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Your Aging Face

24 Feb

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“It’s hard to accept your aging face. You’ve got to be tough.” 

—Debra Winger

Photo: Atelier Manassé, Wien, Austria. Champagne, 1920s.

Best Salt and Pepper Grinders

20 Feb

The OXO Good Grips Salt & Pepper Grinders are the best! At Sur La Table they cost $25 for two. Screen Shot 2018-02-18 at 2.58.38 PM copy

***No one has asked me to endorse this product.***

Necessary Preparation

5 Mar


“Leisure is a form of that stillness that is necessary preparation for accepting reality.”  

— Josef Pieper

Illustration by Mary Royt

Looking So Fine!

15 Mar

milk shake

I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour—
drinking milk shakes cold and long;
Smiling and waving and looking so fine!

Song Five Years by David Bowie


Go Numb

31 Dec

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“If you keep repeating the things you have no interest in, you go numb.”

—Deepak Chopra

Take A Long Time

26 Nov

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“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.” —Debbie Millman


Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafe

27 Oct

Colectivo on Monroe Street in Madison, Wisconsin, is one of my favorite places to get coffee. When an employee made me a caffeine drink (I can’t remember what he made me!), it looked like this and I almost wept from the beauty of it:

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Ok, so YOU have received drinks like the endless times before—I haven’t! This was my first time!

While sitting-in-the-cafe-writing-Haiku (ewww?), I ate a delicious breakfast burrito:

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This is my son at Colectivo, who, in case you were wondering, could care less about my blog.

What I also like about this Colectivo is how it’s decorated. It’s cozy. There are all kinds of chairs, couches, tables and a fireplace. The glass walls slide open. It’s very pleasant. I know I like it because it reminds me of a loft I’d like to live in.

I am also, unfortunately, obsessed with the bathrooms. I love the design of the communal sinks and paper towel holder.

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Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafe
2530 Monroe St
Madison, WI 53711
(608) 630-8930

Naf Naf Grill in Madison, Wisconsin

23 Oct

I like going to restaurants. I walked by Naf Naf Grill on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin and decided to eat there. Naf Naf is called the “Chipotle of Middle Eastern food,” and I agree. The service was excellent and the food was fantastic. I’m on a diet so I won’t be able to go there often but I LOVED EVERY BITE of my falafel hummus bowl:

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They slather hummus on the bottom and sides of the bowl, then put five falafels on top. I choose purple cabbage salad, chopped salad, and pickles for garnishes and fire sauce for the finish. The pita bread was perfect. When you put all of these different tastes in your mouth, they are delectable!

Apple Cellar

3 Oct

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My husband bought tons of apples and told me he put them downstairs in the “apple cellar.” I didn’t even know we had an apple cellar. Turns out he plopped the apples down on top of one of my office tables in the basement!

Update: Now the apples are elsewhere in our basement, in paper bags.

Fiesta Dinnerware

27 Sep

I love Fiesta dinnerware. When I was in the Boston Store a few weeks ago, I saw these two new beautiful colors: sage and slate. In person the slate is a very dark grey. So beautiful!

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Linie Aquavit @LinieAquavit

21 Aug

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I’m on a diet but my lovely (and smart) dietician built into my diet 4.5 ounces of wine for me to drink one time a day.

We were out of wine. My husband told me he was going to the store to buy some beer.

“Will you buy me some wine?”


Ok. Well, not really ok. 

But then I remembered we have a couple bottles of Linie Aquavit that our friends brought us. I poured myself 1.5 ounces over ice, which in my diet is the measurement I can have of hard liquor.

I said to my husband, “I don’t need the wine anyway! Look! I poured myself some Aquavit!”

He looked at my glass of iced golden Aquavit and said, “That stuff is almost 100 proof! I’ll buy you some wine.”

So he did. I dumped out the Aquavit. But it’s good to know I have a back up.

Jung Garden Center

31 May

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That’s it for me. Instead of dilly-dallying around buying seeds at Target or my local grocery store, I’m heading for Jung Garden Center. They have at least 30 different kinds of pumpkin seeds and even more varieties of corn. I bought beet, lupine, and sunflower seeds.

Drown My Sorrows

2 Mar


“I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.”

― Frida Kahlo

  • Illustration title: “Here’s looking at you!” painted by Lou Mayer.
  • Date Created/Published: New York : Published by Puck Publishing Corporation, 295-309 Lafayette Street, 1914 September 12.
  • Public domain illustration from the Library of Congress

Our Self-Importance

18 Feb


“Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.” –Carl Sagan

Additional info: A Pale Blue Dot

  • Title: [The Earth with the Milky Way and moon]
  • Creator(s): Benda, Wladyslaw T. (Wladyslaw Theodore), 1873-1948., artist
  • Date Created/Published: [1918?]
  • Medium: 1 drawing : charcoal.
  • Public domain illustration from the Library of Congress

Wealthy and Great

16 Jan


Let the wealthy & great roll in splendor & state. I envy them not, I declare it.

I eat my own lamb, my own chickens & ham. I sheer my own sheep & I wear it.

I have lawns. I have bowers. I have fruit. I have flowers. 

The lark is my morning alarmer.

So you jolly boys now, here’s God Bless the plough.

