Feeding Your Mind

It's 2017! How have you started your new year?

If you are like a lot of people, I imagine you may have made a resolution to get in better shape, eat healthier, or spend more time with friends and less in front of the TV. I’m pretty sure I’ve made all those resolutions at least once in the last five years, and it was generally with an eye towards improving my physical health. But did you know that diet, exercise, and socialization all affect your mental health too? 

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Cooking for Stress Relief: An Introduction to Mindfulness

I don't know about you, but when I'm stressed I tend to drop the very things that I should be doing to help combat it: you know, exercise, social activities, THIS BLOG.  Now that I have things slightly more under control, I thought I would devote this blog to a stress relief technique that I try to practice while I cook: mindfulness. 

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A Muffin that isn't Bluffin'

My apologies if Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" is now stuck in your head, but these muffins will be worth it. They balance delicately on the tightrope straddling the familiar and the foreign, with apples and cinnamon celebrating the beginning of autumn on one side, and tahini and cardamom whispering of middle eastern delights on the other. 

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Grandma's Secret is Science

Who here wishes they cooked as well as their Grandma? 

If this were real life, I imagine there would be a lot of raised hands right now. And that's because, for the most part, grandmothers have the benefit of many years of cooking experience. Experience that brings with it not only the chance to improve knife skills or work with unfamiliar ingredients, but also experience with the scientific method, even if your Grandma or mine wouldn't call herself a scientist. 

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An Ode to Oatmeal

Oatmeal plays well with all sorts of fun ingredients. In the summer, like this week, I might add fresh blueberries and peaches. In the autumn, I've done a pear, cardamom, and dark chocolate concoction that was divine. In the winter, I've used carrots to make a carrot cake style oatmeal, or turned to dried fruit for fun flavor combinations--can you say cocoa craisin? I think you see where I'm going. 

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Mise en place: connecting cooking and cognitive science

If you are like me and spend way too much time watching cooking shows, then you have probably heard the phrase "mise en place" before. Mise en place is French for "put in place", but this short phrase encompasses an entire philosophy of organization and preparation that allows chefs to put out consistent, quality meals hour after hour, night after night. 

How does mise en place work? Well, that's where the cognitive science comes in.  You see, when you mise en place, you allow yourself to focus.

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