Today’s Tidbits

Coffee Exercises

I know it sounds like something that happens when you’ve had a bit too much caffeine, but here’s the thing:  It’s flippin’ COLD in my house!!  We have a 1923 home with original windows.  Yeah, some days I’m pretty sure it’s colder INSIDE the house.  Every morning I come downstairs and preheat the electric blankie while giving my geriatric cat her medicine, feeding my squirrel empire, and making breakfast.  I then snuggle into it to write an article or two / tweet to my heart’s content while I eat.  Unfortunately, there is that inevitable moment where I must crawl back out to retreive the coffee.  Brrrr!  Last week, I started jumping around to keep warm while waiting for the coffee.  This has evolved into morning “coffee exercises.”  It only takes about three minutes to brew, but a minute of jumping jacks, cross punches, and imaginary jumprope, and not only have I warmed up, but my blood is pumping and I suddenly have this experience that feels remarkably like… energy!  Wonder if I could skip the coffee and just do the exercises?? …  …  …  NAH!

Essential Spices

I got an email from a reader today, saying that some of the recipes I recommend involve spices she doesn’t have on hand (or sometimes hasn’t heard of).  Believe me, I’ve been there!!  Since she doesn’t cook a ton, she wanted to know what were really the essential spices to have on hand.  Good question!!  Let me rewind a few months to before I started cooking “for real,” and let you know what I’m never without.  These kept me above water for the year+ that my cooking skills were growing:

garlic powder
garlic salt w/ parsley
basil, parsley, or oregano (chefs everywhere gasp in dismay
at my insinuation that these are interchangeable)
ground mustard
chili powder, cajun seasoning, or ground red (cayenne) pepper
lemon pepper seasoning
a grill seasoning (we like Mrs. Dash)
salt and pepper grinders

Keep in mind that I am NOT a chef… but I actually think that makes me MORE qualified to answer the question! =P  Cassie, or any of my other dear domestic goddesses, perhaps you have something you’d like to add to this discussion?

Incredible Morphing of Women in Art

I just read a message post with a link to this absolutely incredible video of continuously morphing women in art.  Looking for your inner goddess?  I’m sure she’s in here somewhere!  Have a peek for yourself:

Twist-on Wine Corks

There was much furor created by an earlier post where I mentioned the existence of magical twist-on wine corks that keep your wine fresh for up to several weeks.  I had to interrogate my husband to find out where he had picked them up… easier said than done since we cross paths for about 15-30 minutes on most days, and I have to remember to ask in that brief time span!  None-the-less, after a couple of reminders (via my USING them), I did persevere!  The brand is called “Houdini,” and they are available at Target (read:  Tar-zhay).  I checked, which unhelpfully had no picture to display, and said they are available only in stores.  I also checked Amazon, which had other (much pricier) Houdini wine products, but none that are quite like what I’ve been using, and most of which only got mediocre reviews.  I was going to take a pic of mine to post here, but discovered that I’ve left my camera in my briefcase at work.  They’re about 2″ tall, and silver, with a twisty knob on top to seal the air, and cost about $7 for a pair.  I’ve never tried storing a bottle on it’s side with a top on (they don’t last that long in my house!), so I don’t know if they leak or not, but I have yet to have a bottle go bad with one of these tops on.  There ya have it… Goddess endorsed!

Chickpeas for Cali

The lovely Cali requested a recipe for chickpeas (also known by the more athletic name:  garbanzo beans), which was NOT a hummus.  Love hummus though I do (possibly the world’s most perfect food), I’m happy to provide others in the name of spreading the Gospel of the Chickpea – a nutritionally awesome yet under appreciated legume.  Here is one of my favorites, but watch  out – it’s addictive!  (hand… mouth… hand… mouth… hand…)

Mock Deep Fried Chickpeas – all the delicious crunch and satisfying zing of a chip, but with actual health benefits, and none of the associated guilt if you eat them all by yourself!  (I should know.)

1 19oz can of chickpeas, drained, well-rinsed, patted dry
olive oil spray
coarse salt, ground, to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (chili powder or curry are also good)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano

Preheat oven to 450F.  Place chickpeas on a rimmed cookie sheet (I like to line it with parchment paper).  Bake, shaking every 10 minutes or so to keep from sticking, until golden brown and crunchy, about 25-30 minutes.

Pour into a large bowl, and lightly coat with olive oil spray.  Toss.  Sprinkle in seasonings and toss again to coat.  While they are best when still warm and crunchy, they’re still delicious even when they’ve returned to room temp!

Serves 4 (or 1, if you’re me)
cals 100
fat 1.5g
carbs 17g
fiber 4g
protein 5g

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cali  |  September 17, 2008 at 7:41 am

    OMG,… this sounds delectable!! I am sooo trying this out this weekend =) Thanks pretty lady!!

  • 2. Cassie  |  September 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I am trying these tonight. Seriously! They sound yummy.

  • 3. averagegoddess  |  September 19, 2008 at 7:10 am

    I’d love to hear what you think of them!

  • 4. cashlessncr  |  September 23, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Alas, the closest Target is a three hour drive! Yup, I’m living in the sticks.

    The fried chickpeas sound yummy. I do an eggplant/garbanzo bean stew. Don’t have the recipe handy to share right now, but can do if there’s interest!

  • 5. averagegoddess  |  September 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Bring it on girlfriend! Who knows? It might even end up in the Average Goddess cookbook!!

  • 6. Cassie  |  September 24, 2008 at 11:59 am

    The chickpeas were fantastic!!!
    I used cumin and chili powder with a touch of garlic. Yum Yummers!

  • 7. Amalthea  |  October 1, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Oooooh those chickpeas sound amazing! I’m always looking for a healthy way to get my crunch and salt cravings satisfied with a healthy punch, these sound perfect!

  • 8. averagegoddess  |  October 2, 2008 at 6:56 am

    They tend to be a hot item everywhere they go… crunchy, chewy, salty, zesty… mmmm… if it weren’t 6am, I’d go make some right now!

  • 9. Cassie  |  October 26, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Essential Spices:
    I suggest a pre-mixed Italian seasoning grinder if you are new to cooking, or if having all those spices around is intimidating. Also, get some Cumin, if you use Chili Powder for any reason add a dash of Cumin and you’ll be singin’ show tunes (if so inclined) at how delicious it is.
    I am in California on vacation at the moment, so this is all I could think of. Kristie, I’ll e-mail y ou if I think of more on the way home!
    = )

  • 10. Paintandsoul  |  November 2, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    I am even LESS of a chef than anyone else I know…. I would say the pre-mixed stuff is a LIFESAVER. Mrs. Dash, Italian seasoning, oh and garlic salt is my go-to for everything.

    Hehe, and I love the coffee exercises.

  • 11. Cassie  |  November 25, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    I’m gonna have to do my coffee exercises while I let my dog do his morning business! Cold cold cold outside!!!

  • 12. Marilynn DeLucca  |  December 20, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    I just discovered you!! You are fabulous – tips on organizing AND food!!!

    OMG…I’ve got to make these chickpeas for Christmas with LOTS of garlic…healthy snacks in disguise!!!

    And I LOVE the coffee thing (can’t say the word!) My home is old also and I KNOW it’s colder inside than out! I agree…MUST have the coffee or what’s the point!!!

    • 13. averagegoddess  |  December 21, 2008 at 10:58 am

      No, YOU’RE fabulous! 😀 Mmmm… chickpeas… you’re gonna love ’em!


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