I can’t wait to cook off the books this week, do that kind of thing summer junkies like me live for, heading to one of the innumerable local markets, grabbing all of the corn, eggplant and tomatoes our large and tiny arms can haul and eating simple meals.

Smitten Kitchen

(via noraleahlauraemily)

The only thing on my mind for this long Labor Day Weekend.


We have a history of, you know, first we eat only grapefruits. Then we decide that eggs are terrible for us, and now eggs are good for us. … We go back and forth all the time, and there’s always some diet craze that’s on the best-seller list. I can’t remember a time in my lifetime when there wasn’t some diet that everybody was saying: ‘You have to eat this.’ They always go away, and they get replaced with something else. But sensible people still have to eat and cook, and I personally think that a world with no carbohydrates is a pretty sad place.

Ruth Reichl on dieting. [complete Ruth Reichl interview on Fresh Air here] (via nprfreshair)


I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately — Monday through Friday, anyway. I’ve done the puree diet a couple times over the past month and will do it again next week. This week my breakfast/morning snacks are kale/beet/apple juice, two six-minute eggs and a cup of berries, lunch is a Think Thin bar (peanut butter), and dinner is a lean protein with vegetables. 

Case in point: tonight Laura came over for a little Metamorphosis by Tracy and dinner. The Tracy-approved menu: turkey burger with half an avocado and an oil-free salad with a drizzle of lemon juice and freshly-ground black pepper. The turkey burger was flavored with minced spring onion, garlic, and parsley — and an egg and a bit of salt (shh, don’t tell Tracy!). It was totally delicious and satisfying (it helps to enjoy it while sipping a glass of Tracy-approved (!) wine and sitting on a breezy terrace with a dear friend). 

Then we had a discussion about how the massive high-fructose corn syrup content in fast/junk food has rewired the American brain to crave sweetness like never before.

I will say this for Tracy’s various diets: she’s curbed my sugar addiction, and that’s not a bad thing.

Nora never fails to impress. Gorgeous plating of a delicious (and nutritious!) meal post intense workout was just what the doctor ordered for Hump Day. I will surely be replicating this meal again.



beet hummus with veggies and pita chips.

Beet Hummus?! Sign me up!

Beet Hummus
adapted from Simply Recipes 

1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets, tops removed and scrubbed clean 
2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
Juice and zest of one orange
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Wrap beets together in foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about one hour or until soft when pierced with a fork. Allow to sit until cool enough to handle, then slide off beet skins. Place beets and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an immersion blender (or place ingredients in bowl of the food processor) puree all ingredients together. Add additional seasoning to taste. Serve with an assortment of vegetables and pita chips. 


Baby’s Palate And Food Memories Shaped Before Birth


My kids are going to come out of the womb loving everything.

How fun will it be to “introduce” them to foods in utero? And now today, lil’ peanut, we’re learning about the flavors of Western China….

“Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother’s milk,” says Julie Mennella, who studies taste in infants at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. In fact, Mennella says there isn’t a single flavor they have found that doesn’t show up in utero

“Each individual baby is having their own unique experience, it’s changing from hour to hour, from day to day, from month to month,” says Mennella. “As a stimulus it’s providing so much information to that baby about who they are as a family and what are the foods their family enjoys and appreciates.”

The flavor of cigarettes can be passed through amniotic fluid, too. So perhaps that’s one reason why children of people who smoke might be more likely to pick up the habit….

I really like this idea, most simply for the fact that many people are so picky about what they eat, pickiness that was bred at the family dinner table.  Little Susie doesn’t like asparagus? Well then she doesn’t have to eat it.  Children are inherently picky, they will often say “no” to anything new put in front of them if they are not encouraged to try it. My parents exposed me to a variety of cuisines at a young age. One of my first food memories is eating escargot, and loving it.  Sure, I didn’t like peas, but if they were served at dinner, I had to eat at least a small helping.  This exposure and positive attitude regarding food variety has certainly had a profound effect on how I eat today. I will try anything (as long as it’s gluten-free!) and if I’m not a huge fan, I will often give it another try at a different time & place just to give whatever food it may be the benefit of the doubt (I’m looking at you peas). 

Baby’s Palate And Food Memories Shaped Before Birth