Where can I get my math on?

June 28, 2011

Some time in 2012, you’ll be able to get your math on at the Museum of Mathematics, which will be located at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan.  The New York Times had an article about it recently.  I noticed that Stephen Wolfram, founder and CEO of Wolfram Research is on the Board of Trustees, and I just read an interesting article in The Economist about him.


Alert: Union Square Souen is open for lunch!

June 21, 2011

June: 2011
I went there last week, and IT WAS ON!  The sushi bar was not open, so my craving for an umeboshi/shiso roll went unsatisfied, but alas, I lived through it.

Pink Himalayan Salt?

June 15, 2011

Gadzooks!  Now who’s going through whose spice basket?  Yes!  I bought the Himalayan pink salt (I bought the Himalania brand – it was on sale at Whole Foods – $5 instead of $7.99, ka-ching!).  I could say I’ve been thinking about it for a while because One Lucky Duck always uses it or because it’s got all kinds of good qualities (apparently), but I really bought it because I got sucked into this conversation about plant melatonin with some dude at Whole Foods and one thing led to another and he talked me into trying Himalayan pink salt.

You don’t have to tell me, I already know, I am exactly the persnickety, nutritionally pretentious middle-aged woman who goes all apeshit over precious, esoteric condiments such as Himalayan pink salt.  Hey, I’ve also been combing the farmer’s market for chervil, for crying out loud, and you’ve all heard my raw sauerkraut raves.  And you know what?  I even annoy myself.  Sure, I’d love to be cool, not care what I eat (or just eat metal) and act like Mr. T for weeks at a time.  Dress like him, shave my head in an interesting fashion, call people fools and maybe even star in a badass paramilitary show like the A-Team.  But you know what?  I’m a Mother, and I think my rapping, food allergies and fascination with refrigerants already make me strange enough to my child and acting like Mr. T (like for longer than 10 minutes, which is totally normal) is just beyond.  But wait until he goes to college!  I pity the fool who messes with me then.

What is Gandalf’s last name?

June 13, 2011


Great food in Atlanta?

June 8, 2011

My family and I were so pleased to find a great farm-to-table restaurant / brew house in Atlanta called Five Seasons.  We went to the Alpharetta location and loved our meals.  We went with a big group and some of the dishes we had were the pretzel, beets, iceberg wedge, asparagus and mushroom pizza (w/grilled steak addition and gluten-free crust), beef burgers, regular fries, sweet potato fries and kid’s chicken fingers (which were impressively made from chicken breast, not miscellaneous processed chicken pulp!!!).  Also, those of us who tried the beer (which is made in house) loved it!

I loved everything about this place – the service was fantastic (I think our server’s name was Johnny), the place was not the least bit pretentious and very comfortable, the food was amazing (with a good variety on the menu, everything is prepared fresh, and they know what gluten-free means!) and everything was local and organic and reasonably priced (it was not cheap, but it was good quality food, so I felt it was worth it).  And, oh my gosh, we just happened to go on a Sunday and KIDS ATE FREE!

Also, during our trip to Atlanta, I discovered Georgia-based American Gra-Frutti Coconut Drops and Arden’s Garden Very Very Berry Squares, both of which are absolutely amazing!  The next time I go to Atlanta, I have to be sure to stop into an Arden’s Garden (I found the berry squares at a Whole Foods), because it looks like a great juice and raw food place!

How do you make those chocolate peanut butter cups?

June 8, 2011

Carob peanut butter balls

Carob peanut butter balls

They are actually carob peanut butter balls, and before I tell you what I put in them, let me give props to American Gra-Frutti, who make the Roasted Carob Coconut Drops that inspired me so much, I had to try to make them at home!  I found the A. Gra-Frutti drops at a Whole Foods in Atlanta and fell in love.  They are spectacular, gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and are sweetened with raw, organic agave.  They’re available all through Atlanta and also through mail order (according to the Agrafrutti.com website, which has all sorts of gluten-free goodies on it, and seems like a responsibly-run company, at least from my quick persusal of the site!).  I think they (or many other products on this site) would make great gifts, too!

Here is my version:

1 cup Chatfield’s carob powder
1/2 cup of raw, unrefined coconut oil (I used 1 part International Harvest’s Coconut oil and 1 part Artisana coconut butter)
2 Tbs raw honey
1/4 cup Go Hunza raw, unsweetened coconut flakes (I chopped them more finely in my Vitamix before adding)
1/4 cup Maranatha organic no-stir creamy peanut butter (I wish I read the label on this one before getting it – it has sugar added)

NOTE: It really helps if the coconut oil/butter and honey are warm, like they are on a hot day, and if the peanut butter is cold, and the natural kind (that gets kind of hard when it’s in the fridge).

Mix the carob, coconut oil/butter and honey together until uniformly blended.  You can use a food processor, but since I did this on a very warm day, the coconut and honey were nearly liquid, so it was easy enough to do with a spoon.  Then, fold in the coconut flakes until evenly distributed.   Put a quarter-sized sphere of the carob mixture in your hand in a ball.  Press a small amount of peanut butter (about 1/8 tsp) into it and press the carob mixture around the peanut butter to cover it.  Roll into a ball.  Refrigerate until solid.  Serve cold.  This recipe makes about 20 of these delicious treats.

ANOTHER NOTE: If you are nut-free, a good substitute for the peanut butter would be sunbutter.

What’s wrong with soy?

June 3, 2011

Nothing is wrong with fermented soy products, such as tempeh, miso and fermented soy sauce.  In fact, fermented soy products are good for you and many of the proclaimed benefits of soy are attributed to fermented soy and not, as some people would have you believe, in the more regularly consumed unfermented items such as soy milk, tofu and edamame.

The people that believe unfermented soy products negatively impact your health cite hormonal disruption, nutrient absorption issues, thyroid impact, fertility issues, toxicity, etc. as potential issues, but there are some who argue that the science behind the blaspheming of soy is not exactly compelling.

In my humble opinion, there is enough research out there that makes me feel that unfermented soy is a bad idea (especially this 1999 letter from two FDA soy experts, wherein they protest the FDA approval of soy), so I avoid soy milk and tofu like the plague and limit consumption of other forms as much as is realistic (it’s hard to avoid completely – check your ingredients and see).  However, I do think fermented soy products are very beneficial and worth eating.

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