Moderate Moment | Moderate Moms

Archive for April, 2013

Fideo

Okay, I confess! I put this recipe on here because I like the name. I was trolling around the recipe websites and found this super-spicy recipe for Mexican spaghetti on AllRecipes.Com. 

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion, divided

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder, divided

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 1 (16 ounce) package fideo noodles

  • 3 cups hot water, or as needed

  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 1 cube beef bouillon

  • 3 thin strips of green bell pepper

 
 

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef, 1 tablespoon dried onion, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, salt, and black pepper in the hot skillet until beef is browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes; drain and discard grease. Transfer beef to a bowl.
  2. Heat canola oil in the same skillet over medium heat; cook and stir fideo noodles in the hot oil until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add ground beef and enough hot water to cover the noodles; stir in tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons dried onion, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, beef bouillon, green bell pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

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Mother of Boston Marathon Suspects Speaks Out 

The Drive-By Blow Dry by Christine Doyle

The Drive-By Blow Dry by Christine Doyle

If you thought Carrie Bradshaw and Manolo Blahnik did a lot for shoes, wait until you see what two St. Louis Moms are gearing up to do for hair. Susannah Danforth and Lindsay Bush have figured out a way to bring that oh-so-finished look New York’s hippest Moms and Hollywood’s leading ladies have, here to the Midwest. For $35, you can have your hair professionally washed, blown-out and styled at their flagship salon, the Breeze Blow Dry Bar on Clayton Road in Ladue. That’s about a dollar a minute to put down your boar barrel brush and relinquish that tortured scene straight out of a sit-com as you stand there sweating in steam left over from the shower, unable to see or reach the back of your head while your hair is starting to curl up again because of all that humidity.

Whether you are heading to a meeting, an event or something up at school, I cannot think of a better cure for “tress stress” than the drive-by blow dry. For that busy woman, looking for a quick dose of posh pampering, you will find it here. The shop has a decidedly Tory Burch feel – it’s like being wrapped in one of her shifts – clean, crisp and above all else , hip!

What I love about this concept is that it was borne of necessity by two busy Moms who were doing the same things all of us spend our days doing. I used to marvel when I saw them, carting kids to hockey games, play try-outs or the grocery store, at a time when I knew Susannah was spending late nights studying for a law degree and Lindsay was trying to organize women voters across our state. They were also doing things like running the annual book sale up at school and chairing this or that good effort.  In other words, like most busy Mothers, neither one had time to think about, let alone do, her hair!

And while Susannah, a sassy brunette, and Lindsay, a California beach girl with golden locks, may have both fallen for guys from St. Louis, neither one loved the way their naturally wavy hair looked in this town’s legendary humidity. Hence, the concept of the blow dry bar.

The first time I went in, I got a kick out of the glamour shots lining the wall that were adorned with sayings like, “Sally’s kankles were grateful that her hair looked so damn good.” And, “Betty knew that striking a pose was so much easier when she was having a good day.”  I was also treated to an expert blow-out and even better chat with the Blow Dry Bar’s own version of Frederic Fekkai. In this case, it’s manager Josh Wagner. A native Missourian who spent time at the House of Bumble, styled models for fashion week and has brought all his inside New York stuff back to this swath of Clayton Road, I wound up showing him shots of the neon plastic pumps I took pictures of on South Beach and we became fast friends!

The drive-by blow dry. A must add to your self-care kit! Located at Lester’s Plaza at 9916 Clayton Road in Ladue. 314-692-BLOW or 314-429-2569.

The Third Wave Revolutionaries

David Brooks of the New York Times has written an interesting article questioning whether recent bi-partisan progress on background checks and immigration is more of an illusion than a reality. He describes the current Republican Congressional leadership and the radio shock jobs as  “first wave revolutionaries” and “second wave revolutionaries,”  respectively. I would say the third wave of revolutionaries will be the moderates.  

Read and see what you think! 

