conuly: (cucumber)
1. I don't actually like Jerusalem Artichokes. Blech.

2. Jerusalem Artichokes cause gastrointestinal distress in some people. Like me. Add that to sinus congestion (read: massive dizziness), two sick children, and the hiccups (seriously?) and it was a bit of a letdown for Thanksgiving. AND THEN ANA ATE ALL THE LAST OF THE ICE CREAM!

However, the actual dinner prep went well. Jennifer complained that it's hardly "special" when I routinely cook two or three sides per dinner, but the advantage of that is that I have it all down to an art by now, and am not panicking as I try to time everything correctly. (Plus, it means we get to have lots of vegetables at every meal. Veggies make it healthy!)

I also learned that Jenn liked my twice baked sweet potatoes much more than I did, but it wasn't very high quality blue cheese. (I should've warned her before her second one, though, that they're something like 500 calories each. Not that counting calories is what we all do, but you should know before you chow down on 1000 of them in one sitting, right?)
conuly: (food)
As I said. So after Thanksgiving we're going to be trying to use up a lot of the vegetables from the CSA pickup.

That's the stuff we haven't eaten already - a lot of carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash. The nieces, as a rule, don't like carrots, sweet potato, or squash. Orange vegetables as a group. I've already apologized, but it's GOT to be used up. Poor babies. I keep trying them in different ways, too, but... *shrugs*

Mostly we have butternut squashes, but there's this red one that looks like a small, red pumpkin. Not sure what sort of squash it is, but really, excepting spaghetti squash they're mostly interchangeable, aren't they?

As Ana was doing her homework she glanced over at me grating potatoes. "OOOH! ARE YOU MAKING POTATO PANCAKES?" Yup!

Then she watched me grating the carrots and parsnip that went in the pancakes as well, and I convinced her to try a little sliver of parsnip. "It tastes... a lot like a carrot." Yes, it does.

And THEN she looked over and saw the red squash thing. Itching for another distraction, or possibly just in a very good mood, she burst out with "Is that a pumpkin? Are we going to get to eat that?!?"

Me: No, it's not a pumpkin, sweetie, but we are going to eat that, probably next week.
Ana: Wait... is it... *face falls slightly* is that a SQUASH?
Me: Pumpkins are squash. And yes, so's that. And yes, we are going to eat it. Next week. It's got to be used up, and we're on a budget.

She took it very well, I must say. Now I just have to dig up some new recipes that maybe won't taste so offensively... well, honestly, I'm not sure why the nieces don't like orange vegetables, but it's an awful pity, they're cheap and filling and nutritious. Still, I wish I knew what it is about them that bugs the girls so much. (Evangeline used to adore carrots, at least, but for a while she's been copying her sister in that respect.)
conuly: (Default)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/17/pakistani-mangoes_n_929548.html

Apparently Pakistani mangoes are very delicious, and now they can be sold in the US.

Me, I think I'll pass. Not a fan of mangoes, although I do realize that different varieties, like different varieties of apples, will taste different.
conuly: (food)
(And also fried eggplant, green beans, and two rather wilted fennel bulbs I had in the fridge. They came out all right, considering.)

I was already going to make them, because we got a metric ton of purple peppers at the CSA Thursday, and when this C&H appeared on my friends page I knew what I had to do.

Yes, I told the nieces they were monkey brains. (They, like anybody, will often prefer to eat new foods if the food has an appealing or fanciful name. Given their ages, "gross-out" is appealing.)

Here's the thing. When I put the peppers in the oven, they were purple. When I flipped them over to fill with the stuffing, they were still purple. When I pulled them out again - they had lost all purple coloring! The dark ones were green and the light ones were white!

What happened, and how can I prevent this in the future?

(The girls liked them all right, although neither child was happy at the fact that this was another way to use up squash. The eggplant was oversalted, I'm sorry to say, and there wasn't much fennel. Green beans are always a hit, though, and we had apricots with honey for dessert, so nobody starved. That's all right.)

Purslane!

Aug. 13th, 2011 03:03 am
conuly: Dr. Horrible quote: All the birds are singing, you're gonna die : ) (birds)
We got purslane with the CSA, and I absolutely chowed down on it right then and there. Mmm. Love that stuff. (And like a fool, I waited for the CSA. We have it growing all over this part of the Island, though a different variety. Of course, I'm a little reluctant to take from the sidewalk... but then, it's not like plants I buy in the market are grown in hermetically sealed environments. That's what sinks are for, right?)

