Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Value of Pie

I needed some way to lure Margaret out for a visit, and knowing her fondness for long distance bike riding and her genuine desire to share this "pleasure" with others, I agreed to do a fundraising ride. At first I set the goal of 70 miles and diligently trained for that for 3 weeks. After 3 weeks it became apparent that neither I, my butt, nor my life where suited for anything near that length so I settled on a 30 mile goal. I waited until she'd bought her plane ticket to break the news.

We were raising money for the cancer research at the Livestrong Foundation and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and in order to truly motivate ourselves (and our supporters) we named the team, The Value of Pie. With that development, Amos joined the team. In exchange for a blueberry pie, my friend Ross designed a logo for us.

The ride was fun, the weather was beautiful and we raised $1,500! Thank you to everyone who supported us and these 2 great causes.

After all that there had to be pie, right?

Thanks for coming out, Margaret!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

At last! Margaret's fitness secret unveiled!

How chocolate can help your workout

Dinner in 30 minutes or Fewer

Dear Elise,
Remember those Penzey's spices I bought when we went to the Penzey's Spice Shop as part of our Foodie Tour of Seattle? Well, I used some tonight. (Not the Cake Spice that you disparaged as containing all spices that you already owned so why would you need the mix?) I had a Sweet Curry Powder and a Vindaloo Curry Powder and I wanted to sample and compare.
And it was 7 by the time I had walked and fed the dogs. I make a chicken curry with tomatoes (I substitute V8 juice for the tomatoes). It is really a curry chicken salad but very often I leave out the yogurt and eat it hot. The Sweet Curry Powder went into that one.
Then I make a curried spiced chick pea dish, a maje fave. The recipe calls for individual spices, (right up your ally) and I used the Vindaloo blend for that.
Both were good, but the Sweet one was not as complex and nuanced as the Vindaloo. And the Vindaloo was much hotter.
I also used coconut oil for both. I have read, or maybe just heard, (maybe true, but perhaps not) that coconut oil is the new best thing, very healthy and so forth. It was good. Better with the chick peas, lost in the chicken curry. (I want to try it in brownies.)
Everything was better with the chick peas. Maybe I just prefer chick peas. And since I didn't have to open, measure out, close and put away 6 different spice bottles, everything was ready before 7:30. Suddenly Dinner!
For dessert? Dark Chocolate, as we read in the paper today (so it must be true), mice who consumed dark chocolate for two weeks performed 50% better on an endurance test than mice who didn't get any chocolate. Preaching to the cocaophiles maybe, but I'm sold.
Love, spice blends and dark chocolate, Margaret