Her mission, as she states it, is "... to feed her family outrageously delicious meals and snacks and eliminate processed foods from her kitchen, all on a very low budget." And she then shares her adventures with the rest of us, writing a fabulous blog about food, her family, simple and delicious recipes, and health. Michelle is wonderfully warm and friendly, and I always feel as though she's inviting me to dinner at her house when she posts. This is one blog I never miss, and cannot recommend highly enough to everyone!
Michelle then passed the award along to a phenomenal group of bloggers whom I am very proud -- and profoundly humble -- to say that I'm a part of ... :) It's wonderful to know that one's efforts are appreciated and valued!
Now I am given the task of passing this award along to deserving recipients, and my brain paralysis is kicking in again -- I am so, so bad at making decisions! Too many options, too many worthy candidates! I'd have shared this with Michelle if someone hadn't beaten me to it; so that's one down, and still 15 more to go ....
So, on to following the protocol! The guidelines for accepting this award are:
Thank the person/people who gave it to you.
Thank you so very much for choosing me, Michelle, and for believing that my work warrants the attention. And thank you, too, for the charming and lovely way you introduced me: "Yenta Mary at Food Floozie. She was on the Early Show for her award-winning cupcakes. Run. Go to her. Now." Truly, Michelle, you made my entire chaotic Friday!!!
Tell 7 things about yourself.
Hmmmmm .... How much do I feel like sharing??? Am I in a "Truth or Dare" mood or a "Stick to Food" disposition, or ...? Why don't we try a little of both, rather than playing favorites?
1. I have never cooked an artichoke. Why bother? Too much effort for too little food. And so many places make that fabulous spinach-artichoke dip that I love that it's just not worth my time. I could be here, typing out inane blather instead!
2. I can't skate, and I'm prissy, and I'm a klutz ... and I'm old, at 47. But I'm still a Member Volunteer of the Ann Arbor Derby Dimes roller derby team, working on fundraising and general cheerleading for this newly forming team -- YEAH!!! I spent 13 years in all-girl Catholic schools (Lady Gaga's alma mater, I might add!), and it was girls who led the student council and girls who won science fair awards and girls who were star athletes ... never underestimate us! So I am 100% supportive of this women's sport and the fabulous and amazing group of women building the team! And if anyone would like to help us in our fundraising efforts, I will let you know when our gear is ready for purchase ... :)
3. Through 6 proverbial degrees of separation, I possess a pasta sauce recipe passed along by a suspected Mafioso. Legend has it that his grandmother came to this country in the early 1900s with only a few possessions. The boat sank close to shore, and she was able to salvage only 2 things: a family heirloom ruby ring, and her Nonna's (grandmother's) pasta sauce recipe. There has been some updating and some modernization, but it is still essentially an Old World "gravy." It starts with the words "Take a 16-quart stockpot ...." Yeah, right! My spaghetti pot holds 8 quarts, so I make half-batches. Tomatoes, cheese, basil, meatballs (and there are instructions for forming them properly!), sausage, and pork. Wine, along with the admonition to never drink any while cooking because it will taint your tastebuds. Truly, this sauce is a thing of incomparable beauty ... I have never experienced anything like it, and it is a labor of love to spend a day making it. I would share the recipe with you, but I was told not to ... and I value my kneecaps too much to violate that dictum!
4. I adore lilacs, and wish their season lasted longer. The bushes I have in my backyard have already had their shining moment this year ... I wish they were still in bloom.
5. Although everyone presumes that I watch it, I can't stand the Food Network. It's all about overly bleached teeth and showing off cleavage -- it has virtually nothing to do with cooking anymore. Any time I happen to breeze on by, there's some stupid competition for building Disney-themed Rice Krispies Treats structures ... sheesh! What happened to Mario Batali and to Sara Moulton and the other real chefs who'd worked their way up to a spot in the pantheon, who actually instruct and inform???
6. I was a member of the "Jeopardy" contestant pool back in 2006. I'd always bemoaned not being in California to take the test, and then they started offering it online. I signed up immediately, felt I'd bombed it horribly (the pressure!!!) ... and then, awhile later, I received an email congratulating me on having passed! I went to Chicago for a try-out, and was my usual flaky and chatty self -- my personality is better suited to "The Price is Right," in all honesty. (And sadly, most of the women who appear on the show wear grey or black and virtually no make-up, regrettably reinforcing the "nerd" stereotype; Alex Trebek might've had a stroke if he'd seen me in my purple nail polish and sparkly lip gloss and vivid pink clothes!) Then I got a call inviting me to the show, but Jeremy was sick and I couldn't fly out there. (Severely phobic of flying, but it would have been the chance of a lifetime!) They called again months later, and I still couldn't go ... :( I like to think it was God's way of sparing me humiliation on a national scale -- wouldn't it be horrible to not even make it to "Final Jeopardy"??? But I often wonder about what might've been ....
7. I have a "thing" for Cheetos. I can't explain it -- they have no redeeming nutritional qualities whatsoever, and I'm a girl who buys brown rice and whole wheat pasta almost exclusively, who banned hydrogenated oils an eternity ago, who cooks and bakes rather than relying upon processed and bleached and preservative-laden foods ... and yet. I'm not too keen on the puffy ones, though I'm also not too proud to turn them down. But I can devour an entire bag of the crunchy ones, and simply don't buy them to avoid the temptation ... though sometimes Jeremy will indulge me, even though he knows he shouldn't!
Pass the award on to 15 bloggers whom you have recently discovered and think are fantastic.
Again, let me reiterate how difficult a choice this is! But in no particular order, here are the blogs I think everyone should have already found. I'll pretend to be the hostess of the speed dating session, facilitating the introductions and potential life-long relationships!
10. Created by Diane
Again, I offer my most sincere gratitude for this award! And I happily bestow it upon others, sharing the joy ... :)