Healthy Living: Run Fast. Eat Slow.
Cookbook Overviews / April 30, 2018

OK, I am not a runner. At all. I have tried Couch to 2K several times and never made it past week three. So why am I reviewing Run Fast. Eat Slow.: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes? My fifteen-year old son is a distance runner, and my mom mentioned this book to him. We happened to be at Barnes & Noble the other day and saw this book. He has been working on eating healthier, so I decided to go ahead and buy this for him. I almost never just buy a cookbook without doing a lot of research first. I usually like to check it out from the library and test it first. So let’s hope this cookbook is a success. Run Fast. Eat Slow. was written by Shalene Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky. Flanagan is marathon runner and Olympic medalist. Kopecky is a runner and a nutritionist. They both argue that nutrition plays a big role in their success as runners. Even though I am not runner, I am always looking to incorporate more healthy habits. But I do hate restrictive or gimmicky diets. When I quickly glanced through this cookbook at the bookstore it appeared that the recipes were…

My Verdict: Butter Baked Goods
Cookbook Reviews / April 27, 2018

Here’s my verdict on Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes From a Little Neighborhood Bakery. To Read: Yes. Not a ton of text, but a nice story about how she started her bakery. Some of the recipes have personal stories with them also. A little technique info in the front, but nothing too earth-shattering. To Look At: Absolutely. I would say that the design is pretty girlie, with a lot of pink and roses, but it’s really pretty and the photographs will make you want to bake (or eat) it all. There is a photo for almost every recipe. And it even comes with an attached ribbon bookmark. Now I want all of my cookbooks to have their own bookmark! To Cook From: I think so. The recipe I made for lemon poppy-seed muffins was easy to follow and turned out well. I really want to try a more difficult recipe before I’m sure. I guess Butter Baked Goods is really known for its marshmallows. I’ve never made marshmallows before, so I think I’m going to try those. I will let you know how it goes! I hope everyone has a great weekend and gets to enjoy some yummy baked goods!  

Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day
Holidays / April 26, 2018

Mother’s Day is on May 13, which is fast approaching! Having trouble coming up with an idea for what to get your mom (mother-in-law, grandmother, friend who is a new mom)? I think we are always so ready for spring this time of year that anything to do with flowers or gardening is a great gift.   For the Martha Stewart Wannabe Mom: Martha’s Flowers: A Practical Guide to Growing, Gathering, and Enjoying For the Mom Who Says She Doesn’t Want Anything: Gorgeous flowers from sister says these flowers are great!) For the Mom Who Would Rather Be Gardening: SONGMICS 9 Piece Garden Tool Set For the Mow Who Wished She Owned Her Own Flower Shop: The Flower Chef: A Modern Guide to Do-It-Yourself Floral Arrangements (I really did get this for my mom a few years a go. It’s like a cookbook for flowers!) Hope that gets you started in thinking about what to give your mom for Mother’s Day. The most important thing is to make her feel appreciated!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Recipes / April 25, 2018

I let my youngest son pick a recipe from this week’s cookbook, Butter Baked Goods. My oldest son is a distance runner, and he’s decided that he’s cutting out dessert. Since he loves chocolate, his younger brother was nice (it does happen occasionally) and picked Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. Not exactly a difficult recipe, but one of my son’s favorites. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins 3/4 cup butter 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/4 cup poppy seeds 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 cup lemon juice 2 large eggs Zest of 1 lemon Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, sugar, and poppy seeds. Mix well to distribute the poppy seeds evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, eggs, and lemon zest. Add the liquid ingredients and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Make sure to not overmix the batter. Use an ice cream scoop to put batter into muffin pans. Makes 12 muffins…

This Week’s Favorite Things
Favorite Things / April 24, 2018

Just wanted to pop in with a few of may favorite things this week. Blog: There are so many blogs that I try to keep up with. I love fashion and style blogs because I get so many great ideas, and it’s just fun for me to look at clothes (even if I can’t afford to buy most of them). But so many fashion blogs are by and for women who are much younger than me. So I was very excited to find Style at a Certain Age. Blogger Beth Djalali always looks stylish and current without being trendy. And she always has photos of her dog (and sometimes her cat) on her Friday post! Book: I’ve been reading Arrowood by Laura McHugh. She’s a local writer, and this novel is set in a small town close to the town I grew up in. She does a great job describing a once great Midwestern river town that is in decline. It’s also a really good mystery and a page-turner. I can’t wait to pick up her other book, The Weight of Water, when I’m done with Arrowood. Recipe: I’ve already made two batches of these Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies this week….

