10 things I do

I think that we, the people, should write a song about Tuesday… any ideas?

 

10 Stupid Things I Do

 

1) Stand up too quick, even though I know what happens there after – I usually temporarily pass out due to my low blood pressure. It isn’t life-threatening or dangerous, just stupid and annoying and I do it All The Time.

2) Count the telephone poles as we drive past them. Yup. I also count to the beat of the windshield wipers if it’s raining. No, that’s not weird at all.

3) Use the purple potholder – even though I know it has little holes in it and I WILL burn my hand. Do I remove it from the pile? Nope. Just keep using it –

just keep on using it.

4) Hit the little HOME button on the bottom of my iPod when I mean to hit the BACK button and I accidentally exit from whatever it was I was doing. Annoying.

5) Mix up dates. Always. Just last week I found myself sitting outside next to the road with my overnight bag, waiting for 50 minutes for the ride that wasn’t going to come because the wedding was NEXT week. NEXT week. Take your bags and go back inside, Ann. Now. Just go.

6) Take that first sip of boiling hot coffee from those stupid take-out cup covers that funnel the burning liquid onto your lips. Ouch. It hurts every time, for a long time.

7) Overestimate the time it takes for me to ride my bike to work. On a bike, it takes exactly 1 minute to get to my work. 1 minute. 60 seconds. Then why do I usually leave a good 20 minutes early? In case I hit traffic on the sidewalk going down? In case I develop a cramp and have to walk the last 10 feet? It makes no sense.

8) Go to bed late. Get up early. Drink coffee. Don’t nap. Just keep going.

9) Obsess about my weight. It’s a dumb thing, and I do it all too often, like – almost every time I eat or get dressed in the morning. I need to just get over it, right? It’s that evil comfort zone in my mind whenever I’m stressing or upset about anything else, I take it out on my weight. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

10) After 9 Stupid things, aren’t you ready for something a little less demoralizing?

What’s something Not Stupid that I do?

I write this blog for a bunch of pretty cool people that have come from all corners of the Internet Void and decided to share a bit of translucent, web-like life with one such as I, even though I do Dumb things.

It’s your turn.

Ever done anything Dumb?

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bacon haters gonna hate

But that’s not going to stop me, no way.

I read this statistic once that claimed that people who eat a mere two pieces of bacon a day can expect a 20% higher mortality rate than non-daily-bacon-eating people.

Given the inerrant accuracy of Internet statistics, and comparing the 20% mortality rate with other mortality rates such as those tacked to smoking or taming lions or riding in cars on highways – I figure that my current bacon-eating ratio of 2 pieces every third month shouldn’t kill me any time soon.

Having said all that…

What if I add chocolate to bacon, and sugar, and eggs? What if I tempt fate and wrap marshmallows in bacon before I roast them and eat them like that? What about a bacon-wrapped s’mores?

I feel my mortality rate spinning out of control just thinking of it. The rush is making me feel dizzy and Alive. How far can we go without doing serious damage to our life expectancy? Or better yet, how can we make bacon into something that isn’t so prone to be hated on?

What about Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Yes. Let’s do it.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

*dedicated to Andy and Lizzy, two people who will go out with a smile on their lips, no doubt*

4-6 pieces of  uncured bacon, cooked until crispy, drained well and then crumbled

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

 1/3 cup egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup and 2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Before we dive into the actual making of the cookies, let’s sit down and have a word about the ingredients, shall we? You are about to start a culinary revolution in your oven and I don’t want anyone rushing into this without having given it enough thought.

I borrowed the basic chocolate chip cookie recipe from my trusty, batter-splattered copy of Irma Rombauer and Marion Becker’s immortal classic, “Joy of Cooking” cookbook and altered the daylights out of it. Firstly, I cut the amount of butter called for in half (figuring that the bacon will add a little fat on its own) and instead of using whole eggs, I used whites, trying to save a little on the cholesterol intake and thus lowering our overall mortality rate to about 17.5% higher than those who wouldn’t touch the cookies. As for the flour, I mixed half whole wheat and half white, and I figure that brings us to an even 14%. Lastly, but not least, I spent the extra couple of dollars and bought the all natural, uncured bacon *without* nitrites. No nitrites?  No problem. These cookies are practically health food.

Now, for the business end of things.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter and then gradually add the two sugars, then beat them well.

Now add the egg whites and vanilla and beat again, until everything is smooth and creamy.

Stir in the flour, salt and soda with a wooden spoon or spatula.

When everything is all mixed up and there are no pockets of dry ingredients – fold in the chocolate chips and bacon crumbles. Go ahead and sample some while you do, you have my permission.

