Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

July 29, 2012

Tomato Time!

Filed under: Food,Recipes — Twistie @ 12:38 pm

There was a time when I didn’t get the big deal about tomatoes.

Sure, I liked tomato based pasta sauces, and I had no problem eating the occasional BLT… but what I liked best about that sandwich was the bacon, not the tomato. Tomatoes looked pretty. I like red. And cherry tomatoes were kind of cute, being all miniature like that.

Thing is, back then I didn’t really know what a tomato tasted like.

I ate them all the time, sure, but the only tomatoes I saw came from the grocery store. Large or small, there was a sameness to them. They were uniformly red, kind of hard, and more or less flavorless.


July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day… and a Chance to Save Money

Filed under: Discount Codes,Food,Free Shipping,Holidays,Sales — Twistie @ 12:08 pm

Happy Bastille Day! Best of luck storming any ramparts in your path today.

But what does this have to do with saving money? Darlings, don’t you know that here in the States every holiday is about saving a few bucks? At any rate, even if it isn’t considered the point, you can always find some retailer looking to sweeten the pot just a tidge in the name of patriotism, or whatever other excuse they can find.

I’m not complaining, mind. I love a good bargain. I don’t even mind exploiting another country’s most important holiday to do it so long as no animals are harmed in the making of the motion picture.

In this case the vendor is, and the way they have chosen to honor Bastille Day is to offer free shipping on selected Le Creuset items with sale code C96959. May I suggest this gorgeous color known as Marseille?

Considering how much Le Creuset pots and pans weigh, that could give you some hefty savings!

Vive la France! Vive la savings on awesome cookware!

July 8, 2012

Al Fresco Party Tips

Filed under: Be Super Fantastic,Entertaining,Food — Twistie @ 12:34 pm

Summer is here and that means that if you own a pool, a barbecue, a nice patio, or any outdoor space larger than a fire escape landing, chances are you’re going to hold some outdoor event in the next couple months. Of course you want yours the be the soiree everyone remembers fondly… not the one people send condolence cards to afterwards.

How to get it right? Well, as per usual, I have a couple handy tips to make you the most fabulous of them all.


June 15, 2012

SmugPoints, locavores and my new friend the cow

Filed under: Food — Miss Plumcake @ 3:00 pm

So you know how much we all hate those people who bang on and on about being a “locavore” and are constantly talking about how life changing their CSA box has been, and then post photos documenting their every meal because surely nothing fascinates more than an instagram of your first attempt at braising Swiss chard?

The people who drool at over-designed urban chicken coops the way normal, decent people look at porn or that the first half of that Spanish National Team shirt commercial? Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with eating locally-produced food or having a few gentrified yardbirds, it’s often the ethical and gastronomic ideal, but am I the only one thinking these folks are second only to Miss Have I Told You About My Totally Made Up Gluten Sensitivity when it comes to horrifyingly tedious food conversations?

I tried to explain the concept of SmugPoints and how living on an organic farm is like the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket of privileged white kid smugness to our new friend Beto who gave us an impromptu tour of his fields last week. He looked at me like I had lobsters growing out of my head. Down here people just get on with it. The farm is cheap and close, the grocery store is expensive and far away.

They’re locavores by necessity, and now so am I. Why? Because the farm is cheap and close and the grocery store is expensive and far away. Plus people at the grocery store stare at me, like they’ve never seen an incandescently white fat girl in archival Yves Saint Laurent wandering adrift and confused in the “miscellaneous animal feet” section of the local supermarket. Whatever.

Plumcake Cottage lies wedged in a sleepy village between the Pacific (which is all fun and games until barking sea lions wake you up at three in the morning or you see a NatGeo show illustrating in vivid seal-destroying technicolor exactly how far killer whales can project themselves up a beach) and a small but picturesque mountain range positively covered in organic farms, including Beto’s.

Local produce I can deal with. Give me a kilo of blackberries the size of my thumb still warm from the vine and I’m a happy fatty. Eggs come from the woman with the hand-painted sign and the magnificent smile unsullied by teeth, but milk. Milk is my final frontier.

After Beto showed us around his farm, we met some cows at a miniscule ranch a few minutes down yet another dirt road.

There were about fifty head of cattle, including Number Ninety-three. This is a picture of her trying to act innocent after she licked my head. Do not be fooled.

Ninety-three was hanging out with her cohort, eating alfalfa and waiting to be milked by hand by Carlos, who is also apparently my friend now. I guess that’s what happens when someone’s cow licks you. It took me several minutes to realize Ninety-three was going to be the source of my dairy for the foreseeable future.

So now I’m making cheese.

Whole milk ricotta, which isn’t really ricotta but a sort of fresh farmer’s cheese, is delicious and ridiculously simple.

I’m giving a go at mozzarella tonight and queso anejo tomorrow. I don’t have any cheesecloth so I’m using a damaged-beyond-repair vintage Hermes. Necessity is the well-accessorized mother of invention.

I’m not intimidated…not really. The worst thing that’ll happen is I’ll ruin three gallons of raw organic milk that set me back fifty pesos (about three bucks) but any words of encouragement, or stories of your own kitchen (mis)adventures would keep me mightily entertained over the weekend!


June 4, 2012

But what if I LIKE my appetite?

Filed under: Body Love,Fighting Back,Food,Health — Miss Plumcake @ 12:07 pm

“Curve your appetite with yoga.”

