Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This picture slays me!
Are you dressing up? Tell me!
Song of the Day
I hope you do a lot of monster mashing tomorrow! And that your Halloween is a graveyard smash! Ok. I'll stop.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seasons Shmeasons! Or Maybe Not

I never paid much attention to cooking with food that is "in season". If I wanted corn in the middle of February, by golly I was going to have it! Pumpkin bread in May? Don't mind if I do! But now that I'm cooking more often and learning about food, I'm realizing how important seasonal ingredients are to both the taste and the quality of your dish.

There couldn't be a better time than fall to start paying more attention to what is in season. 'Tis the season for loads of good veggies! I made Caramelized Autumn Roasted Vegetables from Food & Wine for my Dining for Women dinner last night. I got a ton of compliments, which, let's face it, is the only reason any of us cook.

Makes 12 servings (Perfect for Thanksgiving!)
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 4 medium carrots (3/4 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
  • 2 large parsnips (1 pound), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick on the bias
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds)—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup


  • Preheat the oven to 425°. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Let cool.
  • In a large bowl, toss the carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, squash and brussels sprouts with the olive oil and nutmeg and season generously with salt and black pepper.
  • Spread the vegetables on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. Toss once or twice during the baking time.
  • Scatter the pecans and ginger over the vegetables and drizzle with the maple syrup; toss well. Continue to roast the vegetables for 25 minutes longer, until they are tender and golden.
  • Scrape the vegetables into a bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.

(Thank you Food and Wine!)

Warning: This dish is not as great reheated, but trust me it, it is so good you won't have leftovers

If you are an in season newbie like me, click here. It will help you find by state, by month what is in season.

Song of Day

Perfect song for today's post! Please enjoy The Byrds' Turn, Turn, Turn.

This Day in Positively

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fun on a Treadmill? When Pigs Fly!

I've mentioned a few times that I'm always on the lookout for new motivation to get to the gym (Here and here), but I've never figured out a way to make it fun. Check out this great video (Thanks Sue!) These geniuses figured out how to make stairs fun. If they could work their magic on a treadmill I would give them $100 and my first born child. Ok, maybe not $100. I'm not rich people!

Song of the Day
You probably saw this coming...Today's song is Billy Joel's Piano Man.

This Day in Positivity

Friday, October 23, 2009

Makes Me Want to Go Grocery Shopping

Michael Buble's Haven't Met You Yet video is super sweet. I'm definitely wearing my dancing shoes next time I need to go buy milk.

This Day is Positively

Song of the Day
Haven't Met You Yet is so catchy! Have a great weekend

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chipwich: Sounds Disgusting

Matt: You sure like Chipwiches, huh?
Me: Well I only started eating them a year ago.
Matt: Really? Why?
Me: I thought they would taste gross.
Matt: I see what you're saying. Ice cream between two cookies does sound disgusting.
Me: Shut it!

I really don't know what I was thinking but I didn't try a chipwich until I was about 26. Now I have dedicated the rest of my life to making up for this egregious mistake.

Give something you've dismissed a try. You may find you like it as much as a chipwich!

Homemade Chipwiches! Totally worth the effort!

Song of the Day
Today's song is U2's Still Haven't Found What I'm Look For for all of you who still haven't found your "chipwiches."

This Day in Positivity

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Shem Women's Group

You may not get excited about an extended work day, but you aren't a Tibetan nomad.

Each month Dining for Women selects a charity to support through their web of giving circles. In September the charity was The Shem Women's Group of Tibet. "Shem" means charity and compassion in Tibetan. This organization is made up of educated Tibetan women who want to help improve the lives of other women and girls in their impoverished communities. These women have figured out the best way to provide the Tibetan people with what they need is not to depend on outsiders but to learn how to create development programs themselves. Having started relatively recently -- March 2005 -- The Shem Women's Group has already shown remarkable success, completing 72 projects, helping over 10,000 villagers.

40% of people living in Tibet are nomadic or semi-nomadic, the lifestyle necessary for a people who's main source of income is raising and selling sheep and yaks. They live at the mercy of the elements, and without electricity, so their days are strictly limited by the rising and setting of the sun. The Shem Women's Group figured out how to outfit many women with solar-powered electric generators. The generators allow the women to extend their work day without spending their hard earned money on kerosene and candles, which are dangerous and hard to come by. A longer work day for the women means more money in their pockets and lessens the labor burdens on the children, particularly the girls. This has allowed more girls to attend school and has generally raised the view of women in the community. Positively wonderful!

