Monday, February 28, 2011

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca, Whore's Spaghetti

There appears to be debate about the origin of the dish. I enjoy best the idea that it was made by prostitutes so that the aroma would drift out their open windows and attract passers-by.

This sauce has a ton of flavor from the additions of Kalamata olives, capers, garlic, red chile flakes and anchovies. With all of my harping about cooking with ingredients rather than processed foodlike products, this recipe relies pretty strongly on preserved things; salted, brined, canned, dried. Arguably not even the garlic is fresh. But the result is fresh and lively tasting. It's also a great simmer sauce for chicken or salmon.

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

olive oil
a few anchovies
as much garlic as you like, more is better, minced
a handful of Kalamata olives, pitted
a couple of tablespoons of capers
a jar of the simplest tomato based pasta sauce you can buy (least amount of ingredients)
red chile flakes to taste
1 pound dried spaghetti

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a non-reactive skillet. Iron can react with the acidity of the tomatoes lending off flavors and colors. @cpkimball's folks have done tests indicating that a short cooking period in a well-seasoned pan should be fine but I have made some funky tasting oddly colored dishes in iron and now have relegated it to frying. I usually start everything with 1 tablespoon of fat or oil to keep the calories in check but if I am cooking for company, I usually bump it up to 2 tablespoons.

Add the anchovies and cooking, stirring to break them up, until they sort of disintegrate. Add the olives (you can chop, them slice them or leave them more or less whole), capers and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is aromatic but not yet burnt.

Add the pasta sauce and stir to combine the ingredients. Add red chile flakes to taste. When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain and mix some of the sauce into the pasta. Turn the pasta out into a bowl and top with remaining sauce and lots of freshly grated grating cheese of your choice.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Grilled Asparagus

My wife Yvonne's favorite vegetable is asparagus and particularly grilled. Here I "marinate" the asparagus for a bit in soy sauce, lime juice, olive oil and black pepper.

But first, the prep.

I like my asparagus skinny so I really don't end up with the tough woody butt ends. I have tried the technique of shaving the skin off the bottom 1/4 to make those thick, woody ends chewable. The benefit does not seem to outweigh the cost.

With these skinny ones, I break one where it easily snaps when lifted away from the rest of the bunch -

Note broken end near the "A" in "Tecate"
then I cut the rest the same length.

What some will tell you and I have found is that you can kind of make the asparagus break wherever you want to. Really you're just guessing about where the toughness ends.

Then into a dish to which I add reasonable amounts of soy sauce, olive oil, lime juice (and the depleted limes) and freshly ground black pepper. There they sit until I'm ready to throw them on the grill.

I toss them on the grill -

Here you see the asparagus hanging out with some jalapeños and green onions

An turn them often until they have a char to them and are done to my liking. Then back into the "marinade" which is now a seasoning sauce.

Asparagus is great hot or even better at room temperature. I read that it is technically withing the rules of appropriate dining to eat asparagus with your hands so I do.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Upper Crust Garden Salad

Upper Crust Pizza is our local place that we always order from when I suddenly don't feel like cooking (which is rare). I generally order the garden salad which I love. The other day I tried to recreate it. And this is how you do it;

Upper Crust Garden Salad

Romaine lettuce torn into pieces
sliced mushrooms
diced bell pepper
diced tomato
diced onion
sliced olives
grated mozzarella cheese

Place lettuce in bowl. Place remaining ingredients in their own separate areas on top of the lettuce. Serve with Italian dressing on the side. (It would be very good with Lorne Green's Dressing)

Lately I've been thinking about how flavorful additions really stand out better when not mixed in to the whole; the salt sprinkled on top of bread dough just before baking, the red pepper flakes and/or Parmesan cheese sprinkled on my slice of pizza, the honey drizzled on top of the oatmeal, not mixed in.

What makes this salad so awesome to me is the way the flavor changes depending upon whence your bite is lifted. Yes, I said "whence".


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is one of my wife's favorites and was cooked on request after we visited HUB last week for lunch. Food was pricey but delish and the beer selection was good and cheaper. Definitely worth a return trip.

The crust I use is from the invaluable book Ratio by @ruhlman. He calls it the 3:2:1 pie crust as it is 3 parts flour, 2 parts fat and 1 part liquid. I used 12 ounces unbleached white flour, 2 sticks cold butter cut into small cubes and 1/2 cup ice cold water.

