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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Coffee is a love-hate relationship for me, and for most of the health world too. Some people can’t live without it and some studies seem to indicate it could have health benefits. Others preach against it as if it is a killer, suffer withdrawal and there is always some addict who painfully demonstrates to coworkers daily what happens when you drink too much coffee.

I know at least one arguably mature adult who wet his pants after drinking too much of the stuff.

As for me, I had to switch to green tea for my daily mug, keeping coffee as something that I only have occasionally when I’m out of the house. An unfortunate past of minor and disruptive health issues has left me with enough caution to regularly avoid caffeine.

Yet, I’m easily seduced into a good mood by the smell of coffee. I give in while at late night cafes, and lose count of how many times the waiter refills my bottomless cup. As the conversations buzz around a place like lively Kafein or dimly lit Pick Me Up I get distracted reading, writing or talking. I probably won’t pause to put in cream or sugar.

I may be shaking and unable to sleep immediately after, but at the moment the warm mug in my hand feels so perfect that it would be hard to give it up.

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Yummy-yum-yum!

Take the spoon. You know you want it.

Take the spoon. You know you want it.

I'm very creamy and yummy. Seriously. Eat me.

I'm very creamy and yummy. Seriously. Eat me.

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I normally manage to navigate through life with an adequate amount of grace, but recently I seem to spill things and drop stuff and do stupid things. My iPod impairedness is normal, but for whatever reason, or none at all, I seem to have stumbled into an extra-klutzy phase or something. And I thought I was done with phases like this. Somehow I always believe that I’ve grown up enough, and spells of clumsiness will no longer smite me like an obnoxious cold that lasts all winter.

So I was making rice pudding last night, and I decided to post the recipe (below). And then it became necessary to write ANOTHER blog post.

After the rice had cooked, I went to take it out of the oven so I could add the milk and egg. I put on my enormous pot-holders to protect my little hands from the hot dish. I reached in to pull it out, and as I lifted the dish out of the oven- a pot-holder slipped from my hand! As the pot-holder escaped it took the glass pie dish with it! IT FELL. Suddenly there was rice all over the searing oven. Luckily, the glass pan was still intact.

Now let me explain something. I live in a dorm, and we have a kitchen that is used by everyone on the floor. Cooking really is an ordeal here, because in addition to being limited by your ability, supplies and utensils, you have to carry everything from your room down the hall to the little kitchenette in the corner of the lounge. Most residents are happier eating the awful food in the cafeteria than cooking.

The only things that I had with me in the kitchen were two pot-holders and the half-empty pie pan. I ran back to my room and as I open the door my roommate asks how the rice pudding is looking. I sheepishly answer, like a child who just broke something, that I dropped it. She came back with me to the kitchen, looked at the mess, and suggested that a spatula might help scrape the rice out of the burning hot oven.

After cleaning out the rice had become baked onto the oven, I started over. It took me an extra half hour, but in the end it was still worth it. The rice pudding really is great, and I did have it for breakfast today. My roommate is lactose intolerant, but she had a little taste anyway. Just enough that she could declare it amazing and start looking up milk-free rice pudding recipes.

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Recipe: Rice pudding

This is the rice pudding that my mom used to make when I was growing up. Classic homemade rice pudding, if you haven’t had it before it’s kind of like tapioca. It’s good warm or cold, for dessert… or I eat it for breakfast all the time. All right, I know it’s not the most attractive food in a picture, but IT’S SO GOOD!

Rice pudding in my pie dish

½ cup uncooked long grain white rice

1 tablespoon butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups water

1 large egg

2 ¼ cups warm milk

½ cup sugar

½ cup raisins

Ground cinnamon or nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Put rice, butter and salt in a shallow 2 quart baking dish. I make it in my glass pie pan.

2. Boil 2 cups water and pour it into the dish, stirring until butter melts. Put the mixture in the oven and cook uncovered for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

3. Whisk the egg and blend in warm milk and pour the mixture into the pudding. Add sugar and raisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

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My roommate actually reminded me that I’m a vegetarian the other day. It’s not like I forget things very easily. And it’s not exactly a new thing either; I’ve been a “vegetarian” for two years now. It’s such an ingrained habit that I no longer remember that most people consider my idea of normal food as slightly unusual.

I place “vegetarian” in quotes, because I’m not strict about it. I eat fish occasionally, which technically puts me in the category of pescatarian (a vegetarian who also eats fish). And I can remember at least twice in the past two years that I’ve eaten meat: my mom’s meatloaf and my boyfriend’s Thanksgiving turkey.

I used to say that I “try to maintain a plant-based diet.” People invariably responded by saying, “Oh, you’re a vegetarian!” I inwardly rolled my eyes as they verbalized the exact label I was trying to avoid, thinking about how I can simply agree with them and be done with it, or give them a detail explanation about how that is not perfectly accurate. I don’t ever bother to say that I’m a pescatarian, knowing that also begs for explanation. After two years, I think that I’ve given up, and accepted defeat. Whether I say it or not, I am apparently a “vegetarian.”

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