MN Masala: Online Resources

By Jane and Chux: We are always looking for new ideas for things to make.  We like variety and enjoy trying new recipes.  Even though we have an extensive cookbook collection and love having a book in hand, we have also come to appreciate a number of online cooking resources.  Following is a list of some of our favorites:

1) 101 Cookbooks: This site was created by Heidi Swanson (a cookbook author, photographer, and world traveler) in 2003 when she decided to do something with her large cookbook collection, instead of just looking at them.  This site is well organized with good articles, beautiful pictures, and lots of recipes.

2) Post Punk Kitchen: This site was created by Isa Chandra Moskowitz in 2003 and is dedicated to  vegan cooking and baking.  This site is rich with great recipes and videos.  You can also purchase Isa’s cookbooks if you want one in hand.  Really nice site.

3) Smitten Kitchen: Deb Perlman created this site with a focus on the home cook with simple ingredients to which most of us have access.

4) Jamie Oliver: Jamie Oliver has cooking shows, cookbooks, magazine and endorsements.  I really like his TV show called “15-minute Meals.”  I love how Jamie promotes healthy, family home cooking with local ingredients.

5) Yotum Ottolenghi: Yotum Ottolenghi is a chef, restaurateur, writer and cookbook author (he and Sami Tamimi created the very popular “Jerusalem” cookbook).  His website also has recipes with a Mediterranean focus.  You can also find Yotum Ottolenghi’s food articles in the London Guardian newspaper.

What is happiness?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: Researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania set out to discover whether people found more happiness in extraordinary experiences or in ordinary experiences.

For example, would a week long vacation to Hawaii give a person as much happiness as a frappucino? Apparently, yes, which makes me wonder who the heck the researchers talked to for the survey.

The study showed that for younger people, extraordinary moments caused just as much happiness as ordinary moments. But for older people, the ordinary moments were more highly valued. Why? Continue reading

Should evolution be taught in school? Should creationism?

Sam Stern

By Sam Stern: One of my earliest movie memories is being befuddled watching the 1960 screen adaptation of Inherit the Wind, a fictionalized telling of the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial.”

The movie, based on the trial which resulted in John T. Scopes’ conviction for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution to a high school science class, contrary to aTennessee state law, probably aired on television in 1964 when I was 12.

While I missed the parable about McCarthyism, which the country had recently survived, I was familiar with Darwin’s theory of evolution. I could not believe that someone could be criminally prosecuted in 20th century America for teaching science in a public school classroom. My young mind cheered when the character based on William Jennings Bryant became flustered by Clarence Darrow’s cross-examination, caught up by contradictions in “God’s Word.”

By 12, I was an avid reader. I had been attending Hebrew School five days a week and Junior Congregation at our synagogue on Saturday for several years. I understood the concept of faith and the power of Biblical (Five Books of Moses) lessons. Continue reading

Lessons Learned: Parenting

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: Parenting is hard, and it doesn’t get easier after doing it for 20 years, so here are a few tidbits of wisdom I’ve gained along the way. Please share any things you’ve learned in the comments section below.

Lessons Learned From Adopting a Special Needs Baby

When a doctor tells you that the best you can hope for is that your child will be slow, and that you should turn down the adoption referral, carefully consider what adopting this child will mean for your life.

Special needs babies can grow up to be math prodigies that tell math jokes that you–a reasonably intelligent person–do not understand.

Babies are babies. Adopted or biological, you never know what you’re going to get. And neither do they.

Lessons Learned From Being Elbow-Knee in Diapers Continue reading