Penelope Wall's Blog (Page 6)

November 24, 2010 - 10:15am

First of all, let’s make one thing clear: I am not an exercise guru. When I told my editor I wanted to write this piece about 10-minute exercise ideas, she laughed and said, “YOU want to write about exercise?” She knows me all too well. I like to squeeze as many things into my day as possible, but for some reason, when it comes to exercise, I seem to have every excuse in the book for not doing it. The one that most easily slips off my tongue? “I don’t have time.” Am I the only one in this sedentary, time-starved boat? I don’t think so.

Now that it’s the busy holiday season, time is even more precious. Plus it’s harder for me to feel motivated when it’s cold and dark outside.


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November 16, 2010 - 11:31am

I’ve never hosted Thanksgiving dinner before and I don’t think I will, so long as the more seasoned home cooks in my family keep inviting my husband and me to their houses for the holiday.

For every household hosting Thanksgiving this year, there are plenty of households not hosting (i.e., being the guests). Since I'm not going to roast a turkey, I want to offer to help out somehow. My favorite contribution? Bringing a beautiful dessert to share. It’s a great way to try a new recipe and contribute to the meal without being in the way or taking up precious oven space when I get there. Read: make-ahead, totable, super-easy AND delicious. (A bonus if it can still say “Thanksgiving” without knocking me and everyone else over with a 10-pound block of butter.)

These 5 recipes fit that bill perfectly.


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November 8, 2010 - 12:02pm

“Hate is a very strong word,” my mother used to say to me across the dinner table. “You should be grateful for the food on your plate.”

“But I hate it!” I’d squeak back to her in the most pitiful whine I could muster.

“Penelope Ann,” she’d say in that voice, tilting her head ever so slightly. I knew the fight was over. I ate it—whatever IT was.

Now that I’m an adult, I get to choose the foods that go on my plate. Every day, that is, except for Thanksgiving, when roast turkey has tenure as the main attraction for no other reason that I can see except for tradition. And if you know about my tofu turkey, you know I am not one for tradition....

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October 29, 2010 - 10:31am

Long time ago, when my parents were young and goofy and in love, my father used to sing that old classic song to my mother, “You’re the cream in my coffee / You’re the salt in my stew / You will always be my necessity / I’d be lost without you.” Then the whole family would sing along together (yes, we were that cheesy). As kids do, my sisters and I would make up new lyrics with our favorite flavor combos (jam on my toast, sauce on my pasta). Some foods are just meant to be together.

Related Power Pairs:
Pairing These 3 Chili Ingredients Actually Makes Your Food Healthier. Find Out What They Are Here
Myth or...

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October 19, 2010 - 11:01am

Every time I see a cereal commercial on TV touting the benefits of whole grains, I feel like someone’s wagging a finger at me. I know whole grains are good for me: they provide a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients and are also rich in carbohydrates, the body’s main fuel supply. In fact, the current USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume around six ounces of grains daily, and that we make half those grains whole.

Related: Experts’ 8 food “rules” you should follow

But as much as I consider myself a healthy eater, I have a hard time meeting those guidelines on a regular basis. Do you? (If not, congratulations! You’re one of...

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