Monthly Archives: January 2014

Baked Root Vegetable Chips

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Anyone else out there have cabin fever?  I’ve got a bad case of it.  Drew has about had it with the shoveling and pushing stuck cars out of a foot of packed snow.  He has become the unofficial neighborhood snow expert.  As I type, he’s out there in his Carhartt bibs and  wool-lined Sorels helping neighbors and doling out advice on when to take a break while shoveling, where not to park, where not to drive, and how to avoid making things worse when you’re stuck.  If he asks one more helplessly stuck college girl to buy a cheap bag of kitty litter to have in case of emergency I’ll die laughing.

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Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili with Chipotle

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili with Chipotle

Some things from my childhood have stuck with me and a love of chili with cornbread is one of those things.  I fondly remember the big pots of chili my step dad would make when I was a kid.  The soup was always served with a skillet of cornbread and it was always nice and spicy.  When I commented/complained about the heat, my step dad ribbed me, telling me that the heat would burn the germs from my intestines.  It’s a disturbing image but it was the start of my love affair with spicy foods, if not for the medicinal qualities, then for the taste.  

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Huevos Rancheros With Tomatillo Sauce

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Order up! Many years ago, when I was in college, I worked at a vegetarian restaurant called Gaia Cafe. The restaurant is still open after almost 30 years, and the menu has changed very little over the years. When you have a good thing, why change it? It’s one of my favorite places for breakfast or lunch, with a cozy, eccentric vibe and self serve, fair trade, and strongly brewed coffee so you never have to wait for your server to deliver your morning buzz. If I didn’t cook all the time at home, I’d be a regular at Gaia–I sure do miss my almost daily meals there from my four years of serving. Continue reading

Tamales With Sweet Potato, Green Chili, and Cheese

Tamales

Fasten your seatbelts, folks.  It’s going to be a long post.  You can skip to the bottom for the recipe if you want, I won’t be offended.  But if you do, before you do, here are the Cliff’s Notes:  ramblings on Christmas fun, Happy New Year(!), shame, perfectionism, joy, life lessons, resolutions or goals, and how I came to make these sweet potato, green chili, cheese tamales with tomatillo salsa.  Okay–you are excused.  See ya at the bottom for the recipe!

Alright, diehards, here it goes.

I am getting back to reality after a week of relaxing, both at home in Grand Rapids and in the Upper Peninsula, where I grew up.  We spent the last week reading (Joseph Heywood’s Wood Cops series is awesome!), snowshoeing (new snowshoes for Christmas!), walking around historic downtown Marquette (we had a night at the historic Landmark Inn–what a treat!), and hiking to see some beautiful ice caves about twenty minutes from where I grew up.  I haven’t been to the ice caves as an adult and I feel truly blessed that I have someone who I can enjoy doing things with and that he digs checking out giant frozen icicles and other wonders of nature with his Yooper gal.  I’m still bewildered that someone could enjoy the same things I enjoy as much as I do myself.

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