A cookie is a cookie is a cookie, right?
I’ve known that is not true since I was very young. Not to brag, but my mother baked when I was a kid. Her cookies were better than any store bought cookie…. but not as good as bakery cookies (sorry Mom). I preferred a good cookie. Who wouldn’t?
Once she started working she didn’t bake as much but still being budget conscious, she bought the cheapest cookies available. I thought they were really lame…. until my best friend would come over and be delighted to break into the cellophane wrapped goodies. She didn’t get cookies at all, so she thought even the cheap-o, 3 dozen for $1, lame ones from the store were okay. It’s what you get used to, isn’t it?
I also like to bake and I have always been a cookie person as opposed to a cake person. Many of our friends can tell you that they looked forward to dessert at our house because they knew it would be really good. Every person’s good. Plain old good. Good old good – sweet – good. What you get used to good. Continue reading
I am a member of an online Mom’s group. I don’t necessarily participate all that much, but when the twins were infants and we had just moved here, it was a lifesaver. There was always someone around to “talk” to. I still check in from time to time, to chat with my book club friends, get advice on a restaurant, or help a new Mom know it’s going to be okay. While I was visiting with my online ladies yesterday, an interesting question caught my eye. Continue reading
It’s been a while since we specifically talked about sugar. But really it’s a discussion you just kind of keep having. I have it with myself all the time. I’m having it right now, in fact, because I’m sitting here wondering why I don’t keep more dessert in the house. The fact that I’ve been thinking about this for an hour explains why I don’t keep more dessert in the house… So, maybe it’s time to talk about sugar again. For those of you who were lured in by the Morning Decadence part of the title – it’s there, recipe included, waiting for you below. Continue reading
Play with your food?
Well…. when it is not food, (even if the folks who make it would like you to believe that it is food)… better to play with it than eat it!
I mentioned plans for playing with Peeps – making a Peeps diorama – in the Pumpkin pudding post. Thought you might enjoy the results of the “better thing to do with Peeps than eat them experiment.
Our Peeps adventure…..
I’ve been sick. Very yucky sick. Honestly aside from the occasional cold, I really don’t get sick very often, but this stomach virus has knocked me on my behind, and my appetite and my disposition have both suffered a substantial blow. Suffice it to say I’m not feeling the spirit of the approaching holiday. My children have come home from school with bags of candy for the last couple of days (swell, thanks), and are eagerly anticipating their Easter baskets.
The stores are telling me it’s long past time to buy candy; the magazines are telling me to shape cakes and pies into rabbits and eggs, to dip cookies in icing and draw faces on them, to put candy ON cakes. There are filled chocolate bits everywhere. Now I DO like chocolate, but good grief. I have to continually remind myself that each and every one of these holidays means SOMETHING other than a sugar landslide – that people celebrated these holidays in times when our average sugar intake was much lower. I’m guessing that meant they didn’t quite go about these days in the same way. Continue reading
It has been a whole year. I absolutely cannot believe it. Bigg Sis and I had been talking about doing some writing together and it dawned on us that there was a way to get started, like right away. And so we dove in, and wrote post after post, but I don’t think that we had any idea that, unlike putting a book or a series of articles out there, the space of the blog was going to be one that was going to give so much to us. That we would develop relationships with other bloggers, that our own dietary choices would continue to evolve because of the amazing real food community we’ve stumbled into. I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m not kidding.
I have been deeply gratified by the comments we’ve gotten that essentially tell us that we’ve made a difference for someone. It’s like karmic payday. I have been delighted and surprised by the support I’ve received and the way I’ve been stretched as a cook, as a writer, and as a Mom. I feel lucky, and together Bigg Sis and I wanted to be sure that you know how much we appreciate you. Those who show up every time; those who pop in and comment, and all of you lurkers. We appreciate you and hope that we give you some small piece of what you all give to us.
In the vein of giving back, we’d like to offer everyone a blogiversary cookie, and for one lucky reader, a blogiversary book. But which to do first? Me, I’d go for the cookie, but I’ve seen what happens on these here internets, and I’m betting you’d like to know about the giveaway…. Continue reading
As Little Sis so eloquently pointed out in “It’s Not You, It’s Them”, just because it’s in the grocery store, doesn’t make it safe to eat. The safest foods in the grocery store are the whole, unprocessed foods: fruits and vegetables! And of course it is an age old battle to get children to eat more vegetables. Our culture’s diet is not based on fruits and vegetables, it’s based on bread and meat and potatoes and meat and lots and lots of sugar.
Although the popular notion that children have different taste buds or stronger taste buds than adults is difficult to tease out scientifically, due to many other factors affecting perceptions of taste, children do seem to have a higher density of ‘sweet’ taste receptors which is offset when puberty increases the ability to differentiate between tastes and the preference for sweet declines.
