please, mr. president.

i am ready for a change in food policy. i want better foods, grown in a way safe for the environment and my body. and everyone else's. i mostly want to eat food that is food. 

the nytimes published a nice piece on the topic
i am not convinced much will change, but there's hope. 


just for proof.

tracy and i made caramel popcorn balls for keith's carnival-themed party. so easy. pop corn. melt caramels with a bit of butter. mix together. form into balls.

this is tracy cooking. in case you didn't believe it.

i told the kids.

i recently mentioned to my students (who are in high school) not to drink red bull and vodka. i had the pleasure of being told about some weird combinations of things that their peers are into drinking. i suggested that they be smart about what they are putting into their bodies, and how confusing it is for the body to understand a stimulant and a depressant at the same time.

and now this. they are taking the caffeine out of sparks, which is an alcoholic energy drink apparently marketed towards teenagers! it also has taurine, which is pretty gross in and of itself; it comes from ox bile.

MillerCoors is removing the caffeine, taurine, guarana, and ginseng from the drink. it also promises not to make drinks like it in the future. thank goodness.

it's hard to make good choices when seemingly reputable sources are giving you such unfortunate information. or selling you things that make no sense at all.

and this kind of information just makes me sad.

the kids don't stand a chance.


we have a potluck christmas party for my office. we are supposed to sign up to cook something in a particular category, and i usually make dessert. alas, i was way too slow this year, and spent much time deliberating about what to make. finally, i decided on biscuits, which i had never made before. and they were so easy; it was ridiculous.

i found a base recipe from cooking light (again!), and edited it.
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp honey

1. combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. put the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
2. mix together milk and honey, stirring with a whisk until blended. add mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist. (do this by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula. you do not need a mixer for this recipe.)
3. this is the part that i definitely copied: "Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. Roll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds (as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope). Reroll dough into a (1/2-inch-thick) 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold dough crosswise into thirds; gently roll or pat to a 3/4-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 1 3/4-inch biscuit cutter to form 14 dough rounds. Place dough rounds, 1 inch apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper."
4. bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until golden. remove from pan and cool on wire racks.

*i also made some with cheddar. i shredded it and folded it into the dough during step 3. i also sprinkled a bit of cheese on top.

thanksgiving, in houston.

thanksgiving with my parents is a serious event. there is a lot of food, drinks, people. this year, i realized that much of what we eat is smooshy. we seemingly love foods that require little chewing. except the oranges, the rolls, and the turkey. i don't really like oranges and i am vegetarian, so i basically just need a spoon to eat this meal.
farrell (and now blake) makes the best mashed potatoes. his secret? mayonnaise. no, you can't taste it, but it makes them perfectly creamy and lovely.
of course, one kind of potato is not enough. sweet potatoes: sugary and crisp on the top. yum.
green bean casserole that could survive nuclear fallout. if there were to be a disaster, we could still eat this dish, as everything comes from a can! last year, blake and i made a "real" version with fresh green beans, and mushrooms, and organic milk and all, but it was truly not the same dish.
the photograph is sort of gross, but sums up the mushiness of the meal. i am obviously eating seconds of mashed potatoes, really my favorite part. i should just eat a bowl of them. the rest is just "small potatoes" (ha ha ha) in comparison.

those chips.

i was given a bag of jalapeno chips for thanksgiving (even though they are not in the striped bag anymore). i know people don't typically give gifts for this holiday, but blake and beth were really good to me. those texans really know how to make a chip.

the snow.

the incredible amount of snow and the lack of desire to go anywhere is helpful for those of you who read this blog. i have piles of photographs, dating at least back to thanksgiving, and it is time i write about what i have been cooking.

so, here we go.


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