I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Spicy Chocolate

Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all.
This is ab amazing bar I picked up at William Sonoma today.
72% dark chocolate. Cadies almonds (lots of them). Aleppo pepper (LOTS
of it!!). Maldonado sea salt.

So spicy.

So good.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Today's Lunch

Steaming some big, fat, squeaky artichokes to be done for lunch by the
time my half-day Kindergartener gets home. We usually eat them with
melted butter and a little lemon juice. I've heard of balsamic dipping
sauces and mayo-based sauces and am intrigued (even though butter will
always be my BFF). How do you eat your artichokes? What should we try

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Graham Crackers and Warm Milk

Ever dipped Graham Crackers in warm milk? Super good, right? Take it
a step farther as my Grandmother used to do for my Mom, and now she
has done for my kids and me. Break up the crackers in a bowl and pour
the warm milk over them. They get all mushy and hot-cerealy and amazing.
I recommend one honey and one cinnamon cracker and I bet it would be
even better with warm half and half or (gasp!) cream. I also recommend
this for any time of day or night. This is seriously happy food.
Thanks, Nana. Thanks, Mom.

You are beautiful.

 I am once again struggling with body image.  I almost bore myself with how much this is coming up with me lately.  I've been using an app on my phone to count calories, I've been going to the gym more often, I've been weighing myself.  Some of these things are more effective than others.  Some of them bring me structure, knowledge, even joy.  But what I keep coming back to is: I like to eat, and this is the body that is the result of how much I like to eat.  Now - what I've discovered recently is that I also like to Zumba.  Have you Zumbaed? It's awesome.  Anyway - Once again vowing to end my love/hate relationship with my weight, I am once again discovering that what I want to be is FIT, not skinny.  I might just be a size 12 or 14 or 16.  When I did Weight Watchers for most of a year, I bought some clothes that were a size 10.  My Gap jeans (god love 'em), had an 8 on the label.  And I laughed every time I put them on, because there is no way that I am a size 8.  Even then, when I weighed 30  pounds less than I do today, I knew that that number was a load of hooey.  I'm 5 foot 10, for Pete's sake.

Now, I was a really skinny kid:

I think this is my 10th or 11th birthday.

But what I'm learning is that I wasn't interested in eating when I was a kid.  (I know, Whaaaaat?)  Now I am.  Boy howdy, am I.  And I know that in my adulthood a lot of that eating was emotional, a lot of that eating was self-medication for depression and/or anxiety.  But a lot of that eating was because I discovered I love food.  I love how creative and interesting and Delicious food is.  I love cooking it. I love eating it. I love sharing it.  My body is different now.  I've grown two human beings inside this body.  I've discovered the wonders of what our Earth can provide for us with plants and animals, and what tasty things we humans can do with them.  I've experienced spreading marrow on crusty bread, drizzling olive oil on vanilla ice cream and what cauliflower tastes like when roasted under a leg of lamb.

I love how I feel when I'm dripping with sweat after jumping and dancing around for an hour at my Zumba class (seriously, find one near you).  I love how much water I drink afterward (water and I have a complicated relationship).  And I'm glad that I can already feel my body becoming stronger and easier to live in.  But I don't think it's going to get too much smaller.  I think the range of 12 or 14 or (right now) 16 is going to be where I buy my clothes.  And that's ok.

I will not continue to struggle with this.  I am done feeling like a failure because I'm not a size 10.  I have some really great dresses that are just not going to fit me again.  And that's ok.  Because there are other dresses to be found.  I will shop for a new not-black swimsuit this year and give up the black, big-skirted suit of shame.

There's a lot more to say about this.  Where did I get the idea that I have to be skinny?  Why do songs that talk about being "amazing just the way you are" and telling me "don't you ever ever feel like you're less than effing perfect" make me feel angry and sad?  Maybe it's because I'm not perfect.  I'm Virginia.  I'm human.  I have flaws - both inside and out.  But being the size I am isn't one of them.

