Thursday, April 2, 2009

Winter fare theatre

Since we've now waded ankle-deep into April and are still wearing long johns to fend off the damp chill, I present to you yet another installment of winter fare theatre. Please don’t give up hope. I’m sure we’ll get to the pineapple and popsicles soon … but for now, it's OK to keep using the oven. I’ve been doing a lot of vegetable roasting lately, namely broccoli and brussels sprouts. Roasting is my favorite way to prepare broccoli and my second favorite way to prepare brussels sprouts (60-second sprouts are still my favorite). The dry, high heat brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetables and produces a really intense, concentrated flavor. The trick in this “recipe” (if you can call it that — sorry for the lack of measurement) is to add the balsamic vinegar before you roast. It creates a sweet, syrup-like glaze on the vegetables. Enjoy!

Roasted balsamic broccoli & brussels sprouts
Serves four as a side dish.

Ingredients
1 pound each broccoli florets and brussels sprouts (cleaned and halved)
Enough olive oil for a light coating (probably a little less than 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (approximate)
A few big dashes of garlic powder
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line baking sheet with heavy aluminum foil.

Toss all ingredients together and roast for 18 to 20 minutes, turning/mixing once during cooking.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New study: Cold weather slows human aging

And by new, I mean “I just made it up.”

It’s still cold here. This week we’re running about 10 degrees below average. The flowers aren’t as far along as they should be. Thankfully, I am fairly certain that cold weather slows human aging, too. This is very good news, considering the plan is for me to turn 30 in nine days. But since it snowed this morning, that can be put off a little longer.

I’m not quite ready to give up this decade (or trade in my Clearasil for anti-aging potions). I thought I had prepared myself. My plan was to gracefully embrace 30. To wear it proudly and begin commanding the respect I deserve for entering into full-fledged adultdom.

“30 is the new awesome, 30 is the new awesome …” I repeated it until I [thought] I truly believed it. But then, last week, something awful happened. I remembered my 15th birthday. The 15th birthday that seems so recent in my mind. I had an outrageous realization — I will be twice as old as I was on that birthday. And since time is moving much faster now than it did in ninth grade, I’ll be close to 45 years old before this year's candles are even extinguished.

So for once, I’m thankful for snow in April. Because it’s going to keep both the flowers and me young for a little longer.