Read about our cooking group’s October event: Ropa vieja and other Cuban delights, courtesy of Fernando! Click through to our Kiss the Cooks blog!

Besides being as cute as a button, I found the content of this little girl’s video to be important. Elise decides to do an experiment to see how long it takes a sweet potato placed in a glass of water to grow vines.

Time needed to grow vines for conventionally-grown sweet potatoes, sprayed with “Bud-Nip:” Forever. No vines will grow.

Time needed to grow vines for organic sweet potatoes from the supermarket: After a full month, the potatoes yielded a few “wimpy little vines.”

Time needed to grow about a bajillion hearty vines from organic sweet potatoes from a local certified-organic market: Less than a week, and the vines that have grown are close to taking over the kitchen!

Young Elise goes on to explain that Bud-Nip is the commercial name for common herbicide Chlorpropham, and that it works systemically within the plant, so washing produce treated with Bud-Nip has very little effect on reducing the amount of this chemical that one would presumably consume. Bud-Nip is commonly used on conventionally-grown blueberries, carrots, onions, spinach, tomatoes, beets, and cranberries.

I think young Elise says it the best: “Which potato would YOU rather eat?”

Verano

May 11, 2011

Saw this on someone’s FB page today, and it sounds like an excellent plan to me! The guys never cry about this stuff, do they?

“VERANO. Expirado el plazo de la “operación bikini” arrancamos con la “operación burkini”, mucho más asequible.”

Watch it wiggle

May 1, 2011

Remember those Jello commercials from way back in the day, with that memorable little song: “Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle, cool and fruity, Jello brand gelatin…?”

Today is Seattle’s second spring-like sunny day this year. As such, it required poking around to see what less-than-winter-weight clothing choices I could find in my closet. I doggedly tried on dozens of items which had been in our “summer closet” for the last 18 months or so. Afterwards, suffice it to say that my thoughts were filled with Jello.

My outlook brightened considerably, however, when I ran across this video of Jello cubes bouncing in slow motion (Thanks, @Foodista!). After all, if my jiggly belly could somehow manage to look half as graceful and mesmerizing as it bounces around as these shimmering Jello cubes do, I have no reason to view it with such disappointment, do I? I wonder if painting it a rich shade of burgundy would help…

via Foodista

I saw a funny tool at a kitchen store the other day. It was marked “Duck Press,” and I assumed it was some kind of old-fashioned tool used to squeeze out more fat from duck skin or something like that. Reasonable assumption, I thought.

In an effort to find the “real” answer (or maybe in part to congratulate myself for having such finely-honed deductive powers!) I did some research, and found I was grossly (emphasis on the ‘gross’ part) mistaken.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve had this conversation myself (from both sides, I am embarrassed to admit, at some time or another!)… It’s kind of long, but hilarious! “That crap is white water!” ¡Cómo nos engañamos!

Whoops, before I tell you more about our Spanish adventures, I realized I hadn’t shared the scoop on our recent “100-mile challenge” event in August. Read about how we created and shared a delicious meal using only ingredients which originated within a 100-mile radius of Seattle at our KTC Blog. ¡Buen provecho!

Cute, short video I saw on UniqueDaily, Besides making me grin, it also caused the secondary side effect of making me wonder what the heck is in string cheese to make poor Mr. Evil have that strong of a reaction. My third thought? Maybe I shouldn’t be eating the stuff for breakfast.

Read about it at our KTC Blog. ¡Buen provecho!

I thought this was fascinating! In my town, the “ethnic foods” aisle contains a plethora of Hispanic, Indian, and Asian items from innumerable countries, but of course the underlying assumption is that “typical” products eaten by folks in the US are “normal.”

Here’s a short video tour of a woman’s quick perusal of the USA shelves, found in the ethnic section of a German supermarket. What do you think? What’s missing?

via Sociological Images

Savory Cherry Compote!

June 2, 2010

Holy cow, this looks and sounds delicious. Here in the Pacific Northwest, cherries are beginning to appear at roadside stands. Both my dear F and I love them as-is, but I think my purist streak has just ended with “a quick and easy savory compote made with fresh cherries, walnuts, rosemary, and shallots in a wine reduction.”
I can’t wait to try this!

* 3 Tbsp olive oil
* 2 Tbsp minced shallots (can sub red onion)
* 2 1/2 cups pitted cherries, quartered
* 1 cup walnuts, chopped
* 1 Tsp minced rosemary
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup Port, red wine, cassis, or cherry juice (or water)
* 1 Tbsp honey

Method

1 Heat the olive oil in a pan in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they just begin to color on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Stir a few times while they’re cooking.

2 Add the walnuts, rosemary and cherries and stir everything to combine. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the cherries are soft, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little black pepper and taste for salt.

3 Pour in the Port, wine or cassis and the honey, and stir again. Boil this down slowly until the softening cherries and the liquid cook down to a syrupy texture.

Makes a couple cups, enough to accompany meat dish for 4 to 6 people. Serve with pork chops, pork tenderloin, seared duck breasts, or baked chicken.

via Simply Recipes

Naughty, maybe, but oh-so-nice! I can’t wait to try this!

Added bonus: I imagine I am not alone in feeling a thrill of finding a new use for a former uni-tasking object…

via The Kitchn

Gym People: Mister Swing

March 24, 2010

Mister Swing: Mr. Swing carries a gigan-tastic gym bag. From the window, I’ve seen him haul it out of the passenger side of his minivan. It’s seriously the size of a St. Bernard.

Mr. Swing himself, however, more closely resembles a Pomeranian, with a classic “Class 3” underbite. He’s probably in his mid-50s, very compact, extremely flexible, and chews gum.

Mr. Swing arrives, stashes his huge bag in the locker room, fiddles around on a few weight machines, and then stretches on the treadmill for about 20 minutes while listening to something in his headphones.

