Tag Archives: food

Culture, Food, and Love

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This is a note I wrote to my partner months ago, but never sent.  I wonder how it applies to other couples where family backgrounds and cultural traditions are so different.

 

I know you’re not used to fanfare with meals, to the pride in preparing and serving delicious food.  Perhaps this is not a part of your culture, or maybe because you are an only child?  However, I am used to that, and it is something I really value about my culture.  I love my memories of the intricate dishes–rolling the gnocchi, stuffing the enchiladas, mincing the jalapenos, divvying up the pasta sauce so as to put the whole garlic cloves on the plates of those who love them.  I am proud to prepare meals for you, and I am proud to serve them.  In return I expect that you will welcome the food, appreciate its appearance, smell, etc, savor the flavors, and critique the dishes.  This shows energy and respect for the effort and the pride put into the preparation and serving.

Faster than a Speeding Grocery Cart!

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After a yucky bronchial-spasmy asthma incident (ugh – it’s just that boxing is really fun and feels so good, it’s hard to stop!), I’m stuck with a sore throat.  Boo.  But, on the upside, that led me to do a search for throat soothing foods, which led me to a link on the website Livestrong.  That, in turn, led me to another article, called “The 20 Best Foods in Your Grocery Store,” by Susy Sedano.  

Granted, it wasn’t the link I originally started out looking for (yep, easily distracted, riiiigh here!), but it’s a really handy list!  Plus, how awesome is the picture of the zooming grocery cart?!  Makes me want to jump on back, kick a leg out behind me, and ride the cart all over the parking lot!

The 20 Best Foods in Your Grocery Store*:

  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Bell Peppers
  • Black Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Chicken Breast
  • Edamame
  • Eggs
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Yogurt

 

*Thanks to some dude named Tim Hoefer for cutting and pasting the list of foods from deep inside the article, right onto the front page!

Tuesday Evening Greyhound Fantasies

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Aw, I almost made the #PostaWeek2011 promise this week, but…I’m two days late. 🙂  I want to describe my newly amazing wedding cake-making skills, thanks to my little sister’s recent nuptials, but that’ll have to save itself for a little later.

An adoptable greyhound named "Easy"
It would be so “easy” to fall in love with this guy! Click for his profile on GreyhoundsOnly!

For now, I’m fresh (yeah, right!) off the plane, already missing mi familia, and here’s what I’m thinking about:  greyhounds!

I’m SO excited to move into new digs and adopt a retired racing greyhound through GreyhoundsOnly, a local Midwest organization.

I had my phone interview with Joy, a kennel manager, tonight on the phone.  She was really informative, and seemed really excited about having my fiance and I as soon-to-be greyhound owners.  I admit, I did try pretty hard to seem on top of my stuff (especially since I have tried pretty hard to BE on top of my stuff, re: greyhound adoption!).  I think she liked that, though B totally noticed the change in countenance.  Still, he said he’d have acted the same way – he reaaaally wants a greyhound, too.

So of course, I’m perusing the adoptable greyhound lists again (ahem, for the billionth time) instead of writing my research as I know I should be.  It’s making me a lot happier, though! 🙂

Here’s my current dream-dog, named–what else?!–Easy!  Life might not always (ever?) be such, but here’s a boy that could make life a lot more fun!  Plus, one of his parents is named Flying Hydrogen (how cool is that for a physicist?!), and the other is named Ale Aivas Memory.

Sigh.  My heart melts.  Well, part of it.  The other part of me is sitting her like Elvira (?), the old cartoon character that would chase around little helpless animals, screaming like some quasi-toddler-imp, “Oh he’s soooo cute! I just wanna hug him, and love him, and squeeze him…!”  Beware, my someday-dog, beware.  I will cuddle you till you’re so tired of it, you’ll consider switching diets from Purina Proplan…to una Latina con Leche. ^_^  <insert oh-so innocent laugh>

Yes, in fact, I WILL have the dessert menu.

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I guess it’s called Bassett’s Mix. I just know it as MORE LICORICE, PULIZZEEE!!

H~ll, I’d like most everything on it, actually!

Maybe that chick at 4-Hour Body Couple was right.  Mid-week on the 4HB plan is MISERABLE.  I keep telling myself, even the word “miserable” contains the word “able.”  But then again, “miserable” also contains the word “miser.”  That might just bring the Chicken Soup for the Dieter’s Soul-ish pun down a notch, huh?

Gulab Jamun. It’s an Indian sweet, flavored with cardamom and made from…cheese!

