Vintage Fatty Photo #14: Snacking to Victory, 2007

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAm&ms+cheezits+puppychow+twizzlers+goldenoreos+pretzels+mysterybowls+elasticwaistbands = glubbin’ chin glub!  This was probably our dinner.  I can guarantee that I ate the majority of that puppy chow (note my strategic proximity), and aaaalllmost wish I could go back there for 20 snacktacular minutes.  “No parents, no rules, PARTY ALL THE TIME!!” was probably not the healthiest motto, but ‘health’ was probably the worst party theme, and party trumped all. Not that this looks like a party, just a normal Tuesday night in the ArtHouse, god bless us.

GIT IT.

Put a Pumpkin in it

It’s a divisive issue in this election season: whether pumpkin flavored baked goods, drinks, and the like are the best thing to ever happen to the human race or… not.  Maybe you sense my stance on this issue already– we never promised journalistic neutrality, so get over it, pumpkin haters.  I know I use the phrase “makes my heart explode with joy” to describe many things, but do not take me lightly when I say pumpkin consumption season makes my heart explode with joyI used bold, cause I really meant it (and italics cause I’m being an asshole).
I blame smart phone technology for the conversion of my brain from one capable of creating eloquent, flourishing, descriptive sentences (I’m really stretching here) to one barely being able to make a cohesive list of bullet points without pausing to watch some cat vids or make some toast.  See?  That was a terrible sentence.  I’ll try again:

  • college brain: write good
  • today brain: is that toast burning?  did I put on clean underwear yet today or not?  does google know or should I just guess?

I think my point was going to be to make a list of the best of Pumpkin infused consumables in the Cities, so I’ll do that:

  • LUCIA’S Pumpkin Bar with Cream Cheese Icing.  Kill me now, for I shall never be happier.
  • LUCIA’S Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookie (clearly I’m biased toward my former employer).  Cakey and thick (Hey!  Like me!), an undeniably excellent pairing, if a bit unusual (Hey! Like me!).
  • BAR’S BAKERY Pumpkin Cookie.  Also cakey.  I don’t usually go for the cakier cookies, but this one bridges the cookie/scone gap in a really terrific way.  Not to mention that frosting will make your eyes roll back in your head in that way.
  • SOUTHERN TIER PUMPKING ALE.  I scored this brew at the Amsterdam and Muddy Pig.  Not too sweet, the pumpkin perfectly enhances the belly-warming fall ale.  Aaaand, it packs a punch with an alcohol content of 8.6%.  Good for your wallet, good for your soul, good for helping you get the nerve to get that pumpkin tattoo that you’ve never wanted.

Go forth in your quest, harvest-fruit enthusiasts, and let me know if I’ve missed any!

Amen. GIT IT.

I fall in love with anyone who gives me a baked good– usually the poor person at the bakery who has to deal with my outlandish enthusiasm.   Have I mentioned that my first crush was the Schwan’s man?  Not only did he have a mustache, but he brought ice cream every time he came over.  No brainer.

Work for Progress: JOIN THE MASON JAR PARTY

Frustrated by the stagnant American political climate in this election season?  There IS another option, friends!  Join the MASON JAR PARTY and work together for peace, perfect snack storage, waste elimination, and a brighter tomorrow through the omniscient vessel of glory!

Yeah, yeah, ok.  So it was my weak attempt at a socialist-y plug for Mason Jars, but I needed a hook to get you listen to me wax poetic (once again) about a major player in the simpler life: THE MASON JAR!  ARE YOU DEMOLISHING EVERYTHING AROUND YOU IN A RAGE OF EXCITEMENT!?!  I hope so, my friend, I hope so.

Once, from afar, I saw a man eating a healthy snack out of a Mason Jar, and I thought I was in love… but that’s a story for a rainy, romantic day (though that’s pretty much the whole story in that one sentence).  Moving on…

Love of the Mason Jar runs deep in my blood.  From my great-grandmother who preserved the best of the summer’s harvest in jars for use throughout the cold, Northern Minnesota winter, to my own mother who advocates using the Mason Jar to store any damn thing from paint to rocks, I have been forever enamored with its vast utility.  

