Check out the latest interview I did for my upcoming comic book series, Dark Matter, this one with my buddy Shaun Manning over at Comic Book Resources: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=35481.  It offers a little more insight into the series and characters as well as a two-page sneak peek of what’s to come.

Yes, it’s true.  I’ve adopted a healthier life.  Note I use the word “healthier” rather than “healthy” because I have no intention of giving up my dessert habit.  Chocolate, ice cream, and cake are as important a part of my life as…hell, I honestly can’t think of anything more important.  Which is why the other 25% of the time when I’m not indulging, I’m either working out or eating right.  I schedule two work-outs a day, cardio in the morning and weights at night, so that even if happen to miss one, I’m still covered for the deay.  I’m also eating a lot fish lately – this, in no small part due to the fact that my girlfriend is Japanese and she is all about the fish: salmon, snapper, tuna usually baked, roasted or served as sushi.  Personally, I’m partial to rainbow trout either butterfield and pan-fried with a little thyme, butter, and garlic or roasted with tarragon, lemon, shallots, and a splash of sake.  I do a great slow-baked salmon that never fails to come out fork tender, a seabass (lately sablefish) that’s seared then finished in the oven with a hoisin and green onion glaze, a roasted mackerel with tomatoes, sweet onions, and meyer lemon, and salmon collars slathered in sesame oil, sea salt and garlic before being grilled to a crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside finish.  And, of course, no meal would be complete without those delectable sides.  I recently discovered the joys of cooking the Jerusalem Artichoke (aka sunchoke).  I scrub them down, half them, then toss them, unpeeled, with a little olive oil, sea salt, minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, and serrano pepper powder before popping them in the oven for half an hour.  Fantastic.

Recent culinary triumphs:

Oven-roasted herring with tomato, lemon, sweet onions and sake.
Akemi's luxurious squash soup.
Akemi's Chinese rice. Addictive!
Those Jerusalem Artichokes I was talking about. A great alternative to potatoes.

So, how are you all doing?  Exercising?  Eating right?  Let’s hear about your recent culinary triumphs.

Ironically enough, my latest culinary triumph came on a night I should have been out enjoying Refuel’s annual and awesome Whole Hog Dinner.  I’ve been so overwhelmed lately that I completely forgot my booking.  And this is the second time it’s happened.  A month ago, I missed a special foie gras dinner.  Missing foie gras AND pork cheeks? I must be losing my mind.

49 thoughts on “November 30, 2011: Another Dark Matter interview! Adopting a healthier lifestyle! Culinary Triumphs!

  1. Om nom nom. That sounds delicious! I have no idea how I managed it, but in my first three months of college, instead of gaining the Freshman 15, I’ve managed to lose 10 pounds. Does that count?

    When things settle down a bit for you, do you plan on a Stargate Atlantis lookback, a la what you did for SG-1?

  2. You missing food, Joe. Now, I’m worried something’s wrong. 🙂 My exercise lately has come from throwing the baseball with my kids, and of course, we are trying to eat right. I say try; we don’t always succeed. LOL

    Have a great night!!!!

    I’m watching my friends slide across the NaNoWriMo finish line. So glad I finished a week ago.

  3. My Pacific Islander neighbors call Jerusalem Artichokes “Poi Flowers” and have been known to sneak into our back yard to did them up. I grow them for the bird seed and only dig them once a year.

    My lastest culinary triump?

    Well, I have a vat of purple cabbage saurkraut burping, should be ready by (orthodox) Christmas dinner.

    Made a batch of sweet orange habenero kimchi last week.

    Made 2 dozen 1/2 pints of pumpkin pickles (soft canned). Those are being shared to go reviews. Used a big jack-o-lantern pumpkin. They taste like crunchy apple/mango sweet pickles.

  4. @ Zed of Earth – I love Foyle’s War, too! Just watched an episode tonight, in fact…the one where Hathaw…erm…I mean, Laurence Fox, is the killer. 🙂

    And you’re getting a new Lewis series? Where are you? England, or elsewhere?

    das

  5. You missed Refuel, they should have a call service to remind you, as you would a wake up call. Maybe they have leftovers?!? The squash soup and the rice look delicious. The fish,I would always think they were staring at me, spooky… I have snow peas growing in my Fl garden if they don’t freeze tonight, looking forward to making something wonderful with them. And still have a couple green peppers to pick. Nothing like fresh from the garden. Thanks for the pictures, heading over to check out your interview now. Have a great evening!

