Quick Question


Hey guys!

I’ve been updating my YouTube channel more frequently than this space. I’d love to share the comedy videos here, but that means the direction of the blog would change a bit, ie no recipes.

Would you mind responding to this poll to let me know if you’d like to see the videos here


or not.


Thank you so much!



I’ve been trying to reformat the settings for the past 24 hours so there may be periods when, if you have stopped by and then again, the blog may look different.  Somethings may have even gone missing but they will pop up again. Hopefully. (If I can figure it out!)

Unfortunately neither Roo or I are HTML oriented and this is taking much longer than I thought.

Please forgive me as I continue to mess around with things.

*Updated to add: I just got a tweet telling me that an email was sent out to subscribers last night with a post dated March 2011. If you received that email, I sincerely apologize. I have no idea what happened with updating the blog (late) last night, and why an already published post went out via email. I’ll try to figure it out so it doesn’t happen again!

Japan, May 2012

For the past two weeks I’ve been in Japan, planning and attending my grandmother’s memorial.  It was a busy time; full of grief, little moments of happiness, and being so full I could hardly breathe.

I haven’t been to Japan for three years, and while the timing was bittersweet, I’m glad I went back.

Most of these photos are of the temple grounds we divided my grandmother’s ashes at, but I hope it’ll give you a glimpse as to what I’ve been up to.

Much love,


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Hey Girl, Ryan Gosling Is Here For You

Hey Girl,

Is your man all sad because the Pats lost the Super Bowl last night?

Did he spend the evening wandering the house, unresponsive and not wanting to come to bed?

Are you worried that he has gone into that place called “man sadness,” and may not be back for a long, long while?

No big.

Ryan Gosling will take care of you this month.


That’s right.

Time Warner Cable decided to make Ryan Gosling available to all women of America, by instant access On Demand.

Kids running amok? No worries. Ryan Gosling is great with kids.


Want to finish reading The Help, but you’re afraid of the ending?

Ryan Gosling is super sensitive. He’ll be right there with you when Aibeleen tells Mae Mobley, “”You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”


Because you know what, you is important.

So get out of bed! Let your man mourn.

But pick up your phone.


Because Ryan Gosling is calling to make sure he got your latte just right.

Almost End of CSA

Roo picked up our CSA this afternoon.  With this being week 17 out of (hopefully) 19, I’m starting to become nervous about living life without the ease of farm fresh (organic) produce being packed up in a bag for us every Friday.

We both had never signed up for a CSA before, and I’m happy to say as we near the end of our season, our first try turned out great!  Though their CSA started later than most (June 24th), we’ve been really happy with the abundance of leafy greens (kale is one of our favorites), summer tomatoes and basic overall variety (we’ve never tried tatsoi till this summer) that we’d see in our bag every week.  Also, it has been a great time and money saver when it came to our weekly grocery shopping.  It worked out to be only $15 per person per week for our regular share.  Not only was it organic, but literally plucked from the ground and thrown into our bags that morning.

Some people say they can’t taste the difference between farm fresh/local produce vs. something from the other side of the States, or even from abroad like Chile.  Maybe it’s the placebo effect Roo and I experienced, but we truly felt we could taste the difference.  I swear you could taste the love.

Like life, nothing is perfect, and there were a few things I didn’t expect, as I’ve been a grocery store shopper most of my life.  For example, plucking off one or two slugs I’d find on our chard (why chard slugs, why?), finding a startling corn worm after shucking an ear here and there (I’ve never seen a corn worm before!), and screaming/running away from our bag when I saw jumping spiders (something I thought I could forget about after taking Bio 101, when our professor was obsessed with them).  But you know what?  Now that I think of it, it’s kind of satisfying.

I know, have I lost my mind?

Hear me out.

I knew the bugs were there because they weren’t being killed off by the sprays that conventional growing allows.  It’s one of those moments where I realized, “what’s good enough for the bugs, must be good enough for me.”  In a way I felt a bit of comfort, knowing that what I was washing off from the veg is really only dirt (and maybe animal-you-know-what) and not something that may leave residues.

