I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lemon Sesame Scallops

These are EatingWell's Lemon Sesame Scallops.  They are amazing, worth the work, and really awesome on a bed of spinach dressed with a lemony vinaigrette.  You can find them in EatingWell's out-of-print Secrets of Low-Fat Cooking Cookbook.  Or just follow that link up there to the site. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great Cookbooks: Momofuku


Earlier this summer, I had the distinct pleasure of eating with some very fabulous people at a restaurant in New York City called Momofuku.

After another fabulous meeting in Minneapolis, my lovely friend Caissie (pictured above) then sent me the Cookbook.  It. Is. Amazing.  It sits at the side of my bed at present.  I'm reading it like a novel.  I am known to read cookbooks for fun - it's part of my charm.  This one seems to be written to read that way, though. The story of how the restaurant came to be is wonderful - though I still don't want to work in a restaurant so much.  I do, however, want noodles for every meal.

Spicy Pork Sausage and Rice Cakes (gonna make that one for sure)!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Put the Hammer in the Coconut...

I got the kids a coconut today at the store.

It took my sweet, patient husband a good amount of doing, but he got it open.  

We all tasted it.  Some liked it more than others, but I was glad the kids were so interested and willing to try something new.

Unfortunately, I suffered the loss of my favorite mixing bowl in the process.  (We wanted to catch the water/milk and taste it, too.)  :(

Luckily, there is a Bed Bath and Beyond near me and I've been saving up my 20% off coupons.  If all goes well, by tomorrow, I'll have three new favorite mixing bowls.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Empty the Camera - Vacation

Empty the Camera is a series where I share things that don't have enough story for their own big ol' post.  Enjoy, won't you?

I ate this for lunch on vacation recently.  
That's right.  Bacon, Butter Toffee Peanuts and White Wine.  
Lunch of vacationing champions.

Same trip - giant mutant marshmallows. 
I still have a lot of the pink ones left.  I see Rice Krispie Treats in their future.

Same trip - my dad bought us all Wax Lips.  
(Why does one of my eyes look bigger than the other?)

ALSO on this trip: Hummingbird Wars!


 This inspired me to get a feeder at our house.  
And it's working!!

Different trip - we ate at the restaurant at the resort we were staying at.  
They had something called TOTCHOS on the menu. 
Tater Tot Nachos.  Seriously. 
How could I not order that?  Brilliant.  Will have to try them at home.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Little Bites

I love appetizers.  I love making them.  I love serving them.  I love ordering a bunch of them an calling it dinner in restaurants.

Here's a little bite I learned from a Mom in my daughter's preschool class last year.  She brought these (or something like them) to our end-of-year potluck, and I had to try them myself.  I have no real recipe, only my memory and some experimentation.

Chilled Grapes with Blue-Cheese and Pistachios

Bunch of green grapes
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz blue cheese crumbles
1 TBS port
pistachios, chopped fine

Chill grapes in the back of the fridge or freezer

Blend/mix cream cheese, blue cheese and port til smooth and creamy.

Spread mixture on grapes with a spatula, then roll it in pistachios.

Try not to eat them all before your guests come.  Also, Keep Well Chilled while serving.

PLEASE tell me your favorite little bite you make.  Link it if you're able.  I feel a housewarming party in my near future, and want some great new apps.  Thanks!

Friday, August 20, 2010


The Randomly Selected Post is #17!

Congratulations to Teresa D. Lee (@euphoriafish)

Email me at rootsandzest@gmail.com and I'll set you up with your prize!

Thanks to everyone for all the great songs and love!  

Can't wait to rock out to my new mix tape.... or whatever the kids call it these days.

Photo here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Giving it away.

I've been thinking a lot about giving things away this week.  All kinds of things in all kinds of ways.  Let me start with this one:
I'm doing a $40 CSN shops gift card giveaway. To you.  Right here on the blog.  As you know, I just moved.  I'm having a wonderful time filling up our new house with our belongings, but there are still a few holes to fill.  Some bigger than others, and I discovered a great place to help me fill them.  CSN stores has over 200 sites from which to shop.  I love looking through the sites and visualizing how I will fill the holes in my new house that has a kitchen eating area AND a formal dining room - check out the dining room sets!  I've also looked at bedroom sets for my son who's just about ready to get out of his crib, bean bag chairs for the playroom, and have of course spent a lot of time looking over the kitchen items and cookware they have.  Who wouldn't want a free $40 to spend at one of these stores?  Details of the giveaway after these few thoughts.

