Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

Gettting My Mind Back On Track

So, today, it is nearly 3:30pm and I am still in my PJs. I think I need a boost. So, I am going to try to get more recipes put up on my Healthy Eating For Poor People page. With summertime here, I have been thinking about a few grilling recipes and ideas. Even cooking just on my stove top makes my AC work harder, so cooking outside is definitely ideal. Feel free to comment with any ideas. I will be starting with a simple shish kabob veggie recipe. I think it will be interesting to see what the prices come out to be.


Ok. So, I have changed my domain name… Which apparently means that some of my links on my pages now go to porn instead of to the posts that I had linked them to… I am fixing it, but if you came across this, I am sorry. I do not know why porn seems to be the default link. But, whatever.

So, I suppose I should explain my new name. A few folks have asked me about it and I did promise to write-up a post.

My maiden name means “fox” in Belgian. I always thought it was pretty nifty. The fox is also a symbol of someone who watches in secret, who holds secrets. That appeals to me. I used “Fox” as part of my online name for a few years. I feel a connection with foxes. It fits me.

Brooms. Symbols of cleaning and domestic care. They sweep out dirt and negativity. I like the idea of cleaning out that which is negative. Housework and childcare is hard enough without negative energies.

That is it. Nothing earth shattering. Just a change in the way I see myself. I am focussing less on exercise (which is still a part of me) and more on household. I know my focus will shift over the years and this is a name that I think will work with the many changes.

Walking Along Harvard Street


Boston Cream Deliciousness


Boston Trip Update 1

The plane trip was uneventful and fairly smooth. Baby J did not cry at all and managed to just sleep most of the way. He did get loud a little bit, bit it was with happy noises instead of angry ones. For the most part, he actually seemed to enjoy flying.

Today, I walked around the area we are staying. We are here for 9 days; I may as well get to know the place. I bought some groceries at a Trader Joes. It was my first time ever in one. It was pretty neat.

I also went to a Dunkin Doughnuts for the first time in five years. That Boston Cream was heavenly.

Needing a good kick.

I have been unhealthy. Very unhealthy, lately. I am working on fixing this. I am pretty sure that what I have been doing is stress eating. I can’t seem to get enough carbs/sugars. The problem with this is that sugars are addicting and can lead to an eating pattern like the one I currently find myself in. So, I need to break the cycle. I need to find healthier snacks that will help take the edge off of the sugar cravings.

I also need to get on a more regular exercise schedule. I have been running a couple times per week, but I need to get better with it. I am going to register to run the Bloomsday Race in May. I only have little more than 3 months to be able to run a 12k. I can currently run 2 miles with little problem. I’m slow, but I can do it. In the past I have done 3 miles. too was going to sign up for the Gold’s Gym 12 Week Challenge again, but we are trying hard to be frugal. It is only $25 for members, but that is $25 I can put towards our dinners. I already feel like I am spending too much with having a gym membership. Which is why I do try to use it.

So, I have come up with a tentative plan:

  • Blog at least once per week. If I have to talk to people about what I have been doing, I usually make better decisions.
  • Really get on track with C25K. I figure once I get my stamina up for a 5K, working towards a 12K will be the next step.
  • Keep to my workout schedule. I make a new one each month when the new schedule comes out and tweak it with how life changes that schedule.
  • Make a weekly menu. In case it might not be apparent, I tend to be a list-oriented person. I like the challenge of trying to complete what I have set up. With a menu, I will make and eat what I have written down. Therefore, if I have a healthy menu, I will then eat healthier.

So, I have my plan. I tried to keep it simple and not too daunting. Later, I will post my exercising schedule. Gold’s has a ton of new classes coming out this weekend, so I am waiting for an updated class list. Then I will post it on here. That way I will be held accountable to keep up with it for the 5 readers I have 😉

On a parenting note: Sam did GREAT today in the kid care area at our local grocery store (ALL grocery stores should offer this – the kids are happy and the parents are not ripping out their hair by the time they are done shopping. This is a big deal because any other time I have tried to leave him with other people, he screams the whole time I am not there. So, this is a welcome breakthrough. I am thinking of testing it out at our gym tomorrow. *crossing fingers* All I plan on doing for exercise tomorrow is running.

Well, that is it for now. I feel better now that I have this actually written down.

Rice-Flour Dosas With Mustard Seeds and Black Pepper (India)

Rice-Flour Dosas With Mustard Seeds and Black Pepper (India)
From Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

Cooked on: October 2, 2011

Servings: makes 8 dosas

Cost: Inexpensive

Skill level: Intermediate. Be sure to follow instructions.


1 cup all-purpose white flour
1 cup rice flour (also called rice powder)
1/8 to ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ cup peeled and chopped onion
¼ cup freshly grated coconut (poke the eyes first and drain the “milk,” then crack the hell out of it on a sidewalk)
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1 cup plain yogurt (the sourer the better)
About 7 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. whole black mustard seeds
¾ to 1 tsp. coarsely crushed or very coarsely ground black peppercorns


Put the white flour, rice flour, cayenne, onion, coconut, salt, yogurt, and ¾ cup water into the container of a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a bowl.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a small skillet or pot over a medium flame. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop (almost immediately), pour the seeds and oil over the batter. Add the black pepper and mix thoroughly.
See that you have everything you need for making the pancakes: a 7 – 8 inch non-stick skillet, a cup containing oil, a teaspoon, a rounded soupspoon for spreading out the batter, and a 1/3 cup measuring cup. You also need a plate to hold the pancakes and a second plate that you can invert over the first to keep the pancakes warm and moist (I put wax paper in-between each pancake).

