Author Archives: manchegomama

Happy Winter Solstice


Today marks the Winter Solstice, otherwise known as the “shortest” day of the year. It’s grey and severe and chilly outside, unforgiving but also beautiful, in its own kind of harsh way. I was catching up on my reading and found this thoughtful meditation on winter, slowing down, cooking, and stillness. It’s lovely and inspirational, in a subtle way, I think. A small portion below, to guide us on our dietary adventures:

“In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, a time of deep rest that is sacred to all living things and necessary to life. As a culture, we push against this darkness with celebration and light, busyness and bustle. This is fine, essential even, but there is wisdom to be discovered in the slumbering dark, in allowing the brightness to fade and the quiet to prevail.

The natural world is resting, the seeds and roots of our future harvest are chilled and dormant, alive but not actively growing. For humans, while it’s rare to be as still and silent as a dormant seed in winter, it is possible to experience deep quietness. A walk in the woods has moments of stillness, but it’s also conceivable to find it on a crowded bus or in a busy market. It can be as simple as pausing in the middle of a busy moment, or finding the time to stop and sit quietly for a few minutes. This quiet waiting is often mistaken as passivity but it’s not always that simplistic. Stillness can be quite dynamic and powerful if we engage with it wholeheartedly and without agenda. Equally important, from stillness, we rise into activity. In the kitchen, we engage in the preparations for the feast, surrounded by the rich, complex flavors of winter foods. The kitchen is full of the sound of chopping knives and sizzling onions. The air is scented with the warm spice of cinnamon, clove, cardamon. There are nuts to be ground, meats to roast, and winter fruits to pile into a big bowl: oranges and all citrus, pomegranates, persimmons, dates. The oven is put to constant use, it’s warmth steaming up the windows and spilling out into the rest of the house. The smells of the feast mingle with the scent of piney boughs, beeswax candles, peppermint and the perfumes of visiting friends and relatives. It’s a time to pause for a moment, take stock and appreciate: we are sheltered, well-fed and loved. We are blessed.”

Via the Kitchn. I’m really going to miss you over Christmas break, C.L.!

Pensively staring into coffee mug,

M.M. xo


Note to self: Eat dinner.


Hey C. Louise! How’s your weekend going?

This weather has been such a big bummer and only one thing happens when it gets this cold (at least for me): I want to snuggle up, stay in, nap, drink beers, and eat salty food. Oh wait that is totally not different from any other night.

I’ve had a pretty weird (weird = bad) week of eating. I think I’ve nailed a big problem for me, so I have the diagnosis. Now I just need a cure. I tend to skip dinner, drink a lot, and binge-eat in the middle of the next day. I was chatting with The Boy about it this morning (couched in a slightly less pathetic way) and he says that if you eat small portions throughout the day, then your metabolism speeds up and you won’t feel so hungover. Then again, he’s 5’11 and about 140lbs and can eat whatever the hell he wants.

For me, I do exactly the opposite. For example: after our fun night on Thursday (of which I had all of zero dinner), I passed out, woke up, got sick, skipped breakfast, and was RAVENOUS by 2pm, at which point I hit up my favorite Indian buffet and had two ginormous plates of curried lentils, basmati rice, naan, and other savoury delectables. Then I went out at night, skipped dinner, drank too much wine, woke up feeling like ass. Repeat as needed.

Lord, C.L., we need to eat dinner more together because I need someone to remind me to eat healthy and at night, so I don’t binge the next day! It’s a vicious cycle and one that I want to put a stop to.

We should start brainstorming New Year’s Resolutions. Do you have any yet, C.L.?

Me love you long time,


To snack or not to snack?


It’s true: I’m a huge snacker. I think that accounts for most of my weight gain — I just can’t stop! Snack, snack, snack. I even like the word “snack.” Snackies. But how to stop? Or how to choose healthy snacks? Not to mention something relatively inexpensive! One option that I go for is small-portioned leftovers, but more often than not, it’s a million times easier to just buy something. I’m pretty sure I give Oasis grocery like 60% of my salary, because they have the best snack-sized foods ever. I like buying soups in the smallest size (around $2.50), day-old bagels ($.50), bottles of juice ($2.20) and prepackaged foods from their deli counters. Today, I bought penne with sundried tomatoes and capers ($1.19). Cheap, healthy(-ish), and delicious.

C.L., I hope to hear from you soon! IMY!

Love & Rockets,


Your daily would you rather, Hot Man Edition



I know, this one is tough.

Power Lunch: Or, in which I gear myself up for a long week.