David Brooks/ New York Times 
Liberals are furious, but the gun issue will not significantly damage the Republican Party. Sure, it looks bad to oppose background checks, which have overwhelming popular support. Sure, the Republican position will further taint the party’s image in places like the suburbs of Philadelphia and Northern Virginia. Sure, the party looks extreme when it can’t accept a bill sponsored by the conservative Senator Joe Manchin and the very conservative Senator Pat Toomey.
But, let’s face it, the gun issue has its own unique dynamic, which is that the people who oppose gun limits vote on this issue while the people who support them do not.

Moreover, Democrats never made a compelling case that the bill would have been effective, that it would have directly prevented future Sandy Hooks or lowered the murder rate nationwide. Even many of the bill’s supporters were lukewarm about its contents.

The main reason the gun issue won’t significantly harm Republicans is that it doesn’t play into the core debate that will shape the future of the party. The issue that does that is immigration. The near-term future of American politics will be determined by who wins the immigration debate.

In the months since the election, a rift has opened between the Republicans you might call first-wave revolutionaries and those you might call second-wave revolutionaries. The first-wave revolutionaries (the party’s Congressional leaders) think of themselves as very conservative. They ejected the remaining moderates from their ranks. They sympathize with the Tea Party. They are loyal to Fox News and support a radical restructuring of the government.

These first-wave revolutionaries haven’t softened their conservatism, but they are trying to adjust it to win majority support. They are trying to find policies to boost social mobility, so Republicans look less like the party of the rich. They are swinging behind immigration reform, believing that Hispanics won’t even listen to Republicans until they put that issue in the rearview mirror.

The second-wave revolutionaries — like Rand Paul (on some issues), Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz and some of the cutting-edge talk radio jocks — see the first-wave revolutionaries as a bunch of incompetent establishmentarians. They speak of the Bush-Cheney administration as if it were some sort of liberal Republican regime run by Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits. They argue that Republicans have lost elections recently because the party has been led by big-spending, mushy moderates like John McCain and Mitt Romney and managed by out-of-touch elitists like Karl Rove and Reince Priebus.

The second wavers are much more tactically aggressive, favoring filibusters and such when possible. What the party needs now, they argue, is an ultra-Goldwaterite insurgency that topples the “establishment,” ditches immigration reform and wins Hispanic votes by appealing to the evangelicals among them and offering them economic liberty.

The first and second wavers are just beginning their immigration clash. A few weeks ago, I would have thought the pro-immigration forces had gigantic advantages, but now it is hard to be sure.

The immigration fight will be pitting a cohesive insurgent opposition force against a fragile coalition of bipartisan proponents who have to ambivalently defend a sprawling piece of compromise legislation. We’ve seen this kind of fight before. Things usually don’t end up well for the proponents.

Whether it’s guns or immigration, it is easy to imagine that the underlying political landscape, which prevented progress in the past, has changed. But when you actually try to pass something, you often discover the underlying landscape has not changed. The immigration fight of 2013 might bear an eerie similarity to the fight of 2007.

The arguments that might persuade Republicans to support immigration reform are all on the table. They came on election night 2012. The arguments against are only just now unfolding.

It is just a fact that the big short-term beneficiaries of this law are not generally Republicans: the 11 million who are living in the shadows; the high-tech entrepreneurs who will get more skilled labor. The short-term losers, meanwhile, are often Republicans: the white working-class people who will face a new group of labor-market competition when they try to get jobs in retail; the taxpayers who, at least in the short term, will have to pay some additional costs.

In the past, Republican politicians have had trouble saying no to the latest and most radical insurgency. Even if they know immigration reform is eventually good for their party, lawmakers may figure that opposing it is immediately necessary for themselves.

It would be great if Republicans can hash out their differences over a concrete policy matter, especially immigration, which touches conservatism’s competing values. But if the insurgent right defeats immigration reform, that will be a sign that the party’s self-marginalization will continue. The revolution devours its own.

David Brooks of the NYT on the Republican vs. Republican Problem

Liberals are furious, but the gun issue will not significantly damage the Republican Party. Sure, it looks bad to oppose background checks, which have overwhelming popular support. Sure, the Republican position will further taint the party’s image in places like the suburbs of Philadelphia and Northern Virginia. Sure, the party looks extreme when it can’t accept a bill sponsored by the conservative Senator Joe Manchin and the very conservative Senator Pat Toomey.

