All posts tagged: Cooking

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Baked Goods and Bad Trips

Last June was our 16th anniversary, so Scott and I spent a weekend at this funky hotel in the Catskills. Every room is themed at this place. I chose a space-themed room. It was appropriately far out. Before we left, Scott mentioned that one of his coworkers, a fellow video editor, had gifted us an edible. A pot cookie, in other words. (I feel like I’m a million years old when I say “pot cookie” but I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to say “edible.”) He apparently was a frequent user (and baker, I guess) of such things, and thought we’d have fun with it. Sure, I said! Pot’s fun! Couple of important details: First, I smoked pot plenty in my twenties, but not really since. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s … changed a little, in the past twenty-odd years. I learned this a couple of years ago, when I shared a one-hitter with a friend and spent the next few hours paranoid and hyper, my face in a jumbo bag of Cheetos. Number …

Easy Recipes for Fancy Toast (Yes, Including Avocado)

There’s really no easier meal than toast. All you need is a piece of bread and a toaster, right? Technically yes, but it can, and should, be so much more than just a piece of bread. Toast toppings are just about endless, and whether you prefer a sweet or savory breakfast there’s a way for everyone to enjoy it. You can pretty much top a slice of toast with anything you have in your fridge already, it’s the combination of ingredients that may be new to you. Nothing complicated, nothing too fancy, no extra frills needed. You can prepare the rest of the ingredients in the time the bread is toasting for a five minute breakfast that’s easy, healthy and delicious. Remember though, toast doesn’t only have to be for breakfast. These make great snacks and even a light lunch with something extra on the side. Feed more than yourself with a “Toast Bar” and lay out multiple topping options for everyone to create their favorite combination. Let’s toast to toast!! Blueberry Cream Toast What …

11 Women Who Started Brand New Careers in Midlife— and Never Looked Back

Big changes in career, vocation and lifestyle in midlife or the years leading up to it are more often an evolution than a radical change. I went back to journalism school at 35 because the writing degree I’d started at 18 — and never finished —nagged at me for years. Going from full-time college counselor and teacher to graduate student was intimidating — financially, intellectually and emotionally. It was also one of the best, richest experiences of my life, and, no matter how many zeroes got added to my student loan balance, I have never regretted it. I traveled to Vietnam to cover business growth there. I was a reporter in the arena on the night Barack Obama accepted the nomination for President of the United States. I helped to run a student digital newsroom and emerged as the de facto den mother of several classmates a decade or more my junior. I now have a degree that means I can teach writing if I want to (because I loved teaching too much to leave …

Why I’ve Aged out of Embarrassment

Lately, I’ve grown increasingly pissy about this aging thing. Frankly, I can’t find much to like about getting older. My back aches, my hips are tight, I sleep too little and eat too much. My skin is dry, my hair is gray and I can’t see a thing without a pair of reading glasses, which I can never find. But there’s one aspect of aging that I’ve happily embraced: Almost nothing embarrasses me anymore. For most of my life, I’ve been hyper-conscious of drawing unwanted attention to myself by performing poorly. I cringed over every perceived shortcoming, constantly comparing myself to others. Somebody was always better at something. Well, that will always be true, but the difference now is I care a lot less. At this point, my heroes aren’t necessarily the best or brightest. My role model is Popeye who proudly proclaimed, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all what I yam.” This doesn’t mean I no longer give a hoot about trying to be a better me; I’ve simply become more accepting …

8 Seriously Cool Subscription Services to Give This Year

In 2015, as Facebook algorithms remind us to ping each other with birthday e-cards and Amazon gets closer to making deliveries by drone, the idea of gifting someone a jelly of the month — an anything of the month — feels quaintly retro. Strike that: It feels right. Send your favorite humans some good-old-fashioned, curated-and-dispatched-by-real-people, recurring snail-mail love. (It doesn’t have to be jelly.) 1. Vinyl Me, Please The “best damn record club today” kicks off your recipient’s new bespoke music library with one of their special-edition color LPs (think Wilco’s AM in swirling marigold, or a limited-edition clear pressing of Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear). Each month thereafter, they’ll send a new album, a 12”x12” art print inspired by the album and a custom cocktail recipe pairing. Starts at $99 for 3 months + 1 bonus album, vinylmeplease.com   2. One Story Your favorite bookworm might now prefer an e-reader to full-sized tomes — I get it, I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to read War and Peace on the subway a few years ago …

10 Hostess Gifts They’ll Actually Want to Use

Our household throws a lot of parties. And although I’ve never expected a hostess gift for our efforts, it’s always lovely to receive something thoughtful. Host gifts are tricky gifting — you don’t want to clutter up someone’s home, but you also don’t want to be the odd guest out who arrives empty-handed. With those caveats in mind, I’ve pulled together my dream list of host gifts — all for less than $50. 1. Linen Dish Towels I love receiving gifts that are a luxurious upgrade to life’s regular, cruddy routines. These natural linen hand towels are the luxurious upgrade you didn’t know your dishes wanted. $32, Etsy.com 2. Footed Aeirum Upgrade your host’s desktop with this adorably footed container for some sweet little plants. Moss, lichens and Tillandsia will change as they grow, or you can add an air plant (starting at $14) for even more magic. $32, floragrubb.com 3. Multi-function Cake Stand Responsible for bringing a dessert? Leave behind this multipurpose cake stand, which also becomes a chip-and-dip platter, punch bowl and salad …

