Archive for October, 2009

Michigan Munchies

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

When I saw this article, it made me think about my midwest childhood and all the delicious food that midwesterners enjoy. One thing about the midwest is that values are more constant and food is more timeless and true to its roots. “Seven Best: Michigan Food” by Karen Dybis—one of the TIME Magazine bloggers in Detroit for one whole year on Assignment Detroit—is a perfect example of what I mean. Karen identifies a diverse list of mouth-watering foods produced in the great state of Michigan. From snack food and kielbasa to ice cream and beer, these are delicious, quality goodies made with care. Go Michigan!

Seven Best: Michigan food

Posted by Karen Dybis Friday, October 16, 2009 at 11:02 am

Chow time! It’s Friday so let’s debate the best foods made and consumed in great quantity in my house…Oops…I mean the Great Lakes state.

–Better Made: This snack-food company has been in Detroit since 1930. It uses locally grown potatoes to make their famous chips (personal fave: barbecue). Better Made also produces pretzels, pork rinds, tortilla chips, beef jerky, salsas and cheese dips. The company claims Detroiters eat an average of seven pounds of chips per year, as opposed to four for the rest of the country. Explains a lot.

–Koegel and Kowalski: Personally, I could eat a Koegel Vienna every day. And I would have to renounce my Polish heritage if I didn’t praise the mighty Kowalski family for its Kielbasa. Koegel, based near Flint, makes everything from summer sausage to salami to olive loaf. Kowalski is a Hamtramck powerhouse with markets across Metro Detroit.

–Garden Fresh: Amazing fresh salsa. Crispy fresh chips. I have products from Ferndale-based Garden Fresh in my fridge at this very moment. Founder Jack Aronson started making his salsas from his restaurant and they grew so popular he had to mass market them. Thank you, kind sir. (The hummus also is wonderful).

–Jiffy: Who hasn’t enjoyed Jiffy blueberry muffins at least once? The Chelsea-based company manufactures over 1.6 million boxes of “JIFFY” mixes every day. Each mix costs less than $1, which makes them very budget friendly. Jiffy is so popular nationwide that the company never needs to advertise. (See, I just did its dirty work for free once again!)

–Hudsonville Ice Cream: Straight out of Holland comes the creamiest, dreamiest ice cream in the land. Don’t believe me? Drive straight to Michigan right now and try the Pumpkin flavor. Or the Mackinac Island Fudge. Or the Grand Traverse Bay Cherry Fudge. Enough said.

–Sanders and Morley: These two chocolate dynasties have worked together for a common good since 2002. Nothing in the world (to me) tastes better than some good ice cream – see Number Five – and some fabulous Sanders hot fudge. Bliss.

–Beer: This is October (translation: Oktoberfest) so you have to invest in some good Michigan beer. Believe it or not, today is the start of “Detroit Beer Week,” according to the Michigan Brewers Guild. So grab a Bells, Curmudgeon, Cherry Festive Ale or Huma Lupa Licious and salute this Great Beer State.

Other greats: Guernsey Farms Dairy, Elan Candy, Dearborn Sausage Company, Eden Organic, Gayle’s Chocolates, Kellogg’s cereal, Steve’s Backroom, Zingerman’s, Achatz Handmade Pie Co. The list goes on and on.

P.S. I would have mentioned Vernors and Faygo, but they aren’t locally owned any more. Vernors is owned by Dr. Pepper, although Wikipedia claims some 80 percent of the ginger-flavored ale is still consumed in Michigan. Faygo was purchased by a Florida-based company more than 10 years ago. Still, love me some Redpop.

Read more:

My First Press Interview!

Friday, October 16th, 2009

As  first time author, I was excited to have my first real interview with the press.  What a milestone!  It was with Mary McVean of the LA Times, for the paper’s food-related blog, Daily Dish.  I was excited and Mary couldn’t have been nicer, or made me feel more at ease.

When I saw what Mary wrote online at the LA Times’ website, I was even more excited.  She did a great job of conveying the fun and spirit of the book.  If you haven’t seen it, here’s a link:

I really appreciated Mary mentioning my book signing event at Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Nov. 4th.  That’s one day after the book comes out on November 3rd and it will be a fun celebration.  Everyone is welcome to come. There will be drawings for food-related goodies and in-store treats.  The more people who know about the book, the more happiness and laughs (and cupcakes) to go around!

We’ll be adding more signings that we’ll post on this site and on our Facebook fan page, The Art Of Overeating.  Look there for the latest updates!

Oh – and please read Mary McVean’s piece on The Art of Overeating:

— Leslie Landis

Welcome to The Art of Overeating Blog!

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Hi, and welcome to my blog for The Art Of Overeating.  I’ll be posting two times a week, with updates on the book, items I think you might like — or that might make you laugh — and a varied smorgasbord of things related to the concept, practice and appreciation of overeating.  To start, here’s an interview I did recently as part of the pre-publication activities leading up to the November 3 release of The Art Of Overeating.  I think it’s a good way to put the proverbial cherry on top of many of the most-asked questions .
Leslie Landis

A conversation with author Leslie Landis
A Bellyful of Laughs About Our Food Phobic Culture

You are a clinical psychologist. What have you learned about overeating in this capacity?

Through my experience working with overeaters, I’ve learned that shaming doesn’t motivate — people just turn off and tune out. I began experimenting with humor as a tool to deal with food problems.  When I got people to laugh about the issue, it empowered them to make changes.  I find that humor helps people recognize important truths about their behavior and become open-minded about the possibility of change.

Are you an overeater?
I’m not an overeater, but I crave my childhood comfort foods, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies and mac ‘n cheese.  I make the world’s best PB&J sandwich.  My secret ingredient? One word: butter. (Because there is no butter in peanut butter!)

Obesity is a big problem in this country. Why did you write an “Anti-Diet” book?

My book is “chock full of not-too-weighty wisdom.”  The diet and healthy eating  industries have made us think of food as either poison or medicine. I think finding the funny bone in our eating habits is a healthier approach, and may even be part of the solution.

Should anyone take the advice in your book seriously?

Only if they want to weigh 900 pounds.

Do you think diet books are good for people?

Of course. There is a lot of good information in most of those books.  But we are hit over the head – or rather, in the stomach — with this never-ending information, in books, on TV, in magazines.  It’s time to have a laugh about it

Do you have any advice for people who want to stop overeating?

Read this book and do the opposite of everything in it.