Another thing I started to notice after signing up for this CSA is that the produce that we get in the grocery store is so…sterile.  I’ve never grabbed anything from their shelves that wasn’t washed absolutely spotless, and sometimes covered in a sheen, like you see with red peppers or tomatoes.  The lettuce that we received this year, practically exploding out of their ties, had what looked like, streams of dirt running down the stems toward the root, literally showing that these plants grew up from out of the earth.  Perhaps I’m romanticizing this whole, “local food” movement, but I really do love knowing where our food came from.  I love that I know the farmers, what their beliefs are in growing, and that I’m supporting that.

With that, I can’t believe how spoiled I’ve become.  I look forward to our CSA newsletter in my inbox every week, and I practically jump Roo when he comes back to our apartment with the cute, green reusable grocery bag, overflowing with produce.  I’ve considered signing up for a winter CSA, but looking at what we’ll receive for “New England Style” produce makes me hesitate.  Roo doesn’t like beets and squash, and that’s unfortunately a majority in the share.  Conundrum, people.

Anyways, onto what we received.

This week we have:

Red cabbage, celery, green (and one red) peppers, pac choi, a sweet potato, butternut squash, kennebec potatoes, tatsoi and swiss chard.

Roo hates very little things in life, but he does not like sweet potatoes (unless they’re in cake) and butternut squash.  I’ve made soup with the squash before, which I loved, but Roo deemed it “too squashy.”  What???

I usually throw the peppers, pac choic, tatsoi and chard into a stir fry but I kind of want to do something else this week.

Also, like most people, I make a slaw out of the red cabbage, but again, I want something different.

What I’ll end up using all this veg for, I really don’t know.  Thankfully it’s VeganMoFo so I can creep the blogroll and hopefully find some inspiration.

And with that, I’m throwing out a line and asking my first reader question (I hope someone answers): What would you do with (any) of this (besides what I listed above)?

It’s VeganMoFo!

VeganMoFo, also know as Vegan Month of Food, is happening this October.  Those who participate, blog about vegan food for the entire month.

This event (along with veganism) is quite new to me.

I decided to participate basically to see if I could go vegan for an entire month.  Why I wanted to challenge myself in the kitchen with a new type of diet, is probably something a long time coming.

I started to question the way I cooked (and then ate) after Roo told me his cholesterol results.  A startling number of 250 loomed over me as I continued to cook through that week’s groceries, wondering what I had done.

Granted, genetics do play a part in high cholesterol, as in if it runs in one’s family, you’re more likely to have it.  Apparently Roo has had high cholesterol since he was a child (he has never been below 200).  However, I never knew of this, and when we moved in together, I wanted nothing but to cook him the most comforting, delicious food I could think of.  “Eating the love,” if you will.

And what did this “love” consist of? Butter, red meat (at least twice a week), so. much. dairy. (brie and I were BFFs), eggs, lots of eggs (I loved making frittatas with pancetta on weekends), and lots of cakes…and cookies.  Maybe.  Ok, yes, lots of cookies.  “It was bad,” is an understatement.

There was also weight gain.  I have probably gained 15 pounds since moving in with Roo. Roo…Roo has gained more.  While I love Roo no matter what he looks like, weight gain and high cholesterol levels scared the bejaysus out of me.  I want Roo to be around for a very long time, and I knew that these symptoms meant we were on a path of unhealthy living.  That, does not mean a long life together.

Roo also doesn’t cook.  I’m the one who (mostly) feeds him.  While I cannot control what goodies his students bring in at school, there were three meals a day that I was responsible for.  To be honest, once I started to think about how responsible I was for Roo’s main diet, it freaked me out.  We had both ended up this way, mostly, because of me.

Working in research, I knew I had to find some “data.”  I immediately headed over to the Boston Public Library and checked out books. Loads of books.

I read on the bus back and forth on my commute to work, trying to figure out if just cutting out red meat from our diet would be enough.

It wasn’t.

When I started reading the nutrition labels, I saw that practically everything I was going to substitute red meat for still had high amounts of cholesterol.  Pork shoulder? Nixed. Ground turkey? 86-that.

And then there was dairy.

Brie and I were no longer speaking.  Roo’s weekly habit of a gallon of 2% milk also had to go.  And Ben and Jerry were no longer welcome in our apartment.

As I started to close in on Roo’s favorite foods, I did start to sense some panic.  He began questioning if we were going to have meat the next day, or when I did actually tell him what we were having for dinner, he’d then ask, “and what protein?”  I felt like with every meal I had to rationalize what our “protein” was, and why meat wasn’t necessary, ie how it didn’t work in the dish.