Drop the cookies by tablespoons onto a lightly greased cookie tray and then bake them for about 10 minutes. When they’re golden brown – and remember, if you use whole wheat flour they will be a bit darker than if you use only white – take them out of the oven and put them on a cooling rack so that they can cool off. Once thoroughly cooled, they are ready to enjoy. And enjoy them you will.

This recipe made about a dozen cookies for me, but this is because I like them decent-sized and I ate a good deal of the cookie dough while waiting for the oven to finish heating up. True story. Use smaller spoons, don’t eat the dough, get more cookies -it’s really very simple. Not saying that I’ll do it any differently next time… but it’s a good thought.

hate me if you dare

Super Salsa

Why does salsa always get sent to stand with the junk food on the dark side?

I object.

Salsa is the unsung Hero of snack foods. It quietly lives amidst the chips and weezie-cheeze of the land and yet salsa itself, when done correctly – could probably save the world from an impending disaster.

Just saying.

Salsa is like – Captain America.

Captain America, AKA, Captain Salsa

Make your own salsa at home and you concoct a food so potent, so powerful and infused with health that you might just find yourself in a super hero costume. (Hopefully one that fits you and doesn’t make you look like a ballerina on steroids… you know, cuz that’s weird.)

…before eating homemade salsa…. after eating homemade salsa

Let’s break this down.

Super Awesome Radically Healthy Save The World Salsa

 2 cups diced raw tomatoes – go ahead and ask any ketchup bottle in the store just how healthy tomatoes are. Lycopene has proven itself to the Health Pros as being a definite Good Guy in the war on cancer. *This* is awesome. If ketchup is good for you due to lycopene, imagine the slap of wellness you’ll get from eating fresh, raw tomatoes?! I can hear the scurry of little cancer cell feet now…

1 medium sized mango, peeled and diced. My husband loves mangos in his salsa, and what do you know – there’s good reason to love them. That’s one smart man! Mangos are nutritional powerhouses, full of vitamins and  boast a great deal of fiber. Yum.

1 medium onion, diced. Onions make you cry – but so do a lot of good things, like tetnus shots and getting married. In fact, it’s the good thing in onions that *makes* you cry – sulfur and various sulfur compounds. They contain a lot of flavonoids (which, at first sounds like something robotic and scary that should be on the Bad Side, but once you get to know them a little bit, they’re OK.) and help your gut produce the army of bacteria it needs to keep your colon up and running. Think of Captain America in his brightly colored suit, leading the charge against the bad guys and you sitting there in the theater, moved to tears… that’s like onions in salsa.

1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro. Cilantro, often treated as a mere garnish, is truly quite the heroic herb, its chemical compounds actually binding to heavy metals in your body and dragging them out, kicking and screaming if need be, thus saving your life every time you eat it. Wow. I think we need a little more cilantro love going around, don’t you? How about a national Cilantro Day -or a super hero devoted to the Cilantro cause… any volunteers?

Now for the cast of side kicks.

Don’t underestimate the influence of a good side kick, just because the movie isn’t *named* after them, or their costume isn’t the coolest, the Hero wouldn’t be able to do his job were it not for his faithful back up.

2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice – kicks up the flavor a notch and adds another dose of potent antioxidants, cleanses your gut (and who doesn’t need a good gut cleanse now and again) and boosts your immune system. It enables you to be ready for the battle when it comes… and it will come.

1 tsp minced garlic. Who can say enough about the goodness of garlic? I certainly can’t. It’s awesome. Eat it. Trust me. Be healthy.

1 Tblsp  mint leaves, chopped

“Do I detect a hint of minty freshness?”
Donkey – he put the ‘kick’ in side-kick

Mint is good for you – let’s face it – after all those onions, mint is going to be good for the world *around* you. Like the best of side-kicks, mint takes some of the brashness away from the main man; improving digestion, making your breath a little sweeter, relieving some of the nausea experienced after spending two hours looking through 3D glasses at the theater – what more could one want?

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Please… no ashes.

There you go- the plot is simple. Evil lurks in the form of unpronounceable food additives and the stuff they put in the water (you know they put stuff in the water). The junk is building, hope is fading, hunger is growing… and then

SUPER SALSA

comes to the rescue. Not only does it smash through your taste buds like a guy in spandex trying to save the world, but the goodness just keeps going as it fights the free radicals and heavy metals ravishing your system, then replenishes your natural defenses and leaves you with a sense of fullness and health.

…he’s going to go get salsa now… even heros need a hero

faster than a speeding bullet…salsa

Tuesday and Ten start with the same letter

And I was clever enough to figure that out….