I mostly toss that stuff in salads, but I'm looking into ways to cook it. Apparently it cooks somewhat like okra. I'm thinking... gumbo? Toss some purslane in gumbo? Or maybe cook it with lentils? I'm finding some nice Indian recipes for purslane and lentils. Purslane is a very sour, lemony plant. Maybe it'd go well with potatoes? (Think about it.) Or maybe I can go weird and mix it with some sort of fruit? I also had blueberries (THOSE didn't even make it HOME), and believe it or not, munching on first a blueberry and then a bit of purslane, that didn't taste half bad. Maybe purslane mixed in a light fruit salad - some blueberries, some strawberries, some raspberries, just what's in season? I'm making honey chicken this week, maybe I can make something with purslane as a side? (Truth is, much though I adore that stuff, I got a bit too much to just gnaw on. Help me out here!)
conuly: (food)
Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup
Cooked apricots with yogurt and honey
Sausages

VERY tasty, and my pancakes came out PERFECTLY, every last one. Yay!

But now, here's a question Ana asked me and I couldn't quite answer. Why is it that when I bake (or cook in pancakes) blueberries they turn blueish-greenish, but when I make them into syrup they're all purple? Is it the baking powder or...?
conuly: (cucumber)
it was what I call "a good first effort". I got the filling/dough proportions wrong, and the recipe I used isn't exactly what I wanted as far as filling goes anyway. Also, next time I have to roll the dough thinner, both before and after stuffing.

Still, I could definitely tell what it was I'd been trying to make. Next time I'll get a little closer.

*sighs*

Apr. 27th, 2011 09:05 am
conuly: (Default)
A quick run-down of some of the comments here....

Oh, I was soooo upset, my school gives out free food on weekends to poor families, and once when school was closed for the snow they sent out text messages and gave the food out anyway, and I can't believe these people can afford cell phones but not food, and they can come in for handouts but not school! LOL!

1. It's not as though the parents make the decision to close schools, you twit. In fact, I bet a lot of them were upset that they had to take an unpaid day off of work to stay with their kids, or else they had to scramble to find childcare because they couldn't take the day off.

2. If you don't make many calls, cell phones can be cheaper than landlines. And if you have to pick just one or the other, it makes sense to go with cell phones, especially if you're looking for work, because you can get that "Come in for an interview!" call wherever you are.

3. Also, you may be eligible for a free cell phone for just this reason.

Oh, gosh, if I only had $100 to spend for the month, you can bet that feeding my kid would be my priority!

Well, goody for you. Meanwhile, if you get kicked out because you didn't pay the rent, or you don't get that new job because you don't have a phone to answer calls, I hope you still have that $100 next month.

I mean, if I had only $100, and I had to feed kids and handle every other bill that had to be paid, yeah, I'd take advantage of free options here. Because I think there are a LOT of things kids need. Like a roof over their head, running water, heat, and clothes that fit.

These kids would be better off hungry than eating food that's been near plastic.

You're a loon. That is all.

These breakfasts suck! I'm going to talk to you about my wonderful breakfast! Why can't the schools serve my wonderful breakfast instead???

Because... we don't want... to pay more taxes to afford this? Or was that a rhetorical question?

This breakfast is unhealthy.

No argument here.

OMG, what sort of person has kids if they can't feed them? It never occurred to me that people might do that!

1. The sort of person who can't afford birth control.
2. The sort of person who doesn't realize how tight their budget is going to be after children.
3. The sort of person who realizes they'll never have much money, and wants kids anyway. Admittedly not the choice I'd make, but I'm not quite comfortable with telling people not to have kids.
4. Most commonly, the sort of person who could afford to feed their kids, and now can't. Apparently, in this person's perfect world, nobody ever loses their job or suffers catastrophic medical bills or loses their home to some sort of disaster.

Wow, can't they buy $25 worth of rolled oats? In bulk at Walmart, that's 25 pounds! Unless it's a lot to carry home on the bus...

Or unless they don't have $25 upfront, and have to pay twice as much (or more) over the course of several months instead, or unless their kids don't like oatmeal but will eat school breakfast (again, not necessarily the choice I'd make, but a valid one), or unless they have no place to store these oats, or unless they choose not to support Walmart because Walmart underpays its workers, thus contributing to the problem of poverty. They say beggars can't be choosers, but that's not actually true.

I can't believe people buy their kids new shoes! And cable! When they're poor!

Yes, heaven forbid your children have shoes that fit and don't have holes. As for cable, that can cost as little as $15 a month. Sure, it's an unnecessary expense, but really? That $15 a month is probably not going to provide breakfast for two children, for the whole month.

Now, I do have a question about free lunch/breakfast, which is why parents can't opt to just get the money that would've paid for their kids food, possibly in the form of food stamps. The government reimburses schools $2.76 for each free lunch bought... uh, served. Even if we count that some of that is the cost of trays and forks and lunch ladies and all, some of that money could go directly to the families instead, couldn't it, thus allowing more choices.
conuly: (can't)
First, just to review, where does food dye come from? Mostly, icky stuff. Either don't eat it or don't think about it, is my advice.

But you know what? Apparently, artificial food dyes aren't used in England or in Europe. Even when it's made by the same company. They sell the product in the US, and then they sell a slightly different, artificial-free product overseas!

Also, here's some more on food dyes.

