Showing posts from March, 2010

Choose-a-bean hummus and my last meatless monday?

I have this recipe for black bean hummus that I just adore because not only does it taste good, but I have this everlasting crush on black beans. I just love them. Cold, hot, refried , ground up, you name it. A recent kick of this recipe has me scrounging for cans in the back of my pantry, trying to dig up a can of the black variety. One day my daughter, age 8, asks what I'm looking for and says "yuk. I don't like black bean hummus. Can't you just make regular hummus?" Hmm , ok . I didn't find any black beans anyway. I did, however, find a can of great northern beans, which I simply used in place of my ol ' favorite. And the kid ate an entire bowl of it. "This is the best hummus ever, mommy!" eat eat eat eat eat eat eat "Hey mom, what is hummus made out of?" I began to list the ingredients and she about fell out of her chair at the mention of beans. "You mean there are BEANS in here? Like the kind I don't normally like?" &

Hair: A primer for men

Women, you might want to just clip this column out of the paper right now and immediately duct tape it onto your man’s Sports Illustrated/Wall Street Journal/remote control/tool box. When it comes to women and their hair, men need to realize a few things. And I admit that I’m stereotyping here, but for all intents and purposes, I’m talking about myself and I’m going on the hopes that I’m not the only one out there in the world that feels this way. First of all, women like change and we like things to coordinate. There are few of us who are not this way, and it can easily be determined by taking two rudimentary measurements. Simply take the number of shoes the woman has and multiply it by the times she has rearranged the furniture in the house. From this, subtract the number of times she has gone to the grocery store without looking first in a mirror and changing out of her sweats and then add 15 points if she changes her purses seasonally. If this number is surprisingly high, the

Happy Spring! Eggs, eggs, and more eggs

As some of you may know, we have standard traditions that we do on the first day of each season. For the first day of summer, it's a campfire. Fall is a small pot of applesauce. Winter is hot chocolate in the dark. And spring, lovely spring, is planting seeds. Only this year's first day of spring was so lovely, that we packed our lunch, put on our boots and spent a big chunk of the day at The Wilderness Center , one of our most favorite places. We fed the geese and the fish, and for once I wasn't attacked by a large bird. It was already a good day. We picnicked on the tower, to the sound of spring peepers, blue jays, crows, and more. Even better, the babe slept for the last 2 miles, so we didn't have to drag her away from stopping to pick up every pine cone and rock. It was a very good, nearly perfect day. But the next day, we had to carry on our tradition. This year: egg heads. We've done these in the past, and the dog has eaten them before we truly got to enjoy th

The market price of tooth

I lost my first tooth while eating pizza and watching The Dark Crystal, banished to the family room while my parents played pinochle with my aunt and uncle in the kitchen. The memory is so vivid, running up the steps, blood dripping down my chin and shaking with fear and excitement while someone called trump and my uncle said, “well finally. I was about ready to yank that thing out.” I was not particularly fond of losing teeth, mostly because the taste of blood grossed me out. I wasn’t one of those people who would flip a dangling tooth around with my tongue, pushing it in and out across my lips. Instead, I was one of those who let it hang on by literally a thread until the skin finally gave way. Then I’d put the tiny thing inside a yellow pocket that was sewed onto a giant stuffed tooth, leave it under my pillow, and wait until morning. The Tooth Fairy was not something I remember thinking too much about. She brought me half dollars or two-dollar bills, always something special,

Dance Dance Revolution-- NE Ohio Polka style

A few weeks ago I wrote a column in the paper (you can find it here on my blog) about the lack of dancing these days. There's nothing better as a writer than striking a chord with your readers. I was so excited to receive a number of emails -- and even a phone call -- from fellow believers that dancing (ballroom and polka styles, not hip-grinding, strobe-light, x-rated styles) is a good thing. More than that, they also sent me information on local places to dance! Even more? One offered me her dance partner. There is not much sweeter than that. So it is with great pleasure that I share the information that was sent to me. Dance away, all!! This Saturday, March 20 th . KofC in Wooster is hosting a dance. Information here: But wait, there's more: There are two wonderful places to dance; Saturday night in Copley at Sherwood Ballroom and Rolando's on Sunday in Canton. Rolando's dance goes from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and features polka bands fro

Meatless Monday - McAllister Mac and Cheese

Let's face it. There are a million mac and cheese recipes out there, and still, our kids like the stuff from the box better. It drives me crazy, that they would prefer neon orange powdered product and little Spongebob shapes, but I can't complain about the convenience . Our Meatless Monday pledge, though, has forced me to make dinners that are good and hearty enough for the whole family, all the while being healthy. And we know that as good as that neon orange stuff is, it probably isn't the most wholesome thing we can put in our mouths. This has been my go-to mac and cheese recipe for a long time. We haven't eaten it in a while because of the baby being allergic to dairy, but for the rest of the gang, I'll be whipping this up soon. It's pretty easy, I must admit, and you can even prepare it in the morning and stick it in the refrigerator and bake it off just before dinner. It may not be open-box-add-mix convenient , but it's pretty close. McAllister Mac

I could be in trouble.