I worked the butter into the flour quickly with a fork then gently mixed in the water just enough for the dough to not quite hold together. I am always in such fear of overworking the dough that my crusts never actually hold together and must be slid off of my work surface onto their resting places.

Then I shaped the dough into two disks, wrapped in plastic wrap and into the fridge to rest until ready to use.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 batch 3:2:1: pie dough rolled into a bottom and top crust
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped finely
2 carrots, sliced width-wise about 1/4 inch thick
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup cooked chicken meat, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.

Note the vegetarian version on the right
Add flour and whisk contents for about a minute. Whisk in milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until the milk begins to come to a simmer and thickens. Add chicken and peas. Check for consistency. I like somewhere between gravy and bechamel consistency. If it's too thick, thin with milk or water. If it's too thin, continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until it is the consistency you like. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place bottom crust in pie pan. Add the filling mixture. Cover with top, crimp edges and poke a few holes in the top for steam to escape.

Note fractured crust from fear of overworking/too much water
Bake for 45 minutes or so until the crust is done. Let rest until not molten and serve.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beef and Barley Soup

Further and pursuant to my post yesterday about the lengthy pot roast experience, this is what was done with the broth from both 10 chicken thighs and 8 pounds of chuck and some of the resultant pot roast;

Beef and Barley Soup

1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
aforementioned broth, 2 or so quarts plus water to thin
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 pound or so leftover pot roast, chopped
1 16 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes and their juice
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in soup pot over high heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softening and beginning to brown.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about an hour or until the barley is cooked but not mushy. I had to add some water to thin my broth as it was pretty highly flavored after all the action it had seen.

This soup, as almost all soups do, by having some time to age for the flavors to meld.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Vaca Pernil al Horno vs Pot Roast, An Elaborate Affair with Beef

Times generally being what they are I have been buying cheap meat and utilizing long, low cooking methods. One exception is Tyler Florence's Puerco Pernil al Horno. This method is pretty much moderate, dry heat and develops a crust and is slice-able.

On Saturday I picked up this 8 pound chuck roast

and said to myself (and 8 or so people via Twitter) why not try Vaca Pernil al Horno. Here is why; tough, off flavors in certain parts of the roast, scary, unpleasant, disturbing. This are the things I thought as I slice piece after piece form various parts of the roast and tasted them.

As luck would have it I was slow cooking some chicken thighs with aromatic vegetables in water for a soon to be blogged about chicken pot pie extravaganza. Chicken having been removed, I sawed up the beef (literally) and immersed it in the crock pot for 10 hours on low.

The result was much better than either of the preparations alone would be. I would not recommend this method, especially the part about tasting it after it comes out of the oven, unless you already have a bunch of stuff going on in the kitchen and the oven is already on.

Vaca Pernil al Horno vs Pot Roast

For the adobo rub;

2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 tablespoons vinegar

For the roast;

1 8 pound bone-in chuck roast
about 2 quarts broth
2 carrots, cut into big chunks
2 onions, peeled quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed
10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves

Stir adobo ingredients together in a bowl. Rub all over beef and let sit at room temperature for an hour on the rack of a roasting pan (or a makeshift rack of carrots). Roast at 350 degrees F until the center of the roast reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from oven.

Cut roast into chunks and put in slow cooker set to low. Add broth, carrots, onions, garlic, pepper and bay leaves. Cook until meat is falling off the bone and delicious. I literally went 10 hours. This thing cooked for 14 hours.

We live, we learn.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Low G. I. and Lentil Soup

Mostly because I want to rant about the book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It with a clean conscience, I am currently experimenting with controlling my carbohydrate intake (about 300 grams a day) and eating low glycemic index ones when I do eat them. It is becoming apparent that in a nutshell this boils down to;

no bread, no potatoes, no tropical fruits and no sweeteners.

I realize that is kind of a fascist list as there are exceptions but that pretty much sums it up.

I have been eating this way for 2 weeks and this is what I can tell you so far;

Twice in the afternoon my blood sugar has crashed so I do keep an extra piece of (temperate) fruit around.

I can't tell whether I feel better or not. It's so subjective. I can say for sure I don't feel any worse.

I can't really tell if my hunger levels have changed. I am generally always hungry and I feel like I'm still pretty much always hungry. I like food, what can I say? But I do generally feel satisfied longer after eating no doubt due to the additional fat and protein I am eating to compensate for the carbs.

My weight has stayed at the low end of my normal range (212 - 222 pounds when I wake up) and my pants do seem to be fitting looser.