Thanks to my friend Pharon for pointing me to this song.  It inspired this post. And it made me feel great.

Also - look for a post that's actually about food later today!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


There are two new candy shops in the Twin Cities. Both look super cute
and tout carrying all the candy we parents remember from our
childhoods. I have yet to be to either, fearing both putting my whole
family into a diabetic stupor and blowing all our savings on memories
of Buddy's Store where I sat at the counter and filled my face with
candy and soda while at our beach cottage on the Long Island Sound. I
remember squirreling away money under a rock near the store as a
savings account for next time and hiding candy in the rafters above my
bed for secret late-night sugar rushes while I listened to the
lighthouse horn and watched the light sweep across my room.
Apparently, the 30somethings who are now in charge not only want to
bring back every toy we played with (updated Strawberry Shortcake, My
Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, anyone?), they also want
to give their children the same sugar rushes they had as kids. It's so
pervasive, even though I'm avoiding the super-cute neuveou candy shops
as long as I can (make no mistake that there will be a trip and a blog
about it this Summer. I'm not a robot.), I can still find one of my
favorites at Walgreens. Zotz. In three flavors!

Other favorites: Lik-m-Aid, Smarties, Pop Rocks. What are yours?

Sent from my iPhone - please forgive typos.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A little before-bed reading

So excited for this one. Why?:

Sesame-Crusted Tofu over Vegetables
Stovetop Fideos
Tomato & Spinach Dinner Strata
Chilled Maine Shrimp with Cabbage & Peanuts, Vietnamese-Style
Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger
Chicken with Quick Mole Sauce
Sesame Chicken Cucumber Noodle Salad
Sesame-Ginger Pork Patty with Grilled Pineapple
Steak Burritos
Apricot Grunt
Double Corn-Blueberry Cobbler

Sent from my iPhone - please forgive typos.

Monday, April 11, 2011



1 A healthy, fit body.
2 A healthy mind.
3 A healthy spirit.
4 To do more yoga. 
5 To speak my truth.
6 To FIND my truth.
7 To listen to more new music.
8 To find something that I love to do and make a lot of money doing it.
9To get my car washed more often.
10 To get my knives sharpened more often. (More often than never shouldn't be too hard.)
11 To enjoy my kids more, and yell less.
12 To spend more time outside. (To remember earlier in the year that I like spending time outside.)
13 To have more parties.
14 An organized house.
15 To be less afraid.
16 To love to live with less stuff, an love the stuff I have more.
17 A great wardrobe.
18 To learn to ride a bike again. (Stop laughing.)
19 To find out more about myself, and become more well rounded.
20 To learn how to do something new - create something meaningful.
21 To blog more.
22 To journal more.
23 To meditate more.
24 To be a peace more.
25 To go through all the baby stuff, put away what's important, and let go of what's not.
26 A scrapbook of all the cool things I get to do.
27 To write a cookbook. 
28 To be more grateful.
29 To pay more attention.
30 To have a few communities to lean on.
31 To read more.
32 To find a few new really great pieces of jewelry.
33 To wear nail polish more often.
34 To be the best wife I am able to be.
35 To be the best daughter I am able to be.
36 To be the best mother I am able to be.
37 To be the best friend I am able to  be.
(and one to grow on) To be more content than I've ever been.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oh hai, blog.

I'm sorry to have been neglecting you.  It's Spring Break and my husband is out of town and I am very busy keeping little children busy so they go to sleep when they need to.  We went Roller Skating on Monday.  Wow.  THAT'S harder than I remember.   Roller Garden, where I had my 18th birthday party, looks exactly the same.  Right down to the carpet.

The kids did pretty well.  Boy mostly played the arcade games and got tickets.  Girl made it around the rink about 5 times.  Her heinie hurts from falling, but I have to give her huge props for her persistence.  She just kept going no matter how many times she fell.  Also, I introduced my 6 and 3 year olds to Pixie Stix.