And a little more. I'm done!
conuly: (brain)
(And also sour cream and onion dip from scratch. With onions. Because doing it yourself TOTALLY makes it healthy!)

This is because I realized yesterday, as I sliced potatoes for potatoes dauphinoise (with goat milk, and no cheese) that I could use that mandoline for something a little more productive - chips! (These chips are really too thin for the dip, and the mandoline is not adjustable, but that's minor.)

It's amazing how few potatoes it takes to make quite a lot of chips. In the bags, they overcharge.

But it's really a lot of effort for me to have a little snack. At least bagged chips are in airtight, uh, bags until you open and eat 'em. (And in NYC, leave it open for a day and they're soggy with the humidity. It's 'cuz we're a bunch of islands.)

Would ziploc baggies mitigate this problem? Are they good enough? Or is there another solution? Because I would like to have onion garlic potato chips again (once I figure out how to make flavored chips), and after a period of not having them (because I was/am eating a lot healthier than I did when I was a kid) I found out that they're much too salty. (Plus, overpriced. Did you see what I said about how few potatoes it takes to make even one bag of chips? It's like one potato per bag, and a little more!)

...

Actually, you know what I'd really like to do? Wise used to make this chip called Crazy Calypso which was delicious, but then they stopped selling it. And then they sold a very similar chip called Mambo Mania... but they stopped selling that. If I could replicate that chip (but without the icky stuff like whatever food coloring made it pink) I could die happy. (And I would, if I started living off of them. Mmm.)
conuly: (food)
By which they mean "fruits and veggies", of course.

One on how you should eat a variety of colors in your foods. I first heard this a few years ago and took it completely to heart, and this is why we eat carrots in our rice. (Well, that and the fact that carrots are cheap and blend in nicely.) BTW, rainbowgoddess, did you know about purple rice? That can go into your all-purple meal one day.

Here's an article on eating fruits and vegetables for $2 a day. I have never in my life considered dried beans (even once cooked) to be "vegetables" as in "part of the vegetable food group".

I've posted this before, but it's still nifty - homemade flash cards to help kids pick out their own (healthy!) lunches.

And, if you're all about the friendly competition, there are these charts you can buy to help your kids (or yourself) make sure they/you really do eat a full amount of fruits and vegetables every day.

They have their own page talking about the specific point of all this.

And finally, a post about handing knives to children. I can't see the Babycenter thread that criticized her, but that's probably for the best.
conuly: Picture of a sad orange (from Sinfest). Quote: "I... I'm tasty!" (orange)
Thyme-Lime Chicken )

Spinach rice )

Our usual green beans )

We also had mashed sweet potato, which shouldn't require a recipe, and this great fruit salad:

This great fruit salad )

I don't always make the sweet potatoes. Sometimes I make plantains instead. (Slice plantains, fry in a skillet, serve with salt and a lemon or a lime.) And instead of fruit salad, I often have pineapple or mango for dessert. Depends on whether I can get cherries and whether I want dessert. Mango = yucko! But everybody loves this meal, and it's worth remembering to start it early so the chicken can marinate. That's why I try to make dessert with it as well.
conuly: Picture of a young River Tam. Quote: Independent thought, independent lives, independent dreams (independent)
But then I carelessly shut down my computer and forgot to save my tabs. I've been morose ever since :(

Anyway, here's something - would you like a chocolate cockroach for Christmas? (Well, it'd be sure to please everybody's favorite atheist god of evolution, we all know how he likes beetles!)
conuly: Fuzzy picture of the Verrazano Bridge. Quote in Cursive Hebrew (bridge)
(Quite a lot of them have to do with the TSA situation, I'll try to group them together.)

Placards, kilts part of plans for scanner protests
Oversecured America
AP Exclusive: Color-coded terror alerts may end
Schneir on Security's recent update about it all
And an LJ link
An update from the ACLU saying the TSA isn't training its scanners
Why Cavity Bombs Would Make the TSA Irrelevant
TSA chief: Resisting scanners just means delays
For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance
TSA Chief: US Will Never Ease Screening Policy
You, apparently, can't just say "Screw it, I don't need to fly today"
Shirtless 8-Year-Old Boy Gets TSA Pat Down
A Pat's Papers article on flying dead bodies
And he happens to think the TSA blog is "actually sort of fun"

Whew! That's a lot!

Bizarre squidworm discovered

Behavior change causes changes in beliefs, not vice versa

On turkeys. Hey, could I raise my own heritage turkey for the holiday next year? You *can* keep poultry in the city if they aren't noisy. And we already have wild or feral turkeys in Staten Island, among other places.

On stuffing your turkey with White Castle burgers.

Coyotes have been released in Chicago to help keep down the rodent population. I suppose that's not very much different than encouraging peregrine* falcons in NYC.

*Peregrine means wandering, of course, and is related to the word pilgrim in the obvious way.