Sweet Treats From Vancouver: Butter Baked Goods
Cookbook Overviews / April 23, 2018

Today’s cookbook is one I picked up at the library just because it was so gorgeous. Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes From a Little Neighborhood Baker was written by Rosie Daykin, the owner of Butter Baked Goods in Vancouver. It’s a pretty standard dessert cookbook with a lot of the basics and a few Canadian goodies thrown in. Daykin started out as an interior decorator but always dreamed of opening a bakery. She opened the bakery in 2007, published this cookbook in 2013, and published a second cookbook, Butter Celebrates!: A Year of Sweet Recipes to Share with Family and Friends, in 2015. This cookbook is full of simple desserts with pretty simple directions and standard ingredients, but I think that is why I was drawn to it. The desserts look like things you would really want to eat and bake for others. There are chapters on muffins, drop cookies, rolled cookies, bars, frostings, cakes, cupcakes, pies, and confections. The confections chapter is where this cookbook stand out. Butter’s Baked Goods is most well-know for its homemade marshmallows. This chapter includes the basic marshmallow recipe, plus variations, and some recipes that use the homemade marshmallows as an ingredient. There are so many…

Salt, Fat, Heat, Acid: My Verdict
Cookbook Reviews / April 20, 2018

Here’s my verdict on Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. To Read: Yes. Nosrat’s tone is both fun and informative, and she really knows her stuff. There is plenty of science in here, but she makes it simple and interesting. This is definitely a cookbook you can curl up with for awhile. To Look At: Yes, as long as you are OK with illustrations instead of photos. This book is illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton. The pictures aren’t just for fun, they are educational. Nosrat and MacNaughton created some great illustrations to guide you in your cooking, including “The World of Acid,” which matches different acids with food from around the world and “What Should I Cook?,” which is a flow-chart using all four elements from the title of the book. These graphics are the reason I will probably have to add this cookbook to my personal collection. To Cook With: Probably. As I said this book is not chock full of recipes. Instead there are ideas about things to cook, including some great illustrations on how ingredients go together. I did try out one of the actual recipes, Soy-Glazed Salmon (p. 311). The recipe was easy to understand…

This Week’s Favorite Things
Favorite Things , Uncategorized / April 19, 2018

Here are a few things I’m enjoying this week. Podcast: I am a podcast addict. I read a lot, but I don’t really do audiobooks because I have trouble concentrating on them. Podcasts are easier for me because I don’t feel like I have to pay attention every second to make sense of things. The podcast that got me hooked was Gilmore Guys. I am a huge Gilmore Girls fan, and when I heard about this podcast I had to give it a try. Kevin and Demi are two guys who decided to watch all of Gilmore Girls and then do a podcast episode for each episode of the show. Kevin had already watched most of Gilmore Girls and was a huge fan, while Demi had never seen the show. An awful lot of the podcast is just the two of them goofing off and talking to their friends about the show, but by the end of the run the podcast became so popular they are able to interview several members of the cast and crew. Ultimately, these two guys were extras on the Netflix season of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. When I saw them on TV it…

Soy-Glazed Salmon
Uncategorized / April 18, 2018

Time to test out a recipe from this week’s cookbook—Salt, Acid, Fat, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. The recipe I chose is definitely not the most complicated dish to make, but I find salmon to be difficult to get right. My family loves salmon when I pick it perfectly, but it so easy to under cook or over cook. I am always looking for just the right way to make salmon that is flaky and tasty. This method of cooking salmon delivers on both counts. Soy-Glazed Salmon 1-2 pound salmon filet, skin removed 1 cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 1/2 cup packed brown sugar Pinch of cayenne pepper 1 clove finely grated garlic 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place salmon filet on parchment-lined baking sheet. To make soy glaze, reduce soy sauce, sesame seeds, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper in a saucepan over high until it’s the consistency of maple sugar. Add garlic and ginger. Brush the glaze onto salmon immediately before cooking, basting every 15 minutes or so as it roasts. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until the fish begins to flake in the thickest part…

Some Family Favorites
Recipes / April 17, 2018

Before I get to the rest of my cookbook review, I wanted to share a couple of family favorites that I made for Easter. I often want to try out new recipes when I need to bring a potluck dish to a family get together, but then I get nervous that something won’t work out or be a big hit. So most of the time, I just end up making something that I know everyone loves. Also, I wanted to link to a couple of the cooking blogs I enjoy. I don’t only cook from traditional cookbooks! Cheesy potatoes are probably my sons’ favorite homemade dish. Yes, we are a classy bunch! My youngest even recently did a report on it when everyone in his class had to pick a family recipe to write about. My husband, whose family is Lebanese, was a little upset that he didn’t pick a Lebanese dish, which he thought would be way more interesting for a report. But we did actually learn a few things when researching this dish. It seems like it might have been invented in Utah, because it is popular at Mormon potlucks, especially at funerals. The dish is even known…

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