Monday, April 29, 2013

Not Losing Those Two Pounds Today

Dear Turkey,

I don't usually post twice in one day, but I just couldn't wait to tell you this. I just read the following little morsel in National Geographic:

Combine shrimp shell and silk proteins and a miraculous new substance is born. “Shrilk” was invented by researchers at the Wyss Institute at Harvard, who layered the two components in a way that mimicked structures found in shells and insect cuticles. Shrilk is inexpensive to manufacture but has invaluable virtues: It’s tough, flexible, and biodegradable. In the future it may be used to make everything from wound dressings to trash bags to disposable diapers. And it might make many landfill-choking plastics obsolete. —A. R. Williams

So, "shrilk" reminded me of something. We used to call rice milk "rilk" (aka "Rilke's favorite beverage"), and so we started calling chocolate rice milk "chrilk." 


National Geographic has many fine uses.
I moss you,

Oops...I Gained Two Pounds...In an Hour

Dear Turkey,

After a particularly speedy 10-mile run yesterday, I decided to make something I've been wanting to make ever since I saw it. Let me just say, it's worth clicking on this recipe just for the chocolate sauce. It comes together like magic and I predict that it's going to be a staple in my house.

After the sundaes were gone (it took longer to make them than it did to eat them -- this would not have been the case if I owned a Vitamix, however), I realized that I should make something else because we were having company later (or maybe that was my secret plan all along).

I saw the recipe for this cake and I knew that I wanted to add it to my repertoire. It's not like any other cake that I make and it's so easy to prepare: winning combo. It's kind of like if a pound cake and an angel food cake had a baby.

Marzipan Cake (adapted from 101 Cookbooks):

Put the following into the food processor:
14 oz almond paste
5 eggs
1/4 c cornstarch
Large pinch salt
6 T butter melted and cooled a little

Process until smooth(ish) and scrape into a buttered pan. Bake 350 degrees for 45 mins (for my size cake, which was baked in a pie dish). Cool.

Stir together 2 T buttermilk and 1 c confectioners' sugar. Pour over cake.

It kind of turns into a glaze, but not the yucky kind. 

Like I said, the consistency is so light, it barely crumbles when you slice it. 

2.34 mins after my little friend and I got to it. 

Yes, only two people ate this cake, and one of them is in grade school. And I already had ice cream. I am ashamed.

I moss you,

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bob's Red Mill Cookies

Dear Bob's Red Mill,

Thank you for supplying me with the free products for this post. Just kidding, you don't know who I am. But I still love you.

I really do love Bob's Red Mill. Usually when I see recipes from companies and they ask me to use their version of every ingredient, I get annoyed, but I actually DO have the Bob's Red Mill version of most of the ingredients here. I took a bag of Bob's Five Grain Cereal to work in the fall and I never ate it, so I brought it back home and decided to make the recipe on the back of the bag. 

Five Grain Cookies (adapted from Bob's Red Mill):
1.5 c Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Cereal (or whatever you have)
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 stick butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c water
2 eggs
1 c pecans
1 c chocolate chips

Sorry, Bob, I really did just throw everything in a big bowl and mix it up. And they still turned out awesome-ly. I appreciate your addition of water, because it made the dough hold together enough so that I didn't have to over-bake the cookies. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes (I made 18 cookies, to give you an idea of the size).

Serve with your favorite beverage (just kidding: my favorite beverage is Bailey's MIXED with half & half). 

They have grains, so you can eat them for breakfast the next morning.

Love ya, Bob,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Belated Earth Day

Dear Turkey,

There are lots of things to celebrate: my hair is behaving, my Bailey's isn't even a tenth gone, my face rash is diminishing, and it was Earth Day. So I decided to celebrate my love for the Earth with a beautiful cup of homemade organic soy hot chocolate and vegan marshmallows sweetened with brown rice syrup:

Just kidding, it's Swiss Miss with Jet Puffed Marshmallows. But I'm enjoying it just as much.

I moss you,
(Organic) Tofu

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Happy Saturday

Dear Turkey,

Here is a suggestion for the next time you have something to celebrate. If you don't have anything to celebrate, invent something. I am celebrating Saturday.

First, take the world's best coffee and brew it really strong. Then put it in a jar and chill it (I don't know why, I always do it in a jar even though it's hard to pour afterwards). [I am ashamed section: I used decaf; I put a shot of hazelnut syrup in it, too.]