BREATHABLE COFFEE Anyone who really knows me will know that the amount of coffee I consume is pretty darn unhealthy. I don't measure by the cup-- I go by the pot. And truthfully, my stomach lining (or lack thereof) is starting to catch up with my habit. My dad shared this link with me. My birthday's in July, just in case anyone was wondering...

From fuzzy to curly to welcoming spring

There’s no pretty way to say it. I’ve been keeping a potential corpse on the back porch. Since last fall. It was a beautiful fall day and there, crawling by the woodpile was a the surest sign that winter was approaching: the wooly bear caterpillar. Brown and/or black, it is supposed to foretell the harshness of the winter that lies ahead. The more black, the more cold and snow we’d have to deal with. The more brown, the more mud that would accumulate on all of our doormats. We decided to name her Isabella, for reasons you’ll soon understand, and sacrificed a plastic jar we usually use for shaking cream into butter on Thanksgiving. I plugged in the drill and make a dozen small holes in the top for our new friend. We added a few sticks for it to climb on and a few freshly picked blades of grass. “Welcome to your new home, Isabella.” I’d never done it before, attempt to keep a wooly bear over the winter so that it would “hibernate” through the cold and then wake up to spin a beautiful coc

Meatless "Monday" - Baked rice and beans

OK, OK, I know it's not Monday. I'm late this week, due to travels around the country and around the county. (There's a post here , on the Mamazina Blog, that sums it up.) But don't let that distract you from what is probably my favorite vegetarian (VEGAN, no less!) recipe. This one is so easy and so delicious, even my son will lick the bowl. In honor of him... Bowl-licking baked rice and beans 1/2 onion, chopped 1 Tbl olive oil 2 garlic cloves, chopped 3/4 - 1 can beans (I love Great Northern for this one) 1/2 cup black olives (optional-- i put it on 1/2 the casserole for myself) 1 Tbl soy sauce a little peppa ' 1/2 tsp paprika 1/4 tsp dried basil 1/4 tsp dried oregano 1 cup white rice 2 cups water Saute onion in oil until translucent. Add garlic, cook one minute more. Mix all ingredients (including sauteed onion mix) in a large bowl, the dump into a greased casserole dish. Or be lazy like me and just mix it all in the casserole dish-- still works. Bake at

Where have all the dancers gone?

Every weekend when they were younger, my grandparents would go dancing. I know this because I hear stories about Foxtrot-ing at the ballroom or how wildly fun the polka bands at the local VFW were. The stories all end the same way, with everyone taking off their shoes and limping out to the cars, driving back to someone’s house where they would then put on more music, move all the furniture and dance even more. I hear about so-and-so who was the best two-stepper, and you-know-who who could jitterbug his way right through the floor, not to mention the polka dancer that would really whip you around the room. Granted, growing up in the Cleveland area, all of these people had last names with 14 consonants and ended in either “czek” or “ski,” but still I think that this dance craze went well beyond the limits of our ethnicity. But I’m afraid those limits don’t matter now, because no one dances anymore. Just recently I asked my friend if she knew anyone who was getting married who might need

Meatless Monday-- The girl that served tofu

We had a very long discussion on Facebook , my friends and I, trying to figure out what I could call tofu so that my kids would eat it. It seems that the word "tofu" has gotten really bad press over the years (at least in my house), mostly because of my husband who thinks it is the world's worst culinary ingredient. "You've never had it prepared well." I responded. "I'm not eating it," he replied. And I imagine under his breath he was mumbling "where's the beef?" But beyond his opinion, the word "tofu" is a terribly unappealing name. Toe and Foo. Together, it's nearly a one word euphemism for toe jam. (I reckon that's where the name probably originated.) This being a Meatless Monday , I was going to make it anyway. From a Cooking Light book, I prepared Fettuccine and Tofu with Finger-Licking Peanut Sauce, with a few adjustments, as these things go. I was all prepared to tell the kids I was making "ve