The challenge has been that eating a lot of whole grains requires some planning ahead as most of them take some cooking time. We have a lentil casserole that we like that takes 1 1/2 hours to cook. Steel cut oats are better than old fashioned ones but they take 40 minutes so have to be cooked in advance. It is much easier to grab a hunk of bread carb-intake-wise. Luckily I can have whole grain rye or pumpernickel.

Here is one of those semi-long cooking recipes that came out really well (sorry no pix but trust me it looks like grey soup. Lentils are not the best food models). I cooked it along with dinner last night so I could eat it today.

Lentil and Barley Soup

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups water
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup pearl barley
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seed, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 bay leaf
1 bouillon cube
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over high heat in a big soup pot. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and the vegetables are beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook, stirring for about another 30 seconds.

Add water, lentils, barley, tomatoes, spices, oregano, bay leaf, bouillon, and salt & pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for an hour or so. At this point start checking the lentils for desired doneness. Mine went about an hour and fifteen minutes last night.

Happy Friday!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dory Langdon Previn's Caviar in Aspic

Here's me cooking the first recipe from 1966's the Celebrity Cookbook curated by Dinah Shore. The italics are the original recipe, the unitalicized are my 2 cents.

Dory Langdon Previn's Caviar in Aspic

4-6 ounce jar of caviar (I had 2 ounces)
3 hard boiled eggs (I used 2)
1 can chicken broth (I used half of a 32 ounce carton, I assume she means 16 ounces)
2 envelopes unsweetened gelatin
bunch of watercress (I didn't have watercress as there is apparently none in Tucson right now)

Heat 3/4 of the chicken broth to boiling while "blooming" the gelatin by sprinkling over the remaining cold broth.

Stir the hot broth into the cold and let sit until approaching room temperature.

Scrape caviar into a medium sized ring mold. I don't have any Jell-o molds so I went with a small (toy) mixing bowl. Spoon 3 or 4 tablespoons of the broth over the caviar and shake mold until caviar is level.

I could have bought prettier caviar for this recipe.

Place in icebox. Separate hard boiled eggs, grate whites and yellows separately. When gelatin is set on the caviar, take mold from the icebox, sprinkle egg whites on top of caviar,

repeat the spooning and shaking processes with more broth, again return to icebox. When this layer has set, do the same thing with the egg yolks.

Allow finally to set firmly in the icebox for an hour.

To un-mold, place bottom of mold into warm, not hot, water until the gelatin can easily be pulled away from the sides of the mold. Upturn over a moistened plate (to aid in repositioning it) until the aspic slides effortlessly out of the mold.

Ms. Previn (nee Langdon) would have us decorate the center with watercress and serve with toast tip, lemon wedges and shot of vodka. My family opted to eat it with crackers and was surprisingly not completely disgusted. My wife had more than 1 bite and my son had a microscopic portion on a cracker.

I ate basically the whole rest of the thing with a fork.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gizzard Chili

Gizzards again? Aw, man!

Yes, gizzards again. I keep thinking about how the taste of Mom's gizzards seems to mean home to residents of Africa, the Caribbean and the American south. They can't all be wrong. Mario Batali talks about the caviar crunch of gizzards. I, for one, remember not-so-patiently waiting for the giblets to simmer on turkey day. Then they would be sliced and eaten on crackers to tide us over until supper.

This recipe appears to be a method of using ground gizzards as a substitute for hamburger meat. I made the addition of a tablespoon ground coriander seed and a teaspoon of ground cumin. I imagine Tummy Tucker was using the sort of chili powder that contains additional spices.

Gizzard Chili

As usual this recipe is written as I cooked it;

2 1/4 cups dried small white beans (but any dried bean would work)
1 pound chicken gizzards
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1 16 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander seed, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Cook beans according to preferred method. Mine was to toss the beans in a soup pot with a couple of inches of water over them and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until done. Mine took about two hours. No, I didn't soak. Drain if desired. I did not.

Meanwhile simmer gizzards in salted water to cover until tender. I went about an hour. I have a picture of the gizzards simmering but it will do nothing to sell you on gizzards. Drain (reserve the stock) and grind. Finn helped with this process;

The result was not unlike very lean fried hamburger meat that tasted like gizzard.

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. I went so far as to do it over high heat and saute until beginning to brown. Add ground gizzards and saute 5 minutes longer.