A fluffy little article on Yiddish.
And for that matter, you can check out a nifty language map to see where Yiddish is spoken in the US!

It's time to sign up for SantaThing. This also makes a good gift. However, I will get you nothing in return, so bear that in mind.

University Kicks Student With Down Syndrome Out Of Classroom; Other Students Protest And Are Ignored

On tattoos to improve/monitor your health

Our Disappearing Apples

On taxes

Some graphs on race and the death penalty

Obama, S. Korea leader agree to hold joint military exercise. If somebody manages to start the Korean war up again, I'll be very irked. I'm already irked, frankly, because I see the likelihood of this.

Allergic Teen Seeks High School Perfume Ban

Conservatives at odds with Vatican over condoms

Children Born 'Late Pre-Term' More Prone to Low IQ
Minnesota is using paperwork to deter induced labor

The use of braces for younger kids is increasing

And one from Motortrend.com that's... just well-worth reading for the fun of it.

And FINALLY (I think) one on a school which banned... wait for it... wait for it...





PENCILS!
conuly: Picture of a sad orange (from Sinfest). Quote: "I... I'm tasty!" (orange)
I started off with a small batch, but I have some more I'll start soon... just as soon as I get a few more containers!

Cracking acorns is a major chore, as is getting them into little bits.. although that could be sped up with a food processor.

Changing the water isn't such a chore. You're supposed to change it *at least* twice a day.

The water turns a very pretty reddish brown. I'll take a picture later. It's funny, I expected it to be more, well, tan from the tannins, but it's more red than I picture the color tan as being. At any rate, the water is turning less and less red, and teeny sample tastes of acorns are coming out less and less bitter, so soon we should be ready to dry them and cook them!

Articles!

Nov. 2nd, 2010 01:57 pm
conuly: A picture of the bridge at night. Quote: "Spanned with a poem" (poem)
One on 25 years worth of dryer lint. WOW

On wasting food. Or not.

On a sorta early EARLY intervention for potentially autistic toddlers.


Read more... )

On learning to like fruits and vegetables. I've never understood the hype about how "hard" it is to eat sufficient fruits/vegetables. Some of that hype, admittedly, is beverage ads (so... yeah), but a lot of it isn't. How hard is it to eat an apple with your breakfast (one or two servings of fruit), an orange and half a banana with your lunch (one serving each) which also has a small side salad (half a serving), a salad at dinnertime (another half a serving) and a vegetable side (another serving - hey, now I'm over 5 servings, and I haven't even had any snacks!), seriously?

Could be worse. I've seen an ad for some product full of vitamin C because it's "so hard" to get your RDA by drinking a gallon of OJ daily. *headdesk* Vitamin C is so prevalent in EVERYTHING that you can't even get scurvy unless you really try!


Read more... )

Explaining the 2nd Avenue Subway to first graders.

Read more... )

Apparently, some genius has decided breast pumps do not merit a tax break.

Read more... )

The return of Pee-wee Herman

Read more... )

Is Candy Evil or Just Misunderstood?

Read more... )
conuly: Picture of a young River Tam. Quote: Independent thought, independent lives, independent dreams (independent)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/13/dining/13acornrex.html

This has inspired me, and I collected many different acorns over the past week to try cooking this week! (Though I will probably just make bread.)

Everything I found online said that there are two main types of oak, but I found five or six different types of acorn... and I wasn't even trying that hard.

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/clay79.html
http://www.prodigalgardens.info/acorn%20recipes.htm

Articles!

Oct. 8th, 2010 10:12 am
conuly: (Default)
In Fierce Opposition to a Muslim Center, Echoes of an Old Fight

The comments are absolutely worthless, but get a load of this gem:

"How true. We all remember Catholic suicide bombers and how they wanted to replace the US constitution by biblical law (is there such a thing?) and how they chanted "My Catholic God is Great" after cutting the heads of innocent Protestants"

1. No, honey, that's the largely Protestant fundies you're talking about.
2. I guess nobody remembers the Spanish Inquisition anymore?


Read more... )

Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children
A woman misquoted in the article has her comment here.

My view is that if picture books aren't selling, it's because they only come in hardcover! I don't want to spend $16 on a new picture book when I can spend half that price on a longer chapter book! Sure, I can buy used, but that doesn't help the new books get printed, does it?


Read more... )

Some states may be drugging incarcerated kids to control their behavior. Well, no shit.

Here's a quote from a brilliant guy who thinks the government is going to force people to eat their veggies. LOL!

Children need more play

Not enough PWDs on TV, again I say "well, no shit"

Let's not forget the extrasolar earthlike planet

An article on renegade female Catholic priests.

Migrant ‘Villages’ Within Beijing Ignite Debate


Read more... )

An article on Romansh

Read more... )

One on dishes LIKE ratatouille

Read more... )

We may have found the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder!