  6. Hi, Joe,

    The food pics look delicious, and I’m not even a fish person.

    Do you have any recommendations for dining in Las Vegas? I’m going again this Christmas and want to break out of my dining rut.

    I’m just finishing up the second book in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle. Have you read them yet? Fabulous fantasy series. Going to be hard waiting for the last book to be finished. I want it right now even more than the next George R. R. Martin.

  7. I exercised a bit over Thanksgiving break, but I suspect a (another) 2 week dry spell as I attempt to start and finish 3 papers all 25-40 pages long before they’re due. The instant those are done though, I think it’s back to the gym on a daily basis.

    My last food success were some delicious pumpkin muffins I made around Halloween time. They were a big hit with my classmates, although maybe that’s not saying much since grad students will eat anything as long as it’s free.lol I’ve got some great recipes to try over the holidays; none so grand as fish with their heads still attached, though.

    Sorry to hear you’ve missed two big dinners, especially the Hog meal since you just got back to Vancouver! Next year, right?

  8. Okay, I must admit, that “Oven-roasted herring with tomato, lemon, sweet onions and sake” sounded much better before I saw the picture of it. I thought you would have cut the head and tail off before cooking so I didn’t have to look into it’s eyes as I’m eating it. The poor thing.

    You forgot Refuel’s Whole Hog Dinner?!! O! M! G!

  9. My latest culinary coup d’etat came with the pumpkin flan I served the book club on Nov 6. I may have tossed out the recipe though. It had rum in it. It was very, very rich.

    Your culinary tastes may be above my level of cooking if you were to come live with me. And, as my child, I would encourage your talents in cooking, but I would take 1 bite, point you to something I thought I saw pass by, (Oh, look, a crain!) and then gently let it fall to the floor for the dog, who has her own prissy likes and dislikes. I found out today she likes grapes. Of course I am an honest kind of mother who would not be lying about the crain:

    http://www.twitpic.com/7mfe2r

    That was the first and only crain I’ve ever seen in this town. We also had a cow wander down from the farm down the road, and lots of snakes (again, introducing you and Tara to copperheads and water moccasins and other snakes that have been around my house will only help you on your journey:

    Like this one:

    http://www.twitpic.com/ivt9j

    Then two deer were on our front lawn last week when Jeff left at 4:00 am for the gym. They apparently did not even run when he went out, turned the car on and drove away. Not sure if that is a good sign or not. And I have a forest preserve behind my house. My neighbor goes back there to take her German shepherd for exercise, so she can dump you and Tara back there and you can try to find your way out every day. She told me she came across this makeshift living space one day; who knows what kind of people are living back there. And, I hear gunshots going off every now and then which means people are shooting things on the preserve when they shouldn’t be, so you’ll have to be careful to make it out of there alive.

    The squash soup that Akemi made does look really good! I’d like the recipe, too.

    If I were the people at Refuel and you didn’t show up for this particular booking, I would have sent the police out for you, wondering if foul play was involved. Someone owes them an apology. They probably held the seats all night, thinking you were eventually going to be there. Maybe Akemi can make one of those delightful cards she is great at doing.

  10. Zed of Earth said: “I like the genre for the psychological drama, for the mystery, the piecing together of clues, the use of science to solve the mystery; I don’t need to see the violence or the aftermath in explicit detail.”

    Yes, this…exactly. I think that’s why I’m drawn to the old movies, and not the newer ones. I prefer suggestion over explicit anyday. Now some, like Hot Fuzz (and classics like Monty Python and the Holy Grail), I can handle because the gore is so over the top you know it’s not real (though I must admit to watching certain scenes with one eye shut), but I had to stop watching the CSI shows because they just dwelled sooo much on guts and gore (not to mention the characters being a miserable bunch of sourpusses.

