midwestern days
6 Rules of Eating

A reminder for myself from an old Michael Pollan article:

1. Don’t eat anything your great-great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

2. Avoid foods containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

3. Spend more, eat less.

Americans are as addicted to cheap food as we are to cheap oil. We spend only 9.7% of our income on food, a smaller share than any other nation. Is it a coincidence we spend a larger percentage than any other on health care (16%)? All this “cheap food” is making us fat and sick. It’s also bad for the health of the environment. The higher the quality of the food you eat, the more nutritious it is and the less of it you’ll need to feel satisfied.

4. Pay no heed to nutritional science or the health claims on packages.

5. Shop at the farmers’ market. You’ll begin to eat foods in season, when they are at the peak of their nutritional value and flavor, and you’ll cook, because you won’t find anything processed or microwavable.

6. How you eat is as important as what you eat.

Americans are fixated on nutrients, good and bad, while the French and Italians focus on the whole eating experience. The lesson of the “French paradox” is you can eat all kinds of supposedly toxic substances (triple creme cheese, foie gras) as long as you follow your culture’s (i.e., mother’s) rules: eat moderate portions, don’t go for seconds or snacks between meals, never eat alone. But perhaps most important, eat with pleasure, because eating with anxiety leads to poor digestion and bingeing. There is no French paradox, really, only an American paradox: a notably unhealthy people obsessed with the idea of eating healthily. So, relax. Eat Food. And savor it.

kitchen remodel

Nearly 5 years ago now my now husband I and bought little house in South Minneapolis, it was in pretty good condition with the exception of the kitchen (and arguably the bathroom).  So we (he) took it upon ourselves (himself) to gut and remodel the kitchen.  And what a long, arduous process that was.  We are talking 3 years without a kitchen and an additional 4-5 months with a not quite finished kitchen.  There were arguments and there were good times too (exploring the world of fondue and making smores in the fireplace…).  Now I present, our before(OK I can’t find any before but ‘process shots’) and after shots:

BEFORE

AFTER

This morning I threw on an old record as I was getting ready for work, Jerry Jeff Walker - Ridin’ High’ (a great album). I fell in love with Walker when I went through my country swing dancing phase a few years back. He’s great. Who is he? You might ask. Well, he’s probably best known for writing Mr. Bojangles. And with with nothing but respect I’ve got to also admit that he didn’t do it the best. Sure Mr. Walker may have actually met Mr. Bojangles, in jail like he said. But no one really captured Mr. Bojangles like Sammy Davis Junior did they? Jerry Jeff,  the world owes you a debt of gratitude for writing this classic, but lets be honest, Sammy brought it to life.

Sammy Davis

(original) Jerry Jeff Walker

Only in #minnesota do you dress up like an Eskimo to run your car in the afternoon to ensure it will start when you finish work #mn #cold #deepfreeze #freeze

Only in #minnesota do you dress up like an Eskimo to run your car in the afternoon to ensure it will start when you finish work #mn #cold #deepfreeze #freeze

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from food network)

In my unabashed excitement of my new Kitchen Aid Mixer I have been experimenting with cookies and trust me these are really something special.  This is really close to the food network recipe but tweaked from personal experience.



Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oats together.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together for 30 seconds until blended. Beat in the egg. With mixer running on medium high, drizzle in the maple syrup, and vanilla until incorporated. Turn the mixer down to its lowest setting and gradually add the flour-oatmeal mixture. Blend just to combine, then mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop spoon-sized balls of dough onto a nonstick or parchment-lined cookie sheet at 3-inch intervals. With moistened fingers, flatten and round out the cookies a little. Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies are done when they are lightly browned on top. Set the cookie sheets on a rack to cool. 

Nutrition

This recipe should make 24 cookies.  The entire recipe contains about 3185 calories making the cookies about 132 calories a piece.  But remember there are oats in ‘em so they’re healthy, right?

Enjoy!

My one year anniversary of fiddle lessons.  I’m bummed to put this crappy video up because it’s coming off a two month (honeymoon/wedding) hiatus.  Lets hope a year from now my video is markedly better.

OMG just found this from last winter.  Makes me happy.

OMG just found this from last winter.  Makes me happy.

New Years Resolutions…

- To Run a 5k

- Stick with the fiddle/lessons another full year

- Try to show photography somewhere (maybe a coffeeshop?)

Yesterday we went snowshoeing.  Stark, barren, beautiful.

Yesterday we went snowshoeing.  Stark, barren, beautiful.

Well this week was just the best of both worlds.  Saturday and Sunday spent celebrating Christmas with my inlaws… they are great, what a wonderful weekend of laughter, fondue, wine and Mexican train.  And then I got my ‘Jewish Christmas' consisting of an empty bar filled with misfits on Christmas eve and Vietnamese food and a movie (American Hustle) on Christmas day.  Sometimes you do get everything you want.  Oh, and I also saw my first sundog (below)

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I am square dancing. And it is awesome. (at Eagles Club #34)

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2 cups old fashion oats 
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or blanched almonds)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (unsalted) 
1/2 cup yellow raisins
1/2 cup rice krispies
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted - or any veg oil)
1 tbsp water
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger

(the total recipe comes to about 1555 calories, I get about 5.5 servings per batch at 283 calories/serving)

Step1: Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Step 2: Put oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, raisins and rice krispies in a big bowl
Step 2: Mix maple syrup, coconut oil, water, cinnamon and ginger together and mix into dry ingredients with clean hands. (coconut oil is a solid, I think the recipe works best if you stick it in the preheated oven for a minute to melt it - or use a different type of vegetable oil)
Step 3: Spread mixed ingredients out in a thin layer onto a cookie sheet
Step 4: Bake for about 15 minutes until granola is toasted.  Should be a warm light brown color (if the raisins are turning dark it’s ready).
Step 5: Let cool, put in airtight container, should stay good for 2 weeks

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Wedding Recap (in pictures)

VENUE

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Wedding Recap (in pictures)

FOOD

Wedding Recap (in pictures)

FLOWERS