Just a few things you can store in Mason Jars:

  • bulk grains from the coop- do your part to eliminate wasteful packaging!
  • veggie stick snacks
  • smoothies
  • paperclips 
  • homemade hummus
  • fireflies and a cute little toothpick palace/hut you spent restless hours making for them
  • home-brewed kombucha–I’m taking a class on this… get ready for some scoby sobs from me later
  • toenail collection
  • plastic toy collection
  • celebrity hair clippings collection
  • collections of things in general
  • ice tea
  • candy embedded with razor blades
  • buttons
  • brownie sand art
  • dumb mementos, flowers, lights and other adorable craps for your adorable, stupid wedding
  • a strong mint julep for me to drink at your wedding- I won’t* get surly, don’t worry
  • friends that you’ve accidentally shrunk to the size of ants after you were granted one wish from a genie you didn’t take seriously and then Oh FUCK your friends are now really tiny and you’ve run out of wishes and oh, molly! how are you going to get out of this one…!?!
  • healthy snacks to eat in public places to make healthy-men-loving women fall in love with you from afar- wearing vintage Levi’s, Warby Parker’s, and a woolen plaid jacket wouldn’t hurt either.  You could also be chopping wood or nurturing some baby ducks.  Just a couple of loose suggestions.  Using our blog to design my ideal man again.  What else is new?
  • preserves- duh

IN JAR SOLIDARITY,

Comradette Molly

*probably might

Top 5 Worst Desserts According to Ellen (Who is Almost Always Right)

I’d rather eat mouse turds than the following desserts:

5.  French Silk Pie

I know a lot of bridges are burning because of this bold statement, but I cannot let this one go unnoticed.  Now, French silk pie used to be the only pie I’d eat.  However, once my taste buds matured and I got over myself, I quickly realized that French silk is a poor excuse for a pie.  It’s the pubescent pie – awkward, sad, not everyone’s favorite, run of the mill/invisble to cool people who love and appreciate other pies.

4.  Rainbow Sherbert

More like rainbow barf.  I know it’s not creative, but I honestly get a little stomach ache when I look at pictures of it.

3.  Suckers

What?!  Their flavors don’t even taste like the real deal?  Maybe that’s what grapes, oranges, lemons, and raspberries taste like in hell.  No thank you.  I’ll aim for something a little more appetizing in the afterlife.  But it’s a hot picture, right?  Right.

2.  Cotton Candy

Makes my teeth too sad.  Plus, it tastes like bratty kids and sexually active teens… at the same time.

1.  Shaved Ice

THE WORST.  Firstly, for those of us who suffer with sensitive teeth, this creative dessert is literally a nightmare.  Secondly, can’t we all graduate to popsicles instead of cups of ice daggers drenched in fake flavor syrup sadness?   Yikes.  Remember suckers, the third worst dessert ever?  Well, shaved ice is just a cold version of a sucker with more hydration power.

Well, there you have it.  Please let me know if  you have an even better worst dessert I forgot to mention.  But for now, I need to cleanse my tainted chi with a chunk of fudge.     

Hearts + “Corn syrup is fine in moderation, just like everything else!” Farts 

Scattered Sushi Salad

I got an amazing new cookbook, The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for Health.  My mom gave me the original Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen for my 13th birthday (when I was a young vegetarian), and I have loved many of their healthy, tasty recipes since then (though I do eat meat now in moderation).  Last night, I decided to play wifey and make something for Ellen when she got home from work: Scattered Sushi Salad.  Picture a vegetarian sushi roll that has been exploded by a tiny stick of dynamite. Brown rice (healthier, and tastier too, in my opinion), shredded carrots, scallions, steamed broccoli,  sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar all tossed together and garnished with toasted sesame seeds, nori, and strips of egg.

The most fun part was toasting the nori (dried sheet of seaweed traditionally used to roll up sushi) over an open flame before crumbling it up.  It may have started on fire a couple of times, but I was like an eager child with an appetite for marshmallows and little patience to wait.  But this time, instead of caramelized sugar puff balls, I just couldn’t wait for that dried, flaky, green sheet of plant!

I may have put wifey #2 (which is Ellen- I am wifey #1, I guess, in this situation) to work a little.

The finished product.  See how nicely plating your food can be a healthier and more mindful way of eating v.s. chowing down x-amount of cottage cheese straight out of the tub while standing at the fridge with the door open looking for something else to inhale?

Ellen enjoys her last bite over and over while doing “The Molly Shovel.”  (Only the easiest way to clean your plate!)

Yes, you can blend that!

Greatest, most nutritious, most easily digested, most versatile post-workout pick-me-up/snack/meal/party favor?  THE SMOOTHIE.  You just put anything that is delicious into the blender, puree, and you have the greatest food on earth!  No wonder smoothie shops have popped up all over the nation, even in my hometown of Morris.  But wait, maybe people don’t realize that smoothies can be cheaper and just as delicious, if not more so, at home… unlike my childhood neighbor, who bragged about the “homemade big macs” they made.  NO WAY were those as good as McD’s*.

*my thoughts as a child.

Is it cleaning the blender that deters you? Best advice: drop $50 at Target on a Kitchen Aide immersion blender.  Easy clean-up, and it can be used as a weapon if strangers intrude during your smoothie makin’ (as long as they stay within reach of the cord).