    One of my favorite movies…hmmmm…I guess you would call it suspense since it’s really not a murder mystery, is Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt. It’s a wonderful example of the doppelgänger theme. Early on in the film you know the police are searching for the Merry Widow strangler, but you never see the crimes committed since they occur before the movie opens. However, there’s this one scene where Uncle Charlie is sitting at a table across from his niece, also named Charlie, and he’s talking, making light of the ‘foolish things’ he’s done, and all the while she’s just sitting there, staring at the napkin he’s twisting, and twisting, and twisting, in his hands, and you (like young Charlie) just know how he killed his victims. Ah! The art of suggestion! How powerful it is! And how much the younger generations are missing with this need to have every single thing spelled out for them in graphic detail.

    das

  11. @Joe:

    So, how are you all doing? Exercising? Eating right? Let’s hear about your recent culinary triumphs.

    Well, since February I put myself on a low-carb diet and I have lost around 55lbs (10lbs to go to reach my goal weight). Lots of salads and protiens…

    On the exercise front, I’ve been using a treadmill and playing racquetball (with a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel who beats the crap out of me endurance-wise 😉 ), but due to business travel (Europe last week and Detroit this week), I’ve been trailing off as of late. The main problem is that most hotels only have two or three treadmills and those are pretty well occupied at 7am. Add in nightly client dinners (that always run late) and I usually have to miss out on exercise while traveling. I’m going to try to make up for it over the next few weeks though…wish me luck (and good Racquetball court availability)!

    As for culinary triumphs, I finally got a passible low-carb cheesecake recipe put together…it took a few failures to get it right. I used almond flour for the crust and sucralose and gelatin to replace the sugar (low-carb diet, remember?) I’ll post a recipe if anyone is interested, but I have a feeling Joe would consider it an abomination! 😮

    I still make the regular cheesecakes for friends and family (I’m on track for baking 10 cheesecakes between Thanksgiving and Christmas). The next two flavor variations I want to try are white chocolate/peppermint (with ground-up candy-cane sprinkles), and dark chocolate/peanut butter cheesecakes. I should know in a week or so if it’s successful.

    To PBMom:

    Congrats on the iPad recovery! Makes me think that I should backup my Android Tablet… 😯

  12. Yesterday I was staring at my olive, pineapple and avocado sandwich when I had a revelation, and right now I have olive, pineapple and avocado bread baking.

    I don’t even care how it turns out, I pity anyone who doesn’t own a bread machine.

  13. Recipes? Esp the soup.

    I’m all about savory sweet potato or pumpkin pies or soup… only I use goat’s milk kefir… and chipotle. Yum.

    Workout regularly at the gym and trail running/hiking steep inclines. & Kundalini yoga, Ana Brett style.

  14. After exercising very regularly (daily) for a number of years, the last few months (this year really) have been pretty weak. With my father’s illness and subsequent passing, and the ensuing family problems my heart just hasn’t been in it. But I’m hoping to get restarted this month though.

    Cuisine? Well, I heated up a Lean Cuisine last night that came out quite edible. Does that count?

  15. In my experience, there is virtually no difference between eating 90% healthy or 100% healthy. Have a day off every week. I’ve also found 3 sessions of intense cardio and 3 sessions of weight lifting a week to be plenty. Doing more cardio would burn muscle off and that’s really not desirable.

    The thing with eating healthy is to eat whole, unprocessed foods and avoiding stuff that has had all its nutrients removed or that has preservatives added to it. Like white rice or processed flour. Also, fruits and veggies are your friends.

    Hip diets and workout regimens are usually worthless. Old-school barbell lifts will do wonders. I could list a few of them, like squats, deadlifts, etc, but one website I would recommend is http://stronglifts.com/ . Setting oneself a goal is what I find to work best. You can either gain muscle mass or lose fat but you can’t do both at the same time. So, I usually do 4 months of bulking up followed by 6 weeks of cutting down. That’s usually when I start craving carbs like crazy.

    Good luck, man. (Also, apologies if this was unneeded advice, you’re a smart dude, you might have figured all this stuff out already.)

  16. @das
    Well, new to me, anyway. 🙂 I checked on imdb, and the new series they’re showing here is series 5 (2011), starting with episode 3, ‘The Mind Has Mountains.’ Reading the synopses, I don’t remember ever seeing series 4 and the beginning of series 5 – they’re always doing that to shows here, showing series out of order and skipping episodes. It is most uncongenial. 🙄 There’s 3 episodes listed for 2012, though, so yay!