Read more... )
conuly: Quote from Veronica Mars - "Sometimes I'm even persnickety-ER" (persnickety)
Mixed-use neighborhoods may reduce some crimes

An article ambitiously titled "Evolution in Action" about how some skinks give live birth

What to do if you lose a body part. Not likely to come up, but better to read it now - are you really gonna go google if your fingers get chopped off?

An article on the bedbug conference

Hilariously, it notes that the bedbug control folks all religiously checked their rooms first thing. It'd be the worst kind of irony to come home from this event with a few little hitchhikers!

Interesting quote here: “People still have in their heads that bedbugs means someone’s dirty,” Mr. Linde said, “but I handle multimillion-dollar homes in Westchester and Connecticut, and believe me, no one’s dirty.”

"People" think bedbugs mean you're *dirty*, but *he* doesn't bring up dirt, he brings up wealth. Because people do think the two go together (or don't, rather).

Read more... )

In Mezuzas, a Custom Inherited by Gentiles

Read more... )

Thousands of Trees Killed by New York Tornadoes

This is right on the heels of a huge tree-killing storm only half a year ago. Two years before that we had the storm that took out half the (remaining) trees on our block and a spire off the church up the hill. They call these "freak storms" but how freakish can they be, really?


Read more... )

A Perk of Our Evolution: Pleasure in Pain of Chilies

Read more... )

Family Fight, Border Patrol Raid, Baby Deported

What's all this crap I keep hearing about "anchor babies"? For crying out loud, the girl's mother's family has been in the US four generations, but she still got swept away.


Read more... )

Mormon-Owned Paper Stands With Immigrants

Read more... )
conuly: Picture of a sad orange (from Sinfest). Quote: "I... I'm tasty!" (orange)
Due to the comments here, I have to ask: Do you peel cucumbers?

Poll inside )

Articles!

Aug. 13th, 2010 11:50 am
conuly: (Default)
(Wow, it's like all I ever do anymore!)

So Pretzel Crisps has changed their icky ads to... MORE icky ads. This is a pity, because their pretzels actually taste pretty good.

Here's some information on actual shelf life (compared to use-by dates)

One on the media and 11 year old girls using the pill (most likely for medical reasons)

Another editorial on the NOT-A-MOSQUE that would NOT be at the WTC site. (Also, an interesting version of the twenty zillion words for snow myth.)

On using superheroes to teach philosophy

Apparently, orangutans will mime to communicate. Cool!

And here's aNOTHER editorial on the non-mosque. One of the comments goes "Why here, when there isn't a big Muslim population here?" Well, I don't know if many Muslims live in Lower Manhattan, but a lot of them work there. I have another article coming for a later post about two mosques in the area that have to regularly turn away worshippers due to lack of room. That kinda indicates to me that they need a new place to pray.

Apparently, you're legally required to have tons of bright lights and signage in Times Square. (Even the cops and the train station have neon lights.) I had no idea!

"What stimulus could mean if it included the formerly incarcerated"

On an article about prisons and voter representation. Fascinating and disturbing.

And finally, on the proposal to close schools in NYC for Muslim holidays. (Of course, IF we were to do this, we wouldn't have to cut school days. We could start the year earlier, or end it later. Or we could increase school HOURS somewhat to make up the lost instructional time. It needn't be in small increments, it could be one half-hour a week or something. There are so many options.)
conuly: Picture of a sad orange (from Sinfest). Quote: "I... I'm tasty!" (orange)
Just about every article linked to is worth reading.

The one that's getting the comments, though, is the one about how prisoners eat better than schoolkids.

In fact, there's one such comment on the post I'm linking you to:

I am a former teacher and I am in agreement about how bad the schools are feeding our students. I have personally seen what nutrition can do for a child's reading levels. Although, I love reading your blog I am bothered that you would even mention in the most casual way that prisoners deserved good food. Is that going to be your next fight? Some of these prisoners may have taken the right away from a child to have the choice of eating a good meal but I guess that doesn't matter as long as our government provides them with good nutritious meals. I understand your original intent was to show that our kids certainly deserve better than prisoners but you should rethink your written support for the prisoners’ nutritional well being.

I replied to this comment, of course, with a succinct "What the hell is wrong with you?" (And you'll be pleased to note that I tactfully did NOT ask how this poster got to be a teacher while making glaring comma errors. Punctuation is important!) What part of being arrested suddenly means you're not allowed to eat? I'm not saying we should be feeding prisoners gourmet four-course meals... but we're not. We're just providing them with meals of some limited nutritional value. This is the bare minimum. And yes, children should be provided meals at least as good. Everybody should!

Oh... ugh. Some people are just so... so... UGH.

On the article itself, the comments are a little better. One points out that the meals in prisons are often cooked by prisoners, which allows them to do better on a budget as they don't get paid much. Another points out that, in fact, inadequate food in prisons is epidemic as people keep thinking it's even cheaper to cut funds from prisoners than from schoolkids. Schoolkids don't vote, but nobody likes criminals (and often they don't get to vote either).

