Carrot waffles

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I am a fairly serious amateur endurance athlete. I used to run marathons, and now I have moved to triathlons. At this point, I’m training for Ironman Madison in September.

Last year, I did a half ironman in Georgia. I just about had a major bonk when my nutrition plan, which consisted of eating as much Gu as I could stomach, turned out to be as total a failure as it sounds in print (I still use Gu, but now in moderation and not as a substitute for real food). Since then, I have been trying to figure out a way to eat real food while out exercising, particularly on my bicycle.

This is actually quite a serious problem. When you’re burning that many calories, eating gels and stuff is simply not enough. I recently purchased a book called Food Zone Portables, which promised to provide recipes that could be used to make real food easily consumed while exercising. I’ve only recently started fooling around with it, and the results have been pretty good. Originally I made some rice cakes with blueberries and chocolate, which were very good except I made them too thick. Then I froze them like a doofus, and they tasted terrible when they thawed. That was purely operator error.

Today I made some rice cakes with peanut butter and jell, which taste pretty good. I also decided to try making carrot waffles. They turned out pretty well, although I’m not usually much of a waffle maker (Diane normally handles that for our family). There were not too many ingredients, and I made two fairly large, thick waffles, which I froze in four portions. In retrospect, I probably should’ve made them a little bit thinner. Anyway, I’ll give these a try and see if they do better on my stomach.

NOTE: I am not posting the recipe here, because I am somewhat sensitive about posting recipes from cookbooks (the rice cake one linked above was posted by the authors, so that is fair game). I probably could do it; the state of the law seems to allow it. Nevertheless, I am a little sensitive on that, as the issue is somewhat controversial. Drawing a line between listing ingredients (fine) and exactly how to mix and cook them (maybe not fine) is tricky, and even if we only have like 4 readers (most of whom are relations), I still do not want the aggravation of messing with this. So, if you want this recipe, go to the authors’ website and ask nicely.

–Stuart

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Food and art and Little G

Three of my favorite things – my littlest chicken painting a still life of the cover of one of my favorite cookbooks.

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–Stuart

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Stuart returns

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It has been a while since I blogged. Diane was cooking a lot, the spring was crazy busy, the weather has been disheartening, etc. Anyway, it is time for me to cook some more, and maybe blog a bit.

Today I chaperoned the kids’ trip to Chahinkapa Zoo in Wahpeton, ND and then worked at home. That left me with a little more time to be creative in the kitchen, as we try to us up some stuff before a grocery run tomorrow (the following may not seem terribly creative, but without the extra time it may have been peanut butter sammich night).

So I made a steak for us all, which I served with homemade pesto for the adults.

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I also made a nice gratin of fennel and potatoes (pictured above). I did not have cream, and I did not want cream calories, so I made a creamless adaptation (based on this, or look here). It ended up more like a nice pan of roasted veggies with cheese, but using the mandoline always makes you feel fancy.

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Finally, the coup de grace – cheaters brussels sprouts. I roasted a bag from Trader Joes, but I added some homemade pesto, and it was really quite delightful.

-Stuart

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Avacado salad by Diane

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I have recently discovered the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. I’ve been profoundly affected by the concept of leaning in and have a greater understanding for many of my past decisions, both personally and professionally. Sandberg has created a monster…now I find myself thinking about gender in nearly every circumstance…so it’s not surprising that my ongoing examination of gender has made its way into the kitchen.

So many of the well known professional chefs whose work I admire are men. I am less familiar with female chefs, but I know that they are out there. (In fact, we have one of the best around in Fargo, of all places.) So I did a Google on the YouTubes and discovered this amazing woman. This salad is from her cookbook (which is getting rave reviews) and Stuart proclaimed that it was restaurant quality.

And apparently that can be hard to find, even in the fanciest of places. Seriously funny. (And really, what is more disappointing than a bad meal out when you are expecting fabulous? Which is why where to go out to eat can be an agonizing decision in our house.)

I’m leaning in all over the place. And now in the kitchen. What’s next?