It’s Monday, otherwise known as the Worst Day of the Week, Ever. I feel really gluttonous and disgusting from a weekend of booze-fueled debauchery, so I’m taking it down a notch and treating myself right. I had a great, yummy lunch today: an organic red delicious apple, a huge coffee with skim milk, a couple handfuls of tamari dry roasted almonds, and a killer turkey-pinto chili from Oasis. (You know how I love their soups.) I think almonds are a “superfood” and everything else felt pretty healthy too, so I feel like maybe, just maaaybe, I’m back on track. The holidays are definitely tough when it comes to not stuffing my face with delicious food and hoppy beers. How do we learn how to say ‘no, thanks?’

Alright, back to the work grindstone. Good luck catching up on sleep, C.L.!

One love,


Hung. Over.


I’m not hungover right now or anything but that is basically how I would describe my entire weekend. I have problems with self-control, it’s true, but at a certain point I’m all like, “Okay, spending my Sunday mornings in the toilet bowl — not so much the way I want to go anymore.” Yeah, yesterday was a little rough. Drinking from 4pm to 4am two days in a row will do that to a gal. My hangover cure? A looooooong nap, tons of water, episodes of The O.C. on repeat, fistfuls of aspirin, buttered toast, and my preferred magical cure-all elixir: Gatorade. Oh Gatorade, how I love thee. Downed this puppy in about 45 seconds flat.

Pre-New Year’s Resolution: Drink much less. Will see the results in my waistband, I’m sure of it.


Weekend, embrace me with your all-enveloping magic: Or, in which I wax poetic about Oasis soups.

Morning! Kind of got a late start — I think it’s all the snow. It just makes me want to snuggle in bed all morning. Don’t you agree, C.L.? I have tons of stuff I want to share with you. I guess I’ll post the most pertinent link first, something I found via Jezebel when they posted about Oprah “apologizing” for “falling off the diet wagon” and hitting the “Dreaded 2-0-0” again. To that I say, fuck you Oprah. Don’t apologize for shit. You are the most powerful woman in the entire world and we think you look great. Someone posted this link to a good essay about fat acceptance. It’s a good reminder to not get too caught up in all this body image bullshit, you know?


Moving along. After my post earlier this week about all teh hotties in teh world, I went on a mini-Leo bender. Let’s admire this photo gallery, shall we? And for good measure, a beautiful interview with Leo and Kate (who, side note, I think has one of the most perfect bodies in the world) — could I love these two more? I say, let’s see Revolutionary Road when it comes out, C.L.! It looks soooo good.

Also, C.L., I have a feeling that you will love this blog, Fuck You, Penguin. It’s so good and weird and hilarious. Check it!

Oh, have you seen this new Ithaca magazine floating around town? It’s free and pretty decent. It’s called Ithaha and run by two former New Yorker editors and cartoonists! Pretty impressive.

Now. Back to me! This has been a big shoe week, as yesterday I received a pair of heavily discounter Rachel Comey heels that I’ve been lusting after all fall. They are simply gorgeous and JUST the motivation I need to look good for the holidays. Aren’t they stunning? The red color makes me so happy.


Hold on. I’m not done being happy about these. Let’s take another view, shall we?


:Sighs: I’ve never really been a “shoe girl” but these legitimately make me happy. I can see them being cute with skirts, dresses, jeans, tights, no tights, pretty much everything. And they’re really comfortable. Win-win.

I think I had a pretty good week, eating-wise. I drank WAY too much though, which I realize negates all the good effects of a healthy diet. Fuck. Whatever, I had a good week. But I just would like to take a second to applaud the fine folks at Oasis Groceries in downtown Ithaca for their fine, fine soups. It’s pretty much a given that I’ll adore any soup they put out. I personally love their black bean chili and curried yam and zucchini, but I tried their Ethiopian peanut and spinach soup yesterday and loved it. I enjoyed it with a huge coffee and no sugar added cranberry juice (the king of all juices, duh). Mmmmm:


This soup was so delicious. Flecked with bits of onion and plenty of chopped spinach, it was still meaty and so satisfying thanks to the salty broth, chunks of buttery potato and peanuts that were floating around. It was a little oily, but absolutely lip-smacking good. Let’s zoom in:


Wow. I think it’s time for lunch now — my stomach is grumbling after staring at this photo.

Happy eating,



P.S. ONE. MORE. THING. PLEASE tell me you happened to read the GREATEST ARTICLE EVER POSTED ON JEZEBEL. I was DYING yesterday at work. Absolutely brilliant post on top 15 favorite ridiculous women. It’s so unbelieveable and on-point. Read and watch all the videos for a good laugh. Funnily enough, this list also happens to be most of the same women who I would love to hang out with and have a beer with (Liza, Kathleen, Liz, CELINE, Whitney, Mariah). Classic. I adore these women so much (and have a newfound appreciation for Kathy Lee Gifford). The Liza Minelli clip is, in itself, one of the greatest things of all time. Okay, I’m done now. [Jezebel]