    ‘The Mind Has Mountains’ is about a trial for an anti-depressant that Go Horribly Wrong; I’m sure I’ve seen several other crime shows do this plot. 😆 Also The Disco Kids Who Take Party Drugs & It All Goes Horribly Wrong one, The One Set In The Goth Subculture, and so on. It’s a bit like SF shows, I suppose, with everyone doing The One About Alternate Realities, and The One About The Evil Doubles, etc. Well, they do say there’s only seven basic plots in fiction!

    ‘the CSI shows because they just dwelled sooo much on guts and gore (not to mention the characters being a miserable bunch of sourpusses.’
    😆

    ‘Ah! The art of suggestion! How powerful it is! And how much the younger generations are missing with this need to have every single thing spelled out for them in graphic detail.’

    Exactly! In ‘Poirot’ and ‘Marple’ they usually imply rather than show the murder, and though they do show the body, maybe with a bit of blood; but what makes the murders shocking are the way they’re filmed, the music, and mostly the fact that most of the other characters are deeply shocked by the taking of a life – especially Poirot & Marple themselves.

    In these new-fangled ( 😉 ) crime shows it’s blood and guts all over the place & no one seems to be affected. Okay, it could be argued that the police and others who deal with crime daily can’t be expected to be that bothered, but often even the civilians are totally unaffected. And I don’t like the flippancy and callousness towards the dead that some shows have, masquerading as ‘black humour.’

    I know it’s ‘only TV’ but I find it icky that all this blood and gore and violence is so ingrained in Western popular culture. Where are all the TV shows about kittens frolicking in fields of bluebells? 😛

    So, yes, the art of suggestion, so much more powerful. 🙂
    ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ – I’ll have to check that out, too; and revisit Hitchcock’s other films.

    @Lisa R
    Congrats on finishing NaNoWriMo! Did you end up going over the minimum number of words? Do you have any further plans for your novel, or was it purely for fun?

    @Mr. M. & Akemi
    All those fishy dishes sound and look fishylicious. 🙂 Like the sound of the sides, too, and the squash soup, not sure about artichokes. I’m with Ponytail, though, on leaving the heads on fish; I can’t bear those accusing eyes!

    Cheerio!

  17. Must be the season! I just made a spiced-roasted butternut squash and apple soup last weekend. I made it up as I went along, so the measurements and times are close, going from memory. But generally it’s pretty infallible. For you Das:

    Preheat oven to 450*
    3 Vidalia onions
    4 Red Delicious apples (peeled, seeded and cored)
    4 cloves garlic
    2 butternut squash (peeled and seeded)
    5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp cayenne
    2 cups apple juice or cider
    3 cups chicken stock
    1 tsp liquid smoke
    salt & black pepper to taste

    Coarsely chop onions, apples, garlic and squash. Place in roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, stir to combine.

    Roast at 450* for approximately 40-45 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent burning. You want a nice char on some of the ingredients though, so do so sparingly.

    Once roasted and soft, transfer ingredients to a stock pot or similar. Add curry powder, cayenne, apple juice, chicken stock, liquid smoke. Use an immersion blender in the stock pot to puree ingredients or do so in small batches in a blender. Add salt & pepper to taste.

    You may want to adjust the thickness of this soup by adding more liquid (stock, water, juice) depending on your preference because it finishes very thick.

    Enjoy!

  18. No culinary triumphs of my own, but I did recently visit Chicago and we ate at the Purple Pig. We had pig ears and a BLT inspired dish substituting the B for pig jowl. Not quite as heavenly as cheek, but pretty tasty.

    On a non-food note, I recently was given an opportunity to submit a play to a local community college for possible production. After much thought on what the play should be about I eventually decided to write something dear to me, so I wrote a science fiction piece. The lack of science fiction in theater is not surprising given the restraints of a live stage production. However, I believe I have found ways to bring traditional and non-traditional aspects of science fiction story telling to a workable stage experience.

    Have you ever seen a sci-fi stage play?

    I know this is a long shot, but would there be any chance you would be willing to read my play and give me your thoughts?

    Thanks and good luck with the ‘healthier’ eating.

  19. All the food picks look delicious, except the herring. Like Ponytail, I can’t eat anything with eyes staring back at me.

