A blizzard hit us this morning, so it’s an impromptu day off for me. On the agenda: crafting and cooking and baking. Also, much watching of Spongebob.
I’ve been kind of obsessed with cooking and cookbooks lately. My diet has been changing — increasingly away from meat, and even dairy and eggs, and toward more veggies. The elimination of whole categories of ingredients – milk, cheese, BACON – has been, perhaps paradoxically, inspiring rather than limiting.
Some of my favorite new cookbooks were written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero of Post Punk Kitchen. Appetite for Reduction is great, but today I delved into Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar! Because nothing says “Snow Day” like cookies!
I decided to make one of the recipes from the “Wholesome” chapter, Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies. These were not a huge hit with the boys, but I heart them. They turned out almost scone-like in texture, and contain oats, whole wheat flour, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans. Yum.
The recipe calls for agave nectar, but I didn’t have any so I subbed in more brown rice syrup. As a result, they’re probably less sweet than they should be. That’s OK with me. To be honest, these are the kind of cookies that would make other moms whisper, “Poor John and Sam. Their mother is a hippie. She makes them eat lentils and VEGAN COOKIES.” Most of the recipes in the book are decidedly not like that. John has made me promise to make one of the recipes with chocolate chips later. That’s what snow days are for.
This and that…
On a related topic, another of my favorite food writers and cookbook authors is Mark Bittman. He has published two very interesting columns recently, one on the Department of Agriculture’s new nutrition guidelines and another on McDonald’s oatmeal. At the heart of both pieces is the simple belief that we should be eating real food. If only the government weren’t afraid to speak this wisdom!
Yesterday, I listened to a couple of great NPR podcasts from All Songs Considered. Their latest is a 90s retrospective, which is fun, but I really liked an older one entitled “Tunes that Got You Through Your Teens.” The stories from listeners are great and really reminded me of how important music was to me as a teenager. As Bob Boilen said, “What a good friend music can be.” Lots of different stuff helped get me through my teens. The first album I thought of, though, was Ocean Rain by Echo and the Bunnymen. I listened to it incessantly. To me, it was the very essence of brooding romanticism, something that I think is almost universally appealing to teenagers. For your listening pleasure, my favorite cut…