grade school to find a dozen boxes of raisins stacked up. I asked her why? She said she heard there was a grape shortage.

There's something beautiful about running out of something and getting a little hungry for it. It's like missing a friend. We have run out of bread and we ate all of my frozen loaves. I just set up a new batch of sourdough that is rising as I write this. Meanwhile I am dreaming of making pancakes or waffles for my next meal.

I never know what I'm going to make. I am grateful for my appetite, hunger brings me to the stove. I create a meal the same way as I make a painting.

Cherry Berry Celestial Seasonings

We are always hunting for the herb tea to spike our big pots of Tetley black tea. Recently we found cherry berry works the best. Our old favorite was Country Peach Passion but they changed the formula to become too citrusy for adding milk. Oh well. True Blueberry works well too.


I will make a variation using buttermilk and pumpkin and whole wheat flour. Stay tuned!
Cranberry and Vanilla-Yogurt Scones

Lightened-up, 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 all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup skim milk + more for brushing the tops
1 tub (5.3-ounces) Vanilla Siggi's Yogurt
½ cup dried cranberries (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.

Making Crunchy Peanut Butter with Ear Protection

I love crunchy peanut butter so I decided to make it myself. I took a handful of salted peanuts we get at Job Lot and I put it in the mini food processor and used the sharp blade pressed the high button. It was so loud my husband got me his bulky red ear protectors that he uses for machinery. I added the pulverized peanuts to the jar of smooth oily peanut butter that we buy at Job Lot.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Upside-Down Spinach Pie

I just made this invention and loved it.

Take an iron pan and add olive oil and heat and add freshly chopped garlic. Add spinach, fresh or frozen and simmer with some vegetable stock until dried out a bit (not soupy). Then, pour on the beaten egg layer, 6 eggs. And then layer on soft corn flour tortillas, and cover. When cooked (cooks fast) eat it like a pie. My favorite seasonings are Adobo and kosher salt and Cholula hot sauce.

(Next day)
This was so good I ate the leftovers for breakfast!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Good Beans Love an Overnight Soak

Rinse one pound of kidney beans (or any kind you like) and while you have your morning cuppa, set up the pressure cooker with the plumped beans and plenty of water; one to two inches above the beans is good rule of thumb. Be sure to add a bloop of olive oil or any kind of oil you like, to prevent foaming, and cook them under pressure for 20 minutes. Voila! Add a generous sprinking of Kosher salt or my favorite; Adobo and then eat them or chill them in the fridge. If you are like my husband and me you will relish a bowl of cold beans for lunch eaten outside at the picnic table.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Steamed Baby Kale

Last night we steamed baby kale and ate it with olive oil garlic Adobo wine and almonds. My favorite food!

I LOVE Cauliflower

I love to buy cauliflower on sale, and chop it up (it looks like a brain). I saute it in olive oil garlic Adobo and stock or wine. Today I added slices of fresh ginger (unpeeled) and home made crunchy peanut butter and Cholula Mexican Hot sauce. We ate outside at the picnic table. A 3PM dinner! When you wake up early, you get hungry early.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Apple Raspberry Smoothie

A friend gave us frozen raspberries from her overflowing freezer. There's no such thing as too many raspberries! I made an apple cider, raspberry and plain yogurt smoothie, with ice. Perfectly delicious especially for dry days. Bananas and orange juice works well too.

Pumpkin Scones

from Epicurious


3 cups all-purpose flour (or a blend of flours)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or more if using whole wheat or oat flour)
1/4 cup ground ginger
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I use low-fat)
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (all pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon.

3. With clean hands, work the butter into the dry mixture until it is thoroughly incorporated and has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract into the well. Still using your hands, combine the ingredients until all the dry mixture is wet, but do not knead!

5. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and gather the dough together. Gently pat the dough to make a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick. using a 3-or 3 1/2- inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many scones as you can and lay them on a nonstick baking sheet. Gather the remaining dough together lightly to cut out more scones—just don't knead the dough too much.

6. Bake the scones for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the scones cool slightly on the baking sheet (about 20 minutes) before glazing them.

7. While the scones are cooling, prepare the caramel glaze: Place the butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk gently until the mixture is smooth. Just as the mixture comes to a light boil, add the heavy cream and reduce the heat to low. Whisk well for 2 minutes, or until the glaze is thickened and smooth; then remove the pan from the heat.

from Alice's Tea Cup: Delectable Recipes for Scones, Cakes, Sandwiches, and More from New York's Most Whimsical Tea Spot by Haley Fox and Lauren Fox, © 2010 William Morrow An Imprint of HarperCollins

Quick Colorful Salad

Buy a few small cans of different kinds of beans: I like black, red, white and garbanzo, drain. Add a bunch of sliced red onions, and frozen yellow corn niblets, add sliced red bell peppers, and green pimento olives too. Then add some extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar Kosher salt and Adobo. Serve on a bed of mixed greens.

Karen's Ginger Scones

The scones are a daily part of my life. I make a batch, put them in the freezer, and pop them into the toaster for fresh baked goodies every morning. This recipe was from Nancy Silverton, and I use it as a base, and just change ingredients as needed. Key is having the butter frozen, and just whizzing it up with the dry ingredients in the food processor (or otherwise by hand). I make it with currants and cardamom, and have also used toasted coconut with dried pineapple (Pina colada scones!).

Here's a link. I use the open end of a wine glass as my scone cutter for the ginger ones, but make 2 round disks and divide them into 8 wedges each when I do currant ones. More traditional.
- from my friend writer Karen Edelstein

Monday, August 3, 2015

Evaporated Milk

I keep cans of evaporated milk in my cupboard for making pumpkin pie. When I run out of regular milk I use it in my iced coffee. I'll have to admit that I have a bomb shelter mentality about food. I try to keep an ample supply of refrigerated and frozen grains, flour, and dried beans because they are my art supplies. I love to bake and cook.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Swiss Inspired Breakfast

homemade applesauce
plain low fat yogurt
rolled oats
or sunflower seeds
dried cranberries
or raisins
Mix all ingredients together in wide mouth mason jar and eat with a spoon.