Moreover, Democrats never made a compelling case that the bill would have been effective, that it would have directly prevented future Sandy Hooks or lowered the murder rate nationwide. Even many of the bill’s supporters were lukewarm about its contents.

The main reason the gun issue won’t significantly harm Republicans is that it doesn’t play into the core debate that will shape the future of the party. The issue that does that is immigration. The near-term future of American politics will be determined by who wins the immigration debate.

In the months since the election, a rift has opened between the Republicans you might call first-wave revolutionaries and those you might call second-wave revolutionaries. The first-wave revolutionaries (the party’s Congressional leaders) think of themselves as very conservative. They ejected the remaining moderates from their ranks. They sympathize with the Tea Party. They are loyal to Fox News and support a radical restructuring of the government.

These first-wave revolutionaries haven’t softened their conservatism, but they are trying to adjust it to win majority support. They are trying to find policies to boost social mobility, so Republicans look less like the party of the rich. They are swinging behind immigration reform, believing that Hispanics won’t even listen to Republicans until they put that issue in the rearview mirror.

The second-wave revolutionaries — like Rand Paul (on some issues), Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz and some of the cutting-edge talk radio jocks — see the first-wave revolutionaries as a bunch of incompetent establishmentarians. They speak of the Bush-Cheney administration as if it were some sort of liberal Republican regime run by Nelson Rockefeller and Jacob Javits. They argue that Republicans have lost elections recently because the party has been led by big-spending, mushy moderates like John McCain and Mitt Romney and managed by out-of-touch elitists like Karl Rove and Reince Priebus.

The second wavers are much more tactically aggressive, favoring filibusters and such when possible. What the party needs now, they argue, is an ultra-Goldwaterite insurgency that topples the “establishment,” ditches immigration reform and wins Hispanic votes by appealing to the evangelicals among them and offering them economic liberty.

The first and second wavers are just beginning their immigration clash. A few weeks ago, I would have thought the pro-immigration forces had gigantic advantages, but now it is hard to be sure.

The immigration fight will be pitting a cohesive insurgent opposition force against a fragile coalition of bipartisan proponents who have to ambivalently defend a sprawling piece of compromise legislation. We’ve seen this kind of fight before. Things usually don’t end up well for the proponents.

Whether it’s guns or immigration, it is easy to imagine that the underlying political landscape, which prevented progress in the past, has changed. But when you actually try to pass something, you often discover the underlying landscape has not changed. The immigration fight of 2013 might bear an eerie similarity to the fight of 2007.

The arguments that might persuade Republicans to support immigration reform are all on the table. They came on election night 2012. The arguments against are only just now unfolding.

It is just a fact that the big short-term beneficiaries of this law are not generally Republicans: the 11 million who are living in the shadows; the high-tech entrepreneurs who will get more skilled labor. The short-term losers, meanwhile, are often Republicans: the white working-class people who will face a new group of labor-market competition when they try to get jobs in retail; the taxpayers who, at least in the short term, will have to pay some additional costs.

In the past, Republican politicians have had trouble saying no to the latest and most radical insurgency. Even if they know immigration reform is eventually good for their party, lawmakers may figure that opposing it is immediately necessary for themselves.

It would be great if Republicans can hash out their differences over a concrete policy matter, especially immigration, which touches conservatism’s competing values. But if the insurgent right defeats immigration reform, that will be a sign that the party’s self-marginalization will continue. The revolution devours its own.

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Police talk to sister of Boston Marathon Suspects

Cinnamon Games are Nothing to Sneeze At / Associated Press

CHICAGO • Don’t take the cinnamon challenge. That’s the advice from doctors in a new report about a dangerous prank depicted in popular YouTube videos but which has led to hospitalizations and a surge in calls to U.S. poison centers.

The fad involves daring someone to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without water. But the spice is caustic, and trying to gulp it down can cause choking, throat irritation, breathing trouble and collapsed lungs, the report said.

Published online Monday in Pediatrics, the report said at least 30 teens nationwide needed medical attention after taking the challenge last year. The number of poison control center calls about teens doing the prank “has increased dramatically,” to 222 last year from 51 in 2011, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

“People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are at greater risk of having this result in shortness of breath and trouble breathing,” according to an alert posted on the association’s website.