Long life & success to the farmer.

– From a 15th century song

Public domain illustration from the Library of Congress

Freezing Parsley #parsley

8 Nov

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Last year I planted two parsley plants and they did not do well. It was like not having parsley at all. So this year I planted three plants and they became these huge bushes! There is another plant not pictured, and I cut off all the parsley leaves on it.

I put all the parsley leaves in a bowl and trimmed the leaves off the stems with scissors.

It look a long time.

I decided to freeze the parsley into parsley logs.

Because it was going to take a long time, I set up a parsley-log-making station on my ottoman in our living room, while watching Cooks Illustrated:

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In the bowl are the cut parsley leaves.

I stuffed them into the bottom of a quart freezer bag, rolled it up into a log, and put a rubber band around it. I put all the logs into a gallon size freezer bag and put them in the freezer. When I want to use the parsley, I will open up one of the logs and cut it into inch size pieces. I will have fresh parsley for cooking all year long.

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Critic Housewife’s Kale Pesto #kale #pesto

6 Nov

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Isn’t this kale gorgeous? The pink color that is stroked around each photo is from the swatch color in the kale.

This is what the kale looks like when it’s in the ground:

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This is Kamome Red Kale.

I hadn’t grown Kamone Red Kale before. It’s used in a lot of landscaping because it’s arty-looking.

I decided to make pesto from this kale. I thought it was SO delicious. My husband and son said the dish tasted a little bitter (probably because of their delicate Norwegian palates), but I couldn’t taste bitterness at all!

So, use Curly Kale instead, if you wish:

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This is Curly Kale.

Curly Kale is good for when you want to make Kale Chips.

Here is my Kale Pesto that I made last night, using bow tie pasta:

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Critic Housewife Kale Pesto

  • 2 packed cups of kale
  • 2 sausages, any flavor, casings removed
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 – 1 pound box bow tie pasta
  • 1 cup cranberries or raisins (optional)
  1. Thoroughly wash kale. Cut out middle stem. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Put in food processor.
  2. Cook loose sausage and cranberries in a fry pan until sausage is done. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Cook the pasta in a stock pot until al dente. Strain water and put pasta back into stock pot.
  4. Add salt, garlic and walnuts to food processor. Process until it’s the right consistency for you. Scrape down sides of processor.
  5. Add cheese to food processor. While processing, slowly add the olive oil. Process until it’s the right consistency for you.
  6. Add the sausage mixture to the pasta.
  7. Add the pesto to the pasta.
  8. With a spoon, gently mix pesto into pasta until the pasta is thoroughly coated.


Critic Housewife BBQ Chicken Bites

24 Oct
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Chicken pieces, two eggs and panko.

My BBQ Chicken Bites recipe was inspired by Jessica Seinfeld’s recipe from her cookbook Deceptively Delicious.

Cooking the chicken bites so they are golden.

Cooking the chicken bites in coconut oil so they are golden on both sides.


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The golden bites on a plate.


All the chicken bites in the skillet with BBQ sauce poured on them.

All the chicken bites back in the skillet with BBQ sauce poured on them.


Yum! The bites are finished after cooking for 20 minutes.

Yum! The bites are finished after cooking in the BBQ sauce for 20 minutes.

 Critic Housewife’s BBQ Chicken Bites

  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, rinsed, dried and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 – 18 ounce bottle of BBQ sauce
  • brown or white rice
  1. In a bowl, combine the panko, Parmesan, paprika, garlic and onion powder in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Put the egg(s) in a separate shallow bowl. Put the egg bowl to the left of the panko bowl.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken bites with salt. Dip them into the egg mixture and then toss them into the panko mixture until completely coated.
  4. Set skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Place the chicken bites in the skillet but don’t put all the bites in the pan at once – the bites will get soggy. You will have to cook a couple separate batches. Cook until crisp and golden on each side. When finished cooking the first batch, put on a separate plate and cook the second batch.
  5. When all batches of the chicken bites are golden, put them all back into the skillet. Pour in the bottle of BBQ sauce, stir until coated, cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes.
  6. Serve over brown or white rice.

My Hot Peppers #hotpepper

3 Oct
Look at how big and hearty my peppers are!

Look at how big and hearty my peppers are!

I'm growing jalapeño and cayenne (red) peppers.

I’m growing jalapeño and cayenne (red) peppers. I grew 5 plants this year. Next year I will grow 12.

I cut them in half, leaving stems and seeds.

I cut them in half, leaving stems and seeds.

I put them on trays in a dehydrator.

I put them on trays in a dehydrator in our garage. Certain men in my family can’t handle the smell of the peppers dehydrating in our house.

This is what they looked like after 12 hours in the dehydrator.

This is what they looked like after 12 hours in the dehydrator.

I’ll leave them in the dehydrator for 24 hours, making sure when done that they are nice and crispy.

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Here they are, all crispy. Fresh out of the dehydrator.

Then I grind them in a coffee grinder until they have the consistency of pepper.

I sprinkle the hot pepper pepper on everything – love it!

Love my dehydrator! Worth every penny!


My Beet Hearts For You #beets #heart

22 Sep

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Beets that my husband grew in our veggie garden. They were delicious!

Nature has such gorgeous patterns and colors!

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