Monthly Archives: June 2011

Stewy Chicken

It’s been ages since I posted a recipe. My friend, Tami, sent me this. I made it over Memorial Day weekend and I was a hero, they practically threw me a ticker-tape parade after dinner. I added a bunch of grated zucchini at the end. It was awesome.

Recipe: Stewy Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken or 8 skinless boneless thighs
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 teasp dried oregano
  • 1 teasp minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 teasp lime zest
  • 1/4 c lime juice


  1. Throw the whole deal in a pot and let it cook for a long time on low heat — two + hours. Serve with rice or in tacos or on salad.


The Peanut Puzzle Part II

To continue where I left off the last post, this is all summarized from “The Peanut Puzzle: Could the Conventional Wisdom on Children and Allergies Be Wrong?”

Since the conventional wisdom about when to introduce solid foods to babies was overturned in 2008, Doctors Sampson and Sicherer have continued to study food allergies. They have been experimenting with giving children low doses of the food they are allergic to, sometimes in a different molecular structure, to reeducate the immune system that the food is acceptable.

They observed, “…for example, that baking caused milk proteins to change shape in a way that could be less provocative to the immune system. The allergic person might be able to eat the altered proteins and become tolerant of them in all their forms.”

The article also follows Maya, a little girl with an anaphylactic reaction to milk. In spite of her parents’ vigilance she’d had some frightening reactions. On a family outing she struggled to breathe and lost consciousness after eating something labeled “vegetarian cheese.” Another time she was rushed to the hospital after eating a hot dog that contained milk protein.

Under the instruction of Sampson and Sicherer, and in the presence of a nurse, Maya was given a muffin that contained a small amount of milk. She took one bite and had no reaction. Then she ate the rest of the muffin and after a few minutes the vomiting started and hives appeared. They gave her an injection.

When the reaction stopped, they sent Maya home. Her parents received specific instructions to feed her baked goods containing milk every day. Maya came back six months later and they inserted an IV and had epinephrine at the ready. They gave her a slice of pizza. She ate the entire thing without a reaction.

“It was nothing less than miraculous,” her mother said.

Maya returned the next day and drank a glass of milk. As soon as she finished drinking she began vomiting but they were able to control her reaction with Benadryl. A few months later, Maya was able to eat macaroni and cheese but still unable to tolerate a full glass of milk.

“Even if she never progresses past this,” Maya’s mom said.  “I have no regrets about being in the study, because now she can go to a birthday party and have a slice of pizza. It’s huge.”

It is miraculous. So miraculous that I was considering doing some baking. Then I remembered Josie’s food allergies – egg, whitefish, soy and tree nuts. Codfish pecan muffins, anyone?

Sunscreen Report 2011

Oh my god, the sun is out, where is my sunscreen post?! Imagine me digging around in the piles on my desk. Oh, that’s right, I haven’t written it yet. Save the kittens!

First off, you can get caught up with last year’s sunscreen news here.

The big news for this year is concerns nano zinc and titanium particles. These particles, when inhaled, have been shown to cause cancer in lab rats. More studies are needed before we know if they have a similar effect when absorbed through the skin, but for now, they’re easy enough to avoid.

Same as 2010, we’re trying to stay away from oxybenzone (endocrine disruptor). Vitamin A (retinl palmitate) is still controversial but also easy to avoid.

Kathy and Statia over at Safe Mama have already posted an awesome sunscreen report. They have a short list of what you should buy, with many reviews and feedback about texture, consistence, scent and efficacy.

The Environmental Working Group also just released their list of the best sunscreens. There are some great mineral and non-mineral options.

As for me, I’m still looking for the holy grail of sunscreen – the natural lotion that won’t make Josie bright blue. This year I think I’m going to try these

All Terrain Kidsport Sunscreen Spray SPF 30.

And the Aubrey Organics Saving Face SPF 15 Sunscreen for me. I love their conditioner and I could get this one at PCC.

How about you? Do you have a natural sunscreen you love?

Save the Kittens!

We were in Monterey a few weeks ago and one night there was a terrible thunder storm that shook the house and cut the power, at least that’s what I’ve been told. I have no recollection. All I remember from that night are my dreams.

In the first dream, a box of kittens had fallen from someone’s car and there were tiny kittens running all over the freeway. I was driving and suddenly trying not to hit the kittens or the people who were trying to save them. They were so tiny with eyes closed and their mewing mouths. So tiny! Don’t hit the kittens!

In the next dream I’d scored the lead role in a musical. I was wearing some kind of costume that may or may not have been made of paper mache, and I was about to go on stage without having practiced at all. Oh, and I’m tone deaf. There’s that too.

Anxiety anyone? Apparently I’m stressing about my upcoming readings and “author signing” events and wondering how we will keep a baby, a tiny little baby, from being run down by the speeding hatchback of life.

Lots of things are happening over here. Lots of good things. No news on the adoption front, sounds like the waits are longer than ever. BUT, it looks like I’m headed to New Orleans to party with 30,000 librarians at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference on June 25th. I’ll have an author signing and a hopefully do a reading at a bookstore while I’m there. If you know anyone in New Orleans, pass it on; let them know I’m coming. More details later…

The first version of advanced (rough draft) copies of Who in This Room: The Realities of Cancer, Fish and Demolition will be done on Friday. I can’t wait to hold it.

The and websites are under construction.

The launch party and reading dates are being finalized for October. I get sweaty palms just thinking about them. Save the kittens!

Finally, the lovely people at CALYX Books are making a video trailer for the book. What fun! Have you seen any book trailers that you really like? Any thoughts on what should be included?

PS – Save the kittens!