Friday Round-Up

What I’m into this week:

Are we facing the Death of the Mircowave?  (We don’t own one, do you?)

Who is to blame for the obesity epidemic? Fed Up, released in theaters today, goes for the jugular.

I am majorly coveting this happy patio umbrella.

Do you guys know about Mouth? They hunt down the best indie foods (think small-batch gins, artisanal coffees, chocolate, chocolate, chocolate) then group things together in gift boxes. Their selection looks divine.

Five ways to deal with dinner guests who won’t put down their phones. (Can someone please write the companion piece: How to deal with 12-year-olds who won’t put down their phones at a birthday party?)

My friend Tara — whose food photography you have no doubt drooled over many millions of times — is launching a magazine called Wild Apple, dedicated to gluten-free living. Please support her kickstarter campaign.

Local peeps: This new market looks promising! Anyone have intel on it for me?

10 Cakes for Mother’s Day (I’m all over the olive oil.)

A whole new way to think about chicken.

A little too much rang true to me here.

Is it June 6 yet? (Please do yourself a favor and read the book before you see the movie.)

Get ready for the World Cup! (And yes, I shazamed, then bought the song playing in the background.)

What to make for Mother’s Day Brunch: A Slideshow.

Lastly, my friend Marcie might be the most talented person I know. She turns vintage curtains into princess crowns for my daughters; she runs the school garden program at her kids’ elementary school; as a trained biologist, she can tell her plovers from her willers, her zooplankton from her daphnia; and legend has it that on a camping trip once, she caught and gutted a fish with her bare hands.  But all that? Child’s play compared to the projects and adventures she’s assembled for her new book This Book Was a Tree: Ideas, Adventures, and Inspiration for Rediscovering the Natrual WorldEver wonder how to make a pinhole camera out of household objects or a sundial out of a tree stump? Make felt out of a thrift shop sweater? This is your manual. Check it out!

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

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Well, we haven’t used a microwave since 2004–when we moved across the country and just never plugged it in again–but we didn’t sell it until 2009 or so. But the toaster oven has been around since way before that and is still growing strong!


@Eileen: Technically I do own a microwave, but it’s roughly 20 years old — purchased for Andy’s postage-stamp-sized Boerum Hill studio in 1995 — and it sits in a dusty corner of our basement. Every few weeks I will reheat my coffee in it. I used to use it for defrosting meat but got tired of my chicken/pork/steak cooking in odd spots, thawing in others. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that it’s 20 yrs old.


We do not currently have a microwave and the only thing I miss is reheating my coffee. We’re about to move into an apartment and I’m actually looking forward to the coffee-reheating box 😉

also – I love the world cup commercial. Good times.


We have a microwave, but I use it to warm milk (for recipes and for bedtime), to reheat food that I’ve made and stashed for a busier day, and to melt chocolate or butter (for stove top popcorn). The fact that we are more conscious of what we’re putting into our bodies, and moreso, our child’s bodies, means that we cook more, yes, but we still want to reheat that food in a convenient way.

I received a giant tome of microwave cookery as the prize for winning my school’s home economics contest in grade 10, c. 1990. Back then, it was all the rage to cook whole meals in the microwave! Happy that those days are gone, though I will still whip out a chocolate mug-cake every now and again.


We have a microwave and use it ALL the time. Breakfast oatmeal gets cooked there daily. Leftovers get heated up on a daily basis too.

I think we eat better BECAUSE of the microwave. It makes it feasible to make a big batch of something delicious and good for us, have it stashed in the fridge ready for a quick meal when we need it. Some days I just don’t have the time or energy to make an entire dinner from scratch. (Some days it’s too hot to turn on the stove!) True, some things don’t reheat well. Most things do though!


We got rid of our microwave. But my mom came over and saw we didn’t have one. She couldn’t stand the thought, so she bought us one. I use it maybe once a month to soften butter or pop popcorn.


Wow, we use our microwave all the time. It is a tiny little one, maybe 10-12 years old. I use it for coffee and leftovers. We also have two microwaves in my department at work for heating lunches.
Vanessa- When my mom saw how small our microwave is, she wanted to get us a new one! I had to point out how small the rest of the kitchen is, too.


We don’t have a microwave. It left the kitchen after a re-modelling that just didn’t leave any room for it. I can’t say I miss it either. Seems that most that I was doing with it was soften butter for baking, heating some left-overs and making popcorn. The biggest thing to accomodate is the popcorn. The array of microwave-popcorn is staggering when compared to the availability of regular popcorn, the kind people used to prepare on the stove.


Put a basket at the front door to collect electronics with a little sign that says “Enjoy the friends who are here with you”.

Julie C

We have one: cheap-o teensy one from Sears. I declined the opportunity to incorporate a super-duper one into the cabinetry over the loud protestations of our contractor during the kitchen remodel. I use it maybe once a week to heat up leftovers.

