Eat Your Greens

Jan 27, 2012 by

I’m sitting at my desk in Seattle, cat on my lap, watching the snow pile up outside and feeling the old childlike pleasure of a ‘Snow Day.’ We don’t get this kind of weather very often – every few years to be honest – so it feels good to have a day when I can do what I choose and not have to leave the premises for any reason except pleasure. I taught the first session of the second quarter of the food-related class I teach at the Lifetime Learning Center, a school that has a wide variety of classes for older adults. The class description reads: A Matter of Taste – Getting to Know Ingredients This semester we will continue to explore the fascinations of food and the gifts of our Seattle food...

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In Defense of Butter (and Paula Deen)...

Jan 20, 2012 by

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” ― Julia Child I know Ms. Deen is more than capable of taking care of herself (She told Anthony Bourdain to “get a life.”) Excellent response to his attention-seeking taunts about her dangerous irresponsibility and “disgusting” food. Like he NEVER cooked with butter?  Or ate something that looked totally disgusting (baby bird eaten whole, including guts and feet, anyone?)  However, she’s really been taking some major hits lately…hits that are often mean, petty, and just downright wrong. As for butter (and fat) – our bodies love it  and need it. Our mouths crave that “fat feel.” When we don’t get it, we stay hungry and keep eating. “Low-fat” can actually cause you to gain weight.  From WebMD: The problem is that sometimes “fat free” is also, well, taste...

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No, I Don’t Want A Salad

Jan 13, 2012 by

“We’ll be having prime rib; if you don’t want to eat that, there’ll be salad and stuff…since there’ll only be two of you who don’t eat meat.” – a friend inviting me to a New Year’s feast. Oh! Boy! I could hardly wait to go feast on “salad and stuff.” This week’s lead article in the NYT dining section was Meatless in the Midwest: A Tale of Survival. It’s the story of an NYT reporter who moved to Kansas City, Mo and is a hard-core vegetarian (I’m not). However, I can really relate to her being told by a waitress – after working the way through menu options (made with lard, made with chicken stock, etc.) – “You want a salad.”  Well, no she really didn’t. But that’s what she got, and iceberg.  Sigh....

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New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day Foodie Traditions .. Or Not...

Dec 30, 2011 by

Foodie Friday has turned into one of All The Single Girlfriends’ most popular series.  It’s one of my favorites too. During the past year our Gf Authors have opened their recipe boxes to share family treasures and opened their hearts to share foodie memories. We can dish and dish it up with the best! We  ♥ to eat healthy but only if it’s delish like Kelley Conner’s veggie chili. But Girlfriends, we ♥ our desserts! Check out  Marianne Richmond’s Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie  so yum! Rebecca Crichton’s posts are often a trip into the exotic .. like how she celebrates the holidays by combining  Chinese garlands, a Greek main dish, Easter European latkes and lots of love and laughter. Speaking of recipes from afar .. New Zealander Jilly Martin’s authentic Pavola is a not to...

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All-Purpose Celebratory: Festive without Symbols...

Dec 23, 2011 by

Growing up Jewish I never had a Christmas tree and did my share of  begging for the beautiful ornaments and sparkly lights. My parents rigorously opposed the ‘Chanukah Bush’ concept, countering my insistence that I would have one of my own when I left home with smug assurance that I wouldn’t do that.  They were wrong for decades: I spent the fall semester of my senior year in college making hand-beaded ornaments to hang on the tree in my boyfriend’s apartment. We still lit Chanukah candles, and I justified it because his roommates weren’t Jewish. Half a decade later, when I lived in San Diego, I had a tree of my own with ornaments collected from trips to Mexico. I continued collecting and amassed a beautiful international array of ornaments. And then, right around...

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The Latkes Debate: Blender or Shredded...

Dec 23, 2011 by

We’ve all got cherished family recipes, don’t we? Chanukah, a Jewish holiday celebrated with food fried in oil, begins on December 20th this year.  The oil reminds us of a miracle in which an eternal light burned for 8 days even though it only had enough oil for one day. Everyone likes a good ancient miracle, but in my opinion the real miracle is how incredibly delicious fried potato pancakes taste on the one occasion per year that I make them. “Omigosh!”, I say to myself.  “I forgot how good these are!”  It’s the same way I feel about M&Ms. I’ll share the family recipe for potato latkes below, but in typical familial fashion, my mother and I have something of a disagreement about how to prepare them. She feels the potatoes should be...

