Monday, May 31, 2010

My "Polonious"

Some people may accuse me of having the Ophelia Syndrome when it comes to my affinity for Michael Pollan.

He is the guy who wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Rules, and my personal favorite, In Defense of Food.

It is true that I pretty much agree with everything that he writes.

But in my defense, I have to say that a lot of his assertions were things I already believed myself.

In Defense of Food just clarified, organized, and supported a lot of the things I was already thinking about food.

And he said it all really well.

Much better than I ever could.

So it should come as no surprise that I heartily recommend reading this.

It might just change your life.

In a good way.

One Comment

  1. Rachel
    Posted May 31, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I may yet read that book. On a different subject, you should be glad you don’t have TV. You are saved from having to see the new commercials from the corn growers of america trying to convince us that it’s okay to consume high fructose corn syrup. Hmmm.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Found My Thrill: Blueberry-Pecan Pancakes

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes are still the family favorite, but every once in awhile we love to eat these tasty and nutritious blueberry pancakes. I have a house full of picky eaters and for some reason some of the pickiest ones prefer these sans blueberries.

Of course, they do not know what they are missing. Blueberries are delicious and so good for you. What could be better? Oh yeah, blueberries with my favorite nut-pecans! Yummy.

These also taste super delicious with pure maple syrup.

Blueberry-Pecan Pancakes

Sift together:

1 cup wheat flour

1 c unbleached, white flour

1/2 pecans, finely chopped

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

In another bowl, stir:

1/4 c molasses

into 1 c boiling water

Then add:

1 c vanilla yogurt

2 eggs

1 tbl oil

Combine wet and dry ingredients and then add:

1/2 -1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, rinsed and drained and chopped

One Comment

  1. Rachel
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Okay, these sound delicious. I can get blueberries pretty cheap this time of year at a produce store in Mesa. Plus we have our own pecan tree. I may just have to try these.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Olga's Lasagne

There are many lasagne recipes in this world, but this is the one recipe to rule them all.

I, unfortunately, cannot seem to control myself when eating this lasagne. It is pretty pathetic. I actually walk away from the table about 5 pounds heavier after consuming (inhaling) this powerful food.

The first time I ate Olga’s Lasagne it was in Olga’s house and made by her own hands. Olga is my brother-in-law’s sister and besides being a wonderful person, she is a master lasagne maker. After eating her lasagne all other versions paled in comparison.

Happy was the day I received this recipe in my inbox.

The secret to this recipe is the butter.

Yes, butter.

You know how I feel about butter.

But at least this has lots of spinach in it to offset the gluttony a little.



Lasagne noodles
mozzarella cheese
ricotta cheese mixture
spaghetti sauce (I usually make my own- but anything would be great)
Just layer your lasagne like usual.

The special layer is the ricotta cheese mixture:

In a small pot on low heat saute 1/2 -1 cup onions in 1/4 cup butter
add 4 cups fresh chopped spinach
then 15 oz ricotta cheese

In a another small pot on low heat you will make a white sauce:

melt 1/2 cup butter
combine 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup flour and add to pot
add 1/8 tsp nutmeg and pinch of pepper
Whisk until mixture turns thick.

Combine the mixtures from the two pots.

This makes your ricotta cheese mixture and just alternate your layers as you please.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Thoughts Exactly?

When a new study came out a few days ago linking ADHD to pesticide exposure from eating fruits and vegetables, my first thought was, “well, duh”.

This study did hit a little closer to home because my autistic son was also diagnosed as having ADHD- and if you ever come hang out at home with him for more than 5 minutes you will see why I am so gosh darn tired all the time!

My boy puts just about everything in his mouth, including dandelions and grass. Which is why we don’t use chemical fertilizer on our lawn or weed killer-which is also probably why my lawn is not too great looking and hosts a million dandelions (we are currently testing various organic products and one day I may have some to recommend).

I digress.

There has been a lot of negative press lately in regards to organic food being a gimmick. Okay, so does it really matter if your Cheetos are organic? I mean, they are still Cheetos! (Although, I have to admit, we do buy the All Natural Cheetos-for twice as much money- when we get those cheesy cravings because frankly, they taste better and get a slightly better rating in the “appearance of evil” in my shopping cart).

But spraying chemicals on your fruits and vegetables? That to me just seems like a no brainer. If I have the choice between feeding my kids an organic apple and one sprayed with chemicals, I am going to buy organic. And if I don’t have a choice, I am going to peel it or at the very least, wash it.