Set the skillet over medium-low heat. Dribble ½ tsp. oil into it. When the skillet is hot, pick up 1/3 cup of batter and plop it right in the center of the skillet. Immediately put the round bottom of the soupspoon very lightly on the blob of batter and using a gentle but continuous spiral motion, spread the batter outward. You should end up with a pancake 6 to 7 inches in diameter (the thinner, the better). Dribble ½ tsp of oil over the pancake and another tsp. just outside its edges. Cover and cook for 3 ½ to 5 minutes or until the pancake has turned a reddish-gold color on the bottom and is slightly crisp along the edges. It may not color uniformly. Remove the cover and turn the pancake over. Cook the second side uncovered until it, too, has developed reddish-gold spots, about 4 minutes. Remove with a spatula and keep on the nearby plate. Cover with the second inverted plate. Make all the pancakes this way, stacking them all on the same plate.

If you wish to reheat these pancakes, cover them well in aluminium foil, and place in a 400° F oven for about 15 minutes.

Serve with South Indian Coconut Chutney or any vegetable of your choice (Zakiya’s Potatoes and Onions are awesome with these).


Final Verdict

The dosas take a bit of extra care and time. For all of that, they are worth it. This dosa recipe is slightly spicy, but not too spicy. My baby LOVED them. My whole family LOVED them. My husband has requested that I make these again.


Weekly Menu









Hardboiled Egg & Toast

Cottage Cheese and Peaches

Waffles w/ Pecans

Oatmeal w/ almonds

Feta Egg Scramble

Nutty Fruit Smoothie

Strawberry Ricotta Wraps


Blackened Chicken w/ Brown Rice

Crispy Turkey and Veggie Stacks




3 Bean Chili

Curry Carrot and White Bean Soup


Hummus w/ Pita, Pears and Cottage Cheese

Toasted Oat Cereal & Raisins, Apple w/ Peanut Butter

Yoghurt w/ Berries, Bell Peppers w/ Dressing

tea & toast, graham crackers & milk

Cheese Melt, Fresh Pear

Banana, Tea & Toast

Fresh Pear, Graham Crackers & Milk


Cauliflower w/ Almonds & Chickpea Soup

Stuffed Acorn Squash





Tuscan Pasta



Arancini from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by Bay Books

I also call this recipe “Fried Cheesy Rice Balls,” which I know seems like a mouthful, but I could not for the life of me remember the actual name. A note before beginning: This recipe is time-consuming as the mix needs to be refrigerated. It actually worked out well as it complemented my leftover Chickpea Curry perfectly. I also discovered that it can be reheated in the oven and be even better than it was freshly fried. My cheese did not get very melty with the frying, but melted to perfect melty goodness after some time in the oven (approx 15 minutes at 425 F).

This would also be a very easy recipe to transform into a vegan dish. I think it would be super nommers if a garbanzo bean were in the center. Or garlic. Maybe both. Mmmm.

Cooked on: May 7, 2011

Servings: Makes 20

Cost: Inexpensive – I already had saffron on hand, so this was super in expensive.

Skill level: Intermediate. Be sure to follow instructions.


a large pinch of saffron threads
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) dry white wine
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock
100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp thyme
220 g (7 3/4 oz/1 cup) risotto rice
50 g (1 3/4 oz/1/2 cup)grated parmesan cheese
100 g (3 1/2 oz/2/3 cup diced mozzarella or fontina cheese (I think a stronger cheese would be better – feta or some sort of goat cheese)
70 g (2 1/2 oz/3/4) dry breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1. Soak the saffron in the wine and leave to infuse. Pour the stock into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and keep at a gentle simmer.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic over low heat for 3 – 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the thyme and rice and stir until the rice is translucent. Add the saffron wine and stir until all the wine is absorbed. Add 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) hot stock and stir constantly over medium heat until absorbed. Continue adding more stock, 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) at a time, stirring constantly for 20 – 25 minutes, or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy. (It doesn’t matter if the rice becomes a little glutinous – it will actually stick together better.)

3. Remove from the heat, stir in the parmesan, then spread out on a tray covered with plastic wrap. Leave to cool, the refrigerate overnight to firm up.

4. Roll a small amount of the rice mixture into a walnut-sized ball. Press a hole in the middle with your thumb, push a cube of mozzarella inside and press the rice around it to enclose it in a ball. Repeat with the remaining rice and cheese, then roll each ball in the breadcrumbs, pressing down to coat well.

5. Heat enough oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan to fully cover the rice balls. Heat the oil to 180 C (350 F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. Cook the rice balls in batches, without crowding, for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and leave for a few minutes before eating.
(3 – 4 minutes seemed too long to me as they started to blacken if left in that long. This is why my inner cheese did not melt, but I wanted them to look appetizing as well as taste appetizing. It is possible my oil was too hot. I did not have a thermometer that went up that high.)

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Final verdict: This is a delicious recipe. It takes patience and time, but is great if you have both. I reheated these for a Mother’s Day brunch and they went over extremely well.

Adventures In Cooking

My husband has asked me to start cooking more vegetarian foods. He had a scare with his blood pressure and is hoping this will help. This is all well and good, but one can only have so much beans and rice. So, I have decided to try at least 2 new recipes each week. I figured I might as well post them here along with my verdict and any notes I had about the prep. I think I will also create a list of them so they will be easy to find.

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