But even there, there's a "I pay taxes for my child to eat, not for PEDAPHILES!!!" comment (spelling all theirs). Bet her song would change if her kid got arrested.
conuly: image of a rubber ducky - "Somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you" (ducky predicate)
This is in honor of the fact that I am unable to speak and am thinking fuzzily. So, you know, I had the nieces make dinner tonight.


Today Ana and Evangeline cooked dinner. (I supervised, and did most of the chopping.)

Ana read the recipe, doubled it, and made pancakes with bananas.

Evangeline and I made potato hash with red, yellow, and green peppers and also spinach. And we had sausages to go with.

Evangeline is so funny. I gave her a nice sharp knife to cut with, on the entirely reasonable grounds that a sharp knife is less likely to slip and cut you, and if it DOES cut you it will do much less damage because you'll be using less pressure and because, duh, it's sharper.

The first time we let Ana use a knife unaided (but not unsupervised!) she panicked going "I'll cut myself!" and I went "Yeah, probably - that's the secret ingredient after all! - but that's why I'm here" and so she chopped for a few minutes until she got bored or too worried and left.

Evangeline actually did cut herself. In retrospect, I should never have given her a half a potato but should have restricted her to onions and peppers. She gave herself a teeny tiny little nick on the corner of her thumb. And she said "OW!" as she did it, but she didn't cry, she went back to chopping.

But I glanced at her (I mean, she only said ow, so I thought it couldn't be very serious), and it was really bleeding a lot for such a small cut, so I told her she should wait for the bleeding to stop until she helped again. And THEN the tears came down! No, no, no, she wanted to HELP! Don't make her stop CUTTING!

Blood might be our "secret ingredient", but that doesn't mean I really *want* it in my brinner. So I sent her down to my grandmother to see if there was a band-aid there.

And then I forgot I'd sent her down, so when she came back up (hilariously, right when her dad walked in!) I was so shocked I actually said something - "Evangeline! When did YOU go downstairs??"

*headdesk*

I swear, I'm a good aunt, most of the time. I know what I'm doing. One can only hope that nobody understood me, congested and phlegmy as I am.

(Incidentally, my grandmother watched Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader on TV tonight. Now, aside from the fact that the folks on that show are dumber than the proverbial sack of bricks (they might not have used the terminology when you were a kid, but how hard is it to think that a "doubles fact" in math includes, I don't know, doubling something?), I have to ask what sort of crack the producers are smoking when they think that "phlegm" is a second grade spelling word. In the second grade, they're still learning words that are, you know, topical. When the heck is "phlegm" even gonna come up? Actually, that's a good question - is this phlegm EVER gonna come up? I can't talk! I can't breathe! I can't think! I can't even really cough! Gah!)
conuly: (food)
1. The kids keep coming home from school cranky and yawning. They get to bed too late.

2. When Jenn and/or 'dul gets home, it's already pretty late, and that's when they start cooking dinner.

3. Bonne-maman eats too late.

4. I'm home all day.

These added up to...

5. I should just make dinner every night instead of twice a week.

Which is what I'm endeavoring to do - prep dinner during the day, heat it at dinnertime. Anybody have any simple meal ideas? They should NOT rely on dairy (some substitution is okay, but it adds up fast), and they SHOULD have a good amount of vegetables or fruit in them.

Today I made:

Black beans with corn, red pepper, garlic, and culantro (that's not a typo)
Kale with tomatoes and sweet chorizo (bonus, the sale gave me three ounces of the spicy type free, so I'll use it elsewhere)
Sweet plantains with lime juice
Rice

So you can see that I have a green veggie (the kale), a yellow/orange veggie (the corn, and the mangoes for dessert), a red veggie (the tomato and red pepper), some starch (brown rice and plantains) and, of course, some protein (black beans and the chorizo). So that's a pretty complete meal, and other than the fact that mangoes cost a dollar apiece right now and I don't like them it was all pretty inexpensive, though it'll be cheaper still if I plan my menu in advance for next week. That's why I'm asking for ideas! Ideas for sides or for main dishes (which do NOT need to be meat-based) are appreciated. No crock-pot, so nothing like that.

Oh dear.

Aug. 19th, 2009 12:59 am
conuly: image of Elisa Mazda (Gargoyles) - "Watcher of the City" (watcher of the city)
Here's an article about parents who dislike their kids getting an icee (note spelling) at the playground or when out and about, and who are working to prevent unlicensed vendors for no reason other than that they don't like saying no to their kids. (That's how it reads, anyway.)

Choice quotes: 1. Parents in most places improvise solutions — running the other way when they hear the jingle or telling their children that they left their wallets at home.

2. As a new mother, she said, people coach you on potty training and what to feed your child. “But the ice cream truck, nobody ever mentions that,” she said.


