About Me

My photo
My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving's a wonderful holiday with way too much food ... and pie!

Thanksgiving is a great concept: taking a day to be grateful for what we have. 

I'm not at all pleased with the addition of shopping to the mix. It really doesn't seem to go with the concept of the day. 

Black Friday sales before Black Friday, which is bad enough, as I am not fond of large hordes out shopping. It's a good way to get injured. Plus, I wouldn't get up that early unless someone was paying me. As someone once said, "Not a morning person doesn't even begin to cover it." 

But back to the bird and all the fixings; since this is a food blog, you knew food had to come in somewhere! 

I was thinking of pie. Pumpkin and pecan, specifically. One of my friends was making a pecan pie cheesecake and I told her to add chocolate, because it reminded me of a marvelous pie I had in Texas once at a fundraising dinner. I found a recipe that sounds similar here if you want to give it a try. 

If I make it, I'll post a pic. I may not, because I'd need to do some shopping the day before Thanksgiving (shuddering at the thought). But perhaps you're more daring. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Poll: Sugar in spaghetti sauce? Yes or no?

It's been a while since I posted. I have a burning question that must be answered. Preferably right now. 

Why does nearly every spaghetti sauce I see have sugar in it? Is it really necessary? 

Here are some of the answers I ran across doing a brief Internet search:

  • To tone down the acidity. 
  • Just because we've always done it that way. 
  • I prefer to use carrots; it's an Italian thing.
  • I don't care why; it's wrong. 
  • Isn't that illegal in some states? 
My guess is that it depends on how acidic the tomatoes used are. What do you think? It's relevant right now; I am planning to make homemade pasta sauce for dinner. 

Please answer quickly: should I put sugar in my spaghetti sauce or not? Why? 

Thanks for your input! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The burning question: waffles or pancakes?

I just read an interesting post on Washington Post's Wonkblog, shared via Facebook by Real Simple

Here's the premise: Waffle House is heavily preferred in the South, though it's been slowly creeping north. You won't find one in Michigan though, and where you don't find it may be affected by franchising laws. IHOP rules here, supposedly. 
But apparently that's mostly in three major areas: southeast Michigan's tricounty area as  well as the Lansing and Grand Rapids areas. 

The rest are probably scattered in decent-sized population pockets (I do know there's one in Saginaw and another in Mt. Pleasant, for example. Both have colleges in town or nearby, though, so that may account for IHOP's presence.) 

My father likes both, but he did live in southern Ohio for a while. I usually prefer pancakes, but as a kid, loved the Belgian waffles Big Boy served with strawberries and whipped cream.

So do you follow the trend that's implied in the article and prefer pancakes? Or do you like waffles better? Please leave a message in the comments!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The next new, gluten-free flour is ... coffee flour

Yes, I've been missing in action again.

It was nothing less than an article about coffee flour on Mind Body Green and a second article from Discover Magazine indicating when it would be available to the general public that led me to write a new post.

Coffee flour, hmm? How is it no one came up with this long ago?

It is:
1. Gluten-free
2. Sustainable (after the seeds are extracted, the flour is made from the remaining fruit, which previously went to waste)
3. A source of additional income for coffee growers

According to the CoffeeFlour® website, it is high in fiber (five times that of whole wheat flour). It also has:
  • 84 percent less fat than coconut flour
  • Three times the protein of kale (per gram)
  • Higher amounts of iron than any grain/cereal in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database
Note: The caffeine content varies by the variety, concentration and recipe details. (More coffee flour = more caffeine, presumably.)

Coffee flour should be available in stores next year, according to these sources.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pinterest is getting smarter

Last week, or perhaps it was the week before, I noticed something on Pinterest. 

I don't dare go on there all the time, because, well, I have more than 11,000 pins as it is. So I can't swear when it actually happened, but Pinterest has gotten smarter. It gives me choices of what board to pin to, and it's getting better at giving me those choices. 

You can see my Pinterest board at https://www.pinterest.com/anneseebaldt/. 
Check them out and test my theory. 

Sorry I've been rather MIA lately. 

Not only am I behind on my paperwork accounting for everything I write, I also am miserably failing in my resolution to keep up with personal (a.k.a.unpaid for now) writing.

If you look at www.spinalcolumnonline.com, because you want to know where on earth I was, it will account for some of the time. I also do other editing and writing work. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sadly, trying to be accountable means more paperwork

What would you say if I told you I'm doing better on the diet and exercise than in participating in the Spreadsheet of Magic and Wonder tracking my writing? Most people who know me wouldn't believe it. 

I can be fairly disciplined about writing for work, but the personal writing sort of went to the birds when I had an insane four weeks or so of freelance writing. But all writing counts. I just need to log it.

Bah. I hate paperwork. But it's the accountability problem again. If you don't log it, you can underestimate or overestimate what you've eaten. Or written. Or both.

I'll do my best to build on the good habits I'm working to establish food-wise (I went a little off the rails in this, my birthday month). How old am I? Not telling. You get to guess. 

I will say if not for the accountability group (I'm in a new one now), I'd be completely sunk. Let's hear it for the Kempature Fixers. 

And let's hear it for updating the spreadsheet tonight. And my food log. 

Accountability and paperwork kind of go hand in hand. 

Gotta run. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's a new year, bring on the resolutions

It's Jan. 7, and really, I haven't made a New Year's resolution. Not a measurable, specific one. 

Resolution #1 
Be healthier. 

Of course, I want to eat a more healthy diet and exercise more often. What that will look like has yet to be quantified, but I joined a challenge/accountability group that starts Jan. 12 and should help with the measurable part. I'll get some help setting those goals. I have a guide, a friend who's done this before. She is co-leader of the group. And I will be exercising as recommended, to the best of my ability. I expect that will be kind of painful, as I haven't done much this past month in the way of exercise. Bring it on.

Resolution #2 
Be more accountable in my writing. 

There are two ways I hope to do this. 

  • Actually participate in the Spreadsheet of Magic & Wonder, a way to track your writing in a friendly "competition" with other writers ... and log the words as I go. (Well, after I catch up.) 
  • Write at least one blog post a week. It's Dec. 7 and in typical procrastinating fashion, I just realized I nearly blew it the first week, when I read two food-related articles I found absolutely fascinating. 

I won't bother to introduce either in great detail. 

Just please tell me what you think of this post from Mother Jones by Tom Philpott about how he came to change his viewpoint of fake meat. 

The other article, which is somewhat on the same topic, discusses that "The Herbivorous Butcher surpassed its Kickstarter goal and will soon be selling faux meat in the Twin Cities." What do you think? Again, let me know.

Some might ask, "Isn't The Herbivorous Butcher an oxymoron?" 

Not exactly. 

More and more people are eating faux meats and cheese in hopes of having something like their standard fare for health reason, like President Bill Clinton, who used to love fast food, but went on a vegan diet some time ago. Truly, the only thing I found surprising about it was the location.

Having options is a good thing. Try something new. You might like it.