    My latest culinary indulgence that is both seasonal and delicious, roasted chestnuts. Yes, I am one of those folks who stands in the produce aisle, individually selecting each and every chestnut before bagging and paying for it. Once home, they are all rinsed thoroughly, dried off and prepared for roasting in batches of 10-12 per pan. I score each nut with a serated knife in the form of a cross, about 1/8″ deep. Then I place them in a shallow baking pan with water to cover just the pan bottom, seal with baking foil and place on middle oven rack for 50-60 minutes at 400’F. The roast/steam to perfection every time.

    Yum, yum, yummy!

    2cats

  20. @das
    Two other British crime shows I forgot to mention: ‘Inspector Frost’, & ‘The Inspector Lynley Mysteries’ – nice dynamic between posh inspector & working class sergeant…plus, Nathaniel Parker *swoons*

    Also, I enjoy ‘Spooks’, which is a spy drama not crime, but very enjoyable…plus, Richard Armitage *swoons again*

    (Although the show did a ret-con type of thing on his character, which was annoying. His character was interesting enough.)

    And maybe Mr. M. would like ‘Pie in the Sky’, about a detective who is also a chef?! 😉

  21. Mmmmmm…that squash soup looks delish! 🙂 You got a recipe for that? I’m trying to watch what I eat. I’ve totally change the way I eat. I’ve decided to go organic, and it’s working for me. I only try to eat naturally prepared foods. So…I’m very cautious of what I eat. I read labels. I try to make sure there’s no artificial ingredients in what I eat. I’ve eating lots of veggies. I love my fruit. I eat nuts, and love beans. I try to eat lean protein…and whole grain. I try to avoid salt and sugar, and saturated fat as much as I can. And…I drink LOTS of water. I also try to get some form of exercise at least 3 times a week. I’ve lost about 40 lbs. this past year. My new favorite thing is running on the treadmill, when I get a chance. I’ve went down 4 pants sizes. I’m feeling pretty good! 🙂

  22. Yes…jerusalem artichokes…I am hypnotized by them. I also had to look them on oline, don’t think I’ve ever had one. I’m going to look for them at my grocers, they look amazing. Akemi’s rice dish looks so tasty, everything looks delicious. Now I’m craving fish, thanks for all the great cooking tips.

    Interesting comic panel; I think I like that girl. No “excuse me” for her, she just kicks ya in the head. I’m having that kind of week but sadly I’m not allowed to knock someone unconcious with my high heeled boot.
    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/10/31/police-investigating-west-view-assault/

  23. The fish dishes sound great. Not as much quality fresh fish as I’d like, so I don’t cook it as often as I am inclined to. As for healthier living, ive selttled for simply eating less. All the good stuff is still on the menu, but my portion sizes are smaller, and I’m at the point where one meal a day holds me on my days off. A small start, but I hope it works to shave an inch or two from the hips.
    Not a coup, but my last stuffed chicken breast came out pretty decent. mushrooms, bacon, and harvati cheese in the chicken breast, with my usual spur of the moment herbs and spices on it. Fell down on making a sauce though. A variation of white sauce came out wrong so it got dumped before my coworkers could try it. No complaints though. Of course, this is a crew where half of them are happy with bargain hot dogs and stale buns, so not the best judges. A couple of others have a bit more of a palate so I still got some useful feedback.
    Now officially just a month away from your debut in the comic kingdom> looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing, and I’m still lurking even when not posting daily.

  24. Funny you should ask about latest culinary triumphs. I just so happen to have recently purchased a jar of Nutella after someone has repeatedly raved about it over and over again ;). I was expecting a lot of nutty taste mingled with some chocolate. Instead, it was a WHOLE lot of sugary chocolate mingled with a little nutty taste. But, OMG!!! Then I got an epiphany. I have some mini marshmellows – and graham crackers. Well, one thing let to another and, Voila! My new after dinner dessert 😀

  25. I’ve always ate somewhat healthy, but for me it doesn’t really matter. Being a ectomorph my metabolism burns everything, which is good for not gaining fat, but it makes building muscle a pain.
    I’ve been meaning to get a gym membership, there is a gym right across the street from where I work, but I haven’t figured out when I have time to go there.
    Though I admit I feel a bit ashamed now, you’re busier then I but have found time for twice a day….

    Not many culinary triumphs lately, I make a mean chili…Which reminds me, I need to make some.