After that, he just rocks it. He prances on the treadmill for a good hour, lip-syncing with feeling, hips swaying with every super-duper fast step, and appears to just have a ball. He’s fun to watch, but intimidating to be next to on the treadmill.

GYM PEOPLE UPDATE! Buongiornio: I went the the gym the other day alone, since my gal pal C had to move. I bumped into Buongiornio in the free weights, and she asked where my workout partner was.

I told her she was moving, and that she’d be back the next day. Buongiornio hesitated a moment before asking, “Now, is she from Italy?” I smiled, and replied, “Actually she’s from Colombia, South America.”

Buongiornio looked stricken, and in a small voice said, “I don’t know why, but I thought you two were speaking Italian.” Now I was the one who felt uncomfortable. I grinned and brightly said, “Awww, we were probably fooling around or something on the day you heard us, but generally we speak Spanish.”

She looked marginally relieved, and scurried away as soon as she finished her set. I felt almost guilty for telling her the truth – Poor Buongiornio!

Gym people: Buongiorno!

March 12, 2010

You may know that I joined a new gym in December. I go most mornings with a friend of mine who lives nearby. We’ve been going for a few months, so these days my friend and I recognize a ton of other members. We don’t know any of their names, so we make up our own names for them based on some aspect of the personality or behavior each one displays in the gym.

Let’s see…Here are some of the people I saw just this morning: Buongiorno, La Chinita, El Viejito, Mr. Chatty, Kick-Your-Ass Lady, Luke’s Fake Brother (AKA The Grunter), Mr. Nut Jokes, Varicose Veins Man, Somebody’s Creepy Uncle, El Negrazo, Victor/Victoria, Escuelera, The Gorilla, Hair Extensions Barbie, The Botox Sisters, The Robot, El Loco, and Dead-in-the-Sauna Lady.

I thought it might be fun to tell you about some of these folks.

First up, Buongiorno:

My friend C and I nearly always work out at the gym together. She is a classic Colombian beauty, all flashing dark eyes and ebony hair. The two of us are friendly gals, and each day we smile and say “Good morning” to those we meet. Since my Spanish is much better than C’s English, she and I speak Spanish with each other, and we never really think much about it.

One day, one of the “regulars” spotted us from across the room, and absolutely beamed. As we neared, she waved energetically, and called out a sing-song “Buongiorno!” This tickled C and me, and we replied, “Buongiorno!” before continuing on to the FM machines.

And, ever since that day, when we see this lady, she tosses an always-enthusiastic “Buongiorno!” our direction.

Now, for those of you who have some Romance language confusion, it may be important to point out that “Buongiorno” means “Good morning” – in Italian.

C and I speak Spanish, not Italian.

So…our friend “Buongiorno” greets us effusively each morning…in Italian. C and I have discussed this at length – there are two possibilities. First, Buongiorno may think she is actually greeting us in Spanish, due to some general confusion or lack of linguistic prowess. Second, and most likely, we believe Buongiorno thinks we actually speak Italian instead of Spanish. This, in and of itself, is not tremendously unusual, surprisingly – Since I don’t look a thing like my gal C, who definitely resembles the “typical” Spanish speaker of our region, when folks hear me speak Spanish, they often presume it’s something other language.

Neither C nor I have the heart to correct Buongiorno, so instead we just smile and say “Good morning!”

Brussels sprouts for dinner

February 27, 2010

I always use brussels sprouts to illustrate how much easier it is to cook for just yourself than to worry about the eating preferences of other people.

When I was single, if I wanted to eat just brussels sprouts for dinner, I could!” I’ve been known to say, nodding curtly and stamping my foot for emphasis. And on many occasions, in my single days, I actually did just that.

Since F is out of town this weekend, and I felt inspired by my dad’s recent heart attack to eat something healthy, I did it again! I love the blackened crispy bits the most – delicious and nutritious!

Lake Chelan weekend

February 22, 2010

We had a lovely weekend! The weather was perfect…

We saw deer…

And bighorn sheep…

Enjoyed some treats…

And relaxed here…

Amazing post-Zumba miso soup

February 17, 2010

Feast your eyes, folks – quick, easy, delicious, AND nutritious!

By the time I arrived home from the gym, I still hadn’t stopped sweating. I needed to eat something and to hydrate, so I did what any gal dining solo would have done in my place – I whipped up a miracle supper in (no kidding) about 8 minutes flat!

1. Fill the electric tea kettle and turn on to begin heating.
2. Put around a tablespoon of dried wakame seaweed into cold water to re-hydrate.
3. Dice 1/2 a shallot (or could use onion), two cloves of garlic, and a thumb-sized piece of (peeled) ginger.
4. Finely slice 1/2 a carrot.
4. Put a small saucepan on the stove and heat about a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, stir in the veggies and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
5. Water should be hot by now, pour about 2 cups in with the veggies and bring to a simmer.
6. Stir in 1-2 tbsp of miso paste (I used red).
7. Stir in 1-2 tbsp of nut butter (I used sunflower seed).
8. Simmer for another minute or so. Stir rapidly.
9. Crack an egg into the soup while the water is still spinning around, tornado style.
10. Squeeze out the seaweed to drain, and add to your soup.

Enjoy! Delicious and nutritious!
And add some red chile flakes if you like – I forgot them in my haste to eat…

Don’t even know if I can find Nolan’s Cheddar around here, but I would totally buy it based on the amazing role “Eye of the Tiger” plays in this commercial!

via Serious Eats

This made me laugh out loud, even after the third viewing! Best part comes around 1:04, hilarious!

via Serious Eats

Doggie dentures!!

February 13, 2010

Brilliant! If I had a dog, I’d definitely be giving it Dentastix!

via AdFreak

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