Each charity selected by Dining for Women submits a video to provide the members with a greater understanding of the women we are helping. The pictures in the Shem Women's Group video are beautiful and inspiring and I urge you to take a look at all of them. Here are a few of my favorites:
To learn more about the amazing work the Shem Women's Group and about Dining for Women please visit the sites below.
The details for this post were found on the fact sheets created by Dining for Women.
Song of the Day
Today's song is With A Little Help From My Friends, the Joe Cocker version.

Friday, October 16, 2009

101 Things in 1001 Days: #59

I completed #59 on my 101 Things in 1001 Days: Plant herbs and use them to cook. I've mentioned the value of eating local, and it doesn't get any more local than your own garden, or in my case the window sill. I planted some herbs a few weeks ago. Basil, parsley, thyme and rosemary. I did a little research and found that these plants would work well in a window sill, plus they smell amazing. (Helpfull sites here and here)

There is something wonderfully gratifying about cooking and eating something you've grown. And this feeling is only heightened if you live in a city because the opportunity to plant anything is rare.

My small garden doesn't garner enough for me to completely forgo buying fresh herbs , especially if I'm making a larger meal. But my tiny plants are perfect when I want to make a little something special and I've found using my own herbs makes the meal taste Positively wonderful.

My little urban jungle

My camera smelled good enough to eat after taking this picture.
Song of the Day
Today's song is Welcome to the Jungle. Let's get pumped up on Friday!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tis The Season to Feel Like Crap

Apologies for being MIA. I haven't posted in nine days! That is because for the past nine days I've felt like crap. It isn't like I have the Ebola virus or something but when the sore throat, runny nose and coughing fits hit I can't think of anything cheery to write. But don't you worry. The sleeping while hugging my humidifier and the diet of Halls and chicken noodle soup is finally starting to pay off and I'm planning on being Positively back real soon.

Song of the Day
This song has been in my head lately. One fine day I'll stop feeling like crap and looking gross. Please enjoy The Chiffons One Fine Day.

Monday, October 5, 2009

101 Things in 1001 Days: #76

I've completed #76, floss every day for a month. This is one of the least fun items on my list but one that I'm happy I accomplished. September was a rough dental month for me. Kicking off with a root canal and winding down with almost $800 in dentist bills. And I have dental insurance!

What bothers me the most about it all is that some of it could have been avoided. I don't like flossing but I enjoy it a heck of a lot more than spending that kind of money. Hmmm hard choice: A vacation or a trip to the dentist? Maybe a little shopping spree or a trip to the dentist? These are now the thoughts that run through my mind when I'm considering not flossing.

Song of the Day
Today's song is Gnarls Barkley's Smiling Faces. Now go floss!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Right for the Job

I am truly passionate about a group I joined last spring, Dining for Women, which "empowers women living in extreme poverty by funding programs fostering good health, education, and economic self-sufficiency, and cultivates educational dinner circles inspiring individuals to make a difference through the power of collective giving." And like everything I'm passionate about, I want to share it (That is why I write this dang blog!).

The idea of Dining for Women is so simple and yet so effective; Once a month, instead of going out, getting together with a group of women to donate what you would have spent on dinner to a worthy charity. I wanted to help create more chapters, without leaving the one I've found in New York, which is made up of an incredible group of women. To achieve this, I immediately thought of Sue! Sue is a close family friend and she is what Malcolm Gladwell calls in The Tipping Point, a "connector": one of those amazing people who knows everyone and has an incredible knack for bringing them together no matter their age, race, background, or location in the world. Last time I was home, I made a point of talking to her about Dining for Women and suggested she start a chapter in New Boston. As I hoped, Sue jumped all over it! She immediately started the first New Hampshire chapter. They have already had their first meeting and raised almost $500!

If you are interested in the New York or New Hampshire chapters for Dining for Women please email me at

Song of the Day
Sue isn't one to keep away from but Run Around Sue is just so catchy that I couldn't resist.

This Day is Positively
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