  26. Hello…my last day in Vancouver…I’ve had a fantastic time…I handed over my restaurant choices to BamBam…he knows good food…last night I went to Coast – brilliant!! The waitress assisted me with choices that were easy to eat with my broken hand and were slightly adventurous…crab cake, sable fish with polenta and black forest cake…all delightful…the other night James sent me to his fave restaurant Hy’s – this was the best meal I’ve ever eaten…the decor, service and meal were impeccable…Cheese bread, Filet with a mushroom sauce, and salad and this amazing Belgian chocolate cake. I felt like a princess. In Victoria he sent me to Paggliaci’s for a beautiful soup (minestrone) and caesar salad…great atmosphere, great food and great service.

    I’ve been doing a lot of walking so hopefully That helps….

    Was super lucky to catch up with BamBam for coffee yesterday. He’s incredibly busy filming Maximum Conviction starring Steven Seagal, Steve Austin and Bren Foster..this has been the best trip ever…met Ivon and James..

    Cheers, Chev

  27. @Deni – thanks..it did hurt…never have had a broken bone before.

    I was walking down a street in downtown Victoria to get back to the bus to take me to the ferry to Vancouver. There was a metal grate in the middle of the footpath and I slipped and put my arm out and fractured my wrist at the joint. I took a taxi to the hospital where they did X-rays and put it in a cast…I do need a pin put in it which I’ll get done in Australia.

    I’m pretty clumsy…stuff happens 🙂 …thanks again

    Cheers, Chev

  28. @Zed of Earth: Thanks!! Yes, I did go over the amount–I finished the month at over 58000 words. My novel isn’t done yet though, but when it is and when it’s been edited, I’m thinking of trying to do something with it. I’ll let you know.

  29. Most weekday mornings I head to the YMCA after I drop my son off at school. I’ve been swimming a mile a day but when school is out, I’ll try to increase that. Each day I do up to 100 various kinds of crunches, a few stretches and then practice about 20 hook kicks with each leg. Two or three evenings, I go to karate class with my hubby and son. I’ve got mild OCD, so when I get into a routine, it drives me crazy not to compete it. OCD has its advantages!
    I live with two food phobics, so no culinary adventures for me latley! I live vicariously through you lately when it comes to food. I’ve never eaten fish that still has its eyes still attached. Fish around here comes in a fillet, breaded and deep fried.
    The most exotic thing I’ve made lately is an Italian Cream Cake (with coconut & Pecans). It was awesome! I love making desserts for my son’s school because I get to make things my family wouldn’t dare eat.

    Zed of Earth: I’m enjoying PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery. Netflix has Midsomer Murders but only up to episode 59. I’m on 58, so I’m anxiously waiting for them to add more. Have you seen Case Histories? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/mystery/index.html
    I love British Mystery shows!

  30. @ Zed of Earth – Gotta make this quick! Supposed to be working and/or cooking. 😛

    1. Oddly enough, Lynley never did anything for me. Liked old Frost, though.

    2. I watched Spooks for a bit because I like Matthew MacFadyen , but it lost me on the deep fryer scene. 😛 There are just some things I can’t handle. I’d rather see a body, than to watch how the person became a body, if you know what I mean. I have a bit of trouble watching torture scenes and the like (cannot watch rape scenes, at all), and so a lot of shows loose me when they start with the extreme torture stuff.

    3. I also don’t like how nonchalant everyone is about death and murder in the new crime shows. I like when a detective shows true horror over what has been done, without treating it like an everyday normal thing.

    4. The Mind Has Mountains is pretty good. Some fun at Hathaway’s expense, as I recall. 🙂

    5. I’m all for frolicking kittens! And puppies! And albinos! 😀

    @ JimFromJersey – The recipe sounds great! I will have to try it! Thankies!

    Gotta run!

    das

  31. Oh, I forgot but I wanted to say Get Well Soon to chevron7. So sorry to hear about your accident. It doesn’t sound like it slowed you down much though 🙂 .

  32. Joe, I wouldn’t worry about missing those food dates; you’re still getting back into your routine and enjoying being able to cook at home.

    Joe, you and Akemi should write a cook book!

    @Akemi: have Joe take notes while you cook so we can try out those wonderful things you make! Like the Chinese rice and squash soup. Did you make it with kabocha?