However, I now insist that everyone call it the “science oven” after seeing American Hustle.


We do have a microwave, I use it for melting butter. It’s an awfully large melting butter appliance.

I have to say though, if there was a fad I wish would pass, it is the gluten-free diet. Of course, there are people who are gluten-intolerent and for them gluten-free products are a god-send. For the rest of us, I think it is great idea to incorporate the taste of other whole grains with whole wheat, but there is no health/weight benefit to being completely gluten-free. It’s a fad. Just like every other diet, other than the exercise-more diet.


I don’t have a microwave. I gave it to my youngest when she moved into her first apartment eight years ago. I don’t miss it.

I don’t use any appliance daily and most don’t get used weekly. The only appliance on my counter is the stand mixer and I’m trying to find another spot for it. The only thing I really like about it is that the paddle is easier to clean than beaters. Spoons and a spatulas are easier to clean than either of those. I bake frequently, but do most of it “by hand.”

More and more I’m an unplugged cook. With the possible exception of reheating food on the stove top or in the oven, I don’t find that it takes me much more time. Though it’s not by choice, I don’t even have a dishwasher. That is the one appliance I would use daily!

Britain’s chicken recipes are appealing.


i love my microwave. i use it to reheat leftovers (also use the stoptop, but nuking is much quicker!); also use it to “cook” a veggie burger when in a hurry, warming tortillas and melting cheese on a burrito. never put coffee in there. it would oxidize it, no? blech.

sarah J

so….I bought the book…The Fault in our Stars……oh my word. how did you get thru this? I was sobbing on the couch for 20 min. My husband made me stop reading. I’m almost done, but boy is it good and heart wrenching and beautiful!

erinn johnson

A happy belated mother’s day.

No microwave here. We have never had one. We were married in 1996 and I can not tell you how many people tried to get us one as a gift.


We never wanted/had microwave until this year. One of my kids was diagnosed with celiac disease and I was convinced I would need the microwave to make the gluten free English muffins paleo people love.

I have made those muffins twice in about 6 months. I hate the microwave. It is useless. Even for reheating things. How do you even know how long to put your food in there for? And often it bursts and then you have to wash the whole box. Also it is another digital clock to deal with.

Your post reminded me to make the muffins in my stupid microwave though. Thanks!

Carrie K

oh man…i loved that book!! and EVERY time i watch a trailer for the movie i SOB…every time. I think i might have to watch that one at home…i would be a WRECK at the theater!!


I love your lists! I agree with both you and carrie k – can’t wait for June 6th. Loved that book so much and just watching the trailer puts tears in my eyes. So good!
Also, what a cool website – MOUTH! Such great gift ideas!

Regine Franck

Microwave ovens are awesome for making fat-free poppadums (2 minutes on HIGH). I like to think that they are so much healthier than crisps … AND totally gluten-free to boot.


I use my microwave several times a day. What do you do with leftovers? We have leftover night for dinner once and sometimes twice a week, and lunch at home is nearly always reheated leftovers. I can’t imagine all of this on a stove, or in a toaster oven!


We use the microwave mostly for homemade microwave popcorn. And, of course to warm coffee.


Yes, I have and use my microwave daily. For reheating that single cup of coffee or making a single cup of tea. Reheating leftovers for quick meals. Easy Mac is the processed food staple I keep around for the emergency meal for my daughter as well.

I read and LOVE the book and cannot wait to see the movie! John Green is a great author.

Cutting the chicken into parts – DUH. We can actually get the parts pretty cheap around here – someone always has leg quarts or split breasts on special. I buy both and them freeze them together for half chicken goodness. We ‘roast’ the pcs nearly every Sunday with lots of veggies. This is my husband current ‘go-to’ leftover meal for workdays.

Competitive Youth Soccer – ah yes. My husband played competitively for close to 20 years. His own mother didn’t work and was able to schlep him and teammates and their gear to and from practicies and games and to travel. My father-in-law worked hard, sometimes two jobs to allow for this. I know sacrifices were made to their other 2 children at the time to allow for this. Our won daughter played at the prodding of my husband and father-in-law in a rec league for 5 years. She never loved it. SHe has since tryied gymnastics and is interested in taking a dance class now. But for fun. She’s just not competitive by nature. She and I are both perfectly content to go for a bike ride, read a book, or swing at the park. However, if she had fallen in love with the sport, or any sport, I know we move mountains to fulfill her passion for it. (This goes for any sport really).


I haven’t read The Fault in our Stars yet. I knew John Green was from Indianapolis, but didn’t realize the story was set here. The places mentioned are real places in Indy.

A local news station went on a tour of some of.the places mentioned in the story. The Speedway at 86th and Ditch is where I get my gas.