Uh, okay.

First of all, I’m pretty sure those are just words strung together. I still can’t figure out what it’s supposed to mean other than some take on the idea that if I do yoga I’ll put the kibosh on wanting to eat.

So not wanting to eat is…good?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to bash yoga. I love yoga. I’m not an exceptionally gifted practitioner –imagine Patsy or Edina from Abfab trying to do a Salute to the Sun and you’ve just about got it– but I’m on the yoga bandwagon, and not because it’s the only acceptable place to wear yoga pants in public. Although it is.

But I’m also on the eating when I’m hungry bandwagon.

If my stomach says “Hey, we haven’t hung out in a while. Howzabout you and I go to town on some of these here black beans?” I’ll say “Great idea Stomach, do you want me to bring the cotija, cilantro and lime or will you?” and IT will reply “You should. I’m an internal organ and thus have limited citrus-picking capabilities.” and then, not being able to argue with logic, I’ll bring some limes and we’ll both get happy on some seriously luscious legumes.

My appetite is sated and I don’t die of starvation or get sick (yet again) from malnourishment.

It works out for everyone.

As big girls, most of us have had intuitive eating beaten right out of us, sometimes literally by the people who love or sometimes “love” us.

We’re told not to listen to our bodies, that our bodies are trying to betray us and we should have this celery stick instead of that deviled egg we so desperately crave. Your body wants protein? But protein often has fat in it and there’s nothing worse than eating fat. Or sugar. Or wheat. Or Salt. Or whatever they say is going to make you die from fat this news cycle and cure cancer the next.

It’s damn hard to get back to intuitive eating, and eating valuable foods. Many of us have a ton of emotional baggage and actual internal damage –my stomach prolapsed in college after I was given phen fen as a teenager and I spent the next ten years suffering malnutrition thanks to a completely shot and shell-shocked metabolism– so even the most natural thing in the world can be a tough row to hoe.

If you’re interested in learning more about intuitive eating an eating that’s both emotionally and physically healthful (no, it’s not a diet) I invite you to visit and my personal favorite resident of the fatosphere: Fat Nutritionist. It’s probably the best way to lose weight.






June 3, 2012

Five Things That Never Fail to Make Twistie Happy

Filed under: Accessories,Books,Food,Hats,Media — Twistie @ 11:36 am

Every now and again it’s good to sit down and think about the good things in life. The following is a list of things that delight me consistently.

Lenny Henry’s comedy. It should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of the series Chef. After all, it’s a combination of spectacular food porn and blistering sarcasm, two things I love deeply. But this is not all he’s done that makes me happy. He also used to have a variety show, The Lenny Henry Show, which featured sketch comedy and his wickedly spot on impressions. Check out this clip of his Prince parody. Pity about the quality of the transfer, but it’s still funny.


May 31, 2012

Food Friendly May: To Share or Not to Share

Filed under: Food — Miss Plumcake @ 2:09 pm

When Twistie wrote about comfort food over the weekend, I felt sorry for myself.

I  can’t eat when I’m stressed and we never did the comfort food thing in our house.

With four generations to feed and a lifelong case of food hate, my sensible RN grandmother didn’t have the time or inclination to whip up something special just because one of us felt low.

When we were sick it would be the hospital-approved BRAT diet until we felt better, and the only thing that got me was a lifelong distaste for bananas, rice, applesauce and dry Pepperidge Farms sandwich white.

But then I thought about the first time I tasted elderflower cordial, in a tiny house on a tiny island off the north coast of England where the fire alarm was a handbell and we took vows of silence save for one hour a day.

I thought about Whitt’s pulled pork sandwiches in Nashville and the Snug Harbor –a miraculous variation on the eggs Benedict theme, with a soft shell Chesapeake blue crab taking standing in for the eggs– at the long defunct Fred’s in Annapolis.

I thought about the old fashioneds at the Driskill Hotel and a really well-pulled pint of Guinness in Ireland.

I thought about a proper haggis.

Some parts of me want to share these things with HLB, but in a way I want to keep it private: my unaltered memories for myself alone.

I opened Hot Latin Boy and his pals up to the magical world of shrimp and grits, sweet potato pie, gin and tonics and just yesterdayCampari.

In exchange, his mother has introduced me to tamales with prunes in them (apparently a Guatamalan thing), pozole (which made up for the prunes), huitlacoche, and some delightful but totally mysterious green thing made out of pig spine that cured me of my cold but created further problems I am too delicate to describe.

We already have a collection of “us” foods:

Baked apples will always have a special meaning, even though I whipped them up because I had to get rid of two old winesaps and the dregs of some granola, celery soup –brought steaming hot when I was sick– will always remind me of our first months in Villa Plumcake even though I think he made it because he wanted to use the immersion blender.

If he ever manages me to frogmarch me down the aisle, you can bet there will be rosemary in my bouquet as a wink to one of our first dates at a painfully sophisticated restaurant where he accidentally ate an entire twig of garnish and tried to save me from the same fate by loudly saying “Novia! Don’t eat the little tree! It’s so strong!”‘

Still, I’m not sure how I’d feel about sharing the foods and moments so associated with a special, personal time. What if he didn’t like haggis? What if he liked it too much and it became one of “our” things instead of set in that crystalline moment off the coast of Scotland half a decade ago?

Do you share your sentimental favorites or are remembrances of meals past better left just as they are?

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