—Diane

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Straight up now…it’s edamame

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Most recently I’ve had the great pleasure to work with a Health Cooking Instructor (not a dietician) at my place of work.  I’ve been able to sample many of her snacks and so far this has been one of my favorites.  It’s pretty easy and quite tasty.  What I like about it is that it’s not pretending to be anything other than what it is.  (I’ve had the shock of dipping into “guacamole” only to discover it’s been made out of peas.  No guacamole without avacados for me, thank you very much.)  I’m not a fan of the veggie burger.  Give me the veggie straight up, no get up needed.  Turkey bacon?  Please.

Try it.  You might like it.

 

Edamame Dip

12 oz. bag thawed shelled edamame

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped

1 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice

1 teaspoon peanut butter

Kosher salt (to taste)

1 teaspoon red chili paste or red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

5 tablespoons olive oil

To make, simply rev up your food processor until desired consistency.   Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or veggie sticks (carrots, red pepper).

 

—Diane

 

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Nutty about nutmeg

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A friend of mine was recently gushing about the wonders of freshly grated nutmeg in French toast batter. I’ve always been a French toast lover, as is Sweet A. So after years of wondering if it’s really worth it, I invested in (Those little suckers are kind of expensive) the whole nutmeg. Not just one, but 17 of them.

While I’m a fan of spices in general, the jury is still out if these are really so spectacular. Perhaps I didn’t use enough…next time I’ll add a bit more.

And I’m happy to share. I can’t imagine using these up any time soon.

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—Diane

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Polenta, Chorizo and Poached Egg

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A few weeks ago the 3-year-old and I met Stuart and the girls for brunch at Green Market, which is closing up shop soon. I was about to order their burger when Stuart suggested the polenta. I’ve not had luck with polenta in the past but, as Stuart said, you can get a burger anywhere. So polenta with chorizo and a poached egg it was. And it was delicious. The 3-year-old also loved it.

Today I tried to replicate it at home. I found a goat cheese polenta from the Pioneer Woman and happened to have a log of goat cheese on hand. I’ve never made polenta or poached an egg before. The polenta came together nicely and after the water wasn’t quite hot enough for the first egg I managed to turn out four perfectly poached eggs. Who knew?

And, C, after giving me a hard time for taking the time to learn how to poach eggs, loved it. The kids loved the poached eggs and French bread I also made. They didn’t care for the polenta or chorizo. I know it was nowhere near the Green Market’s, even though C was excited about it. But she didn’t ever taste the Green Market’s. The 3-year-old couldn’t get enough of the polenta and chorizo at GM and she wouldn’t touch mine. So it goes.

-Corbett

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Chocolate Chip Cookies Part Deux

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I know Corbett has already brought the age old favorite to the blog…but we all know one can never have too many chocolate chip cookies.

Sweet A wanted to try her hand at making cookies when we were stuck home watching a blizzard rage outside.  She searched the internet for a recipe and, I will admit, I steered her to my favorite and most reliable site.
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I was her assistant, answering questions, helping retrieve ingredients, and handling the oven.  After testing the first batch, the only game time adjustment I made was to add just a pinch more kosher salt.  That was the ticket.

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We had smiles all around.  And there’s not much better than a Sweet A smile.  Just like Corbett braved the below zero temperatures for his cookie delight, I would have gone out in the 50 mph winds for this one.

—Diane

Valentine’s day coffee

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My Valentine’s Day was spent in Sioux Falls, SD.

I treated myself to a cappuccino at a fabulous local coffee shop called Coffea…and my thanks to the barista for making me smile.

 

—Diane

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Culinary neologisms

Last night our co-bloggers and a few other friends joined us at the North Dakota Museum of Art fundraising dinner. It was a delight, and a worthy cause. The food (menu at the last link) started strong and got worse, descending from a wonderful cheese plate to a solid soup, a mediocre pork chop, and an opera cake I am quite certain was from Sara Lee.

All of this got me thinking of coining a new word for a meal that starts strong and gets progressively worse (a newly-invented word is of course a neologism, and word nerds will enjoy the Washington Post’s neologism contests).

We considered various options, including “cul-de-sencion,” “gastrolapse,” and “foodunition” before landing on the winner: “deculination.” Congrats to JH, the coiner of the term, which I think it perfect. Anyone with other ideas can post them in the comments.

–Stuart

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