    The fish looks fantastic! You’re lucky to live somewhere with great, fresh seafood. I’m going to have to cook more fish.

    Culinary triumphs? Most of my cooking lately has been in the comfort food category: beef stew with parsnips, onions, carrots and bread dumplings; chili and cornbread. But I did make fabulous pecan croissants for Thanksgiving dinner.

    I, too, have been eating healthier and getting more exercise. I do cardio pretty much every day, even if it is just spending 10 to 15 minutes walking up and down the stairs at work. And I go to the gym 3 times a week for strength training. And belly dancing. I’ve lost 15 pounds since August mostly by healthier eating and portion control aided by a web site (SparkPeople) to track calories, nutrients, and calories burned. I recommend it for control freaks like me. I’m now back to my pretty much ideal weight. It helped me a lot with getting enough calcium in my diet, which is very important since I was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis. Bummer.

    @chevron7: Hope that wrist heals quickly.

  33. @ JeffW – please do not ever talk about your cheesecakes without including a picture. Okay? Thank you.

    1. @lantianloki Personally, I always ask people if it is okay to use their pictures whether I’m posting them on my blog, Facebook, etc., and I respect their wishes. I always, too, let them see the picture I’ve taken on my camera so they can approve of it, because I would want the same done to me. I think once they see that they can approve the pictures I put on my blog, then they are more receptive to being on it. Even if they are family.

  34. Long time reader, first time….commenter, I guess. 🙂

    My most recent healthy feat was over Thanksgiving instead of gaining weight I actually lost weight! I’m not entirely sure how that happened….but whatever, I’ll take it! I keep promising myself I’m going to do situps everyday, but yeah that never happens.

    I’ve been meaning to ask, and maybe someone could help me answer this. I have just started a blog and I’m wondering if you want to take pictures of people/things you see during your day and post it on your blog do you have to ask the person’s permission before you do, or is it just assumed that if your hanging out with a blogger your probably going to end up in their blog?

  35. I’ve been eating a lot healithier since I moved to Vancouver. Back home, living with my Mom, it was almost exclusively quick-and-easy meals. Not a lot of veggies. My Aunt and Uncle were kind enough to take me in, and their meals are generally low-sodium, healthy meals. I still sneak in sweet treats when I can, though!

  36. We eat pretty healthy for an American family, but that turns out to be way less healthy than we’d eat if we could afford it. Where we’d be hitting the quinoa and blueberries and organics if we could, it tends to be more beans and potatoes and apples. The less expensive staples have inflated in price faster over the past decade and they also experience the earliest spikes in price as inflation hits. The result is that the fight for a lower budget menu has been one step forward and two steps back over a long period of time, but the only other choice is not to fight.

    I really need to get back in shape. It would be silly to call myself sedentary with small kids, but I have reason to believe my genes are not normal and the amount of physical activity I need to be healthy is quite high. So, yeah, I really need to get to the YMCA more often.

  37. @Ponytail:

    @ JeffW -please do not ever talk about your cheesecakes without including a picture. Okay? Thank you.

    Since Joe’s Blog doesn’t seem to include the embedded image WordPress plug-in, will this do?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/55871901@N05/6440007707/

    The cheesecake in front is a chocolate cheesecake while the one behind is the low-carb version. The “13” is for my son’s thirteenth birthday last month.

    I found out today that my daughter “volunteered” me to bake some cheesecakes for her friends sleep-over, so the count is now up around 12 cheesecakes for this season. I need to find a grocer that sells cream cheese by the case! =D

  38. @ JeffW – Mmmmmmm… That’s more like it. I am drooling now. Bless your talented cheesecake baking heart.

  39. One of my finest pleasures is when I go to Thailand I have the fresh roasted or grilled seabass or snapper. I am prone to order the steamed fish with three flavors. One of my favorite is a restaurant in the South called Blah Pao (fish cremated or set to fire), and that is what they are known for. The fish is stuffed with lemon grass and covered with basil (like Pesto), rapped in foil and grilled, served the a mint lime sauce on the side. I found that is how I like to prepare salmon. The best salmon I had was when we visited an a place out side Seattle. The salmon was slowly roasted over an open fire. That Chinese rice looks really inviting. How long do you roast the fish?

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