Add cooked beans (and juice), tomatoes (with their juice), chili powder, coriander, cumin, cayenne (and salt if necessary, it wasn't for me as the gizzards and beans were well seasoned). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently and adding reserved stock to thin when and if necessary. It really seems to want to burn at the bottom of the pan. I imagine all that lean protein was the culprit.

Serve immediately or age at the back of the stove for an hour or refrigerate until serving and reheat. It does indeed benefit from a little time for the flavors to meld.

And the flavor verdict? I thought it was delicious but I love gizzards and I knew there were gizzards in there. I think that would be a prerequisite for enjoying this dish. Perhaps most importantly, the whole dish cost about $3.50 for what would have fed a family of four but indeed fed me for 5 days of lunches.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

That White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

Google works because it helps people find what they're looking for. This is why this chicken chili recipe floats to the top of the results page. It is easy, it is quick and it tastes good. For these reasons it is probably very heavily treaded ground and not in need of additional blogging.

Be that as it may, it is what I made on Saturday and therefore will be addressed here, today, now in an episode entitled;

That White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

As usual I am giving quantities and directions as cooked.

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces chicken broth
1 jar simple tomatillo salsa
1 16 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes (I use them for everything)
4 roasted Hatch chilies, skinned, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cumin
1 small bag frozen corn
1 pound diced, cooked chicken meat
16 ounces cooked white beans
salt and pepper

Heat oil over high heat in soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown.

Stir in broth, salsa, tomatoes, chilies, oregano, coriander and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.

Add corn, chicken and beans and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


I initially attempted this recipe without the corn but there was not enough sweetness to offset the tangy ingredients. After adding corn the dish balances very nicely.


Monday, February 14, 2011

One of Lorne Green's Favorite Salads

Today begins my trip back to 1966 as I cook through The Celebrity Cookbook. I skipped recipe 1, Dory Langdon Previn's Caviar in Aspic for now. I have the ingredients but not yet the time. I also skipped recipe 2 for now, Phyllis Diller's Garbage Soup, as it will need time to test all of her ideas (although her recipe is quite close to my End of Week Soup).

One of Lorne Green's Favorite Salads

1 bunch romaine, torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch watercress, torn into bit sized pieces (I used 1/2 arugula and 1/2 mache)
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup julienne beets
1/2 cup green onions, chopped

Toss the above with plenty of the dressing below;

1 scant 1/2 cup white vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1 generous cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I estimated this as Finn ground the pepper directly in)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon season salt (I used Italian herb blend and added a little more salt)
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate (I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon rubbed between your hands

Place all of the above into a jar and shake to emulsify;

Finn said the dressing looked and smelled just like food dressing from the grocery store. We made our own julienne beets which resulted in this;

The salad really was great and I will be enjoying another for lunch with the leftovers.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Slow Cooker Bean Soup

This preparation is perfect when you want to come home and have a hot, home-cooked, comforting meal waiting for you. It works with any dried bean. I used Lima.

There is much mythology surrounding the cooking of dried beans and after reading almost all of it and trying everything I've read, this is my conclusion; beans do not have to be soaked if you are going to cook them in a slow cooker for at least 6 hours on high. I don't salt them early (I'm chicken) but I cook them with all kinds of salty meats with no deleterious effects.

The aphorism about an acidic cooking medium however does appear to be true. The beans will stay hard/not cook. I rarely have to throw anything away but this one batch of chili...

Bean Soup in a Slow Cooker

1 pound dried beans (I used Lima)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried herbs of some kind (I used Italian seasoning)
1 bay leaf
1 cup chopped up leftover pork (or ham or chicken or whatever)
salt and pepper

Put all ingredients in slow cooker with enough water that it won't cook dry. In my small Crock Pot I fill the water to 1 inch below the ledge where the lid sits. Cook for 6 or so hours on high. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 1/2 hour, reseason and serve. It will also hold well for up to 4 hours on your cooker's "warm" setting.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cucumber Onion Tomato Salad

This is one of my favorites of my Mom's side dishes. It's a perfect light foil for about any simple meat and starch meal. This more than about anything else I make brings me back to my Mom's dinner table.

Cucumber Onion Tomato Salad

3 cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Mix vegetables in a large bowl. Add vinegar, salt and lots of black pepper (or to taste). I add about a quarter cup of vinegar.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fried Rice

The most important ingredient in fried rice is cold leftover rice. You can make your own leftover rice by; steaming it using your favorite method, spreading it on a cookie sheet and putting it in the freezer until chilled.

