March 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

to Nina of Naturally Nina, for sharing my bolle recipe with her readers :).  Check out her blog for a fun little dose of love, life and little pleasures.  And also, Wahoo!!, one of the photos that I submitted to foodgawker (one of the spiffy food photography websites, for those who aren’t familiar/obsessed) was finally accepted (the bolle one, actually)!  I’ve still got a loooooong way to go, improving my food photography, but I feel like I’m making some little steps, and loving every moment I spend trying to capture the feel of cooking and eating nummy, homemade food exploits.  Now just wait till I get a new camera!!

Bonobos, and eating better together

March 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

I walked through my living room on Saturday morning, where NPR was playing as it often is, and I overheard a scientist explaining his recent work on bonobo apes (close relatives of chimpanzees and humans).  The sentence, “they prefer to eat together,” caught my ear and made me stop in my path, instantly forgetting whatever chore it was I was on my way to do.

It turns out that the researchers had found that  bonobos, when given the choice between having a whole pile of food to themselves or letting another bonobo (not a relative) in from a neighboring room, prefer to let in the other bonobo to share the meal with them.  This stands in contrast to chimpanzees, who also share food but only when they want another chimp to stop harassing them.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Cocktail Party Nutrition – Beer’s to your health!

January 25, 2010 § 1 Comment

I hear there’s some sort of big game coming up.  Now, I don’t consider the World Handball Championships a game, personally, I take it far too seriously, but if you’re going to be frivolous about it, that’s your choice I guess…Okay, yes, I’m kidding.  Even I am not quite so out of touch that I don’t know the Super Bowl is coming up (though I’ll admit that up until college, I kind of had it in my mind that the Super Bowl only happened every four years, like the Olympics.  Imagine the looks I got, when people were talking about it my sophomore year and I was like, “but didn’t that just happen last year?”)

I also realize, what with the quantity of spicy wings and nachos consumed, nutrition isn’t exactly at the top of people’s minds during the afore mentioned sporting event.  However, wouldn’t it be fun to have a couple of juicy factoids to briefly convince yourself that that beer you’re drinking is actually good for you?  And, on the many other days of the year when the Super Bowl is not happening (that would be approximately 364 of them), but you’re somewhere with a  cold hoppy beverage in your hand, you can nutritionally justify it.  Unless, that is, it’s some disgusting lite or flavorless mass produced swill, in which case no amount of argumentation can justify it. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Heart of the Home

January 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

(Photo from an awesome apartment therapy post about my friend’s place)

This Saturday was one of those lovely expansive days, where time moves slowly without dragging, and you have nothing in particular to do but don’t feel bored.  I think I spent almost 3/4s of the day in my kitchen.  Cleaning a bit. Preparing some food for dinner with friends.  But, mostly, actually, just hanging out there enjoying the space; sitting in a patch of sunlight that dappled the table.  Oh, and dancing.  I had cranked the radio up to a cheesy variety station, and I couldn’t stop myself from swiveling and jumping and twirling to the beat.  (I actually love to dance around the kitchen – I find myself doing so with some frequency).  My day in the kitchen got me musing about kitchens as spaces, beyond the food that is cooked there (we already know I think that’s important).

I remember talking to someone once about how to sleep better.  They said that you should only use the bedroom (the bed especially) for two activities, sleep and then this other activity that starts with “s” that you know, ahem, you might sometimes want a bed for….This is to keep you from associating your bedroom with waking time activities.  I think the kitchen is kind of exactly the opposite.  It may be the place you cook (hopefully) and eat, but I find it to be such an important space for existing in at other times as well.  There’s something about the kitchen, in my experience, that promotes gathering and mingling.  Even the most cramped, awkward kitchens seem to have a way of coaxing people into them to sit and stay awhile – actually sometimes it’s the cramped kitchens that are best for this. « Read the rest of this entry »

Vegetable frittata (aka Christmas morning frittata)

December 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

I’m pretty much always the first one up on Christmas morning (originally because I was more ridiculously excited to open presents than anyone else, now it’s because I’m hungry before anyone else!), and while I wait around for all the other creatures to start stirring, I put on a pot of coffee, and I start cooking this frittata for our Christmas Day brunch.

This year, as I sautéed the onions and whisked the eggs, the ghost of Christmas past beckoned me to look back on young Emily, back when we first started serving this dish for Christmas.  I had no idea what a frittata was in those days.  I just knew that this thing that we were eating was, creamy, flavorful, and delicious and made me feel like it wasn’t even so very horrible to be eating something with vegetables, even for breakfast!  I also loved the word “frittata,” and ran around saying it dramatically, as though I was casting a spell.  “Frittata!” (Yes, I was an obnoxious little kid.) « Read the rest of this entry »

Cocktail Party Nutrition-Bite (or, the devious ways nutrition can be used to justify eating almost anything)

September 2, 2009 § 1 Comment

At a party, or almost any social situation, when people find out that you study nutrition you instantly become a resource to answer burning questions about the most recent health headlines or dietary controversy. I appreciate this, but I also find it frustrating that nutrition seems confusing and controversial to so many people because, at its most fundamental, what we can say about nutrition so far is pretty simple (borderline dull!): eat a variety of minimally processed foods in reasonable amounts; avoid tons of sugar and manufactured foods; and (this is my own philosophy that has yet to be scientifically proven, but I’ll put it in for good measure) allow yourself to enjoy what you’re eating, taking some time to savor it.

That said, one of my favorite “party tricks” is to share some tasty scientific morsel about a nutrient in a particular food so that we can pretend it’s a healthier choice than it probably is (some of the foods I scientifically justify are, indeed, healthy choices, but they’re still not super-duper-amazing-cure-all foods, even if their labels or some tag line in a women’s magazine claim they are). One of my friends once told me that one of her favorite things about me was the way I could justify eating ice cream or a bacon cheeseburger with a flourish (I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this being considered one of my best attributes, but that is as it is…) Don’t worry, I then try to put the food back in context, which is more than the headlines usually do. So, as part of this blog, I plan on sharing some of my favorite “cocktail party nutrition-bites”, and without further ado I’ll begin with one of my favorites: ice cream. « Read the rest of this entry »

(drumroll please) The Introductory Post

August 24, 2009 § 15 Comments

I’m having some trouble writing this first post (which doesn’t bode so well, does it?) because this little voice keeps nagging me saying, “the last thing this world needs is another blog about food or cooking.”  I disagree, the last things the world needs is a massive resurgence of small pox or nuclear Armageddon.  So, another blog about food and cooking may just be the third to last thing the world needs.

BUT, I’m soldiering forward anyway.  The thing with most of the food and cooking blogs out there is that they are for and by people who are already foodies.  I think there just might be a tiny little bit of space out there for a blog that gets a little bit more down to basics – why this spice goes with that one, what you can do if you’re missing an ingredient for a recipe and why that substitution works. « Read the rest of this entry »

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