Check out my awesome new tablecloth.

Mix it with soymilk and a little of the Baileys that you got for your first Mother's Day. 

Now, I know what you're thinking: I (Turkey) don't like coffee or Baileys. Just go ahead and stock up now so that you're prepared when we come visit (even if that's in three years; it won't go bad).

I moss you,

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Face Rash

Dear Turkey,

So I have this face rash. It might be the same rash that I had two times before. It's called Peri-oral Dermatitis. Translation: a rash around your mouth that nobody knows what it is. (See, this does have to do with food, because it has to do with my mouth.)

Here are some questions that I got answered for my $90 the last time I went to the dermatologist (no, they don't take insurance, so don't ask):

Me: What is it?
The Best Dermatologist in the City, His Son, and His Daughter (all staring at my face): We don't really know.
Me: What causes it?
TBDitC,HS,aHD: Spicy food, hot baths, hot drinks, exercise.
Me: Oh, all of my great pleasures in life. How do I get rid of it?
TBDitC,HS,aHD: Antibiotics.
Me: Oh, is it bacterial?
TBDitC,HS,aHD: No.
Me: So why do antibiotics work?
TBDitC,HS,aHD: We don't really know.

Summary: they don't know what it is; they don't know why it's there; they don't know how to get rid of it. Well, the antibiotics did work, but they're the kind that mean that you can't go out in the sun, lie down after taking them, take the right before bed, take them without food, the list goes on. AND you can't take them while nursing.

So, face rash, it's just you vs. me. Spicy food, hot baths, hot drinks, exercise: here I come. I will not abstain because of you.

I moss you,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chocolate, Butter, Cream, Cake

Dear Turkey,

What do you do after you go to the dentist and get five shots of Novocain and you can't eat for six hours? Did I mention that you also have pint of heavy whipping cream in your fridge that expired yesterday? And you have to find some way to entertain your baby that doesn't involve talking?

I called this "Chocolate, Butter, Cream, Cake" instead of "Chocolate Buttercream Cake" because it is made of chocolate, cream, butter, and more cream (and the frosting is not buttercream). And I even used "butter" and "cream" as verbs in the recipe.

First, butter two loaf pans about this much:

Then, cream one stick butter (soft), 3 oz unsweetened chocolate (melted), and 1 c sugar:

Beat in 2 eggs, 1 1/4 c heavy cream, and 1 t vanilla. Then add 2 c flour, 2 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda, 1/2 t salt and beat just to combine. Divide between the pans:

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes (30 minutes was way too short, 60 was a little too long -- next time I will try to take them out just BEFORE the knife comes out clean):

Cool completely. What to do with the rest of that cream?

Whip it by hand with 1/4 c sugar until it has as much integrity as you can cajole into it:

I just lazily smooshed it between the two layers, but next time I might slice one layer in half the long way, frost it for real, and leave the other layer un-frosted:

Have something healthy fresh, and savory for dinner, like falafel (with the leftover mix that you froze last time), that salad that we call Ethiopian Salad, hummus, baba, grape leaves, dates stuffed with goat cheese, pita, and feta:

Arranged beautifully on a plate:

And then you will be ready for dessert:

And, by then, I could feel my face.

I moss you,

Monday, April 15, 2013

My New Toothbrush

Dear Turkey,

I have special needs when it comes to brushing my teeth; I can't do it right, and every time I go to the dentist, he yells at me. Last time he suggested that I spend $134 on an electric toothbrush. Not just any electric toothbrush -- one that lights up and makes a loud noise if you push too hard (to protect those vulnerable gums), and one that makes a different little noise when it's time to move to the next quadrant of your mouth (because apparently I can't tell time, either).

It took me a little while to get used to my head vibrating every time I brushed my teeth. And sometimes I still get confused and do things in the wrong order (turn it off BEFORE taking it out of your mouth). But, after a few weeks, I can see why people say that their teeth just don't feel as clean when they use a regular old low-tech toothbrush.

Of course, I also have to use special toothpaste because I have the mouth of an 80-year-old.

For example, beautiful things like this make my teeth hurt. For days.

Hello, there.

How does it charge on that little stand anyway?
In other personal grooming news, I have a new leave-in conditioner success strategy: wait until everyone leave the house before applying.

I moss you,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Leave-In Conditioner

Dear Turkey,

I know this blog is supposed to be about food, but today I have to talk about something even more important than food: my hair.