Margit’s Note: Crack It Open

“The incredible, edible egg.” That’s just one of many ‘70s commercial jingles affixed to my memory bank. In fact, this ad for the American Egg Board was remade in the ‘80s, in the ‘90s, by some guy in a jingle contest and now Kevin Bacon is a spokesperson? “Nobody knows eggs better than Bacon.” (Really? Really.) But it’s true. An egg is a delicious scramble, the essence of fertility, frozen for later, dyed and collected in baskets of plastic green grass, and smells awful when rotten. For women, the egg is mythologized as our ultimate potential — the question of that potential dogs us from an early age, following us well past viability. Whether we want it to or not. Now, in our early-mid-late-whatevers, we’re watching a disappearing act. On a related note, society — and social media — is still shocked by the site of a woman’s reproductive mojo, as evidenced last week by Rupi Kaur’s photo. The Toronto-based poet took a picture of herself with a spot of blood and leakage, and posted …

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Chef Dad: How My Husband Won My Heart and My Kids’ Stomachs

  On our third date, Andrew cooked me an incredible dinner: leg of lamb, roasted asparagus and crispy potatoes. It was truly impressive. Years later, he told me that he learned to cook because it was a good dating move. I might have felt played, but I like eating well just a tad too much. So, I not only let him cook for me regularly, I married him. Fast forward to when our first son was 3 ½  years old. He went to a preschool friend’s house for a play date and stayed for dinner. (If you’re thinking woo hoo, what a break for Wendy, think again. We had a 1 ½ year old and an infant at home.) I picked Davis, my oldest son, up at about 7:00 pm and, as always, he was full of stories! What a great reporter he was. So, chat, chat, chat… and then, “Mom. Guess what? It was so weird at Daniel’s house.” “Really, what was weird?” (You can only imagine where my thoughts were headed.) “When we …

Food & Health: Women Who Inspire Us

[column size=”one-third”] Naomi Starkman By Kim O’Donnel “She dishes up a daily serving of news and commentary to help the rest of us make sense of how our food is grown, raised and politicized.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Pati Jinich By Letisha Marrero “This Latina mother of three boys had the cojones to switch careers mid-life, pursue her passion doggedly, all the while making people pine for her culinary creations.”… Read about whys she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] Alex Raij By Dori Fern “Her favorite part about being a well-seasoned chef is that she has become a better teacher and mentor to her staff: ‘The older you get, the more you realize you need help.’”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third”] Dr. Deborah Cohen By Suzanne Rust “Who stages a dance party before they’re scheduled for a double mastectomy? Dr. Deborah Cohan had the whole operating room laughing and shaking it to Beyoncé’s “Get Me Bodied” before her surgery.”… Read about why she inspires us [/column] [column size=”one-third” last=”true”] Celeste Corcoran …

Stave off the Chill With These 7 Warm-You-Up Recipes

By the time you read this, half of the Lower 48 will be shivering in its collective boots, the result of a massive polar air mass over the eastern seaboard and the Midwest. It’s predicted to deliver sub-zero wind chills and historically low temperatures. From my perch in Seattle, I’m enjoying more civilized temperatures in the low 40s. I feel for the rest of youse and your freezer-burned brains and the inevitable madness of cabin fever. Allow me, a long-time veteran of wintry past lives in Philly, New York and DC, to help scrape you off the floor and spin you like a dervish right into the kitchen. Herewith, some of my all-time favorite ways to take the edge off a dastardly chill. You’ll be toasty in no time.   1. Spiced Hot Chocolate Think chai with a chocolate twist. Steep milk with star anise, cardamom and other warming spices, then whisk in cocoa powder. I’ve made this using fortified coconut milk with equally rich results. Excellent with or without a shot of rum for …

What I Thought My Gift Said… And What My Husband Really Thought

We all aim to get this gift-giving thing right, right? Every year, I think I’ve finally mastered it for my husband, only to realize, through a combination of his luke-warm reactions and, more definitively, the gift remaining unopened months later, that I have once again failed. I figure it’s one of two things: Either my husband is the hardest person on the planet to shop for (it’s probably this), or my gifts give off a vibe of an assignment. I should mention that my husband has never actually complained about these gifts out loud (ok, once, because I gave him the same shirt two years in a row). But the evidence is strong, and I know what he’s thinking. In fact, here’s how the inner dialogue has gone down for the last 3 years. 2010: The Yoga Mat 
Manduka Big, $76, zappos.com What I thought this gift said: Yoga! It’s so good for you! And, I know you didn’t notice, but I actually heard you talking to John, the neighbor, about how he’s been doing Iyengar. And I …

My System: Changeable Chicken

Who: Diane Davis Otter System: “Just about every Sunday night I make what I call “Changeable Chicken,” preparing me for a week of healthy and quick meals ahead.  I adopted this technique from Jason Denton, founder of panini pioneer ‘Ino in New York’s Greenwich Village.” Here’s Her Step-by-Step: 1. Pre-heat a grill pan/grill press or panini press to medium-high heat. 2. Place two thin-sliced chicken breasts each on rectangles of aluminum foil. (Make as many as you want.) 3. Drizzle on some olive oil and rub in salt, pepper and any kind of seasoning spices you like. Flip chicken over and repeat. 4. Fold the foil into a packet, seam side up. (You can actually do this hours ahead and the chicken will be more flavorful for it.) 5. Cook on pan or press, seam side up for about 6 minutes. (Use a thermometer to test for temps at 165 degrees.) 6. After the chicken cools a bit, store it in your fridge in the foil packets, seam side up again. Saving the juices to use with the chicken is key! …