Penelope Wall's Blog

March 16, 2011 - 9:58am

My parents were back-to-the-land kind of folks, so I grew up eating all sorts of interesting whole grains. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually heard of quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”). And it wasn’t until the last several months that I’ve noticed a growing buzz around this quite petite, mild-flavored grain. Quinoa is everywhere. Some would say it is, in effect, one of the “hot” foods you should be eating this year. (See more trendy foods to watch for here.) But quinoa isn’t exactly new. It was, in fact, a staple in the ancient Incas’ diet. So why has this very old grain been given a new second life in 2011? Why quinoa and why now? full post »
March 1, 2011 - 11:44am

The way I see it, you’re either a coffee drinker or you’re not: you unequivocally love it or you avoid it completely. And wouldn’t you agree that what kind of coffee drinker you are says a lot about who you are as a person? I love the coffee die-hards at EatingWell Magazine where I work as a Web writer and producer—joined at the hand with their trusty old mug. They’ll drink their coffee any old way so long as it’s constant and caffeinated. On the flip side, there are the coffee purists who scoff at cream and sugar (let alone mocha frappuccino with extra whipped cream and caramel sauce!).

How healthy is your coffee habit? 4 benefits and 4 cons to know about...

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February 16, 2011 - 11:04am

I learned everything I know about baking from my mother. When I was a little girl, I loved getting up super-early on weekend mornings and helping her in the kitchen. I would measure and mix the dry ingredients (my favorite part was making the well in the middle) while she whisked the eggs. I was still in elementary school when I baked my first banana bread. It was from an old edition of Joy of Cooking and it was pretty basic and it was fine, but other than bananas it was made with mostly not-so-healthy ingredients, such as refined flour and shortening, which don't really provide much nourishment.

Chocolate-Chip Banana Bread...

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February 4, 2011 - 11:57am

I'm convinced the gods must have been wanting for a little sun when they invented the lemon. Lemons evoke sunshine in every way—from their cheery, yellow complexion and squeaky-clean scent to the fresh, bright flavor they impart to any dish.

23 Fresh Lemon Recipes to Brighten Your Meals
5 More Fresh Winter Fruits to Enjoy

Though lemons are available at the supermarket year-round, their peak season comes at the perfect time of year, in winter, when most of us are suffering from too many gray days in a row. That's when I'm craving them most—when...

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February 3, 2011 - 11:34am

The last time my husband and I ate at our favorite French bistro, our post-meal bliss was slightly dampened by the arrival of the bill: costing almost $100 once we counted the tip. $100 for two people! I do love eating out at restaurants, but sometimes I wonder: are those few hours of indulgence really worth the cost?

Well, yes, sometimes for a really amazing meal—and if you can afford it—it is nice to just get away. But my husband and I are trying to be more careful with our spending this year. So lately on date night, we opt to save a little moolah by cooking together at home.

Recipes to Try: Romantic Date-Night Dinner Recipes

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