Thousands of YouTube videos depict youths attempting the challenge, resulting in an “orange burst of dragon breath” spewing out of their mouths and sometimes hysterical laughter from friends watching the stunt, said report co-author Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, a pediatrics professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that .

Cinnamon is made from tree bark and contains cellulose fibers that don’t easily break down. Animal research suggests that when cinnamon gets into the lungs, it can cause scarring.

Dr. Stephen Pont, a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics and an Austin, Texas pediatrician, said the report is “a call to arms to parents and doctors to be aware of things like the cinnamon challenge” and to pay attention to what their kids are viewing online.

Honey Ginger Chicken Bites

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light magazine:

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice $
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 16 thighs)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

Preparation

  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake well. Add chicken; seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°.
  3. Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade. Arrange chicken in a single layer on the rack of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes, stirring once.
  4. While chicken is cooking, strain marinade through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Place marinade in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes; skim solids from surface. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add cornstarch mixture to pan, stirring with a whisk; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; pour glaze into a large bowl.
  5. Preheat broiler.
  6. Add chicken to glaze; toss well to coat. Place chicken mixture on a jelly roll pan; broil 5 minutes or until browned, stirring twice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

David Bonom, Cooking Light 
MARCH 2003

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MA Community Struggles to Find a Way Back 

Why Women can't do Pull-ups / New York Times

Why Women can’t do Pull-ups / New York Times

Why Women Can’t Do Pull-Ups

By TARA PARKER-POPE
  • While the pull-up has been used by everyone from middle-school gym teachers to Marine drill instructors to measure fitness, the fact is that many fit people, particularly women, can’t do even one. To perform a pull-up, you place your hands on a raised bar using an overhand grip, arms fully extended and feet off the floor. (The same exercise, performed with an underhand grip, is often called a chin-up.) Using the muscles in your arms and back, you pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. Then the body is lowered until the arms are straight, and the exercise is repeated. The Marines say a male recruit should be able to do at least 3 pull-ups or chin-ups, but women are not required to do them. In school, 14-year-old boys can earn the highest award on the government’s physical fitness test by doing 10 pull-ups or chin-ups: for 14-year-old girls, it’s 2.

To find out just how meaningful a fitness measure the pull-up really is, exercise researchers from the University of Dayton found 17 normal-weight women who could not do a single overhand pull-up. Three days a week for three months, the women focused on exercises that would strengthen the biceps and the latissimus dorsi — the large back muscle that is activated during the exercise. They lifted weights and used an incline to practice a modified pull-up, raising themselves up to a bar, over and over, in hopes of strengthening the muscles they would use to perform the real thing. They also focused on aerobic training to lower body fat.

By the end of the training program, the women had increased their upper-body strength by 36 percent and lowered their body fat by 2 percent. But on test day, the researchers were stunned when only 4 of the 17 women succeeded in performing a single pull-up.

“We honestly thought we could get everyone to do one,” said Paul Vanderburgh, a professor of exercise physiology and associate provost and dean at the University of Dayton, and an author of the study. But Vanderburgh said the study and other research has shown that performing a pull-up requires more than simple upper-body strength. Men and women who can do them tend to have a combination of strength, low body fat and shorter stature. During training, because women have lower levels of testosterone, they typically develop less muscle than men, Vanderburgh explained. In addition, they can’t lose as much fat. Men can conceivably get to 4 percent body fat; women typically bottom out at more than 10 percent.

So no matter how fit they are, women typically fare worse on pull-up tests. But Vanderburgh notes that some men struggle, too, particularly those who are taller or bigger generally or have long arms. This is related to an interesting phenomenon: if you compare a smaller athlete to an athlete who has the same exact build but is 30 percent bigger, the bigger athlete will be only about 20 percent stronger, even though he has to carry about 30 percent more weight.

“We’re a combination of levers; that’s how we move,” Vanderburgh said. “Generally speaking, the longer the limb, the more of a disadvantage in being able to do a pull-up. I look at a volleyball player and wouldn’t expect her to be able to do a pull-up, but I know she’s fit.”