Pretty much anything can be delicious in a smoothie if you play it off right.  Some especially tasty ones I’ve made recently: 1. ginger, pomegranate juice, yogurt, banana, and spirulina, 2. frozen mango, milk, cinnamon, almond extract, and orange juice.  (Ellen’s faves: 1. banana, raw oatmeal, honey, cinnamon, and yogurt,  2. frozen banana, avocado, yogurt, and shaved coconut.) See now, if I had a smoothie shop, I could also give them kooky fun names, but we’ll leave that b.s. to the professionals.


Choose some fruit: blueberries, strawberries, mango, avocado, banana, pear…  Trader Joe’s has a good selection of affordable frozen fruit.  Seedy fruits like raspberries and blackberries are o.k. if you like drinking liquid sandpaper.  Citrus fruits work best in juice form.

Choose some liquid: any kind of fruit juice, kefir, milk, iced green or herbal tea, greek yogurt…

Choose a little something for kick: ginger root, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla extract, almond extract, peanut butter, squeeze of lime…

Choose something weird: cooked oatmeal, frozen edamame (a tasty soybean for protein), wheatgrass, spirulina (a bizarre, green nutritional substance you can buy in powder form at the coop.  The Aztecs called it “stone excrement”.  YUM!), green leafies like parsely or cilantro, kitchen sink… ???

Anything, really, but do use your good sense.  Just picture the ingredients going out to dinner and a movie together.  Would Peanut Butter and Lime go out on a second date?  Not a chance.  But for Lime and Avocado, it might be love!  Then picture who of their friends would be at the wedding.  Cilantro?  Probably the best man!  Apple juice?  The bride’s personal attendant, holding the show together.

This is just a basic outline.  Want to try a caprese salad smoothie during tomato season?  Sure!  Blend up some basil and tomato with S&P, and sculpt a straw out of fresh mozzarella!  Sky’s the limit, as they say.

GIT IT

Treat Peanut Butter Like Gold

Favorite inventor?  George Washington Carver, of course!  Above: A glistening river of honey runs through a glorious, melty layer of peanut butter on toast.

Ellen and I are obsessed with peanut butter.  It’s a healthy source of protein (good for us, since we eat meat bi-weekly at best), raises good cholesterol, and reduces the risk of heart disease.  What else is so versatile that it can be a key component in a savory, spicy sauce or a sweet swirl in a chocolaty dessert?  Nothing, I say.

But now I ask: should it be eaten by the spoonful?  Should it be eaten by the dozen spoonfuls?  Should I be going through a small jar (the good, organic “just peanuts” kind, mind you) of it every four days?  Too much of a good thing, perhaps?  Lord a’mighty!  New goal?  Moderation: only consume one jar of peanut butter in six weeks.  Ellen and I each started on jars of Krema (my favorite brand) Creamy All-Natural at the beginning of the Meltdown, and by god, there will still be some left those jars in May.  Now, let’s lay out some more goals to help us fight our sub-conscious snacking demons!

1. Use plates when party snacking.  All about portioning.  If my grabby-hand just keeps going at those pita chips, what may seem like one serving could be more like four.

2. Fast before bedtimeI know. Metabolism slows down while you sleep, blah blah.  So let’s just abstain, even if toast (and this is where PB comes in again) is a fun end-of-the-day project.

3. Drink in moderation.  We’re twenty-somethings.  We’re babes.  We’re fun. We can knock ’em back with the best of ’em.  This is a dilemma. My friend Sean suggested trying vodka-water-limes.  This is a drink of choice for body-conscious sorority girls, apparently.  Drinks are not only empty calories, but they also lead to late night calls to Galactic Pizza.  Or, if it’s after 2 a.m., then Topper’s Pizza (shnasty, but open later).  Going to bed with 6 beers and half a pizza in your belly is definitely not a stepping stone in a journey toward total health.  We will do our best on this one.

4. Plan out snacks. Bad decisions are made when you’re hungry.  That’s why chips exist: instant salt and fat.  To help my brain make decisions when its logic is being overthrown by my stomach, I made a cheat sheet (nerd alert) of healthy snacks and taped it inside the cupboard, because seriously, look at what’s in there… mostly dried legumes and grains in jars; things that need to be prepared.  Soak some beans for 8 hours and then cook them for 2 more?  Those are not snacks.

5. Look at food while eating.  No mindless shoveling into mouth.  Take a moment to pay homage to food.  I’m not a praying woman, but I do think it’s good to be thankful for food and very mindful of the journey it has taken before it reaches your plate.  What do they say… eating is the closest connection we have to our earth?  Paying homage for even a split second makes eating a more holy and fulfilling experience.  Food really is a sacred thing.