But, I digress (and if you want to see more about having clinical digression (<–Hint: that’s not a real thing, I just made that up), check out the AD/HD page on this site!)…. 😉  I am determined not to go to the small grocery just a stone’s throw away, where Ben & Jerry’s, Skittles, chocolate-covered raisins, Junior Mints, Snickers, Good n’ Plenties, bridge mix licorice, and, perhaps most tempting of all, gulab jamun, are sold.

Instead, I’m channeling all my amazing cooking skills.  Mind you, these are skills which make me an unusually terrible dieter.  I know how  to cook, bake, fry, etc, everything from ooey gooey enchiladas to dulce de leche (though I like to call ’em “drunken cakes”) to mouth-melty scones to…you get the picture.  Nope.  I’m going to channel my cooking skills and make mousse.  🙂  I thought of it the other day as I was making (semi-failed) lava cakes  and I’ve been thinking of it ever since!

Mousse!  It’s kind of perfectly adaptable to 4HB diets!

Maybe my mousse will look like this?

I’ve found one 4HB-friendly looking recipe so far, so I’ll share now, and I’ll post later to let you know how it goes.  It’s from Felicity Daley Personal Training, called “dessert: No fat, high protein chocolate mousse.”  I can’t exactly vouch for Felicity’s personal training services at this point, since it was just the magic Googlator that pointed me onto the site.  Still, the recipe looks like it could be good!

For those of you who don’t want to click through, here’s how Felicity Daley makes the Chocolate Mousse:

This yummy dessert yields only 80 calories, 0g of fat, 1.3g of carbohydrate per serve and a whopping 19g of protein! So dig in!

Ingredients: (serves 1)2 eggwhites
1/2 a serve of myocell chocolate protein
(from GNC)
Couple if drops of vanilla essence (optional)

Method:
Beat eggwhites into stiff peaks (see picture below). In a separate bowl, combine protein powder with cold water to make a smooth, jello-like paste. Combine the two mixtures, add the vanilla essence and serve!

Chocolate Mousse ingredients

Felicity Daley's Mousse Ingredient/Tool Picture. !Sabroso!

Now here’s the clincher, or the letdown, or whatever.  The recipe uses protein powder.   And honestly, I don’t mind!  I use protein powder.  I’m not sure that protein powder was ever mentioned in the 4HB book, but I like it!  It’s only got 2grams of sugar, and it has 25 grams of protein!  In the morning, I mix it with my coffee and (here’s the REAL 4HB “no-no”) skim milk.  It knocks my protein breakfast right out of the way!  (hmm, this may actually be an idea I’d like to share!  Maybe I’ll write another post about it, later?)

So, I’ll try it and continue this sweet chocolatey saga later….

What are you good at remembering?

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Maybe if I highlighted each chapter with a smelly marker, I'd do better on tests. ;@)

I’m good at remembering…

Smells!

Chances are if you can tell me what I ate or what I smelled (there’s a %50 overlap anyway, right? Haha!), I can tell you about the REST of the situation.

I, for one, think it’s a cool talent!  I really gives me a rich sense of memory and imagination (sometimes perhaps a combination – I’m only human).  The only problem is, well, there aren’t too many exams which question your knowledge of smells and tastes.

The obvious exception, of course, is Top Chef!  I remember the episode where the contestants received bowls of random things, and had to tell what they were by the taste/aroma of the item.  I could have passed that test with MUCH higher scores than did any of the contestants….

In fact, when I cook, I can combine different smell/taste memories.  I just think about them and remember their smell/taste, and I have a pretty good guess of what it will taste like.  I’m usually pretty spot-on, too!  There have been obvious exceptions, of course.  Like the summer I thought light beer + juice concentrate wouldn’t be delicious (IT IS! Thanks to my cousin who forced me to try it anyway!).  Or, like the time I thought sharp white cheddar cheese + raspberry preserves + fudge brownie would be delicious (to my credit, I personally loved it.  It was everyone else that nearly retched).  Still, I trust my nose implicitly when it comes to culinary creativity. :@)

Funny, I think that sense of memory leads me to keeping a much more effective food diary than, you know, event/emotional diary.  Too bad I can’t smell my blog!  However, I wonder whether it would be effective to put on some kind of perfume/lotion when I go to sit down to write/read/study/whatever.  Maybe…?

Read the rest of this entry

Teaser Tuesday: Great Indian Dishes

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Murgh Biryani – This dish is mainly prepared for important occasions, and is truly fit for royalty.  Every cook in India has a subtle variation which is kept a closely-guarded secret.