Category Archives: food

pregnancy cravings

lunch in 8 minutes...can I wait that long?

Pregnancy cravings. Are they real? Or just a real good excuse to eat what you want?

A little of both I think. At 25 weeks pregnant, I’m hungry almost all the time. (Yes, Mik, this is different from pre-pregnancy!) But now when I’m hungry, I need to eat within ten minutes or, or . . . I don’t want to know what I’d do. Perhaps start eating dirt and fabric softener? That does happen to some women.  And when my stomach isn’t growling, I’m still thinking about food and dreaming about what will be good to eat. (Again, this is different from pre-pregnancy, I swear!)

These days, my food dreams revolve around cheese, eggs, salt, and bread. And the beauty of pregnancy is that I pretty much can eat whatever I want. Luckily I never want to eat McDonalds, chips, or other junk food (Ben & Jerry’s has calcium). So when my stomach growls, I need to eat. And since I’m always thinking about food, I always have a food dream that needs to be fulfilled.

Is that a craving? Yes. But is it a scientific event happening in my body? I don’t think so. I crave food because I think about it all the time and I’m hungry about 80% of the time. So, when I get a craving, I usually satisfy that craving.

Does this make any sense? I don’t think so. I’m deliriously hungry as my Trader Joe’s box mac & cheese boils on the stove. I rarely eat box mac & cheese, but I’m hungry, I’m pregnant, and I got a craving. So I’m ignoring the sodium content and focusing on the organic label. They cancel each other out, right?

What I’m trying to say is that cravings are not specific to pregnancy, but pregnancy is a wonderful reason to satisfy those cravings. Nearly guilt-free eating!

baked goodness

baked goodness (aka baked kale chips)

Usually when I say “baked goodness,” I’m referring to a fresh loaf of bread, cake, pie, cookies, or some other butter-rich baked good.  Today I’m talking about baked kale chips. In an attempt to fortify my body with Vitamin K, calcium, and iron–nutrients that are packed into kale–I made kale chips from a Smitten Kitchen recipe.

I don’t like kale but I will say that this is a tastier vehicle for nutrient delivery than boiled, stir fried, or drenched in vinegar.  (It probably has something to do with the loads of olive oil and salt.)

a veritable food rainbow

I walked down to the the Headhouse Farmer’s Market this afternoon and picked up some organic veggies to start the week off well. Purple cauliflower, some kind of ultra-green bok choy, beets, carrots, and a half gallon of apple cider.  I love fall!

vegetarian Friday night

It was a dreamy vegetarian dinner for one: Tuscan beans with fresh sage from Moosewood Restaurants Low-Fat Favorites, creamed green chard from Smitten Kitchen, and fresh bread from Metropolitan Bakery.

Hans was driving north on I-95 to Conn. and no doubt eating a Big Mac for dinner, so I took advantage of a night alone to make myself a dinner that I would swoon over and Hans would just…eat.

Delicious.

as American as…

There is something about making homemade apple pie. I felt like I was giving Hans and me a gift–the apple pie was my love made visible.

Many people associate these feelings with bread–when you make bread you’re with it for hours, watching it, babying it, taking care of it’s temperature, gluten, and then shaping it, baking it, and tapping the hollow bottom.   I love making bread, but because of the final product, not the process. The process is just the process.  It’s the end result that makes me happy–I know what is in my bread and I can pronounce all the ingredients (flour, water, salt, yeast).

Making the apple pie, on the other hand, was such a cozy cooking project. I rubbed the butter into the flour, carefully pulled the pastry dough together, meditated while I peeled, cored and sliced the apples, and  carefully lay the top crust over the apples, pinching the edges. Into the oven and the boat was filled with the smell of fall.

I made the pie with the intention of serving it at a potluck tonight. Good thing I still have a whole bowl of apples to make an apple crumble–there is no way Hans and I can look at that pie all day without having another piece!

I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour for the pie crust and this recipe for the pie. (I like all-butter crusts. vegetable shortening? yuck!)

rotten milk

oh milk, how I love (and hate) you.

I’m not a milk drinker. In fact, I hate drinking milk. (Just ask my parents about their attempts to make me drink milk with dinner every night and the inevitable upturned glass–don’t even try to pour me milk–and the eventual Kristen and milk stare-downs after everyone had left the dinner table and my Dad or brother was washing the dishes.)

But there are few things I cherish more than my morning pot of black tea (PG Tips, please), milk no sugar. I woke up this morning to heavy rain, a dark gray sky and hunger pangs in my stomach. While Hans took a shower I lay in bed dreaming up the perfect rainy day breakfast. Hot oatmeal! With a fresh apple added, maybe some raisins and cinnamon.  I jumped out of bed, at 6:50AM no less, put the kettle on, got the oats out of the cupboard and the milk out of the fridge–only to find that the milk had gone bad.

Can you see the curdles?

Thick, clumpy, curdled. But it didn’t smell bad. Maybe it had turned into buttermilk…in which case I could still make oatmeal. So, I did it.  I tasted the curdled milk. It didn’t smell bad, really!  I honestly thought it might be okay. But it wasn’t. It was horrible.

For breakfast we had weak black tea, soft boiled eggs and bread, sans butter. (We’re out of butter. Besides some strawberry ice cream in the freezer, we’re out of dairy.  For someone who hates milk, I can’t imagine my life without dairy.)

Tomorrow morning will be better.

Chilean apples

I stopped at the Reading Terminal Market yesterday to pick up some sausages for dinner and fall fruit and veg–namely, apples and squash.

The market is one of my favorite places in Philadelphia. Open year-round, you can find butchers, fish mongers, produce stands, an herbalist, local honey, jewelry stands, food stands, and, on Thursday through Saturday, Amish farmers, bakers and food stands.  Kauffman’s is my favorite local produce stand, but is only open on Th.-Sat. since the proprietor is Amish.

Yesterday I stopped at the alternative produce stands looking for some fresh produce, but could only find apples from New Zealand and Chile. At the end of September in Pennsylvania?  Is it really more cost-effective to ship produce from the other side of the world than from 50 miles away?  And who is buying these apples when you can buy local, fresh-picked apples, including heirloom varieties, for the same price? Standing in despair before the Chilean applies, I remembered the Fair Food Farmstand. I ran over and was greeted with six different types of apples, all grown using IPM, all local, and for the same price as the Chilean Red Delicious.

Thank you local farmers and the vendors at the market who bring this produce to Center City Philadelphia.