I have the answer to both of them: Be the parent and tell your kid "no". No, they CANNOT have an icee. No, they CANNOT keep whining for one, repeatedly. My nieces, they know that asking over and over again will turn a yes or a maybe into a no, will turn a no into a time-out - or an immediate trip home. This isn't hard, is it?

Or say yes. No skin off my back, that's for sure.

Read more... )

Lunchtime!

Aug. 12th, 2009 11:52 am
conuly: (Default)
The girls are having fluffernutters for lunch. On wonderbread, no less! (Well, it's whole wheat....) This makes me...

[Poll #1443022]

They can't have seconds, though. Because I am STRICT. (And because I'm saving the rest to make fudge.)

[Poll #1443023]
conuly: (Default)
He introduced me to [livejournal.com profile] we_swap_snacks and I'm so in my first snack swap.

I got matched with somebody in Saskatchewan. Which I apparently can't spell. Hold on. Spellcheck, I choose you!

Huh, there's an a in that word. Got it.

So, as I was saying, I got matched with a Canadian. I was hoping for somebody overseas, but I've never been to Canada, so that's all right.

Having never been to Our Neighbor to the North, I have no idea what sort of snacks are common there, so I'd love it if my Canadian friends can post about snacks they miss after visiting here, or things they've seen in the media but have never personally had. Also, I'm going to keep a running list once I get it started of things I'm buying to swap, so any critiques of "Man, that's ALL OVER THE PLACE" would be useful. I'd hate to embarrass myself sending something she can pick up down the block for a buck!

I'd also like to send some NYC-specific treats, and here I have the opposite problem. Having lived in this city pretty much my whole life, I have no idea what's NYC-specific! If it doesn't say I ♥ NY on it, how can I tell? (And I really am reluctant to buy tourist crap.) I may post in [livejournal.com profile] newyorkers for help picking NYC-specific snacks and convenience foods.

Any advice?

MY LIST! )
conuly: (Default)
I actually used this same recipe for cupcakes yesterday for Ana's in-class party, but they weren't as divine. *shrugs*

Here's what I did:

1. I used the recipe from the back of a Hershey's cocoa box, except I used cake flour instead of all purpose, and I used half raw sugar, half white. Oh, and of course we used goat milk.

2. I took my two cakes and, once they'd cooled, pasted them together with a jar of raspberry jam (all fruit).

3. I made a frosting with margarine, vegan margarine, and goat butter combined with scrapings from vanilla beans, some extract (scraping beans SO wasn't worth it), cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Query: Can one get powdered raw sugar?

4. I frosted and refrosted my cake. In the past, I've had a problem with dryness, so I wasn't sparing with the frosting. Lemme tell you, this cake was anything but dry. Rich, moist - mmm! But the frosting was yummy alone anyway.

5. Now, I have the same problem with frosting cakes as I do with wrapping presents - for whatever reason, it tends to come out a bit sloppy. (I must remember to start chilling my frosting before putting it on the cake.) However, with a little creativity you can hide this. With presents, I add strategically placed bows, cards, and little goodies (everything from candy to scrunchies to nail polish, preferably something that coordinates with the present inside). For the cake, I decided to just smooth out the top and add raspberries. I would've put more on than I did, but Evangeline stepped on them :( (I have one rule, one rule regarding bags - DON'T STEP ON THEM. That's the rule the kids always break, naturally.) So I just spaced them around the edge and in the approximate middle, and filled in the rest of the space with grated chocolate. Not very *much* grated chocolate, as it's definitely not the candy that melts in my mouth. (Note to self: Next time? Freeze the chocolate first.)

6. We stuck in trick candles (ha!) and dug in. Mmmmmmmmmmmm! This was the bestest cake ever, bar none. If I'm gonna keep making cakes (and I can't, it'll kill our health, seriously) I'm gonna need to get a cake stand so I can frost them better. Hm. And some friends to eat them. Anybody up to come over for free cake next time I bake?
conuly: (Default)
Some Thoughts on the Lost Art of Reading Aloud

Read more... )

Thriving Norway Provides an Economics Lesson Be sure to read the comments, at least the editor's choice.

Read more... )

Judging Honesty by Words, Not Fidgets

A novel concept, that )

In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars

Some of the comments to this article are absurd. "Oh, it's great so long as you never go a mile from home". Dude? EVANGELINE can walk a mile in under 20 minutes. She can amble it. If you can't manage a mile without a car (and I imagine a bike would be faster than even a quick pace), that's not my problem. "Oh, what about when it's a snowstorm and you have to bike five miles up and down hills to go shopping???" Even with a car, you're telling me you do your shopping (up and down hills!) in snowstorms? Really? When it snows, *I* hunker down in the house and make popcorn and cocoa. I plan my life to do my shopping *before* the snow comes down. I'm just sayin'.


Read more... )

In Schools, Bringing His Novels to His Fans

Read more... )

An article about using up the un-usable (to you!) food in your CSA

One about making your own staples like bread
conuly: (Default)
Divinely or demonically, I don't know, but I've never even *had* these and I'm craving them.

