Stracciatella with Meatballs and Pasta

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Since when did we start naming snowstorms?

That was the thought that occurred to me as I was perusing the news about the storm that dusted the Washington, D.C. area with snow this week.  (I say “dusted” since, in comparison to the amount of snow New England is getting this year, everyone else’s accumulation can only be called a dusting.)    Several articles made reference to Winter Storm Octavia.  Others referred to the storm that hit New England over the Valentine’s Day weekend as Winter Storm Neptune.  Where did this naming thing come from?  Is it a last ditch effort at appeasing some Roman god of winter, snow, and ice?

Well, after a bit of online sleuthing, it turns out that we owe this new naming trend to the Weather Channel.  Apparently, it began the practice in 2012, generating a blizzard of controversy in the process.  (Pun definitely intended.)  Some feel that unilaterally naming winter storms is not good science, will mislead the public, and is really just a big publicity stunt.  Others just see it as an opportunity to lampoon the Weather Channel and its new practice.

I don’t know about you, but whether a storm has a name is not what I’m thinking about when I look out my window and see a thick blanket of snow covering my driveway.  Nope, what I’m thinking about is what can I make today that will keep me, my kids, and my snow-shoveling hubby (thank you, sweetie!) toasty warm.

How about a piping hot bowl of Stracciatella with Meatballs and Pasta?

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Asian Honey Sesame Wings Are Real Food

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This week I ran across a strangely fascinating bit of food news.  It seems that a company based in Los Angeles has snagged a $20 million investment from a venture capital firm to expand the production of a product it calls Soylent.  So what is Soylent (other than the food in an eponymously named 1973 campy science fiction film)?  According to the company’s website, Soylent is a “new option for maintaining a balanced state of ideal nutrition, just like traditional food.”  In other words, like its namesake, Soylent is designed to be a highly processed replacement for real food.  (Unlike its namesake, it’s not people, or so they say.)

At this point, you may be thinking why would anyone want to replace food?  Indeed, you may be wondering is it even possible to replace food?

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Chile Rubbed Chicken Thighs

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The idea for this recipe was sparked by the most mundane of tasks – a trip to the grocery store.  I’m always on the lookout for healthy items that can be prepared with minimal effort for weeknight dinners.  On this particular trip, I noticed a display case with packages of bone-in chicken thighs with a chile rub already applied.  The instructions said to bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 40 minutes.

Terrific idea, I thought!  I took them home and, a few nights later, popped them into the preheated oven for the specified amount of time.  Voila!  Combined with a couple of easy-to-make sides I threw together while the thighs were roasting, dinner was done!

Now, being the sort of person who assumes that any prepared food that possesses the winning trifecta of being quick to prepare, healthy, and good tasting won’t be available for long (case in point:  I no longer buy my old go-to  jarred tomato sauce because it now has added sugar), I immediately started to consider how to replicate the idea at home. Read More