There’s no denying most children love sweet and most seem to like bland. Maybe that’s because they can’t differentiate and so complex flavors seem strong. But let’s get back to the basic problem. How to get more vegetables into your children, and into you and your adults as well?! We adults also exist in this culture and have also been inundated with bread, sugar, meat, sugar, potatoes, sugar, meat, and sugar as well! I am not looking to engage people in a discussion about the relative merits of meat here, but it’s simple math. If your plate is full of bread and meat – where are the vegetables? Vegetables are key to good health!
We have lots of vegetable based recipes on board here, but I wanted to share a vegetable-increasing-money-saving-technique especially for the vegetable impaired. Continue reading
Buckwheat, eh? A little skeptical? Buckwheat my friends, is a very cool plant, and a versatile little workhorse of a grain. It used to be much more popular and still is commonly found in Eastern Europe as a cooked grain and porridge and is also found in Asia in buckwheat noodles. Buckwheat pancakes and crepes are common worldwide. And yet, it seems that many folks have not embraced this funny little triangular grain. I am woman enough to admit that I was a buckwheat naysayer. Didn’t see the point, so many other more familiar grains available. But buckwheat really is interesting in a number of ways that I think make it merit a second look. Continue reading
Almond butter is a wonderful indulgence. A nice change from peanut butter, not an allergen for as many folks, some would argue it’s better for you, and it does not have the problems of some molds and toxins that may well be what sets off some people’s peanut allergies. Alas, it is an economic indulgence. It costs at least twice what peanut butter does in the store and much retail almond butter is produced in factories that also process peanuts and so still is inedible to those allergic to peanuts.
Enter this wonderful blog-o-spere linking so many creative (and cheap) people to me! I found lots of people are making their own almond butter who claim that it is easy in a food processor. They were right! And inspired by my Little Sis who can never leave a recipe well enough alone… I decided I should put my own stamp on homemade almond butter to share with you. But what to do to almond butter? Clearly, chocolate should be involved.
This is not a great innovation mind you. Chocolate and nuts have been meeting in back alleys and broom closets for centuries.
Lots of my co-workers rave about Nutella ( a hazelnut and chocolate spread) and I have eaten it before – but it packs a whopping 21g. of sugar per 2 Tbsp serving. Sugar is the first ingredient and palm oil is the second, relegating the hazelNUT part of the nutella to 3rd place on the ingredient list.
This recipe of mine also foreshadows our next Baby Step which will address the notion of baby stepping away from the more dangerous food choices in your life (or your kids lives). Lots of kids eat sugar-y crap for breakfast…. Pop-tarts, sugar-y cereals, doughnuts, etc. One way to move away from those choices is to offer an alternative that still provides a nod to the devil in one ear whispering
“I want sugar with Ka-POW,
Give me sugar, give it to me NOW!” (scene shifts to hyper child jumping around and evil laughter in the background.) Continue reading
I don’t know about anybody else, but since the holiday season I have been super HONGRY. I want to eat all the time. It doesn’t help that I still have a few holiday treats lingering (like these amazing cookies) that I can just scoop up and pop in without even breaking stride… I’ve slowly cut down on the sugar overdose (that was mild compared to years past, but still – whoa), but I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling SO deprived for just passing up on a cookie. So very, very HONGRY. And then it struck me, the sweets weren’t the only holiday slippage.
When I apply myself to a new initiative, I really go for it. Not much for half measures, this girl. Of course not much for finishing either but that’s a different and way too long to finish – HA- story. So when I made some pretty hefty dietary changes last spring, I really went for it. Eliminated a bunch of things systematically that I thought were making me feel blechy and upped the produce content of every plate and snack by A LOT. It was easy. I didn’t feel deprived. I felt great and I did NOT feel HONGRY. So in examining my habits since the holidays I noticed that I was not only eating more sweets but I was eating less of the things I was snacking on before – veggies and fruit – produce. So I decided to run a little experiment.
For the past few days every time I get HONGRY I’ve grabbed some plant matter (mostly carrots because I really like them and they require so little fuss) and jammed it in my gaping gullet, a little pre-emptive produce (PEP) as Bigg Sis calls it. I haven’t dictated to myself that there will be no more cookies, but I’ve instituted the same policy I have for my kids – if I’m hungry I should eat something REALLY nutritious first. Guess what? The HONGRY has calmed down to just hungry and the cookies are getting easier to pass up as my sweet tooth settles down again. Such a simple lesson that I learned a while ago, and yet in all the crazy holiday-ness I forgot one of the most important principles: your body needs food. If you only give it crap, you will be HONGRY.
How’s it going for you? Shaking off the holiday stupor? Finding yourself feeling deprived or HONGRY? What’s going on the plate as you take the holiday indulgences off? Feed that body; feed it good. And when you’ve done a good thing, and are feeling really proud of yourself – go outside and look at the birds. Rewards are all around us – not just in the cookie tin.
Interested in our Baby Steps Series? Click above or on the sidebar, or just move straight to Step 1 here. You’re not late; it’s always a great day to eat real food.