And I was already planning on waffles for dinner tomorrow!
conuly: (Default)
AND I'm making muffins, and I've made cookies. The chocolate chips are going in the oven in the morning, the dough is in the fridge right now.

But I made blondies. And I absentmindedly overfilled the pan, put twice as much batter in as I should've. Whoops. (It's a very stiff batter! I got confused!)

Now I have this very deep blondie, haven't cut it up yet, and the middle collapsed. It'll look funny. Nobody would appreciate it. *sniff*

You think I should just give in and eat it myself? Buy me some vanilla ice cream to go with it, and eat it all up? I'd share some with the kidlets, anyway....

[Poll #1367669]
conuly: (Default)
I'm baking!

But what am I baking?

I was going to bake mint chocolate brownies, so as to irritate Lizziey when I posted about it (yes, I'm a mean Connie), but they didn't have what I needed at the store. Now I am the one irritated. I'd blame karma, but I didn't even do anything yet, and it's just not fair!

So my current list includes:

Double chocolate chip cookies (definitely - must buy more chocolate chips probably)

Possibilities:

Pepper cookies (maybe. depends on how willing I am to shell out for almond paste or, alternatively, crack and grind my own almonds)
Lavender cookies? (A half batch if I do.)
Cinnamon refrigerator cookies? (Fridge smell is a worry)
Oatmeal cookies? (They always scream "healthy", though, and who wants healthy?_
Blondies? Those'd be for me!
Garlic cookies? (No, probably not, but I love mentioning them. If you forget that they're insane, they're not half bad.)
Carrot cupcakes? (Mmm... I was gonna make them with ricotta, but I forget to get, and the buffalo milk ricotta guy isn't back at Union Square until FRIDAY, so I'd have to use cream cheese, and while that *is* more for me - that is, the school - it doesn't exactly scream fair, now does it?)
Gingerbread letters (if I have all my letter cookie cutters, otherwise it'd be gingerbread something elses)

And I'm getting my friend Kimberly to make marshmallows. If they make it to the school, it'll be a miracle. Those things are delicious. (I'm working hard to convince her to send her kids to the school next year and the year after. I have to call her and remind her that pre-k registration has a due date.)

Clearly I'm not making four different types of cookies. That would be absurd. And barely do-able. (Okay, it's not so clear, because left to my own devices I'd probably drown the school in cookies!) Which ones should I make, though? Does anybody have any other ideas? I'm making the chocolate chip cookies to sell, and the other one more for fun, so it doesn't matter if it's a little weird because, dammit, I'm gonna enjoy myself! (If I really want to enjoy myself, I'd better get a second bag of chocolate chips. *sigh* I'll run out later tonight, get some freezer bags as well.)

[Poll #1366087]

Edit: I'm a dolt. When answering the poll, the second question? DO NOT PICK CHOCOLATE CHIP. They're a given. I'm too lazy to do a new poll, so just avoid that answer.

OMG

Mar. 5th, 2009 12:02 am
conuly: (Default)
I've never yet heard of anybody being offended by kosher salt, but I guess there's a first time for everything. Bonus? I've finally found out why kosher salt is.

WHAT a silly waste of time this all is. Oh well, fools and their money. (That's gotta be in the Bible somewhere, right?)

Also, while I grant kudos to the creator of this... food... for mentioning that Jesus was a Jew, I think it's worth mentioning that Jesus probably kept kosher. And as far as "keeping Christianity alive" goes, I wasn't aware that a religion with billions of members was in risk of dying. (And if it were, I really doubt that table salt would make the difference.)
conuly: (Default)
And this avocado was pitted through with this fibrous brown/black stuff, like... I don't know, like scar tissue on the inside of the flesh. On the inside of the hypothetical flesh, that is.

So, in this situation, I have two questions:

1. What causes this?

2. Since this hypothetical avocado is damaged goods, do I have to replace it? Or did I would I have saved my sister a world of trouble, so no worries there?
conuly: (Default)
About the surprising difficulty in donating "unpretty" produce to the poor. The part about half of food grown in the US being wasted has to be hyperbole, though. I know we waste a lot, but surely it isn't that much...?

Oh, yuck.

Feb. 4th, 2009 12:35 pm
conuly: (Default)
I've gotten over my beets aversion (and they taste surprisingly good grated on salad, you know), but I don't think I'll ever go so far as to put it on a sandwich.

Do New Zealanders really do that? Why? (And no, Americans don't "still put it on our burgers", because they just don't belong there.)

(Well, in fairness, if I can slip grated carrot into hamburger patties every time I cook them, I'm sure a small amount of grated beet in there as well wouldn't go too far amiss. Makes it ever-so-slightly healthier, and softer as well. But that's not the same as putting it on a burger, like one would put pickles or mustard on a burger.)

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