Tag Archives: vegetarian

Healthy Snacks: Apricot Truffles

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There was a time when I mainly jogged in the morning, thinking it was a great way to start my day.  There’s crisp new air, chilly dew… you can almost hear the neighborhood cracking its joints with a sleepy stretch and every sound has a tiny echo for a lack of competition.

But then I discovered dusk.  Maybe there’s something about working from home that makes it feel so good to close my computer and literally run out the door.  Running away from the haze of a day where I am just a name in a directory that ends in “@yourcompany.com”.  I remember I’m a person again.  My music, my heartbeat and the thump of my legs that have been itching to get out of a seated position… they all bring me back to myself.

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Song Sweets: Ginger Browns {Velvet Underground: Oh! Sweet Nuthin}

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I realize to a lot of people, finding food inspiration from music might not be the first thing they think of. To me, it makes perfect sense, and really, I’m not alone in the general idea.  Megan of Feasting on Art does it with great paintings, Dinah Fried did a photo series of dishes from famous literature, and lots of people take inspiration from films.  Each time I see it, I always think “I thought of that, too!”… with the exasperation of a child sitting on the sidelines of the game because she forgot her uniform at home.  But I wasn’t doing anything about it, and they were, so I sat sideline and enjoyed reading others’ inspiration.  Until now… I’ve had this particular recipe in mind for a long time, and it’s great to finally see it on “paper”.

I’m in love with this song: Velvet Underground’s Oh! Sweet Nuthin.  It’s husky, unctuous, a touch of sweet sadness in a slow shuffling tempo.  So I tried to evoke that… in a cookie.  I hope you’ll hear me out on this.  It’s a really great song, and I think it’s a damn fine cookie, too, actually.  I hope you will try it, and play some Velvet Underground while you eat them…

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Soup Days, Day Five: Better-For-You Ramen Noodle Soup with Vietnamese Flavors

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I really don’t know a lot of people who don’t have ramen stories.  Usually it’s during college, or bachelorhood (or bachelorette!), and centered around those little instant-fried squares at $3 for a dozen. I don’t mess with nostalgia, but I leave those versions of ramen on the shelf and in fond memories.

Others roll their eyes at those stories and then go into lengthy, dreamy detail about the “best ever” ramen shops in Tokyo, or Chicago or L.A where they had “the real deal” ramen.  And that’s great, too.  Authenticity, though, that’s another thing I don’t touch if I’ve never been to a place.  I’ll leave that version in Tokyo, where you can go find it and have your own story (and maybe me, too, someday).

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Soup Days, Day Four: Creamy Fennel Hazelnut Soup {Vegan!}

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I’ve never been great with labels.  There have been occasions when I have watched two friends of mine meet each other for the first time, and it’s odd to watch them putting all the pegs into the appropriate holes about each other.  Occupation, education, hobbies, diet… and depending on the availability of wine, politics.  And sometimes I’ll realize that sitting in on this getting-to-know-you small talk brings out something I didn’t know about a friend.  Like that they’re Hobby Paragliders, or Vegans, Ivy-League grads, Republicans.  Suddenly I see my friend as a new set of eyes would.

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Soup Days, Day Three: 3-Carrot Soup

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Everyone loves a pun.  You may roll your eyes, but you know it’s true.  Three-Carrot Soup was a title I just couldn’t resist.  It is, as you would guess, a recipe is for the carrot lover.  As J calls it, a “super beta-carotene see-in-the-dark soup”.  A riff on the Tuscan carrot top soup, it has the classic diced carrots and leafy carrot tops, but this version uses an extra layer: carrot juice.

One thing I love about this soup is that it is thrifty, in that it uses the carrot tops.  My Papou would be very proud (that’s Greek for grandfather, in case you didn’t watch Full House growing up).  He always made sure whatever came home from the market, made it to the dinner table.  Once, he was attacked and mugged on the street by two men who had followed him from the grocery store.  Afterwards he got up, loaded his dropped fruit into his bag, and picked up a package of Danish the attackers had dropped, and took it home for next morning’s breakfast.  My grandmother would tell that story and shake her head, and he would nod proudly and smile a little.

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Soup Days, Day One: Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Brown Butter Maple Pepitas

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As I sat a couple mornings ago in a rented kitchen-less cabin overlooking an area I’ll call “Blustery Valley”, I thought a little about what I would be making for our lunch, had I the facilities to do so.  The answer quite simply would be soup.  Lots of it.  But without a stove in sight (and for a while, no coffee cups either), I had no choice but to dream up hypothetical bubbling vats of steamy goodness.

J & I were up for the holiday weekend to visit The Sis (my sister-in-law) and her husband (Guitar Man) in their new home of Viroqua, a pretty little town in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.  Abundant in charm and amazing produce and people… and also down parkas and hunters caps and mittens.

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