As you know, I have long, beautiful, shiny, shiny, hair. Did I mention that it is shiny? Anyway, the world at large can't really appreciate my hair, because when I wear it down it usually just turns into a tangled mess. So, even though I am opposed to beauty products, I decided that if I am going to have long hair, I need to enter the world of leave-in conditioner.

So, I did some research, and I was going to buy this brand, which probably smells all nice and natural, like me. But they don't carry that kind at Wegmans, so I got this brand, which (they don't tell you this on the bottle) is scented: Your Husband Will Have to Leave the House Every Time You Use Me.

This morning, I jumped out of bed and raced to the bathroom to try my new beauty product (did I mention that I'm opposed to beauty products?). I spritzed it all over my hair. My hair was shiny; it was beautiful. I went back into our room and my husband (ever the diplomat) said: "I fully support your quest to make your hair manageable, but we have got to talk about that smell."

Okay, Honey, you are right. My hair smells so fruity that I can actually taste it. But it's really shiny. And it's remained comb-able even though:
1) I'm wearing a sweater
2) It's all dry and static-y in my office
3) There were 30 MPH winds today
But I'm starting to get a headache, so I will take your advice and try my original brand choice.

For those of you who have tuned out of my post so far (aka men), time to wake up, because I also managed to bake in the midst of my hair-conditioning-athon (yes, I am a power-mom). As you probably know, I am obsessed with banana bread (and scones, and my hair). I wanted to try something a little different; this is a cross between a quick bread and a "real" bread, and the texture is really nice for a change.

Banana Sourdough Bread

In a bowl, combine:
2/3 c sourdough starter (optional, as always, but not really if you want to make to sour -- you could also just add a teaspoon of dry yeast here)
6 very ripe bananas
Between 2/3 c and 1 c sour cream (I used a combination of light [but not the one with all the nasty fillers] and regular)
2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 c chocolate chips
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda (yes, I had to use ALL the leaven-ers)
1/2 t salt

Taste the batter -- it tastes like soda -- really.

Bake in a greased pan for at least 70 mins at 350 degrees.

In other news:

Attn: Free Refills Dept
Well, g2g, I'm distracted by my hair.

I moss you,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dinosaur BBQ Tofu Salad

Dear Turkey,

You know that the Dinosaur BBQ must be really special if mostly-vegetarians like my husband and me love it. Their famous sauce is delicious on pretty much anything. 

Last night I baked some tofu with the sauce in question (I would have marinated it if I had gotten this idea before I was on my run after work), salt, some minced garlic, and some shallots. Whenever my house smells like a BBQ joint, you know that dinner is going to be tasty. 

We served it with field mix, parsley, mandarin oranges, and almonds. Dressing: mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil.

My husband had his in a wrap, which meant that he could eat it ten times faster than I could eat my salad, and then hold the baby and wash the dishes while I finished eating. Convenient.

I moss you,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Love Story

Dear Turkey,

You're probably expecting me to write about the amazing Indian wedding that we went to last weekend, or at least the green beans and tomatoes and baked potatoes that my husband made last night (sorry, it's proprietary). But instead I'm going to tell you a love story.

When I was little, my favorite cousin and I always used to get a box of Russel Stovers for Christmas. We would finish the box that same day. Well, I'm grown up now, so I can eat a whole box by myself. My aunt (from the other side of the family -- I guess I've developed a widespread reputation) always gets me my very own box (well, okay, maybe nobody else fights me for it). So, lucky for me, we stayed with her last weekend for the Indian wedding. And I'm going to eat it all by myself. I am ashamed. 

Happy Mothers' Day, Me.

I moss you,

Friday, April 5, 2013

I Am So Boring

Dear Turkey,

When my family goes to sleep at night, we are all thinking of the same thing: breakfast. Okay, maybe that's just me. My baby is probably thinking of how many times he will want breast milk between bedtime and breakfast, and my husband is probably thinking about whether or not he will have time to eat a granola bar before he leaves for work a-midst the barrage of wifely nagging. 

But this is what I dream about: 



Yup. Every. Single. Day. (Unless it's the weekend and my husband makes me an offer I can't refuse.)  What's not to love: live cultures, whole grains, "berries," chocolate (an important part of every meal)?

Bored just reading this? There's always second breakfast:

Thanks, Boss!
I moss you,