I've been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and re-re-reading A Mother's Guide To Self Renewal by Renee Trudeau as well as signing up for my third round of a Personal Renewal Group lead by the amazing Sarina LaMarche.  I joined my Community Center, and the kids are super excited to go to playcare while I take classes.  I've been thinking a lot about happiness and self-fulfillment and love.  One thing I've noticed in these books and in my own life as a mother, wife, friend, daughter, artist and yogi, is that a lot of times if you're unhappy, the best thing to do is LET GO.  Give it away.  Give away the resentment, give away the expectation, give away the guilt.  These acts open us up to receive great benefits - relief, kindness, love, forgiveness, happiness, contentment, peace, wonder, opportunity.  I want more of those things.  So I'm practicing letting go.

I'm giving away the fear I feel when I want to write about something but am not sure if everyone who reads my blog will like it, or that it "won't fit in".  I'm giving away the guilt I feel when I don't reach my highest expectation of myself on the first try.  I'm giving away the restricted feeling I have in my chest when I think of things I'd like to do - that I'd really enjoy doing - and think there's not enough time/money/energy to do it.  I'm giving away the short-sightedness I have when I'm in the middle of paying bills or figuring out some other adult problem and it seems like I don't have time to play with my kids for 10 minutes.  I'm giving away the need to eat my way out of feelings I don't like, and face them - even when they're scary.  I'm giving away the feeling of disappointment I have when I look at myself in the mirror and see the 27 pounds I put back on after losing them last year.  I'm giving away the fear of asking for what I want.

SO - Join me, won't you?


Here's how you enter:

Subscribe to/Follow my blog.

Follow me on Twitter or my page on Facebook

MOST IMPORTANTLY:  In the comments of this blog post, Give Away a song that makes you happy.  Give a song that makes you dance or smile or sing along.  I will use your suggestions to add to my iPod and play it when I need some help letting go.  I will also use it at the gym I just joined, because I'm working on giving away this extra weight.  You may enter more than one song, but only one song in a post.

From the comments I will randomly pick a comment (with a nifty and fair random number generator) and the winner will announced on Friday.  You have until Thursday at midnight to enter.  Good luck.  We're all counting on you.

EDIT:  ACK!! I forgot - winner must live in the US or Canada.  Sorry, International Readers!!

Photo here 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


You know me.  I'm not typically a from-the-box kinda gal.  I like to make things.  But sometimes, you just gotta add three eggs, some water, some oil and dump the box of cake mix in.  Oh, and add some NEON PINK FOOD COLORING!!

Then you need to open the can of frosting.... no, wait, I take that back.  I totally should have made the damn butter cream frosting.  Oh well.  At least I didn't make the fake strawberry flavored cake.

Because of their love of the book Pinkalicious, here's what I did with the kids today.  (AFTER we ate green food.)



my kids made 'em pretty

And yes, if I'm seeing you this week - hell, if I see you on the street tomorrow - I'm giving you some of these pink cupcakes.  I will not be responsible for consuming them.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back from vacation: Fat and Happy.

This week my family went up to a lake in Northern Minnesota.  It was glorious.  The weather was beautiful, the lake was crystal clear, the cabin was spacious and wonderful, and I got to build two campfires and stuff myself silly with marshmallows.  

While we were up there, we finalized our plans for the Jonathan Coulton Cruise in January.  Bill is performing, along with others, on the cruise and we're very happy to be able to go with him and enjoy the Caribbean in January!  

SO-  Having stuffed myself with marshmallows and hot dogs cooked over a campfire for a week (not to mention ALL the BACON!), and having spent said week in my old-lady swim dress (no, there are no pictures), and having finalized plans to go on a fabulous week-long cruise with awesome people (including, but not limited to, my family), I would now like to drop some dress sizes. 

Last year I dropped 27 pounds by doing weight watchers and yoga.  This year I gained it ALL BACK.  Every single pound.  I just stopped paying attention.  But now I have a goal.  And I'm really good with a project.  SO.  I will keep cooking, I will keep eating delicious food.  I will not give up wine or sweets or pasta.  I will, however, be on Weight Watchers, doing yoga (possibly going to a gym! Gasp!), writing everything down, drinking tons of water, chewing gum, and watching my portions.  I will not belabor it here, for this is not a weight-loss blog, but if you have any interest in how I'm doing, or if you're involved with a similar personal project, I invite you to follow my new Twitter Account and play along at home.

Happy eating!

Images Here, Here, Here and Here.  The marshmallow one's the real deal.