Simple Dessert Idea: Nut Butter Deluxe

Simple Dessert Idea: Nut Butter Deluxe

I like peanut butter. Sometimes I think I like it a bit too much. To wit--I’ve been known to polish off almost a half a jar of peanut or almond butter in a sitting. I'm not sure if this is normal. In an effort to add some variety to the straight-from-the-jar approach, I've been dressing up peanut or almond or cashew butter for the past couple of years, and I thought I'd share some topping ideas here. As an occasional indulgence, I think this option is passable. It is certainly preferable to digging into some industrially-produced conglomeration of preservatives and sugar (or eating half a jar at a time!). It's not like this is a staple food; it's something to rotate in once in a while. If you're like me, a filling snack with a little bit of sweetness--like this one--hits a few notes. It is filling, and satisfies with protein and fat, not sugar. So it doesn't leave me feeling regretfully...
Read More
Two Ways to Become a Better Cook Right Now

Two Ways to Become a Better Cook Right Now

One of the most effective (cost and nutrition-wise) ways to improve your health is to make your own meals from scratch. There is certainly a time investment necessary, and some skills to learn, but barring scheduling and improving your skills with knives and flames (which is pretty enjoyable), the two worst things about cooking are:  cleaning up a sink full of dishes and tools after a meal and getting behind in a recipe when the pan is hot because you don’t have an ingredient ready.                                                                                                                    If we can address those two problems, people are much more likely to enjoy cooking--and to do it more often....
Read More
A Quick Shout Out About Shout Outs

A Quick Shout Out About Shout Outs

A few weeks back, I spent a number of hours figuring out how to add something straight forward to this blog: a list of blogs that inspire my work, otherwise known as a blogroll. Because blogrolls are so common, I went into the process thinking that it would be easy. Turns out I should have gone in with a bit more humility. I am very new to Wordpress (the software that makes this and many many other blogs appear on the internet), and I’m learning that not everything about it is intuitive for me. Hence, it took several days for me to add a basic blogroll (and I’m still not sure I did it correctly, but it’s working!). You might wonder why, after realizing that this small detail was eating up hour after hour, I didn’t jettison the idea. Well, for one, I learned more about WordPress as I went, which will benefit me in the long run. I ended up...
Read More
On Climbing Mount Washington in Winter

On Climbing Mount Washington in Winter

At around 6:45 last Saturday, I was sitting at park and ride listening to Rob Garfield paint a bleak picture of how our news gets to us. As I listened, I watched the sparse traffic for my fellow weekend warriors. The story was relentless, and I could not help but think of how piping content directly to our telescreens mobile devices dovetails with the fact that booksellers can’t keep copies of 1984 on the shelves. Serious stuff to consider, and seemingly insurmountable. Time for a concrete, surmountable task. Maybe like hiking up the side of a mountain. Finally, the red subcompact I was scanning the intersection for peeled off and zoomed into the lot. After a brief fumbling of sleds, gloves, packs, and water bottles in the freezing predawn, we were off to the White Mountains. A few days before this early morning meetup, I had received an invitation to join my partner’s dad, David, and his friend Dennis on their yearly trek...
Read More
Investigating Investing: Some Starting Points

Investigating Investing: Some Starting Points

After a number of years of having a savings account and an IRA (which I haven’t invested, only put money into), I’ve dipped my toes into the investing pool for the first time. I went with one of the so-called "robo advisors" that have become increasingly popular in the past few years. The one I used is called Betterment, but there are a number of others, such as Wealth Front and Fidelity Go. So far the results have been decent. As this is my first time investing and it is so early in the process, by “decent” I just mean that the account has been earning some money. Zooming out for a second, there are two things I’ve learned about investing so far. One: it is our responsibility to educate ourselves about how to best invest, and this education is ongoing. Two: There are solid resources available for free that can get you started on the road to informed investing. I...
Read More
An Easy Way to Make Mayonnaise at Home

An Easy Way to Make Mayonnaise at Home

Some people don’t like mayonnaise, but I think that’s almost always because they have never tried making their own (or they've only ever had Miracle Whip). Just the proposition of making mayo at home is its own barrier to the wonders of this delectable dressing, though. It must require lots of time, effort, and specialized equipment to make a fancy french emulsion, right? I get it. The first couple of times I made mayonnaise, I followed a recipe that required dragging out the food processor (and subsequently cleaning oily gook out of its many nooks and crevices) and drizzling oil in a thin stream (which is quantified how, exactly?) while the blade was turning. Lots of work for inconsistent results. In truth, though, you can make mayonnaise quickly with just a few fresh, nutritious ingredients. I found the basic idea for this recipe in an issue of Saveur magazine, I think. The key is to use avocado oil (I think...
Read More