6. Abstain from buying food demons. Well, PB is a demon of sorts, but we’re trying moderation with that one, since it really can be a health asset.  For me, ice cream, cheese, and granola (I know, right?) are things that I will helplessly gorge on, so I just wont buy them.  Luckily, we are already pretty wise grocery shoppers and avoid processed foods, so conquering the chip aisle is not even an issue.

7. Look hot all the time.  Even if my sassy outfits are a little tight at the moment, I am still going to wear them.  They will not only remind me to eat less (ooh, the pinching!), but also make me feel like a confident, powerful tigress.  I jumped on the Lent bandwagon and gave up pants.  Just skirts and shorts from here on out!  I shall box up my dumpy winter clothes tomorrow and stow them in the garage until the fall.

Vintage Fatty Photo #2: Oatmeal

Now, I should be more careful about dispensing these photos, as we really do not have enough to show one everyday for six weeks (despite what Maggie Jayne Matson may tell you), but this one… well, I just couldn’t keep it a secret anymore.  I had to pixelate my face.  I apologize for that fact, but it is just too much ugly for the general populace.  With 4 box tops, 2 easy payments of $19.95 (no COD’s), and a back massage, I will e-mail you a copy of the original, but aren’t my chubby arms and ill-fitting dress enough?!

This was taken in Mohn House, our Junior year honor house.  I deduced this by the refrigerator (my good friend, I know it well), as I have no recollection of this photo being taken.  A dear friend, who shall remain nameless, e-mailed it to me a few weeks ago with the message, “surprise. found this old chestnut in the archives – not sure if i ever shared this with you.  too late now.”

And yes, that is oatmeal.  Some crazy college party kids choose to order pizzas late at night.  My choice is, always has been, always will be, oatmeal.  For everything.  If it translated well into tattoo form, I would get an oatmeal tattoo.  Alas, its globular nature prevents me from going under the needle.

I could wax poetic about oatmeal all day long.  I eat it every single morning and never tire.  There’s one healthy habit I don’t have to work to change!  More on oatmeal and its accouterments to come.  I will make oatmeal believers of you all!

GIT IT.

The Last Supper

Last night we partook in our last nasty, American meal for the foreseeable future.  After 20 minutes of racking our brains and conducting internet research to figure out what the ultimate restaurant may be (we were not prepared to settle), the idea came to Ellen: Annie’s Parlor in Dinkytown!  We immediately knew that was the place, threw on our coats, and flew out the door.  We had been there a few years ago, and partook in burgers and a butterscotch malt not soon to be forgotten… in fact, we’ve been talking about it ever since.  We didn’t even look at the other malt options this time, nor did we consult with each other before ordering one.  It was an unspoken pact.

If I may, a quote from Ms. Ellen Roth as we sipped our malt while awaiting the arrival of our burgers:
“You know what would be the grossest thing ever?  If I lifted my skirt up and pulled my ti
ghts down so only my fupa were showing.  I’d be asked to leave.  I’m offended.  By myself.  By my fupa!”

Fupa, as pictured above (this one’s nothing compared to what I’m packin’!).  Shall we hit up the Core Fit Express class?  I don’t exactly know what Core Fit Express entails, but if it has any sort of fupa-focused exercises, I (and Sir Fups-a-lot) are front row.

PLAZA BURGER = sour cream, fried* onions, chives, and pickles.

Funny, the burger doesn’t look like something that would be healthy for you.  I feel cured.  I do not want to eat red meat again for a long time (not that a hamburger is normal fare for me), nor do I want to pound ice cream (normal fare).  Finishing the meal bordered on painful, but we’ve been raised to be clean plate club girls, so we did our duty.  Oh, and there were fries.  Crispy, tasty, perfect Annie’s fries.  I guess we’re in the clean basket club too.  Dear lord, just looking at the picture of it again makes me feel ill all over again.  Why do Americans choose feeling ill?  My insides were liquefied, and I wanted to die a little in the car ride home.

Tonight I am poring over my new Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for Health cookbook, Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, cleaning out the cupboards, organizing my food, and making a grocery list.  Now this feels better!

GIT IT

 

Amen, sleeping dragon boobs Molly.   Let’s all be done with gorging ourselves on grease-soaked patties of meat and crispy potatoes. After wallowing in beefy, milky pain, the Meltdown seemed like paradise compared to putting ourselves through another “last supper”.  Sometimes “going all out” makes you want to “go all in” in a totally different direction.  In addition to “The Last Supper,” I accidentally on purpose went out for happy hour tonight with the intention of it being “The Final Happy Drink.”  Done and done.  I wipe my hands/mouth clean of refreshing unfiltered beer and truffle oil kettle corn.  Blastards!
Tomorrow is my official weigh in, and coincidentally, it’s my first trip to the Y-dub. So, pray for extra water weight and a bloated belly!

 

Hearts & Farts