melissa-chelf

Hi there.

Max and LuluThere are a few things I think you should know about me. I’ll start with an easy confession: I love dogs. My two adorable four-leggeds are like the children I haven’t had (yet, Mom…it will be sometime soon, ok?).  They’re quirky, cuddly, persistant, affectionate and especially helpful when I drop an edible on the floor.
This is Max and Lulu.

I live in the dairy state, and yes, I enthusiastically love cheese.  It’s possible that it may be my statesmanlike duty to enjoy a slice of sharp cheddar in the evening.  I live just outside of the beautiful city of La Crosse, WI, on a fantastically rustic yet still quietly inhabited bluff side, with my funny, talented and wonderful husband. Jared runs a website design business. You can guess who created the visual delight that is Friends with Fridges. He’s also my best taste-tester, additional lighting hand, occasional dishwasher and very important moral supporter. He’s a serious sweet tooth with a predilection towards carrot cake and oatmeal cookies.

I have some bad habits, mostly involving shopping.  Also, occassional nail-biting. Sometimes the two happen together.

My more redeeming activities include running, hot yoga and reading.  If you’ve never tried hot yoga, I whole-heartedly recommend you do at least one time.  It’s amazing.  (I really wanted to write “om-mazing” but I’m rising above the impulse to make a cheesy joke. You’re welcome.)

Once during an episode of Lost, Jared asked me what I’d miss most in a stranded on an island situation. My first thought was guacamole, but was quickly followed up by peanut butter.  No, wait, thick-cut french fries and loads of ketchup.  I’d miss pizza.  I wondered if I could make sushi on that island.  It just might have the right resources.  But I’ll probably get a craving for enchiladas.  Or a fried egg sandwich.  And pancakes.  Bloody Mary’s.  Red wine.  Ok, it’s really not fair to ask me that question.  The only possible result is late-night snacking.

I’ve come a long way in developing my culinary palate. For instance, when I was a kid I was certain that the golden arches for McDonald’s was actually an M for Melissa. Not that I wouldn’t still eat the heck out of a sleeve of french fries.

I’m oddly fascinated by food trivia.  You’ll find that I can’t help but share a bit of this acquired knowledge in each recipe.  I love to tell you that almonds contain tryptophan (which helps you sleep) or that acai berries are the highest antioxidant fruit ever.  It’s thrilling to explain that tomatoes are the one exception to the rule in which cooking lowers the nutrient content of fruits and veggies (cooking tomatoes actually increases the level of lycopene…isn’t that neat?).   I’ve come to terms with being a bit of a nerd and geeking out over food facts.  It’s here that I get to embrace it.

Let’s have a bit of a disclaimer moment: I’m not a doctor. Not even a registered dietician. Most of my food knowledge comes from reading. I double check my little bits of wisdom before posting them by checking out sites like whfoods.com, realage.com (Dr. Oz’s famous site), mayo.edu, nutrition.gov and more, however if you have any medical conditions, please check with your doctor before going on an all wine and cheese diet.