The second most important ingredients in fried rice are oyster sauce and toasted sesame oil. The oyster sauce adds saltiness like soy sauce but has greater depth of flavor. The sesame oil adds that certain something that makes this fried rice taste authentic. WARNING; a little goes a long way. Toasted sesame oil can really take over a dish.

Fried Rice

2 tablespoons or so oil, divided
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups or so previously cooked and chilled brown or white rice
1 cup chopped cooked chicken, pork, shrimp or ham
oyster sauce
soy sauce
toasted sesame oil

Heat 1 tablespoon or so of the oil over high heat, add egg and cook, stirring constantly until cooked and fluffy. Set aside.

Wipe out pan if necessary. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until you can smell the garlic. It is better if the garlic doesn't burn.

Add the rice, eggs and meat. Stir to break up eggs and clumps of rice while it is coming to temperature.

Stir in oyster sauce, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil to your taste. I probably use a tablespoon or soy of oyster and soy and a 1/4 teaspoon of oil.


Frozen peas can be added to great effect. Bacon makes an awesome cooking oil and meat for this recipe.



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Groundnut Stew

I was sitting on two bags of unsalted peanuts that will get rancid if not used soon. What to do? I remembered that peanuts are African in origin and are used specifically in ground nut stew or soup.

This recipe was my inspiration. I particularly love that most of the ingredients are optional. My kind of recipe. I was cooling for a vegetarian so I left out the chicken.

I did make my own peanut butter with my big Thai mortar and pestle. If I had it to do over again I would have used the blender. My peanut butter was not what one would call smooth.

Groundnut Stew

1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 ounce can tomatoes
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 bay leaf
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed and microwaved on high for 5 minutes
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup peanut butter

Heat oil over high heat in a big soup pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally until beginning to brown.

Add tomatoes and bring to a fast boil while stirring. Add cayenne, coriander, bay leaf, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, squash and enough water for a soupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender, stirring frequently as the peanut butter seems to encourage burning at the bottom of the pot.

Serve over boiled rice.

Peanut Butter

Put peanuts in mortar

Beat to a pulp until smooth.

Simmer in 1 cup water until emulsion comes together.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Lentil & Rice Casserole

This is the first blog post since I began the eating experiment inspired by my reading of Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It and it has a quite low glycemic index if you care about such things.

Let me continue by stating that this is much better than it looks and it does not look pretty. I fixed this in a subsequent version by putting some of the added cheese on the top and perhaps a sprinkling of herbs as a garnish. Perhaps if I had looked at the pictured of the recipe I would have caught that sooner.

This is the recipe I used for inspiration. It is so simple it's practically not even cooking. Pretty much; Combine ingredients, bake.

Lentil & Rice Casserole

4 cups broth (or seasoned water)
3/4 cups lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian herb mix
1 cup grated cheddar, divided

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Mix all ingredients except for the cheese in a baking dish.

Cover and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes.

Uncover, stir in 3/4 of the cheese, top with remaining cheese and bake for 20 more minutes.

Voila, food;

You might note chunks of ham in the version above. Chunks of chicken would also be very appropriate.

Also, my wife, Yvonne told me that this one needs to be added to the regular rotation. That is a ringing endorsement.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Friday Thoughts about 2 Books

The first book is Gary Taubes' Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. This book has been making me mad, so mad that I have typed profanity into the notes of my Kindle version.

The first half is a very salesy, pseudoscientific, fake logic-y setup. The second half appears to be the Primal Diet, or something like it.

I will write more on this topic but not until I experiment a bit with his ideas. I have been more or less taking in and expending a fairly stable amount of calories for the past 5 years and especially in the last year. Without changing the calories in/calories out aspect of my eating (that has allowed me to lose 130 pounds, flying in the face of Taubesian fake-logic), I am going to alter where these calories are coming from in a ratio similar to what he puts forward in his book. I'll let y'all know what happens.

The second book is The Celebrity Cookbook compiled by Dinah Shore for release in 1966.

Within are about 63 recipes, almost all of which contain watercress, shared by the celebrities and celebrity wives of the day. My half-baked plan or hare brained scheme, if you will, is to cook through this book a la Julie & Julia. I will also limit myself to a year which should be easy considering she had 524 recipes to complete and I only have 63.

I have about thawed from my 20 degree bike ride in this morning, time to make the donuts. Have a great weekend!