I know why food producers have felt the need to use chemicals-I get it. But my husband is better at it explaining it, ” These chemicals have allowed the agricultural producers in this country to produce an abundance of cheap food which has been a tremendous boon to the poor in third world backward countries. But let us not forget that the reason they are poor in these backward countries is because their governments are oppressive and they don’t have free markets. Yea for the free market in our country! We have the resources, knowledge and time to grow food without chemicals and if that is important to you then you will pay a little extra for them. So in the spirit of the genius Frederick Bastiats’ essay, That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen, bigger and cheaper crops are what have been seen. What has not been seen, in my humble opinion, is that we have been poisoning ourselves. ” Thanks honey. I, obviously, could not have said it better.

In our tiny little town it is not always possible to buy organic produce. So I sometimes drive to the big city to buy organic. But what would be even better, is if I could just grow it myself.

That was a segue.

A head’s up-at this very moment I have a garage full of organic compost, soil activator, and peat moss. And if the weather and my husband ever cooperate, we will actually make an attempt at growing an organic garden this year. And yes, it will all be documented here for your reading pleasure/amusement.


  1. Jessica Barker
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I don’t buy organic and I don’t really have any intention of doing so in the future. But I clean my fruits and vegetables, of course. This doesn’t worry me in the least. Maybe I am being an ostrich, but these are the kinds of things I don’t have time to worry about and don’t have the money to pay for.

  2. Tessie
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    How do you keep the worms out?? Finding them while eating an apple is highly traumatic and the apples didn’t taste as good as the “pesty” (hehe, punny) apples in my opinion. I think it makes sense to think about but doesn’t washing solve that problem and keep the buggies out?

  3. Rachel
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I’m anxious to hear about your new garden.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Rooster's Beak Reprise

I know that when I very first started this blog, I posted my sister Heather’s pico de gallo recipe. But can I just tell you that I feel the need to share it again. This time with measurements (an added bonus because I care)!

We seriously eat this about every other day at our house. It is that good-and apparently, addictive.

Pico de gallo means “rooster’s beak” in Spanish-the etymology of which has a whole interesting page on wikipedia.

My new favorite way to eat pico de gallo is on a bed of lettuce with a handful of crumbled corn chips and maybe some cheese lightly sprinkled on top. The reason for this is that I am on a diet. Boo, hiss! Nonetheless, this is a very filling, low caloric ( not to mention healthy) meal. If you are feeling carnivorous, add some meat and have at it. That is what I did not 10 minutes before writing this post. But not before I snapped some pictures.

Pico de gallo

4 roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 onion (we prefer white), chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped with large stems removed

1 tablespoon lime juice

sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper

You can add avocado if you prefer, but honestly we don’t. I know that is almost sacrilege to admit, but it is true. It is a good idea to eat it though if you are not having any other protein/fat with your meal and so sometimes we do.

This seems to be the perfect amount for about 4 people to munch to their hearts content.

And now a bonus recipe. You are welcome.

Our Taco Meat

1 pound of ground beef

1 tbl chili powder

1 tsp dried onion

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cumin

Cook through and then add:

1 can of diced tomatoes with cilantro and lime

1 can of black beans, drained


  1. heathermommy
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:47 am

    We eat this on taco salad with black beans instead of meat and it is very filling!! Plus I don’t put cheese on mine any more and it is still good.

  2. Posted May 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I am super excited to try out this recipe! I love anything mexican and this will be awesome!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kim's Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins

For years I resisted the allure of a Facebook account. After all, I had my family blog, annual Christmas letters, e-mail, etc as a means to keep in touch with friends and family. But there was always the fact that there were people who I had lost contact with along the way. One of those people was my friend Kim.

Kim attended the same High School as me for just one year, but she became a dear friend. Then her family up and moved to Bermuda of all places. One of the biggest regrets of my life was losing contact with Kim, because she was just that awesome.

Enter Facebook.

I now love Facebook.

And I love these chocolate muffins. So do my kids. They have now become an excellent way to bribe my kids out of bed in the morning.

I give you Kim, in her own words:

“All right, so I cannot claim that there is anything nutritionally appropriate about serving these for breakfast! Nevertheless, I do serve them for breakfast (I usually make pumpkin-apple muffins for myself, while the kids suffer sugar overload/vitamin deficiency with these).

I developed this recipe over many tries by combining several recipes I found online. These are deeply-chocolate flavored, which we all love.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 stick butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla (I love vanilla)
1-1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips
sugar sprinkles

Melt butter & chocolate chips together in microwave (about 1min). Stir until smooth. Add sugar, egg, vanilla & buttermilk to butter mixture. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda & cocoa. Stir in liquids just until blended. Will be thick, add moisture with buttermilk if necessary, but the texture should be gloppy, not runny. Add in chocolate chips. Spoon into sprayed muffin pan. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until done. Makes 12 muffins.”

One Comment

  1. Jessica Barker
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Every week at work we have “Fatty Friday.” We all take turns bringing in delicious food, usually breakfast treats. I think I will make these very appropriate for Fatty Friday muffins the next time it is my turn.