It was starting to become a losing battle.  I felt like what I had to say had no weight against what the dairy council or the beef industry has convinced all of modern America since childhood.  But then thankfully, oh so thankfully, we watched a documentary on Netflix one Saturday night.

Roo is not one to watch a movie and decide that we need to be proactive about something.  We’ve seen multiple documentaries on food, agribusiness, even bees, but nothing that was discussed has made him turn around and suggest we try something different.

This documentary made him change.

Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  But I think with all the recent data I had presented, even the news of Bill Clinton (the man who would plan his jog route with Secret Service to fast food restaurants) becoming vegan for health reasons, that this documentary finally made him realize that what I wanted for us, was not crazy.

People who were (unfortunately) in worse health that went on plant based diets dramatically changed their cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and even weight.  It was inspirational to say the least.

In a way I wish a documentary wasn’t the tipping point that made Roo be on board with a vegan diet, but per the clichéd saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”  I couldn’t make Roo want to eat a plant based diet, unless he chose to want this kind of change.  I still wanted him to “eat the love,” but in meals that I knew that…well, wouldn’t kill him in the long run.

I hope that with this month of VeganMoFo Roo and I can walk away from it with a few new favorite recipes that we love having during the work week, along with a healthier outlook on life.  A tasty, healthier outlook on life.

A Bit of A Struggle

In less than two weeks I will turn 30 years old.

Typing that out without immediately deleting it and closing my laptop shut is a big step.  A step that a non-twenty-something would do, I think.  Think, as in, I’m desperately hanging on to 29; clawing at the awning my youth seems to be hanging off of.

…I’m still staring at the first sentence, wanting to delete it.

But I won’t.

This past month has been quite difficult.  There was a moment where a personal relationship was in true jeopardy, after false accusations were made and I, for once in my life, told the truth and actually had someone not believe me.  That was definitely not something I wanted to enter my thirties experiencing.

I’ve also been debating the path my career should take….debating is too kind of a word.  More like agonizing.  Yes, that sounds incredibly more dramatic, something someone on the brink of 30 would say.  Agonizing because I just can’t shake the reality that becoming a department head, in the field that I’m in, requires a PhD.  Which I wouldn’t mind going back to school for, but it’s the time.  The time is what bothers me, and as for someone who is reaching a known “milestone” in age, a large sacrifice of time is not appealing.

At all.

And then there’s the clock.

You knew it was going to come down to marriage and babies right?  I mean, isn’t that what all women want?

Well honestly, I thought in my twenties that I was not one of those women.

And now I have Bieber, I mean, baby fever.  But I wouldn’t exactly call it baby fever.  Perhaps it’s more of a, “I’m not where I thought at age 20, where I would be in my life at age 30,” ie married, career set until retirement, and maybe pregnant.  Maybe.

I blame Facebook.

I feel with this constant social networking, social connection, whatever you want to call it, people, especially women, no, especially me, feel the societal pressures of getting married and knocked up.

Facebook’s newsfeed basically tells me on an everyday (ok, who are we kidding, I check it more than once a day) basis that 99.9% of my “friends” are either married, knocked up, in the process of getting knocked up (ew), or updating their status to tell me how many centimeters dilated they are and they’re going to drop that watermelon-sized fetus on the floor of <insert name of Boston’s best hospital> within the hour (also ew).

Am I the only one that is going crazy from this?  Probably, seeing that I’m only 0.1% left of my friends that isn’t one of the above mentioned statuses.

Sure, I could discontinue my Facebook account.  I could be even less dramatic (but if you’ve read this far already, you know that I cannot be “less dramatic”) and channel my inner computer-programming-nerd and change the settings so that I don’t see these updates.  Or, I could just go on meds, which is what I’m almost coming to a conclusion to, as I sit here typing all of this out, at nearly 11 o’clock at night on Mother’s Day.

So what will the next two weeks bring?  A meltdown after seeing one too many friends announcing their pregnancy on Facebook?  My picking a fight with my boyfriend (I now hate that word because I feel I’m too old to be using it) because I’m crashing from a chocolate overdose that was self-induced from “eating my feelings?”

I honestly don’t know.