Ginger People Ginger Spread. NOM NOM NOM


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You know I loves me some ginger. One of my top five favorite flavors.

Just picked this up as an impulse purchase. Ginger People Ginger Spread.

Having some on toast right now. Holy Mother Bear, is this good.

Might pair it up with honey butter.


Jicama Salad. NOM NOM NOM.

Image from They julienned the jicama. I don’t know how to do that, so mine didn’t look quite this good.
But I just like to say “julienned the jicama.”

I pretty much always follow a recipe to the letter. I very rarely freestyle. This has set me up for considerable mockery over the years. “Oh noes! This recipe calls for Gold Medal flour, and all we have is Pillsbury!” You get the idea.

Originally I got this recipe from the Simply Recipes website. Made it several times for various events, of course following the recipe to the letter, to good reviews. The original recipe called for a cut-up orange, cayenne pepper, and paprika.The orange was a good addition but the cayenne overpowered the other flavors, and the paprika made it all look like a  bowlful of Cheetos.

So I got inspired, mostly through the example of Kimberly from Poor Girl Eats Well. Yes, it’s true; I actually strayed from the recipe. (“Borrrnn to be wiiiiiiiillld….”) She introduced me to the amazing combination of mango, cumin, and cilantro.

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I used canned mango slices. Maybe that’s blasphemy. But peeling the mango and the jicama are both time-consuming; doing both would have taken all damn day. Interestingly, though, a fresh mango is easier to find here in my small Lake Wobegon town than canned slices. Dried mango is fairly easy to locate too. Even jicama. Go figure.

Here’s how, mostly via Simply Recipes:

  • 1 large jicama (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cubed (Julienne or shred it if you feel like it. I don’t. Just peeling the damn thing is enough of a PITA.)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large cucumber, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 mango, peeled, seeded, and cubed (Slices if that’s what’s available. About 3-4 slices.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (I use Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice, the kind they use at the bar in daiquiris and whatnot. Any lime juice should work.)
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • Salt (Kosher, and lots of it.)

Toss together the jicama, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, mango, and cilantro in a large serving bowl.

Pour lime juice over all. Sprinkle with a pinch of cumin. Season generously with salt. Let sit a half-hour before serving.

There’s something about how the mango, cumin, and cilantro meld that just rocks. I brought it to a potluck at the office – it didn’t go over like I’d hoped – but those who liked it really liked it and asked for the recipe. No worries: that much more for me.


Girl Scout Mango Crèmes With Nutrifusion™. NOM NOM NOM.

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Brand new Girl Scout cookies.Mango Crèmes. With Nutrifusion™, whatever that is, so that makes them practically health food.

Manohmanohman, are these good. It’s quite possible mango will join lemon and ginger as my favorite flavors. Seriously, get some before cookie season is over.


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Brown Rice-Quinoa Pilaf with Butternut, Mushrooms, and Kale

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I hate squash. But I’m diggin’ this. Diggin’ into this, more like.

Another one from Poor Girl Eats Well.

Manomanoman. I can’t even believe I made this.


Christmas In Kentucky, Chapter VIII: The Return Trip Home

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Wherein my niece shows exceptional taste in film, an Illinois landmark is revisited, an early night is called, and a fantastic meal enjoyed

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I believe I read once in The Good Uncle Handbook™ that it is my responsibility to introduce my nieces and nephews to the classics. I take this responsibility seriously (e.g., Mad Magazine, The Three Stooges.) So during this holiday break I have been introducing adorable niece Nolia to the best in animation. Her favorites so far: “One Froggy Evening” by Chuck Jones, and “Bad Luck Blackie” by Tex Avery.

So Friday morning I said goodbye to Mom and Nolia and Lady, and set out for home. Yeah, it was hard.

I was glad I waited the extra day. The interstate in Indiana was passable – the plows had been hard at work – but it was clear they had just finished earlier that morning.

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Illinois has, without a doubt, the best highway rest areas in the country. When we made trips south with Dad, we’d pack a cooler and stop at these instead of fast-food joints. My favorite: the Skeeter Mountain Rest Area, on I-64 just outside of Grayville.

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I made pretty good time through most of Illinois. I genuinely thought I would make it home to Minnesota by 11 pm or so. But at dusk the temperatures dropped, the highway began to glaze, and the radio forecasted heavy snow ahead of me in Wisconsin. Maybe I’m skittish, but I decided to call it a night. Pulled off the interstate in Rochelle, just 25 miles or so south of the Wisconsin border.

Took a room at the Super 8. At the recommendation of the young woman behind the counter, I drove a few blocks over to the Butterfly Restaurant for dinner. This proved to be one of the best decisions I’d made all day. Incredible food, huge portions, unbelievably low prices. If you’re ever down that way, don’t hesitate to stop there.

Off to sleep at about 11-ish, with plans to return home on Saturday.

God help me, I don’t like hot cereal.

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I know, I know, it’s good for me. Yeahyeah, suresure, whateves. I can choke oatmeal down if I must. And Cream of Wheat makes me gag. If you remember “library paste,” that’s what it reminds me of.

But this stuff, Ralston, is great. I’ve always liked it.

It’s hard to find. But I just discovered a place to buy some.


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Black Bean, Chicken, and Mango Stew.

Image from poorgirleatswell.comThis is Kimberly's pic. Mine didn't look this good, but man, did it ever taste good.

Image from This is Kimberly’s pic. Mine didn’t look this good, but man, did it ever taste good.

More synchronicity in action. Yesterday I tumbled onto an awesome blog called Poor Girl Eats Well, hosted by Kimberly Morales. She describes herself as having champagne tastes on a Two-Buck Chuck budget. Well, substitute craft-brew tastes on a PBR budget and we’re pretty much on the same wavelength.

Today I followed one of Kimberly’s recipes and made Black Bean, Chicken, and Mango Stew. Man o man, this is good. The sweetness of the mango melds astonishingly well with the cumin and cayenne. Believe me when I tell you that finding a mango in East Central Minnesota was no mean feat. Worth it, though.

I even got some questions answered via email from Kimberly herownself, which is quite awesome.

I seriously can’t believe I made this myself. Highest possible rating. Go to Kimberly’s website. NOM NOM NOM.