Swiss chard is your friend.

Swiss Chard

Hi, friend!

(That’s not the secret.)

Actually, Swiss chard has TWO secrets to tell you.  One for now, one for later.


Swiss chard is super easy to grow.

No, really. You throw the seeds in the ground, water them if you think of it, spit on them even! Walk away and BAM!  Swiss chard.

Swiss Chard Growing in Your Garden

Remember that secret for next spring. I’ll probably remind you, so don’t worry.

The other secret – the one you can use right now – is that Swiss chard is just like kale in salad.

This is purslane.

Most people would call purslane a weed.  Fewer people know that you can eat it. The internet tells me that purslane is really good for you, so it must be true.

I was 14 when I was hired by my grandfather as a professional weed puller and lawn mower.  “Professional”, because I was paid $2.50 an hour for my mad weed pullin’ skillz.

(I just realized those two items are in my current job description, except now I make $0.00 an hour.  Does that mean I’m back to amateur status?)

Hot Off the (Tofu) Press

June 12th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time - (8 Comments)

I love pressed tofu for a myriad of reasons.  It has a different texture than its non-pressed counter part.  It soaks up marinade better and holds together nicely in stir fries.  I’ve heard too that squirrels do not like pressed tofu, but that may just be a rumor.  Squirrels are also supposed to hate marigolds, but I don’t want to talk about that.

You can buy a contraption made for the sole purpose of pressing tofu – it’s called a Tofu Press (go figure) and is basically a little vise that squeezes all the water out of the tofu block for you.  But 1) I’ve already done the vise in my kitchen routine, b) I don’t want to buy one and three) no one has offered to send me one for free.

Lettuce Procreate

June 6th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (2 Comments)

Lettuce plants and kids have a lot in common.

Lettuce Gets Morning Sunshines

Some days they’re so cute you can’t help but nuzzle your face right into them, and then other days you’re tempted to just bite their little heads right off.

How’s your lettuce container garden coming along?  (It’s still not too late to start one, you know.)  Mine is one month old and has been relocated from full sun in the backyard to part shade on the railing of the front porch.  It now only gets a wee bit o’ sunshine the in the early AM hours and then lollygags about in the shade for the rest of the day – asking for something to eat and then begging me to play Old Maid when I’m done folding the laundry.

Until recently, Brussels sprouts were not something I was eager to eat.  Truthfully there aren’t many vegetables I’m afraid of, but when it came to The Sprouts?  I simply saw no reason to even put them in the shopping cart.  Why bother if I’m only going to have to bribe or threaten myself in order to choke them down later.

But then I figured out how to cook these guys and oops!  I accidentally fell for them.  It was love at first bite.

Grow Your Own

May 17th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits - (9 Comments)

Last year we devoted an entire bed in our garden to growing spinach, moving in other vegetable plants when all the spinach we’d planted had been harvested.  I absolutely loved growing my own spinach, and I especially loved the ease at which I could bolt out the back door, snag a couple of leaves from the ground and shove it into a wrap, salad or sandwich and then straight into my mouth.  Local and organic?  These are a few of my favorite things.

First Tuesday

March 1st, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Breakfast - (3 Comments)

There is a 6:30 AM Active Yoga class on Tuesday mornings that I occasionally get to, and today was one of those Tuesdays.  As it turns out, on the first Tuesday of every month this Active Yoga class becomes a Restorative Yoga class.

“Restorative” apparently meant just five poses.  That’s it.  Five.  In 45 minutes.  But it was certainly restorative with some gentle hip opening, some gentle shoulder opening, some gentle mouth opening with a schlurp of drool as I nearly fell back to sleep during savasana it was so nice and easy.

I love that Phyllis Diller quote:

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

Messy Playroom

I feel like this quote gives me permission to not clean up because, meh – why bother?  The toys just keep raining down anyway! Might as well just shuffle through the piles until the mom toy plow comes through to box it all up to donate, right? Right.

So thanks for that one Phyllis – mega time saver and guilt reliever to boot.

Once upon a time I was that girl who tried and tried to lose weight and never saw any real, lasting results. While I never had a huge amount of weight to lose, I did know I wanted to be slimmer than I was for what felt like the majority of my life.

The post-pregnancy weight was always a little scary but eventually came off after each pregnancy with the addition of some moderate exercise. Then in early 2008 when I found myself back at my post-pregnancy weight and I hadn’t just had a babyI knew it was time to get serious.

Loafing Around

June 1st, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time - (17 Comments)

From my omnivorous days of yore, I think I miss meatloaf the most.  I mean seriously now – how have I been getting by without eating a loaf of meat these past three and a half-ish years? It’s a meatless mystery for sure, and it’s time to do something about it!

That’s a joke in case you couldn’t tell. Actually I miss turkey subs the most. OK that’s a joke too. Who needs turkey when you’ve got lettuce, tomato, onion, red, green and banana peppers and (gasp!) mayo and provolone cheese on a sesame seed roll from Wegmans? I rest my case.