Sunday, January 31, 2010


On the resolution to eat healthy:
I'm gonna make a list of healthy foods. Mama, how do you spell "pizza?"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why adventures in cooking?

It occurs to me, that many of my five readers know me really well. You know that I am not a particularly adept cook, that I hate eating leftovers and I'd rather buy new dishes than actually wash the ones we use. I also really enjoy going out to eat. Like, really enjoy it. So, why I am undertaking and publishing all kinds of cooking adventures?

Last night I got my daily e-mail from Sarah Kate of The Kitchn. I realize I've now mentioned this website about a thousand times in the past several weeks; not least because they've *ahem* published me. Anywho, in her e-mail, which you can read here, she touches on the reason there has been a resurgence in books and articles that focus on cooking with kids. I think she hits the nail pretty close to the head.

So, does that mean I'm cooking with Emily? No, not really.  Seriously folks, I cannot compete with the lure of the huge dry erase board that has taken up residency in our living room. But someday, I do hope to cook with Emily and, even more, I hope Emily will cook for herself and her family.  I did not cook as a child. Well, not very often.  And when I did, it was usually a study in kitchen mishaps.  Therefore, I do not know how or why anyone would want to wipe out a hot skillet in the middle of cooking.  I  once dumbly asked my coworkers what it meant to add a can of water in the middle of a recipe.  Pretend you are grateful to find out it means you fill the empty can of cream of chicken soup from an earlier step with water and pour it in at the appropriate time. These little ignorances are frustrating enough to keep a person from cooking and that can translate to a person not eating well.

Hopefully, Em and I will both eventually find cooking enjoyable. Neither of us has the knowledgeable Grandmother of yore patiently teaching us how to chop garlic or flip pancakes, but maybe, just maybe, our adventures in cooking will help us capture something just as good.

Also, I'll try to refrain from gagging when I wash dishes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Basic adventures in cooking

Yep, kids, I did it again.  I got published. It is funny the things one begins to worry about when she no longer has four sociology papers to write in a week. Why don't more men pluck their eyebrows? Is owning a house really that much better than renting? Who decided a labradoodle was a "designer dog" instead of a mutt? Most importantly, how exactly does one wipe out a hot skillet when cooking one-pot meals?
Okay other people might actually wonder about that last one.  So I logged onto The Kitchn, one of my vitals connected to Apartment Therapy, and I asked away. Low and behold, my question was deemed "good" and, last I checked, 10 people answered. See for yourself: Janice's attempt to alleviate her cooking ignorance.

What kind of things do you wonder about?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A long time coming

Here's a little story for you, kids.

Once upon a time I was seeing a guy- I'm not really sure if he was also seeing me, but I was seeing him nonetheless-who was working in the ER at a local hospital.  He has since moved to the Cath lab   and, I assume, has continued on his route to a fulfilling life in the medical profession. I really have no clue. He was something of a fan of the blog Signout. I started reading said blog in an effort to, well, impress him. I'm pretty easy to entertain, though, so I actually really enjoyed reading it and was kind of sad when it sort of ended (the blog updates, not the quasi-relationship).

At the same time all that reading to impress was going on, one of my very best friends was making great strides in her own medical studies at UTMB in Galveston, TX. As I am sure you all suspect, Hava is a unique and fabulous little woman with brains and charm and an enviously small waist. While in med school she also trained with the Air Force, got engaged, got married, played a major role at a free clinic and cheered her husband through law school. All that aside, there are a thousand things about the medical field that she found cannot actually be learned in school. I often encouraged her to offer her perspective to the world if only to help other med students not feel so alone.

Now, Hava is well into her residency and has survived her first year of parenthood.  And. AND! She has started a blog! Echoing the title of her first post, it has been a long time coming.  So, without further ado: I present Mommy on call.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More adventures in cooking

If one bakes a cake for an impromptu MLK Day party then covers and stores the cake in the oven overnight, it is best if one remembers said cake before preheating the oven to bake blueberry muffins the next morning. Melted plastic wrap is not easily removed from glass bake-ware. Nor does it smell particularly appealing.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010


On being a tomboy:
...and I had to sleep in the grass! But I was wearing my grubbies but they were my best grubbies and they got dirt on them and now I can never wear them again!

On reading people:
I just know Ben loves sparkles.

On Martin Luther King Day:
E: Mama, who is King Arthur?
J: He's a character from some books. Why?
E: Why are we celebrating the birthday of a fiction character?
J: Oh! You must mean Martin Luther King.
E: Yeah, him. How are we supposed to celebrate his birthday if he's dead?
J: Well, I guess we could eat cake.  But really, I think to honor Dr. King, we should spend some time on our day off thinking about how to make the world a better place.
E: I know how! By not putting trash on the ground.
J: Well, that's a very good idea, but Dr. King wanted us to make the world better by treating each other better.
E: like we shouldn't make anybody feel like a butthead.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm on the web!

A question I submitted to was deemed a "good question" and was published today.  While some folks might be embarrassed about publicly admitting their ignorance, I'm excited to have my name on a big fancy website.  Perhaps you too have had questions about fennel.  Go check it out and feel free to comment. Actually, just check out the whole site.


(On a side note, you can see my name on the web here and a few other posts on this awesome blog as well. That's right, I am unabashedly pointing you to a site rife with compliments of yours truly.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steak with pistachio pesto, crispy potatoes and broccoli rabe

This recipe from Real Simple Magazine is supposedly kid-friendly. In my quest to cook more with produce found close to home and related to the season I decided to give it a go.


  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup roasted shelled pistachios
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 strip or sirloin steaks (about 1 inch thick; 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound)


  1. Heat oven to 425° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Roast until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, finely chop the parsley, pistachios, and garlic with ¼ cup of the remaining oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steaks with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook to the desired doneness, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board.
  4. Wipe out the skillet. Add the broccoli rabe and ½ cup water and simmer, covered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Slice the steak and serve with the broccoli rabe, potatoes, and pesto. 
Well, it can certainly be prepared in a kid-friendly time frame. And, I think, it looks rather pretty.

Emily, however, was skeptical as soon as she saw that pesto sauce.  I thought it was wonderful, but I can see how a green, chunky sauce might be a bit off-putting.  It was the broccoli rabe that did her in, though.  I don't know if it is naturally bitter or if I did something wrong, but Emily rated this meal thusly:


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to charm me

Incorporate the word "doppelganger" when you compliment me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Looking at you looking at me.

Oh my gosh! I have a follower! Hi Kit! Hi AAAAAAmyyyyyy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Just before Em and I headed to Texas for Christmas, she decided to send Ben a card. Ah, Ben. The kid has received more than one card from Emily since he left and I do not believe any of them have actually been appropriate to the occasion.  Along with picking out her clothes, I have given up helping Emily pick out greeting cards. For this particular occasion she was focused on the money-holder cards.  As she picked up and looked inside and discarded her second card, she furrowed her brow.  By her fifth card she was visibly distraught.  Trying to hide my impatience I asked what was wrong. "Mama," she burst out, "all these cards are defective! The money is already gone!."