February and a few funny things

Posted on Updated on

So wow. February. That happened quickly. Any exciting plans for the month? I have a conference coming up that I’m super-excited about! #nerdalert

As far as non-work things go, I’m mostly looking forward to catching up with some friends. Oh—and cashing in a gift card for a much-needed massage. In a month that’s so focused on romantic love, it’s important to remember that there are many other types of love: family, friends, self-love…

Though this is the shortest month of winter, it’s still winter (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere), which may leave you feeling more inclined to want to drink wine and sleep than to do, well, anything. Aside from the usual happy/healthy cocktail of exercise, adequate sleep, and vitamin D supplementation to help you cope with the dark days and cold temps, a few good laughs go a long way too!

A few things that cracked me up recently:

*This text from my sister. That she felt compelled to send me a gif of Kramer on a random night is probably the funniest part:


In 2012 I briefly dated a guy who had never seen Seinfeld. Maybe I judged him a little, but at the same time, it was a great excuse to re-watch the series from the beginning. Or at least the first season, given the brevity of the aforementioned dating situation. This is back when I had a TV and DVD player. Strange days indeed.

*A kid on the bus the other day singing a song about how “God made a poo-poo.” The song turned into a talking blues about Star Wars—more specifically, about the relationship between Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. It was pretty epic.

*A mostly toothless old lady playing Naughty Sudoku.

*My attempt at following painting directions. paint nite

For the uninitiated, check out Paint Nite.

*My favorite sausage joke. The other day in a Pilates class, the instructor asked if anyone knew any good jokes. Of course I did.

What made you laugh recently? 


Sunday Things

Posted on

Happy Sunday! I don’t know if anyone else is as excited for this first day of Fall as me, but there really are few things like the optimism of a new season. Powerful stuff. I started my day with yoga—it was the perfect way to celebrate the autumnal equinox.

We’re also just coming off the weirdness of Thursday’s full moon. Did anyone else think last week was a little odd?

lobster1.) Strange/full moon day-things aside, my dreams were even more bizarre than normal. I think my favorite is the one where I was dating a fictional friend’s parents, and while I was out at a seminar, the father left a big paper bag of lobsters at my door, only each lobster had been cut into various ways for cooking purposes. For whatever reason, lobsters have become a motif in my dream and real life in 2013. Here’s what my favorite dream analysis website (yes, I have one) has to say about lobster dreams. Makes sense to me.

Earth Balance Creamy PB with flax2.) I decided to try a new jar of “work” (aka shelf stable) peanut butter the other day. I’m not a huge fan of the palm oil in this, and given its high fructose content, I kind of think agave nectar is basically equivalent to high-fructose corn syrup (albeit from the agave plant), but this ingredients list is still a lesser evil of the no-stir peanut butter world. And anyway, after  eating so much coconut via peanut butter over the last few months as I worked my way through one jar, I thought I should try something different. I don’t have any acute concerns about my saturated fat intake, but I do like to be mindful of where it comes from in my diet and keep that in mind when planning meals so I can get an appropriate amount.

3.) So maybe I’ve been binge-watching Season 2 of New Girl on Netflix. Of course, my version of binge-watching a show often involves having it playing on my phone while I do stuff on the computer. Weird, I know.

4.) I had Chinese food with my dad on Friday night and received this fortune cookie. Oh dear. That’s all I can even say about this one. Fortune Cookie horse
5.) As for that empty jar of coconut peanut butter…

Oats in a coconut PB jarBest breakfast ever.

Have a great rest of your day. I’m off to go read and drink tea in a cafe or something autumnal.

What are you excited about this fall? What was the last crazy dream you had? 

Paula Deen on the View

Posted on

Oh. My.God. This segment is hilarious. It’s from a recent episode of The View, on which author Paula Deen was promoting her new children’s cookbook, which isn’t exactly full of healthy recipes.

I think the best part is how uncomfortable Barbara Walters is! At one point early on, she asks, “Obesity is the number one problem for kids today. Everything you have here is enormously fattening. You tell kids to have cheesecake for breakfast… Doesn’t it bother you that you’re adding to it?”
Deen plays the “teach moderation” card and of course. “You don’t eat like this every day,” she says. True, but it still kind of sounds like a cop-out to me. I feel like a lot of people use the phrase “in moderation” when they can’t think of anything else to say.
Then again, it’s Paula Deen we’re talking with here, not Gwyneth Paltrow. You want a healthy kids’ cookbook, she’s probably the person to write it.
Here’s the segment.

This commercial freaks me out

Posted on

Totally ridiculous. After speaking with someone from the National Peanut Board the other day, I’m feeling a little hypersensitive to advertising that targets consumers’ fears about foods the media has labeled as “bad” or “unsafe.”

I don’t like how consumers are being told to practice moderation because the industry can’t. There is corn and high fructose corn syrup in so many products, it’s hard to avoid. Even products that aren’t food have corn in them.

Also interesting to me that they should have a white woman as the uptight corn syrup-phobic, judgmental mom and the black woman as the laid-back mom who is aware of the other’s ignorance but chooses not to call her out on it. I think it’s being assumed that it’s white, upper middle class moms who are soaking up the majority of the anti-high-fructose-corn-syrup information and that’s why they’re targeting them and trying to make them feel embarrassed.

On the one hand, that’s very smart, from a psychological advertising perspective, but it’s kind of disgusting and creepy too. And way to play up stereotypes.

I don’t know. I have to check out some of the other spots and digest a little more. This particular one just struck me, that’s all.

Cooking as Spectator Sport

Posted on

Michael Pollan has a cover article in this week’s New York Times Magazine called “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch” about how cooking shows and the food network have changed the way Americans cook and view cooking.

A lot has changed since 1963, when Julia Child’s “The French Chef” first appeared on American television (which also happened to be the year that Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique came out).
A lot of shows like Iron Chef America, Top Chef, and The Next Food Network Star move so fast and involve so many obscure ingredients, it’s hard to garner any kind of information about cooking. The focus is more on the consumption of “high-end food” rather than the production of it. The message has become: Don’t try this at home. If you want to eat like this, go to a restaurant.
“If Julia took the fear out of cooking,” Pollan writes, “these shows take the fear—the social anxiety—out of ordering in restaurants (Hey, now I know what a shiso leaf is and what ‘crudo’ means!).”
The intention is to have people interested enough in the food and the cooking of it to stay glued to the TV, but not into it in the way that they would want to get up and go make that food instead of remaining glued in front of the set. The ads aren’t even geared towards cooking or kitchen appliances—they’re for foods.
One of my favorite quotes from this article is about when Pollan asks a chef friend if he can learn anything about cooking from the Food Network, and the friend replies, “How much do you learn about basketball by watching the NBA?”
Hm…Also valid: watching basketball sure as hell doesn’t make me want to go dribble a ball outside with a bunch of dudes who are two feet taller than me. I’d rather marvel at the athleticism of the bros on TV. Not that I ever watch basketball—but if I did…
Anyway, there are so many aspects of this article I could go on and on about.
It’s definitely worth a read…


Posted on

Sunday night, Chris and I had dinner with my parents. My mom sent us home with some homemade treats, including this gazpacho. Below is the recipe she sent me from the Barefoot Contessa* Cookbook:

* 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
* 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
* 4 plum tomatoes
* 1 red onion
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
* 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup good olive oil
* 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

*I don’t have a TV, but I love watching cooking shows with my mom. Might I add how amusing the Barefoot Contessa is? It seems like she’s always picking herbs and cooking delicious things for the quirky gardeners hanging around the house. And talking about her husband, Jeffrey. Hilarious.