Aren’t you impressed?

10 Invaluable Kitchen Things My Mother Taught Me

1) Hot pan, cool oil – food won’t stick.

2) Don’t let your man leave home hungry.

3) Buy meat on sale – even if you don’t really need it *this* week – it will be worth it when you do. Stick it in the freezer.

4) Have a stash. Keep your cupboards well stocked and you’ll always have what you need when you need it.

5) How to Make a Roux.

6) How to make granola.

7) How to be bold and daring and creative in the kitchen – keep things interesting.

8) How to make good biscuits

9) How to use my senses rather than a recipe.

10) My mother taught me to love my kitchen, to make it ‘My Space’, a workable, comfortable, joyful place for everyone to be – the real Heart of the Home.

OH, you shouldn’t have…

But you did.

I’ve been awarded the Inspiring Blog Award by Niki at Meet Your Treat.

First, I’d like to thank Niki, of course, for sharing her lovely recipes and thoughts with us random Internet people, and giving me this award.

The rules are simple – the awardee (is that even a word? Let’s hope so…) must share 7 things about themselves that their gentle readership won’t already know and then pass the award on to some other inspiring bloggers…

So here goes –

1) As much as I like the ideas and principles – and even the act – of eating healthy, I am still a hard-core junk food lover. I know, I know, like you didn’t know that already.

2) I went to public school through 4th grade and then was homeschooled for the remainder of my education… did you know that? The revolutionaries will be homeschooled…

3) When I was a little kid we lived in this old Victorian mansion that was haunted. For real.

4) I think I might be allergic to shrimp.

5) I studied botany/herbal medicine for years and wanted to become a Clinical Herbalist before I got married and became a food writer…

6) Back home, my brothers and I were certified weather-spotters. Oh yeah, we were spotting that weather like crazy. The highlight of our short but terribly interesting career was a slight twister than snaked itself down in the field across from our house after a huge storm. We were able to call it in and save the day. Sort of.

7) My drink of choice nowadays is Bob Marley’s Mellow Mood tea. It comes in a glass bottle that’s smeared with red, green and yellow and has a big picture of Bob Marley laughing on the front. It’s wicked good, and very mellowing… very. And no, there is no pot involved. I’m so rad.

Alright – enough about me, let’s move on to these inspiring bloggers:

Homemade with Mess

Create It Yourself

Raising Rural Kids

Castle of Blue

In a Small Kitchen

Baker on the Rise

Between the Stacks

Emily Cooks Vegan

Girl Friday Makes Good 

Tomato Soup Cake

 

Have a great day, folks!

 

eavesdropping on one man’s objections

You making supper?”

“Oh yeah, as I’m talking…”

“Whatcha fixing?”

“Um, we’re having curried veggies with rice and lentils.”

“And…”

“And… watermelon…”

“And…”

“And what!? That’s it.”

“That’s all you’re making for your man to eat?”

“Yeah -”

“Where’s the sustenance? Where’s the MEAT? That’s ALL you’re making?”

“Now Tom…”

“No, no, no – what about a big steak?”

“Um… no? Tom, he doesn’t eat like people do back home. He’s Greek. He’s healthy.”

“Healthy! Meat- that’s healthy! Potatoes, ribs, corn on the cob- fix him up some good food for god’s sake! I’m your Uncle Tom, I know.”

“I AM.”

“Rice and beans? Really? That’s all? I don’t like it.”

“Well I’m cooking to please my man, not you, aren’t I?!”

“Yeah, but you have to feed him right.”

“Listen here, what are you making for your supper?”

“Tacos, my lady is coming over later for tacos. “

“Oh – and that’s right hearty I suppose! Where’s the sustenance in *that*?”

“There’s beef. And corn.”

“And corn’s just about the healthiest thing there is….”

“It is – why do you think we grow so much of it?!”

“You’re impossible.”

“And you’re stubborn.”

“Point made.”

“Your husband up yet?”

“He’s up now, what with all this yelling at you I’ve been doing… there isn’t a person on earth can rile me up faster than you, you know that, right?”

“Is your food ready?”

“And on the table…”

“Well go eat it then. I love ya. Keep praying for rain.”

“Love you too, Thomas J. I will.”

Let’s all pray for rain. My home county is drying up and getting ready to blow away. They haven’t had a good rain in a couple of months and the land, as well as the people, are suffering from it. Tom said he was doing his rain dance, but didn’t think he had the right shoes on or something because it just isn’t working…

20120713-225612.jpg

“…you take that picture, sweetheart, before I let someone have it…”
Uncle Tom