Food Rules


Food rules daily life. I spend a quarter of my waking life—or more—dealing with it: planning it, shopping for it, eating it, cleaning up after it.

Food Rules is also the title of Michael Pollan's pocket guide to eating. In it, sixty-four “personal policies” guide one’s food choices around a central tenet: “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” I’ll be using this handbook as an initial foundation for this blog, adopting one rule per week to incorporate into my daily life.

Finally, food rules. That is, I like food, so let’s eat!

–Annlee Ellingson
What’s for dinner: Penne with butternut squash and goat cheese

What’s for dinner: Penne with butternut squash and goat cheese

Tagged: recipeFood Networkvegetarian

What’s for dinner: Stewed okra and tomatoes

What’s for dinner: Stewed okra and tomatoes

Tagged: Food NetworkrecipeCSA

This week’s treat: Candy pie
Or, it’s all fun and games until the smoke alarm goes off.
Candy pie had to have been conceived with three-year-olds in mind. Logan had already learned to bake chocolate-chip cookies with GramE, so he helped me mix the blondie batter, which we poured into a round pan and baked for 25 minutes.
Then the fun began! M&Ms (of which he ate about every other one), mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (of which he’d take a bite and then place on the pie), white chocolate chips, and chopped Oreos weighed down the hot, goopy batter. I mean, this thing was ridiculous.
Back in the oven for another 15 minutes, only the batter began to overflow and spill onto the oven floor, setting off the smoke alarm. So there I am with a hot, smoking oven for which I have to wait to cool in order to chip out the baked-on crust and an uncooked blondie loaded with melting candy.
Luckily, Logan didn’t seem too interested in actually eating our concoction. I scraped it into the garbage, and later when I asked him to throw away a cracker that had fallen on the floor, he announced, “I put the Goldfish on the candy pie!”

This week’s treat: Candy pie

Or, it’s all fun and games until the smoke alarm goes off.

Candy pie had to have been conceived with three-year-olds in mind. Logan had already learned to bake chocolate-chip cookies with GramE, so he helped me mix the blondie batter, which we poured into a round pan and baked for 25 minutes.

Then the fun began! M&Ms (of which he ate about every other one), mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (of which he’d take a bite and then place on the pie), white chocolate chips, and chopped Oreos weighed down the hot, goopy batter. I mean, this thing was ridiculous.

Back in the oven for another 15 minutes, only the batter began to overflow and spill onto the oven floor, setting off the smoke alarm. So there I am with a hot, smoking oven for which I have to wait to cool in order to chip out the baked-on crust and an uncooked blondie loaded with melting candy.

Luckily, Logan didn’t seem too interested in actually eating our concoction. I scraped it into the garbage, and later when I asked him to throw away a cracker that had fallen on the floor, he announced, “I put the Goldfish on the candy pie!”

Tagged: Food Networkbrownie

What's for dinner: Peanut noodles with pork →

No matter how many times I explained that this was spaghetti and peanut butter, Logan and Titus were not having it, so there’s still a big bowl of the stuff in my sister’s fridge.

Tagged: Food Networkrecipe

What’s for dinner: Corn on the cob with spicy cilantro butter

What’s for dinner: Corn on the cob with spicy cilantro butter

Tagged: recipeFood Network MagazineJiro Dreams of Chili's

This week’s treat: Coconut-caramel buttery cookies
Start with the dough for Buttery Holiday Cookies. Stir 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut into the flour mixture.
Halve the dough and form each half into a 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Tightly wrap in parchment or wax paper. Chill 2 hours or freeze 1 hour.
Trim off the ends, then slice the log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Transfer to cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees until cookies are firm and lightly browned, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.
Spread half of the cookies with 1 tsp. dulce de leche (I used caramel sauce). Top with the remaining cookies. Spread dulce de leche on the sides of each sandwich; roll in toasted coconut.

This week’s treat: Coconut-caramel buttery cookies

Start with the dough for Buttery Holiday Cookies. Stir 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut into the flour mixture.

Halve the dough and form each half into a 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Tightly wrap in parchment or wax paper. Chill 2 hours or freeze 1 hour.

Trim off the ends, then slice the log into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Transfer to cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees until cookies are firm and lightly browned, 17 to 20 minutes. Cool cookies on racks.

Spread half of the cookies with 1 tsp. dulce de leche (I used caramel sauce). Top with the remaining cookies. Spread dulce de leche on the sides of each sandwich; roll in toasted coconut.

Tagged: cookierecipeRachael Ray

This week’s treat: mini peach pies
For each mini pie, cut a 5-inch round of refrigerated pie dough and press into a muffin-pan cup. Place a pitted peach half, cut side up, in the muffin cup; top with a thin slice of butter and sprinkle with sugar. Top with a 3 1/2-inch round of dough, then crimp the top and bottom crusts together. Pierce the top with a knife, brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar, adn bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 35 minutes.

This week’s treat: mini peach pies

For each mini pie, cut a 5-inch round of refrigerated pie dough and press into a muffin-pan cup. Place a pitted peach half, cut side up, in the muffin cup; top with a thin slice of butter and sprinkle with sugar. Top with a 3 1/2-inch round of dough, then crimp the top and bottom crusts together. Pierce the top with a knife, brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sugar, adn bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 35 minutes.

Tagged: recipeFood Network Magazine

This week’s treat: Chai latte bars

This week’s treat: Chai latte bars

Tagged: recipeFood Network

What’s for dinner: Pizza bianca with prosciutto and asparagus
1 pizza crust1 t. extra-virgin olive oil1 c. quattro formaggio cheese, shredded4 slices prosciutto, cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces1/2 c. asparagus, cut diagonally into 3-inch pieces2 T. shaved parmesan cheese1/4 c. toasted pine nuts1/4 t. black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Drizzle oil and rub evenly over pizza crust.
3. Sprinkle shredded cheese onto crust. Arrange prosciutto adn asparagus pieces evenly over crust. Top with parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and black pepper.
4. Transfer to pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving

What’s for dinner: Pizza bianca with prosciutto and asparagus

1 pizza crust
1 t. extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. quattro formaggio cheese, shredded
4 slices prosciutto, cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces
1/2 c. asparagus, cut diagonally into 3-inch pieces
2 T. shaved parmesan cheese1/4 c. toasted pine nuts
1/4 t. black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Drizzle oil and rub evenly over pizza crust.

3. Sprinkle shredded cheese onto crust. Arrange prosciutto adn asparagus pieces evenly over crust. Top with parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and black pepper.

4. Transfer to pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving

Tagged: recipeCooking with Trader Joe's

This week’s treat: Cracker-jack brownies. The recipe calls them kettle-corn crunch brownies, but I find that inaccurate, so I’m renaming them. ;-)

This week’s treat: Cracker-jack brownies. The recipe calls them kettle-corn crunch brownies, but I find that inaccurate, so I’m renaming them. ;-)

Tagged: recipebrowniesRachael Ray