Review with Broccoli

broccoli in a bowl with a pattern underneath
Who Knew That Broccoli and Popcorn Go Together?

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Spicy Popcorn

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Spicy Popcorn

popcorn bowl pink shirt red skirt
My daughter had her palate extender (an orthodontic device that resides in one’s mouth) removed this week; in celebration, we bought and made popcorn. One isn’t allowed to have popcorn (or chewy, goopy food) with a palate extender (or with braces), so it was exciting to once again be sharing popcorn. The popcorn my daughter picked out came in a bag, and I kept eating it. In order not to eat all of *her* popcorn, I made my own.


  • 3/4 cup plain kernels of popcorn
  • 1 paper bag, lunch bag size
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric, garlic powder, cumin, and pepper
  • 3 tsp. organic butter
  • 1 bunch steamed broccoli

Put the popcorn kernels in the bag and fold it closed. Put it in the microwave – ours has a popcorn setting. When it is done popping, remove the bag. Prepare the butter with the spices and salt by melting it in a saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave. Pour it over the popcorn.

So why the steamed broccoli? After you finish all the popcorn, you are going to enjoy mopping up the spicy butter remnants with a piece of broccoli!

Japanese Noodle Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce

udon noodles broccoli carrot scallions

Adapted from Japanese Foods that Heal: Using Traditional Ingredients to Promote Health, Longevity, and Well-Being by John and Jan Belleme

Ingredients for the Salad

12 oz. udon or soba noodles (recipes called for soba and I used udon, in the hopes my kids would like this – no luck, but I loved it)
2 cups of small broccoli florets
1 cup of sliced cabbage (recipe said use napa cabbage; I used savoy cabbage)
1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
3 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
optional: 1 kirby cucumber, peeled and sliced (I skipped this)

Spicy Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons peanut oil (I used olive oil and sesame oil instead)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 Tbsp. shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. rice vinegar (I skipped this)
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh lime juice (I used fresh lemon juice)
1 Tbsp. mirin (Japanese rice wine – delicious condiment, if you can get some)
1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (I used hot pepper sauce instead)

How to Make the Noodle Vegetable Salad

Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water. Stir to prevent sticking. Cook until tender but firm. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Set aside in large bowl.

Steam the broccoli until bright green and tender-crisp. Remove, then steam the cabbage and carrot sticks. Add to noodles. Add the scallions and cucumber to noodles as well.

Mix all the peanut sauce ingredients in the food processor. Puree until smooth. Add to the noodles and toss gently. Serve.

Who Ate My Tulips?

Who ate my tulips? Was it you? Or you?

Here are my tulips one week ago:

And here are the unhappy remnants today:
eaten tulips

Most probably it was a deer. The deer live a few blocks away. Families that live close to RPRY on the Edison/Highland Park border report having a difficult time growing tulips. The deer gobble them up. In the past few years, gardeners in my neighborhood have also had to contend with the deer liking the taste of tulips. My neighbor down the block already knows of two ground hogs, but they nibble the ground plants. Like broccoli and canteloupe. Almost impossible to grow those here unless you grow them in a cage.

Broccoli Drawing

Here’s a drawing I did for a post I am planning. The post is going to be about getting kids to eat healthy. Or about giving up trying. Probably both. See “Broccoli for dessert“…