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Gluten-Free Dog Treats

Dec 16, 2011 by

Last week, I shared a yummy recipe for homemade Bacon Doggie Biscuits. Since “gluten-free” is becoming popular as people adopt healthier eating habits, I wanted to also share a low-fat, gluten-free alternative for people who want their dogs to eat healthy, too! I must warn you, however, that dogs are no different than the rest of us. They have a taste for treats that are a bit more decadent than this one, so if you offer them one of these “good-for-you” snacks, they just might look up at you as if to say, “Where’s the Beef?” One little dog named Spencer, who’s a rather finicky eater, was clearly not interested in these new-fangled dog bones. His owner, a journalist from an area newspaper who had written an article on my dog-biscuit endeavors, told me...

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Tail-Waggin’ Doggie Bones...

Dec 9, 2011 by

I’m starting a new revolution. From now on, instead of buying “stuff” for friends and family at Christmas, I’m giving gifts to their animals instead. Actually, I rarely buy “stuff” for Christmas gifts. I’m not a shopper by nature, and since I’m a professional artist, I usually offer my sculptural artwork as unique, one-of-a-kind gifts. But after a number of years, I realized my friends and family had only so much room in their homes for all of my art! So two years ago, I started considering gift-giving alternatives without jumping on the Black Friday consumer bandwagon. What could I make that would be useful, as well as thoughtful and fun? Scanning the internet for ideas, I came across a site that offered recipes for homemade dog treats, which sparked an inspiration. People have...

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Holiday Food Challenge Reduex

Dec 9, 2011 by

This being Foodie Friday on atsGf’s I decided to write about the one food challenge I’m facing with the step to gain back my life through bariatric surgery.  …. pureed food. I’m supposed to start incorporating at least one protein shake a day into my diet.  The reason for this is that for 6 weeks after the surgery, I’ll be on a liquid and pureed food diet. Part of the process for this surgery is 6 months working with a team to prepare you for life during and after the surgery.  Today I met with the psychologist I’ll be seeing every month.  There were a lot of question dealing with my emotional history.  Everything from, “were you raised by a mother and a father? to were you ever abused (physically, emotionally)?”  We talked about all my...

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What I Learned From Selling Muffins...

Dec 2, 2011 by

I attended a lovely volunteer lunch last week at a local farm.  I had volunteered there all summer; helping kids look for bugs, weeding and generally doing whatever they asked, all for the privilege of visiting their chickens every week.  I love chickens and take great pleasure from watching them whenever I can. During lunch, the farmer asked me if I plan to sell food at the farmers’ market again next summer.  “Oh, no,” I said.  “It’s such hard work and I couldn’t make any money.” You really learned how food is underpriced, didn’t you?”, she said. I sure did! Selling food is a delicate balance.  I bought raw food from farmers every week, along with ingredients from the grocery store, and sold an assortment of finished goods with at least one locally produced ingredient.  Some...

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Almond Bars

Nov 25, 2011 by

Almond bars were a big seller for Chickens in the Kitchen this past summer.  This recipe is an adaptation of an Elana’s Pantry recipe.  Her book, The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook, includes a delicious recipe for almond flour chocolate chip cookies. I learned, by experimenting, that you can make lovely almond flour cookies in a home oven, but a commercial convection oven will turn the batter into one very thin layer of cookie on the baking sheet!  Why?  The heat rises too fast and the batter melts.  Making bars solved that problem. Another change involved the almonds.  I don’t own a food processor and chop my almonds in the blender, resulting in a very coarse grind.  If I blend too long, I get almond butter and then I get distracted by lunch. The...

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The Dead Celebrity Cookbook – Dead but Not Gone: Recipes to die for…...

Nov 18, 2011 by

It’s hard to avoid punning when describing the new Dead Celebrity Cookbook – A Resurrection of Recipes from More than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen by Frank DeCaro. DeCaro is a celebrity in his own right: he was the flamboyant movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and now hosts his own weekday morning national call-in program “The Frank DeCaro Show” on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. He wrote the memoir A Boy Named Phyllis and wrote the “Style Over Substance” column for the New York Times. DeCaro indulges in plenty of tongue-in-cheek comments, but despite the playful tone of the book, he is serious student of pop culture and truly loves the guys and gals whose recipes he has rounded up. “I’ve been interested in celebrities dead and alive for a...

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